The Benefits of Having a Snake Plant in Your Bedroom

Tara Youngblood Jul 05, 2022

Snake plant benefits

You want to upgrade your bedroom with a plant. You want to purify the air or simply fill up an empty corner, but you’re not sure what to get. You’ve looked at peace lilies, English ivies, Transvaal daisies, and the other hundred plants out there.

Before you get overwhelmed with your search, you should consider a few factors. Most houseplants are strategically placed throughout the home or bedroom and used as traditional and modern decoration. But did you know that some of them also contain health benefits?

Let’s introduce you to the snake plant or at least remind you of one. The snake plant is one of the most popular houseplants that looks great and provides health benefits, including indoor air quality.

Keep reading as we’ll discuss the following topics:

What is a Snake Plant?

Commonly – and eloquently – identified as mother-in-law's tongue, the snake plant is a carefree, resilient houseplant that grows anywhere between six inches to several feet. Not only does the snake plant provide unique and visually appealing, sword-like leaves, but there are plenty of health benefits to having one in your bedroom too.

Snake Plant Safety: Considered relatively safe to humans, snake plants are toxic to household pets. If a pet ingests a leaf, it will irritate its mouth, causing digestive issues. Please make sure the plants are out of reach of pets and children.

The benefits of snake plants

Snake Plant Benefits

Known as a low maintenance plant, the snake plant, however, offers several benefits.

Releases Nighttime Oxygen

Unlike some household plants, the snake plant produces oxygen throughout the night, while also taking in carbon dioxide (CO2), a natural byproduct of breathing. This characteristic makes the snake plant perfect for home or bedroom decoration due to its ability to improve air quality.

Did You Know: Snake plants produce large amounts of oxygen all night.

Toxin-Fighting Plant

Besides being an oxygen-producing plant, the snake plant also filters common air pollutants, mold, and household toxins [1, 2], including:

  • Trichloroethylene: found in varnish, adhesives, and paint removers.
  • Toluene: found in paint, nail polish, adhesives, synthetic fragrance, and cigarette smoke.
  • Xylene: found in paint, gasoline, and paint thinners.
  • Formaldehyde: used in the production of fertilizer, paper, plywood, and some resins.
  • Benzene: used in the production of plastics, resins, synthetic fibers, some types of rubbers, lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides; cigarette smoke byproduct.

Famous for improving sleep, the snake plant has earned the nicknames “the bedroom plant” and “oxygen factory.” It is one of the most effective toxin-fighting plants you can purchase.

NASA Study: Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement. [3] In a landmark study by NASA, researchers found several plants, including the snake plant, were the top reducers of indoor air pollutants. Additionally, the test discovered that they can survive in low-light levels.

Allergy-Reducing Plant

Allergy-reducing plants enhance air quality through the effects of common allergens. Individuals who suffer from allergies can find relief with these plants. Whether at your home, bedroom, or office space, these air-purifying indoor plants help alleviate airborne allergies. [4]

  • Deliver moisture in the air and reduce airborne allergens
  • Absorb toxins
  • Releases oxygen

Please Note: Though rare, an allergic reaction to the snake plant has been reported [5]

Sleep Tip: If you suffer from allergies, including a stuffy nose or sore throat, a snake plant can help make breathing easier before falling asleep.

Mental Health Booster

A study in 2015 suggested that caring for an indoor plant reduced physiological and psychological stress in the participants. Interacting with plants also helped suppress diastolic blood pressure and sympathetic nervous system activity. [6]. In another study, researchers observed that the presence of some indoor plants was associated with a’s perception of better indoor air quality and increased subjective well-being or happiness. [7]

As discussed previously, snake plants produce oxygen in excessive amounts, which assists in improving the energy and mood of everyone in the room.

Plus, caring for a plant can provide benefits, a sense of purpose, and self-love. [8] Growing and maintaining your plant offers a temporary escape from your busy and stressful life.

Easy to Maintain

We've learned that snake plants remove airborne toxins and allergens, but they are also easy to maintain. If you are looking to start gardening, many professional horticulturists recommend beginning with a snake plant, as they are almost impossible to kill. Snake plants tolerate both direct sun and shade. Caring for them is effortless (as long you remember to water them!).

We’ll discuss how to properly care for your snake plant further below.

Did You Know? The snake plant, while not edible, is from the same Asparagaceae family as asparagus, garlic, and onions! [5]

Types of Bedroom Snake Plants

You can purchase a number of relatively inexpensive plants such as the peace lily and English ivy, aloe vera, spider plant, and valerian to name a few. One that rises above them all is the snake plant. Whether calling them mother-in-law’s tongue, viper’s bowstring hemp, or Sansevieria trifasciata Hahnii, any type of the “bedroom plant” will suit any home decor.

How to Get Your Snake Plant: These common houseplants can be purchased at your local nursery, garden center, home improvement retail store, or online.

Below are the most common snake plants.

Bird’s Nest Snake Plant

The Sansevieria, or Bird's Nest, is a trendy, low-maintenance, compact snake plant that is easy to maintain. The Bird’s Nest gets its name because the cluster of leaves is similar to a bird's nest. The small size (6 to 9 inches) makes them a great addition to any bedroom or workplace if you lack the space for one of the taller varieties. It adapts well to different light levels but truly shines in bright filtered conditions.

Birds Nest Snake Plant

Laurentii Sansevieria Trifasciata

Considered one of the most popular and recognizable kinds of snake plants, the low-maintenance Laurentii Sansevieria trifasciata is selected by numerous people for its low light and hardy nature. This plant offers sword-like upward leaves with a vibrant, creamy yellow outline inside homes, offices, and bedrooms. Its height ranges from 24 to 33 inches tall.

Laurentii Sansevieria Trifasciata Snake Plant

Cylinder Snake Plant

Also known as Sansevieria cylindrica (or African Spear), the cylinder snake plant is a relative to the mother-in-law's tongue and is easy to grow. This plant provides smooth, round, dark-green, spear-like leaves that can grow upwards to several feet tall. The leaves reach outward to resemble a crown, and if you're lucky, you may get a bloom. These long creamy white flowers provide a beautiful fragrance that appears on well-established plants.

Cylinder Snake Plant

Twisted Sister Snake Plant

Popular and hard to find, the Twisted Sister is a small, indoor plant with bright gold and green variegated leaves. The leaves twist as they emerge from the base, also providing the effect of a bird's nest. This dwarf Sansevieria can grow up to approximately 15 inches in height, making it taller than the “bird’s nest'' variety. Similar to the other plants, they tolerate shade but do well with warm, bright light.

Twisted Sister Snake Plant

Rhino Grass

??The rhino grass is also known as a Sansevieria desert due to its pointed leaves providing a red tint. The plant leaves could grow upward to 12 inches on average and are considered medium-sized snake plants. The look is different from the other type.

White Snake Plant

This unusual and unique plant provides white vertical stripes on its thinner-than-usual dark green leaves. It tolerates a long period without water making it easy to maintain. One of the taller Sansevieria, the white snake plant can grow up to 36 inches tall.

Snake Plant Care and Helpful Tips

Snake Plant Care and Tips

If you're planning to add a snake plant to your home or office, below are a few things you should keep in mind when caring for them.

Lighting

When it comes to light, it's best to place snake plants in bright but indirect sunlight. Yet, if your room doesn't provide a lot of the sun, you can still place the plant in a dark corner; it will be just fine. Keep in mind that the less light, some plant leaves will become washed out, and the taller ones can become leggy or floppy. Having it under the right conditions will help them flourish!

Lighting Tip: If the leaves are losing color and becoming pale, this suggests a lack of light.

Watering

What makes snake plants so popular is that they are drought tolerant. But make sure you don't overwater the plant. It can happen easily. Allow the soil to dry between watering. Also, use well-drained potting soil or potting mix; they don't retain much water.

Root rot can occur if you end up over watering. Yellow leaves are a sign of potential root rot and too much water. When the top inch or more of the potting soil is completely dry, it’s time to water.

Watering Tip: If possible, try watering them from the bottom. Placing the plant in a bowl of water or in a dish to allow the water to soak up from the root is often called reverse water. This process can help develop a strong root system within the soil.

Temperature

It's best to keep it with temperatures above 50 degrees. The ideal temperature ranges between 70 and 90ºF. In the winter, protect them from the drafty windows and cold temperatures. Frost can kill the plant.

Feeding/Fertilizer

Gardeners recommend feeding the plants with a mild-cactus, all-purpose fertilizer during the summer months in the pot. Make sure you read the instructions to ensure you're not overfeeding. Do not fertilize in the winter.

Fertilizer Tip: Try to fertilize once a month during the spring and summer months.

Potting and Repotting

When potting, select a sturdy pot material as strong roots can easily break and crack the pots. Typically these plants are slow grower that seldom needs repotting, but if ample sunshine is provided, they might overgrow and require dividing or repotting. If you need to repot these plants, the best time is during spring. Always use fresh potting mix and potting soil (or both) when repotting.

Potting and Repotting Snake Plant

Cleaning

Susceptible to collecting dust, snake plant leaves often need cleaning. Take time to periodically wash the leaves with a damp cloth or tissue. Additionally, when cleaning, observe the plant because this is when you can cut leaves and determine if you need to repot or transfer to another pot.

Final Thoughts

With all the above benefits, you'll never want to go back to sleeping in a room without a bedroom snake plant or something like it again. You'll notice a difference in the indoor air quality within a week or two. So, it's time to purchase a couple of these miracle plants as they will greatly enhance your sleep hygiene and overall sleep quality.

Whether you were searching for a plant to help purify the air, a plant to fill up an empty corner in the room, an easy maintenance plant, or possibly a pet-friendly plant, there are plenty of options.

Citations

[1] Garg, K.S., Pal, M., Jain, K., & Garg, A. (2021). Some indoor plants and their role in reducing indoor pollution. Journal of Global Biosciences, 10(2), 8430-8439. View Resource

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. (2021). Toxic Substances Portal. View Resource

[3] Wolverton, B.,C., Johnson, A., & Bounds, K. for NASA. (1989). Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement View Resource

[4] Frothingham, S. (Updated on 2022, January 24). 7 Benefits of Keeping Snake Plants In Your Home. View Resource

[5] Nin-Valencia, A., Tomas-Perez, M., & Zavala, B. (2022). Allergic rhinitis due to the ornamental plant Sansevieria trifasciata. Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology, 32(1), 62-64. View Study

[6] Lee, M. S., Lee, J., Park, B. J., & Miyazaki, Y. (2015). Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress by suppressing autonomic nervous system activity in young adults: a randomized crossover study. Journal of physiological anthropology, 34(1), 21. View Study

[7]Berger, J., Essah, E., Blanusa, T., & Beaman, C.P. (2022). The appearance of indoor plants and their effect on people’s perceptions of indoor air quality and subjective well-being. Building and Environment, 219: 109151. View Study

[8] Kuo, F. (2010). Parks and Other Green Environments: Essential Components of a Healthy Human Habitat F R A N C E S E . ( M I N G ) K U O. View Resource