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Updated May 2022
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Buying guide for best salt lamps

If you want to add an ambient glow to a room, a Himalayan salt lamp will achieve just that, casting a soft pink glow. In addition, you may be getting some health benefits. It’s claimed that the salt discharges negative ions that reduce stress, producing the same good feelings that you get at the beach, as well as easing sinus symptoms or headaches. Whether that’s true or not, there’s no doubt that the warm glow is pleasing and relaxing.

Himalayan salt lamps have a distinctive natural look, since they are hand harvested from the mineral-rich Khewra mine in Pakistan, where the distinctive pink colored salt is found. We looked at several different designs in various sizes, with options to fit any kind of décor and room, whether you are looking for a bold statement or an accent side lamp.

Whichever one you pick, make sure to only use the bulbs listed in the manufacturers’ directions, and be sure to follow the directions for length of usage.

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Salt lamps have been around since the 1980s, though they’ve become popular again in recent years for their reported health benefits.

What is a salt lamp?

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.

"Consult the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you use a bulb with the right wattage in your salt lamp.15"

What are the benefits of a salt lamp?

  • 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.

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Did you know?
In most cases, the darker the pink or orange color, the higher the salt lamp’s quality.

What to look for when buying a salt lamp


Salt lamps are usually available in two shapes: natural or crafted.

  • Natural

Natural salt lamps keep the natural shape of the block of salt. This gives them a rustic, uneven look that many people like.

  • Crafted

Crafted salt lamps are carved into distinct shapes, such as pyramids, bowls of fire, or balls.


Salt lamps typically come in four shades: white, pink, orange, or red.

  • White

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

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

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

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.


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.

Light fixture

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.

Dimmer switch

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.

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Expert Tip
The size of the salt lamp should correspond to the room it is in. The larger the room, the larger the lamp should be.

How much should you pay for a salt lamp?

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.

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For your safety
For safety reasons, purchase a salt lamp that’s certified by Underwriters Laboratory (UL), an independent safety-testing authority.

Salt lamp tips and tricks

  • 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.

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Keep salt lamps out of rooms with heavy moisture or humidity, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms.


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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