To determine the best magnifying glass we looked at a variety of factors and focused on the following: X (aka magnification) factor, built-in lighting, field of vision, and multifunctionality. The X factor will determine the magnification strength of the lens while the field of vision references how much content you can view through the magnifying glass without moving it. Built-in lighting will make reading through your magnifying glass easier when you’re in darker places. But multifunctionality will allow you to switch between regular and fine print content with little trouble.
Because of all of the above factors, we selected the SeeZoom Lighted Magnifying Glass as our Top Pick. This model features a large 3X primary lens for regular reading needs and a built-in 45X loupe in the handle. But you’ll love the built-in LEDs for easy illumination, the scratch-resistant glass that makes this a travel-friendly product, and a lifetime warranty to protect against any damage.
Top 7 Best Magnifying Glass Compared
#1 SeeZoom Lighted Magnifying Glass 3X & 45x Magnifier Lens – Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: A 2-in-1 3X magnifying glass and 45X loupe designed with built-in LEDs, scratch-resistant glass, and a lifetime warranty make this ideal for older users.
For the average user, a 2X or 3X magnification is ideal for daily use to perform simple tasks like reading the paper, or nighttime reading if your partner is already sleeping and you don’t want to disturb them with a bedside lamp. We chose the SeeZoom Lighted Magnifying Glass 3X & 45x Magnifier Lens as our Top Pick because it offers two levels of magnification, plus features built-in LED lights to make reading smaller print easier. The main lens offers 3X magnification which is perfect for reading. But for an in-depth view, switch to the 45X loupe in the handle for more clarity.
While this is magnifying glass doesn’t come with the three AAA batteries needed to power the LED lights (a common drawback on every magnifying glass in our roundup), you’ll like that this is small enough to fit in your pocket. And that means you never have to struggle to read the fine print when you’re running around town. Plus, the scratch-resistant glass ensures that you won’t accidentally damage your magnifier’s lens. But if something happens to it, the lifetime warranty will give you peace of mind. Also check out the best eyeglasses online.
#2 BUSATIA LED Illuminated Magnifier with 3X & 45X Magnification – Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: A 2-in-1 combination 3X magnifier and 45X loupe that features built-in LED lights and comes with a pouch and screen cloth for the person on the move.
When you’re traveling, you need gear that’s lightweight and goes where you need it to. We picked the BUSATIA LED Illuminated Magnifier with 3X & 45X Magnification as our Honorable Mention because while virtually identical to our Top Pick, it is slightly different in that it comes with a few essentials that make traveling with a magnifying glass easier. The Busatia magnifier comes with a travel bag and a lens cleaning cloth to keep dust and smears at bay.
And just like with the Top Pick, you’ll enjoy an LED battery powered viewing experience. For reading the fine print, choose the larger 3X magnifying lens. But for smaller items, use the 45X magnifying loupe in the handle. And just like with the Top Pick, this model requires three AAA batteries that aren’t included. You may also like the best smart glasses.
#3 RockDaMic LED Magnifying Glass 3X & 45X – Best Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: A budget-friendly 2-in-1 3X magnifying glass and 45X loupe that’s LED powered with a small design that’s perfect for children to use.
When you’re shopping for children, you’re not always willing to buy the most expensive option on the market. So, we’ve selected the RockDaMic LED Magnifying Glass as our Best Budget choice. The modest MSRP combines with a small design that’s perfect for little hands to comfortably grasp.
Like the Top Pick and Honorable Mention options, this model features a 3X primary magnifying lens with a built-in 45X loupe in the handle. The battery-powered magnifying glass also comes standard with LED lights for easy use in darker spaces. Speaking of magnifying, read about the best microscope.
#4 iMagniphy LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass Set – Best for Reading
WHY WE LIKE IT: An easy to use LED magnifying glass with a compact design and two detachable lenses (5x & 10x) for quick changes to read smaller print.
If you struggle to read the fine print, then you know that the X factor is going to be one of the biggest features you need to prioritize when looking for a magnifying glass. What makes the iMagniphy LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass Set stand out from the other options in our list is that this is the only model with detachable lenses. Opt for the larger 5X lens for standard reading needs. But when that fine print gets too difficult, switch over to the slightly smaller 10X lens.
But, like the other magnifying glasses in our roundup, this model also comes standard with battery-powered LED lights for a better reading experience in darker spaces. You’ll also like that the iMagnify option features an ergonomic handle and comes with a carrying pouch and a cleaning cloth. As for making small movies big, check out the best 4K projector.
#5 MagniPros 3X Anti-Glare Magnifying Glass – Best LED Magnifier
WHY WE LIKE IT: A 3X square magnifying glass with 10 dimmable LEDs around the lens perimeter for an enhanced reading experience.
For some people, the biggest feature on a magnifying glass isn’t just the X factor, but whether or not it also includes a reading light. Thankfully, all of the options in our roundup come standard with LED lights. But the MagniPros 3X Anti-Glare Magnifying Glass is unique because whereas most of the options in our list feature two or three LEDs located in the handle, this version has 10 LED lights set into the perimeter case that holds the square lens. More importantly, they’re dimmable, giving you control over just how much light you need to read.
The MagniPros magnifying glass also features a nice-sized square lens that measures 2.5 inches by 4.35 inches as compared to the traditionally round lenses of the other options. But you’ll like the ergonomic handle and the fact that this model also comes with a travel pouch and a cleaning cloth so you’ll never be caught in a situation where you can’t read what’s in front of you. The best smart light bulbs will help you see what you are enlarging.
#6 Fancii 5.5 inch LED Magnifying Glass with 2X 4X 10X Lens – Best Quality
WHY WE LIKE IT: A 3-in-1 LED magnifying glass that includes a primary lens with a built-in optical lens and a 10X loupe in the handle for enhanced multifunctionality.
If you’re comfortable with a bifocal viewing experience, then this quality magnifying glass from Fancii is a great option. The Fancii 5.5 inch LED Magnifying Glass combines three magnification options into the two built-in lenses. The primary lens offers a 2X factor but includes an optical lens with a 4X strength for magnifying select areas. And for the best magnification, opt for the 10X loupe in the handle.
The Fancii model also comes standard with LED lights. But you’ll like the lightweight design and the ergonomic handle with a non-slip grip that ensures comfort when using this magnifying glass for extended periods. Speaking of magnifying, check out the best DSLR camera. Or the best digital camera.
#7 UNIMI LED Magnifying Glass with 2X 4X 25X Lenses – Best Viewing Field
WHY WE LIKE IT: A large 5.7in x 5.11in primary 2X lens paired with a built-in 4X optical lens offers the largest viewing field of all of our choices for the best reading experience.
If you continue reading our guide for the important features, you’ll note that the viewing field or field of vision is an important consideration because it refers to how much content you can see through your magnifying glass without having to move it. We’ve chosen the UNIMI LED Magnifying Glass as the option with the best viewing field because it has the largest lens dimensions of all of our selections.
However, like our Best Quality choice, the Unimi model also features a built-in 4X optical lens within the primary 2X lens and a 25X loupe in the handle. You’ll also find the LED lights in the ergonomic non-slip handle. And like all the other models in our roundup, this version also requires batteries which aren’t included. The best lighted makeup mirror will also help magnify things.
How We Decided
Magnifying glasses are for more than impersonating Sherlock Holmes. They can be essential for people who struggle to read the fine print. So, we looked at a range of magnifying glass models and focused on the following criteria — X factor, built-in lighting, field of vision, and multifunctionality.
X Factor is going to be the single most important factor as this will determine how much magnification a lens can provide. While all of our options featured multiple magnifying lenses or loupes, you’ll note that the primary lenses usually ranged between 2X and 5X magnification strength. This range should be sufficient for average users looking to magnify fine print.
Next, we prioritized built-in LED lighting. This is going to be an important consideration if you often find yourself trying to read in dark areas such as in the bedroom after your partner has fallen asleep or in darkly lit restaurants or airplane cabins. All of the models on our list feature built-in LED lights that can be controlled with a simple on/off switch. However, only #5, the MagniPros 3X Anti-Glare Magnifying Glass, features 10 dimmable LEDs that are set into the lens’ perimeter case.
The field of vision is an important factor as it will impact how much of an image or text content you can read at one time without needing to move the magnifying glass. And it’s an essential consideration if you’re relying on a magnifying glass to read larger segments of text and refers to the actual size of the lens. While all of the models feature a reasonable field of vision, our final pick — #7 UNIMI LED Magnifying Glass — offers the largest field of vision with a 2X primary lens that measured 5.7 inches by 5.11 inches.
Finally, we considered multifunctionality. For magnifying glasses, this references how many additional lenses and magnifications were available on one model. You’ll find that every option in our list offers multiple X factors. And in most cases, this also included the addition of a built-in loupe in the magnifying handle. Only #4 and #5 lack a loupe. And in the case of #6 (our Best Quality choice) and #7, you’ll find that the 2X primary lens also features a built-in 4X optical lens within it for enhanced magnification.
Magnifying Glass Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- X Factor
One of the main reasons people purchase magnifying glasses is because they need to see small objects in better detail. Magnifying glass strengths are typically listed by the “X factor”. This references how many times the glass will magnify an object within its view. For the average user, a target X factor range is from 2X to 10X. However, X factor can go as high as 300X, although at that strength they’re considered pocket-sized microscopes. But most lenses are in the 5X to 6X range as these offer the best-enhanced viewing experience for average use without requiring a larger diameter lens.
Often people rely on magnifying glasses to read in darker spaces. If this is you, then you need to look for a model that offers built-in lighting. Typical options will feature LED lighting in the handle or around the lens perimeter. Note that these types of magnifying glasses typically require batteries to power the light, and those batteries usually aren’t included.
- Field of Vision
Along with the X factor, you need to consider the field of vision. This refers to the actual lens diameter and how much you can see when you look through the lens. A high X factor on a lens with a small field of vision can render the results useless as there’s very little you can see through the lens. This is especially true for many products that claim to offer X factors as high as 20X or more. Because of the small field of vision, they are loupes and not magnifying glasses.
- Eye Relief
You want to be able to comfortably view images through your magnifying glass. Eye relief refers to the maximum distance your eye can be from the magnifying glass while still enjoying a full view. If possible, find a magnifying glass with a longer eye relief so that you don’t have to hold the glass close to your face.
- What’s the difference between a loupe and a magnifying glass?
Typically, the biggest distinction between a magnifying glass and a loup is that magnifying glasses feature handles and have a wider field of vision. However, many cheaper magnifying glasses with large X factor claims are technically loupes since the field of vision is greatly reduced.
- Why is the field of vision and eye relief features so important?
Both of these features will impact how comfortably or easily a magnifying glass can be used. A larger field of vision means that you can hold the magnifying glass stationary for longer periods because more of the image, document or object is easily visible. And better eye relief means that you don’t need to hold the magnifying glass as close to your face — which translates to less eye strain.
- I like to paint small model figures, what feature should I prioritize?
If you’re working with small objects, the X factor and field of vision are going to be the two biggest features. Depending on the size of the figures, you should look for a 5X or higher X factor so that the objects are properly magnified and ease the strain on your eyes. Likewise, you also need to consider the field of vision. You want the figures to be fully visible within the magnifying glass’ field of vision so that the glass can be held steady while you work.
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