What Do Salt Lamps Do? And Are There Any Benefits?

what is a salt lamp

There’s been a whole lotta fuss about these little pink lamps. (Haven’t you seen them popping up in your local decor shops and yoga studios?) So naturally, we decided to take a closer look.

First, what are salt lamps?

Quite literally, they’re crystallized chunks of pink salt from the Himalayan mountains (usually from Pakistan). And they’re hollowed out in the middle to make room for a heat lamp or light bulb.

What do salt lamps do?

They glow millennial pink. They make a boho decor statement and perhaps leave your guests wondering if you’re embarking on a mid-life spiritual journey. But most importantly, they claim to provide a slew of health benefits, including better sleep, higher serotonin levels (the “happy” brain chemical) and reduced coughing and asthma.

And there’s science behind that?

Technically, yes. First, they claim to purify the air. As a rule of thumb, water does go where salt goes—so it would make sense that these rock-salt lamps attract water vapor, and in doing so, suction the likes of dust and mold from the air like a lint trap. Second, they claim to contain negative ions (which a chunk of mountain would sensibly have). Our heavy use of electronics produces positive ions, and the negative ions in natural places are rumored to balance that, thereby creating a calming energy.

Do salt lamps work?

Bottom line: It would take a lot of salt to clear the air and a ton of negative ions to make a tangible difference. The micro doses these guys provide simply aren’t yet scientifically proven to have a major effect—but that’s not to say it’s impossible.

So should I get one?

So long as you dig the look from a decor perspective and take the health benefits with a grain of (erm) salt, there’s no reason you can’t (ahem) warm up to one. (OK, we’ll stop with the lamp puns.) We like this one from Amazon ($20).

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Grace Beuley Hunt

Home Editor

From 2014-2019 Grace Beuley Hunt held the role of Home Editor covering interior design, styling, trends and more.
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