The Best Air-Purifying Houseplants According To NASA [INFOGRAPHIC]

Good to know!

Way back in the glorious year of 1989, NASA researchers published a Clean Air study based on the work they’d done trying to figure out the best way to purify air in space stations.

Knowing that astronauts are locked up in a tiny space with recycled air, they needed a solution to remove toxic substances in the air like benzene and formaldehyde.

NASA photo
Getty Images | Ethan Miller

The study might be a bit old, but it is still the most comprehensive to date. If you’re looking for cleaner in-home air, before you invest in an air purifier, why not try supplementing your space with some greenery?

Flickr | F. D. Richards

The graphic below from Love the Garden gives you a great look at which houseplants filter the air the best.

Love The Garden

5 Houseplants That Are Extremely Easy To Care For

Just because you weren’t born with a green thumb doesn’t mean you have to skip indoor houseplants altogether. There are certain types of houseplants that are low-maintenance and just about impossible to kill.


Not everyone has the know-how or time to devote to pruning, frequent watering and providing nutritional supplements, as some plants require. Why not make it easy on yourself and look into a houseplant that’s super-easy to maintain.


1. Cast Iron Plant

Also known as the bar room plant, the Cast Iron Plant was once a status symbol plant for the rich. Today it has evolved to adapt to nearly any kind of climate, withstanding both hot summers and frigid winters, and can survive in extreme conditions. Plus, insects tend to leave it alone.

cast iron plant photo
Flickr | Jim, the Photographer

2. Janet Craig

These hearty plants have glossy leaves and are especially resilient even when raised with low light levels, though they thrive best in filtered light. Great for offices, Janet Craigs handle elements such as low humidity, air conditioning and infrequent care better than most other plants.

janet craig plant photo
Flickr | Archivos de Planeta Agronómico

3. Mexican Ponytail

This is a pet-friendly plant (it’s ASPCA-approved as non-toxic for animals) that can go for as long as two to three weeks without water.

4. Snake Plant

This desert plant—that also made NASA’s list for its purifying qualities—stores water in its leaves and only needs more moisture if the soil is dry (which goes for all the plants on this list).

These easy-to-take-care-of plants survive low light levels and drought, and rarely have issues with insects.

snake plant photo
Flickr | el cajon yacht club

5. Cactus

Last but not least is the trusty cactus. This is the only plant out of the five that needs a sunny spot to survive. Other than that, water it maybe once a month and it’ll stay nice and healthy.

cactus pot photo
Flickr | Zdenko Zivkovic

RELATED: 5 Houseplants That Can Help You Get A Better Night’s Sleep

Plants can do amazing things. Check out these plates that are made from leaves!