Best Magnifying Glasses

Updated January 2022
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Best of the Best
MagniPros 3X with 5X Zoom Magnifying Glass
3X with 5X Zoom Magnifying Glass
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Customer Favorite
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This magnifying glass provides multiple magnifying lenses along with a cleaning cloth, carrying pouch, and adjustable LED lights to bring images into focus.


Ten LED lights built into magnifying glass can be dimmed or brightened by turning a dial, making this great for reading at night when others are trying to sleep. Handheld design is easy to move around a page. Main lens magnifies 3x and a bifocal lens magnifies 5x.


Dimming setting for lights isn’t as gradual as some had hoped, making it either too dim or too bright.

Best Bang for the Buck
Carson MiniBrite Lighted Magnifier
MiniBrite Lighted Magnifier
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Most Compact
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This compact and easily portable magnifying glass measures just above 4” and can fit in purses or bags for on-the-go magnification.


One bright LED light shines on objects or words you want to zoom in on, while a 5x magnifying lens makes things appear larger. Sliding case protects magnifying glass from scratches or other damage when not in use.


Requires batteries (3 AAA) that are not included with purchase.

MagniPros 3 Ultra Bright LED Lights Handheld Magnifying Glass
3 Ultra Bright LED Lights Handheld Magnifying Glass
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Most Versatile
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Three different magnification powers are built into this magnifying glass and can be used depending on your needs.


Includes the ability to zoom in on objects or words at a power of 3x, 4.5x, or 25x. Handle is comfortable to hold onto, and magnifying glass is made of durable ABS that holds up to heavy use. Three built-in LED lights can be turned on to brighten up viewing area and a cleaning cloth keeps glass clean and free of smudges.


Battery compartment can be challenging to open, especially when magnifying glass is brand new.

Kikkerland Wood Magnifier
Wood Magnifier
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Simple Yet Solid
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Simple wood-framed magnifying glass has a stylish appearance to it and standard 3x magnifying power.


Great for casual use to bring smaller objects or words into view. Measuring 7.9 inches in length, this is small enough to fit in most backpacks or bags. Wood handle is comfortable to hold and is easy to move around to magnify whatever you need to see.


Great for kids or students to explore with, but may not provide enough magnification power to bring very small print and objects into clear view.

Stalwart 75-MAG1001 Magnifying Glass with LED Light
75-MAG1001 Magnifying Glass with LED Light
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Bargain Pick
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A classic handheld magnifying glass at an affordable price that provides 4x magnification power and lights for reading.


Great for reading due to its 4x zoom and 6 LED lights that make words easily visible in low light conditions. Magnifying glass is lightweight and has a comfortable handle so your hand won’t get tired holding it if you stay up late reading.


Battery cover can be difficult to slide off and get back on once batteries are inside.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best magnifying glasses

Whether you’re having trouble with declining vision or working on a project that requires you to see tiny details, there are times when it can be difficult to see well with your eyes alone. Even with glasses, you may need a little help making out the fine print at times. With a magnifying glass, you can easily catch the details that your normal vision is missing.

A magnifying glass is a convex lens that provides a magnified image. You can use a magnifying glass to read small text or work on hobbies like model-building and knitting. It can also help reveal fine details on objects like coins, stamps, and gemstones.

To find the magnifying glass that meets your needs, pay attention to magnification power, focal length, and field of view.

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As you enter middle age, it’s common to develop presbyopia, which makes it difficult to read fine print. A magnifying glass can be helpful when you need to read small text.


Magnification power

The magnification power of a magnifying glass is a figure that reflects how large it’s able to make small details and print appear. Magnification power is usually designed by a number followed by an X. This figure indicates how many times the lens is able to magnify an object.

For example, a magnifying glass with 2X magnification power allows you to view an object as if it were two times closer to your eyes. A magnifying glass with 5X magnification power lets you look at an item as if it were five times closer. You might assume that a magnifying glass with the highest magnification power available is best, but a stronger magnification power can sometimes distort the image you’re looking at.

For reading, it’s usually best to stick to a magnifying glass below 10X. For hobbies and projects that require you to observe extremely fine details, you may prefer a 10X magnifying glass to see more effectively.

Focal length

The focal length is the distance that the object you’re looking at can be from the lens while it’s still in focus. In general, a magnifying lens with greater magnification power has a shorter focal length.

The focal length of your magnifying glass matters if you plan to use it for hobbies or projects that require tools. That’s because you need to have enough room to maneuver your tools between the object you’re working on and the magnifying glass.

Field of view

“Field of view” refers to how large of an area you can see when you look through the magnifying glass. Typically, the higher the magnification power, the smaller the field of view. In other words, a glass with a high magnification power allows you to see extremely fine details, but you can only see a small window of the object you’re looking at.

If you’re using a magnifying glass for reading, a large field of view is usually recommended. For hobbies, however, a smaller field of view may be more appropriate.

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Did you know?
A loupe is a magnifying glass that’s meant to be held close to your eye. This is the type of glass traditionally used by jewelers.

Magnifying glass features

Multiple lenses

Because there may be times when you need stronger magnification and times when you don’t want it to be quite as strong, it can be helpful to have a product with multiple lenses. For example, a magnifying glass might have a 2X lens and a 5X lens that you can alternate between to suit your activity.

Some magnifying glasses with multiple magnification powers have a split lens: one area offers lower magnification and another provides higher magnification. Depending on which area of the magnifying glass you hold over an object, you can increase or decrease the magnification power.

Other magnifying glasses feature multiple individual lenses that you simply pull off and replace as needed. The lenses usually snap into place easily, so it’s not difficult to change them based on your needs.


Many traditional magnifying glasses have a handle you must hold. But if you’re using a magnifying glass for a hobby like jewelry-making — or even if you’re going to be reading or relaxing with a crossword puzzle for a while — it may be helpful to have a hands-free model you don’t have to hold at all. With both hands free, you can use any tools that might be necessary for your project.

In most cases, hands-free magnifying glasses have some sort of stand that allows you to position the lens over the object you’re looking at. The stand is adjustable so you can position the lens as close to the item as you need and angle it to get the best view possible.

Some hands-free magnifying glasses are actually wearable. This type of glass has a strap that you wear across your forehead or neck to keep it on.


Even with a magnifying glass, you may not be able to see as many details as you’d like without the proper lighting. To make sure lighting isn’t a problem, some magnifying glasses have built-in lights. These models usually use LED bulbs, which are long-lasting and energy-efficient.

Lighted magnifying glasses usually have at least two LED lights, but some have as many as 15. The more lights a magnifying glass has, the easier it will be to see, especially if you plan to use it at night.

If you opt for a lighted magnifying glass, you may want to choose one with a dimming feature. That allows you to easily adjust the brightness to suit your needs.

Most lighted magnifying glasses use AAA or AA batteries, though some hands-free models have an AC adapter that requires access to an outlet.


Some magnifying glasses include accessories that make caring for and maintaining them easier. For example, if you buy a magnifying glass with a protective case, you don’t have to worry about the lens getting scratched when the glass is in storage.

You can also find magnifying glasses that include a cleaning cloth. These cloths are usually made of microfiber for gentle yet effective cleaning of the lens.

Magnifying glass prices

Magnifying glasses vary in price based on how many lenses they have and whether they’re lighted or not. They run the gamut from $2 to $45.

Budget magnifying glasses: The most affordable magnifying glasses have a single lens with one magnification power and aren’t lighted. These usually cost between $2 and $10.

Mid-range magnifying glasses: Mid-range magnifying glasses usually have built-in lighting and two lenses, each with different magnification powers. They typically have two or three LED lights, too. Prices range from $10 to $24.

Pricier magnifying glasses: The priciest magnifying glasses typically have two or more lenses with different magnification powers and built-in lighting. In fact, some models have as many as 12 built-in lights. These deluxe magnifying glasses usually cost between $24 and $45.


  • While you may assume that you should hold a magnifying glass at arm’s length from your eyes, you typically get the best results if you hold it close to your eye and bring the item you’re looking at right up to the lens.

  • If you have trouble reading fine print, it helps to carry a travel-size magnifying glass in your bag or pocket to help you with everyday tasks, such as reading a menu or food nutrition labels.

  • If your magnifying glass gets dirty, you can clean it with a photography lens cleaner. Make sure to wipe it away with a soft microfiber cloth to avoid scratches.
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Magnifying glasses can help individuals with conditions that impair vision, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.


Q. What type of magnifying glass is best for reading?

A. Most people find a handheld magnifying glass is usually the best option for reading books, magazines, and newspapers. The reason: you can easily move the lens closer or farther away based on text size.

Q. What features increase the durability of a magnifying glass?

A. The most common reason for replacing a magnifying glass is scratches on the lens. If you want your magnifying glass to last as long as possible, opt for a model with a scratch-resistant lens.

Q. What makes a handheld magnifying glass more comfortable to hold?

A. Choose a model with a lightweight plastic handle. That way, your hand is less likely to fatigue while holding it. Consider one with an ergonomically designed handle to fit the contours of your hand.

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