If you want functional decorations, look no further than the houseplant. Some well-placed greenery cannot only brighten a space but also purify the air — and they’re also helpful in creating a more relaxing, restful ambience in any room. We know that spending time in nature is linked to reduced stress levels and tension relief. What’s more, in a 2008 study, Dutch researchers found that hospital patients with indoor plants in their rooms reported lower stress levels than patients without them.
That’s why we’ve rounded up 10 beautiful houseplants that are easy to take care of and effective at increasing oxygen and clearing out toxins for cleaner breathing air, some of which even have the NASA stamp of approval. Try adding one to your bedroom or office space for a little dose of zen.
1 Aloe Plant
The gel of the aloe plant has a number of healing properties. Not only does it soothe skin burns and cuts, it can also help to monitor the air quality in your home. The plant can help clear the air of pollutants found in chemical cleaning products, and when the amount of harmful chemicals in the air becomes excessive, the plants’ leaves will display brown spots. Just an FYI: It grows best with lots of sun.
2 English Ivy
NASA scientists listed the English ivy as the number one best air-filtering houseplant, as it is the most effective plant when it comes to absorbing formaldehyde. It’s also incredibly easy to grow and adaptable — try it as a hanging or a floor plant. Grow in moderate temperatures and medium sunlight.
3 Rubber Tree
Rubber trees are good for cleaning the air and are one of the easiest plants to grow, as they thrive even in dim lighting and cooler climates. The low-maintenance plant is a powerful toxin eliminator and air purifier.
4 Peace Lily
The beautiful peace lily plant is a wonderful low-maintenance flower to keep in the home. Peace lilies do well in shade and cooler temperatures, and they can reduce the levels of a number of toxins in the air.
5 Snake Plant
Snake plants don’t need much light or water to survive, so they’re an easy choice for any corner of your home. The plant absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during the night (while most plants do so during the day), so add one to your bedroom for a clean-air boost.
6 Bamboo Palm
The attractive bamboo palm also made NASA’s list of top clean-air plants with a purifying score of 8.4. It’s also particularly effective at clearing out benzene and trichloroethylene. These need to be well-watered, in shade or indirect sunlight.
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The heart-shaped philodendron is a popular plant choice for indoor areas, as they’re easy to care for and can grow decorative vines. Like the English ivy, they are particularly good at absorbing xylene. They can also last for many years when properly cared for. Grow with moderate water and some sunlight and they’ll be fine.
8 Spider Plant
One of the most common house plants, spider plants are decorative, easy to grow, and also make the NASA list of the best air-purifying plants. Spider plants are effective at fighting pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene.
9 Red-Edged Dracaena
This beautiful, vibrant plant can grow to be ceiling-height (15-foot dracaenas are common), making it a great plant for decorating and filling up space. It also removes toxins including xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from the air. Grows best in sunlight.
10 Golden Pothos
The golden pothos makes the NASA list for its ability to clear formaldehyde from the air. Try adding it to your kitchen or living room as a hanging plant, as the leaves will grow down in cascading vines. They grow easily in cool temperatures will low levels of sunlight.