Hands free magnifying glass reviews

Hands free magnifying glasses come in several variations. They may be used by people with regular vision for precision tasks, or by people with low vision to compensate for their vision loss.

These are used for many purposes including for hobbyists to read books or newspapers, sewing, knitting, quilting, jewelry design, woodworking, painting, drawing, puzzles, electronics, repairs and more. They may be used by professional trades people such estheticians / beauticians or jewelers.

These are my picks for the best hands free magnifying glasses for various purposes.

Compare the different types of hands free magnifiers

ProductMagnification rangeOther featuresMore details
Brightech LightView Pro Flex Magnifying Lamp

Brightech LightView Pro Flex Magnifying Lamp
Up to 1.75xFlexible gooseneck stand. Interchangeable stand or clamp.
Top rated magnifier
Read more below or buy on Amazon.
Brightech LightView Pro LED Magnifying Glass Floor Lamp

Brightech LightView Pro LED Magnifying Glass Floor Lamp
Up to 1.75xFloor lamp Read more below or buy on Amazon.
YOCTOSUN Head Mount Magnifier With 2 Led Professional Jeweler's Loupe


YOCTOSUN Head Mount Magnifier With 2 Led Professional Jeweler's Loupe
1.0X, 1.5X, 2.0X, 2.5X, 3.5X lensesHead mounted on eyeglass frame OR flexible headband.
Interchangeable lenses of varying strengths.
Top rated magnifier
Read more below or buy on Amazon.
Humanware Explore 7

Humanware 7" electronic magnifier reading the news paper
2.3x - 19x adjustable


For mild to moderate vision loss
Very large 7" screen
Built in stand so you don't have to hold it.
Distance viewing mode
Rechargeable battery
Read more below or buy on Amazon.
Humanware SmartView 360 Video Magnifier

Humanware Smartview 360 digital magnifier connected to an iPad for large display
2.6x to 57x adjustable


For moderate to severe vision loss
19" LCD screen sits on your table
Can point camera down to read, or at self for grooming, or in the distance.
Built in handle for portability (weighs 8kg)
Read more below or buy on Amazon.
GoVision 24" LCD portable electronic magnifier

GoVision Focus portable video magnifier reading a magazine with small text
1.7x to 83x adjustable


For mild to severe vision loss
Largest 24" LCD screen
Largest range of magnification
Enhanced color and contrast modes
Distance viewing and self view modes
OCR mode - speech feature reads text aloud so you can listen and rest your eyes
Read more below or buy on Amazon.

 

Best hands free magnifying glass with light

Brightech LightView Pro Flex Magnifying Lamp

Brightech LightView Pro Flex Magnifying Lamp

This versatile magnifying lamp has an impressive 5 star rating on Amazon after more than 1000 customer reviews. (Amazon also sells it with free shipping and with Amazon Prime.)

It can be used as a desk lamp or use the supplied clamp to attach it the side of a table, chair or desk. It has a fully adjustable goose neck that bends in any direction so you can get the right angle and distance to look through the lens.

It has bright energy saving LED lights surrounding the lens. The LED technology is is very bright and you don’t have to replace bulbs, as they are made to last for more than 20 years of use!

It magnifies up to 1.75x, which is fairly moderate magnification but suitable  for people with relatively good vision who want to make their task a bit more comfortable.

This is a great option for people with good vision or mild vision loss to make it easier to do craft, reading, crosswords or hobbies. It’s available in black or white.

Top pick as a hands free magnifying glass with light for crafts.

Brightech LightView Pro LED Magnifying Glass Floor Lamp

Brightech LightView Pro LED Magnifying Glass Floor LampBuy from Amazon

This floor lamp is perfect for someone who has a favorite chair they like to sit in to read. It’s also large enough to extend over a bed for nighttime reading, or for use at a desk or kitchen bench.

The top of the stand is a flexible gooseneck which allows you to position the magnifying lens where you want it.

It magnifies up to 175% (ie 1.75x magnification). This is fairly moderate magnification but suitable  for people with relatively good vision who want to make their task a bit more comfortable or those with mild vision loss.

It has a built in LED light with a dimmer.

Available in black or white stands.

Top pick as a hands free magnifying glass with light for reading.

YOCTOSUN Head Mount Magnifier With 2 Led Professional Jeweler’s Loupe

YOCTOSUN Head Mount Magnifier With 2 Led Professional Jeweler's LoupeBuy from AmazonThis head mount magnifier is a #1 best seller on Amazon for hobby tool magnifiers.

Wear your magnifier on your head with the Yoctosun head mount magnifier. There are 2 ways of wearing this:

  1. use the comfortable eyeglass frame with rubber nose-pad or
  2. wear the flexible headband for a more-secure fit.

It comes with 5 interchangeable lenses with 1.0x, 1.5X, 2.0X, 2.5X, 3.5X magnification lenses made of scratch-resistant acrylic. See your work pieces or text magnified up to 350% original size with high clarity.

A headlight is built into the magnifier, with 2 super-bright LED – powered by 3 AAA batteries (included).

Great for jewelry work, watch repair, arts & crafts. This is a versatile reading magnifier that doesn’t require you to stay in the one spot, which makes it great for use in the kitchen, when traveling, or when reading away from a desk.

A great pick if you want to wear your magnifier on your head to keep your hands free.

 

HumanWare Explore 7 Handheld Electronic Magnifier

Humanware 7" electronic magnifier reading the news paperBuy Humanware Explore 7 digital magnifier from Amazon

Click here to read my detailed review of the Humanware Explore 7.

This electronic magnifier is a top pick for someone with moderate vision impairment who wants a hands free magnifier for reading.

You don’t need hands to hold the Explore 7 magnifier, as it stands up on the table or other solid surface you rest it on. You will need to push it side to side as you read. The very large 7″ screen means you fit more words on the screen when reading, but it is still a portable size.

It has a 7″ LCD screen and adjustable magnification from 2.3X-19X. You can also plug the Explore 7 into a TV or computer screen via a cable to see the video image taken from the Explore on the TV. This allows you to magnify what you’re reading even more as you can look at it on a much bigger screen.

It runs on a rechargeable battery and comes with charger included. It also comes with a cleaning cloth and a sturdy case to protect it when you’re on the go.

Able to buy online and have delivered to you.

 

Best portable electronic magnifier

Top pick for desk size portable electronic magnifier

Humanware Smartview 360 digital magnifier connected to an iPad for large displayBuy Humanware smartview 360 digital magnifier from AmazonHumanWare SmartView 360 Video Magnifier

For people who want to read a lot for pleasure, or for those with more severe vision loss, the greatest solution is to get an electronic magnifier that sits on your table or desk. The SmartView 360 has a 19″ LCD screen, which means you can fit a lot on the screen at once. Compare this to using a strong magnifying glass where you only see about one word at a time through the lens.

The controls are easy to use with practice, and are attached to the screen by a wire so they don’t get lost.

The large screen is also great for looking at photos or pictures, which you can’t really do properly with a powerful magnifying glass.

The SmartView camera can point any direction. Point down to read, write or do handiwork; point across the room for meetings or classes; and point at self for personal grooming. This is very versatile and allows you to keep your hands free for crafts, writing, or other tasks and see what you’re doing magnified greatly on the screen in front of you.

Magnification levels for desktop – 2.6x to 57x; distance – 0.6x to 27x; self view – 1x to 4x

Buy online from Amazon to have delivered to you.

 

Best large electronic magnifier with speech

GoVision Focus portable video magnifier reading a magazine with small textBuy GoVision Focus electronic desktop magnifier from AmazonGoVision – 24″ LCD Auto Focus Portable Electronic Magnifier

This is the ultimate option for someone who wants a strong magnifying glass for reading.

The GoVision digital magnifier has the largest screen available at the time of writing – 24″, which is the size of a large computer screen.

It also has an exceptionally large range in its magnification abilities – it can magnify from 1.7x up to 83x. This means it can be helpful for people with mild vision loss right through to those with severe vision loss.

One particular benefit of this equipment is that it can read printed text aloud in speech. This is wonderful for people with severe vision loss, for those who tire quickly, and for people who prefer to listen rather than strain their eyes.

Read more or order now to have delivered to you

 

Fancii Magnifying Glass with Light – set of 3 – Review

ancii lighted magnifying glass set

A lighted magnifying glass set of 3 illuminated heads and one handleBuy Fancii illuminated magnifier from AmazonReview summary:

This Fancii magnifying glass set contains one handle and 3 interchangeable heads of different magnification strengths. Each head has built in lights.

Who it’s suitable for:

This package solution is a great option for someone with mild vision loss, who needs to read font of varying sizes. For example, perhaps you read large print books and only need a small amount of magnification for them, but when reading the print in the newspaper you need a stronger magnifying glass.

It is also a good option for people who’s vision varies from time to time. Many people, for example, find that their eyes tire towards the end of the day, so may benefit from using the stronger magnifying lens then.

Who it’s NOT suitable for:

It is NOT suitable for people with moderate or severe vision loss. They will need stronger magnification than this. In that case, try looking at the digital magnifiers.

It is NOT suitable for people with dexterity problems. Some seniors can have difficulty pressing in the buttons to change the heads. This is okay if you don’t need to change the magnifying heads regularly, or have someone to help you change them. If you do need to use different sized magnifying glasses in one day and don’t have good dexterity, consider buying multiple magnifying glasses instead of a set that only comes with one handle.

After more than 1,000 reviews on Amazon this magnifying glass set is rated at 4.5 stars. It is a great product if matched with the right people.

Buy Fancii illuminated magnifier from Amazon

About the Fancii Magnifying Glass Set

This set provides 3 heads containing magnifying lenses of differing strengths. Each of them is illuminated with LED lights.

  • The lens with the largest diameter (3.5″) has the mildest magnification of 2x. This will approximately double the size of what you look at through the lens and is suitable for people with mild vision loss. It has a focal length of 8.5″.  (This means it focuses best when you hold it 8.5″ away from the page.)
  • The second lens is slightly smaller in diameter (3″) but slightly stronger in magnification strength. It has a focal length of 4.5″ and provides magnification of 3.5x. This would be good for someone with mild vision loss to use when reading particularly small writing.
  • The smallest lens (1.5″) is the strongest lens. It has a focal length of 1.5″ and magnifies 10x. This magnification strength is suitable for someone with moderate vision loss.

Changing the heads

To change the heads, first remove the head currently attached to the handle. This is done by pressing the buttons either side of the head where it connects to the handle. After that’s removed, simply slide on the head you want to use until it clicks into place.

This process is relatively straight-forward for people with good dexterity.

For people who have a poor sense of touch, as well as poor vision, it can be very challenging. In this case, it would be better to buy multiple magnifying glasses rather than a set that only contains one handle.

Lighted magnifying glass set of 3 by Fancii

Buy Fancii magnifying glass with light from Amazon

The benefits of getting a set of magnifying glasses

  1. If you need to read font of varying sizes you can switch the head to the one that is most comfortable for the task. For example, perhaps you read large print books and only need a small amount of magnification for them, but when reading the print in the newspaper you need a stronger magnifying glass.
  2. If your vision varies from time to time you can change the magnifying head as you need to. Many people, for example, find that their eyes tire towards the end of the day, so may benefit from using the stronger magnifying lens then.
  3. You can share between multiple people who need different levels of magnification.
  4. As your vision deteriorates this set will last longer, without having to go out and buy a new magnifying glass. So it is an economical option.

 

A magnifying glass with light

I always recommend getting a magnifying glass with light, as this improves reading results significantly. Each of the heads in this magnifier set contains 2 energy efficient LED lights. They are powered with 3 AAA batteries which go in the handle. The batteries are not included.

 

Other benefits

This lighted magnifying glass is compact and stylish. It has an ergonomically designed handle with padding to ensure better grip and comfort. There are 2 color options, with either a black handle or a pretty pale blue handle.

It is made with quality materials, including a glass lens.

You are able to buy it online through Amazon and have it delivered to you. After more than 1,000 reviews on Amazon this set is rated as 4.5 stars. People have generally been very happy with this purchase. When bought through Amazon it comes with a money back satisfaction guarantee.

Buy Fancii magnifying glass with light from Amazon

 

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Electronic magnifying glasses vs electronic magnifiers

Digital magnifier with large font

When people come to me asking about electronic magnifying glasses they usually mean one of two things:

  1. A battery operated magnifying glass with light; or
  2. An electronic magnifier.

While both these products are used to help people with low vision to read, there are big differences between the two categories. So I’d like to explain how they compare.

Battery operated magnifying glasses

Battery operated magnifying glass with set of 3 lensesThese look and feel like ordinary magnifying glasses. They magnify an image by using a concave piece of glass or perspex which distorts light to make the viewed object look bigger.

Battery operated ones are one step better than regular magnifying glasses, however, because they have a light source built into them. This means that as you hold the magnifying glass over your reading material the magnifier itself shines a bright light on what you’re looking at. This makes the effect of the magnification much clearer.

The built in light reduces or eliminates the need for extra lamps or lighting in the room when you’re reading. This is very handy as you don’t have to keep moving around to find a good light source.

For example, lets say you picked up a packet of food in your pantry and want to read its label. If you didn’t have a magnifying glass with light in it you would have to carry that packet of food over to a brighter area of your kitchen such as near a window or lamp.

Battery operated magnifying glasses are fairly economical. They range between about $5 and $100 depending on the quality, size, material, brand, strength etc.

The effective strength of these magnifying glasses ranges between 1.5x and about 20x. This is suitable for people with mild vision loss. They won’t be strong enough for people with moderate to severe vision loss, such as those with advanced macular degeneration or glaucoma.

If this suits your needs then you can find my recommended models of lighted magnifying glasses on this page.

 

Electronic magnifier

Humanware handheld electronic magnifier on stand reading small print in newspaperElectronic magnifiers are a lot more powerful than battery operated magnifying glasses. They don’t just use glass to distort light – they use a combination of video and software to enhance the image to a much greater extent. This allows the magnification to be much higher – up to 80x on some models. Therefore this is what would be required by someone with moderate vision loss or a more severe vision impairment.

These magnifiers also have other special features, such as being able to increase the contrast, change the colors, and magnify distance viewing. Some models can even read aloud printed material.

Many people assume because these use electronics they must be confusing – like using a computer or mobile tablet – but that’s not the case. This equipment is designed for elderly people with low vision to use, so they are quite straight forward with just a few buttons on them that are big and tactile.

Electronic magnifiers are also known as digital magnifiers, video magnifiers or low vision cctvs.

They come in different sizes – from handheld versions to big 24″ screens that sit on a desk or table.

One of the biggest differences is the price. These range from a couple of hundred dollars for the cheapest electronic magnifier to a few thousand for the best electronic magnifier with speech. While the price is much higher than the magnifying glasses, there isn’t really a fair comparison, because the 2 categories are for different groups of people. The former is for mild vision loss and the latter is for moderate vision loss. People with moderate vision loss are usually very happy that they spent the money to buy an electronic magnifier because it gives them back some of their independence by allowing them to read again.

If this is what you’re after then you can find my recommended models of electronic magnifiers on this page.

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Top 5 magnifying glasses with light

Powerful magnifying glass with light

Best magnifying glasses with lightMagnifying glasses with light built into them give much better results than non-lighted ones.

It doesn’t cost much more to get one with a light built in, so this is a feature you should definitely look for!

Some people with slight vision loss find that if they use really good, bright light they don’t need a magnifying glass at all. See here for recommended lamps for low vision.

If bright light alone is no longer enough to help you read, then you’ll need to try a magnifying glass with a light.

 

Why use a lighted magnifier?

When a light is built in to the device you don’t have to worry about physically moving to a brighter location to read. If you use a magnifying glass without a light, then even if you are in a bright room, the magnifying glass itself and your hand cast a shadow over your reading material.

When the magnifying glass has it’s own light, this shines directly on your reading material making it easier for you to read.

 

What is the strongest lighted magnifier?

The ABSOLUTE STRONGEST and BRIGHTEST magnification for visually impaired users are digital magnifiers. However these cost a lot more than handheld magnifying glasses with light. If that’s what you’re after, head over to this page on electronic magnifiers for more information.

This article covers the best optical magnifiers with light, which are more suited to people with mild to moderate vision loss.

 

What powers lighted magnifying glasses?

They are powered with AA or AAA batteries that need to be replaced from time to time.

 

My top 5 picks of lighted magnifying glasses

These top picks all have LED lights.

I’ve categorized them in 3 ways

  • cheapest for mild vision loss
  • best quality for mild vision loss
  • best for moderate vision loss

 

CHEAPEST lighted magnifying glasses for mild vision loss

These 2 options come in a set, so you’re getting 3 in 1! These great value bundles are best suited to people who are first starting to need a magnifying glass. They provide relatively low levels of magnification so aren’t suitable for people who need high strength magnifiers.

 

Magnifying Glass with LED Light and Interchangeable Illuminated Heads

  • Interchangeable illuminated heads
  • 2.5x, 5x and 16x lenses
  • Use different sizes for different sized print and different tasks
  • Bonus credit card sized magnifier, carry bag and cleaning cloth
  • Requires 3 standard AAA batteries
  • Money back satisfaction guarantee
  • Economic magnifying glass bundle with 3 in 1
  • Able to buy online and have it delivered to you.

 

 

Fancii Illuminated LED Handheld Magnifying Glass Set

  • Interchangeable illuminated heads
  • 2x, 3.5x and 10x lenses
  • Use different sizes for different sized print and different tasks
  • Money back satisfaction guarantee
  • Economic magnifying glass bundle with 3 in 1
  • Quality glass lens
  • Able to buy online and have it delivered to you.

 

 

Best quality lighted magnifying glasses for mild vision loss

Eschenbach is a top of the line brand name. They make high quality, German made magnifying glasses. This is the brand recommended by optometrists. They cost more but is definitely better quality than the budget versions.

If you only need a small amount of magnification go for the 3.5x option, and if you need a higher level of magnification go for the 10x option.

 

Eschenbach Mobilux Pocket LED Illuminated Magnifer – Eschenbach 3.5x

 

 

Eschenbach Mobilux LED 38D 10x

 

 

Best magnifying glass with light for moderate vision loss

This option provides 20x magnification with 12 LED lights. It’s about as strong as you can get in a lighted magnifying glass while still being a practical size. If you need stronger magnification than this, you’ll need to get a digital magnifier.

 

AboveTEK Handheld 4.2-Inch 20X Magnifying Loupe with 12 LED Lights (ATM-105L)

  • 20x magnification
  • very bright with 12 LED lights
  • 4.2″ diameter lens
  • 8″ length
  • durable, scratch and shatter resistant acrylic lens
  • Requires 2 AA batteries
  • Able to buy online and have it delivered to you.

 

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