Best Magnifying Glasses: See Small Things More Clearly

These top handheld magnifiers will make reading tasks easier to complete

Entering our 7th season of /DRIVE on NBC Sports, and with millions of YouTube and Facebook followers, The Drive is a leading authority of all things automotive.

The Drive on NBCThe Drive on YouTubeThe Drive on Facebook

  • Product Network

    23 Products

  • Clock

    7 Hours

  • Reviews

    8 Reviews

How We Decided

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.

PUBLISHED ON December 19, 2019

As you get older, it can be more challenging to read small print or see the finer details on certain items. A good solution and an alternative to reading glasses is a handheld magnifier. The best magnifying glasses will make it easier for you to do day-to-day things, such as reading a menu. The products in our buying guide below provide just enough magnification to help you when you have a difficult time deciphering small print.

  • Best Overall
    iMagniphy LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass Set

    This magnifying glass includes two interchangeable lenses and comes with a carrying pouch and cleaning cloth. It's not too big or heavy, and you can switch the lenses depending on the application.


    The LED lights on the underside provide focused illumination, and the small 10x lens is large enough to use for reading. The lenses are easy to change and are secure when attached. The handle also has a good grip.


    It can be hard to get the back off to change the batteries. Also, the light switch may stop working after a few months of use.

  • Best Value
    Insten Magnifying Glass 5X Handheld Reading Magnifier
    This compact and lightweight magnifying glass features 5x magnification. It features high-quality metal and an optical glass lens.

    It is small enough to carry in a purse, and it works well for its size. It's a great hand-held magnifier for everyday use. The glass is clear and doesn't warp what you're looking at.

    t is not super powerful and may not achieve the 5x magnification it advertises. The lens may also fall out easily, and it is smaller than some consumers expect.
  • Honorable Mention
    MagniPros 3 Ultra Bright LED Lights Handheld Reading Magnifying Glass with Light
    This product features three built-in LED lights that the company claims last 25,000 hours or more. It's powered by three AAA batteries and has three different magnifications: 3x, 4.5x, and 25x.

    The tool is lightweight and sturdy and is made out of unbreakable ABS. It provides distortion-free viewing, and the LED lights are super bright. It also has an ergonomic handle to prevent fatigue.

    The LED lights may not work, and the batteries are not included. It may also be hard to open the battery compartment. The lens has been known to be defective.

Why Trust Us

All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more


  • Make sure you have a lot of light when you use a magnifying glass. The more lighting you have, the easier it will be to see the finer details.
  • If you really struggle with reading small print, consider a magnifying glass that comes with built-in lights. These types of magnifying glasses usually require batteries to operate, but some last longer than others.
  • The proper way to use a magnifying glass is to hold it halfway between yourself and the object. Then move the tool back and forth between you and the object to focus it.


Q: What is the best magnifier for reading books?

A: If you have a hard time reading small print, you should consider using a magnifying glass with bright LED lighting in combination with a large-print book.

Q: What size magnifying glass do I need?

A: The more powerful a hand-held magnifier is, the shorter the focal range is. Also, if you use a magnifying glass that is 8x or higher, you must keep it quite steady to retain focus.

Q: What is 2x magnification?

A: At 1x magnification, an object is increased in size by 100 percent, so a 1-inch item would appear to be two inches. With 2x power, the object would appear to be 3 inches. A 2x magnifying glass can be used to read menus or the labels on medication bottles.

Final Thoughts

Our top pick is the iMagniphy LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass Set. It comes with two lenses, LED lights, and is great for hobbyists, seniors, and others who want to see or read the fine details.

For a more budget-friendly option, consider the small and portable Insten Magnifying Glass 5X Handheld Reading Magnifier.