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Lamps made of sunset-hued Himalayan salt can add a pretty glow to any room in your home. But salt lamps are more than just decorative. Many people find that salt lamps have natural health benefits as well. Choosing the right salt lamp is key, though. First, it must be made of real Himalayan salt. You should also choose a lamp with the right color, shape, and size to complement your home’s decor. With so many of these popular lamps on the market, where do you begin?
Start here. At BestReviews, our goal is to help you make the best shopping decisions. We do the research, interview the experts, and survey real-life owners, in order to pass the info along to you. What we never do is accept free products or perks from manufacturers. So you can always trust that our reviews are 100% unbiased. If you’re ready to buy a salt lamp, take a look at the matrix above for our top five favorites. For an in-depth look at how to choose a salt lamp, just keep reading.
Salt lamps are made of solid blocks of Himalayan salt, which are hand carved into a variety of shapes. The center of the block is hollowed out, and a light bulb that produces both light and heat is placed inside.
When you plug in the lamp, it emits a soft glow that many people find calming. It won’t fully illuminate a room, but it does create a relaxing ambiance.
In terms of air purification, salt is hygroscopic. That means it absorbs moisture. A salt lamp draws in water molecules that contain indoor pollutants, such as bacteria, mold, and allergens. They then become trapped in the salt and are no longer in the air.
High-quality salt lamps are made of genuine Himalayan salt, mined as it has been for centuries in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Salt lamps can absorb pollutants from the air to help purify your home.
Some people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) find that salt lamps help boost their mood.
Because they can absorb allergens like dust, mold, mildew, and pet dander, salt lamps can help ease the symptoms of respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthma.
Positive ions are thought to deplete your energy. Salt lamps introduce negative ions into the air, which is thought to give you an energy boost.
Since positive ions are thought to cause irregular sleep patterns, keeping a salt lamp on your night stand may improve your sleep.
Salt lamps provide a soft light, so they work well as night-lights.
Consult the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you use a bulb with the right wattage in your salt lamp.15
Salt lamps are usually available in two shapes: natural or crafted.
Natural salt lamps keep the natural shape of the block of salt. This gives them a rustic, uneven look that many people like.
Crafted salt lamps are carved into distinct shapes, such as pyramids, bowls of fire, or balls.
Crafted salt lamps tend to be more expensive as it takes more time and machinery to produce them.
Salt lamps typically come in four shades: white, pink, orange, or red.
White salt lamps are rare, so they’re often expensive. The light they produce tends to be brighter, which can spoil the calming effect that salt lamps usually have. White lamps tend to be more brittle as well.
Pink salt lamps usually have white and peach tones in them. They are fairly durable and offer softer light, so they’re ideal if you want a soothing option.
Orange salt lamps are the most popular style. Their light isn’t too dark or too bright, and they provide a warm glow that can be relaxing. They’re also very durable.
Red salt lamps have a striking look, but they can be dark. The bulb is blocked by the dark hue, and many don’t emit much light at all.
In most cases, the darker the pink or orange color, the higher the salt lamp’s quality.
Salt lamps are sold by weight. In most cases, the heavier the lamp is, the larger it is. Heavier lamps tend to cost more as well.
Choose the size of a salt lamp based on the size of the room you plan to place it in.
For a small bedroom, a five- to seven-pound lamp works well. For a larger bedroom, a nine- to 11-pound model is a good choice. For a larger space like a living room, choose a 12- to 15-pound lamp. If you’re placing the lamp in a very large, open area, a 40- to 50-pound lamp is best.
The size of your salt lamp should correspond to the size of the room that it’s in. The larger the room, the larger the lamp should be.
Look for a salt lamp with a light fixture that’s certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent safety-testing authority.
It’s also a good idea to choose a model that comes with a protective base, which will keep the lamp from damaging the surface it sits on should the lamp produce any moisture.
Quality salt lamps have a clip or other system that holds the light bulb in place. Without this feature, it can be tricky to change the bulb because you’ll need pliers to get the fixture out of the lamp — which could break the bulb and loosen the wiring in the process.
The block of salt should be attached directly to the base, not just sit on it, to ensure the lamp’s stability.
A dimmer switch can be a convenient feature. It allows you to adjust the lamp’s brightness based on your mood.
Some lamps use a touch dimmer, so you only have to press the touch control to adjust the light.
Others use a rotary dimmer, which requires turning the dial to dim the lamp.
The light from salt lamps is soothing and thought to help boost mood and reduce stress.
Salt lamps vary in price based on their size, color, and fixture, but you can expect to pay between $17 and $170.
For a small, three- to six-pound lamp, you’ll pay between $17 and $34.
For a mid-size, eight- to 11-pound lamp, you’ll pay between $35 and $50.
For a large, 12- to 15-pound lamp, you’ll pay between $50 and $75.
For an extra-large, 30- to 50-pound lamp, you’ll pay between $100 and $170.
For safety reasons, purchase a salt lamp that’s certified by Underwriters Laboratory (UL), an independent safety-testing authority.
To clean your salt lamp, turn it off and wipe it down with a slightly dampened sponge. Avoid oversaturating the lamp with water, however.
If you don’t plan to use the lamp for a long period of time, unplug it and store it in a plastic bag. That will keep it from absorbing moisture, which won’t dry out with the light turned off.
A salt lamp usually doesn’t drip much water, but if you live in a very humid climate, put the lamp on a tray or dish to catch any moisture that may develop.
Because of the pollutants that they attract, salt lamps can produce a lot of dust. Wipe down the surface where you keep your lamp regularly.
Q. Are salt lamps safe?
A. If you choose a salt lamp that uses UL-approved parts, it will be as safe as any other lamp in your home. You should exercise the same safety precautions that you would with any light fixture to avoid the risk of fire.
Q. Are salt lamps hot to the touch?
A. The exterior of the lamp should never feel hot. It may feel slightly warm, but if it’s uncomfortable to keep your fingers on the salt, you may be using a bulb that’s too powerful.
Q. Do salt lamps shrink or lose their purifying effects over time?
A. No, a salt lamp doesn’t change in size or deplete. It will continue to absorb water molecules and pull pollutants out of the air indefinitely.
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At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.