40 Houseplants That Can Help You Sleep, Relieve Stress And Even Improve Your Mood

Sometimes, the stresses of life can be too much to bear, resulting in conditions such as insomnia and anxiety. Work can contribute heavily to this situation, too, while our homes, on the other hand, really should be good spaces in which to unwind. Fortunately, then, there are steps that you can take to make your home environment even more relaxing. You could try grabbing yourself any number of these 40 houseplants, for instance. After all, each and every one has its own advantages, from cleansing the air to helping you sleep better at night.

40. Spider plant

Don’t let the name fool you: this common houseplant won’t actually fill your home with arachnids. Instead, its spiky green leaves will remove formaldehyde from your house, leaving you with cleaner air. And as the spider plant doesn’t need direct sunlight, it doesn’t take much looking after, either. Just remember to water it every now and then.

39. Aloe vera

While it’s a little trickier to look after, an Aloe vera plant is great to keep around the house. Not only is it attractive enough to make for great décor, but its gel is also thought to have healing properties. Indeed, it’s often used to treat ailments such as cold sores, sunburn and psoriasis.

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38. Lavender

There’s a good reason why lavender is included in so many soaps, creams and candles. You see, its gentle scent is enough to relieve even the highest stress levels – along with the resulting symptoms, including anxiety and insomnia. It’s a good idea, then, to add a lavender plant to your bedroom, as it’s there that you’ll be able to make the most of its soothing properties.

37. English ivy

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Keeping English ivy in your home is a double-edged sword: while it’s great for improving air quality, it’s also poisonous. You’ll want to keep it away from any wandering mouths, such as those of toddlers or pets, then. But if you do invest in the plant, the benefits will make it worth your while. Yes, English ivy purifies particles in the air, preventing mold from growing.

36. Snake plant

If you have room to keep them, it’s worth investing in multiple snake plants – and around eight should do the trick. That’s because the plant’s air purification power works best in numbers – thereby maximizing the level of toxins removed from the air. As well as ridding your home of benzene, trichloroethylene and more, the snake plant also converts carbon dioxide to oxygen.

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35. Rosemary

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If you’re looking to improve your memory and concentration skills, rosemary may be the way to go. Indeed, researchers at Northumbria University found that people did better at questionnaires when they’d been exposed to rosemary essential oil. Using a diffuser with the oil may be a more direct way to reap rosemary’s benefits, but simply growing the herb could help too.

34. Peace lily

Not all houseplants on this list are as beautiful as they are useful. You can definitely count the peace lily among the select few that check both boxes, though. Yes, the plants remove all manner of air pollutants, including xylene and ammonia, although its gorgeous white flowers may give off pollen – a potential allergy trigger.

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33. Boston fern

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Electric humidifiers can be expensive to buy and run, but there is a more natural alternative: the Boston fern. Not only will the houseplant help combat humidity in your home – even alleviating dry skin as a result – but it will also remove toxins in the air. Just make sure to water it every day, though, because dry soil won’t do it any good.

32. Rubber tree

Even if you don’t have much experience looking after plants, you shouldn’t struggle with a rubber tree. That’s because it’ll thrive no matter the lighting conditions or how infrequently you water it. In fact, the rubber tree does better with less water than more. And it’s a great air purifier, too, thanks to its large leaves, which absorb airborne toxins.

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31. Bamboo palm

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If you’re looking for only the best in air-purifying plants, then you may want to check out the bamboo palm. According to NASA, this plant is one of the best options for keeping the air in your home clean – removing toxins such as trichloroethylene and benzene. The palm does take a bit of upkeep, though, as you need to keep it watered regularly.

30. Philodendron

It’s no wonder that the Philodendron is such a popular house plant. After all, it’s easy to keep alive for several years, requires minimal attention and its heart-shaped vines add a decorative touch too. And the plant is also great for absorbing xylene – an airborne toxin that traditional vents struggle to deal with.

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29. Red-edged dracaena

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If you’re looking for something a little more exciting in your house plant décor, you can’t go wrong with the red-edged dracaena. Not only do its striking leaves add some real pizzazz to proceedings, but it can also grow to an enormous height. And it’s great for improving air quality as long as you scatter a few of them around.

28. Golden pothos

Another NASA-recommended plant for purifying the air in your home, the golden pothos makes for an attractive addition to pretty much any space. You’ll want to use it as a hanging plant, though, because its leaves will shoot downwards. But fortunately, it’s an easy grower, needing only minimal sunlight.

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27. Jasmine

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With all the benefits that jasmine brings, you’ll wish you’d brought it into your home long ago. That’s because, according to a Wheeling Jesuit University study, the plant can lower anxiety levels – which, in turn, leads to better sleep. And the knock-on effect of higher quality sleep is, of course, invaluable.

26. Gardenia

Gardenias may be high maintenance, but they are certainly worth the effort. That’s right: according to a 2010 study, these great plants will help you get a much better night’s sleep. In fact, they’re said to have similar effects to sedatives – just without the need to take any pills. If you suffer from insomnia, then, try giving gardenias a go; hopefully, you’ll reap the rewards.

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25. Valerian

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Pop a valerian plant on your bedroom window sill, and you’ll have no trouble drifting off. All the way back in ancient Rome, physicians prescribed the plant’s root to treat insomnia – an application that modern studies have proved to be correct. And valerian’s colorful, scented flowers make it one of the prettier plants to have around your home too.

24. Gerbera daisies

If you’re after an instant mood-booster, then look no further than gerbera daisies. They are, after all, wonderfully big, bright and colorful – usually coming in white, pink, orange, salmon and yellow. Plus, they’ll help you sleep easier thanks to the oxygen they release during the night. If you do intend to keep them, however, read up on how to care for them properly because they can be quite tricky to look after.

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23. Elecampane

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Elecampane is probably one of the most versatile plants that you’ll come across. Indeed, it’s been used in herbal medicine since ancient times – thanks to its ability to treat lung conditions such as asthma. Certain countries, including Switzerland and France, meanwhile, use it in the production of absinthe. Keeping it in your home will remove bacteria from the air, helping you to breathe more easily.

22. Chinese evergreen

If looking after plants sounds like too much effort, then you’ll love the Chinese evergreen; it’ll in fact survive through basically any amount of neglect. So even if you deprive it of sunlight or forget to water it, the plant should still do its job. And in this case, that means ridding the air of toxins that can cause respiratory diseases.

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21. Sage

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That’s right: sage isn’t just a delicious herb that can liven up a meal. Grow it in your home with plenty of sunlight, and you’ll be able to use it for all manner of applications. Indeed, it’s said to combat skin conditions, inflammatory issues, digestive trouble and even cognitive diseases. Oh, and it’s a handy sedative too.

20. Areca palm

As indoor palm trees go, the areca is an ideal choice. Not only will it give you the eye-catching height that makes palms stand out, but it’s as close as you can get to the prototypical plants that your mind conjures up when you think “palm tree.” Most importantly, though, it’s a great natural air purifier and humidifier.

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19. Ficus benjamina

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Another low-maintenance plant that’s great for cleaning the air of toxins, the Ficus benjamina is also Bangkok’s official tree. And if that’s not a selling point for you, then perhaps the copious amounts of antioxidants in its leaves will be – especially when combined with the fact that it’s relatively easy to look after.

18. Calamus

It might look like a particularly leafy piece of corn, but this is in fact calamus – otherwise known as “sweet flag.” It has plenty of supposed medicinal properties and has been employed to treat headaches, colds, insomnia and other illnesses. The plant’s oil, meanwhile, has a sedative effect and was used to calm nerves by folk healers.

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17. Hop cones

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If hops sound familiar, it’s for good reason: they’re often used in beer production. But the people who pick them apparently feel sleepy while doing so, which suggests that hop cones – the product of hop plants – have sedative properties. And studies have in fact shown that when used alongside valerian plants, they’re an effective way to treat insomnia.

16. Chamomile

Chances are you’ve probably heard of chamomile before. Even if you’ve never grown it yourself, you’ll likely have had it in tea. And when you did, you might have noticed that you felt a little drowsy afterwards. That’s because chamomile has flavonoids that can send you to sleep. Moreover, it’s incredibly easy to grow – perfect if you’re suffering from insomnia.

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15. Passion flower

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Although the passion flower is a seriously eye-catching plant, it isn’t just notable for its bright colors; the plant is famous for its ability to combat anxiety too. In fact, a 2001 study found that the flower’s extract could treat anxiety at a similar level to the drug Oxazepam – but without the side effects. And while it’s typically an outdoorsy type, the passion flower can still be grown indoors on a window sill.

14. Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums are typically thought of as disposable plants, but they serve a vital purpose while they’re alive. Indeed, as reported in the NASA Clean Air Study of 1989, they help spruce up the vicinity by removing toxins such as benzene and ammonia. And it doesn’t hurt that they’re delightfully bright and decorative plants, either.

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13. Kalanchoe

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The kalanchoe may not be your first choice of houseplant, primarily because it doesn’t look that great when it’s not in bloom. However, if you place the plant in darkness for 12 hours per day over a six-week period, it should start to re-bloom. And the results are worth it: the flowers are spectacular, and it will give you clean air to boot.

12. Money plant

From 1993 to 2008, scientists studied the effects of three indoor plants – one of which was the money plant – on air quality in an office building in India. And the results were eye-opening. The office in question apparently had the cleanest air of any building in New Delhi. Over 15 years, that translated to a 34 percent decrease in respiratory conditions and a 20 percent increase in productivity. Great news, then, if you’re thinking of getting a money plant.

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11. Dieffenbachia

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Not only does the Dieffenbachia – or as it’s otherwise known, “dumb cane” – have an unusual pattern on its leaves, but it’s also easy to grow. It doesn’t need much light to thrive, either, making it perfect for the indoors. And as with many houseplants, it’s great for improving air quality.

10. Peperomia

Another formaldehyde-removing plant, Peperomia has unique aesthetics that set it apart from other plants. In fact, with upwards of 1,000 distinct species to choose from, you’re bound to find one that fits with your home décor. And you could even choose to grow a variety of them to maximize their air-purifying abilities.

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9. Warneck dracaena

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A word of warning where the warneck dracaena is concerned: it could potentially grow to a whopping 12 feet tall. That might make it better suited to an office environment than your home, but if you have the room for it, then it’s definitely worth getting. You see, the plant grows best in artificial lighting – making it easy to care for – and it purifies the air too.

8. Fiddle-leaf fig

Improving indoor air quality is important for a number of reasons, not least to give you a better night’s sleep, free of respiratory problems. And while there are many plants that can help with that, few will turn heads like the fiddle-leaf fig does. Its huge leaves are toxic to pets, however, so bear that in mind if you have any furry friends.

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7. Dwarf azalea

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If you have green fingers, then your garden probably has azaleas already. Don’t uproot them and bring them inside, though, as the azaleas grown indoors are a different type altogether. Choose the right one from a florist, afford it indirect light and cool temperatures, and you’ll have yourself a beautiful, air-cleansing plant.

6. Umbrella tree

While some plants take plenty of watering to thrive, the umbrella tree is completely the opposite. In fact, too much water can actually do it harm. You’ll only need to water it very occasionally, then, making it an ideal low-maintenance houseplant. And it’s also great for purifying the air.

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5. Wax begonia

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Looking for a plant that blooms for the whole summer? Then you might want to get yourself a wax begonia. Provided you care for the plant properly, its red and white flowers will brighten up your home for months at a time. And not only that, but it will also remove chemicals such as benzene from the atmosphere.

4. Mint

If you’ve ever grown mint outdoors, you’ll know how unruly it can be. Keeping it inside, then, gives you some semblance of control over how and where it grows. That’s not the only benefit, though. Indeed, mint is a natural insecticide and can help to keep bugs out of your home. And its leaves have many culinary uses as well, of course.

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3. Basil

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Feeling stressed out? Try taking a sniff of basil. According to a 2009 study by Japanese researchers, exposing yourself to linalool – a compound present in basil – can calm you down in stressful situations. Yes, not only is it worth growing purely for its delicious culinary uses, but it will help you chill out too.

2. Anthurium

It’s said that Anthurium has a positive impact on men’s libido and fertility. But whether or not that’s actually true, introducing the houseplant into your home couldn’t hurt. After all, the Anthurium’s bright red leaves are striking, and it doesn’t take much looking after – particularly in a humid environment.

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1. Skullcap

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While the jury’s still out on skullcap’s true effectiveness in herbal medicine, it’s thought to be helpful in fighting insomnia, fever, anxiety, epilepsy, allergies and plenty more. That thinking can possibly be attributed to the skullcap plant’s antioxidants. It could be worth popping one in your bedroom, then, even if it’s just to liven up your environment.

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