Our bedrooms are meant to be our havens, but the chemicals within disrupt this peaceful zone where we go to recharge our batteries. Formaldehyde from carpet backing and insulation, benzene from paints or solvents, and trichloroethylene from the dry cleaning hanging in our closets pollute our air, reducing the quality of sleep we need to be productive. Energy conservation practices further trap stale air, as we seek to plug all cracks and crevices, through which fresh air might otherwise... penetrate.
A beautiful solution to these air quality issues in the bedroom is the addition of live houseplants. Studies show that the leaves and roots of plants take up pollutants and store them in their tissues. Even the microorganisms present in the soil are capable of absorbing pollutants like solvents and cigarette smoke. Whether your home is flooded with natural light or relies on lamps and scones for illumination, there is a houseplant that can thrive in your bedroom, freshening it for sounder sleep.
01 of 10
Peace lily plants (Spathiphyllum genus) are one of the most enduring and popular houseplants for the bedroom, and for good reason: it's glossy leaves thrive in high or low light situations, and the roots tolerate a variety of irrigation habits. If your room has a window, situating the peace lily nearby will increase the production of the white flower-like spathes, which endure for weeks. Peace lilies take the guesswork out of watering, by wilting when they're thirsty, and quickly perk up with a drink. If your room is darkish and blooming seems unlikely, pick up a peace lily with variegated foliage like 'Domino.'
02 of 10
The parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans) grows in partial to full shade in its native Guatemala, which is why you'll see these specimens thriving in offices, malls, and other indoor spaces with little to no natural light. In fact, too much light will burn the leaves of the parlor palm, so keep this plant away from bright windows in the bedroom. A location close to a steamy bathroom that provides a humidity boost is ideal, and will stave off pests like spider mites that proliferate in dry conditions.
03 of 10
The iconic shape of ivy leaves has been duplicated on every household object from dishes to shower curtains. As an outdoor plant, Hedra helix can behave aggressively, sending clinging tendrils over structures and up tree trunks. However, you can take advantage of ivy's spreading tendencies in the bedroom, and train your vines across a small trellis, hoop, or topiary form to create a living work of art. Thriving in all light situations, the trailing vines of ivy look attractive in hanging baskets or draped over a side table. Plants do fine with little watering, and will survive a week-long vacation without a hiccup. Add a touch of cream with variegated cultivars like 'Gold Dust' or the dwarf 'Mini Adam.'
04 of 10
The tongue-in-cheek nickname "mother-in-law plant" doesn't do justice to this sculptural, vigorous houseplant. The leathery, strappy leaves of Sanseviera have adapted to survive the harsh conditions of West Africa, where soil is poor and rain is irregular. You don't have to deal with messy dropped leaves or complicated pruning with the snake plant; just water it every couple of weeks. If you repot this slow grower, be sure to provide a container with drainage holes, as the snake plant will rot in standing water.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Corn plants (Dracaena fragrans) give homeowners the look of a tree without the unmanageable height issues that come with a tree that has outgrown its space. Long, glossy leaves top stout trunks, a substantial plant that serves as a handsome anchor in the bedroom corner. Corn plants tolerate shade but may even produce white flowers in a sunny spot.
Although its name suggests otherwise, the corn plant is poisonous and should not be kept around nibbling pets or curious children.
06 of 10
The Gerber daisy is an ethereal plant for most people. Don't expect this South African native to endure all sorts of insults the way a snake plant or philodendron would. Think of the Gerber daisy in the same way you might think of a very long-lasting cut flower arrangement: temporary eye candy that will eventually need to be disposed of. Gerber daisies are pampered and coddled in greenhouse conditions that just can't be replicated in a normal bedroom setting. However, it's worth five bucks to have a plant with such perfect, vibrant blooms bring its cheer to your bedside table. While it lasts, it will even do a great job of removing trace organic pollutants from the air.
07 of 10
The fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) is one of the trendiest houseplants around, given its frequent appearance in home magazines and blogs. Its large leaves are its focal point, so providing the right lighting is essential to keeping your plant lush in the bedroom setting. Fiddle leaf figs thrive in the shady understory of the jungle, but some indirect light from an east-facing window is welcome to helping these plants thrive. Set your fiddle leaf fig on a plate of pebbles filled with water to increase the humidity in the plant's vicinity. In short, the fiddle leaf fig likes everything in moderation: light, water, and temperature. Too much or too little of these elements will cause your plant to struggle.
08 of 10
Classic philodendrons are as relevant now as they were in the 1970's for people seeking a non-fussy bedroom plant. They are just as happy trailing from a hanging basket in the corner as they are stealing the spotlight as a trellised specimen. Philodendrons tolerate a wide variety of light, but can get a bit lanky if conditions are too dim. Less is more when it comes to irrigation, and you can easily root new plants in a vase of water if you decide to propagate more plants for a collection.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Let the personality of the spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) infuse your bedroom with fun and fresh air. Most people know the spider plant, also known as the airplane plant, from its ability to produce multiple "pups" on stems that dangle from the mother plant. You may choose to leave these baby plants in place, or clip them and repot for gifts or other rooms. Spider plants grow in all kinds of light with average moisture. If leaf tips turn brown, collect rainwater to irrigate your spider plants, as they are sensitive to the fluoride in tap water.
10 of 10
The fleshy leaves of aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) plants need a bright spot in the bedroom, but won't mind if you forget the water for a few weeks. Aloe vera plants produce offsets that you can remove to start new plants, which can serve as replacements if you remove leaves to harvest the healing gel for cuts and sunburns.