My four favourite air-filtering plants.

I’m back at Interface's design showroom again this year during Clerkenwell Design Week.

I’ve been holding workshops with them for the past 5 years and it's always a pleasure to brainstorm ideas that tie in with their abiding commitment to sustainability, biophilic design and their target to have zero impact on the environment by 2020.

This year we will be making kokedama with plants that are pretty nifty at absorbing nasty toxins from the interior spaces we inhabit, together with the carbon dioxide they need to survive. Through photosynthesis, they purify and transform common pollutants from the air we breathe into beautiful, clean oxygen.

Here are my four favourite air-purifying plants.


NASA scientists ranked English Ivy as the best air filtering houseplant there is. It’s a champ at absorbing formaldehyde from the air. The English Ivy plant is an easy plant to grow. It’s incredibly adaptive and thrives in moderate temperatures along with medium sunlight.

English Ivy

English Ivy



Also known as ‘the mother-in-law’s tongue’, this plant is excellent at filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, hygiene, and personal care products. This incredibly low maintenance indoor plant is about as resilient as they come. Although they prefer dry and warm air, they can tolerate colder temperatures too.


The Peace Lily boasts strong dark green leaves and a delightful, white bloom. It is easy to care for and helps to filter out harmful benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde toxins. The moisture given off by these striking flowers can boost a room’s humidity by up to 5%. Avoid if you have pets as this plant is poisonous to cats and dogs.

Peace Lily

Peace Lily



The well-known Spider Plant is also a champion cleanser of air. The NASA tests showed it to remove around 90% of the potentially cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde from the air. Since formaldehyde is found in common household products like adhesives, grout and fillers, it’s a good idea to keep one of these plants around your kitchen and bathrooms especially.