House plants are all the rage right now. Thanks to the rise in popularity of the concept of indoor-outdoor living (and vice versa), many of us feel that an indoor room is not complete without the addition of a house plant or ten. And given that there are said to be certain sleep benefits associated with plants in the bedroom (1), we made it out mission to investigate.
So, if you want to know what sleep benefits you might experience by adding plants to your bedroom décor, or if you just want to find out which plants are best at purifying the air indoors, read on. Bensons explains all below.
What are the benefits of house plants?
Having house plants indoors, including in the bedroom, comes with a whole host of benefits. But, as you’d expect, different plants are better in different scenarios. And horticulture is a huge part of the reasoning.
For a plant to perform as you’d like it to, you’ll need to ensure that you care for it and keep it at its best. And different plants have different needs – from the amount of light required and optimal room temperatures to the watering regularity, misting the leaves and beyond, there’s a lot to think about.
But the extra effort is worth it. Here are some of the benefits of having house plants in your home and bedroom:
- House plants purify the air. Pollution levels tend to be higher indoors than outdoors (2).This is thanks to the mix of outdoor pollutants and indoor contaminants found indoors. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are emitted from paints,cleaning solutions and even furnishings (3). Opening the windows to naturally ventilate your indoor space can help with improvingthe air quality in your home. But in winter, who wants to have their windows open?! House plants can help to clean the air inside your home year-round and thus reduce your exposure to NO2 and air pollution in general (4).
- House plants could boost concentration and productivity. A recent UK study found that indoor plants can boost productivity by up to 47% (5). A theory behind this is that the plants provide us with a micro-break from our computer screens that can help boost our concentration. Another is that plants reduce noise by absorbing sound and minimising echoes, thus reducing the distractions we’re exposed to (6).
- House plants may reduce stress and anxiety. Interacting with nature in general has been proven to reduce stress levels (7). And so, while it isn’t quite the same as being in the great outdoors, having plants in your home could help make it easier to unwind at the end of a long day. And given the air-cleaning ability of plants, house plants could improve your health in general (8).
- House plants could improve your mood during the winter. Those long,darkand cold winter months take their toll on the majority of us, particularly if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Flowers and green foliage can help keep you in a positive mindset (9). It helps to remind us that spring is just around the corner.
- House plants could help you sleep. The amount and quality of sleep we get has a huge impact on every aspect of our life as Dr Sophie Bostock explains in our “Sleep: Back to Basics” blog post. And, there are actually two ways that plants can help you achieve a better night’s sleep! Not only do they cleanse the air in your bedroom, but some also provide a soothing fragrance that helps you to relax (10).
The top 5 house plants for the bedroom
1. Peace lilies
Peace lilies (aka Spathiphyllum) are an extremely popular houseplant to have in a bedroom. With a glossy green foliage that thrives both in high- or low-light situations, it’s a reliable house plant for any sleep space. What’s more, a peace lily’s roots will tolerate a lot. They’re generally forgiving if over-watered and the leaves will wilt when they're in need of a drink. But don’t worry, a peace lily’s leaves will quickly perk back up after you give it a drink of water.
If your bedroom has a window, position the peace lily close to this natural light source. In doing so, it will reward you with white flower-like spathes, which can be enjoyed for weeks (11).
And if your bedroom is lacking in natural light, there are other varieties of peace lilysuch as 'Domino'.This variety boasts a variegated foliage which will brighten up your bedroom even when subjected to shady conditions (12).
What’s more, peace lilies can help purify the air in your bedroom. This house plant works hard producing oxygen all day long to ensure that you can breath easy at bedtime (13).
2. Snake plants
With their long, snake-like, striped leaves, snake plants can really make a statement, whatever room you choose to display them in. Some varietieswill even grow up to 5feet tall too (14) – so a floor-standing pot in the corner of your bedroom could be a great choice.
These visually interesting plants work well in a bedroom because they are natural purifiers.This means that they clean the air which will, in turn, promote better sleep.Snake plants emit oxygen during the night. In doing so, they improve the air quality in our bedrooms while we sleep (15).
Another great thing about snake plants is that they’refairly tolerant when it comes to different lighting scenarios too. Their preference is bright, indirect sunlight. But they’ll do fine in darker and brighter areas too (16).
3. English ivy
Whether displayed on a shelf or trailing from a hanging planter, English ivy (hedera helix) is an ideal house plant for a bedroom. This plant works hard both removing pollutants (such as benzene, xylene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, etc) from your home and producing oxygen (17).
What’s more, as English ivy absorbs humidity, it could offer a helping hand with issues like mould (18).
English ivy tends to prefer moderate light during the spring and summer months. But you may need to move it into a brighter spot for the duration of autumn and winter. Regular misting is also a must thanks to its love of humidity (19).
The one thing you’ll have to watch out for with English ivy is pets. It’s poisonous to both cats and dogs (20).
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is regularly used in skincare products thanks to its healing and soothing properties, but it is a fantastic house plant for a bedroom too. Actually part of the succulent family, the Aloe Vera features fleshy leaves with a spiked trim.
And it really doesn't need frequent watering – only once every three weeks in the summer (21)! But it does need direct sunlight. So, if you’re considering purchasing this houseplant, make sure there’s enough room for it on your bedroom windowsill.
Aloe Vera is also another one of the few plants that releases oxygen at night while you sleep. And improved oxygen levels could lead to a better sleep quality (22).
Lavender has long been considered beneficial for relaxation and sleep. And while it’s traditionally kept as an outdoor plant, growing lavender indoors offers a calming effect. It could help withrelieving stress and low mood. And it could be just the scent you need to help you drift off to sleep (23).
Another perk of keeping lavender indoors is that its strong scent is not one that many householdpestsare fond of. So, if you want protect your houseplant collection from unwanted infestations, Lavender could be just the hero you’re hoping for (24). Although most research has studied the use of lavender essential oils specifically, having a live lavender plant in your bedroom probably can't hurt. It needs bright light, so make sure it's on a sunny windowsill or use a grow light. Water when the top inch or two feel dry to the touch.
Achieve a better night’s sleep with Bensons
Our diverse collection of beds, mattresses, pillows, and duvets offer something for every sleep preference and need. Helping you to choose your bed, your way®, here at Bensons for Beds we combine expert knowledge with the latest sleeppro technology to make getting that all important great night’s sleep easier than ever before.
For more information on how to get a good night’s sleep, visit your nearest showroom or call us on 0808 144 6160.