According to NASA, These 7 Houseplants Improve Indoor Air Quality (Big Time!)

Green Living Healthy Home

Indoor air pollution is considered one of the top 5 environmental health risks by the US EPA. Fortunately, a few particular houseplants have been found to help greatly improve indoor air quality by removing pollutants.

Not so fun fact: indoor air quality can be up to seven times more polluted than outdoor air.

And in recent years, studies performed by United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its Science Advisory Board have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health.

Where are these pollutants coming from? Are they present even in the cleanest, tidiest of homes?


Because indoor air pollution comes largely from household cleaning products, carpeting, furniture varnishes and glues, building materials, and products treated with fire retardants.

The negative effects of these chemicals on health are so widespread and acknowledged that the phenomena has actually been labeled: Sick Building Syndrome.

Yes, so it may sound more like a poor excuse for a day off work than a legitimate health issue, but it’s not – Sick Building Syndrome is recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Center For Disease Control (CDC), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Most often, Sick Building Syndrome presents itself as headaches; eyes, nose, and throat irritation; unusual tiredness; and dry or itchy skin. The symptoms disappear very quickly after leaving the building. More concerning is the potential long-term harm of being exposed to these indoor pollutants.

Since we spend most of our time indoors — ahem, 90% for the average person! — it’s so important for us to look for ways to improve indoor air quality.

Now it may seem impossible to keep these chemicals out of our homes.

And I’m not going to lie, it probably is impossible in this modern day and age to live in a totally, 100% chemical-free home!

But there are some really simple, practical steps we can take to drastically reduce these pollutants and create a safer, healthier home.

And incredibly simple way to do so? Houseplants!

NASA conducted a study and found that 7 houseplants in particular are best for filtering common indoor air pollutants.

While all plants produce oxygen, these particular plants remove impurities from the air and boost indoor air quality.

You can read the entire NASA study here: Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement.

Let’s take a look at all these houseplants and find one that’s will be the best fit for your home!

In addition to the pollutants each plant helps remove, I’ve included information about their toxicity to cats and dogs (if ingested) based on information from the ASPCA.


Filters: formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene (the three most common VOCs found in a home)

Toxicity: toxic to dogs and cats


Filters: formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and ammonia

Toxicity: non-toxic to dogs and cats


Filters: formaldehyde, monoxide, and benzene

Toxicity: toxic to dogs and cats


Filters: formaldehyde and benzene

Toxicity: non-toxic to dogs and cats


Referred to as the “bedroom plant” since it very efficiently converts carbon dioxide to oxygen at night!

Filters: nitrogen oxides and formaldehyde

Toxicity: toxic to dogs and cats


Filters: formaldehyde and benzene

Toxicity: non-toxic to dogs and cats


Filters: formaldehyde and benzene

Toxicity: toxic to dogs and cats


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  1. Hi Nadia,
    Do you know of any reliable website which delivers house plants in San Jose, Los Gatos area?
    I have peace lily and and lady palm indoor plants and was looking to add few more 🙂


  2. I must say that i have become your fan Nadia 🙂 I am too a DIY kinda person and one who promotes natural ways of beauty and wellness. I will share your thoughts and information here in India. It is amazing!

  3. It would be nice to read your blog but the right side ads blocks half the words and I’m tired of trying to piece it together. Can you illuminate the ads blocking your writing? Even on safari it’s blocked.

  4. I’d think tropical plants would love steam! Your bathroom would just need to have a window so they can get sun.

  5. Do you know of any plants that are good in bathroom with steam etc…I really would love to get some in there.

  6. I love my Peace lily. It was actually this NASA study that pushed me into the purchase for the wide range of toxins it absorbs. You can really see the effects on the plant when air quality is bad…it’s a little frightening.

  7. Great for us, but be sure that you understand these plant’s possible toxicity for the animals with whom you share your home. Pothos and Mother-in-law’s tongue are toxic to both dogs and cats.