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Best Magnifying Glass for Reading 2020 — Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated on August 13, 2020

a magnifying glass

Sometimes, the print in a book, magazine, or newspaper is so small, it seems impossible to read. Due to advanced age and certain eye problems, including macular degeneration, the inability to read small type becomes an important concern. In certain instances, such as the print on medication bottles, the information that needs to be read is vitally important.

A high-quality magnifying glass for reading can remedy this frustrating and potentially dangerous situation. With the right magnifying glass, you can have a handy tool at your disposal to quickly and easily read the smallest of font sizes.

We’ve rounded up the 10 best magnifying glasses for reading and included helpful reviews and quick reference pros and cons lists to help you find a magnifying glass to meet your specific needs.

A Quick Look at the Winners of 2020:

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
iMagniphy LED Magnifying Glass iMagniphy LED Magnifying Glass
  • High level of effectiveness
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use and store
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Insten Reading Magnifying Glass Insten Reading Magnifying Glass
  • Optical glass lens that is shatterproof and scratch-proof
  • 5X magnification
  • Lightweight, compact, and portable
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Brightech 2-in-1 Magnifying Glass Brightech 2-in-1 Magnifying Glass
  • Convenient, hands-free design
  • Sturdy base and flexible gooseneck
  • 25X magnifying glass
  • MagniPros Reading Magnifier MagniPros Reading Magnifier
  • 3X magnification
  • Optical-grade acrylic lens
  • Shatterproof and scratch-proof
  • EasyLifeCare Illuminated Magnifying Glass EasyLifeCare Illuminated Magnifying Glass
  • Hands-free design
  • Chest rest has soft padding for your comfort
  • 5X magnification
  • The 10 Best Reading Magnifiers:

    1. iMagniphy LED Magnifying Glass – Best Overall

    iMagniphy LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass

    We recommend the iMagniphy magnifying glass as the best overall product on our list. iMagniphy earns our top spot by including thoughtful features and a high level of effectiveness. It’s lightweight, as well as a great size for easy use and storage.

    This magnifying glass comes with everything you need to see even the smallest print. iMagniphy offers crystal-clear, all-glass lenses with two choices of magnification. Choose between a larger lens with 5X magnification or a smaller lens with 10X. Two LED lights help illuminate what you’re reading. The easy on-and-off switch is located on the ergonomic, nonslip grip handle.

    This magnifying glass set comes with a cleaning cloth and a helpful carrying pouch to contain all the components. However, the three AAA batteries for the LED lights are not included.

    Pros
    • High level of effectiveness
    • Lightweight
    • Easy to use and store
    • Two lens magnification choices
    • Two LED lights
    • Ergonomic, nonslip grip handle
    • Includes cleaning cloth and carrying pouch
    Cons
    • Three AAA batteries are not included

    2. Insten Reading Magnifying Glass – Best Value

    Insten MOTHXXXGLAS4 Magnifying Glass

    If you’re interested in the best magnifying glass for reading for the money, you may want to purchase the Insten magnifying glass. At a much lower price, you’ll get a well-made magnifying glass with an optical glass lens.

    This simply designed magnifying glass offers 5X magnification. Made from sturdy metal, the handle has a comfortable grip. This magnifying glass is lightweight to reduce hand fatigue and compact for easier portability to take it wherever you go. The glass lens is suitable for use by all ages, as its lens is both shatterproof and scratch-proof.

    We found inconsistencies with its ability to magnify clearly up to 5X magnification. We also learned that the diameter of the lens may be too small in size for your reading preferences.

    Pros
    • Best value
    • Optical glass lens that is shatterproof and scratch-proof
    • 5X magnification
    • Lightweight, compact, and portable
    • Suitable for all ages
    Cons
    • Some inconsistency with clear 5X magnification
    • Lens diameter may be too small for some users

    3. Brightech 2-in-1 Magnifying Glass – Premium Choice

    Brightech LightView Pro Flex 2-in-1 Magnifying Glass

    The hands-free design of the Brightech LightView magnifying glass earns its spot on our list as our premium choice. While certainly more expensive than other magnifying glasses for reading on our list, it may be worth the investment for such a convenient tool.

    Along with a clamp to secure the sturdy base, a flexible gooseneck extends 13.5 inches and easily adjusts, allowing you to position the magnifying glass where you need it. Be aware that we learned of a few instances in which the lens fell out and became damaged.

    The 2.25X magnifying lens is ringed with LED lights, enabling you to better see what you’re reading. You’ll need a wall outlet to power the lights, though only a short cord is included.

    Pros
    • Convenient, hands-free design
    • Sturdy base and flexible gooseneck
    • 25X magnifying glass
    • Bright LED lights
    • Included clamp to secure base
    Cons
    • More expensive
    • Short cord to power lights
    • Lens may fall out and become damaged

    4. MagniPros Reading Magnifier

    MagniPros 700987222302 Magnifying Glass

    The rectangular shape of the MagniPros magnifying glass matches your natural left-to-right reading style. The lens has a 3X magnification and is made from optical-grade acrylic, a material more durable than glass with its shatterproof and scratch-proof qualities.

    Your ability to read is enhanced by energy-efficient, long-lasting LED lights and the reduced-glare design of the frame housing the lens. Also, you can adjust the dimmer switch from low light to its highest setting, which is 30% brighter than traditional LED lights. Be careful that you or any other user has the extra-bright LED lights facing toward the page and not in the direction of potentially sensitive eyes.

    This magnifying glass is both portable and relatively lightweight. The handle has an ergonomic shape and can store the batteries for the LED lights. Unfortunately, the AAA batteries are not included with purchase. Also, with the batteries installed, the magnifying glass may become too heavy for some users.

    Pros
    • Rectangular shape matches left-to-right reading style
    • 3X magnification
    • Optical-grade acrylic lens
    • Shatterproof and scratch-proof
    • Energy-efficient, long-lasting, extra-bright LED lights
    • Portable with an ergonomic handle
    Cons
    • LED lights may accidentally shine in eyes
    • May be too heavy with batteries installed
    • Batteries are not included

    5. EasyLifeCare Illuminated Magnifying Glass

    EasyLifeCare ELC-M110LN Illuminated Magnifying Glass

    For another hands-free option, consider the EasyLifeCare magnifying glass. The clever design of this magnifying glass uses a chest rest and a neck lanyard, freeing your hands to hold what you intend to read. Although the chest rest has soft padding for your comfort, we learned that you must sit extremely still to keep the magnifying glass in place.

    The 4.5-inch diameter lens provides an anti-reflective, clear viewing area. It has 2.5X magnification, with a small circular portion of the lens designated for 4X magnification. We found it to be rather difficult to look through the 4X magnification area, however.

    This magnifying glass comes with two bright LED lights, and the lithium button cell batteries are included. The lights are bright enough for night reading, but the batteries do not last long.

    Pros
    • Hands-free design
    • Chest rest has soft padding for your comfort
    • 5X magnification
    • Extra 4X magnification area
    • LED lights
    • Batteries included
    Cons
    • May encounter trouble keeping magnifying glass in place
    • 4X magnification area may be difficult to use
    • Batteries quickly loose charge

    6. Unimi UM-GL01 Magnifying Glass

    Unimi UM-GL01 Magnifying Glass

    With an extra-large lens measuring 5.5 inches in diameter, the Unimi magnifying glass offers a wide viewing area. It also comes with three LED viewing lights for easier reading.

    The shatter-free, scratch-resistant acrylic optical lens mainly provides 2X magnification, with an incorporated circular area allowing for 4X magnification. A second, smaller lens, which gives you an amazing 25X magnification, resides at the base of the handle. We found that the main 2X lens doesn’t offer much magnification. Also, the 25X lens created some distortion.

    This magnifying glass comes with a slip-free grip and a comfortable ergonomic handle. At 5.8 ounces, it’s relatively lightweight. The LED light takes three AAA batteries, which are not included.

    Pros
    • Extra-large in diameter lens
    • Three LED viewing lights
    • Shatter-free, scratch-resistant acrylic optical lens
    • Slip-free grip and comfortable handle
    • Relatively lightweight
    Cons
    • Not enough magnification power with the 2X lens
    • 25X magnification lens may not be clear
    • Batteries not included

    7. Carson MiniBrite Pocket Magnifier

    Carson PO-55 MiniBrite Pocket Magnifier

    If you’re looking for a portable, lightweight magnifying glass, you may want to invest in the affordable Carson MiniBrite Pocket Magnifier. Its compact size can certainly fit into your pocket, and MiniBrite refers to the bright built-in LED light. However, batteries are not included.

    The lens provides 5X magnification and has an aspheric construction that eliminates distortion. Keep in mind that the viewing area is especially small, as it is not intended for reading broad stretches of print.

    The rectangular shape of the entire magnifying glass resembles your smartphone. When not in use, you can protect the lens with the sliding case, so you won’t have to worry about damage.

    Pros
    • Portable and lightweight
    • Compact enough to fit in pocket
    • LED light
    • 5X magnification
    • Protective sliding case
    Cons
    • Batteries not included
    • Not intended for reading large areas

    8. SeeZoom Lighted Magnifying Glass

    SeeZoom Lighted Magnifying Glass

    You’ll get two choices of lens magnification with the SeeZoom lighted magnifying glass. The main lens has a 3X magnification, while a smaller jeweler’s lens at the neck of the handle provides an impressive 45X magnification.

    This handheld magnifying glass provides three powerful LED lights, with two lights illuminating the main, larger lens and one brightening the smaller 45X lens. The placement of the LED lights at the base of the handle doesn’t shed light throughout the entire viewing area. We also found that for seeing larger areas of text, the circular shape of the lens doesn’t magnify a wide enough field of vision for reading fluently.

    This magnifying glass has a traditional shape that’s both sturdy and lightweight, as well as conveniently portable and easy to store. The lens is scratch resistant. The ergonomic handle can house the three AAA batteries used to power the LED lights, though they are not included with purchase.

    Pros
    • Three lens magnifications: 2X and 45X
    • Three LED lights
    • Sturdy and lightweight construction
    • Traditional shape is portable and easy to store
    • Scratch-resistant lens
    • Ergonomic handle
    Cons
    • LED lights do not illuminate entire viewing area
    • Circular shape of lens is not conducive for fluent reading
    • Batteries not included

    9. Dicfeos Shatterproof Magnifying Glass

    Dicfeos Shatterproof Magnifying Glass

    The glass lens of the Dicfeos shatterproof magnifying glass is secured in two layers, an inner plastic layer and an outer rubbery frame, for greater durability. Both shatterproof and scratch-resistant, the lens provides 3X magnification.

    The handle of this traditionally designed, handheld magnifying glass also employs the same sturdy, rubbery material. You’ll enjoy a firm nonslip grip as you hold this magnifying glass over your reading material.

    We placed this magnifying glass lower on list because it does not offer LED lights for improved vision and tends to be too heavy for many users. Also, the round lens may offer a viewing field too small for reading large areas of print.

    Pros
    • Shatterproof and scratch-resistant lens
    • Durable, sturdy construction
    • Nonslip, rubbery handle
    Cons
    • No LED lights
    • May be too heavy for some users
    • Small viewing field for reading

    10. MagnifyLabs Handheld Magnifying Glass

    MagnifyLabs MAG0005 Handheld Magnifying Glass

    The rectangular lens on the MagnifyLabs handheld magnifying glass offers the best viewing field for easy reading. The optical-grade glass lens provides a helpful 3X magnification. The scratch-resistant lens is made from real glass, not acrylic, and is designed to reduce distortion.

    This lightweight, portable, and easy-to-store magnifying glass comes with a plastic handle that has a thatched texture for a solid grip.

    We placed this magnifying glass last on our list because it does not include LED lights, has a smaller viewing field for reading than similar rectangular magnifying glasses on our list, and does not have a shatter-proof lens.

    Pros
    • Rectangular lens for better reading experience
    • 3X magnification
    • Scratch-resistant lens
    • Lightweight, portable, and easy to store
    Cons
    • No LED lights
    • Smaller viewing field than similar rectangular-shaped magnifying glasses
    • Glass lens is not shatterproof

    Conclusion:

    We recommend the iMagniphy LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass as the best overall choice on our list for its complete kit of supplies, high-quality lenses, and excellent LED lighting.

    For the best value, the Insten MOTHXXXGLAS4 Magnifying Glass provides 5X magnification in a compact, portable, and lightweight style.

    Finally, if you’re looking for premium magnifying, you may want to consider the Brightech LightView Pro Flex 2-in-1 Magnifying Glass for its hands-free convenience, clever gooseneck design, and bright LED lighting.

    We hope that after looking through our helpful reviews, you’ve found the best magnifying glass for reading to meet your needs.

    About the Author Robert Sparks

    Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.