11 Best Bedroom Plants That Improve Air Quality & Help You Sleep Better

Every home should make room to bring the outside in! Not only does it liven up the house, but it also can help you feel and sleep better. It’s not a requirement to be an expert to care for and grow plants, and you don’t need to fill your home with capricious plants that require round-the-clock care to reap their benefits either.

And while you may already have one or two small potted beauties sitting sweetly on your window sill, you may have not considered the perks of placing them in the bedroom. Check out our 11 suggestions below for the best indoor plants that help you sleep better.

Bedroom Plants to help you Sleep Better

Benefits Of Having Indoor Plants

Having plants indoors provides a variety of benefits outside of bringing colour and visual interest into your home. A lot of these benefits are health-related and can lead to a better night of sleep:

1) Reduces stress/anxiety

  • Studies have shown that having plants in a hospital room reduces systolic blood pressure and lowers the amount of pain, anxiety, and fatigue in postoperative patients. Anxiety is known to cause sleep disruptions and if left unchecked could create a ruthless loop of sleep and anxiety disorders.

2) Purifies the air

  • NASA study determined that plants can reduce air pollutants by absorbing them through the roots and then converting the pollutants into new plant tissue. 
  • Some plant species have been identified for their abilities to reduce specific toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, toluene, and trichloroethylene. These toxins range from being naturally occurring through metabolic processes, or found in everyday objects like paint and wood.
  • Certain plants have the additional benefit of removing allergens like mould, bacteria, and even animal feces which can reduce symptoms in those who suffer from seasonal allergies.

2) Increases humidity

  • During the water cycle, water is returned through the air through the process of transpiration. In plants, the water vapor is released into the atmosphere through the leaves of a plant and the amount can fluctuate based on the water retention properties of the plant and the size of the leaves. 
  • Ambient levels of humidity have been found to deter the spread of airborne viruses. While research still is unclear why this occurs, increased levels of humidity are a recommended solution to limit the survival of viruses responsible for transmittable illnesses.

Flowers Are A Nice Touch

If you are someone who wants to fill any spare spaces in your home with plants that appeal to your senses, consider the following options that will introduce a variety of colours and smells into your bedroom:

1. Jasmine (Jasminum)

jasmine plant

Jasmine is often recognised by its small, white flowers which are noted for their sweet scent punctuated with musky notes. Jasmine has been found to produce an overall more restful night of sleep, while also encouraging alertness during the afternoon. The study determined jasmine was more effective at producing a quality night of sleep over lavender and is a better option as lavender is typically an outdoor plant.

While jasmine is not known to have the same purifying air qualities as other plants, the scent of jasmine has also helped in reducing levels of anxiety. However, not all varieties of jasmine are fragrant, so it’s important to select one that is, such as Jasminum polyanthum.

CARE:

  • Direct sunlight in spring and summer
  • Indirect sunlight in winter
  • Porous soil
  • Water enough to keep the soil damp

TIP: Jasmine is not known to be dangerous to animals or humans

2. Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)

gardenia plant

Gardenias are known for having large white blooms that vary in fragrance throughout the day. The scent can fluctuate from zesty notes with green undertones to soft and creamy scents reminiscent of coconuts and peach skin. The scent of the Gardenia flower has been proven to improve the movement of GABA in your system. GABA is a naturally occurring amino acid that reduces activity in your brain, which has a calming effect. Gardenias are demanding plants that require more care than some of the other options listed.

CARE:

  • Bright, indirect light for a minimum of 4 hours a day
  • High humidity
  • Water weekly

3. Lavender (Lavandula)

Lavender has been a popular option for soothing someone to sleep; it can often be found as an additive to lotions, mists, and candles as the fragrance of its flowers have been found to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels. When combined with bathwater, it was also found to promote deep sleep in infants, while also relaxing their exhausted mothers. 

Lavender can be tricky to maintain indoors and may not be the right choice for beginner green-thumbs, but it can be done with considerable care. While not as fragrant as their English lavender counterparts, smaller varieties such as French lavender, Canary Island lavender, and fern leaf lavender are more adaptable to being placed indoors.

CARE:

  • Direct sunlight (or use a grow light)
  • Water infrequently, only when soil is dry

TIP:

  • Lavender should be replanted outside in the spring as indoor conditions are not favourable to lavender year-round.
  • Lavender is poisonous to animals and should be kept out of reach

4. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

The valerian plant is a good choice for those in search of delicate white or pink flowers to decorate and help induce sleep. While the flower itself has been described as smelling similar to vanilla, the foliage and roots are not quite as pleasant and have been compared to stinky feet, so this would be a better option for those who are not so sensitive to smell. Despite not being recommended for a bouquet, research confirms valerian contributes to better sleep as it enhances GABA activity.

CARE:

  • Direct sunlight or bright, indirect light
  • Water frequently

Greenery Is Your Go-to

In case you have a fragrance allergy, or prefer the greenery of household plants, check out the options below to determine if they may be a better fit for you:

5. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Golden Pothos

Golden pothos, also known as Devil’s Ivy, is notable for having long, leafy vines, similar to the heartleaf philodendron. While not a fragrant plant, golden pothos is recognised as having air-purifying qualities and is responsible for removing toxins like formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and benzene.

It is also recognised for its resilience and is sometimes considered the “cubicle” plant because of its ability to thrive in unfavourable conditions. Golden pothos is also simple to propagate; a 6-inch cutting from one of the vines, cleared of leaves, can be placed in a glass of clean water (which should be swapped weekly) until roots are established and it can be moved to the soil.

CARE:

  • Indirect or low light
  • Water infrequently, only when soil is dry to avoid root rot
  • Fertilise every couple of months

TIPIt is poisonous when eaten and should be kept out of reach of animals and children, use a hanging basket and keep the vines elevated away from inquisitive mouths.

6. Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

snake plant

Also named mother-in-law’s tongue, the snake plant was named for the shape and sharpness of its leaves. It is known to remove toxins such as xylene, trichloroethylene, toluene, benzene, and formaldehyde from the air. Unlike other plants, the snake plant produces oxygen at night, which can lead to better sleep. The snake plant, similar to the golden pothos, is resilient by nature and can thrive in unfavourable conditions.

CARE:

  • Indirect light
  • Infrequent watering (it can go weeks without water and remain healthy)

TIP:

  • Avoid overwatering as your plant can develop root rot
  • Snake plant is poisonous to both animals and humans

7. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

peace lily

The peace lily is a misnomer as it isn’t considered a lily at all and is in fact, part of the Araceae family along with golden pothos and similarly can absorb toxins from the atmosphere. Peace lilies in particular remove formaldehyde, benzene, acetone, alcohols, and trichloroethylene. An additional benefit is that peace lilies are capable of increasing ambient humidity up to 5%, which improves sleep quality and reduces your susceptibility to colds and other respiratory illnesses. The influx in humidity also reduces static and relieves dry skin and hair.

CARE:

  • Keep it shady, peace lilies do not need a nearby window
  • Water once a week or when leaves start to droop

TIP: Peace lilies are poisonous to animals and humans.

8. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Spider Plant

Spider plants, like the golden pothos, have long leaves that are best displayed in a hanging basket, but unlike the golden pothos, the spider plant is not dangerous to animals or humans. Spider plants have purifying air qualities that remove benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene from the air. Spider plants are easily propagated and can be gifted to a fellow plant-lover once roots have been established.

CARE

  • Indirect sunlight
  • Occasional watering

TIP: Spider plants should not be placed in direct light as the leaves can become scorched.

9. Aloe Vera (Aloe vera)

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera was included in the study NASA completed on air-filtering plants and is one of the plants that release oxygen at night. The gel inside the aloe vera stems can also provide some relief to dry skin and bug bites. Aloe vera is a succulent, which means it can withstand drying conditions and there are reports that some aloe vera plants have survived over 100 years in the wild.

CARE:

  • Bright, indirect sunlight
  • Water bi-weekly or until the soil is completely dry

TIP:

  • Plant in a terra cotta pot with equal parts sand and potting soil
  • Aloe vera is toxic to animals

10. Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)

Rubber plants are most notably recognised for their large, dark green, waxy leaves. Rubber plants can remove airborne contaminants and mould spores from the air. Because of their large leaves, rubber plants can absorb more carbon dioxide and produce more oxygen. Rubber plants are also fairly resilient in unfavourable conditions, making them a good option for new green thumbs.

CARE:

  • Bright, indirect sunlight
  • Moderate watering, wipe down with damp cloth in the summer

TIP: Rubber plant sap can irritate the skin so it’s important to wash any off your skin promptly after exposure.

11. English Ivy (Hedera helix)

English Ivy is another vine plant that removes toxins from the air by absorbing formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and toluene. English ivy has the additional benefit of also clearing the air of any mould spores and animal faeces, which can improve allergy symptoms. It has also been used in the medical field to treat asthma, bronchitis, and COPD. This may be a great option for allergy sufferers who are new to the plant business as they tend to fare well in shady conditions, but should be monitored as they can crawl and block light exposure to other plants in your home.

CARE:

  • Indirect sunlight
  • Water frequently

TIP: English ivy fruit is poisonous to animals and people if consumed

Conclusion

It’s time to consider a trip to your local plant sanctuary or greenhouse now that you know they can have a positive physical and psychological impact on your life. Spend less time tossing and turning in your sleep and more time drifting off into a deep slumber to the soft gentle scents of a sleep-inducing flower. My next stop is to my local plant nursery to turn my nightstand into a jungle of sleep-friendly plants.

Taylor Malottki

Taylor Malottki

Taylor Malottki is a light sleeper and struggled with getting consistent sleep. Her sleep pattern has varied over the years and for a long time going to bed late and waking early became routine. While she is still a light sleeper, she has started utilizing mindfulness meditation techniques, melatonin supplements, and limiting her caffeine intake to a single coffee in the mornings. She still indulges in a soda habit that so many struggle to kick, but she opts for caffeine-free and sugar-free sodas that help her get her carbonation fix. When she’s not sleeping, Taylor spends her days working as an insurance underwriter and freelance content-creator. Find her on LinkedIn.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *