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Best Magnifying Glass for Macular Degeneration 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

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a magnifying glass

Choosing a magnifying glass for someone with macular degeneration can be more challenging than you might think. You will need to consider several factors that you may not have thought of before, like weight and illumination. Magnifying glasses are also a popular toy, so there are hundreds of brands to sort through.

After reviewing dozens of brands, we have chosen the eight most popular models bought to help people with macular degeneration to review for you. We’ll tell you what we like about each one, and you can see what qualities are important to you. We’ve included a buyer’s guide as well to take a close look at the different aspects of what makes a magnifying glass suitable for macular degeneration.

Keep reading for our detailed reviews of each brand of magnifying glass for macular degeneration, where we compare weight, magnification, LEDs, and lens quality, to help you make an informed purchase.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

ModelPriceMagnificationOur Rating
MagniPros
MagniPros 700987222302 Magnifying Glass
(Best Overall)

Check Price
3x4.75/5
Unimi UM-GL01
Unimi UM-GL01 Magnifying Glass
(Best Value)

Check Price
2x, 4x, 25x4.4/5
iMagniphy LED Illuminated
iMagniphy LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass
(Premium Choice)

Check Price
5x + 10x4.35/5
iLumen8 PM-LED
iLumen8 PM-LED-3X Pocket Magnifying Glass

Check Price
3x4/5
Fancii Fancii FC-MG2XRM Handheld Reading Magnifying Glass
Check Price
2x3.9/5

These are the eight brands we think are best suited for macular degeneration.

The 8 Best Magnifying Glasses for Macular Degeneration

1. MagniPros Magnifying Glass – Best Overall

MagniPros 700987222302 Magnifying Glass

The MagniPros Magnifying Glass is our choice for the best overall magnifying glass for macular degeneration. This model comes equipped with two interchangeable lenses. One lens has a magnification of 5X, while the other has a 10X magnification. Two bright LEDs help light up the area at night and in low light conditions. This magnifying glass is exceptionally lightweight and fits into your hand comfortably.

We found that it felt natural to hold, and the light button is in precisely the right place to be functional. Our chief complaint is that changing the lenses can be quite a challenge until you get the hang of it because it requires a fair amount of squeezing to accomplish.

Pros
  • Two interchangeable lenses
  • Two bright LEDs
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable grip
Cons
  • Hard to change the lenses

2. Unimi UM-GL01 Magnifying Glass – Best Value

Unimi UM-GL01 Magnifying Glass

The Unimi UM-GL01 Magnifying Glass is our pick for the best value, and we think you will agree that this is the best magnifying glass for macular degeneration for the money. This model features an extra-wide 5.5-inch lens that can help you see larger areas at once. It features three lenses. The large 5.5-inch lens is 2X magnification, and inside that lens is a small lense that features 4X magnification. Inside the handle is yet another tiny lens that has a magnification of 25X. There are also three LEDs to help brighten the area you are magnifying.

We liked the 5.5-inch lens, it’s great for reading books and large sections of the newspaper, but we felt the magnification could be higher. The 25X lens in the handle is too small to use, especially for someone with macular degeneration.

Pros
  • Large 5.5-inch lens
  • Three LED lights
  • Three magnifying lenses
Cons
  • Small 25X lens

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3. iMagniphy LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass – Premium Choice

iMagniphy LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass

The iMagniphy LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass is the brand we have chosen as our premium choice. This magnifying glass for macular degeneration comes with two lenses, or you can upgrade to a three-lens version. The two lense version features 5X and 10X magnification, while the three lense upgrade features 2.5X, 5X, and 16X magnification. It features bright LEDs to help illuminate the area you are magnifying and is excellent for reading at night. This model also comes with a carrying pouch to help protect the lens when it’s not in use.

The main downside to this brad is its high cost, especially the three lens version can be off-putting. The battery holder is also likely to give some people trouble.

Pros
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Hard to install batteries

4. iLumen8 Pocket Magnifying Glass

iLumen8 PM-LED-3X Pocket Magnifying Glass

The iLumen8 PM-LED-3X Pocket Magnifying Glass is a brand designed for travel. It features a compact design that allows the lens to retract during transport and slide out when needed. It features 3X magnification and has a bright LED that lights up the area well. It also comes ready to go with the required batteries included in the package.

The iLumen8 PM-LED-3X Pocket Magnifying Glass is excellent for travel, but the lens is much too small to be of any real help for reading, or doing bills, etc. Our light also burned out after about 10 hours of use, which is pretty short compared to some of the others on this list.

Pros
  • Compact design
  • Bright LED
  • Batteries included
Cons
  • Small lens
  • Light doesn’t last

5. Fancii Handheld Reading Magnifying Glass

Fancii FC-MG2XRM Handheld Reading Magnifying Glass

The Fancii FC-MG2XRM Handheld Reading Magnifying Glass features a large square lens that can help you magnify larger areas at a time. LED illumination helps brighten hard to see words and objects. A carrying case helps protect the glass from scratches and dirt.

We felt the 2X magnification is a little low, and we would have like a stronger lens. The design causes some of the light to shine into your eyes and create a glare that can make it a little hard to read. It feels pretty cheap to hold, and the handle doesn’t provide any counterbalance to the lense, so after a while, your hand begins to cramp.

Pros
  • Large lens
  • LED illumination
  • Carrying case
Cons
  • The light shines in your eyes
  • Low magnification
  • Not well balanced
  • Feels cheaply made

6. SeeZoom Lighted Magnifying Glass

https://opticsmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/MagniPros-700987222302-Magnifying-Glass.jpg

The SeeZoom MG1001 Lighted Magnifying Glass comes equipped with two lenses. The larger lens features 3X magnification, which is better than the more common 2X magnification for people with macular degeneration. The second lens is in the handle and can magnify 45X. Both lenses are scratch proof, and the entire unit is extremely durable.

While we were trying out this brand, we noticed that it gets a little heavy after you use it for a while, and the two LEDs are not pointed correctly for maximum viewing in the dark. We didn’t find much use for the 45X magnifying glass because it’s so small that anything you magnify that much becomes larger than the lens.

Pros
  • Two lenses
  • Ergonomic design
  • Durable
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Light not directed correctly
  • Small 45X lens

7. Bulex Magnifying Glass

Bulex Magnifying Glass

The Bulex Magnifying Glass comes with a lens that provides a 10X magnification. This amount of magnification is perfect for people with macular degeneration, and it removes the need to switch any lenses. Twelve LEDs around the perimeter of the lense, illuminate the entire viewing area and minimizes glare.

We found this magnifying glass large and somewhat bulky. It’s not overly heavy, but it is sizable. The second problem we have with this brand is the electronics. We had two of these, and one would flicker if you shook it, and the other had a faulty switch, so the lights would not turn on. The customer service did a great job fixing it both times.

Pros
  • 10X magnification
  • 12 LEDs
  • Customer service
Cons
  • Bulky
  • Poor quality electronics

8. ZOLED Magnifying Glass

ZOLED Magnifying Glass

The ZOLED Magnifying Glass is the last model on our list to review. This model is similar to the last one in that it provides a large lens with 10X magnification that’s perfect for people with macular degeneration. It also has the 12 LEDs that encircle the glass for a brightly lit, glare-free view.

This model is also huge and bulky and not very well balanced. The lens is much heavier than the handle, and your hand and forearm will become tired after only a short while. It also feels cheaply made and is more like a toy.

Pros
  • 10X magnification
  • 12 LEDs
Cons
  • Large
  • Not Balanced
  • Not durable

Buyer’s Guide

Let’s look at the essential aspects of the magnifying glass and figure out how to tell when a brand is suitable for people with macular degeneration.

Tips

Here are some things to keep in mind when you are in the market for a magnifying glass suitable for macular degeneration.

  • Ask your doctor what magnification is best for you. Many times your doctor can help let you know what your magnification requirements are. Choosing a magnification that’s too low, or too high, will diminish the effectiveness of the tool.
  • If possible, try to find a few brands to try out first. Your eye doctor will often have several types on hand that you can try out to see which kind is the most comfortable for you to use.
  • Your doctor can also show you how to use the magnifying glass properly. Many people don’t realize there is a technique behind using these tools, which can diminish their effectiveness.
  • Different jobs will require different types of magnification. Don’t expect one glass to do it all. Some may be better for long term reading, while others are handy to have with you at all times. Travel brands are cheap to replace if they get scratched or broken, and you can place several in convenient locations. Purchase the best one you can find, and keep it in a brightly lit area of the home for reading and doing bills.
  • The more light you have, the easier it is to see. Often increasing the number of lamps and the wattage of the bulbs will also decrease your magnification requirements.
  • Keep in mind that your needs will change over time. What works today may not tomorrow, and you may find yourself on the constant lookout for brands that better suit your needs.

Lens

The most critical part of any magnifying glass for macular degeneration is the lens, and there are three things about the lens you need to know, the magnification, the size, and the lens material.

Magnification

One of the first things most people look at when they shop for a magnifying glass is how much magnification they provide. It’s often thought that higher magnification is better, but that isn’t true in every case. A higher magnification reduces the field of view. Low magnification lenses may allow you to increase the size of an entire paragraph, where a high magnification lens might only let you look at a few letters at a time.

You can find lenses with magnifications that vary from 2X to 50X, the most common being the 2X magnification. The 2X is perfect for most people that need reading glasses, but for those with macular degeneration, we recommend starting with a 3X lens. A brand that allows you to change lenses, and provides a  few different magnifications is your best bet because you are likely to need more and less magnification for various tasks.

Size

The size of the lens is almost as important as the magnification. A larger lens will allow you to look at a larger area. Bigger lenses can be especially helpful when working with high magnification. We recommend getting at least one lens that is as large as you can comfortably handle.

Material

Whether the lens is glass or plastic will have an impact on the final product. Glass is the traditional material used because of its clarity. Plastic lenses are on the rise and are less expensive than glass and much lighter. There are also fewer imperfections with plastic, but they are slightly more susceptible to scratches.

Illumination

Many bands that produce magnifying glasses for macular degeneration include LEDs to help illuminate the area you are magnifying. Usually is one or more lights place by the handle, but some models feature lights that go all the way around the lens, which helps reduce glare.

We recommend finding a brand that includes lighting, and the brighter, the better. We also recommend increasing the number of lights in your home as well as the wattage of the bulbs.

Balance

Another thing to consider when choosing a magnifying glass for macular degeneration is the balance of weight. Especially if you purchase a brand that uses a glass lens. If the handle does not balance the lens, it can cause sore hands and wrists over time.


Conclusion

We recommend a brand that has a plastic lens with at least 3X magnification, or changeable lenses with as much illumination as you can get. A perfect example is our choice for the best overall. The MagniPros Magnifying Glass features two lenses, two LEDs, and it’s lightweight with an ergonomically designed handle. The Unimi UM-GL01 Magnifying Glass is another excellent choice and is our pick for the best value. This brand features a colossal lens and three different magnifications.

If you have enjoyed reading over these reviews and they have helped you get closer to a decision, please share these magnifying glass for macular degeneration reviews on Facebook and Twitter.


Featured Image: PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay