10 “Air Purifier” House Plants

Did you know that plants can actually clean the air in your home?

Whilst air purifiers can be great at removing large particles like pollen, plants can do a great job of removing toxic chemicals that are common in many new apartment buildings.

The Evidence

1. NASA 1989 – Back in 1989, NASA looked into using plans to purify air and below they ranked the following 10 plants on how much toxins they could remove from the air.

NASA plant air purifier study


2. Interior Plant Study 1996 – Dr Wolverton found that in a room with plants versus a room without plants – there was 50% more airborne microbes in the room without plants.

microbe removal using plants


3. Formaldehyde removal study 1993 – Dr Wolverton conducted another study that compared the rate of remove of formaldehyde and ranked the top performing plants:

Formaldehyde removal study 1993

Formaldehyde is used in plywood, fibreboard, resins, carpets, glues and many components of modern apartments. Some people can suffer from chronic health effects if they are particular sensitive and so you should always look for ways of reducing exposure.

10 Best Plants For Your Home (based on the Nasa and Formaldehyde Study)

1. Bamboo Palm



The Bamboo Palm ranks 3rd in both the NASA and Formaldehyde study so is a great plant at both jobs and for this reason is our recommended number 1 plant to clean the air in your apartment.

2. Dwarf Date Palm


The palm plants do very well in the NASA and Formaldehyde study and this dwarf date palm ranks 7th in the NASA study and 2nd in the Formaldeyde study. Living in new-build apartment, you should look for a plant that performs well at removing chemicals like Formaldehyde.

3. Janet Craig


This plant is a great all rounder is a personal favourite of mine – it ranks 5th in the NASA test and 4th in the 1993 test.

4. English Ivy


The English Ivy performed well on both tests and is also known to be a great plant for people with allergic reactions as it’s great at removing air based molds.

5. Areca Palm Tree


According to the NASA study this plant is the best purifying plant and came 8th in the Formaldehyde test.

In other tests, this plant is also a great air humidifier so can help your apartment from getting dry.

6. Lady Palm


Another high ranking plant according to the NASA data as it achieved the same score as the Areca Palm Plant.

7. Boston Fern


Ferns are great looking plants and this particular fern had performed the best at removing Formaldehyde so is perfect for those moving into new apartments.

8. Peace Lily


Whilst the peace lily does not make it into the top 9 for the NASA results, its a great plan for removing Formaldehyde and just as important, looks amazing with its amazing white flowers. Would make a great apartment house warming gift.

9. Weeping Fig


This plant is even better than the peace lily for removing VOC’s and formaldehyde and is also great looking plant that only requires minimal care.

10. Corn Plant


Another great plant that is really easy to look after and lives a long-time. It’s great at removing VOC’s from the air and ranked 9th in the 1993 study.


Not all these plants are friendly for animals so be sure to ask check before you get one for your apartment. If you know that some plants are poisonous then I would appreciate your input in the comments below and I will make edits to the main article.

Also, if you know of any other great plants that cleans the air feel free to post them below.


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