Our top air cleaning houseplants

Today’s houses are more airtight than ever before and do a great job of keeping us cosy and cocooned from noise outdoors. But with fewer drafts to increase air circulation, it’s easier for air pollutants to stick around.

Research has suggested that having plants in your home is an effective way to clean and purify the air. Keeping indoor plants in your office can have a positive impact on your happiness and productivity.

A landmark Clean Air Study by NASA scientists in the late 1980s looked to address the poor air quality in space stations and found that while all plants absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen as part of the carbon cycle, some could also reduce the amount of certain potentially harmful organic compounds in the air.

Plants absorb substances through the stomata on their leaves, and their roots and the micro-organisms present in their soil could also play a part in the filtration process, so having certain indoor plants such as ferns, palms and peace lilies could significantly improve air quality and make a positive difference to our general wellbeing.

peace-lily-liz earle wellbeingPeace lily

This is the perfect plant for indoors as it thrives in the shade. Once known as the queen of the rainforest, peace lilies are a beautiful and practical plant to have indoors.


Coming in all shapes and sizes, ferns can look great dotted around indoors. They have no qualms with high humidity and indirect light, so are perfect for the bathroom.


A pretty plant that is happy on any indoor windowsill. The flowers need a little encouragement to open with some direct sunlight but, according to NASA, the foliage is one of the best for filtering the air.

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Wellbeing Wisdom

  • Modern, airtight houses allow fewer drafts to increase air circulation, which also makes it easier for air pollutants to stick around
  • Air pollutants can be absorbed by plants through the stomata on their leaves