9 Best Reading Magnifiers | March 2017

We spent 30 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. You shouldn't feel bad if you've started to have difficulty reading smaller print. It's called middle-aged presbyopia, and it happens to almost everyone. Just get one of these reading magnifiers and your problem will be solved. They're ideal for books, magazines, newspapers, menus, hobby work and intricate repairs. Skip to the best reading magnifier on Amazon.
9 Best Reading Magnifiers | March 2017

Overall Rank: 4
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 7
Best Inexpensive
The Magnifold MJ-50AMMU has a large, rectangular lens shaped to work seamlessly with the way you naturally view your documents, a menu, or the pages of a book. Its collapsible handle locks into three different positions for a custom grip.
The Fancii FC-MG210W is made with two scratch-resistant and detachable lenses designed for heavy use. It is ideal for the elderly who want to read, for hobbyists painting details on models, or for professionals doing a variety of precision jobs.
The Carson MiniBrite PO-55MU is a 5x-power, slide-out aspheric device with a built-in LED light and a crystal-clear acrylic lens that makes even the small print of most newspapers relatively easy to read. It's exceedingly portable thanks to its collapsible design.
The MagniPro Reading Handheld ED11 features an extra-wide viewing lens made from optical-grade glass that prevents the need for unnecessary and distracting hand movements while you try to read your book, magazine, or other type of document.
  • money-back guarantee
  • protective case for easy storage
  • needs greater magnification power
Brand MagniPros®
Model ED11
Weight 11.2 ounces
Built for more than just reading, the Marrywindix Handheld features a standard 3x magnifier as well as a secondary 15x optic that has a significantly smaller diameter than its weaker partner. Combining the powers makes this unit an excellent choice for jewelers.
  • led lights for extra illumination
  • ergonomic handle design
  • stronger lens could be bigger
Brand Marrywindix
Model No Model
Weight 0.3 ounces
Featuring two bright LED lights and a flexible neck to easily adjust its durable acrylic lens, the DeskBrite 200 is truly designed for versatility. It's good for reading and great for making repairs to small items or hobby work.
  • powered by adapter or aa batteries
  • 4-inch viewing diameter
  • base isn't very sturdy
Brand Carson
Model LM-20
Weight 2.3 pounds
The Domed Ivation Triple LED features a large convex lens constructed from premium optical glass that will magnify your document's text up to five times its original size. It's perfect for reading in a dark bedroom without disturbing your partner.
  • push-to-activate light
  • three integrated leds
  • case is made of aluminum
Brand Ivation
Model pending
Weight 8.8 ounces
The Yuanj Pocket Magnifier has a full-color 3.5-inch LCD screen, it fits in the palm of your hand, and it's ideal for reading books, magazines, and newspaper articles. It can display text as black-on-white or white-on-black.
  • auto-shutoff preserves battery life
  • sleek and attractive design
  • intuitive to use
Brand Yuanj
Model pending
Weight 13.6 ounces
The ViSee 4.3-Inch Digital is a portable electronic reading solution with four adjustable magnification levels spanning from 6x to 25x magnification. Its lithium-ion battery also offers four hours of continuous use, and can be recharged with the included adapter.
  • several built-in display modes
  • screen lock feature
  • convenient carrying case
Brand ViSee
Model LCD-Magnifier-43
Weight 1.4 pounds

Why Reading Magnifiers Can Be Better Than Glasses

Reading magnifiers are an incredibly useful tool for people suffering from conditions like macular degeneration, cataracts, or glaucoma. Some might wonder why a person would use a reading magnifier when, in essence, reading glasses simply are two small magnifiers that can be worn on one's head. But reading magnifiers can do things that glasses cannot. For example, not every text is created in the same size, and advanced reading magnifiers allow you to adjust the magnification to match everything you read. Some can magnify a text up to 25 times its original size.

People who suffer from glaucoma often also struggle with color vision deficiency and the dull black font set against the gray paper of newspapers can be a difficult color scheme for those with vision impairment to detect. Some reading magnifiers reproduce the text on a small LCD screen in a color scheme that's easier to read. Many models act as small reading lamps, too, with a bright LED light shining out of the magnifying glass, illuminating the text.

These types generally have a base so they can stand on a surface, and they usually have a flexible neck so the reader can bring them closer or further from their text. These lamp-style magnifiers are ideal for hobbyists who need their hands to work on detailed tasks, like assembling model ships.

As for the concern that reading magnifiers are bulkier than reading glasses, most are designed to fit in the palm of one's hand or pocket. Of course, you have the option of getting one with an extra wide screen, so that you can magnify nearly an entire page of text at once, and not need to move your hand much while reading.

Important Additional Uses For Reading Magnifiers

Reading magnifiers aren't just important for helping seeing impaired individuals read books and periodicals; they can help them navigate the world in many other ways. People who use special phones for the hearing and seeing impaired might need extra help seeing the name of the caller on their receiver, or reading the callback number for someone with whom they need to get in touch.

It can also be very important for them to read their prescription medication instructions when they do not have a nurse or aid to help them do so. Prescription medications typically have various font sizes between the general directions, special warnings and side effects, so the ability to adjust the magnification on these is critical.

The chances of vision loss increase after the age of 65, and this generation's seniors are not as well-versed with technology as the youth is, so many elderly individuals still use paper maps. Maps, like prescriptions, also have varying font sizes between the names of counties, towns, bodies of water and longitude and latitude readings. So a reading magnifier can help someone with vision troubles navigate their way around a new city.

Digital television guides are also something that mostly the younger generation knows how to work, leaving most seniors to read physical television guides. These typically have a tiny font for the channel names, an even smaller font for the program names, and a minuscule one for the show's description. So, again, the option to adjust the magnification is very useful here.

The History Of The Magnifying Glass

Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans were at the forefront of many inventions, and the magnifying glass is no exception. Thousands of years ago, Egyptians would look through pieces of crystal and other shiny stones in order to magnify items.

From 30 to 60 CE, the Roman Emperor Nero would look through gemstones to get a better look at theater productions. He was also one of the first people to wear gemstone sunglasses. The famous Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder would also use magnifying glasses to burn the flesh off of wounds between 23 CE and 79 CE.

There are also some jokes in the Ancient Greek play "The Clouds," (424 BCE) that mention magnifying glasses being used to start fires. The joke refers to magnifying glasses being sold in pharmacies, so they may have been a common household product at the time. It wasn't until the 1200s that the first magnifying glass was created for scientific use. Historians give credit to an English philosopher named Roger Bacon for this invention.

Around the time Bacon invented his version of the magnifying glass, the Arab mathematician, and scientist, Ibn al-Haytham spoke of a convex lens with which he magnified images in his book "Book of Optics." This book would go on to be an important part of the development of seeing eyeglasses, which were developed in Italy in the 13th century.

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Last updated: 03/29/2017 | Authorship Information