10 Best Air Purifying Plants for Your Bedroom and Home

Young female in glasses sitting at computer with house plants in background
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Houseplants are an earth-friendly, cost-effective, and beautiful way to clean the air in your house. Here our are ten of the best air-purifying plants for home and health.

Using plants to purify your home? It may sound a little hippy-dippy, but houseplants have been scientifically proven to boost air quality indoors and improve people’s overall health.

During photosynthesis, plants absorb volatile organic compounds, including pollutants, from the air. These particles are transported to their roots where they are broken down by microbes into harmless by-products.

And, unlike artificial air purifiers, houseplants provide all this air cleaning at a low cost while adding a touch of beauty and greenery to your living space.

Your Best Picks for Cleaner Air

Because all plants utilize a similar process for neutralizing pollutants in the air, there are few discernible differences in air-purifying abilities between different plant species. However, plants with broader leaves and greater surface area tend to move higher quantities of air each day. And plants that are hardy and easy to grow are more likely to be around for longer, offering you years of cleaner air.

With these facts in mind, here are ten of the best houseplants for purifying the air in your home.

1. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Pothos plant in a white hanging pot
  • Care Difficulty: Great for beginners
  • Preferred Light: Low to bright indirect light
  • Watering Schedule: Weekly, allow the soil to dry between

If you think you are incapable of keeping a plant alive, we promise you, you will find redemption with a pothos (a.k.a. Devil’s Ivy). These plants are harder to kill than anything else you are likely to find. They can tolerate erratic watering schedules and grow well in just about any light. 

They are a viny plant and can grow to great lengths if given the chance. They come in a number of color patterns from solid green to green and white or yellow. As a bonus, you can easily cut pothos stems and plant the cutting to start a new plant in another room!

2. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider Plant
  • Care Difficulty: Easy
  • Preferred Light: Bright to medium indirect sunlight
  • Watering Schedule: Keep evenly moist

Spider plants are easy to grow and a great whimsical addition to any room. They aren’t prone to getting huge but will put out multiple baby “plantlets” that hang over the side of the pot and add to the air purifying power of this species. 

They are a great choice for planting in hanging pots near east and north-facing windows as well as for placing on bookshelves, given their tendency to cascade. They do especially well in humid bathrooms with plenty of natural light.

3. Monstera Plant (Monstera deliciosa)

Monstera plant
  • Care Difficulty: Easy
  • Preferred Light: Medium to bright indirect light
  • Watering Schedule: Allow to dry between waterings

The monstera is a beautiful, broad-leafed plant that gives off relaxing, tropical vibes. As the leaves mature, they tend to develop multiple holes, which is why this beauty is often called the swiss cheese plant. Holes aside, all that surface area makes these plants pros at filtering away in-house pollutants.

These plants often start off small, but they grow quickly and can reach impressive sizes if given a large enough pot. They are best suited for heavy pots placed in corners near windows. They are a great way to liven up any living area or add a touch of nostalgia to a beach or jungle themed bedroom. 

4. Ficus (Ficus benjamina)

  • Care Difficulty: Great for beginners
  • Preferred Light: Medium to bright filtered light
  • Watering Schedule: Allow soil to dry some between waterings

We included the ficus or “weeping fig” on this list for two reasons. One, these trees can reach an impressive size for an indoor plant, which means more air cleaning power. And two, they are super-easy to grow, even for the beginner.

These spindly trees enjoy moderate to bright light and are a great option for filling in empty corners and bringing the feeling of the outside, in. If you don’t have room for a full-sized ficus, consider getting a Bonzai ficus instead. These tiny trees don’t have quite the same air-purifying properties, but they are, by far, one of the easiest types of Bonzai to care for.

5. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)

  • Care Difficulty: Great for beginners
  • Preferred Light: Low to bright light
  • Watering Schedule: Intermittent

The ZZ plant is as useful as it is striking. This semi-succulent produces thick, waxy leaves and is a superstar in the air-purifying game. It is also an easy keeper, thriving off neglect and slow-growing in low to bright light.

The waxy leaves tend to reflect light, making this upright plant a great choice for dim corners. The stalks can reach three feet high, but take their time getting there. Because this plant likes longer periods of dry soil interspersed with heavy waterings, it is a great choice for people who travel frequently. 

6. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

  • Care Difficulty: Great for beginners
  • Preferred Light: Low to medium indirect light
  • Watering Schedule: Moderate watering 

The Chinese evergreen is a broad, long-leafed plant that comes in a variety of colors including pink and green, red and green, and green and white. You can even find some fun striped varieties! These plants have a lot of foliage but are smaller and denser than others on the list, making them a great choice for small rooms in need of purification.

The Chinese evergreen is also one of the best plants for dimmer light and thrives in rooms with fewer windows and those that are north facing. They prefer moderate watering with short periods of dry soil in between, but are hardy and can tolerate a little neglect.

7. Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

Rubber Plant
  • Care Difficulty: Moderate
  • Preferred Light: Bright filtered light
  • Watering Schedule: Consistently moist

Rubber plants have thick, robust leaves with a lot of surface area, making these exotic-looking trees a great choice for purifying your house. They are often sold as smaller, upright plants, but given enough time and a big enough pot, they will mature into large, slender trees.

These houseplants require well-draining soil, but don’t like to dry out, so frequent, moderate watering is important. They thrive in well-lit rooms or next to a south-facing window with a sheer curtain.

8. Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)

  • Care Difficulty: Easy
  • Preferred Light: Bright indirect light
  • Watering Schedule: Need moist soil

The areca palm is another great houseplant for those who enjoy a tropical feel. This palm is a little easier to care for than most varieties and can grow quite large. These plants are typically sold as tiny tabletop plants with minimal air-purifying qualities, but they will grow relatively fast and can get up to seven feet at maturity.

Areca palms enjoy bright light and are the perfect choice for bright, open rooms. Once they are established, they tend to be easy to maintain so long as they receive consistent watering. These are also a great choice for homes with pets and small children since they are non-toxic.

9. Pineapple Plant (Ananas comosus)

  • Care Difficulty: Moderate
  • Preferred Light: Bright direct light
  • Watering Schedule: Intermittent

While most plants are created close-to-equal in the air purifying department, the pineapple plant is one exception to the rule. These tropical beauties best known for their delicious, spiky fruit, are one of the few houseplants that excrete oxygen at night. Because of that, they are a great choice for bedrooms, especially if one of the occupants suffers from sleep apnea.

Pineapple plants are becoming more popular in nurseries, but the easiest way to get your own is to chop the top off your grocery store pineapple and put it in some dirt. These plants like a lot of light, so put it in front of a south-facing window. They prefer dry soil over wet and soak most of their water up through their leaves.

10. Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

  • Care Difficulty: Great for beginners
  • Preferred Light: Moderate to bright indirect light
  • Watering Schedule: Water when dry

The thick-skinned snake plant, also known as “mother-in-law’s tongue,” is an easy-keeper for even the most novice of plant parents. It grows in tall, wide spikes with a lot of surface area for exceptional air purification. And, best of all, this plant can live for decades with just a touch of care.

While the snake plant prefers bright, indirect light, it will tolerate even low light conditions. It also prefers drier soil and less frequent watering. Because of their height, these slow-growers make great corner decorations and will thrive in just about any room.

Whichever species of plant you choose to brighten and purify your home, just remember, the more the better. Placing multiple plants in every room and utilizing various species throughout your house is the most effective way to keep your air clean and fresh throughout the year.