5 houseplants that can lower the dust levels in your home – and improve the air quality

Yes, these houseplants really could help relieve the pressure of dusting and improve your home’s air quality

A living room with a sofa and houseplants
(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

Houseplants are so much more than a pretty addition to a home, not only can they help to purify the air, but some houseplants can lower the dust levels in your home, too.

While they don’t completely remove the presence of dust in your home, these 4 expert-approved best houseplants decrease the amount and help with dusting, as well as promote cleaner indoor air.

Similar to the best air-purifying indoor plants, these plants catch and hold onto airborne dust particles without letting go. It does this by producing negative ions that work a bit like magnets, physically pulling dust particles out of the air and onto the leaves of your plants. 

If you ever wondered why your snake plant always looks so dusty, it's actually been pulling the dust to itself rather than letting it fall on the surrounding shelves.  While houseplants will not eliminate the need for regular cleaning, you will still need to know how to clean indoor plant leaves to stop the dust from gathering on them, it will help prevent dust from gathering in other areas of your home. 

A living room with a sofa and houseplants

(Image credit: Future PLC/Joanna Henderson)

Best houseplants to reduce dust in your home

How can a plant get rid of dust, you might ask. Petar Ivanov, Fantastic Gardeners' gardening and plant expert, explains how it works.

‘The way houseplants contribute to better indoor air quality is by reducing the dust in a house through a combination of physical and physiological processes. Plant leaves act as natural air filters by trapping dust particles on their surfaces and, in addition, many houseplants have small, hair-like structures on their leaves, called trichomes, which can capture and hold onto airborne particles.’

‘Besides that, plants enhance air quality by taking in carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and releasing oxygen, and because of these increased oxygen levels and the overall improvement in air circulation, the plants contribute to a cleaner and healthier indoor environment,’ he says.

And these are the 4 plants that do it best.

Petar Ivanov portrait
Petar Ivanov

Petar Ivanov is one of the company's top-performing experts and manages over six teams of gardeners, delivering stunning landscape results and fostering a deep connection with nature through his work.

1. Spider plant

Hanging spider plant

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

One of the best bathroom plants that absorb moisture, spider plants are also great at reducing dust in your home.

‘Spider plants are excellent at removing dust and other airborne toxins, including formaldehyde, from the air,’ says Steve Chilton, garden expert at LeisureBench. ‘They are relatively low-maintenance and can thrive in various light conditions.’

You only need to water spider plants occasionally and they will thrive in any soil type.

Where to buy a spider plant:

Steve Chilton portrait
Steve Chilton

Steve is a passionate and knowledgeable garden expert with several years of experience within the field. As the director of LeisureBench, an industry-leading garden furniture company, Steve has developed strong expertise for all things nature and plants. 

2. Snake plant

Three snake plants

(Image credit: Getty Images/Grumpy Cow Studios)

While snake plant is not the most unusual houseplant, it certainly has a lot of benefits.

‘These plants are known for their ability to purify the air by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen at night,’ Steve notes.

He continues to explain how to care for a snake plant. ‘They are low-maintenance and can tolerate a variety of light conditions.’ 

Snake plants famously don't need a lot of water, and will actually grow healthier if you let the soil dry out between watering. If you want to optimise their air-purifying properties, these are the perfect plants for recreating the indoor jungle look as you will need at least 7 waist height snake plants for optimum air-purification according to oxyplants.

Where to buy a snake plant:

3. Peace lily

A potted peace lily plant

(Image credit: Getty Images/Helin Loik-Tomson)

The plant known for its pretty white blooms has several benefits and reducing dust in your home is another one to add to the list.

‘Peace lilies have beautiful white flowers and are effective at filtering dust and other allergens from the air. They also help in reducing levels of formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. Peace lilies prefer low to moderate light conditions and require regular watering,’ Steve says.

Where to buy a peace lily:

4. Areca palm

A potted areca palm in a straw basket set against a dark panelled wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Also known as bamboo palm, butterfly palm or yellow palm, areca palm is a tropical plant that will bring a touch of warmer climes into your home along with the ability to reduce the amount of dust.

‘Areca palms are not only effective at filtering airborne particles but also help add moisture to the air. They prefer bright, indirect light and moderate watering,’ Steve says.

Where to buy an areca palm:

5. Rubber plant

Oriel window in a kitchen-diner with window seat

(Image credit: FUTURE PLC / Chris Snook)

Rubber plants already have a brilliant reputation for absorbing air pollutants. They were names as one of the houseplants in NASA's famous Clean Air Study which uncovered how effective some plants were in improving air quality. 

Their large waxy leaves are effective at trapping dust and you can boost it's ability of it's leaves  to trap dust by misting it daily.

FAQs

A shelf with a houseplant and decorative items and a cactus underneath

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

Do indoor plants reduce dust?

Some houseplants can reduce dust in your home but there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

‘A couple of houseplants can help reduce dust in a home by trapping and filtering airborne particles, however, they will not eliminate dust completely. They can. however, contribute to cleaner, more pure air inside your home,’ Steve says.

Petar adds, ‘Keep in mind that houseplants shouldn't be a replacement for regular cleaning practices, but they can assist in your efforts to maintain a dust-free and fresh living space. It's very important to keep their plant leaves clean by wiping them regularly with a damp cloth to prevent dust buildup and make sure they can filter the air effectively.’

Do peace lilies reduce dust?

Yes, peace lilies help clean the indoor air and space from dust by filtering dust and other pollutants from the air.

And if all else fails, you will still have a beautiful houseplant decorating your home on your hands. It’s a win win.

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.