7 Air-filtering houseplants for your home

Nov 17, 2013 at 5:10 p.m. ET

Gases, contaminants and toxins can all do harm to the air in your home but, thankfully, it can be relatively easy and cheap to solve the issue. As easy as a bit of decoration, in fact.

aloe vera plantFew people know it, but air quality is extremely important for your wellbeing. If you or your family feel under the weather more than you normally should, it could be that there's poor air quality in your home and it's causing you to suffer.

Looking for other great plants for your home?: Best plants to use for a vertical garden >>

Air-purifying plants might not be something you've come across before, or even thought about, but with the right selection of plants about your house, you could hugely reduce your chances of getting ill. On top of that, you'll also add a bit of colour and life around your home.

We recommend the following five plants to keep your house brighter and the air cleaner, so you can breathe easy.

1

English ivy

Asthma sufferers rejoice! English ivy is a great antidote to asthma and does wonders for your home. Despite its name, English ivy is suited to sunny, warmer climates, meaning Australia's weather suits perfectly. English ivy is very easy to grow and is great to use in the garden, since it covers a lot of ground.

2

Aloe vera

Great for your skin, great to smell and now it's officially great for your home. Aloe vera gets rid of unwanted, potentially harmful chemicals that are floating around your house. It's easy to grow, looks great and, should you cut yourself, it's there for first aid, too. Everyone should own an aloe vera plant.

3

Spider plant

The spider plant's long, elegant leaves make it a great addition to any room, but in order to maximise its potential as a carbon monoxide absorber, it's best to place it in the kitchen or near a fireplace. The spider plant is very easy to look after, only requiring watering infrequently, so it's a great plant to have around.

4

Areca palm

If you're looking for the best air-purifier out there, your search should end with the areca palm. The areca palm gets better and better as it grows (and it grows to quite a size), so it's a great plant to have around. It requires some care, but thanks to its attractiveness and usefulness, it's definitely one of the best plants to have in your home.

5

Snake plant

Worried about not looking after your plant correctly? The snake plant could be for you. This plant requires very little watering and doesn't need much light to flourish. It absorbs formaldehyde, nitrogen oxides and many other chemicals.

6

Weeping fig

The weeping fig is technically a tree, but fear not: It's a very small one. Weeping figs thrive under bright, indirect sunlight and should be watered frequently. They filter the toxins that are emitted from furniture and carpets, so it's perfect to keep in your living room or bedroom.

7

Red-edged dracaena

Like other plants on this list, the red-edged dracaena removes benzene and formaldehye, but also gets rid of nasty toxins such as xylene and toulene. This plant requires bright light (but not direct sunlight). You should be careful not to water it too much, as it's far more likely to suffer from too much than too little.

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