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Are plants in the bedroom healthy or harmful? All the pros and cons of a green bedroom we explain!

You often hear, “You shouldn’t keep houseplants in the bedroom because they are not safe.” This is based on the fact that most plants release carbon dioxide and absorb oxygen from the air while you sleep. It is quite true that many houseplants do this. But in reality, the amount of carbon dioxide released and oxygen absorbed is minimal. This means that it is safe to have plants in the bedroom.  However, there are both advantages and disadvantages to keeping plants in the bedroom. Read on as we explain the issue in more detail.

Why plants should be avoided in the bedroom?

The gases that plants emit in your bedroom will not be a problem for you

The gases that plants absorb or emit in the bedroom will not be a problem for you or cause sleep problems. However, certain flowers or locations are not suitable for some practical reasons.

  • A bedroom can be a small space, so having plants near the room you walk by may not be the best choice, or they could get knocked over in the dark. If possible, hide them in a corner of the bedroom instead. This is a matter of personal choice. But we will never have houseplants above the bed. We love new decorating ideas, but things growing overhead is an absolute no-no for many people. That’s because they just don’t like the idea of something coming loose or falling on them while they sleep. So, put your plants in safe locations in the bedroom so there’s no risk of falling!
  • Everyone knows that when you have to get up at night, you’re “not quite awake” and can easily trip while half asleep. If there are plants with thorns, prickles or sharp edges along the way, you could be in trouble. Choose your plants in the bedroom carefully for your safety and theirs, and all will be well.
  • While many feng shui experts advocate some greenery in the bedroom, they warn that too many flowers can have the opposite effect and negatively affect sleep patterns. It’s worth considering that the number of flowers in the room could be the cause if you regularly have trouble sleeping.

How much carbon dioxide do plants emit?

You may already know that plants produce water vapor as a waste product of photosynthesis

Carbon dioxide is one of the gases we emit when we breathe. The truth is, there is not nearly enough carbon dioxide in the air. On average, carbon dioxide occupies the smallest percentage in the atmosphere at 0.04%, making it harmless. It is only when carbon dioxide concentrations exceed 10% that there is a risk of convulsions, coma and death. Any number of plants in your room will not raise carbon dioxide levels to dangerous levels – if anything, they will lower them. Plants absorb more carbon dioxide than they emit.

Of course, the exact amount of carbon dioxide a plant emits depends on its size and species. But overall, both humans and animals emit a much higher percentage of carbon dioxide than flowers. Since we are constantly surviving in rooms full of people, a room full of plants is much less scary.

Why you should encourage plants in the bedroom?

Carbon dioxide is one of the gases we emit when we breathe

For most people, the bedroom is a peaceful, quiet and relaxing place. In general, people find plants calming and relaxing, which can lower stress levels and promote deep sleep. Several studies over the decades have shown that flowers can shorten recovery time for patients in hospitals, and they need less pain medication. Another study showed that people felt less stressed when they were in rooms surrounded by houseplants.

Plants can dramatically change the propagation of sound in the air. They can’t “block” sound from noisy neighbors, but as one study shows, they can quiet the room by absorbing some sounds and reducing reverberation and echoes.

Plants that help clean and filter the air are good for sleep in the bedroom


You may already know that plants produce water vapor as a waste product of photosynthesis. This escapes into the air before dispersing into the room and increasing humidity. One study showed that planting just 2% of a bedroom can increase the relative humidity of the room by 5%. This is important because dry air is associated with negative health consequences for humans. These problems can make restful sleep difficult, so houseplants act as natural humidifiers.

A 1996 study showed that a few plants in a room can reduce dust levels by about 20%. Anyone who suffers from allergies knows that dust can be a trigger. Therefore, it is always good to find natural and simple ways to minimize dust exposure.

One of the most well-known research papers was the NASA study that showed that houseplants in small spaces can improve indoor air quality by absorbing and breaking down common air pollutants. Some of the best flowers on the NASA list include the areca palm, lady palm, peace lily and spider plant.

What plants are good for sleep?

Why you should encourage plants in the bedroom

Plants that help clean and filter the air are good for sleep in the bedroom. You can also have flowers that eliminate odors and give off a gentle scent that promotes sleep. Some plants improve the humidity in the room and promote sleep. Below is a list of plants that you may consider good for sleep in the bedroom.

  • Lavender
  • Lady palm
  • Rubber plant
  • Areca palm
  • English ivy
  • Boston fern
  • Chinese periwinkle
  • Snake plant
  • Dracaena
  • Lacy tree Philodendron
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Rosemary
  • Spider plant
  • Pothos
  • Peace lily

We explain all the advantages and disadvantages of a green room in this post


However, there are no rules about which plants you can and cannot have in your room. In general, it is always important to learn about a plant and its characteristics. You need to care for your plants properly and know if they are safe for your household. For example, the Dieffenbachia is one of the world’s most popular houseplants, but like many other flowers, it is poisonous if ingested by people and pets, and you should always wash your hands after handling it.