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Salt Lamp vs. Diffuser: What’s the Difference? 

Salt Lamp vs. Diffuser: What’s the Difference? 

The aromatherapy world can be a little daunting. There are so many types of oils, oil accessories, and a seemingly infinite amount of opinions!

What brands do you trust? What types of oils are better than others? How do I even use my oils once I’ve received them?

While the beauty of essential oils is how versatile they are, using a diffuser is arguably the most popular way to enjoy essential oils. They are affordable, easy to use, and you can buy one almost anywhere now.

However, salt lamps also deserve some attention in the essential oils world! Beautifully shaped and naturally tinted, salt lamps offer a range of benefits and depending on the individual, might even be a better option than your typical humidifying diffuser.

Keep reading to decide which one would be your best oiling method!

What is a Salt Lamp?

What is a Salt Lamp

Much like the name implies, salt lamps are made out of a large chunk of salt — which is supposed to be authentic Himalayan salt. The middle of the salt is carved out and a light bulb is added, which is the ‘lamp’ part of the product.

How Does A Salt Lamp Work?

The bulb warms the salt and ‘activates’ it, allowing you to enjoy all of its benefits!

Using true Himilayan salt is essential for a ‘real’ salt lamp. The Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan extracts this salt, and it is argued that salt not coming from this mine or from the Himalayas in general will not provide any of the same benefits authentic salt lamps offer.

Who Is A Salt Lamp For?

One of the best parts about a salt lamp is how low maintenance it is, so it’s perfect for people on the go! Unlike a diffuser, a salt lamp only needs to be dabbed with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust or grime every so often. While some people choose to add essential oils on top of their lamp, you don’t even need to do that to enjoy the benefits of more negative ions.

Salt lamps would also be great for people interested in trying more alternative medicines. Although there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence to back them up, there are a plethora of positive anecdotal accounts.

They can’t hurt so if you’re curious — give one a go!

What is a Diffuser?

What is a Diffuser

A diffuser spreads mist or essential oil scent around a space. Humidifying diffusers, which are arguably the most popular of the diffusers, push out a blend of water and oil giving you the best of both worlds.

How Does A Diffuser Work?

Essential oil diffusers are very similar to normal humidifiers. They use vibrations to create ultrasonic waves that turn water and oil into a very fine mist that is then projected into a room.

There are also nebulizing diffusers that work without any water and provide a more concentrated mist. They are both similar in the way that they are electronic and propel particles of oil into the air.

Who Is A Diffuser For?

Any keen essential oil love should be using a diffuser. They are simple and effective ways of exploring which and how different oils benefit you and your family.

Anyone from novices to seasoned oil professionals should have a diffuser. They are especially great for those interested in playing around with their own blend recipes!

Salt Lamp vs Diffuser Comparison Chart

DiffuserSalt Lamp
Ease Of OperationEasyEasy
Key Features
  • Easily customizable with settings/oil choice
  • Sometimes remote controllable
  • Runs quietly
  • Aesthetically pleasing options
  • Affordable
  • Simple to set up
  • Timer options
  • Can run for long periods of time
  • As easy as using a lamp
  • Very low maintenance
  • Completely silent
  • Aesthetically pleasing options
  • Authentic Himalayan Salt
  • Variety of interesting designs
  • Safe to keep on all night
  • Water
  • Essential Oil/Fragrance Oil
  • Electricity
  • Made from plastic/wood/ceramic/ glass/metal
  • Authentic Himalayan Salt
  • Light bulb
  • Electricity
  • Made from salt with occasional wiring for decoration
AffordabilityWide Range of PricesCheap
SafetySafe as long as oil used is safe for pets/childrenNeeds to be kept away from pets
MaintenanceClean after every usePat with wet cloth when needed
Customer ReviewsGenerally Very SatisfiedGenerally Very Satisfied &

Very Occasional Faulty Wiring

1. Key Benefits

Salt Lamp

Key Benefits - Salt Lamps

There are quite a few benefits to salt lamps, although there is little science to support most of these claims. While we do think it’s important to go over the benefits of salt lamps, you should take all this information with a grain of salt.

Negative ions are said to have health benefits, and the fact that salt lamps release these ions is a big selling point for many salt lamp enthusiasts. These ions are supposed to make a space more zen and encourage positive and clean energy.

Like many other alternative health products, salt lamps are supposed to cleanse the air. The salt pulls in bacteria, toxins, allergens, and pollutants through water vapor particles then releases the clean water particles.

Salt lamps are also beneficial for your mood and sleep. This also has to do with the lamp releasing negative ions.

There have been a few studies on the effect of negative ions on the mind which concluded that symptoms of depression are slightly reduced when the patient is exposed to high amounts of negative ions.

Similar studies have been conducted on negative ions’ effect on asthma and allergies, although those were unsuccessful.

However, salt lamps will slightly diffuse essential oils poured on top of them, so they are a more subtle method of enjoying plant oils!


Key Benefits - Diffusers

Essential Oil diffusers can both fill your space with oils and add a bit of humidity to the air. Because they don’t use any heat, none of the beneficial qualities of the oils are going to be burned off.

Inhaling essential oils is one of the best ways to enjoy all of the natural benefits of plant oils.

There are quite a few essential oils that promote good sleeping habits like lavender, sage, and chamomile. Adding these to your diffuser at bedtime will let you slowly take in the oils without the scents being too overpowering.

Similar to promoting good sleep, a diffuser reduces anxiety, stress, and overall mood.

On a more practical note, diffusers can help get rid of tough odors. Because you can control the oil to water ratio, kicking out the smell of sweaty kids with some refreshing orange or lemon oil is a breeze!

Overall, diffusers are fantastic for almost all essential oil needs. They are easy to use and will let you enjoy the benefits of any oil in a matter of minutes.

2. Quality/Materials

Salt Lamp

Quality Materials - Salt Lamps

When looking for a salt lamp, never go with an LED bulb option. The whole reason the rock has a bulb in it in the first place is to gently warm the salt.

Warming the salt supposedly activates all of its benefits. While an LED light is practical around the house or in the garden because it never gets hot, it will only serve as a decorative light to your lamp.

There are a couple of things to look out for when buying a salt lamp…

Salt from the Khewra Salt Mine is either salmon-colored, pink, or off-white and is considered one of the best salt options for lamps on the market. Authentic salt lamps will give off a faint glow while inauthentic ones will produce a much more intense light and aren’t nearly as delicate as the real ones.


Quality Materials - Diffusers

One of the biggest complaints with diffusers is that low-quality ones will just suddenly stop working.

Diffusers are relatively simple machines, the vibrating plate at its base is the only moving part. If this breaks for whatever reason (like faulty wiring or just because it’s cheaply made), there is no way to continue using it.

Some diffusers may look really nice but will be poorly built. Our advice? Read as many reviews as you can! See if you can find ones that specify how long the customer has had it so you know you’re buying a product that will last.

3. Safety

Salt Lamp

Safety - Salt Lamps

The most serious safety concern with a salt lamp concerns your furry family members. Salt can be dangerous for animals if they ingest too much of it.

While some animals might have more of a sweet tooth, the risk of your pet enjoying licking your lamp too much is very possible and can result in salt toxicity. Symptoms of salt toxicity might look like vomiting, drowsiness, diarrhea, and in more serious cases, seizures and death.

Much like essential oils, your salt lamp should be kept out of reach from pets. These lamps can also get quite heavy so keeping them away from children’s curious hands is also important!

We recommend finding a strong, tall shelf for your lamp and making sure that its cord can’t be tugged on.

There have also been some issues with bad wiring in salt lamps.


Safety - Diffusers

It is imperative that you clean your diffuser regularly to avoid any mold or bacteria growth. Your diffuser should be rinsed out after every use and deep cleaned twice a month.

Neglecting to clean your diffuser regularly and properly has potential health risks. Mold and bacteria can cause respiratory issues and are especially toxic to children.

If you want to learn more about how to clean your diffuser, read our article How Often Should I Clean My Diffuser?

In addition to cleaning your diffuser, keep in mind that some essential oils can be toxic to animals and young children. Although do your research before diffusing a new oil in a public safe to keep all your loved ones safe!

4. Recommended Products

Salt Lamp

Natural Pink Salt Lamp

With over 15 thousands reviews, the Natural Pink Salt Lamp is the Rolls Royce of natural lamps. Its natural shape and wooden base make it ideal for anyone not looking to overpower their space with a flamboyant lamp.

This lamp only comes in at just over twelve dollars — so it’s also super budget-friendly!

Himilayan Salt Lamp Bowl

The Himalayan Salt Lamp Bowl is gorgeous. The salt is sourced from Pakistan and gives off a beautiful warm glow.

Unlike more traditional salt lamps, this lamp is made up of a salt bowl and is filled with chunks of salt. It’s also dimmable and weighs under ten pounds.

Himalayan Salt Lamp Basket

The Himalayan Salt Lamp Basket is another beautiful lamp option that shows off the variety of natural textures and tones of Himalayan pink salt. The salt chunks are nestled in a metal basket of your choosing (there are several options) that complement the mineral’s natural beauty.

This salt lamp basket also has a dimmer and gives off a gentle orange glow.


Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser and Essential Oil Set

Perfect for beginning oilers, the Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser and Essential Oil set comes with everything you need to start learning about what oils work for you. It also has over 32 thousand reviews — wow!

ASAKUKI Essential Oil Diffuser

The best part of the ASAKUKI diffuser is that it comes with a remote, so you can adjust its setting without getting up. It’s perfect for those nighttime diffuser sessions where you’ve had enough mist but you’re too comfortable to get out of bed.

This diffuser also comes with 14 different LED color options!

Original 2-in-1 Himalayan Salt Lamp & Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser 

Love salt lamps? Love diffuser? You are going to LOVE this 2-1 salt lamp and diffuser then. The bottom of the machine holds salt chunks while the top is a fully functioning ultrasonic diffuser.

This gorgeous contraception looks beautifully modern and is sure to entice any houseguest.

5. Customer Reviews

Salt Lamp

The biggest issue with salt lamps is occasional faulty wiring. Some customers have recounted stories of melting switches and potential fire hazards.

We always recommend reading reviews before purchasing anything – although usually, any faulty lamps are quickly discontinued. Overall, customers are always very pleased with the quality and look of their lamps and seem to enjoy the claimed benefits!


As mentioned previously, the most common customer complaint is a diffuser breaking after a short period of time. Having a reliable diffuser is incredibly important to a lot of customers and luckily for them, there are plenty on the market!

In general, people are quite happy with their diffuser purchases and usually recommend them to other prospective buyers.

Here’s The Deal…

Customer Reviews

If you love essential oils, you need to have a diffuser in your life. While salt lamps are beautiful and come with potential benefits, nothing replaces the healing mist of a diffuser.

At the end of the day though, salt lamps are as (or even more) beautiful as they are healing, so as long as you keep them away from your cat or dog, there’s no harm in having one around the house.

Are you a salt lamp person or a diffuser person? Let us know!

Happy Oiling!