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Looking to relax in the calming retro glow of a new lava lamp? These classic products were a total hit in the 60s but are still popular in modern times. The gentle flow of illuminated, melted wax is incredibly soothing. With so many to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which is the best one for your home. Read our in-depth reviews and buyer’s guide for some help.
How We Compared Lava Lamps
To find the right lava lamps, we considered multiple factors, including:
- Colour Choice
- Heat-up Time
- Energy Efficiency
Our team planned comparison points and specifically looked for products that would cater to all kinds of needs. We spent countless hours researching, consulting customer reviews and comparing features to come up with this list.
Lava Lamps Reviews
Our favourite and Editor’s Choice is this classic lava lamp. This model will make an excellent selection for any home, thanks to its cosmic-coloured design and retro looks.
This lamp, which stands at 17 inches, will be a beautiful focal point in your living room or bedroom. The blue and purple lava flows elegantly around the globe for a hypnotising and relaxing effect. A soft glow 25-watt bulb comes included, so you can begin enjoying it right out of the box.
Aside from the beautiful flowing wax inside, the lamp’s exterior cap and base are dipped in a ceramic glaze. This pattern has a gradient of purple and green, which appears celestial for an eye-catching look.
- Classic design
- Ceramic glaze
- 25-watt bulb included
- Relaxing blue and purple colour
- It may take some time to heat up at first use
- The globe may wobble in the base
If you’re looking for a stand-out option, check out our Luxury Choice. Designed by the original inventor of lava lamps in 1963, it combines an attractive look and top workmanship that the whole family can enjoy.
The Mathmos features a bright silver cap and base made from specially hand-spun aluminium for a high-shine look. The red and violet lava wax is illuminated by a long-life halogen light bulb, guaranteed to last at least one year before needing replacement.
Once melted by the heat, the lava flows gently around the glass globe, creating a mesmerising and calming effect. Each bottle is filled by hand in the Mathmos factory with top-quality, clear and bright liquids, ensuring longevity. It also heats up quickly, around 1-3 hours, depending on the ambient temperature of your room.
- Designed by the original inventor of lava lamps
- Hand-spun aluminium base and cap
- Long-life halogen bulb
- Uses top-quality fluids
- Some users have complained of bubbles within the glass
- The bulb could be a little brighter
Next on our list is our best value pick. It is a great choice if you’re looking for a sleek lava lamp with a retro feel.
This option, standing at 16 inches tall, is an excellent feature in any room. The glass globe has an extra elongated shape, resulting in a beautiful narrow point at the top. The base and cap are crafted from high-shine aluminium, giving the product a high-quality feel.
The lava globe is filled with a glittery blue liquid and wax. The combination of the blue colour, silver shimmer effect and soft glow light creates a peaceful atmosphere. Plus, it is rated D for energy efficiency and comes with an incandescent 30-watt bulb, so you can use it immediately.
- Attractive elongated shape
- Relaxing blue wax and silver glitter
- Includes 30-watt bulb
- Beautiful aluminium cap and base
- It can become murky if knocked over
- The base could feel more sturdy
If you want to have a large selection of lamp colours, you should check out this model. Available in four unique hues, it is sure to have something to suit your needs.
All options showcase a stunning contrast of vibrant shades, bringing a bright retro feel to your home. Some colour choices also have patterned caps and bases to stand out even more.
At 14.5 inches tall, this option is also a great size for most rooms. The aluminium hand-spun base is durable and has an attractive shine to it. Once the wax melts and starts to flow, the blend of colours will create a calming atmosphere to help you relax. It comes with a 25-watt reflector bulb as standard for a hassle-free set-up.
- Generous choice of colours
- Hand-spun aluminium base and cap
- Comes with bulb included
- 14.5-inch height suits most rooms
- It can take up to 6 hours to warm up
- The included bulb may not last very long
Looking for a lava lamp that’s a little more subtle? Our best small pick could be just what you need. This compact model is classic and attractive without taking up too much space.
It is filled with blue liquid and wax, so it doesn’t boast the contrasting colours of other options. Its understated appearance and soft light create a very soothing atmosphere ideal for bedrooms.
Mains operated, this lamp is simple to use and takes around 2-3 hours to warm up. The glass globe is easy to clean, while the plastic base and cap make it more lightweight than aluminium models.
- Compact design
- Soothing colours
- Simple to operate
- Great for bedrooms
- Bits of wax may get stuck at the top
- The mono-colour design might be too simple for some
Our next pick wins the best design award for its innovative shape. Unlike other lava lamps, this one is cylindrical, which makes it a unique option for your home.
Coming in an anodised black aluminium finish, the Nova has a contemporary look that will draw guests’ attention. It stands at around 38 cm tall and is filled with blue liquid and white wax. As the wax starts to flow, it is softly illuminated from beneath for a superb modern feel.
It would suit any room but is perfect for living rooms or offices. The colour combination is very relaxing. It takes only three hours to heat up at first use. After this, the lava can flow less than two hours after switching it on – ideal if you want to show it off to unexpected visitors.
- Unique, modern design
- Anodised black aluminium finish
- Fast heat up
- Attractive contrasting colours
- The bulb may not last very long
- It may be too tall for some shelves
This product could be just what you need if you’re on the hunt for a low-voltage lava lamp. Featuring an unusual design, it has a floating globe and curved back plate. The globe sits above the metal base for an elegant look, making it a great feature in any room.
The Mathmos Neo lava lamp was created by the company which initially designed these unique items, so you can be sure it is of high quality. This low voltage choice heats up in 3 hours and is built with the safety of children in mind. It has a shatterproof glass globe and can be secured to a surface to prevent it from falling over. This makes it a fantastic gift for kids or adults.
Furthermore, this lamp has a built-in reflector, so the heat from the bulb is directed away from the aluminium outer. This feature keeps it from getting hot to the touch during use. At energy class B, it is perfect if you want to enjoy a relaxing lava lamp while saving on your power bills.
- Unique, elegant design
- Shatterproof glass
- Low voltage
- It can be secured to any surface
- It doesn’t get hot during use
- The plastic coating may be prone to scratches
- It may take some time to get going
How to Choose a Lava Lamp
Before ordering your new lava lamp, spend a few minutes reading through our in-depth buyer’s guide. Here are the most important features to keep in mind when making your choice.
It’s essential to think about the size and height of your lava lamp when shopping. Ask yourself where you would like to place it and whether it will fit comfortably in that location.
Lava lamps are always taller than they are wide, so height is the most crucial consideration, especially if you’re planning to display it on a shelf unit, for example.
Lava lamps are known for their nostalgic, retro styling. However, there are more modern and unique options on the market today, too. The right pick for you will depend on your taste. Do you want a classic mesmerising lava lamp from the 70s? Or would you gravitate towards an unusual one packed with silver and glitter?
Having a wide range of colours to choose from is beneficial when selecting a lava lamp. Blue and purple hues are the most relaxing pick, which is great for bedrooms. On the other hand, bright reds, yellows, greens and pinks are a good option as a feature for living areas.
Heat-up time is another important factor when selecting a lava lamp. Once you have set it up out of the packaging, how long can you expect to wait before the lava starts to flow?
This timeframe depends on several factors, from build quality and voltage to the type of bulbs and coils used in the product. Most models should be fully heated and working as expected within three hours for the first use. However, some may take a little longer to get going.
If you want to manage your household bills and protect the environment, remember to check the energy efficiency before purchasing yours.
Electrical products are tested to determine how much energy they consume during expected use. They are then rated on a scale from “A” to “G”, dependent on how efficiently they perform.
Anything from “C” and up is a good choice if you are energy-conscious.
Our Editor’s Choice is the LAVA 17-inch Ceramic Dip Glaze lamp. This model caught our eye with its beautiful celestial looks, dip-glazed base, and cap. The globe’s interior is filled with relaxing blue and purple lava, which has a soothing effect when flowing. Its 17-inch height makes it stand out as a feature point in any room. It also comes with a 25-watt bulb, so you can get it set up as soon as you open the box. All in all, this lava lamp will make a perfect addition to any home.
Kelly is an expert in consumer product research, which is very important when it comes to finding the most useful and aesthetically pleasing items for your home. This became her passion after finding it very time-consuming to wade through all the product information online.
She has a keen attention to detail which she brings to her articles, Kelly’s goal is to help you find what you need without spending too much time searching for it.