Keep your fronds close—your new houseplant could be doing more than just brightening your space

Your Houseplants Are Actually Good for You

A recent review by a team of plant physiologists at the National Research Council of Italy’s Institute for Sustainable Plant Prevention suggests that the air we breathe, even within the comfort of our homes, could use a major detox.

Their suggested cost-friendly (and quite on-trend) method? Bring the outdoors in, with air-quality-improving plants that can absorb toxic pollutants coming from paints, carpeting, and other unexpected household sources.

A landmark NASA experiment in 1989 showed that with the right air-cleaning green guys, you can eliminate cancer-causing toxins. Decades later, researchers are still hopeful to further study specific plant species and their detoxing abilities, and even dream of eventually equipping plants with smart sensor technology to monitor pollution levels. A ficus that links up to your smart home? Never say never.

You don’t have to go all-out Jungalow (though we’re all for that, too), but any reason’s a good one for a cute desktop agave or couch-side snake plant. Browse some of our favorite house plants for cleaning the air here.