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It seems like Himalayan salt lamps are everywhere from yoga studios to doctors’ offices. We personally use a Himalayan salt lamp in our daughter’s room due to it’s soft, warm glow. I have seen them sold in health stores with claims that they can improve your health. So, I was wondering if the alleged benefits of Himalayan salt lamps are really true. Here’s what the research says!
TIP: If you’re looking for a high-quality salt lamp for your home (and don’t care about the science), this is the one we use and love it.
What is a Himalayan Salt Lamp?
Himalayan salt lamps are made from salt mined from the Himalayan Mountains in Pakistan. They are lit from the inside with a bulb and give off a soft, amber glow.
Many believe that Himalayan salt lamps have many health benefits and place them in every room of their home. Some of the claimed Himalayan salt lamp benefits include purifying the air and releasing negative ions into the air, thereby increasing energy levels, alleviating allergy symptoms, and boosting your mood.
They do look really nice and I love the relaxing glow, but is there really science that backs up these health claims?
Do Himalayan Salt Lamps Purify the Air?
Himalayan salt lamps are thought to purify the air because of their ability to absorb water molecules from the air. The theory is that any airborne pollutants, such as dust and pollen, present in the water molecules will be trapped on the surface of the salt lamp.
However, salt quickly becomes saturated with water molecules and stops absorbing water from the air. Even though it is heated by the lightbulb, there is no evidence that salt lamps get hot enough to dry out and absorb a significant amount of water from the air.
So, unfortunately, a Himalayan salt lamp does not purify the air in your home.
Tips for cleaner air in your home:
- Houseplants are a great way to naturally improve the quality of the air in your home.
- Use natural cleaning products to eliminate toxic air pollutants found in commercial cleaning products.
- Invest in an air purifier (Amazon link) that can remove indoor contaminants like dust, mold spores, and allergens.
Find out more about switching to natural cleaning products:
Do Himalayan Salt Lamps Release Negative Ions Into the Air?
Another commonly reported benefit of Himalayan salt lamps is their ability to release negative ions into the air.
Negative ions are odorless, invisible molecules that are present in certain environments, such as mountains, waterfalls, and beaches. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin.
Yet, the research shows that the amount of negative ions released by Himalayan salt lamps is so low that they are barely measurable.
According to the Columbia University Medical Center: “It would take a Himalayan salt lamp a hundred years to even come close to what an ion machine could generate in an hour.” (source).
So, unfortunately, your Himalayan salt lamp is not going to give you a mood boost from its negative ions.
The bests ways to naturally benefit from negative ions:
- Visit a waterfall, creek, riverbank, or beach.
- Sit beside a decorative water fountain, often found at parks, shopping areas, etc.
The True Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps
Salt lamps may not purify the air or create negative ions, but we have them in our home for these reasons:
1. The Perfect Night Light
We love to use a Himalayan salt lamp in our daughter’s room because amber light is less disruptive to sleep than blue light from regular lamps.
It works great as a bedside reading light. It’s also great for people that are up frequently at night, like nursing moms.
2. Great for Adding a Relaxing Energy to the Room
Himalayan salt lamps add a soft, warm glow to the room, which is very soothing and relaxing. This is why you will often see them in yoga studios and spas.
How To Choose a High-Quality Himalayan Salt Lamp
There are a variety of decorative Himalayan salt lamps from the original solid salt lamp to carved lamps to baskets and bowls.
These are a few things to check before purchasing to make sure you are getting a high-quality lamp:
- Darker color lamps are typically of higher quality.
- Lamps should specify that they are 100% Himalayan salt.
- Make sure your lamp cord has a dimmer switch if you are going to use it as a nightlight.
Himalayan Salt Lamp Tips
To clean your Himalayan salt lamp, simply turn it off and wipe with a damp cloth. Just wait for it to dry and switch it back on. Never submerge your lamp in water.
The salt from our lamp sometimes flakes off, so we just placed a small piece of felt underneath the lamp to keep it from sliding and to catch the flakes.
There is no research to show that Himalayan salt lamps will improve your air quality or emit negative ions. Yet, they emit a nice warm, amber glow that is perfect for improving your sleep and creating a relaxing and comforting home.
Do you have a Himalayan salt lamp in your home? Let me know why you love it in the comments!