Health Benefits of a Himalayan Salt Lamp and Everything Else You Need to Know

What? Get a salt lamp? What’s that? That’s the immediate reaction I had when I told my friend that I’m getting a salt lamp for my home. 

Well, a salt lamp, or more accurately a Himalayan salt lamp is a wellness product and decorative lamp for the home or office. It has a small bulb inside solid pieces of salt or large salt crystals, and they usually give out a warm and orangy-red glow in your room.

Genuine Himalayan salt lamps are made from pure, food grade Himalayan salt crystals harvested directly from the Khewra salt mine of the Himalayan mountains in the Punjab region of Pakistan, a range that stretches around 1,500 miles across Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal and India. Salt sourced from here are believed to be millions of years old, and contains rich minerals such as magnesium, potassium and zinc that gives it its signature pink, reddish, or off-white colours. While regular table salt is primarily sodium chloride, Himalayan salt is about 98% sodium chloride with the rest made up of those minerals. 

How Does A Himalayan Salt Lamp Work? 

Nonetheless, each lamp emits a warm light with an orangy-red or pink glow when lit, and can add a warm touch to your living space. Himalayan salt lamps are valued because of the ambience they created at home, while others purchase them for their supposed health benefits. 

The pink salt is said to release negative ions into the air and remove dust particles, thus improving your home’s air quality. Salt lamps are “natural ionizers”, changing the electrical charge of the circulating air, supposedly making it better. Ions, with an unbalanced amount of protons or electrons, are produced naturally in the air when alterations occur in the air, such as waterfalls, waves, storms, natural radioactivity and heat. Air ions such as these can also be made artificially with commercial air ionizers such as a salt lamp, which may produce ions by attracting water particles that evaporate off as a salt solution when heated by the lamp, forming mostly negative ions, though this theory has not been fully tested to be accurate.

Some users have commented that they feel more refreshed and clear-headed after a storm, a feeling that many have attributed to the amount of negative ions in the air. Sellers of these decorative pieces have made various claims, such as the lamps helping to boost your mood, improving sleep, easing allergies or cleaning and purifying the air, among other benefits. Impressive claims, but as mentioned above, there are little scientific evidence to back up these claims. So those who believe in the health benefits of salt lamps mostly credit those negative ions in them. But as of the date of this article, it is still unclear whether salt lamps produce any or enough ions to be beneficial to health. 

Alleged Benefits

Thus far, there are no major studies to support the alleged health benefits of this decorative device. Other articles and researchers have questioned whether the health claims have any merit at all. However, there is one study by the US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health, that seems to suggest that negative ions can help decrease depression. This, and many other alleged benefits of the salt lamp has boosted its demand in the last few years. 

(1) They Cleanse and Improve Air Quality

Due to it being a “natural ionizer”, a salt lamp is said to improve the air quality of your house. Many health practitioners believe strongly that it can help alleviate symptoms of allergies and more specifically, it can help people with asthma, cystic fibrosis or diseases of the respiratory system. 

Such a lamp supposedly helps to cleanse the air through hygroscopy, which attracts and absorbs contaminated water molecules from the air and locks them into the salt crystals. This process removes smoke, dust and other pollutants from the air, hence purifying the environment. 

But till today, there is no scientific evidence that using this ionizer lamp can actually remove such harmful particles at home. Tests on air ionizers too have not yet been shown to benefit people with allergies. 

(2) They Can Boost Your Mood

Some health practitioners believe that using a salt lamp can help boost your mood. Though one study in 2010 on animals have shown that exposure to high levels of negative ions in the air may improve their levels of serotonin, a chemical involved in regulating mood, it has not yet been proven in humans. Despite that, some researchers did find that depressed people, when exposed to very high levels of negative ions, did report some mood improvements, although it could not be directly linked to the ions. It must also be noted that a salt lamp cannot provide you the same level of negative ions like these research studies. 

(3) They Can Help You Sleep

Studies have not yet researched extensively on the effects of Himalayan salt lamps on sleep but over exposure to positive ions reduces the brain’s blood and oxygen supply, leading to irregular sleep. The negative ions from a salt lamp is supposed to reverse this effect, making them a popular choice for helping people with sleeping problems. 

But most reviews of the effects of air ionization on relaxation and sleep did not yield any evidence of such benefits. Even if your lamp does affect the air, it is unclear whether it does have an effect on sleep patterns, though of course, you can assume that the low, warm glow of the salt lamp may help promote sleep as compared to being exposed to bright lights before sleep. 

(4) They Can Help Balance Electromagnetic Radiation

A salt lamp is supposed to be able to emit negative ions to cancel out the harmful and positive ions that are produced by everyday appliances such as mobile phones, computers, tablets and televisions. These positive ions that are released into the air daily can cause an overflow of electromagnetic radiation which can cause serious, long-term health issues. By neutralizing these electromagnetic radiation, a Himalayan salt lamp helps to reduce the effects of such positive ions buildup. 

Although some of the health claims are not supported by science, a Himalayan salt lamp may have other benefits. These include:

  • It acts as a great low-light, night lamp.
  • It can be an attractive addition to your home.
  • It creates a nice ambience and a relaxing atmosphere that helps you unwind at the end of the day.
  • Its dim, warm orange light may help you sleep faster. 

How to Choose a Salt Lamp That Suits You

Purchasing a Himalayan salt lamp for your living space is a great idea due to its supposed benefits, though choosing one can be confusing. With so many different types of salt lamps on the market, how can you choose one that’s suitable for you? Here are some guidelines. 

(1) Colour

Salt lamps that are darker in colour are usually of higher quality. Do make sure that the salt lamp that you are thinking of purchasing is made of 100% Himalayan salt, as there are many cheap imitations out there using lower quality salt. For example, the genuine ones often give off a dim light, while the fake ones have a much brighter glow.

(2) Size

The bigger the salt lamp, the bigger its effect. Larger lamps can weigh up to 50 lbs, while there are smaller ones at 5 to 6 lbs, which are less expensive and you can use them in smaller areas. 

(3) Surface Area 

The surface area of a salt lamp determines its hygroscopic potential. Usually, salt lamps with a rougher surface have a higher surface area than smooth and polished lamps, and are more effective at improving the air quality. 

(4) Bulb 

Because the hygroscopic effects of the salt lamp are due to the salt and heat mixing together, it is vital to use a heat-producing bulb and not an LED bulb. 

Which One Should You Buy?

There are many choices of salt lamps out there, and most of them are between $20 – $40 a piece. Our team searched the world wide web to find some of the best selections for you below and curate them at our specialty shop. Have a look below.

(1) USB Crystal Light Natural Himalayan Salt Lamp

This is one of our best selling salt lamps here, and it has a great ability to purify the air and remove smoke and foul smells in the air. For families who have kids suffering from allergies, asthma or other lung diseases, this is an excellent device to improve their immune systems.

Himalayan salt lamp

With a warm and soothing light, it can also relieve eye fatigue and help you relax and de-stress at the end of the day. Great as a decorative piece in the office or at home, and it’s functional too!

This unique piece of salt lamp comes with 5 changing colours, perfect for changing the ambience of your environment however you want it.

(2) Wall Mount Himalayan Salt Lamp

This wall mount Himalayan natural salt lamp can be great as a centrepiece on the wall in your bedroom, office, spa, yoga studio or restaurant. Made from natural, genuine Himalayan salt crystals, each lamp is hand-crafted to perfection and is great as a gift for anyone! 

With the crystal salts releasing negative ions, absorbing dust and impurities from your surroundings, you and your family will encounter less breathing problems, reduce allergy and cold symptoms.

Feeling stressed? Plug your salt lamp into a wall socket, switch it on and let its unique lighting enhance your ambience, ease your mind and totally relax you. Click here to purchase it now!

(3) Wooden Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp

This wood-based rock salt lamp comes with extremely high-grade crystal salts from the Himalayas, and when lit, radiates a warm, amber glow that provides a calming atmosphere to help you relax instantly and sleep better. Its wood base is naturally anti-bacterial, and also comes pre-installed with a 15-watt light bulb and a 6-ft power cord.

It is very versatile and can be plugged into any device with a standard USB output, including computers, laptops, speakers and other power adapters. There’s also a touch button that allows you to tap and hold to easily adjust the brightness. 

Handcrafted and with multi-colour changing ability from orange, blue, pink, red, green to purple, this salt lamp is great as a night or decorative light as its soft glow creates a relaxing atmosphere that is perfect for mood lighting. A perfect gift choice for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, graduations or thank you occasions and particularly suitable for kids and the elderly, people who sit down for a long time, uses the computer frequently or suffer from allergies.

There is still little evidence behind the health claims related to Himalayan salt lamps. Of course, a small amount of pollutants in the air might stick to these pieces, but they do not have the filtering ability that’s comparable to commercial air filters yet. And while they may produce some negative ions, it will be better to use another device such as a negative ion generator for this purpose. However, it is definitely an attractive addition to your room as it helps to create a relaxing atmosphere.

Not convinced of the health benefits of a salt lamp? How about trying some essential oils then?