Best Salt Lamps of 2017

Salt lamps are beautiful, and some owners claim they may help improve mood, asthma and allergy symptoms, and energy levels. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best salt lamp for your overall wellness.

A Light in the Darkness: Your Guide to Salt Lamps

Himalayan salt lamps are all the rage right now, and they certainly make an eye-catching addition to any home. You can find hundreds of salt lamps on today's market, and most of them look virtually identical. So how do you choose the best one?

At BestReviews, we pride ourselves on product reviews that cut through the jargon and tell you what you need to know. To do so, we test items in our labs, perform extensive product research, consult experts, and gather opinions from existing customers.

In our the guide that follows, we examine the possible health benefits of salt lamps and provide everything you need to make an informed purchase. When you're ready to buy a salt lamp, please scroll to the top of this page to check out our top three picks.

The salt crystals used to craft genuine Himalayan salt lamps are actually mined in the foothills of Pakistan.

What Is a Salt Lamp?

A salt lamp, also known as a Himalayan salt lamp, is essentially a large chunk of salt that sits on a base with a small bulb inside. The bulb emits a pleasing, soft glow. That might sound pretty, and indeed it is, but salt lamps aren't made to be purely decorative objects.

Salt is hygroscopic, meaning it attracts water, so a salt lamp absorbs water molecules from the air. It may also absorb small particles of pollen, smoke, and other allergens trapped inside the water.

The bulb inside a salt lamp heats the salt slightly. In sdoing so, the water molecules are released back into the air. As the molecules release, proponents of salt lamps claim that negative ions also enter the atmosphere. Salt lamp devotees believe that the release of these negative ions has a range of positive implications for health, though none of these claims have been scientifically proven.

If you believe the hype, salt lamps have a range of health benefits—but these aren't fully supported by science.

Salt Lamp Benefits

Here are just a handful of the health benefits that may result from using a salt lamp.

  • A reduction in fatigue
  • Increased energy level
  • Improved breathing
  • Better sleep
  • Improved mood
  • Reduced asthma and allergy symptoms

Scientists have yet to prove that salt lamps generate negative ions in any great quantity. Even if they do, it's still up for debate as to whether negative ions really do have any health benefits. At this time, salt lamp enthusiasts rely more on anecdotal evidence than scientific evidence to support their use.

But even if we take a cynical stance and assume there aren't any particular health benefits to salt lamps, they're still gorgeous decorative pieces that emit a lovely, soft ambient light.

Salt lamps may help you get better sleep if used in the bedroom before bed. The amber color replicates sunset light waves, and it doesn't interfere with your circadian rhythm the way that artificial blue or white light does.

Salt Lamp Sizes

During the course of our research, we found salt lamps that weigh as little as 5 pounds and as much as 200 pounds. Since each lamp is individual, the exact dimensions can vary somewhat. A rough rule of thumb is that 5-pound lamps stand 6 inches tall, 10-pound lamps stand 8 inches tall, and 15-pound lamps stand 9 inches tall. Bear in mind that this general rule may not apply to every salt lamp.

If you're interested in salt lamps for their negative ionization properties, keep the following tips in mind.

  • A 5- to 7-pound salt lamp is suitable for a space up to 10x10 feet.
  • An 8- to 11-pound salt lamp is suitable for a space up to 12x12 feet.
  • A 12- to 15-pound salt lamp is suitable for a space up to 14x14 feet.
  • A 30- to 40-pound salt lamp is suitable for a space up to 20x20 feet.
Salt lamps are usually sold by weight rather than dimensions, since no two are exactly the same.

Salt Lamp Shapes

Most salt lamps are vaguely egg-shaped with a rough, uneven surface. However, you can also find salt lamps carved into perfectly smooth spheres, cubes, pyramids, and other shapes.

A salt lamp with a rough surface may have a slightly greater capacity for water absorption, but it's unlikely to make a huge difference. We advise consumers to simply choose the shape they prefer.

A rough surface gives a salt lamp more total surface area, thereby maximizing the hygroscopic (water-absorbing) properties of the salt lamp.

Let's Talk Color

Most salt lamps are orange or pink. Orange lamps seem to be the most popular option, perhaps because of the warm hue they emit, which is similar to that of an open flame. With orange salt lamps, a darker shade may signify a higher-quality lamp. But sometimes it's hard to know exactly what shade your lamp will be when it arrives; each lamp is unique, so colors may vary slightly from what you see in a photo. Pink or peach salt lamps are also fairly common. Salt lamps of these hues may give off a slightly brighter light.

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For Dimmer Lighting, Select an Orange or Pink Salt Lamp

White Himalayan salt is rare but not entirely unheard of, so white salt lamps occasionally come on the market in specialist circles. However, many people prefer the more subdued light that comes from an orange or pink salt lamp.


How Much Should You Pay for a Salt Lamp?

The cost of a salt lamp varies from about $15 for a small, basic model to roughly $900 for a gigantic, 200-pound salt lamp.

That said, 12- to 15-pound salt lamps would be suitable for most living quarters. For a salt lamp of this size, you can expect to pay between $60 and $80.

A large salt lamp of 100 to 200 pounds would make a gorgeous feature piece in a bedroom or living room. These lamps are pricey, but many owners find the cost to be worth it.​

Salt Lamp Tips

The following tips will help you make the most of your salt lamp purchase.

  • Keep your salt lamp on for at least a few hours each day. If you live in a humid climate, consider keeping it on even longer. If a salt lamp is left off for too long, too much water may collect inside, and the surface could start to "sweat."
  • Clean your salt lamp carefully. First and foremost, you should unplug the salt lamp before cleaning it. Next, simply wipe it down with a damp (not wet) cloth.
  • Display your salt lamp. Not only are salt lamps thought to be beneficial, but they are also attractive. Consider placing your salt lamp somewhere prominent.

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Make Sure the Salt Lamp You Purchase Is Made from Himalayan Salt

Cheaper salt lamps are sometimes made from rock salt rather than Himalayan salt. If in doubt, check to see where the salt lamp's materials come from. If the salt is from Pakistan, it's genuine Himalayan salt.


FAQ

Q. Will a salt lamp improve my mood?
A. Orange light is known for its calming effect, so in that respect, a salt lamp might help to create a more relaxing environment at home. However, a salt lamp should not be relied upon to treat depression or other serious medical conditions. If you're suffering from depression or another condition that affects your mood, consult a licensed healthcare professional.

Q. What sort of bulb should I use in my salt lamp?
A. You can use almost any bulb in your salt lamp, but importantly, you should never place an LED bulb in your salt lamp. The reason: You need a heat-producing bulb to evaporate the trapped water from the salt crystal, and LED lights produce negligible amounts of heat.

Choose the wattage of the bulb in your salt lamp according to how bright or dim you'd like it to be.

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