The best salt lamp
Salt lamps are an attractive and soothing way to illuminate your space. While they likely won't serve as your sole source of light (unless you want it that way), their soft glow adds a relaxing touch to your room. Most salt lamps feature a dimmer to adjust brightness to your preference. Perhaps best of all, even when the salt lamp isn't turned on, its earthy elegance adds to the ambience.
To learn more about choosing a soothing new salt lamp, keep reading our buying guide. Our favorite model, Levoit's Elora Himalayan Salt Lamp, emits an amber glow and comes with spare 15-watt bulbs.
Considerations when choosing salt lamps
How it works
Salt lamps are large blocks of Himalayan salt that are hollowed out and placed on a light fixture. The fixture is essentially a disc-like base and a small incandescent bulb. Once on, salt lamps emit yellow, orange, and pink light, which mostly depends on the rock's color. The amount of light is controlled by a dimmer.
Salt lamps have grown in popularity given their therapeutic effects. They're often used as a holistic treatment for anxiety, depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and insomnia. While not entirely conclusive, some informal studies cite they're effective at absorbing allergens and can help relieve respiratory conditions.
Salt lamps are either natural or crafted. Natural salt lamps are the original block of salt and often have uneven, asymmetrical edges, making each lamp a one-of-a-kind piece. Crafted salt lamps are carved into specific shapes, particularly rectangles, globes, or eggs. They're a better pick if you're buying a pair and want to achieve a symmetrical look.
Expect to see salt lamps in pink, orange, white, or red. White lamps are brighter and a bit more expensive and emit a brighter, less therapeutic glow. Pink and orange salt lamps are the most popular, as they both produce a soothing, gentle glow. Red salt lamps have a bold curb appeal, but their light tends to be dark or dull, so they don't end up emitting much light at all.
Salt lamps are classified by their weight and range from five to fifty pounds. Small rooms do well with lamps less than 10 pounds, whereas you likely need a lamp closer to 15 pounds to illuminate a medium-size room. To light up a large space, expect to buy a lamp over 15 pounds.
For the safest salt lamp, choose one whose light fixture is UL-certified and has a protective base, such as a wooden platform. As far as changing the bulbs, examine the salt lamp to see what maneuvering is required. Those with clip systems are the easiest to change, while others are more complicated and may require pliers -- changing bulbs without breaking them is a bit of a challenge.
Salt lamps come with dimmer switches, making it easy to customize your illumination. Dial dimmers are most common in affordable models, and touch dimmers are more common in premium lamps.
Small salt lamps that weight up to three pounds cost between $15 and $35. Medium-size salt lamps weigh between eight and 11 pounds and tend to cost closer to $50. Large lamps are around 15 pounds and cost between $50 and $75. If you'd like something in the range of 30 to 50 pounds, expect to spend around $150 to $200.
Q. Can I use a salt lamp in my baby's nursery?
A. Yes, provided it's out of reach. The glow of a dimly-lit salt lamp can be soothing enough to lull your baby to sleep. Place it on top of a tall dresser so light can spread throughout the room.
Q. Are salt lamps toxic to pets?
A. Yes. Overexposure to salt atmospherically can be dangerous and even fatal. If pets accidentally lick the lamp, they can die from salt poisoning. It's recommended to restrict salt lamps to rooms where pets don't go, or not to keep them in homes with pets at all.
Salt lamps we recommend
Best of the best: Levoit's Elora Himalayan Salt Lamp
Our take: Modern spin on the earthy salt lamp with a metal base. Attractive and sleek dimmer control.
What we like: Elevated design. Radiating glow is soothing and users cite holistic benefits in treating insomnia and anxiety.
What we dislike: Some reliability issues with dimmer switch.
Best bang for your buck: Inviting Homes' Natural Himalayan Salt Lamp with Wooden Base
Our take: Midsize affordable salt lamp. Each lamp has slightly different detail and unique character.
What we like: Given the variety, each lamp is a one-of-a-kind. Glow is soft and inspiring. Comes with a 90-day guarantee.
What we dislike: Glow distribution can vary greatly and in some cases can be unevenly distributed throughout the lamp.
Our take: Real craftsmanship in this high-quality design. Premium choice for a salt lamp.
What we like: UL-classified dimmer switch and genuine neem wood base. Glow is relatively even.
What we dislike: Size and shape fell short of expectations for some.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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