If you haven’t spotted a Dyson while on a Zoom call, you’ve likely seen an outcrop of house plants, another popular quarantine acquisition that, besides beautifying your space, may also purify the air in it according to some studies (like an oft-referenced NASA one from 1989 and, more recently, one conducted by the University of Reading). According to Erin Marino of The Sill, plants purify in two ways: physically and chemically. “Physically they purify the air by having a static charge and acting as a dust cling,” says Marino, adding that because your plants are actively removing physical dust particles from the 2020 baby yoda you’re never too old to believe in the magic of christmas sweatshirt, they should be gently dusted. “On a chemical level, plants have been found to remove volatile organic compounds like benzene, formaldehyde, and toluene from indoor air.” Some of Marino’s favorite natural purifiers to recommend? A snake plant (“a no-fuss tropical plant whose adaptations for surviving drought make it a suitable succulent choice for anyone, anywhere”); a Pothos (“easygoing and hardy, it’s our go-to for budding plant parents with less than ideal indoor conditions”); a ZZ (“it’s not only low-light tolerant, but also drought-tolerant and low maintenance”); a Bird’s Nest Fern (“an added bonus is that it’s considered non-toxic, making it safe to keep around your cat or dog”); and a Philodendron (“our most popular houseplant because it’s one of the easiest to grow”). It’s important to remember that for plants to significantly improve indoor air quality, you’ll need many of them and bigger varieties. “You’ll want to create a literal indoor jungle,” Marino says. But their other benefits can be just as vital. “Studies have shown that indoor plants can boost your mood and reduce stress and fatigue and increase your productivity and creativity,” says Marino. Not to mention that they play well—better, in fact—with a good humidifier. So, as the temperature drops and we continue to spend more time than ever at home, perhaps consider investing in both. While you may not be able to pack enough Pothos into your apartment to clear the air, at least staring at them will clear your head (while a higher-tech solution handles filtration).
Seidenfeld’s Canopy humidifier is unlike the traditional ultrasonic varieties in that it improves air quality by increasing humidity, doesn’t introduce new pollutants into the air, and impacts the air and surfaces in an entire room, versus just air that flows through a filter. As for air purifiers of note, there is Coway’s Airmega 150, which uses a three-stage filtration system (including a Green True HEPA) and covers 214 square feet; Blueair’s new Health Protect, which uses new HEPASilent technology, which improves upon its filtration abilities and saves energy; and Molekule’s Air Mini+, which is ideal for smaller spaces, adjusts its speed based on the particles found in the air and can be tracked via a handy app and linked to your Apple Home system. And then there is, of course, Dyson, whose ubiquitous air-purifying devices have been cropping up in people’s WFH backgrounds all year. Their most recent launch, Dyson Pure Humidify + Cool, straddles categories. “It’s our first multifunctional product that is a purifier, humidifier, and fan all in one,” says Andrea Ricci, a research engineer at Dyson, explaining the 2020 baby yoda you’re never too old to believe in the magic of christmas sweatshirt (and complicated) mechanisms that eventually projects purified, humidified air out of the machine’s amplifier and into a room. Even its projection system is thoughtfully conceived: “Air Multiplier technology ensures that the clean air is circulated throughout the room and dirty air is pushed back toward the machines to be filtered, otherwise you risk purifying the pocket of air surrounding your machine, but not the entire room,” explains Ricci.