The 10 Best World Globes

Updated February 08, 2018 by Sam Kraft

10 Best World Globes
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Regardless of your location, a world globe can be a fascinating item to interact with. Business professionals, academics and children alike can learn from studying these objects, many of which can also serve as a stylish decoration. Some are designed specifically for use in the classroom, while others will make an elegant addition to a home library or office. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best world globe on Amazon.

10. Ravensburger 3D

The Ravensburger 3D is a fun, outside-the-box way to teach your child about geography. Children will learn valuable lessons by piecing this sphere together, much like they would a puzzle, and they’ll likely enjoy the colorful animal images all over the surface.
  • comes with 180 pieces
  • ideal for ages 7 to 12
  • plastic base is not very durable
Brand Ravensburger
Model 12338
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Waypoint Scout II

The Waypoint Scout II provides you with the choice between a standard model and an illuminated version of the same high-quality globe. It’s designed with a surprising amount of detail, such as precise ocean topography information.
  • features 4000 points of interest
  • includes a 1-year warranty
  • colors may fade over time
Brand Waypoint Geographic
Model WP21001
Weight 4.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. EHome Old World

If you enjoy a relaxing cocktail while contemplating all of the countries that you would like to visit, the EHome Old World is a tasteful choice. This bar model can accommodate liquor bottles and wine glasses, and it features interesting 16th century cartography.
  • legs are made of hardwood
  • equipped with rolling casters
  • it does not spin
Brand eHomeProducts
Model SYNCHKG017609
Weight 24 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

7. GetLifeBasics Earth

Built with a heavy stainless steel base, the GetLifeBasics Earth is a large, sturdy model that’s not easy to tip over. The package contains an e-book that offers geographical games and quizzes, which is likely to be a hit with the kids.
  • comes with a compass
  • illuminates to show constellations
  • borders are tough to see
Brand GetLifeBasics
Model pending
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Kidzlane Interactive

During the day, kids can explore all of the world's countries and regions by way of the easy-to-read labels on the Kidzlane Interactive. At night, an automatic sensor activates built-in lights that display the major constellations, connected by labelled stars.
  • stands 14 inches tall
  • socket for ac power adapter
  • does not show many cities
Brand Kidzlane
Model 571
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Replogle Franklin

When you think of a globe that may have looked at home on your grandfather’s office desk, there’s a decent chance it resembles the Replogle Franklin. This unit rotates smoothly and features a slightly raised surface to indicate mountainous terrain.
  • handsome antique design
  • does not require any assembly
  • base can be scratched easily
Brand Replogle
Model 31501
Weight 4.5 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Advantus Desktop

A logical option for a classroom, the Advantus Desktop includes raised topographical details, which can be useful in teaching situations. This model also highlights provinces, with different shades of blue in the ocean to indicate depth.
  • made of durable plastic
  • colors are vibrant and attractive
  • 12 inches in diameter
Brand Advantus
Model 30502
Weight 6.2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Little Experimenter

Since it comes with a strong, stable base to prevent tipping, children can spin the Little Experimenter as often as they like. This illuminated unit marks all regional, international, and continental borders clearly, and it’s powered by four AA batteries.
  • all major deserts are labeled
  • easy-to-access light switch on base
  • can also be used as a nightlight
Brand Little Experimenter
Model pending
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

2. Nak Illuminated

At 17 inches tall with an extensive, detailed surface, the Nak Illuminated can serve as the centerpiece to a living room or a classroom. You can adjust the light to shine in any of 16 different colors, or you can set it up to cycle through all of them.
  • stylish cherry finish
  • comes with a remote
  • 3 brightness levels
Brand NAK Globes
Model pending
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Replogle Lancaster

If you know someone who gets fired up about old-school artifacts, the Replogle Lancaster is something you’ll want to consider. This classy, 12-inch model is designed with a sleek, brass-plated meridian and features plenty of accurate detail.
  • 2 colors to choose from
  • assembly is quick and easy
  • wooden base is tall and stable
Brand Replogle
Model 37806
Weight 19.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Around The World

Long before life begins to hand us its doses of reality–as it often does by almost imperceptible degrees–which strip us of our sense that any future is possible, we sit as kids before the globe, turning the ball and dropping our fingers on it. The globe stops, and wherever our finger lands is sure to be a place we'll visit, perhaps a place we'll someday live.

It's a sweet game, and thinking back on it might cause feelings of nostalgia, or even regret to rise up in you. Do not despair, however. The notion that you are somehow beyond your years of exploration, too old, or too busy, or too laden with responsibilities to even dream anymore of an endlessly possible future, is an illusion. All you need is a change of perspective.

A globe is, first and foremost, a tool for education. It represents the layout of land and water masses across our Earth in relatively perfect proportion (the Earth isn't actually quite spherical; there's a big bump in it, but that's make globe design rather awkward). People of any age, from pre-literate children to the eldest of the elderly, stand to learn a thing or two from time spent taking in the detail of a good globe.

Additionally, globes serve as fine decorative pieces for the home, informing anyone who enters your space that you have a sense of the world around you. You may never have left the town you grew up in, but a nice globe in the living room will at least suggest otherwise.

More than anything else, though, a globe is a harbinger of possibility. It speaks spinning volumes of the explorer's spirit in all of us, of mankind's achievements thus far, and of achievements to come. Someday soon, perhaps, we'll have Martian globes on display next to those of the Earth, and kids will spin the red planets to see which colony they'll live on when they grow up.

How Do You See The World?

Since globes are essentially maps wrapped neatly around balls, picking from among the globes on our top ten list ought to start with your purposes for a given map. Some maps serve purely aesthetic means. I have, for example, a lovely, detailed map hanging on my wall of the island on which the original Jurassic Park film took place. Other maps serve purely educational purposes, like the big, colorful political maps of our kids' classrooms and history books.

Should the purpose for your globe be more educational, you'd do well to get your hands on a globe that sports one such political map. The countries and capitals, seas and oceans will make themselves readily clear to anyone who examines it. These are also the best maps for spinning and landing, that game described above that could very well divine your geographical future. Since these maps contain the most information about the most places, you can get pretty specific about where you might end up.

I always liked globes for their appearance as much as anything else, and the more ancient-looking the better. Old world maps with the tops and tails of whales jutting out from uncharted seas, with unnamed mountain ranges and lands forbidden to man have always fascinated me.

If you share my affinity toward globes of the past, you might be in the market for more of a decorative piece than an educational one. These globes tend to be a little more expensive, but they also have a rare interactive quality to them, and if well-made enough, they can become valuable heirlooms within your family.

Should you be in the market for a globe by its appearance, you'll want to make sure that it suits the decor of the room for which it's intended. Nothing ruins a space more than an out-of-place globe. An educational globe with a standard political map in an expensive-looking study with deep green walls and chocolate leather everything would stick out terribly. Conversely, a globe suited for that space would look downright silly in a child's bedroom. It's all in how you want to see the world.

The Whole World In Your Hands

Don't tell Columbus, but people have known that the Earth is a sphere since at least the third century BCE. Greek astronomers figured as much from their celestial observations, and by the second century BCE they'd constructed the first terrestrial globe known to man.

In the middle years of the Persian Empire, Islamic astronomers made more and more complex and accurate globes based on the collected data of the time, and they introduced these globes to China and parts of Europe and North Africa.

Over the next 800 years on to today, the globe has become ever more accurate thanks to measurements taken by satellites from outside the Earth itself. A century or so before these devices launched into orbit, though, another globe fad swept through the West.

This was perhaps the coolest and nerdiest fad among elites at any point in history. Somehow, in the 1800s, it became a status symbol to own and to flaunt pocket globes. These were little globes that popped open for storage or to house additional terrestrial information, and they served both as fashion accessories for wealthy adults and as educational materials for wealthier children.

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Last updated on February 08, 2018 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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