Houseplants that clean the air

The perfect way to freshen up your home

Houseplants not only add life and colour to your home, they can clean up the air, too.

Most houses contain toxins, which are emitted from everyday items, such as cleaning and personal care products, carpets, upholstery and paint.

A study from the American Society for Horticultural Science found houseplants can cut ozone emissions from office equipment, such as photocopiers and scanners, making them an ideal addition to your workspace, too.

As we naturally spend more time indoors in winter, and are less inclined to open our windows, now is the perfect time to invest in one of nature’s own air-filters. Here are a few recommended in NASA's clean air study as being great plants to filter ‘volatile organic compounds’ (VOCs) from the air...

air-cleaning plants -

Peace lily

Most of us are familiar with the peace lily’s rich, glossy leaves and elegant, creamy flowers, but less well-known is its ability to filter three of the most common VOCs – formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. A low-maintenance plant that only needs a weekly watering, the peace lily is as practical as it is beautiful.

Snake plant

Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, the snake plant, is a great choice for the bathroom. Loving steamy, humid conditions, and able to thrive in low light, it is known for filtering out formaldehyde, commonly found in cleaning and bathroom products. Plus, its long, vertical leaves mean it won’t be vying for space on your bathroom shelf.


Renowned for its skin-soothing properties, aloe vera also helps to clear formaldehyde and benzene from the atmosphere. Absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen throughout the night, it’s widely regarded as an ideal bedroom plant.

English ivy

Often seen adorning the walls of country houses, this quintessentially English climber also makes a great houseplant. For best care, place ivy in bright light and don’t overwater.