It can be hard to breathe easy once you discover what’s really in the air all around you. Pollutants like chemicals, dust mites, pet dander, second-hand smoke and airborne viruses represent just a few of the dangers that may be waiting for you every time you inhale.


When it comes time to truly clear the air, there are two pathways to choose from: science or nature. Do you want the most efficient air purifying technology on the market or put your faith in the leafy filters of traditional, friendly houseplants?

Here’s an overview of the air purifier vs. house plants and what are the pros and cons of each.

Air Purifiers

Pros: Relatively simple, wide coverage area, consistent levels of air purification, malfunctions covered by warranty

Cons: Energy costs, some purifiers make questioning claims; purifiers with ozone emission can harm your lungs

House Plants

Pros: Relatively inexpensive, can improve the décor, indicates a commitment to a more natural lifestyle

Cons: Plant care is often difficult; slight variations in water or lighting can kill off the plants; even well-tended plants can die unexpectedly; pest control is an issue.

Some of the most popular plants for air filtration include aloe Vera, chrysanthemums, ficus trees, bamboo palms and peace lilies. While these may beautify the living space and communicate an ecological focus, there are other considerations. Some plant lovers have pointed out that because plants are living beings, putting them to work as air filters may not be the most respectful way to treat them.

Air purifiers do a better job of filtering the air in larger spaces like offices and living rooms, while plants are more efficient for small spaces like hallways and bathrooms.

The best answer may be finding a way to incorporate both air purifiers and plants working together in different areas.