The Snake Plant Air Purifier Debate: Which Is Better?

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Cleaner air can help you live a better life. In case you didn’t know, air purifiers aren’t your only option for cleaner air. There are also natural options. A common natural option is a snake plant. How does a snake plant compare to an air purifier?

When comparing snake plants to air purifiers, snake plants can remove certain gases, but only in very, very small amounts. Air purifiers are much better at purifying the air and can filter out far more pollutants. Snake plants do offer other benefits though such as giving off oxygen and adding a nice decor to a space.

What Does An Air Purifier Do?

An air purifier next to a plant.

Before we get into snake plants and how effective they are at purifying the air, if you’re not familiar with what an air purifier does, just know that they use a fan to suck air through one or more filters, which purify that air off as many pollutants as they can, before the purified air is released back out.

Air purifiers come in all types and sizes, and they have been proven effective at what they do. This is important because of how poor indoor air quality can be, especially when compared to outdoor air quality.

The problem with air purifiers is that they have an electricity cost associated with them, although there are many budget-level air purifiers. Even if their up-front cost is relatively low, replacing their filters can add up over time. Plus, some air purifiers, such as ozone generators and electrostatic precipitators, do or can produce ozone, a harmful byproduct.

So, how do snake plants stack up against their competition?

Snake Plants as Air Purifiers

Snake plant sitting on a windowsill.

Overview Of Snake Plants

Snake plants are incredible plants for beginner and veteran plant owners. They are drought-resistant, can thrive in many different light conditions, and are generally easy to take care of. Plus, they have a unique look to them that adds a nice splash of color and design to any room.

One drawback worth noting is that you’ll have to be extra careful with the snake plant if you have pets or children who like to put things in their mouths. Eating the snake plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and can also cause numbing or swelling on the tongue and throat.

Are Snake Plants Effective At Purifying The Air?

A 1989 study from NASA showed that snake plants were among the top plants when it comes to purifying the air. The problem was that NASA used a highly controlled environment, which most homes and offices don’t have. A study from 2019 showed that for plants to be effective at purifying the air, there would have to be between 10 and 1,000 of them per meter squared. That is a lot of plants, to say the least.

Should You Get A Snake Plant Or An Air Purifier?

This is one of those questions that has an “it depends” answer. It depends on what your situation and goal are, so let’s explore some considerations.

Consideration 1: Form Over Function

Maybe you want to spruce up the design of your house, add some elements that help boost mental health. In that case, you may want to get a snake plant or two. Snake plants have great design elements and also the bonus of purifying the air.

Consideration 2: Cost

Air purifiers are going to cost more. Even if you get a small one, you’ll have to think about the added cost to your electric bill plus replacement filter costs. Snake plants are easy to take care of and cost far less, but if you’re planning on making them as effective as an air purifier, they’re going to cost more in total.

Consideration 3: Effectiveness

This is where things start to get tricky. Both air purifiers and snake plants have been proven to be good at what they do, but what they do is also a little different.

On the one hand, you have air purifiers, which have tons of variety in terms of size, type, and what they can filter out of the air. Many air purifiers will have the ability to filter particles out of the air, things like dust, dander, and pollen, whereas snake plants can’t, but the reverse is also sometimes true. Snake plants can filter small amounts of gases out of the air, but most air purifiers can’t filter out any. You’ll need to find an air purifier with an activated carbon filter for it to filter some gases from the air. The bigger the carbon filter the better.

Air purifiers also come in a range of sizes, some even for the whole house. You could buy a lot of snake plants to cover larger areas too, but they just won’t be able to purify as much air as an air purifier. Air purifiers also deliberately draw in the air around them and circulate it whereas snake plants don’t do this either.

So, is an air purifier more effective than a snake plant? Yes, in many ways, but snake plants still come with some advantages.

Consideration 4: Why Not Both?

In the end, aside from cost, and being careful about kids and pets potentially eating the snake plant, there isn’t a lot of reason not to go with both. If you go with an air purifier, having a couple of snake plants adds a little help in filtering out some gases. They add more oxygen and don’t add much to your workload in terms of care. So, as far as the snake plant air purifier debate goes, why not go with both?

In Summary: The Snake Plant Air Purifier Debate

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to go a little more green, with looking for those natural solutions to life’s problems. There’s also nothing wrong with going the other way too, with looking for something more modern and advanced. So, which is better? Snake plants or air purifiers?

This is the great snake plant air purifier debate. Both snake plants and air purifiers have their benefits. Snake plants have lower costs and manageable upkeep whereas air purifiers can filter far more pollutants from the air, but will increase costs in a variety of ways.

In the end, it might be worth it to go with both. So, what do you think about all this? Had any prior experiences with snake plants or air purifiers? How did those go? Let us know in the comments below!

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Hello, this is Randy Jones. I am the owner of this website “Home Air Wiki” which will inform you about all the latest home gadget tools like Air Purifiers, it’s related accessories, use, and maintenance information.

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