Thinking of buying an air purifier? Buy these 3 houseplants to improve air quality instead

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Royal Horticultural Society on 'hard to kill' houseplants

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Houseplants are excellent for mental wellness and sprucing up the look of your home, but did you know they also come with beneficial health properties? Owning houseplants can have positive long-term effects on your health, particularly your breathing and conditions worsened by pollution such as asthma, bronchitis and some cancers. chatted to Daniel Bruce from indoor plant brand Leafy to find out why you can ditch the air purifier and substitute it for one of three houseplants that are known for improving air quality.

The UK is considered one of the most polluted locations in the world, and although air quality has improved over the last few years, many illnesses and health problems are related to pollution.

Indoor air is predicted to be up to 1,000 times dirtier than outdoor air and, as it builds up, the pollutants can aggravate asthma, allergies and other illnesses.

The pandemic has boosted the sales of air purifiers, but much more research is needed for healthcare experts to be able to recommend air purifiers.

Instead of forking out up to £600 for an expensive air purifier, why not buy some houseplants that are proven to purify the air around them?

We all know that photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert carbon dioxide into fresh oxygen, but did you know that plants also remove pollutants from the air?

According to NASA, houseplants can remove up to 90 percent of toxins in the air.

According to, indoor plants absorb gases and volatile organic compounds such as benzene from plastics and fabrics and formaldehyde from cleaning products, beauty products, fragrances, dry-cleaned clothes, paraffin wax candles, carpets and furniture through their leaves.

The gases stay sequestered in the leaves or move into their roots where microorganisms break down and neutralise the toxins, turning them into food for the plants.

Plant expert from Leafy, Daniel Bruce said: “Think of a plant as a natural air filter.

“It’s not only healthier air that plants bring to the table, many also help you sleep better, combat illnesses and improve your overall mental wellbeing.”

Not all plants have the best air purifying qualities , though. Here are the top three plants to buy instead of an air purifier.

Snake plants

Snake plants are easy to care for and have been a staple of the British home since the 70s.

Daniel said: “Snake plants have been the best-selling houseplant yearly for decades now) and are great at absorbing harsh air toxins like carbon monoxide and benzene that can be found inside homes.

“Because of the level of oxygen they produce, combined with their ability to absorb C02, snake plants make a great combatant against airborne allergies.”

Peace Lilies

Peace lilies are beautiful and also great at dramatically improving the air quality of a home.

Daniel said: “Known to combat mould spores (they absorb them as food) as well as other airborne toxins that cause humans breathing issues, these plants are perfect for rooms with high humidity where mould usually builds up such as the bathroom.”

“Think of peace lilies as a natural mould cleaner.”

Boston Ferns

As a rule, pretty much all ferns are fantastic at improving the air in the home, but Boston Ferns are the most impressive.

Daniel explained: “The reason the Boston variant stands out ahead of their siblings is that it also restores natural moisture to the air.

“Why is that useful? Well, not only is it helping you breathe in better, cleaner air, but it’s also moisturising the skin, and combating irritable noses or throats.”

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