Top 10 Indoor Plants for Increasing Oxygen Levels in Your Home Illustration

Top 10 Indoor Plants for Increasing Oxygen at Home (2024)

by | Updated: Mar 15, 2024

Indoor plants are more than just a visual treat; they serve as natural air purifiers that can significantly contribute to a healthier indoor environment.

One of their most crucial roles is to increase oxygen levels in your home.

Different plants have varying capacities to produce oxygen, filter pollutants, and even improve your mental well-being.

This article provides a comprehensive list of the best indoor plants that excel in oxygen production to help you make an informed choice for a greener, fresher, and more oxygen-rich living space.

Best Indoor Plants for Increasing Oxygen Levels

  1. Boston Fern
  2. Weeping Fig
  3. Aloe Vera
  4. Spider Plant
  5. Gerbera Daisy
  6. Areca Palm
  7. Peace Lily
  8. Golden Pothos
  9. Money Plant
  10. Snake Plant

1. Boston Fern

Scientific name: Nephrolepis exaltata

Boston Fern

Originating from the humid, swampy regions of the southeastern United States, the Boston Fern excels as an air purifier.

This plant is particularly adept at absorbing formaldehyde, a common indoor pollutant emitted by cleaning products, certain building materials, and some types of furniture.

Scientific studies have confirmed its high efficacy in removing formaldehyde, making it a top choice for cleaner indoor air.

Additionally, it serves as a natural humidifier, offering relief to individuals with dry skin or sinus issues.

Our Top Pick
Costa Farms Live Boston Ferns

These Boston Ferns are expert at purifying indoor air by effectively absorbing formaldehyde while also increasing indoor humidity.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

2. Weeping Fig

Scientific name: Ficus benjamina

Weeping Fig

The Weeping Fig, native to Southeast Asia and India, is another excellent plant for improving indoor air quality.

Widely researched, including by NASA, this plant is proven to eliminate airborne pollutants like xylene and toluene, which are commonly emitted by paint thinners and solvents.

It’s especially valuable for households where paint thinners are in use or smoking occurs, as it can neutralize harmful fumes effectively.

Adopting a weeping fig can be a strategic move for those aiming to elevate their home’s air quality.

Our Top Pick
Ficus Benjamina (Weeping Fig) Tree

The Weeping Fig tree excels at neutralizing airborne toxins like xylene and toluene, serving as a key asset for homes looking to improve air quality.

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3. Aloe Vera

Scientific name: Aloe barbadensis

Aloe Vera

Best known for its medicinal properties, Aloe Vera is also a powerful natural air purifier.

Native to Africa and now globally cultivated, this succulent excels at removing formaldehyde from indoor air, as confirmed by scientific studies.

The plant’s low maintenance requirements—needing minimal water and sunlight—make it ideal for those seeking a hassle-free solution to indoor air pollution.

A dual-purpose plant, Aloe Vera not only cleans the air but can also be used for various medicinal applications, such as treating burns or digestive issues.

Our Top Pick
Costa Farms Aloe Vera Live Plant

This Aloe Vera plant not only has medicinal benefits but is also effective at removing formaldehyde and requires minimal upkeep.

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4. Spider Plant

Scientific name: Chlorophytum comosum

Spider Plant

Native to Africa and Asia, Spider Plants are well-known for their unique appearance, featuring long, arching leaves that emanate from a central point, resembling a spider’s form.

Scientific studies confirm their efficiency in eliminating airborne pollutants like carbon monoxide and xylene.

What sets Spider Plants apart is their adaptability; they are undemanding in terms of lighting conditions, capable of flourishing in both low-light and brightly lit spaces.

Our Top Pick
Ocean Spider Plant Variegated

The variegated Spider Plant enhances visual appeal and thrives in a range of lighting conditions while efficiently eliminating pollutants such as carbon monoxide and xylene.

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5. Gerbera Daisy

Scientific name: Gerbera jamesonii

Gerbera Daisy

Originating from South Africa, Gerbera Daisies offer a splash of color—ranging from white and pink to yellow and orange—along with their air-purifying capabilities.

Research has shown that these vibrant blooms excel at absorbing benzene, a hazardous compound found in tobacco smoke and gasoline emissions.

Additionally, Gerbera Daisies are proven to boost oxygen levels, making them an excellent choice for those seeking both aesthetic appeal and enhanced air quality in their homes.

Our Top Pick
Outsidepride Gerbera Daisy Seeds

With their vibrant blooms, these Gerbera Daisies stand out in absorbing benzene and boosting indoor oxygen levels.

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6. Areca Palm

Scientific name: Dypsis lutescens

Areca Palm

Indigenous to Madagascar, Areca Palms are a popular choice for home and office decor.

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, they have been scientifically proven to purify indoor air by absorbing harmful chemicals.

While they do demand a sunny environment to flourish, their oxygen-producing and air-purifying attributes make them well worth the care for those living in warm climates.

For residents of sunnier regions looking for a plant that merges beauty with functionality, the Areca Palm stands as an excellent option.

Our Top Pick
Areca Palm from California Tropicals

Sourced from warm climates, the Areca Palm is celebrated for its air-purifying attributes as well as its aesthetic contributions to interior spaces.

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7. Peace Lily

Scientific name: Spathiphyllum wallisii

Peace Lily

Native to South America, Peace Lilies are revered not just for their elegant white blossoms but also for their ability to enhance oxygen levels in indoor spaces.

The large leaves of this flowering plant are especially effective in absorbing carbon dioxide and converting it into oxygen, a process validated by scientific research.

Additionally, Peace Lilies excel at neutralizing harmful indoor pollutants, making them an ideal addition to both homes and offices for those seeking both beauty and improved air quality.

Our Top Pick
Costa Farms Peace Lily Live Plant

The Peace Lily plant is both visually striking and highly efficient at absorbing carbon dioxide and neutralizing harmful pollutants in the air.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

8. Golden Pothos

Scientific name: Epipremnum aureum


Hailing from the South Pacific islands, Golden Pothos is a popular vine well-known for its low maintenance requirements and global presence in homes.

Scientific studies affirm its efficiency in eliminating toxic chemicals from indoor air.

Remarkably, it is one of the most potent plants in consuming carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, making it a top contender for anyone looking to improve their indoor environment.

Its ease of care further solidifies its place as a must-have for those striving for better air quality.

Our Top Pick
Costa Farms Golden Pothos

Easy to maintain and effective at filtering indoor toxins, the Golden Pothos is a great option for those new to houseplants or anyone looking to create a healthier indoor atmosphere.

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9. Money Plant

Scientific name: Pilea peperomioides

Chinese Money Plant

Originating from Southwestern China, the Money Plant is easily recognizable by its round, coin-like leaves, which give the plant its financial namesake.

Scientific studies have confirmed its effectiveness in purifying indoor air by removing harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

Uniquely, Money Plants have the capacity to produce oxygen even during nighttime hours, setting them apart from most other houseplants.

Their ability to generate oxygen round-the-clock makes them an excellent choice for bedroom placement, contributing to a healthier sleep environment.

Our Top Pick
Chinese Money Plant Live

The Chinese Money Plant stands out for its unique ability to produce oxygen even during the night, making it an excellent addition to bedrooms while also eliminating harmful VOCs.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

10. Snake Plant

Scientific name: Sansevieria trifasciata

Snake Plant

Native to regions in Africa and Asia, Snake Plants are characterized by their tall, vertically oriented leaves featuring a striped pattern, evoking the appearance of snake skin.

Highly reputed for their oxygen-producing capabilities, Snake Plants are commonly found in healthcare settings like hospitals and nursing homes to improve air quality for patients.

Additionally, research has demonstrated their effectiveness in filtering out harmful airborne chemicals. This combination of attributes makes Snake Plants an outstanding option for those aiming to optimize indoor air quality.

Our Top Pick
Costa Farms Live Snake Plant

Renowned for its robust oxygen production and low-maintenance care, the Snake Plant is effective at removing indoor pollutants and an ideal choice for enhancing indoor air quality.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

FAQs About Indoor Plants and Oxygen Production

Do Plants Give Off Oxygen?

Yes, plants give off oxygen as a part of their photosynthesis process. During daylight, plants absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and use sunlight’s energy to convert it into glucose and oxygen (O2).

The oxygen is then released into the atmosphere as a byproduct. This process is crucial for producing the oxygen that many organisms, including humans, need to breathe.

However, it’s important to note that at night, most plants switch to respiration, where they consume oxygen and release carbon dioxide, but the amount of oxygen produced during the day far outweighs the oxygen consumed at night.

How Do Indoor Plants Increase Oxygen Levels?

Indoor plants can increase oxygen levels through the process of photosynthesis. During this process, plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air and light energy from their surroundings.

They convert these into glucose and oxygen. The oxygen is then released back into the air, increasing its levels in the indoor environment.

Certain plants, like the Snake Plant and Boston Fern, are particularly effective at this, even continuing to release oxygen at night.

By choosing plants known for their high rates of photosynthesis, you can effectively improve the oxygen levels in your home.

What are the Highest Oxygen-Producing Plants?

The highest oxygen-producing plants include Boston ferns, weeping figs, aloe vera, spider plants, gerbera daisies, areca palms, peace lilies, golden pathos, money plants, and snake plants.

These plants are not just aesthetically pleasing but are scientifically proven to improve air quality and elevate oxygen levels. If your aim is to enhance the air you breathe indoors, these are the go-to options.

What Plant Produces the Most Oxygen?

The plant that produces the most oxygen is the Boston Fern. Characterized by its expansive leaves, it efficiently converts a large volume of carbon dioxide into oxygen.

In addition to its oxygen-generating capacity, the Boston Fern is also renowned for its ability to filter harmful chemicals from indoor air.

These combined qualities make it an exceptional choice for those looking to significantly enhance the air quality of their living spaces.

What is the Best Plant for the Bedroom?

When it comes to enhancing bedroom air quality, the Snake Plant is unparalleled. Unique among houseplants, it continues to produce oxygen throughout the night, making it ideal for improving nocturnal air quality.

Additionally, it is proficient at filtering out harmful chemicals, thereby optimizing your bedroom environment for healthier sleep.

Do Plants Produce Oxygen in the Winter?

Yes, plants continue to produce oxygen in the winter, but the rate may be reduced compared to the growing season.

During winter, deciduous trees shed their leaves and focus on conserving energy, which can reduce photosynthetic activity.

However, evergreen trees and other winter-hardy plants do continue to photosynthesize, albeit at a slower rate due to lower light levels and cooler temperatures.

It’s important to note that indoor plants and those in warmer climates may not experience such a seasonal slowdown.

Overall, while oxygen production may decrease, it doesn’t come to a complete halt.

What Does the NASA Clean Air Study Entail?

The NASA Clean Air Study was a landmark research project conducted in 1989 to explore the potential of indoor plants for air purification and enhancing indoor air quality.

The study focused on identifying plants that could effectively remove toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from the air.

While the primary objective was to find ways to purify the air in space stations, the findings have been widely applied to improve indoor air quality on Earth as well.

Which Plant Releases Oxygen at Night?

The Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) is known for its unique ability to perform photosynthesis at night, unlike most plants which only produce oxygen during the day.

This feature makes it an ideal choice for improving air quality in bedrooms, as it can contribute to a more oxygen-rich environment around the clock.

What Outdoor Plant Produces the Most Oxygen?

Among outdoor plants, the tree species that are considered to produce the most oxygen are the fast-growing ones like the Pines and Firs.

These trees have a large leaf (needle) surface area and high rates of photosynthesis, making them effective at converting carbon dioxide into oxygen.

It’s worth noting that younger forests, which contain fast-growing trees, generally produce more oxygen than older forests with mature trees.

Do All Plants Produce Oxygen?

Contrary to popular belief, not all plants are oxygen producers. Some varieties, including certain cacti and succulents, actually emit carbon dioxide instead.

Although they don’t contribute to oxygen levels, they still play a valuable role in the ecosystem by helping to balance concentrations of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Can Plants Effectively Purify Indoor Air?

Yes, multiple studies affirm that indoor plants can purify air to some extent. However, the extent to which they do so may not be significantly noticeable according to some experts.

While plants can enhance air quality, they should not be relied upon as the sole means of air purification.

To achieve optimal indoor air quality, it’s advisable to combine plant-based solutions with adequate ventilation and the use of air purifiers.

Final Thoughts

The importance of indoor air quality cannot be overstated, especially as we spend a significant portion of our lives indoors.

The plants mentioned in this article not only beautify our living spaces but also function as natural air purifiers and oxygen boosters.

Scientific studies back their effectiveness in removing harmful pollutants and enhancing oxygen levels, making them invaluable additions to homes, offices, and even healthcare settings.

Whether you’re looking to improve your air quality, alleviate health concerns, or simply add some greenery to your life, these plants offer an array of benefits that contribute to a healthier, more vibrant indoor environment.

John Landry, BS, RRT

Written by:

John Landry, BS, RRT

John Landry is a registered respiratory therapist from Memphis, TN, and has a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He enjoys using evidence-based research to help others breathe easier and live a healthier life.


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