Best lava lamps to give your home a retro glow
Light up the room with a funky bulb with our pick of the best lava lamps for your home
A statement piece since it arrived in the 1960s, the lava lamp has stood the test of time for many decades and can still bring some vintage charm to your home while giving off a warm and cosy glow.
We’ve put together some of our favourite picks below, starting with the classic original and exploring some modern designs. From those that have experimented with colour and shape, to those powered by candle-light, there'll be a lamp that works for your home whatever your specific style.
For more vintage inspiration you can also read about the best retro kitchen designs and best retro chairs. Plus, for more cosy lighting ideas, check out our pick of the most stylish battery-powered and rechargeable lamps on the market.
Best Lava Lamps to buy in 2023
Mathmos Astro Lava Lamp
- Buy now from Amazon (£85)
The true original, Mathmos were the very first company to create the lava lamp and they're still going strong almost 60 years later.
Available in plenty of vivid colour combinations that range from violet and red to blue and pink, these lamps have been made with a bright halogen bulb to get the most out of the old-school glow, boasting a clearer effect than other similar product on the market.
To get the lamp going and the lava bubbling away simply plug it in and wait around one to three hours for it to fully warm up, although this will depend on the surrounding temperature in the room.
Nova Lava Lamp
- Buy now from Amazon (£29.99)
Featuring an updated design while still retaining the classic feel, this modern lamp from Nova has a sleek aluminium finish with blue liquid white wax that combines to create a throwback atmosphere.
Standing just under 40 centimetres tall and 10 centimetres wide, this sizeable lamp should create a lovely glow throughout a large room.
It is worth bearing in mind that this particular model takes around four to six hours to heat up and get going, but once it's bubbling away you'll be able to sit back and appreciate the show.
Marble Table Lava Lamp
- Buy now from John Lewis (£32)
This fresh take on the classic lava lamp features a marble base and matching top, with the lava effect made with a hypnotic white wax and blue liquid filling. This set is not suitable to be used by children so would be best for a space where they can be supervised.
Telstar Rocket Lava Lamp
From the markers of the original lava lamp, this particular design features a rocket shaped base for an especially quirky statement piece bursting with Space Age charm.
There are plenty of colour combinations to choose from so you can select an option that best suits your décor, or simply opt for whichever bubbling lava gives the best glow.
The legs should besturdy as they're made from a chromed metal designed for a sleek and smooth finish, which means you wont have to worry about it being knocked over too easily.
Teal Patina Lava Lamp
- Buy now from Robert Dyas (£7)
While the base of this lava lamp features a quirky teal and space-inspired design, the glow itself is quite subtle, with a flowing orange lava effect. This means it would work as both a statement piece in the day and as a functional, relaxing lamp once the evening sets in.
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Standing at 14.5 inches this is a good sized piece made from a mix of aluminium and glass, with a handy 1.83 metre chord so should be nice and easy to set up wherever you think works best in your room.
Star Vortex Lava Lamp
If you can't decide which effect you'd prefer or which colour you want to go for, you could instead opt for this dazzling vortex lava lamp that has a colour phasing LED. Throughout the evening it will transition the glow through several different tones which include blue, purple and green.
The liquid also features swirling, star-shaped flakes made of glitter for an extra effect, which would be quirky addition to a retro home.
At 14.5 inches tall this lava lamp would suit a bedroom or cosy living space for a child or nostalgic adult.
Graffiti Lava Lamp
Bringing a blend of multiple swirling colours to your home, this multi-toned lamp would make for an attention-grabbing centrepiece either day or night.
The glass surround also has a graffiti finish to keep things especially vibrant, so you can watch the colours play across your walls.
Pod and Pod+ Candle Powered Lava Lamp
Another innovative edition from Mathmos that brings a unique spin on the original design, this particular lava lamp is powered by a candle which heats up the base to start the colours swirling in motion.
The set-up comes with three tea lights included, and because there's no need for any wires or plugs this can be placed anywhere in your home so it's especially versatile.
What to consider when buying a lava lamp
If you're looking to add a groovy and retro touch to your home decor, a lava lamp is a fun and unique option. Here are some things to consider when shopping for one:
Lava lamps come in a variety of sizes, from small desktop versions to large floor lamps. Consider where you want to place your lava lamp and how much space you have available. A smaller lamp may be more appropriate for a bedroom or home office, while a larger lamp can make a statement in a living room or entertainment space.
The colour of the 'lava' and the liquid in a lava lamp can vary widely. Some lamps feature bold, bright colours like neon pink or green, while others have more muted tones of blue or purple. Consider the overall colour scheme of your room and choose a lamp that complements it. You may also want to choose a lamp with a colour-changing feature, such as the vortex lava lamp from Amazon, for added visual interest.
Lava lamps are available at a range of price points, from budget-friendly options to high-end designer lamps. Consider your budget when shopping for a lava lamp, but also keep in mind that a more expensive lamp may be of higher quality and last longer.
Looking for more bedroom style inspiration? Check out our six ways to create a totally relaxing bedroom!
Andrew Lloyd is a digital writer covering the latest gadgets, appliances and devices across Immediate Media's special interest brands. Whether you’re relaxing at home, exploring a mountainside, or staring into space, he likely has a recommendation for you.