Top kids’ microscopes this year – Guide & Comparative Analysis
If you are short on time and you just want to find the best microscope for kids, this short paragraph should help you get exactly the model you need. According to our findings, the My First Lab Duo-Scope MFL-06 is the best choice out there as it features 40x, 100x, as well as 400x magnifications and comes with a myriad of accessories that your son or daughter might need in order to learn how to use such a device. In addition to all of this, this model has a sturdy construction and optics components constructed out of glass. All in all, the unit is a dependable choice for an eager learner who wants to start learning a bit more about the world that is hidden to the naked eye. If the My First Lab Duo-Scope MFL-06 is unavailable, your second option should be the AmScope 40X-1000X Metal.
Our Top Choice
This affordable model boasts a magnification range of 40x to 400x, which is enough under most circumstances. The unit also comes with a built-in illumination system. Its well-built frame and the fact that it has been outfitted with real glass optics are two other advantages to keep in mind.
Since the maximum magnification of this microscope is only 400x, it cannot be used to view very small samples.
Since the kit contains a variety of accessories ranging from teasing needles to prepared slides, this model seems like a good deal to consider.
You will get to explore many interesting samples with the help of this microscope. The unit is sturdily built and comes with a metal frame that is clearly designed to take a lot of wear and tear. Another thing you will like about it is that it has coarse and fine adjustments for focusing so that you can use it for various projects.
This model doesn’t have an instructions manual, which is not convenient, especially for untrained users.
A versatile and easy to use unit that will help you begin exploring the world around you, this model is a good option for students and children.
Also To Consider
As is the case with other choices in this same line, the Student M162C-2L is accompanied by a plethora of extras ranging from tweezers to blank slides. The 40x to 1000x magnification range is also rather satisfactory as is the fact that the unit boasts a proprietary illumination system.
A few prepared slides come with this model. Still, for a richer experience, there could have been more.
As a real microscope that gets the job done anytime you need its services, this AmScope model speaks to the needs of older kids and teenagers.
Purchasing the best kids’ microscope is quite a baffling task nowadays, as there are many alternatives out there that you should consider. Making the difference between a model you might need and one you can do without is difficult, and that’s why we have created a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you with the entire process. To make an informed decision, all you must do is keep on reading.
Find a real lens microscope
While the market holds a plethora of offers for toys and various units made of plastic, the fact of the matter is that nothing can destroy your child’s interest in science and biology like a poorly made microscope. Most of the plastic lenses we have studied while doing our research on the matter do a poor job when it comes to focusing on the image. Besides, high temperatures can affect their reliability, size, and shape over time, so it goes without saying that they’re not winners in terms of the durability of student microscopes. Therefore, a good microscope for kids will always have glass optics, despite it being more or less budget-friendly.
The number of times you can magnify an area on the sample that you’re interested in studying is one of the most important characteristics that you should give some thought to. While professional microscopes for kids have magnification abilities in the range of 40x to 1000x and beyond, the vast majority of the units intended for children usually go up to 400x. Nonetheless, this maximum magnification is more than enough to study heaps and heaps of specimens, be they inanimate or not.
Ease of use and convenience
When looking for the best kids microscope, there are two ways of going about things. One of them is to get a full-size monocular or binocular option, but you have to keep in mind that such a device has similar features with professional alternatives. Therefore, the child has to learn how to focus the image, place the slide in the designated spot, and have a bit of patience with his or her learning curve.
The second method that you might end up selecting is to prospect the market for a handheld USB microscope. Most of these models have magnification capabilities of up to 220x, but the neat thing about them is that they’re small, easy to hold in one’s hand, and can be connected to a computer or laptop so that the user views and stores the images accordingly. It stands to reason that this choice is considerably easier to work with any of its full-size counterparts. Nonetheless, you need to keep in mind that these units are designed to be portable, which is why their components might not be made of the same high-quality materials employed in the construction of a real model.
What should I choose? A monocular or a binocular microscope?
As you might have already figured out from their denomination, some microscopes for kids come with two eyepieces whereas others are outfitted with just one. Even though many people tend to think that two are better than one, the fact of the matter is that it doesn’t all boil down to this theory. Kids have close-set eyes (clearly a microscope for 5-year-old doesn’t have the same features as one for an 18-year-old), and so it might be harder for them to have a peek at what’s going under the objective if they can’t customize the distance between the two eyepieces. Believe it or not, a monocular option is a perfect microscope for a young beginner (especially if you’re looking for a microscope for toddlers) as he or she will find it easier to use. Of course, the child’s age also needs to be considered before making your final call.
When it comes to microscopes, these devices can vary quite a lot in terms of style, size, and type. No matter if you are going for a digital model or a compound microscope, the most important aspect is for the unit to be easy to use so that your kid can enjoy discovering his or her passion in terms of science.
Given that we’re talking about a product that is going to be used by a child, it’s good to keep in mind a few aspects in order to make the entire process of choosing the right option an easy one. First of all, it’s important to pick a sturdily built microscope that includes heavy-duty plastics and elements made of metal.
It’s true that it may be a bit heavier than other options on the market, but you can rest assured that such a model can withstand a kid’s rough handling. Microscopes that are made to last also prove to be a more cost-effective solution in the long run, so keep in mind that choosing quality and durability is definitely the way to go.
In terms of magnification, microscopes are primarily used to see objects or elements that are hidden to the naked eye. Therefore, taking a look at the unit’s magnification and focus should be one of the main criteria when making your choice. Of course, the final purchasing decision may be influenced by many other factors as well, such as your kid’s age and experience when it comes to science.
However, going for one of the more powerful microscopes that include a higher magnification can be a good idea in the long run as well, given that you may be able to develop your child’s passion for science and sustain it in the long run. It’s true that the unit has to be easy to use, so going for a professional compound microscope is not necessarily an option.
On the other hand, if your kid learns how to change slides and looks for exciting subjects, you will probably be more than happy with his or her progress with using microscopes in general and pursuing an interest in science.
Illumination and other features
Microscopes need a good source of light in order to ensure a reliable viewing. No matter if we’re talking about a digital model or a more traditional one, one of the most popular choices when it comes to light consists of LED systems. Other alternatives include fluorescent or halogen sources, but LED lights ensure great brightness and are also long-lasting.
Since microscopes designed for kids are easy to use and many times come as digital models, you also need to make sure that you can find the right replacements, in case anything gets broken. Along the same lines, each of the microscopes available for kids comes with some special features that might make their efforts in understanding science easy and fun.
You should look for models that include slides for easier viewing experience, as well as tools, books, and maybe specimen storage. Digital models might not include these, given that they can be easily connected to other devices or a smartphone, but this depends on the product you choose.
Digital units can also enhance the viewing experience using special apps, if they are connected to a smartphone, and the choice ultimately depends on your kid’s experience and preferences.
What would be better? A compound microscope or a stereo one?
One of the main considerations you need to take into account when you search for a new microscope for your kid’s science experiments is whether you should buy a compound microscope or a stereo device.
A compound microscope represents a great option for beginners if you plan on making your own slide collection at home or if your child is interested in following a science-based education soon. This type of device allows you to see smaller objects, suitable for preparing specimens.
On the other hand, a stereo microscope is a better choice for those who don’t necessarily want to pursue specimen preparation and don’t want to see really small objects. Although not exactly a “toy”, many teenagers and young adults discard stereo microscopes as they provide limited functions and won’t help them too much in the science research field.
At the end of the day, you should pick the right microscope according to your kid’s age and his or her curiosity about finding more about the world surrounding us.
What about a digital microscope?
A digital microscope might be a good option for children too, especially those passionate about science and technology at the same time. It represents a variation of the traditional optical microscope and uses optics and a digital camera to deliver an image to a monitor.
A digital microscope often comes with its own built-in LED light source that focuses on the digital circuit to deliver images. In other words, the optics are redesigned to meet the requirements of the digital specifications, while the optics for the human eye are omitted entirely.
A device like this also comes with better magnification rates but viewing is possible on the product’s integrated screen, and not with the help of an eyepiece.
In many ways, a digital microscope could prove a good alternative for children as it is quite easy to understand and the images delivered by the integrated camera have a significantly higher magnification rate than the human eye could ever see. Therefore, it is perfect for delivering high-quality images of even the smallest cells and organisms, which wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
However, depending on the digital microscope’s technological specifications, such a device could cost thousands of dollars and could be used for professional purposes also.
Whether it’s for science or fun, you have to search for the type of microscope that will best tend to your child’s needs and expectations. If he or she is interested in this field of study, there are multiple kits on the market, containing all necessary accessories and tools to help your child make the most out of this experience.
Slides, droppers, tweezers, and other tools are perfect to teach your child the basics of biology and help him or her view the world from a more fascinating angle.
Some kits even come with an activity journal where your kids can record the findings and make notes about the most interesting things they found so far. If they seem passionate about this science field, we suggest you let them explore on their own and ask as many questions as possible to understand the phenomena.
However, you will mainly find these accessories in optical microscopes. A digital microscope is not usually equipped with slides but you might be able to choose from different magnification rates and camera quality to record and see pictures in more detail than the human eye can.
Brand and price
Although we don’t necessarily consider that a product’s price reflects its quality all the time, when it comes to tech devices, this saying might be true.
As we previously mentioned, you should pick the best microscope according to your child’s interests and age, which means that you should consider investing more in a full-size microscope if your kid is already in high school or is preparing for college.
These devices resemble the ones used in biology and chemistry labs and come with plenty of useful features to help your children learn more about the surrounding world. But, if you’re looking for a digital microscope with a big magnification rate, you will have to be willing to spend at least a couple hundred dollars.
There are decent microscopes for all pockets but those which are usually sold under $100 or $130 can be considered toys as they are made of cheap or flimsy plastic and their viewing is of poor quality.
In terms of brands, AmScope features dozens of cool products for all pockets and learning levels, including for science aficionados. Most of them provide a comfortable viewing experience as they are designed specifically for children and their eyes.
To sum up, there are a few important criteria on which you should base your choice if you want to find a good microscope for your children. First of all, you need to pay attention to the magnification rate – usually between 30x and 50x, depending on the type of product you’re choosing.
Secondly, you should opt for a model specifically designed for children but you need to take into account your kid’s age. If he or she is approaching high school or college, the best versions are the full-sized ones, resembling the microscopes used in biology and chemistry labs. They feel sturdy and reliable and provide decent viewing features.
If we’re talking about little children who have just started school, you won’t have to invest a fortune in such a device, especially if you don’t know your kid’s interests. Once he or she shows interest in exploring the world from up close, you can swap the first microscope with an improved, sturdier version.
However, no matter your kid’s age, we don’t recommend choosing “toy” microscopes. You can find them cheap but they are usually made of low-quality plastic and their eyepieces are blurry. A digital microscope would be a better option in this case.
Lastly, think about the accessories delivered with the microscope and how useful they will be in teaching your child how to read a sample and interpret the results.
5 Best Microscopes for Kids (Reviews) in 2020
The best microscopes for kids have been showcased below. We have studied the market and have come up with a limited selection of the top-recommended choices available for sale these days. Based on what we found about them, these devices seem to be capable of offering excellent value for the price.
If you’ve been trying to get your hands on the best high-school microscope, but you haven’t had any luck with finding an affordable model, perhaps this one might be a good choice for what you have in mind.
From what we have gathered, it appears that the unit usually costs less than seventy dollars, which is a bargain given that it’s a real microscope, made of glass optics and featuring a sturdy case.
If you decide to go for this choice, you and your children will be pleased to know that you’ll be able to make the most of the magnification capabilities.
The My First Lab Duo-Scope MFL-06 can magnify any image in the range of 40x to 400x. This product is a monocular option that’s one of those microscope kits for students that also comes with accessories and extras that increase its overall value.
Everybody knows that using a unit for the first time can be daunting, and so the brand is offering a forceps, a test tube, a Petri dish, a teasing needle, four prepared slides, as well as five blank slides and other helping items.
The sturdy build of this alternative as well as the fact that it boasts real glass optics renders it usable and perfectly capable of withstanding the test of time.
The model can magnify any areas on your specimen by forty to four hundred times as its magnification power is more than decent, especially when correlating it with the price of the product.
Since this is a monocular microscope, you’ll find it most convenient for children as they have close-set eyes and might find it difficult to work with a binocular alternative.
The set includes a broad array of accessories that range from a teasing needle to a Petri Dish and several prepared slides.
The maximum magnification of this alternative is 400x, so you won’t be able to use it for extremely small samples.
Some argue that the slides included in the package aren’t particularly well-prepared.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($75)
2. AmScope M150C-PS25 Compound Monocular Microscope
If you are looking for a microscope that can be successfully used for school projects, you’re looking at it. The model has five different magnifications that go from 40x to 1000x. You will like the fact that it can rotate 360 degrees to allow you proper viewing of your samples. Making use of the coarse and fine focusing will provide you with further uses for this microscope.
Although it is a good idea for a microscope for kids, it is sturdily built, with a metal frame. You can bring more light to the sample you’re examining by using the cordless illumination system that works with LEDs. Be aware that three batteries will be needed for this.
Kids will like that the microscope comes with 25 slides of various plants, insects, and animal-based tissue so that they can examine them right away and become more knowledgeable about the world surrounding them.
It is interesting to notice that this compound microscope works with diascopic illumination that practically allows the sample to absorb light so that you can see transparent objects better.
Users like the fact that they can use a coarse tuning option and a fine focusing alternative, depending on what projects they work on.
As the unit works with LED illumination, the image you will see will be bright and clear.
The 10x and 25x eyepieces have their roles, as they ensure a wide field of view and allow the user to bring the subjects closer to his or her eyes.
Many appreciate the strong construction of this microscope that comes with a metal frame that can clearly take some wear and tear.
One reviewer notices that the microscope ordered didn’t come with the instructions manual, which would have been very helpful for beginners.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($89.27)
3. AmScope Student M162C-2L Kids Microscope Set
Yet another notable alternative to bear in mind is this microscope developed by the same brand that has constructed the formerly mentioned model.
In case you didn’t know this, AmScope is one of the few American manufacturers of optics and laboratory equipment that has managed to build a withstanding reputation because the company’s products are convenient and versatile.
The Student M162C-2L is one of the top choices out there as it has virtually every feature you might be looking for in a device in the category. Magnifying the image can be done by relying on the range 40x to 1000x.
Also, the lens and optics in this product have been constructed of glass. As is the case with the previously described alternatives, this one is accompanied by a starting kit that’s composed of several extras as well as a handy book.
Some of the parents who have chosen the Student Microscopes M162C-2L say that it’s a great starter scope for kids up to 6th grade. As such, it can be a great beginner kids science microscope.
The magnification range of this device is 40x to 1000x, so it does a great job for a variety of samples, be they bigger or smaller.
All of the optical components in this alternative have been constructed out of glass, so you don’t have anything to worry about in terms of the image quality or whether or not they might be affected by excess heat.
The deal also includes a handy book that can assist beginners in learning the mysteries of working with a microscope for the first few times.
Another neat thing about this product is that it boasts both top and bottom LED lights, thus allowing you to benefit from as much brightness as you might require for some samples.
As with other choices, some buyers have noted that the number of prepared slides that can be found in the box could have been larger.
Several owners argue that the image can sometimes be hard to focus on.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($79.99)
4. USB Microscope, Colemeter USB 2.0 Handheld Digital Microscope
As we were saying in the buyer’s guide, sometimes you have to choose between a full-size microscope and a handheld one.
If you believe that the skills and expertise of your child aren’t polished enough for him or her to start learning how to use a real microscope, perhaps this handheld option might be a safe bet for you.
Everyone in your family will have no trouble magnifying the area of interest on their specimens by 50 to 500 times.
The product has been equipped with an adjustable built-in illuminator. What’s more, the Colemeter model has been outfitted with a built-in 2-megapixel camera that you can use to view the images on the screen of your computer or laptop. The software included in the box is compatible with most Windows operating systems.
In spite of the fact that its magnification abilities are somewhat limited when compared to the ones of formerly mentioned products, the Colemeter does the trick if your subjects are on the larger side.
Small children might find fiddling with the parts of a full-size microscope a bit tedious, so the Colemeter gets rid of this hassle thanks to its user-friendly design.
The unit has been outfitted with a 2-megapixel camera that can allow you to transfer the images to your computer or laptop and save them so that you can show them to your friends and family.
The software that comes with the device is compatible with most of the Windows operating systems currently utilized in the United States, as well as Europe.
As a convenient choice, this product can be used for analyzing the details of coins, insects, leaves, and other bigger samples such as these.
The maximum magnification capability of this alternative is 500x.
This is not a real microscope per se; however, it can get the job done if you want to use it for peaking the interest of your children in science.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
5. AmScope 120X to 1200X 52-pcs Complete Kids Microscope Kit
It would have been nearly impossible to avoid including this device on the list as it is also one of the most popular ones we have come across.
On the one hand, it’s financially accessible and won’t have you ruining your entire budget just because you want to get a microscope intended for children.
On the other hand, it’s more than capable of doing its job in that it even comes with a magnification range of 300x to 1200x. This product is a monocular alternative that comes with a built-in LED as well as a mirror illumination feature.
What really stands out about the AmScope M30-ABS-KT2-W is that it comes with a hard shell case where you’ll find both the main unit and 52 accessories.
As for the construction of the model per se, you needn’t worry about it breaking too early on as it’s made of sturdy material and features a stain-resistant white metal frame.
This kit is one of the most cost-effective alternatives we were able to come across, and that’s because you won’t have to spend a fortune for the entire set.
The model comes with a magnification range of 300x to 1200x, therefore enabling you to glance at a variety of specimens and samples you will be able to use the device for.
It’s also worth adding that the kit comes with as many as fifty-two accessories, as well as a hard case, which will allow you to carry it around with ease.
As the build of the product is particularly sturdy, it can both withstand the test of time and perfectly manage with the less delicate use of some owners.
Several buyers say that the case isn’t especially useful as it might not secure all the contents very well.
Other owners have complained about the lack of instructions as they would have helped them learn how to use the device.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($35.99)
AmScope M30-ABS-KT2-WM Kids Microscope
This AmScope unit is another financially accessible choice to give some thought to if you can’t afford spending over one hundred dollars on a beginners’ microscope for children.
The neat thing about it, while it is a monocular product, it’s considerably more advantageous compared to other models in the same line.
Its magnification capabilities range from 120x to 1200x, which means that you’ll even be able to utilize it for small-sized insects, tissue, and even see several types of cells such as the ones in plants.
Another detail that sets it aside from its competitors consists of the fact that it has been outfitted with a reflecting mirror for natural illumination, as well as a proprietary lighting system for days when there’s no natural light available. An accessory kit, as well as a fun book, are part of the deal with this AmScope option.
Having gathered rave reviews on the part of the people who’ve bought it, this microscope seems to offer more than enough value.
Given that this AmScope model is one of the most affordable choices available for sale nowadays, you won’t have to break your piggy bank in order to purchase it. (it’s also a light model)
Despite a somewhat basic design, the model is entirely capable of increasing the image of your specimens by up to one thousand two hundred times. The magnification power is, in fact, one of the reasons that so many buyers have chosen this unit.
The kit contains a variety of extras that increase the value provided by the AmScope microscope.
Unlike other choices out there, the product boasts two types of illumination; one of them is ensured by the built-in mirror for days when natural lighting is available, and the other consists of a built-in bulb.
Several buyers say that they would have liked it if the model came with more prepared slides.
Other owners argue that the construction could have been a bit better as some children might not treat it with care.