Should You Keep Plants in Your Bedroom?

By Alyse Borkan  |  Jul 9, 2015
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Houseplants can do more than just make your shelves look brighter. They also can boost your mood, enhance your creativity, reduce your stress levels, increase your productivity, bring you tranquility, maintain indoor humidity levels, produce oxygen, and naturally filter air pollutants. You could say they’re quite the multi-taskers.

Despite the positive benefits indoor plants provide, there’s a divide in opinion when it comes to keeping plants in the bedroom: harmful vs. helpful. Some people believe it may be harmful because plants may respire as humans do, emitting carbon dioxide at night as a reverse response to photosynthesis, but humans and our furry friends produce more CO2 than plants do. Despite the scare stories, carbon dioxide is actually relatively harmless in small amounts. It is CO2’s cousin, carbon monoxide, that is extremely dangerous and perhaps where the idea that a few houseplants will cause you CO2 suffocation arises.

Houseplants actually improve indoor air quality. Dry indoor air is blamed for a host of aliments like respiratory problems, sore throats, colds, and even breakouts. Indoor plants help to maintain, and in some cases increase, humidity levels by emitting water vapor during transpiration. And in addition to emitting oxygen and humidity — plants produce negative ions, similar to many fancy air-purifying machines. The negative ions attach themselves to, and effectively remove, any particles in the air such as dust, mold spores, bacteria, and allergens. The presence of negative ions has also been shown to increase psychological health, productivity, and overall well-being. Some common houseplants even take it a step further in air quality control, naturally filtering indoor air pollutants like formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and benzene.

The Sill’s Picks for Air-Purifying Plants for the Bedroom:

Snake Plant

This insanely low-maintenance plant is an optimal choice for the bedroom because not only does it claim a spot of NASA’s list of the top 10 air-purifying plants, but it also is one of few houseplants that convert CO2 into 02 at night (something most houseplants only do during the day).

Low light; water occasionallyTheSill_Succulents_SnakePlant


This trailing plant’s heart-shaped leaves come in a variety of visually appealing variegations and are particularly effective at absorbing formaldehyde.

Moderate light; water occasionally


English Ivy

Another trailing beauty that is high up on NASA’s list, English Ivy is extremely effective at absorbing formaldehyde, too. It requires a bit more attention watering-wise than the Philodendron, but is still easy to care for.

Moderate light; water regularlyTheSill_EnglishIvy

Golden Pothos

Similar in aesthetic to the philodendron, the trailing pothos plant is effective at filtering out formaldehyde and extremely easy to care for and grow. It has been nicknamed ‘the cubicle plant’ because of how tolerate it is.

Moderate light; water occasionallyTheSill_Pothos

Spider Plant

Perfect for a hanging planter, and easy to propagate; this plant is effective at fighting a variety of pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene.

Moderate light; water regularly TheSill_SpiderPlant

Rubber Plant

This low-maintenance beauty with its striking forest green leaves is a powerful toxin eliminator and air purifier. It only looks hard to take care of.

Moderate light; water regularly


One of the most under-appreciated benefits of houseplants is the calming effect they have — making them the perfect addition to your sleep space. A recent study showed that simply touching a plant’s leaves can calm you down. So although there’s no scientific evidence that a houseplant can increase your quantity of sleep, they can turn your bedroom into zen den to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Contributed by: The Sill

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