Are Lava Lamps Dangerous? 8 Useful Safety Tips [2023]

Whether you are in the market for a new piece of furniture, looking for a new home to move into, or just wanting to bring some excitement to your home, lava lamps are a great addition to any room in the house. With so many different styles, sizes, and colors to choose from, there’s no question you will find a lava lamp to match your décor. 

Since they look the way they do and are very visually specific, they are often accompanied by one question: “Are lava lamps dangerous?” 

It’s natural for people to worry about the safety of their home and be insecure about things they don’t know exactly how they work. Lava lamps are no exception.

We are here to solve all doubts, debunk myths and confirm the facts so that we fully know everything about the safety and dangers of lava lamps. Let’s get into it.

Are lava lamps dangerous?

Lava lamps are not dangerous if handled properly, as specified by the manufacturer.

Here are some general tips that may help:

Lava lamp safety tips

lava lamp safety tips
  1. Always buy lava lamps from a reliable manufacturer. So, when buying, find out more about the brand by finding out more information (if you are shopping online) or asking the seller (if you are in a local store).
  2. After using it, for example when leaving the house, do not forget to turn it off. This is practical advice not only for lava lamps but also for lighting in general.
  3. If you plan to clean or disassemble it, you need to turn it off first and wait for it to cool to room temperature. Don’t be hasty because in some cases you can get burned.
  4. Always keep the cable of the lamp away from heated or warm surfaces.
  5. Never use some lamp accessories or combine parts of different lamps on your own. Keep in mind that only what the manufacturer himself has recommended is safe.
  6. Do not leave it on for too long. Some lamps may be on longer and some shorter. Read the instructions and follow the advice from the manufacturer.
  7. Regardless, even if you constantly pay attention to functionality, always position them in safe places that are not close to flammable things such as books, curtains, or paper.
  8. Do not use the lava lamp if it has a damaged (or wet) cable or if you have a damaged outlet.

On the other hand, feel free to check out all the benefits of lava lamps. It would certainly be good to study this after you have learned all the tips for safe use.

After answering the question are lava lamps dangerous, it would be good to apply the practicality of the advice in everyday life.

Apply the safety advice in your everyday life

Let’s face it, in the vast majority of cases, you won’t even have to think about paying attention to a lava lamp, let alone paying attention. But it is certainly good to know some general rules. Most of them are universal and do not apply only to lava lamps but to electrical devices in general.

Is the inside of a lava lamp toxic?

The inside of a lava lamp is not toxic. 

The lava lamp consists of paraffin wax and carbon tetrachloride, which increases the density of the wax itself. The wax floats mostly in water or mineral oil, which can have some safe cosmetic additives. It also has a small amount of kerosene and glycol that are dissolved in the water itself.

What to do if you spill lava lamp liquid?

If your lava lamp breaks or bursts (or something similar), and liquid spills all over your room, don’t worry – it’s not toxic. Clean all areas where you see liquid, scrub the surface well and allow it to dry.

It is additionally tiring if the wax sticks to the carpet or some surface if the lava lamp has been lit and the wax is still hot or in a semi-liquid phase. Be sure to be aware that lava lamps must be handled differently than ordinary ones because they are specific.

If you’re asking yourself are lava lamps dangerous since they contain a combination of liquid, paraffin, and some other substances, the answer is – no.

Are lava lamps safe to leave overnight?

In general, most lava lamps should not be lit for more than 8 hours at a time.

So the answer to this question is – it depends on how much you sleep.

Of course, this feature also differs from lamp to lamp, so we recommend that you read the instructions or tips for use from your manufacturer and stick to it.

The beautiful ambient effect of a lava lamp in a dark room is very tempting, but we still recommend that you keep it on while you are awake. That way you have complete control and you can react in a timely manner in case something happens.

Are lava lamps dangerous when you leave them on for more than 8 hours?

In most cases, it’s not, but there’s no need to cause the lamp to overheat. We can guarantee that that way it won’t work for long, and you’ll have to either fix it or get a new one.

Check out our article on how lava lamps work. It’s generally good to know how things work. This way we will be even safer in everyday use.


In conclusion, there’s no evidence to suggest that lava lamps are dangerous or even a hazard. However, there are certain risks that can be associated with using them and we talked about them in the article.

Be aware of the difference between a lava lamp and other lamps and treat it responsibly.

Remember – if you have any questions or are unsure about the use, it is best to read the instructions for use first or get information from the manufacturer. This is the most relevant information you can come across.

If you have any additional questions we recommend that you check out a handy FAQ about lava lamps from the company that invented lava lamps – Mathmos.

You no longer have to wonder are lamps dangerous. 

If you have a question or something is not clear to you, feel free to comment below.

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