Is Your House Making You Sick? 5 Ways to Purify Home Air Naturally

updated Sep 15, 2022
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(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Would it shock you to know that the air you’re breathing indoors can be up to 5 times worse than the air outside? Neglecting the quality of the air you breathe on a daily basis can result in illness, allergies, asthma, and frequent headaches, and it can even be harmful to your digestive system! But you don’t have to settle for poor air quality.

Here are five simple, ways for you to naturally purify the air in your home without purchasing an expensive air purifier.

Before we begin, what should you already be putting into practice to improve your home’s air quality? At the top of the list should be using low-VOC or no-VOC paints, testing your home for radon, and avoiding harsh chemical-laden household cleaners. Now that we have that covered, what are some natural air purifiers?

(Image credit: Kimber Watson)

A Himalayan Salt Lamp

When the 200-million-year-old crystalized salt is heated by the small bulb inside, it releases negative ions known to neutralize air pollutants. They are sold in many different sizes and shapes of Himalayan salt lamps, so it’s wise to find a lamp with a weight that is appropriate for the size of the room it will be used in.

This was the only thing I asked for on my Christmas wish list this year, and I got it! Even if the lamp didn’t do a darn thing, the warm glow emitted is quite beautiful to look at and could also serve as a nightlight in a child’s room.

Bamboo Charcoal

Charcoal has long been used in our filters to purify water, and it’s also popping up in beauty products everywhere. And charcoal can have the same toxin-removing effects on air. Moso air purifying bags are bags made of linen and filled with high-density bamboo charcoal.

The porous structure of the charcoal helps remove bacteria, harmful pollutants, and allergens from the air and absorbs moisture, preventing mold and mildew by trapping the impurities inside each pore. Rejuvenate the bamboo charcoal by simply placing the bag in the sun once a month. Amazon carries a variety of Moso bags.

Beeswax Candles

Unlike regular paraffin candles that are derived from petroleum, pure beeswax candles burn with almost no smoke or scent. Like the salt lamp, they also release negative ions in the air and may be beneficial to those with asthma or allergies by eliminating common allergens like dust and dander. While they may cost more than traditional candles, beeswax burns much slower so they will last much longer.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)


We’ve known for ages that plants literally help you breathe better by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing clean oxygen. But, according to a study by NASA, certain plants are better at eliminating significant amounts of benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene than others.

According to the study, the top workhorse plants for air purification are Golden Pothos, Peace Lily, Boston Fern, Snake Plant, English Ivy, Dracaena, Bamboo Palm, Dragon Tree, Lady Palm, and Spider Plant. It’s suggested that you have at least one plant per 100 square feet of home for efficient air cleaning to be accomplished.

Plant Air Purifier

So this one is a bit more pricey than the other suggestions, but if you really want to step up your plant-purifying A-game, then perhaps the Plant Air Purifier is for you. Designed by a NASA scientist, it uses a common houseplant in hydroculture to clean the air. A fan is used to increase the circulation of air through the growing media (which contains activated carbon that’s responsible for some of the reported pollutant removal). The Plant Air Purifier has the cleaning power of 100 or more standard houseplants! A smaller version is also in the works, which can clean a room in just an hour and is quite reasonably priced at $99.