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Lava Lamps - Choose Vintage

Updated on April 13, 2014

A Must Have for your Dorm Room

Stereo? Check. TV? Check. Lava lamp...?

If you don't have a lava lamp for your dorm room yet, you need to get one today! But don't just go out and buy any old lamp. Lava lamps are not all the same quality! They just aren't made the way they used to be, so I encourage you to consider vintage when you shop for lava lamps.

Read on! There's still time for you to buy better quality, style, and value in your lava lamp - a must have for every college dorm room.

This is a picture of the lava lamp I had in my college dorm room. It served me well then and still does today!

Top 10 Reasons to Get a Lava Lamp for your Dorm Room

  1. Extra heat for when your dorm room gets cold.
  2. A mindless distraction when you need something to stare at instead of studying for finals.
  3. Let people know you're fun, friendly and have great taste.
  4. You have to contribute something to the dorm atmosphere right? Let your contribution be a splash of color and let your roommate spring for the expensive stuff.
  5. It's the best looking nightlight you've ever seen. Leave it on until your roommate comes in - it won't keep you up and your roommate will be able to see enough to keep from waking you.
  6. They're relaxing. A great way to relieve studying-related stress!
  7. It teaches patience! You do have to wait for them to warm up, but it's worth the wait.
  8. You love science and a lava lamp is, in fact, science in action! See the Archimedes Principle.
  9. Retro is very now!
  10. Mood lighting... enough said! :)

Do you own a lava lamp?

Do you own a lava lamp?

See results

Why not buy new?

Lava Lamp
Lava Lamp

Sure, you can get a shiny new product on Amazon or at one of the big box stores, but buyer beware! Make sure you read the customer reviews. Many of the best selling brands are rated very low by consumers. A lot of customers commented that the new lamps didn't work right, the glass was cloudy or murky, and the craftsmanship was poor quality.

There are definitely positives to buying new, such as: wider color selection, ability to choose what you are willing to spend, and a great variety of styles and shapes. But if the quality isn't there, what are you really getting?

If you want quality, reliability, and true beauty, keep scrolling down to see classic, vintage, and rare lamps you could choose.

Top-Rated Lava Lamps - on Amazon

I've selected the top rated lamps that Amazon has to offer to show here. They're not the best sellers; those frequently had very mixed reviews (sometimes as low as 1 or 2 out of 5 stars). The ones here are rated at least close to 4 stars, and even these have some negative comments.

Lava Lite 2416 The Dark Knight RisesTM Hero Lava Lamp, White Wax/Black Liquid, 14-1/2-Inch
Lava Lite 2416 The Dark Knight RisesTM Hero Lava Lamp, White Wax/Black Liquid, 14-1/2-Inch

4.1 out of 5 stars (16 customer reviews)If your a fan of The Dark Knight movies, this might be the lamp for you. Reviewers seem very happy with the white wax and the look of the lamp in general.


Why choose vintage?

My lava lamp
My lava lamp

Yes, the lava lamps on eBay (see below) might cost a little more, but they're still around and there's a reason for that.

I treasured my lamp. When I packed up to move (many, many times) during college, I cradled the glass. I made sure I didn't shake it. I wrapped it because I didn't want the glass to fall out of the base and break. I followed the instructions and didn't leave it on too long. I took excellent care of it, because I wanted it to last! 20 years later, it's still working great!

Vintage lamps were also made with high quality materials - thick, clear glass; steel bases; and ideally balanced wax and water densities.

Spend the money on a vintage lamp, and you'll be happy and relaxed for decades to come!

Vintage Starlight Lava Lamps - on eBay

I love the original starlight bases! Holes in the base throw an extra sparkle on an already special lamp.

How Does a Lava Lamp Work? - From the Discovery Channel

Vintage Moon & Stars Lava Lamps - on eBay

The Moon & Stars series offer a little different shape, plus many of them have the added bonus of the starlight base. So fun!

How far back does the far-out lamp go?

There's some disagreement about how far back they go, but most people agree that the concept goes back to the 1950s. Then a man named Walker perfected the design and began marketing them in 1963.

More Rare Vintage Lava Lamps - on eBay

Type in "rare" on eBay and you get a fun and funky variety of lamps. My all-time favorite? The brass Coachlight Lantern lamp. I hope you get to see (and possibly buy) one here!

Mine's from the 1980s. When is yours from? - or What decade of lava lamps is your favorite?

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    • profile image

      BarbsSpot 4 years ago

      @Lensmaster...A lava lamp was one of the first things I got for my first apartment back in the 1960s! Still love having one -- it's lovely as a TV light and companion!

    • Rymom28 profile image

      Rymom28 4 years ago

      I had a lava lamp in the 90's and I loved that the thing! I wonder if the newer ones stay cooler than vintage because I remember that sucker getting really hot. Thanks for bringing back memories!

    • profile image

      acreativethinker 4 years ago

      Lava lamps are so cool! Great lens. Thanks for sharing. Take care :)

    • profile image

      tranthanhviet 4 years ago

      good lens! thanks you so much

    • profile image

      tranthanhviet 4 years ago

      good lens! thanks you so much

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 4 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Our grandson has one, he is 7 years old he loves it my daughter bought this one new so its not vintage

    • Diaper Bag Blog profile image

      Stanley Green 4 years ago from Czech Republic

      I've never had a lava lamp, but i like this vintage idea very much!Nice lens!

    • ForEverProud profile image

      Jeanne Rene 4 years ago from Northern California

      Enjoyed your lens. Mine is from the 80's too.

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 4 years ago

      I had one in the 80s but I sold off everything I owned a year ago to travel so now I own nothing but clothes basically. I had a friend who had one from the 70s, too.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Cool AND groovy. I never had one back in the day but they are neat.

    • profile image

      GanjaGuru 4 years ago

      Far-Out, man.

    • profile image

      GanjaGuru 4 years ago

      Far-Out, man.

    • profile image

      JaspinderKaur 4 years ago

      I like the lava lamps.

    • profile image

      JaspinderKaur 4 years ago

      I like the lava lamps.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love lava lamps! They make a room very cosy

    • LauraCarExpert profile image

      LauraCarExpert 4 years ago

      oh lava takes me back

    • profile image

      mina009 4 years ago

      Nice looking lava lamps. I like the black&white lava lamp more.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I love lava lamps

    • ghoststorylover profile image

      ghoststorylover 4 years ago

      I always loved these!

    • mojoCNYartist profile image

      Dan 4 years ago from CNY

      Nice lens. Voted for this one. :D