What are the best plants for purifying indoor air in a London flat?

Living in a bustling city like London often means having to contend with pollution and poor air quality. However, it is possible to take steps towards improving the air within your own home. Investing in indoor plants is an effective way of purifying the air in your flat. These houseplants not only add a touch of greenery and life to your interior decor, but they can also absorb harmful toxins and produce clean oxygen.

We'll examine the top houseplants that can actively cleanse and refresh your indoor air, making it healthier for you and your family. These plants are low maintenance and adaptable to varying light conditions making them perfect for any London flat.

The Air Purifying Qualities of Indoor Plants

Before we delve into the list of the best indoor plants for air purification, let's take a moment to understand how plants purify air. It's all about the process of photosynthesis. During this process, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Moreover, NASA's Clean Air Study found that plants can also remove toxins from the air. These toxins include benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia.

Plants' leaves, roots, soil, and the micro-organisms living there absorb these toxins, breaking down the harmful substances into compounds that the plants can use for food. This is why keeping houseplants can create a healthier environment in your flat.

The Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)

The Spider plant, known for its long, bright green leaves, is a great place to start your indoor plant collection. Not only does it possess excellent air-purifying qualities, but it's also remarkably easy to care for. It doesn't require much light, making it suitable for places that don't receive much sunlight.

Although Spider plants thrive best in bright, indirect light, they can also survive in semi-shade and artificial light. They don't need to be watered very often. Just make sure the soil is evenly moist during the summer and reduce watering during the winter months. The Spider plant is exceptionally efficient at removing formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air, helping to keep your indoor environment fresh and pure.

The Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace Lilies make for a beautiful addition to your home with their dark green leaves and stunning white flowers. But, these plants are more than just aesthetically pleasing. They're known for their air-purifying abilities, especially when it comes to removing toxins like benzene and formaldehyde.

Peace Lilies prefer shade and cooler temperatures, making them suitable for most homes in London. However, they require regular watering, at least once a week. But, they're quite forgiving, so don't worry if you forget to water them occasionally. The beauty and utility of Peace Lilies make them a plant worth investing in.

The Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)

The Snake Plant, also known as Mother-In-Law's Tongue, is one of the most robust houseplants you can buy. These plants can survive in low light conditions and don't need to be watered frequently, making them perfect for those who might not have the greenest of thumbs.

Snake plants are particularly good at filtering formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and nitrogen oxides from the air. They also convert carbon dioxide into oxygen at night, making them an excellent plant for bedrooms. Their hardy nature and purifying abilities make them an ideal choice for any London flat.

The Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea Seifrizii)

The Bamboo Palm is not only an attractive plant with its lush green fronds but is also known for its air-purifying qualities. It's particularly effective at removing formaldehyde and is also said to act as a natural humidifier.

This plant does well in shady indoor spaces and prefers indirect light. It requires a moderate amount of watering and prefers well-drained soil. Its love for damp conditions makes it a good choice for bathrooms or kitchens. The Bamboo Palm brings a touch of tropical greenery to your home while purifying the air you breathe.

The Boston Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)

The Boston Fern, with its feathery fronds, has a charm that's hard to resist. They're known for their air-purifying capabilities, especially when it comes to removing formaldehyde and xylene.

Boston Ferns prefer a cool environment with high humidity and indirect light. They need to be watered regularly to keep the soil moist but not soggy. While they might require a bit more care than some of the other plants on this list, their beauty and purifying abilities make them well worth the effort.

By integrating these beautiful houseplants into your living space, you'll not only be enhancing the aesthetic appeal but also taking a step towards a healthier living environment. Remember, plants are a natural solution to air purification, and their ability to improve air quality can contribute significantly to your overall wellbeing.

The Devil's Ivy (Epipremnum Aureum)

The Devil’s Ivy, also known as Golden Pothos, is one of the most versatile and low maintenance indoor plants you could choose for your London flat. Known for its ability to survive in almost any environment, it can thrive even in low light conditions, although it prefers bright, indirect light. This makes it an ideal choice for north-facing homes or areas of your flat that don't receive much direct sunlight.

Devil's Ivy stands out for its vibrant green, heart-shaped leaves which can brighten up any room. The main reason it is considered one of the best indoor plants for air purification is due to its ability to remove toxins such as xylene, benzene, and formaldehyde from the air. Watering should be moderate, letting the soil dry out between each time. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so caution is advised.

In addition to its air-purifying qualities, Devil's Ivy is also quickly propagated. This means you can easily grow more plants from cuttings, making it a cost-effective option. With its striking appearance and easy care, Devil's Ivy is a practical and beautiful addition to any London flat.

The ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia)

The ZZ Plant, with its glossy, dark green leaves, is a trendy houseplant that has gained popularity due to its extreme resilience and low-maintenance nature. It's perfect for those new to houseplants or those who have a hectic lifestyle. The ZZ Plant can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, from bright indirect light to low light areas of your home. This adaptability makes it suitable for almost every room in your flat.

The ZZ Plant is not only a decorative addition to your home, but it also has brilliant air-purifying properties. The plant is known to purify the air by removing toxins such as xylene, toluene, and benzene. Like many other house plants, it's essential to avoid overwatering the ZZ plant. Allow the soil to dry out between watering, and always ensure it has proper drainage to prevent root rot.

In addition to these benefits, the ZZ Plant is also known to have air humidifying qualities, which can be beneficial during the colder months when indoor air tends to get dry due to heating systems. With its stunning aesthetic and easy care, the ZZ Plant is a top contender for the best air-purifying plant in a London flat.


Living in a busy city like London, it's essential to create a home environment that promotes good health and wellbeing. One of the best ways to achieve this is through integrating air purifying plants into your living space. Not only do they add a touch of nature and beauty to your flat, but they also serve a practical purpose by improving indoor air quality.

Whether it's the visually appealing Devil's Ivy, the low maintenance ZZ Plant, or the other plants mentioned in this article, these green friends can make a significant difference in your home. Remember, though, while these plants are effective at purifying the air, they are not a substitute for regular cleaning and ventilation of your home.

So, go ahead and explore the wonderful world of houseplants. You'll be breathing easier in no time. And who knows, you might even find yourself becoming a proud 'plant parent' to an ever-growing indoor jungle.