How To Look After Your Mathmos Lava Lamp

Mathmos Lava Lamps


I think it will always be popular. It’s like the cycle of life. It grows, breaks up, falls down and then stars all over again.
- Edward Craven Walker, the inventor of the Lava Lamp and the founder of Mathmos Lava Lamps

Mathmos founder Edward Craven Walker invented the world's first ever Lava Lamp, the Astro Lava Lamp in 1963. The unique Astro lava lamp was developed from a design for an egg timer using two liquids. Craven Walker spent years developing this into a lamp for manufacture, initially using cocktail and orange squash bottles. Mathmos was founded in 1963, named after the cult sixties Sci-Fi comic strip, Barbarella. The "Mathmos" is the bubble liquid force under the city.

Lava lamps were immediately popular, becoming an icon of the sixties and seventies and a must-have item for every home. Mathmos Lava Lamps are still manufactured in their factory based in Poole, Dorset in England (as they were in the 60s) with the glass bottles made in a precision glass factory in Yorkshire, England. 

With over 50 years of manufacturing experience and heritage, the Mathmos lava lamp is unbeatable on quality, style and authenticity. Mathmos lava lamps use a Mathmos Lava Lamps Founder Edward Craven Walker and his wife, Christine.different lava formulation than other types of lava lamp which gives a better lava flow, longer life, clearer liquids and more vivid colours. The metal parts are of a thicker, higher grade metal and hand polished by British craftsmen to a high shine. The Mathmos lava lamp uses a bespoke bulb, which is directional, taking the heat away from the base and directing the light into the lava. Mathmos have a higher standard of safety and build quality audited by a number of different bodies. Mathmos lava lamps will also take replacement bottles and bulbs, meaning with a little love, care and attention your Mathmos lava lamp will last for years.




  • Find a suitable postition for your new Mathmos Lava Lamp on a level surface in a room with a temperature between 20 and 24°C or (69 to 75°F).
  • Your lava lamp's position should be out of direct sunlight (the colour the liquid will fade if placed in direct sunlight) and away from drafts. If the lava lamp is positioned in a draughty or cold room it will slow the operation of the lava lamp or may cause it to freeze.
  • Likewise, avoid placing your lava lamp in a room which is too hot, as this will cause the lamp to overheat. 

Mathmos Lava LampsKeep the lava lamp out of the reach of animals and pets and away from children under 14 years of age. Lava Lamps are not suitable for children under 14 years of age. 

  • Do not place on carpets or block the ventilation spaces beneath the lamp.
  • If you want to move your lava lamp after you have used it in one place for a while, switch the lamp off and allow it to cool down fully before you move it. Never move or shake the lamp when it is in use or still warm as this causes irreparable clouding. 


  • Place the glass bottle on the base with the screw cap on top. If the bottle is not sitting straight, please rotate it a little. Then plug the lamp in and turn it on. 
  • Make sure the lamp is kept away from direct sunlight to prevent the colour from fading. The lamps warm up takes between 1 and 3 hours depending on the size of the model and the surrounding temperature.
  • Stalagmite shapes may form during the warm up process, these will then melt and the lava will begin to flow. 
  • The warming up time will decrease after several uses.
  • Please note, it is normal for the glass to gave small air bubbles and moulding scars. This is not considered a fault but a natural occurance. The bottles for Mathmos Lava Lamps are made in a precision glass factory in Yorkshire, England using traditional manufacturing techniques. 



  • Your Mathmos lava lamp will operate best after it has been used four or five times. For the first few times you may see small air bubbles in the lava.
  • Please do not leave your lava lamp on for more than six hours a day or allow it to overheat; this will prolong the life of your lamp.
  • Overheating is occurring when there is either one large bubble or very many small ones.
  • Never move or shake the lamp when it is in use or still warm as this causes irreparable clouding.
  • Please note it is normal for the base to become very hot.


The life of a Mathmos Lava Lamp is approximately 2000 hours of operation. When your lava lamp has ended its life it will begin to go cloudy, the colours may fade and it will not move as well as it once did. If the bulb blows, please replace it with one of the same type and wattage. Only fit the correct bulb, as stated on the label in the base. Do not use other types of bulb in Mathmos Lava Lamps. Please on no account open the bottle or add liquids.


  • The Mathmos Lava Lamp has passed the relevant safety standards and carries the statutory guarantee of the country of purchase.
  • The liquid in the lamps is not dangerous and can be disposed of normally.
  • Never use a lamp if the bottle has been dropped as this will create weakness in the glass, obtain a replacement bottle and dispose of the old one.
  • Do not leave the lamp unattended with small children.
  • If the liquid is swallowed by mistake, drink plenty of water. If it is spilled onto the skin or had contact with the eyes, pour on cold water. If any symptoms appear please visit a doctor. 
  • Lava Lamps are not toys and are not suitable for children under 14 years of age. 
  • Be careful to position your lava lamp out of the reach of children and pets. Do not postition the lamp anywhere where it might be knocked over. 
  • When the life of the lava lamp has been reached (after approximately 2000 hours of usage), please make a hole in the metal cap with a sharp point, then pour away the liquid. The bottle may then be recycled through your local recycling centre.


Mathmos Lava Lamps - Over 50 Years of Lava Lamp Heritage