Good To Glow: Do Salt Lamps Work?

Have I mentioned that one of my all time favorite books is Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano? It’s funny, easy to read, super informative, and ultra inspiring. I’ve followed tons of tips and tricks from my eco tome to make greening things up around our house a little easier. And one of the more unexpected mentions that grabbed my attention was a paragraph about salt lamps. Of course Sophie is honest and funny as she makes her case:

“Just to clear the ion thing up- negative ions are the ones we want around us. They give off a fresh, clean smell and charge the air with great energy. Consider getting a salt lamp. Okay, I know it sounds weird, but they are really pretty to look at. A salt lamp looks like a large glowing stone and is supposed to balance out the positive/negative ions so that you can maintain some kind of natural air quality. There have been scientific studies (I love scientific studies!) that demonstrate a salt lamp can increase the negative ion count by up to 300 percent. Some people put them by their televisions or computers. The bedroom will do for me.”

I had actually seen some at the state fair of all places a while back. And Sophie is right. They are pretty to look at! We’re always big fans of a natural object or five, and looks alone were reason enough to linger among the glowing amber stones lined up on wooden shelves at the fair. I was hypnotized, but John pointed out that carrying a big rock around wouldn’t exactly be convenient. So off we went to meet the goats and my love of salt lamps fell right out of my head.

Until Sophie’s mention of them…


That’s right, I fired up the ol’ laptop and hunted down the most affordable salt lamp I could find (those things can get pretty expensive if you’re not careful). And guess where it was from? Target! I made that gorgeous hunk of stone mine for just $19.99. Not bad for a 250 million year old natural salt crystal hand-chipped from the foothills of the Himalayan mountains.

And Target’s description also mentioned a few of the selling points that Sophie brought up: “acts as an air purifier,” “ideal for reducing stress,” and “releases negative ions into the air.” I don’t know if it’s all in my head, but I definitely feel more calm when my new salt lamp is on. It’s like lighting a candle except instead of flickering, it glows like a giant amber hunk of quartz. It’s sheer bliss I tell ya. And even when it’s not on, it’s definitely a gorgeous home accessory.


Here’s a shot of the whole media cabinet with my happy little salt lamp now living at the end. I figure since I spend 99% of my day in the den (where I work and also hang out with John when he gets home) it’s the best place to benefit from a little salt lamp therapy:


And I’m certainly crossing my fingers that its air-purifying effect will help with the impending allergy season (I get hammered for about two months and I’m hoping my new salt lick- er lamp- will soften the blow).

While we’re on the subject of allergies, do you guys have any helpful hints to share? I’ve heard everything from local honey (the theory is that bees work a bit of pollen into the honey which you eat and gain immunity) to stinging nettle supplements (which are said to act as a natural antihistamine). I’m someone who has dutifully tried Claritin and Allegra and have experienced zero relief from either of them, so I’m desperate!  Hook a soon-to-be-itchy-eyed-sniffly-nosed girl up.

Wanna learn more about everything from better air-quality to non-toxic makeup and hair dye? Check out “Gorgeously Green” and take notes all over the margins (my copy has more tabs than some of my old Domino magazines).


    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Ele,

      It’s a 26″ Magnavox (another Target find) that actually measures 32″ from end to end with the speakers. It’s the only TV in the house, and it’s a great size for our den since our sofa is only about 6 feet away. John also loves that he can actually watch TV while he whips up a meal in the kitchen thanks to our super wide doorway between the kitch and the den. Hope it helps!

      Oh and thanks for the Neti Pot suggestions! I actually already have one so I’ll just have to use it more often to hopefully reap the benefits!


  1. says

    That is so cool! I had never heard of what they did before, even though I’ve always seen them around. I’m definetly going to check this out.

  2. Emily says

    I second the Neti Pot idea. My husband and his family have horrible sinus problems and they all swear by it. I’ve even tried it a few times when I was congested and it does work wonders. We got one for my mother for Christmas.

    My suggestion is to avoid the saline packets that come with it and use a pinch of regular sea salt that you dissolve in warm water inside the pot. Just make sure you don’t use table salt. I’ve heard that is not a pleasant experience.

  3. Jessica says

    I’ve heard that acupuncture really works well for allergies, but I agree, the sinus rinse stuff that is like $2 at Target also helps.

  4. says

    Guess I’ve been hiding in a hole or something – I’ve never heard of a salt lamp before today! Yeesh. What’s funny is that my husband is was a geological engineering major, and he’d probably *love* a little halite hanging around (if it’s actually halite – dunno).

    I hear you on the allergies. The Black Locust pollen is what really gets me with *migraines* every spring. We’ve just moved into a new home and guess what? Yup – a big ole Black Locust tree right in the front yard. I’m bracing myself, too.

    Thanks for the tip on the lamps!!


  5. Bailey Baker says

    Your Salt Lamp idea is great. What better way to style in some decor as well. What size did you end up getting from target? I never realized there were so many options for Salt lamps. Target does seem to have it all! :)

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Bailey,

      We went with the medium size for $19.99. Here’s the link. Hope it helps!

      And thanks everyone for the allergy advice. Keep it comin’!


  6. says

    My husband and I have bad allergies, me in spring and he in summer/fall. We’ve found the best product that works for us that relieves symptoms without any drowsiness is Chlortabs. It’s made by Equate (Walmart’s store brand) and you can find it in the allergy section of any Walmart. It’s super cheap too, which is just an added bonus!

  7. says

    Allergy Queen here! Local Honey and Netti Pots never did anything at all for me. The one piece of advice that I have is that not all allergy meds are equal…Claritin is NOT equal to Allegra or Zyrtec at all. When I started getting allergy shots this year (the only thing that has worked thus far), I had to take TWO Claritin versus one Zyrtec. My allergist recommends the huge Costco bottle of Zyrtec supplemented by a nasal spray like Omnaris.

    I guess my best recommendation is to go see an allergist if you haven’t already to find out exactly what you’re allergic to–which will also help you be able to avoid or decrease exposure in the first place!

  8. says

    Local honey really does work. I live in Goochland and can find honey harvested a few a miles from my house at the farmer’s market. I have to eat it almost everyday to notice a change, but who doesn’t love honey? I also always wash my face (including eyelashes) and hair after I’ve been outside for awhile during the spring. That way I don’t wake up puffy the next morning from all the pollen I’ve breathed in during the night.

  9. Jen says

    I have seasonal allergies and suffered from recurring sinus infections. I was finally sent to see an ENT. He suggested Neil Med Sinus Rinse (and discontinuing the steroid nasal sprays). It’s available at most major drug stores. Basically, you use it to clean the allergens from your sinuses. The package design makes this easy to use. Nope, I’m not a PR person for the company. I have just been really happy with how much it helped my sinuses.

  10. heather s. says

    Oooh…I must get a lamp now. I saw that book at Anthropologie a while ago and promptly went home and read about it at She is also coming out with a new book: The Gorgeously Green Diet that I’m really excited to check out.

  11. says

    As a fellow sinus & allergy sufferer, I felt no relief until I moved from Indiana to Savannah, GA –near the ocean. It was wonderful!! Now we are back in the midwest, and every year just about to the day I get a sinus infection. (So I recommend trying to identify what plants, pollen, etc. are causing your allergies) As one who isn’t going to rush to the Dr. and request antibiotics, I try to stick it out for a couple weeks, only to have to go in and get antibiotics. Same date every year. I began using a neti pot–I was desperate to find anything that worked since the drugs didn’t. I have not had a sinus infection in 2 years, since i have started using it-knock on wood! It does not cure the itchy eyes, but it sure does help me breathe better and I am up for trying anything that prevent smy use of antibiotics!! Good luck!

  12. says

    Three words: prescription nasal spray. Esp. Veramyst. A couple squirts b/f bed (laying down for a few hrs makes it work better) and you will wonder how you got along w/out it. And it doesn’t make you all jumpy either.

  13. Kristen says

    Hi Sherry,

    I have terrible allergies like you and I have tried every medicine over the counter and through a prescription. The neti pot idea is just gross, in my opinion, so it’s not an option. I finally found something that worked…Alavert D 12 hour. It has stopped my allergies completely. We just got two kitties and even though I am horribly allergic to cats, I’ve had absolutely no problems at all. The stuff works like a charm!

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