9 Houseplants for Improving Interior Air Quality

9 Houseplants for Improving Interior Air Quality

Houseplants

9 Houseplants for Improving Interior Air Quality

Looking for something to spruce up your interior and improve air quality? Houseplants are your friend.

Some greenery is inexpensive and can bring great benefits to your interior space like producing more oxygen from CO2 and absorbing airborne toxic chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

Given that most of us spend the majority of our time indoors, having good indoor air quality is crucial. That’s why we’ve rounded up nine beautiful houseplants that even NASA recommends to keep the air in your home fresh.

Disclaimer: Most of the plants listed here should not be consumed by humans or animals. Ingestion may cause skin irritation, stomach discomfort, and other minor side effects.

English Ivy – Hedera Helix

English Ivy, the evergreen climbing vine can do many things.

NASA scientists listed the English Ivy as the number one best air-filtering houseplant. It’s also the most effective plant for absorbing formaldehyde found in some common cleaning products and rids the air of mould spores.

We recommend choosing an English Ivy plant over an air purifier. It’s also incredibly easy to grow and adaptable – try it as a hanging plant or let it cascade off a pedestal; either way looks effortlessly beautiful.

English Ivy

This ivy grows
in moderate temperatures and medium sunlight.

However, there are some cons to the English Ivy. Like some plants, the English Ivy can be toxic to humans and pets. We recommend placing this houseplant in a higher location like on a bookshelf. Make sure this plant is placed out of reach for kids and pets and your home will benefit from its features.

Aloe Plant – Aloe Vera

This easy-growing, sun-loving succulent has numerous healing properties. This plant can be found in health stores, beauty products, and even in your drinks. It can help clear the air of pollutants such as formaldehyde. If your plant is displaying brown spots, it means your aloe is absorbing harmful chemicals in your space. 

Aloe is a perfect choice for a sunny kitchen window. 

Aloe Vera Plant

Keep it close by in case you get a sunburn, burn, abrasion, or a cut. Your aloe will come to good use!

Rubber Tree – Ficus Elastica

The rubber plant is a tough plant that will survive in low levels of natural light (than most plants of its size) and tolerates cool temperatures. Similar to the English Ivy, the rubber plant is powerful for removing toxins from the indoor environment by filtering formaldehyde and can grow six to ten feet tall. 

Rubber Tree

Rubber plants
are one of the
easiest plants
to grow.

Successfully growing a Rubber Plant generally means finding the right balance in your environment: light but not too light, moist but not wet, and enough fertilizer to keep it healthy but not too much to encourage fast growth.

This plant does have some toxicity in its leaves so make sure it’s out of reach for pets and children. 

Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum

The beautiful Peace Lily Plant is a wonderful low-maintenance flower to have in your home, they do well in shade and cooler temperatures. This tropical flower topped NASA’s list for removing the three most common VOCs (formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene) as well as fighting toluene and xylene found in paint thinner.

It’s simply a beautiful plant that can make a statement in your home or office.

One great advantage in maintaining the Peace Lily is that it droops when it needs water which is a helpful visual clue for people who don’t have a green thumb. Remember to check the soil moisture before watering any plant.

Snake Plant – Dracaena Trifasciata 

The Snake Plant is one of the most recommended plants for improving air quality (and one of our personal favourites). The long tongue-like leaves with sharp pointed tips are an inexpensive and low-maintenance plant.

Keep this plant in the bedroom as it converts CO2 into oxygen at night; most plants do so during the day.

Snake Plant

When paired with the right planters, these plants can
act as a partition creating privacy
and spaces.

Similar to the other plants mentioned, Snake Plants also filter out formaldehyde. The Snake Plant is a resilient species that can go weeks without water or light and thrives in most climates.

Bamboo Palm – Dypsis Lutescens

The Bamboo Palm, also known as the Butterfly Palm or the Areca Palm, does an amazing job as an indoor air purifying plant that loves absorbing formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide. The Bamboo Palm also made it on NASA’s list of top clean-air plants with a high air purifying score.

This species is a natural humidifier making them well suited for dry climates and people with breathing problems.

Bamboo Palm

Bamboo Palms grow rapidly and can become quite large (up to 20 feet in height).

An optimal spot for bamboo palms is in a room with high ceilings so it brings your eye up when inside the space. You can limit their vertical height by keeping them confined to smaller pots.

Heart Leaf – Philodendron 

The Heart Leaf is a popular plant choice for your interiors. Like the English Ivy, they are particularly good at absorbing xylene but poisonous to humans and pets. The Heart Leaf is a very low-maintenance plant that thrives without direct light. A great feature of this species t is that it filters all kinds of VOC’s.

Heart Leaf Plant

Not only that but
you can pinch this plant meaning better growth.

Pinching will allow you to limit the length of the stem can grow; after pinching (always after a leaf node) a new stem will grow from that node meaning you can create a bushy potted plant. The optimal place for these species to grow is from a hanging basket or on a shelf. Go ahead and make your space a little more green with these guys!

Red-Edged Dracaena – Dracaena Marginata

The Red-Edge Dracaena is a beautiful, vibrant plant that can be situated anywhere as an accent piece.
It’s a low-medium maintenance plant, you’ll need to keep this one in semi-direct sunlight with slightly moist soil.

This species of plant can grow as tall as 10′ but averages around 6′ in height.

Red-Edged Dracaena

It produces narrow green, yellow, or red cream-coloured leaves, a great and subtle way to bring colour to your space. Like most plants listed here, the Red-Edge Dracaena also removes toxins from the air, including xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde. This plant is considered non-toxic to humans but is for pets. 

Golden Pothos – Epipremnum Aureum 

This ivy has many names, but the Golden Pothos is a popular houseplant that has small green heart-shaped leaves with yellowish-white hues. Like the Heart Leaf, they share similar qualities. The difference between the two is that the Heart Leaf is dark green, has a distinct surface gloss, and has thinner leaves. 

Golden Pothos Plant

The golden pothos
is a true sun lover.

It loses its yellow-golden colour when it is not properly exposed to bright light or sun for a few hours each day. 

This NASA-approved plant was listed for its ability to clear formaldehyde from the air. An optimal spot for your next Golden Pothos is to hang it in your kitchen or living room as the leaves will grow down in cascading vines

Local Toronto Plant Stores

If you’re looking to green up your space, look no further than Toronto’s amazing selection of plant stores, which offer a wide variety of flora to suit every taste and style.

Final Thoughts


Houseplants add beauty to your home while also improving interior air quality. The best part is there are more than just 9 houseplants that do this so if you want to add more, go right ahead! 
The more plants, the merrier.

When it comes to Interior Design at Level Studio, we don’t solely design with plants but add them afterward to enhance the space. Our designs speak for themselves, plants are the final touch!

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