We all know that plants make our homes prettier and can even lift our moods. But did you realize many have all-natural air filtration systems built in? The 1989 NASA Clean Air Study famously found that plants are also amazing agents for cleansing the air of volatile organic compounds—aka harmful gases emitted into the air by products in our homes. How does that work, you ask? In simplest terms, plants can’t help but suck up chemicals as they take in carbon dioxide—which then becomes oxygen during photosynthesis. (Pretty neat, huh?)
FYI, NASA’s study was ultimately experimental, and more recent studies demonstrate that it would actually require around 10 plants per square foot to meaningfully impact air quality. (That’s basically an indoor rainforest.) But we still think it’s worth freshening up your space with some greenery. Here, the 20 best air purifying house plants to give your indoor air a little love.