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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds β€” we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best magnetic building block sets

Last Updated September 2019

STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is all the rage right now in education at all levels. Parents want their children to excel in these four basic subjects so they can succeed in a global market. Because of this, educational toys that combine these crucial components have become the preferred type of divertissement. Magnetic building block sets incorporate all of these elements in a fun and creative way.

The best sets include a wide variety of shapes so your child can flex their creative muscles in new and astounding ways. First and foremost, however, you want a set that is nontoxic, has no small parts, and will not break. Purchasing a set with enough pieces that your child can play with friends is also highly recommended.

If you'd like to learn more about what to look for in a magnetic building block set, continue reading. If you already have an idea of what you need and you just want some highly rated options, consider the items that we have highlighted in this article as well as our top recommendations.

A set of magnetic building blocks is ideal for holding a child's interest because it combines creativity and science.

Key considerations

When you first start perusing different magnetic building block sets, you will likely be overwhelmed by the number of features and options that are available. Before getting lost in colors and shapes, however, you need to first consider what is most important to you. Any magnetic building block will teach your child basic STEM skills like geometry and engineering, but their size and durability will vary.

Age range

Any toy that is purchased for a child must be age-appropriate. Some magnetic building sets are constructed using smaller parts — which may be fine for an older child but could be a choking hazard for younger children. In addition, the smaller pieces can be challenging for younger kids to manipulate.

Durability

Especially because there are magnets inside the individual building blocks, you do not want the pieces cracking open and becoming a hazard. Look for durable, well-built sets that will keep your child safe.

Size

It can be hard (or impossible) to tell from a picture, but some magnetic building sets may feature pieces that are considerably smaller than the pieces in other sets. You cannot effectively combine sets from different manufacturers if the pieces are not the same size.

Number of pieces

A magnetic building block set with just a handful of pieces will not remain exciting for very long because it offers limited ways of expressing creativity. Additionally, if you purchase a set with a greater number of pieces, your child is better equipped to play with siblings or friends.

A durable top-shelf building set

Magna-Tiles are the go-to building set for anyone interested in getting a high-quality set. Unlike most other magnetic tiles, Magna-Tiles are riveted together at the corners for extra strength and durability. This kit features 100 translucent tiles that include two sizes of squares and three different triangles (equilateral, right, and isosceles).

Features

After you have narrowed down the selection of magnetic building block sets to a few options, you can look at the other features that make these kits more appealing to help you make your choice.

Material

The materials used in the manufacturing of the pieces of your magnetic building block set must be safe and nontoxic. Most kits are manufactured using ABS plastic, but there are a few wooden sets on the market if you prefer more natural materials.

Piece style

Some magnetic building block sets contain pieces that look like framework. Others have solid tiles. Building-wise, there is not much difference between the two as the magnets are found in the edges of the pieces. However, having a full panel allows your child to construct items that more closely resemble the real thing as opposed to just the framework.

Shapes

Many magnetic building block sets only come with a handful of basic shapes, which your child can use to make complex structures. However, if you purchase a kit with a wider variety of shapes, your child will have much greater flexibility in building widely creative structures.

Besides basic shapes, some magnetic building block sets include specialty pieces such as arches, wheels, windows, shingles, or even a Ferris wheel. Additionally, you can purchase a kit that includes tiles with letters and numbers to enhance the spelling and mathematical aspects of your set.

Color

Not only do magnetic building block sets come in a wide variety of colors, some are available in multiple color schemes. For instance, if your child prefers bold colors over pastel, you should purchase a set that reflects their tastes.

Container

Whether it's a plastic case or a travel bag, purchasing a magnetic building block set that includes a convenient way to store your pieces can make it easier to keep track of pieces and transport your set.

Magnet strength

The strength of the magnets can vary from one set to the other. If your children want to build tall and elaborate structures, you will need a set with extremely strong magnets.

Instructions

A magnetic building block set that has a booklet that provides instructions for constructing a few initial projects is a great way for your child to be introduced to how these particular building blocks can fit together and give them a few ideas for inspiration.

EXPERT TIP

Building with magnetic blocks is easier than with other blocks because you they stick together and are less likely to topple.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Magnetic building block sets can be used to create two-dimensional designs as well as three-dimensional structures.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

The rounded edges on some sets of magnetic building blocks may be a little safer, but they also may make your structures a little less sturdy.


Staff  | BestReviews

Magnetic building block prices

The price of magnetic building block sets can range from $10 for a low-quality budget set to over $300 for an expansive set.

Inexpensive: In the $10 to $50 range, the magnetic building blocks are mostly frames with a decent variety of shapes, but they are either limited in the number of pieces or the quality of the components.

Mid-range: From $50 to $80, you can find higher quality, more durable building sets that feature a wide variety of options. This is the best price range to consider if you are curious about magnetic building blocks.

Expensive: From $80 to $120 are the highest quality kits for serious builders. Usually, these include about 100 pieces and have extra safety features such as riveted corners. You can pay much more for a magnetic building block set, but if you do, it should include substantially more pieces.

A large affordable assortment of options

This sizable set of building blocks features both magnetic and non-magnetic pieces. There are 18 shapes and a wide variety of colors so you can create a number of imaginative structures. The included wheels allow you to make vehicles that actually roll, while the instruction manual and storage case are hugely useful.

Educational benefits of playing with magnetic building blocks

Magnetic building blocks are a fun way to explore creativity. However, they are also educational tools that can help your child develop in a number of ways. Here are just a few of the skills your children can learn with these clever toys:

  • Social skills

  • Following directions

  • Creativity

  • Color recognition

  • Shape recognition

  • Pattern recognition

  • Visual-spatial reasoning

  • Motor skills

  • Problem solving

Other products we considered

Because there is such a wide variety of shapes, colors, sizes, and other aspects of magnetic building block sets, we wanted to offer a few more highly rated options for your consideration. DreambuilderToy has an 88-piece Magnetic Building Blocks Set that features castle-themed tiles. Additionally, the kit includes a Ferris wheel and car wheels so you can construct vehicles. AILUKI's 110-piece Magnetic Blocks Building Set comes with a travel bag and instructions, and it features four different brightly colored frames (including two types of triangles, squares, and pentagons). Lastly, Lustien Toys has a set of 100 Fun Mags Magnetic Building Blocks that features rounded and riveted corners as well as strong magnets. Additionally, the tiles in this set are compatible with most other major brands of magnetic building sets.

Supervising young children while they play with magnetic building block is important β€” and it’s also a way to enjoy playtime together.

FAQ

Q. Are magnetic building block sets safe?

A. Any magnetic building blocks that crack or break must be discarded. If two magnets or a magnet and an object that is attracted to a magnet are swallowed, they can create a blockage or pinch digestive tissue between them, which may cut off blood supply to the stomach or intestines. If you suspect that your child has swallowed a magnet, do not give him or her anything to eat or drink and do not induce vomiting. Instead, call Poison Control (1-800-222-1222) immediately.

Q. How do you clean magnetic building blocks?

A. It’s always best to check the instructions for how to best clean your particular set of magnetic building blocks. In general, however, magnetic building blocks are made with nontoxic plastic, so cleaning usually involves wiping the pieces with a soft damp cloth and a mild soap cleanser, child-safe wipes, or a child-safe spray and a soft cloth.

Q. Are different magnetic building block sets compatible?

A. The answer to that question is a very big maybe. Some sets will work with other sets, but many do not because they provide a flimsy connection at best, which can be frustrating for your child. If a set doesn't offer the variety of shapes and colors you desire, it is usually better to find a set that has everything you want rather than trying to mix and match.

The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer

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