10 Air Purifying Plants For Homes & Offices

Even in huge, busy cities, outdoor air is cleaner and preferable to indoor air. Why is that? One reason is that trees and plants are constantly cleaning the air outside. This suggests that the eco-minded homeowner or office dweller should go out and buy some plants – but which ones? With all the hype of “going green”, every plant on the market is being promoted as an air purifier! But not to worry – NASA has conducted an official study on the top 10 air purifying plants, assigning each one a score based on how well they remove chemical vapors, resist insects, and how easy they are to maintain for your home or green office space.

The Areca Palm

(Images via Plant Directions, EnvicoGarden)

NASA Purifying Score: 8.5

The top air purifying plant as ranked by NASA’s study is the Areca palm tree. Dubbed “the most efficient air humidifier” by MetaEfficient, the Areca can be counted on to keep your home or office moist during dry times and continuously remove chemical toxins from the air. During winter time, it can literally replace the use of electric humidifiers altogether!

The Lady Palm

(Images via Livick’s Palms, TyTy)

NASA Purifying Score: 8.5

Neck and neck with the Areca palm tree for NASA’s top-ranked air purifying plant is the Lady palm (or Rhapis excelsa.) A versatile plant, the lady can be kept in dry or humid climates (anywhere from 20-100 degrees Fahrenheit) and is fiercely resistant to most types of plant insects.

The Bamboo Palm

(Images via Blue Moon Candles, Plant Importers)

NASA Purifying Score: 8.4

Just a notch below the top 2 air purifying palms is the Bamboo palm (or Chamaedorea seifrizii.) Featured prominently in CasaSugar.com’s “Plants That Purify” series, the Bamboo palm thrives when kept moist (but not wet) in indirect sunlight. Provided these conditions are kept stable, the Bamboo palm can be counted on to purify the indoor air of anywhere you happen to be.

The Rubber Plant

(Image via HowStuffWorks, Great House Plants)

NASA Purifying Score: 8.0

Fourth on NASA’s scoring is the rubber plant (or Ficus robusta.) According to AvianWeb, rubber plants excel at removing chemical toxins (especially formaldehyde) from indoor air, requiring less light than many other plants and outperforming all other ficuses. A word of caution, though: rubber plant leaves can be toxic, so be mindful of that if you have pets roaming around!

The Dracaena

(Images via Natural Surrounding, House Of Plants)

NASA Purifying Score: 7.8

The Dracaena (or Dracaena deremensis) places fifth on NASA’s ranking with a 7.8 score. Bright and radiant, the Dracaena (nicknamed “Janet Craig”) will go to work purifying the air in your home or office as soon as it is brought into the room!

English Ivy

(Images via Overstock, OSU)

NASA Purifying Score: 7.8

If the air where you live has gotten stale and dry, English ivy (or Hedera helix) might be just the ticket! WebMD describes the effervescent plant as “a fix for allergies“, noting that 60% of airborne mold in the room vanished just 6 hours after English ivy was brought in. Ditto for 58% if airborne feces! Those with asthma, allergies, or the desire to breath cleaner, fresher air would do well to give English ivy a shot!

The Dwarf Date Palm

(Images via Just Palm Trees, SftraJan)

NASA Purifying Score: 7.8

While it doesn’t rank as high on the purifying scale as its 3 palm cousins, make no mistake: the Date palm tree (or Phoenix roebelinii)is still a very effective and elegant-looking way to  both liven up the look of a room and lower the concentration of chemical toxins floating around in the air.

The Ficus Alii

(Images via Hionus Greenhouses, Dave’s Garden)

NASA Purifying Score: 7.7

The ficus alii (or Ficus macleilandii) is not as potent in its toxin-removing prowess as, say, the rubber plant, but it is still a fine addition to any home or office where clean air is lacking. While they are not terrible difficult to care for, Plant Care Guru warns that gloves should be worn while handling the plant if you have latex allergies.

The Boston Fern

(Images via Silk Plant USA, Country Living)

NASA Purifying Score: 7.5

Ninth on NASA’s ranking of top air purifying plants is the ever-popular Boston Fern (or Nephrolepis exalta.) Cool and relaxing, the Boston Fern has been called the “most efficient filtering plant” by MetaEfficient.com for its time-tested ability to expel mold and toxins from indoor air. Plus, it’s sure to make any home or office more forest-like!

The Peace Lilly

(Images via Prints of Scotland, Perry & Jaymes Florist)

NASA Purifying Score: 7.5

Rounding out NASA’s list is the peace lilly (or Spathiphyllum sp.) All that’s needed to keep and maintain this beautiful indoor air toxin killer is plenty of water and a modest amount of sunlight. Preserve these conditions at all time and you’ve got yourself an all-natural air purifier that will remain hard at work 24/7!

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