How to choose a magnifier to give as a gift

Visually impaired senior reading to grandchild

Magnifying glasses and digital magnifiers are popular gifts for Grandma or Grandpa,  elderly parents and other loved seniors who have low vision.

It helps to give your loved one back their independence and their ability to read for pleasure or practicality.

It is a gift that’s both thoughtful and useful!

When its for Christmas or a birthday, you might want the gift to be a surprise – and you also want to make sure you get something that will provide value to the recipient. So the puzzle is in guessing which product will be best for them.

To help you solve this problem, here are my top picks for magnifiers for seniors when buying as a gift.


What to look for when buying a magnifying glass as a gift

Nicely wrapped present with bowIf the gift recipient has not used a magnifying glass before, or you know they only have mild vision loss,

  • then look for one of the magnifiers recommended for mild vision loss. That is, one with 2x-5x magnification.

If the gift recipient already own a magnifying glass, which is no longer working for them,

  • then they’ll need a stronger and/or brighter magnifier.
  • It is preferable to choose a magnifying glass with light built in, as they work better than non-lighted ones.
  • If you can, it would be good to find out what strength magnifying glass they are already using, to give you an idea of what strength they might need to progress to. The strength of the magnifier is usually written in small print somewhere on the handle.

If the gift recipient has moderate to severe vision loss,

  • regular magnifying glasses probably won’t be strong enough.
  • Or, the lens will be so small that it becomes tiresome to use.
  • In this case, it is time to progress to a digital magnifier, which is far more powerful and user friendly than even the strongest magnifying glass with light.

Digital magnifiers are significantly more expensive than standard magnifying glasses but they are also really valuable to people who need them. This makes them ideal gifts for someone with low vision. If you need a gift for someone with moderate to severe vision loss, but the digital magnifier costs more than you budget for, you might consider getting other family members to contribute to the cost.


These are my picks for the best magnifying glasses and magnifiers for seniors, for any gift giving budget.



Best magnifying glass under $20

Circular magnifier

MagnifyLabs Oversized 5 Inch Magnifying Glass

  • As simple as it gets! This 5″ circular lens is easy to use and provides 3x magnification.
  • Suitable for a someone with mild vision loss.
  • Durable, and has a money-back guarantee so if it doesn’t suit as a gift you can return it.
  • You can buy it online here.


Best magnifying glass under $30

Set of magnifiers as a gift for a low vision person

Magnifying Glass with LED Light and Interchangeable Heads

  • This set comes with 3 interchangeable heads – 2.5x, 5x and 16x lenses.
  • There’s a good chance that one or more of the magnification levels will suit the recipient!
  • Great as a gift for someone with mild to moderate vision loss.
  • Use different sizes for different sized print and different tasks
  • Comes with bonus credit card sized magnifier, carry bag and cleaning cloth.
  • This is a lighted magnifying glass which provides better results.
  • Money back satisfaction guarantee, so can return if unsuitable.
  • Able to buy online and have it delivered to you.



Best magnifying glass under $100

Magnifying glass by EschenbachEschenbach Mobilux Pocket LED Illuminated Magnifier

  • Eschenbach is a top quality brand.
  • If you want to get someone a quality magnifying glass that’s a bit nicer than usual, go for this.
  • The model pictured provides 3.5x magnification but other strengths are also available.
  • The model pictured is a rectangle shape, which is frequently requested by users.
  • High quality, German made magnifying glass with LED lights built in.
  • You can buy online and have it delivered to you.


Best digital magnifier under $1000

Humanware portable handheld electronic magnifier

HumanWare Explore 5 Handheld Electronic Magnifier

  • Great for moderate vision loss. Magnifies from 2x-22x.
  • Large 5″ screen for comfortable viewing.
  • Bright, LCD screen to provide high contrast. Also has 18 enhancement modes with different color combinations.
  • Handle. Great for viewing 3D objects such as at the shops or kitchen.
  • Inbuilt stand for table top reading. This tilts the screen to an angle so it’s more comfortable to read.
  • You can buy online and have it delivered to you

The ULTIMATE Magnifier Gift

Electronic reading magnifiers for visually impaired would be a great Christmas present
GoVision – 24″ LCD Auto Focus Electronic Magnifier

  • A huge 24″ High Definition LCD monitor for quality large images.
  • Makes reading enjoyable again for those who find handheld magnifiers insufficient or tedious.
  • Approx 1.7x to 83x magnification
  • See a whole photo large on the screen instead of only a small part at a time.
  • Hands free – great for writing, crafts or crosswords.
  • Full color mode as well as enhanced contrast options in various colors
  • Self view mode for personal grooming, makeup, shaving, etc
  • OCR – Scan and Read Software – to have printed material read aloud
  • Able to buy online and have delivered to you









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