Houseplants can add a touch of living, green decor to nearly any room in the home. But did you also know that a lot of houseplants have air purifying properties that can help clean the air that you breathe? Here are 6 of the best air purifying plants for the bedroom.
As a follow-up to our piece on the best houseplants for the home, we thought it would be handy to do a similar version, but this time focussed specifically on the best air-purifying houseplants for the bedroom.
More than just adding a touch of nature to your sleeping space, certain houseplants can help clean the air you breathe, making the entire space healthier and you happier. These 6 houseplants, in particular, have earned the honor of being the best indoor plants for your bedroom.
A famous study conducted by NASA found that several common houseplants did a great job of reducing indoor air pollutants, including formaldehyde, trichloroethene, toluene, xylene, benzene, and fecal particles. Yes, I did in fact mention fecal particles. But we’ll get to that later!
These chemicals are commonly found in household paint, cleaners, furniture, or can be left behind residue on your clothes & hair – which can easily transfer to your sheets and pillowcases – from cigarettes, cars, or other outdoor pollutants.
Prolonged exposure to even trace amounts of these chemicals can be detrimental to your health, with links to lung conditions such as asthma or diseases such as cancer, and are often not filtered out by even the most expensive air purifying systems.
But leave it to nature to find a way! One of the easiest (and most affordable) ways to get cleaner air is to add an air-purifying houseplant to your most lived-in – and most slept-in – rooms.
Here are the top six air purifying plants for your bedroom:
Latin name: lavandula
There are many reasons why lavender wins the top spot as the very best air purifying plant for your bedroom. From the delicate beauty of its long-lasting purple flowers to the comforting fragrance, lavender is a must-have for any bedroom. Anyone who has ever had a bath with some lavender salts can attest to the lovely fragrance and calming capabilities, but it is also just as powerful as an air purifier.
Lavender can clean away some of the most toxic chemicals that could be floating around in your bedroom, making your nighttime oasis a much safer, more beautiful, and relaxing place to re-energize and recharge.
And it does it with a splash of pretty. With beautiful, long-lasting purple flowers, lavender can add a touch of elegance to any bedroom, including kids’ rooms.
And last, but certainly not least, there is the absolutely lovely fragrance of lavender. Lavender has been used for many years as natural aromatherapy to help alleviate stress and create a more peaceful, relaxed atmosphere. It works as a stress reliever, working with neurotransmitters, telling the brain to quiet and calm down, in a natural and healthy way.
This makes this pretty purple plant perfect for the bedroom.
Pet safe: Yes (essential oil is not)
Care level: Medium
- English Ivy
Latin name: Hedera helix
English Ivy has been shown to have natural abilities to reduce the level of mold particles in the air, which makes it a bit of a bedroom purifying power plant. It also has a documented ability to reduce airborne fecal particles, which makes it especially handy for a bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. Nobody likes to sleep with poo particles floating around in the air.
Ivy is relatively easy to grow, with a large spreading habit. However, you can trim back vines when they become a little too unwieldy, and use them to create new baby plants from the cuttings.
Kid-safe: Mildly toxic if consumed in small quantities
Pet safe: No
Care level: Relatively Easy
- Dracaena Janet Craig
Latin name: dracaena deremensis
Although Dracaena Janet Craigs are typically considered to be tropical plants, they are surprisingly easy to care for. They feature shiny, dark, rich green leaves that grow in a sword shape and are often variegated with lighter green and/or white. This striking foliage adds visual drama and a powerful air cleaner to any bedroom.
Known colloquially as the ‘dragon tree’, dracaenas can produce fragrant white flowers under the right growing conditions, but I’ve never been able to replicate those conditions myself. If you can get a dracaena to flower, you have a far greener thumb than I!!!
Not only do Dracaenas do a great job at removing harmful toxins from your environment, but they are also quite hard to kill. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but given that they actually thrive on neglect, it does make it almost as much of a challenge as getting them to flower. Dracaenas grow well in low light and need very little water.
The only things that Dracaenas don’t like are drafts and hot spots from heaters. But if you keep them at a balanced room temperature away from heaters, windows, and vents, they should do just fine.
Although Janet Craig is probably the most popular, there are species of dracaena that do just as well at purifying the air and thrive under similar growing conditions. You can look for ‘Tricolor’, ‘Masangeana’ (aka corn plant), ‘Lisa’, ‘Marginata’, or ‘Warneckei’ (aka ‘Warneckii’) if you’d prefer something a bit more unique.
Pet safe: No
Care level: Beginner
- Gerbera Daisy
Common names: african daisy, veldt daisy, transvaal daisy, barberton daisy
For some reason, I always think of the Gerber Baby when I hear someone mentioning Gerbera Daisies, but they are completely unrelated to each other.
Unlike the famous baby from the late 1920s, this flower is still a staple when it comes to floral bouquets. But as houseplants, gerbera daisies are an air-purifying powerhouse for your bedroom.
From a decor standpoint, these plants feature big, bright flowers in shades of pink, red, yellow, salmon, orange, and white—adding a cheery touch to your sleeping oasis and a lovely greeting in the freshness of the morning.
Gerbera Daisies are great at filtering out trichloroethylene – a chemical that often comes home with your dry cleaning – which is one of the reasons they are perfect for the bedroom. Gerbera daisies are also very capable benzene blockers. If you don’t know what benzene is, it is a chemical commonly found in inks. So reading that trashy novel or jotting down your thoughts in your journal before bed just got a whole lot safer now that you have Gerbera Daisy on your bedside table!
You will need a bit more of a green thumb for these lovely plants though. They can be quite susceptible to fungal diseases and need regular TLC to keep them healthy and happy.
Pet safe: Yes
Care level: Advanced
- Peace Lily
Latin name: Spathiphyllum
With their elegant, showy white flowers that bloom repeatedly, peace lilies make a fantastic air-purifying plant for an adult bedroom.
There is a reason these are called peace lilies. Although the Latin name originally comes from the Greek words ‘spath’ (which means spoon) and the world ‘phyl’ (meaning leaves) because of the spoon-shaped blooms, their beautiful white flowers are known to represent the white flag, which is recognized worldwide as a symbol of peace.
These lovely plants quickly set the scene for the serene bedroom landscape, and are well-known for their air-purifying superpowers. They will take some of the most common toxins out of the air, letting you sleep safely.
And their care and maintenance will not disturb your peace, as they are relatively easy to maintain. These air purifying plants love the shade and are happiest when you allow the top layer of soil to dry out. This makes them perfect bedroom houseplants for adults with an active lifestyle.
The combination of low maintenance and high and air-purifying qualities give these elegant plants their rightful spot on the list of the top 6 bedroom air purifying plants.
Pet safe: No
Care level: Beginner
- Golden Pothos
Common names: Silvervine, taro vine, devil’s vine, ivy arum, devil’s ivy
Last, but certainly not least, is the Golden Pothos.
Golden Pothos is – quite possibly – one of the easiest indoor plants to grow. They also pack quite a powerful punch in regards to their air-purifying properties.
This plant tends to grow with more of a trailing habit, similar to English Ivy, so the only real maintenance you may need to do over time is to trim back the longer vines. Pothos plants are very good at filtering the chemicals that can easily creep into your bedroom from the outside world, including formaldehyde. Nobody likes sleeping with formaldehyde!
Also commonly used in offices – hence its nickname as ‘the cubicle plant’ – the golden pothos is usually very resistant to pests and other gardener’s woes, making it a low-maintenance wunderkind.
And you don’t have to worry about matching your decor, because the Golden Pothos comes in a bunch of different varieties, including:
- Marble Queen—attractive white-and-green variegated leaves
- Silver Satin—gray-green leaves touched with silver
- Neon—bright, blue-green leaves, perfect for adding vibrancy to darker bedrooms
- Pearls and Jade—lighter, white-and-green leaves, flecked with touches of darker green
However, as with many indoor plants, care must be taken to make sure your little ones (kids or pets) don’t much on this plant, as it can be toxic to humans and animals.
Pet safe: No
Care level: Beginner
Sleep Well With Fresher Air Thanks To These Air Purifying Plants for the Bedroom
Any one of these plants would add a fresh and attractive accent to your bedroom while providing the added benefit of cleaning the air while you sleep.
You just need to pick the right plant – or plants – for your bedroom based on your own aesthetic, air-purifying needs, as well as the safety of the smaller animals and humans in your home.
Enjoy, and sleep well!