Himalayan Salt Lamp

Choosing the Right Salt Lamp

Choosing the Right Salt Lamp

By Sophia Harmes

Millions of years ago, the Primal Sea begin to evaporate.  As evaporation occurred, the salt content within the water began to settle on the ground in layers.  Other sediments such as calcium potassium and gypsum mixed with the sodium chloride (salt).  The sediment of the dried-up Primal Sea was compressed over millions of years by the pressure of all the land masses that developed on top of it.  As a result of the enormous pressure of the great Himalayan Mountains, for approximately 250 million years, the salt took on a crystalline form.  

The salt crystal rocks that are the Himalayan salt lamps are either mined 5,000 feet below the Himalayan Mountain Range or are surface mined from the top most layers of the Himalayan Mountain Range. Unfortunately, the top layers do not contain the variety of minerals and elements as the salt crystal rocks from subsurface mining.  Surface mined Himalayan salt contains impurities and is usually sold at a cheaper price.  Surface mined Himalayan salt tends to be lighter in color whereas the subsurface mined Himalayan salt crystal rock is more vibrant in pink, orange and red colors.

Subsurface mined Himalayan salt contains 84 different naturally occurring minerals and elements that provide health benefits.  These salt crystal rocks are over 99% pure.  This level of purity makes it ideal for using salt crystal rocks in ionization to purify the air.  Therefore, Himalayan Salt Lamps have grown in popularity.

Since Himalayan salt crystal rocks have undergone greater pressure than the surface mined salt it is more balanced and the state of the crystalline structure within it is more ordered. The highest quality Himalayan salt lamps come from the Khewra salt mine in Pakistan.  

How do they work?

A Himalayan salt lamp is a piece of Himalayan rock salt that the core has been drilled out to insert a 15- or 25-watt light bulb.

The heat from the light bulb heats up the Himalayan salt crystal rock, Photo 2.  As the lamp warms negative ions are released into the air.  This is significant because negative ions possess health boosting effects.


Negative ions remove dust, pollen, and bacteria through the hygroscopic process.  Hygroscopic means the ability to naturally attract water, which authentic Himalayan salt lamps possess.  The lamp may begin to sweat as it works to remove excess moisture, Photo 1.  Since it is hygroscopic it will absorb water molecules from the air therefore, it will also attract dirt, dust, pollen, and smoke particles, which become trapped in the water vapor.  Once locked in the salt, clean water is released, pollutants have been absorbed and purification of the air has occurred. Thus, negative ions help alleviate indoor pollutants.  Other pollutants that are removed include mildew, humidity and electromagnetic radiation we absorb from our electronic devices. 

Negative ions are colorless and tasteless, but they are abundant in nature.  They are naturally occurring in mountains, beaches and waterfalls.  When negative ions are absorbed by the body there is a sense of calm and well-being.  This is why people like to spend leisure time at the mountains and at the beaches.

Health benefits

Himalayan rock salt has antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties.  The negative ions from Himalayan salt lamps encourage proper pH levels and normal pH balance, restoring the alkalinity and electrolyte balance of the body.  In the process it also strengthens metabolism and the immune system. They also help to reduce airborne pathogens like viruses, bacteria and mold. 

Himalayan rock salt lamps assist in removing electromagnetic radiation and their negative effects on the human body.  Long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation can lead to chronic fatigue, increased stress levels, and a reduction in the body's immune response. Therefore, the release of negative ions from the Himalayan salt lamp can help to reduce the effects of electromagnetic radiation within the body. 

in addition to reducing electromagnetic radiation, other benefits of Himalayan salt lamps include: air purification and the removal of pollutants as mentioned above.  People suffering from bronchitis, asthma, and other respiratory issues benefit from breathing in the air from the Himalayan salt lamp resulting in the reduction in the symptoms associated with asthma and allergies.  Due to the filtering of microscopic mold, mildew, dust, and pet dander particles, people have reported that their allergy symptoms have been reduced tremendously since obtaining an authentic Himalayan salt lamp. 

The release of negative ions from an authentic Himalayan salt lamp have also been shown to increase cilia activity.  Cilia are the microscopic hairs that line the windpipe. This means that cleaner air can get into your lungs as the cilia act to filter foreign particles from entering your lungs.

Research regarding negative air ionization has shown that negative ions lower depression at high exposure levels.  Putting a Himalayan salt lamp at your desk at work has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and improve overall performance.  Studies have shown that people who suffer from the seasonal depression during winter months may benefit from a Himalayan salt lamp as the lamp has been reported to boost serotonin production.

Lamp Size Matters

Himalayan salt crystal lamps come in a variety of shapes, sizes and weights.  Natural shaped lamps are generally cheaper than those that have been carved or machine shaped.  Lamps that contain salt balls or smaller salt rocks can be used for massaging or holding in the hands for arthritis or to remove toxins when sick.  If you are purchasing a Himalayan salt lamp for its health benefits you should pay attention to the size of your room and the size of the lamp. 

Generally, the larger the room area, the larger the Himalayan salt lamp will be needed to acquire the maximum benefits.  Your choice is to either purchase a large enough Himalayan salt lamp for the size of that room or purchase several smaller Himalayan salt lamps that would together accumulate to the size of the Himalayan salt lamp needed for ionization of that area. For example, for a 20 x 20 square foot room you would need to have a 30 to 40 lb. salt lamp.   Instead of buying the larger salt lamp, you could purchase 3 or 4 10 lb. salt lamps. Some people choose to purchase a combination of salt lamps so that they can do a visual presentation of salt lamps in the room that they are ionizing.

Purchasing your Himalayan Salt Lamp – Real? or Fake?

If you are purchasing a Himalayan salt lamp because you like it then the following information is not that important.  But, if you want to receive the health benefits associated with a Himalayan salt lamp you need to pay attention to the following information.  When you are choosing a Himalayan salt lamp you want to choose one that has been manufactured with the highest quality parts and components available. 

Not all salt lamps are authentic salt lamps. If the salt lamp that you purchase is of an extremely low price it is more than likely that you have not purchased an authentic Himalayan salt lamp.  You will make a significant purchase for an authentic Himalayan salt lamp.   It is reasonable to pay $30.00 to purchase a quality Himalayan salt lamp that will last a lifetime.  Remember you get what you pay for!  With that being said, let’s take a look at the differences between a real and authentic Himalayan salt lamp and its fake counterparts. 

Some imitation salt lamps are made with inferior parts and components. They could consist of plastic parts instead of a stable wood base, Photo 2, or onyx base.  Some may just have rubber feet glued to the bottom of the salt rock itself.  Some salt lamps are just a one-piece unit.  Therefore, if the bulb burns out you must throw the entire salt lamp out because you cannot change the bulb. You also will see that fake salt lamps tend to be lighter in appearance and of course the price will be very cheap.  The cords to any salt lamp that you purchase should be UL-listed cords.  Cords that are not UL listed are considered a fire hazard.

Authentic Himalayan salt lamps are fragile.  If you do not see any chipping or flaking of Himalayan salt from your salt lamp when you remove its packaging it is probably not real.  If the salt lamp is very, very strong it is most likely a fake.  Fake salt lamps do not emit a warm glow.  A salt lamp that will light up the entire room like a regular light is not a Himalayan salt lamp, it is a fake. If your salt lamp is ‘made in the USA’ and not imported from the Khewra salt Mines in Pakistan, it is a fake.  If you purchase a completely white salt lamp at a very cheap price, chances are it may be fake. Pure White Himalayan salt lamps are rare to find and therefore they will be more expensive so for an 8-inch white Himalayan salt lamp it is approximately $30 and for a 10-inch it is approximately $60.  If you have never experienced weeping from your salt lamp, as Photo 1 shows, it is a fake.  Retailers of fake Himalayan salt lamps will not have a return policy.  Finally, if you feel after several weeks that you are not noticing any expected benefits from your Himalayan salt lamp, it is likely that it is a fake.

Caring for your Himalayan salt lamp

An authentic Himalayan salt lamp should be left on for a minimum of 16 hours a day. The preference is to leave it on for 24 hours a day.  This way you can benefit from all your salt lamp has to offer.  Electricity costs amount to approximately $10 a year for a salt lamp with a 15-watt bulb that remains turned on all day long. 

If you go on vacation or if you are not using your lamp, wrap it in a plastic bag or glad wrap.  Remember to first unplug the lamp and remove the light bulb and cord before wrapping in plastic.

It is safe to wipe your salt lamp with a damp cloth but be careful that the cloth is not too damp as excess water will dissolve the salt.  Always place your salt lamp on a plate or some type of protection to shield your furniture from the sweating which is natural for an authentic Himalayan salt lamp. 


Authentic Himalayan salt lamps are a great addition to your home décor.  And they are so easy to take care of!  Just plug them in and turn them on.  If you have not made the commitment to purchase one yet, the information provided in this article can steer you in the right direction to purchasing an Authentic Himalayan salt lamp.  Adore their beauty and calmness while reaping their associated health benefits. Treating your Himalayan salt lamp as a piece of furniture like any other lamp will provide benefits of health and wellness for years to come.  Enjoy!


11 Himalayan Pink Rock Salt Lamp Health Benefits,


Don’t Make These Mistakes When Buying a Salt Lamp,


FAQ & CARE, https://yoursaltlamps.com/wp1/salt-lamp-faq-care/

Himalayan Pink Salt Nutrition Facts, 

http://himalayanpinksaltbenifits.blogspot.com/2015/09/himalayan-pink-salt-nutrition-facts.html, 30 September 2015.

How long can those Himalayan salt crystal lamps be on for?  https://www.quora.com/How-long-can-those-Himalayan-salt-crystal-lamps-be-on-for, 8 June 2017.

How to Care for Himalayan Salt Lamps,


Natural Cut Himalayan Salt Lamps,


Salt Lamp Benefits, https://yoursaltlamps.com/wp1/salt-lamp-benefits/

Salt Lamp Buying Guide, https://yoursaltlamps.com/wp1/salt-lamp-buying-guide/

Originally Published:  Therapeutic Thymes Magazine.  Winter 2018.  Issue 9. therapeuticthymes.com


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