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The best globes

Which is the best globe?

Globes are practical for geography studies, they make for great gifts and they look great in any living room. They add detail to a room and are available in a variety of colors and styles. They’re an excellent idea for any household. A few of the most popular globes are on this list, including the Replogle Explorer Globe, one of the most versatile and traditional models.

What to know before you buy a globe

There are a few different types of globes, and the most significant difference is between decorative and educational ones. Some are also better suited for children or adults, depending on the item. Unless you’re purchasing a collector’s item, buying a globe is relatively inexpensive. Once you decide which kind of globe you want from these options, finding the one that’s right for you is a simple matter of preference.

How old is the globe?

If you’re buying a globe for decorative or historical purposes, you might consider purchasing an antique item. Since the geography will be different, it won’t serve you well as a map, but you can use it as a cultural guide from its era. You can find these in antique stores and online. 

A modern globe is usually only one or two years old, and you can use it for reference when studying or finding places. It will be current for a year or two. After this, you may notice some differences in the details, though likely nothing significant. However, you should get a new one annually or every other year if you want to stay up-to-date.

What is the purpose of the globe?

When buying a globe, keep in mind why you’re purchasing it. Will it be for educational purposes? In that case, you’ll want an up-to-date product with lots of detail. If it’s for decoration or is a collectible, then the accuracy won’t matter as much as the aesthetic and historical appeal. Decide what you’ll use it for or whom you are buying it for, and then make your purchase based on that.

Unique extras

A celestial globe will show you star locations, and it can be a beautiful item to add to your home, school or library. A terrestrial globe is a more popular choice, as it displays continents and countries on Earth. 

What to look for in a quality globe


Most globes are approximately 15 inches in diameter. Slightly smaller models with a 12-inch diameter are also fairly common. If you’re purchasing a globe for children, it could be as small as 8 inches. 


In addition to the globe’s size, you want to consider where you’ll have your globe on display. Decorative globes for your desk or shelf will typically come with a small stand. Larger floor globes will have a stand, so they’re 3-4 feet off the ground. Find a place for the globe before beginning your search, so you know how much room you need.


If you’re buying a decorative globe, you can find them in any color, from neutral to bright hues, to match the room or furniture. If it’s a geographically accurate globe used for separating countries and continents, they’ll usually display water as blue and land in yellow, green and purple tones.


Some globes have a smooth finish. These sit on office desks or are for decorating. If they’re for education, they'll use the surface to show the topography of a specific place. An uneven or rough texture represents features of the land.

How much will you spend on a globe?

The price range for globes varies based on the item. Expect to pay between $30-$100 for a globe.

Globe FAQ

Do globes last long?

A: Since globes are usually made from materials that withstand the test of time, like plastic or vinyl, a good quality one should last for quite a while. You shouldn’t need to buy a new one for years as they don't break easily.

Should you use a map or a globe?

A: Globes are better for looking at the world as a whole and sometimes for studying. They aren’t as easy to move, so they work in classroom or office settings. You can also use them to plan a trip, but on a more general level without detail. Maps work well for planning routes along city streets and learning information on locations. It’s something you can also take with you if you’re going somewhere, as it folds easily. 

What’s the best globe to buy?

Top globe

Replogle Explorer Raised Relief Globe

What you need to know: This is a good globe for education that has a textured surface for accuracy.

What you’ll love: It’s a medium-sized globe, 1 foot in diameter, containing thousands of location names.

What you should consider: Some users have noted that the hemispheres do not line up perfectly and show concern about the material quality.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top globe for the money

Little Experimenter Illuminated World Globe for kids

What you need to know: It has a great price and a solid globe for kids.

What you’ll love: This globe lights up, and it has colorful hues and clear markings making it a great education tool.

What you should consider: This globe is only 8 inches in diameter, which is likely not a problem if children mainly use it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Goplus Desktop World Globe 

What you need to know: This model is a great educational tool that is moderate in size.

What you’ll love: This globe has LED lighting and is helpful for both children and adults.

What you should consider: This product is a bit pricey, and some users have noted missing location details.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Alex Loredo writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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