Most people spend a majority of their time indoors in increasingly well-sealed buildings surrounded by paints and other synthetic materials which off-gas noxious chemicals. These conditions are related to increasing incidences of asthma, allergies and cancer. Indeed, indoor air quality can be much more polluted than outdoor air, up to tenfold.
The following are the top 6 indoor plants, as rated for ease of maintenance and effectiveness at purifying the air, summarized from NASA’s studies. For more information, see B.C. Wolverton’s “Eco-friendly Houseplants.”
1. Bamboo Palm: According to NASA, it removes formaldehyde and is also said to act as a natural humidifier.
2. Snake Plant: Found by NASA to absorb nitrogen oxides and formaldehyde.
3. Areca Palm: One of the best air purifying plants for general air cleanliness.
4. Spider Plant: Great indoor plant for removing carbon monoxide and other toxins or impurities. Spider plants are one of three plants NASA deems best at removing formaldehyde from the air.
5. Peace Lily: Peace lilies could be called the “clean-all.” They’re often placed in bathrooms or laundry rooms because they’re known for removing mold spores. Also know to remove formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
6. Gerbera Daisy: Not only do these gorgeous flowers remove benzene from the air, they’re known to improve sleep by absorbing carbon dioxide and giving off more oxygen over night.