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Best Indoor Plants For Allergies And Asthma

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, you'll be excited to learn that several indoor plants can help purify the air and reduce the number of allergens in your home.

How Indoor Plants Clean The Air

Many houseplants are considered air purifiers as they can filter the air through different techniques, including:

  • Absorption

  • Dilution

  • Precipitation

  • Filtration

Photosynthesis is a process that plants use to create food, but a byproduct of this process is oxygen. Plants use sun, water, and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and energy. Respiration is the process in which carbon dioxide is absorbed and oxygen released.

Through these processes, air goes in and out of the stomata, the main apparatuses by which plants absorb and filter. The plant then absorbs airborne molecules and can restore ecological balance in the air.

Plants have been found to purify pollutants such as:

  • Carbon dioxide

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC)

  • Carbonyl

  • Particulate matter

  • Organic compounds

  • Sulfates

  • Nitrates

  • Ammonia

  • Calcium

  • Carbonate

  • Ozone

Several studies have been done on indoor plants' effects on these pollutants, including a famous NASA study published in 1989 on removing VOCs such as formaldehyde and benzene, which have been shown to cause cancer.

The air quality of their homes is essential for people with allergies or asthma. It can mean the difference between suffering daily from allergy and asthma symptoms and living peacefully and enjoying fresh, breathable indoor air.

Houseplants have been proven to remove allergens and pollutants from indoor air.

Top 10 Houseplants For Allergy & Asthma Sufferers

Peace Lily

The peace lily is one of the most common houseplants in the US, mainly because they are incredibly resilient. Based on NASA's clean air study involving houseplants, this is also the best houseplant for removing VOCs.

These evergreen plants can survive in low light conditions and need to be watered once a week. However, keep them out of reach of children and pets as they are mildly toxic.

Spider Plant

Another common houseplant, these beautiful plants do more than bring some greenery to a room. They improve indoor air quality considerably. Studies have shown that they have a 95% removal rate for VOCs - especially formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde can significantly contribute to indoor allergies and asthma, so this is an excellent choice for people with asthma. Not to mention, they are low-maintenance and very hardy plants. Place your spider plant in a hanging basket or on a bookshelf where their long, slender leaves and spiderettes can cascade down.

Spider plants like bright to moderate indirect light, moderate temperatures, and moist soil. Watering once a week is enough for these plants.

Spider plants remove indoor allergens from the air.

Dracaena Plant

Dracaena plants is great for removing air pollution, including benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and trichloroethylene. The moisture given off by these indoor plants can boost a room's humidity by up to 5%, which means no more dry noses for you.

Dracaena fragrans
Photo: IndoorPlants.comCorn plants (Dracaena fragrans) are a beautiful and low-maintenance houseplants.

Another plus about these plants is that they are virtually impossible to kill. They do quite well in drought conditions and can go for long periods without water. Avoid overwatering them as this can cause root rot.

Areca Palm

This beautiful indoor plant can spruce up any room and act as a natural humidifier. It releases a lot of moisture into the air, making it an excellent plant for people whose asthma is exacerbated by dry air.

These indoor houseplants like bright to moderate indirect sunlight and should be watered regularly to keep the soil moist. Though they aren't the most low-maintenance plant, they are easy to care for if you follow a watering schedule.

Snake Plant

Snake Plant
Photo: IndoorPlants.comSnake plants have sword-like variegated leaves.

This evergreen perennial houseplant has been shown to absorb several air pollutants such as formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide, and benzene. Also known as mother-in-law's tongue, these plants require very little water, and though they love bright light, they can tolerate low light for extended periods.

Avoid overwatering snake plants, and keep it out of reach of pets as it is mildly toxic if ingested.

English Ivy

This beautiful climbing vine is so much more than a nice splash of greenery in your home. According to the NASA study, English ivy effectively removes benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air. Other studies have shown that it can also remove mold spores from the home.

Ensure you allow the soil to dry out between waterings, as ivies don't care for wet soil. They also like to be fertilized once a month.

Ivy, snake plants, and palms are perfect for bedrooms.


Also known as devil's ivy, this is another popular allergy-friendly houseplant. Studies have shown that this is one of the most effective air-purifying indoor plants, proving its efficacy in removing pollutants such as formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene.

Not only is it a very efficient air purifier, but it is also straightforward to care for. It can tolerate low-light conditions and only needs water every 7-10 days. However, Pothos can be toxic to pets, so keeping it high in a hanging basket or on a high shelf is advisable.

African Violets

This beautiful flowering plant not only adds a pop of color to your home but also purifies the air, ridding it of many pollutants and allergens. Studies have shown they can reduce air pollutants by 80% within a few days.

These houseplants thrive under artificial light, so even if your house doesn't receive much sunlight, it's alright! They like consistent watering and are particular about the amount of water, so they aren't the easiest plant to take care of. Still, they are completely non-toxic to animals and plants and are great for people with asthma or allergies.

Aloe Plant

This type of succulent not only purifies the air but offers several other benefits as well. They can help neutralize some household chemicals, such as household detergents, glue, and paint.

Aloe plants are relatively easy to care for, requiring very little water or maintenance. They are great for the bedroom, as they are usually small when grown inside.

Bamboo Palm

This slow-growing houseplant is a natural humidifier and can pump plenty of moisture into a dry home or indoor space. They are also very effective in removing several toxins from the air.

They like shady areas with occasional sun, so they are perfect for homes with little natural light. Water your palm every 7-10 days, and avoid overwatering as palm tree plans are susceptible to root rot and fungal diseases caused by excess water.

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