15 of the Best Bedroom Plants that Purify the Air

bedroom plants

Design by Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Sara Tramp

Are you looking for bedroom decorating ideas that go the extra mile? Houseplants can do more than just bring a splash of green indoors, it turns out. A famous 1989 NASA study found that such plants were able to reduce indoor air pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde, at least in a controlled lab environment. More recent research says plants may make you feel less stressed, which is always welcome when it’s time to catch some Z’s. So, consider making your sleeping chambers a bit dreamier with these air-purifying bedroom plants.

Are you a pet owner? Then you’ll want to check out our story “Pet-Friendly Houseplants You Can Grow Without Worry.” On the list that follows, the plants that are considered nontoxic to cats and dogs by the ASPCA include lady palm, areca palm, Boston fern, spider plant, and rosemary. Avoid or keep the others out of reach, especially if your furry friends like to chew on greenery.


Lavender (Lavandula)

It’s not typically thought of as a houseplant, but lavender can survive indoors under the right conditions. Along with air-purifying qualities, lavender will also bring aromatherapy benefits to the bedroom. Research shows that inhaling lavender essential oil can reduce blood pressure and heart rate. So before heading to dreamland, take a moment to smell the lavender!

Bedroom Plant Care Tips: Give lavender bright, direct light for a few hours every day, preferably in a south-facing window, and water when the soil is slightly dry. Don’t overwater it, though, or the plant will rot.


RELATED: How to Grow an Indoor Herb Garden


Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

With large shiny leaves and a fun, beefy shape, this plant adds strong vertical interest to any room.

Bedroom Plant Care Tips: This plant likes moderate to bright light and light, constant moisture, to boot. If you feel the need to prune it, just be sure to wear gardening gloves to keep its sticky sap off your fingers. Get more rubber plant care tips.


Lady Palm (Rhapsis excelsa)

Multiple fronds in an elegant fan pattern make this a beautiful plant, no matter your personal decor style. It’s a fairly easy one to grow, too, compared to many other palms.

Bedroom Plant Care Tips: Lady palms prefer bright indirect light and require water only when the top inch of soil is dry.


English Ivy (Hedera helix)

This hardy ivy thrives in pots, hanging baskets, or mixed with other taller houseplants in a shared pot.

Bedroom Plant Care Tips: English ivy needs moderate light in spring and summer, and it requires bright light (or additional fluorescent light) in fall and winter. Let the soil surface dry a tad between waterings, but don’t let the plant totally dry out.



Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)

The plumes of this gorgeous palm can reach 6 to 7 feet tall, so be sure to give it plenty of space.

Bedroom Plant Care Tips: Give your areca palm bright, indoor light. During spring and summer, it will need constant light moisture (but don’t let it get soggy!).


Boston Fern (Nephrolepsis exaltata)

These lush ferns are an inexpensive, classic houseplant, and their arching, bright green fronds always look lovely. But be warned: They can be a bit of a diva indoors.

Bedroom Plant Care Tips: Boston ferns prefer lots of light, and they’ll need to be misted every day. Alternatively, you can try putting them on a tray of pebbles filled with water. What’s more, they also tend to shed regularly… so, like a parent, you should be prepared to pick up after them!


Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum)

This easy-to-grow plant has glossy, pale green leaves accented with white markings.

Bedroom Plant Care Tips: Chinese evergreen tolerates low indoor light, and prefers its soil to be lightly moist at all times, but despises cold air. Be sure to keep it away from drafts!


Snake Plant (Sanseveria trifasciata)

Dramatic, sword-like leaves define this striking plant (and also lend it the not-so-flattering alternate name of “mother-in-law’s tongue”). It’s tough as nails, so give it a try if you’re not typically known for having a green thumb. In the right conditions, it can live for decades!

Bedroom Plant Care Tips: Bright, indirect light is best for this plant, which also only needs to be watered when the soil becomes nearly dry. Get more snake plant care tips.



Dracaena (various species)

Several different types of dracaena have been shown to clean and purify the air. They’re all easy-to-grow plants with long, strappy leaves, some of which have beautiful red markings. Not sure which variety to try? Look for dragon tree (especially ‘Tricolor’ for interesting foliage), ‘Janet Craig’, or ‘Masangeana’ (sometimes called “corn plant”).

Bedroom Plant Care Tips: Whichever one you go with, know that all Dracaena species prefer similar conditions: moderate to bright indirect light, and soil that’s kept lightly moist.



Lacy-Tree Philodendron (Philodendron selloum)

This spectacular but easy-to-manage plant has huge leaves with delicate, lacelike edges. Make room for this one—it can grow 3 to 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide.

Bedroom Plant Care Tips: Give your plant moderate light, and water it when top soil becomes dry. Get more Philodendron care tips.


Dieffenbachia (various hybrids)

This plant has flashy leaves—but the sap within contains crystals that can irritate mucous membranes. Yikes. If you have a pet that enjoys chewing on greenery, we suggest skipping it. Otherwise, it’s a generally carefree bedroom plant.

Bedroom Plant Care Tips: Dieffenbachia only needs moderate amounts of filtered light. Keep the soil lightly moist, but never soggy.



Rosemary (Rosmarinus officianalis)

This culinary herb has a pleasant, piney scent, particularly after you brush your fingertips against it—which we suggest doing in the morning when you get out of bed, as research shows that simply smelling this therapeutic herb can clear the mind and elevate your mood. How about that? A bedroom plant that gives you an instant dose of Monday motivation!

Bedroom Plant Care Tips: Indoors, rosemary needs strong light, so keep it by a bright window (preferably a south-facing one). Allow the soil to dry within an inch of the surface between waterings, and turn the pot every week so the plant grows more evenly. Get more rosemary growing tips.



Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Your mom or grandma may have grown this classic houseplant in the ’70s, but it’s still worthy of a place in your home today. The striped leaves arch from the center, and eventually, the plant produces oodles of baby Spider Plants. And how cute is this? They’re called “plantlets!”

Bedroom Plant Care Tips: This plant prefers medium to bright light and steady moisture. Get more spider plant care tips.



Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Pothos is quite possibly the easiest houseplant to grow. It has shiny, heart-shaped leaves and vining stems that can grow to several feet long.

Bedroom Plant Care Tips: Preferring moderate to bright light, Pothos actually prefers to get a little dry between waterings. Get more Pothos growing tips.



Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum species)

These luxurious-looking plants are surprisingly fuss-free.

Bedroom Plant Care Tips: Peace lilies tolerate low to moderate light, though they bloom best in brighter light. We suggest allowing the soil to become nearly dry before watering, and dividing every five years or so to create new baby plants.


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