Do all houseplants help improve the air quality inside my home?

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Story Updated: Jun 13, 2012

Life & Beauty Weekly: Expert Q+A

By Chris Raimondi for Life & Beauty Weekly

Since every type of houseplant takes in carbon dioxide and expels oxygen, they all improve air quality to a certain extent. But some houseplants can actually serve as air purifiers, filtering out more specific pollutants.

A study by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America identified the plants that do the best job cleaning up trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde, three chemicals commonly found in the air inside homes and workplaces. The list includes leafy green varieties which are typical, easy-to-care-for houseplants you can find at your local nursery:

  • Spider plant
  • Peace lily
  • Weeping fig
  • English ivy
  • Spiky snake plant
  • Aloe vera plant
  • Gerbera daisies
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Bamboo
  • Chinese evergreen

To make the most impact on your home’s air quality, you’ll need one plant for every 100 square feet of your home. But even a single plant can help make a difference.