The best microscopes in comparison

Amazing Science Tech & Gadgets Reviews

The best microscopes in comparison

Welcome to our large Microscope Test 2019. Here we present you all the microscopes that we have tested more closely. We have put together detailed background information and also added a summary of the customer reviews on the net.

We want to make your purchase easier and help you find the best microscope for you.

Also on frequently asked questions you will find answers in our guide. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find on this page some important information that you should pay attention to when you want to buy a microscope.

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the essentials in brief

  • Microscopes are useful for magnified viewing of objects that can not be seen by the human eye.
  • There are many different microscopes, which can be mainly assigned to two types. These include light and electro-microscopes. The difference lies mainly in the object resolution and has other advantages and disadvantages.
  • When buying, you should pay attention to the resolution and the magnification of the lighting, the number of lenses and extra features and functions.

Microscope Test: The Ranking

1st place: BRESSER Junior microscope set Biolux DE 40x-1024x USB

Bresser junior microscope set Biolux DE 40x-1024x for children and adults with high magnification including USB camera and extensive accessories for the perfect start in the microcosm

The BRESSER Junior Microscope is an entry-level microscope with extensive accessories for young and old which is particularly easy to use and for this price offers a really good entry-level model.Editorial assessment

2nd place: BRESSER LCD microscope 50x-500x

Bresser transmitted light and incident light LCD microscope 50x-500x, (2000x digital), 5 megapixel sensor and 8.9cm (3.5 “), including cross table for object adjustment, SD card connection and extensive accessories

The BRESSER LCD-Microscope is an entry-level microscope, which is very easy to use and offers a really good performance for this price.Editorial assessment

3rd place: BRESSER Junior Stereo Microscope

Bresser junior stereo 3D microscope with 20x magnification for children and adults for the observation of stones, coins, insects and much more

The BRESSER Junior Stereo Microscope is an entry-level microscope for beginners, children and adolescents which is particularly easy to use and offers a really good performance for this price.Editorial assessment

4th place: BRESSER Erudit MO 20x-1536x microscope

Bresser monocular transmitted light microscope, Erudit MO 20x-1536x magnification, with cross stage for object movement, LED illumination with battery and mains operation, with extensive accessories and eyepiece camera

The BRESSER ERUDIT transmitted light microscope is a really high-quality microscope for ambitious students or hobby researchers, because it has extensive functions and is also suitable for various microscopy types such as dark microscopy or immersion microscopy.Editorial assessment

5th place: BRESSER Biolux, transmitted light microscope, NV 20x-1280x

Bresser transmitted light and reflected light microscope Biolux NV 20x-1280x suitable for children and adults, incl. HD USB camera and cross table for object movement, with extensive accessories and carrying case

The BRESSER Biolux transmitted light microscope guarantees due to the rich accessories an optimal introduction to Hobbymikroskopie, for school and study.Editorial assessment

6th place: BRESSER 5723100 Microscope

Bresser Transmitted Light Microscope Researcher Trino 40x-1000x Magnification for high demands, LED illumination and rotatable trinocular excerpt, coaxial cross table and coarse and fine focusing

The BRESSER Transmitted Light Researcher Trino Microscope is a really high-quality microscope for ambitious students or hobby researchers, because it has extensive functions and is also suitable for various microscopy types such as dark microscopy or immersion microscopy.Editorial assessment

Number 7: BRESSER Junior microscope set Biotar 300x-1200x

Bresser Junior Beginner microscope set Biotar 300x-1200x for children with battery-powered lighting and a comprehensive range of accessories, including carrying case

The BRESSER Junior Microscope is an entry-level microscope, which is particularly easy to use and offers a really good performance for this price.Editorial assessment

Number 8: TS-Optics microscope set for children 40x-640x magnification with lenses

TS-Optics Microscope Set for Kids Student Beginner LED Illumination Incident light Transmitted light 40x-640x Magnification with lenses Wide field eyepieces.tsmxmp7

The TS Optics Microscope is an entry-level microscope, which is very easy to use and offers a really good performance for this price.Editorial assessment

Number 9: MixMart Digital Microscope

MixMart Digital Microscope, HD USB Digital Microscope, 500X Magnification, 2.0MP CMOS Sensor, Adjustable LED Light for Win 10 / Win8 / Win7 XP

This high quality microscope is perfect for students, teachers and hobbyists.Editorial assessment

Counselor: Questions to ask yourself before buying a microscope

What is a microscope anyway?

The microscope makes it possible to enlarge objects that are below the resolution of the human eye to such an extent that they can be visualized.

How does a microscope work?

A microscope magnifies very small things and structures. With the help of lenses, the light rays are refracted, so that an optically enlarged intermediate image is formed. This intermediate image is then enlarged to a “virtual” intermediate image with the aid of the eyepiece, which acts like a magnifying glass.

In addition to the normal microscope, there are two other variants of how a microscope works. These include the binoculars and the trinocular variants. (Photo: Ousa Chea /

The binocular variant means that you can microscopy with two eyes. As a result, when you’re microscoping, you will not get tired so soon, squinting through one eye, and you’ll be spared headaches in the worst case scenario.

The Trinocular variant is the same as Binocular with extra tube. During the observation, a USB camera can be set up to record the observations. The captured images can then be transferred to a computer.

Where can I buy a microscope?

You can buy microscopes both in electronics stores, in well-stocked retailers, at the optician and sometimes in supermarkets. Over the last few years, home and professional microscopes have become increasingly available on the Internet, where they have more choices and prices are often lower.

Furthermore, you can learn from reviews of other buyers which device suits you best.However, microscopes for schools or laboratories are more commonly purchased or rented offline. There is also the possibility to buy used microscopes in the network low.

According to our research, most microscopes in Germany are currently being sold through the following shops:

  • amazon
  • ebay
  • Saturn
  • Media Market
  • Conrad

All of the microscopes that we present to you on our site are provided with a link to at least one of these stores, so you can strike right away if you have found a device that suits you.

Did you know that the effect of refraction was discovered in ancient times?

People have discovered that dew drops on leaves increase the underlying structure. Then they made the first lenses out of glass.

How much is a microscope?

Microscopes are available in all price ranges – from the affordable children’s microscope from 50 €, over a simple entry-level model for which a three-digit amount is due, to the professional binocular transmitted light microscope, for which there are no limits to the top.

All in all, we find that the investment is well worth it, if you want to microscopy relatively often and if possible with a high resolution.

Simple Constructed Kids Microscopes start at 50 € and are thus a really inexpensive way to keep the children busy and to bring them joy in their scientific work. For someone who is interested in nature and would like to microscopically hobby, there are entry-level models that can be purchased for about 100 to 300 euros, depending on the dealer.

For a professional binocular and trinocular microscope, the amounts start from 500 euros and depending on which accessories you want to expand them, there is no limit to the top.

Junior microscopeabout 50-100 €
Monocular microscopeabout 150-500 €
Bonocular transmitted light microscopeabout 1500-6000 €

What does the accessories cost for a microscope?

For the microscope, you can buy some accessories, depending on what exactly you want to achieve when microscopy, there are different types of accessories.

If you only want to do some amateur microscopy, you only need the basics like cleaning & care products which you get in a set for 20 Euros, as well as microscopic cutlery which you can buy in a set for 30 Euros.

If you put emphasis on extra lighting, you get a microscope light already for 50 euros. If you want to get an electron microscope, there are dyeing and confinement for just 10 euros to buy.

If you intend to do a microscopy professionally, it is worth investing in professional accessories. Starting with a stage, which you can buy between 25 euros to 500 euros. (Photo: Lucas Vasques /

There is also the possibility to equip your microscope with other eyepieces from 30 euros, lenses from 20 euros and microscope cameras from 60 euros. For the best pleasure, you can buy a microscope stand, which you can depending on the dealer between 150 euros to 2000 euros.

tripodabout 150-2000 €
Cleaning and care productsabout 20 €
eyepieceabout 30-200 €
stageabout 25-500 €
lensabout 20-500 €
microtomesabout 100-200 €
microscope headsabout 200-3000 €
microscope cameraabout 50-350 €
Light microscopyabout 50 €
Microscopy Cutleryabout 30 €
Dye and containmentabout 10 €
filterabout 10-200 €

Can I rent a microscope?

Yes, you can rent a microscope, both online and offline. These are high-quality professional devices that are used primarily for schools and laboratories. The professional devices have up to 1200x magnification and a depth of field in the resolution.

Such microscopes are relatively expensive to buy. If you only need the microscope for a short period of time, it’s worth your while to rent a microscope instead of buying one.

Decision: What types of microscopes are there and which one is right for you?

Basically one can distinguish between two different types of microscopes:

  • light microscope
  • electron microscope

In each of these types, the object resolution is slightly different, which in each case brings with it individual advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you want to do and what things you value the most, we would like to help you in the following section to find out which type of microscope is best for you.

In addition, we show you all the above-mentioned types of microscopes and provide a clear overview of what each of their advantages and disadvantages.

How does a light microscope work and where are its advantages and disadvantages?

The particular advantage of using a light microscope is that you can observe living organisms through this microscope. So if you want to scan cells or bacteria, you have the ability to examine them without affecting them. The observation of the objects takes place in light microscopy by one or several glass lenses.

Disadvantage of light microscopy is the limited resolution, which loses very fast to depth of field. The maximum resolution of a classical light microscope depends on the wavelength of the light that is used. There is a limit of about 0.2 microns. That is, details that are smaller than half the wavelength, “blur” in the so-called optical light diffraction.

The light microscope can be divided into several types:

  • Incident and transmitted light microscope
  • Stereo microscope
  • surgical microscope
  • measuring microscope

Incident and transmitted light microscope

The incident light microscope works in such a way that the light comes from the same side as the observation. In the incident light microscope, the distance of the lower lens to the object is enormously important. Here at least a 2 cm distance is required for lighting.

The transmitted-light microscope is particularly suitable for transparent objects such as liquids. Here, the light shines on the object from below. The distance between the lower lens and the object usually requires less than 2 mm. The light comes from below, so no depth of field is needed.

Stereo microscope

Through separate beam paths for both eyes, the stereomicroscope allows the object to be viewed in multiple angles, giving a three-dimensional image. With the Stereo Microscope you can see up to the lowest lens through two completely separate optics and with different double optics on the object. This will give you a vivid picture with absolute depth of field.

surgical microscope

The surgical microscope is used in most cases in medicine. It is especially useful for doctors during surgical interventions. The surgical microscope has a comparatively lower magnification (about 6-40 times) and provides a three-dimensional image.

measuring microscope

The measuring microscope is a light microscope equipped with an extra function to measure objects.advantages

  • Living organisms
  • Colored pictures
  • Little effort


  • Limited resolution

The more modern version of the measuring microscope features the computer microscope, which can be connected to the computer via a USB cable, which displays the image of the object. The measuring microscope is suitable for measuring lengths, radii, diameters and angles.

What is the object resolution through an electron microscope and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The microscopy by the electron microscope is carried out with electron beams instead of light, while it has the advantage of better plastic imaging. The electron beams have a much shorter wavelength than visible light, thus achieving a higher resolution.

Compared with the light microscope, the electron microscope offers better resolution, which, despite the enormous magnification, does not decrease in depth of field.

The disadvantage is that only dead objects can be viewed with the electron microscope because the biological samples must first be dehydrated and special chemicals added.Due to the use of moving electrons, there is only the possibility of shooting in black and white.

The electron microscope can be divided into two different types:

  • scanning Electron Microscope
  • transmission electron microscope

Scanning electron microscope (SEM)

With the scanning electron microscope, it is possible to scan a surface by means of a very fine electron beam. In contrast to the magnification of a light microscope, which max. 1000x, a scanning tunneling microscope can magnify up to 10000.

The REM offers the advantage, because of the much shorter wavelength of electron radiation that you can view structures down to a minimum length of 0.1 nanometers.Thus, the resolution is 1000x higher than with a light microscope.

Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM)

The beam generation of a transmission electron microscope is identical to that in a scanning electron microsope. The transmission electron microscope is an operating mode for electron microscopes, which allows a direct imaging of objects using electron beams.

In its construction, the TEM is modeled on the light microscope, ie it consists of successively magnifying lenses. The TEM produces a transmitted-light electron image with a magnification of 100 to 500,000 times and a resolution of about 0.2 nm.advantages

  • High resolution
  • Enormous enlargement


  • Dead organisms
  • Black and white pictures

In order to examine a sample with a TEM, it must be transparent to electrons. For this purpose, the sample must be sufficiently thin, that is, have a thickness of less than 50nm

Purchase criteria: These factors allow you to compare and evaluate microscopes

In the following, we would like to show you the factors by which you can compare and evaluate microscopes. This will make it easier for you to decide if a particular device is right for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Magnification / Resolution
  • Size of the microscope
  • lighting
  • Number of lenses
  • Extra equipment and features

In the following paragraphs you can read in each case what it has with the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Magnification / Resolution

We have already discussed the magnification and resolution of the different types of microscopes in detail above. Nevertheless, we would like to point out once again that the resolution is the most important criterion when buying a microscope, because it significantly affects the final result.

However, the magnification is not a quality criterion. A higher magnification than 400x (lens 40: 1 and eyepiece 10x) is not necessary for the beginning, even later, it is rarely needed. (Photo: Sharon Pittaway /

So first, ask yourself what exactly you want to do microscopy. If you are interested in nature and intend to study living organisms, only light microscopes come into question.If you value a particular high resolution that does not lose in depth of field, then electron microscopes are the more exciting alternative for you.

If you are serious about microscoping, even in larger quantities, a binocular transmitted light microscope is usually the best choice for you. In all other cases, a junior microscope is the best option as a beginner. Furthermore, you should also have dealt with the alternatives at least once.

Be smart in advance about what exactly you want to investigate. There are essential differences in the individual microscope types. Especially from the financial aspect you should think about it.

The size of the microscope

A microscope always takes up space in the room or in the closet – do not forget that.Depending on how often you want to do your microscopy, you will want to give more or less space in your household to such a device.

The most space-saving is a simple junior microscope, which you can carry around with you if necessary. For most purchases of a junior microscope, there is the appropriate suitcase. The trinocular microscopes with triple insight, occupy the most space and are also quite high, but optically also usually a real eye-catcher, which deserves a special place.

Most microscopes require a footprint of about 30 x 40 centimeters and are 40 to 50 inches high. Slightly deeper and wider are the junior models.

Basically, the more professional, the bigger. This is also evident in the professional microscopes, such as a scanning electron microscope, which can be 50 centimeters wide. A large microscope is usually associated with a higher production capacity than a smaller one.


The lighting of a microscope is the heart. The light source can be a mirror that captures daylight and illuminates the object, or an electric light. The quality of the lighting is very important for a sharp picture.

Battery powered light sources are usually not bright enough and in the long run too expensive. However, if you want to use your microscope in nature, battery-powered lighting is recommended in bad weather.

Number of lenses

If the illumination of a microscope is the heart, then one can call the lens quite a soul.The lens is a light-collecting optical system. Because only the interaction between a powerful lighting with a high quality lens produces brilliant microscopic images.

Each lens has a different mechanical amount. Lenses that can only be magnified slightly have a shorter design than lenses that can be magnified more. Microscope lenses are available in different magnification levels.

This starts with 2x (twice the size) and goes up to 100x (100x magnification). Common microscope objectives have the following values: 4x, 10x, 15x, 20x, 40x, 50x, 100x.

Did you know that one of the most important discoveries made by light microscopes is the discovery of the nucleus by Robert Brown?

He noticed the small body within the cell in his study of the fertilization process of orchids. Although others had already seen the cell nucleus, he was the first to give him a major role in the development of embryos.

Extra equipment and function

Above all, the microscopes in the upper price segment shine through some extra functions such as adjustable eye relief, fully adjustable Abbe condenser with iris diaphragm and precise coaxial XY stage.

Non-slip rubber feet are advantageous in order to ensure maximum stability even during operation. If necessary, check here in the last step if a device can stand out in a positive way if you are unsure which one to choose

Where is a microscope most commonly used?

The microscope is one of the most important medical instruments. They are an essential tool in biology, medicine and materials science.

Most commonly used in medicine, they are an indispensable tool in the diagnosis of disease. Also, microscopes are often used in electronics. They are used for quality control of PCB production and assembly.

What alternatives are there to the microscope?

An alternative to the microscope is the Polytec. Thanks to its combination of a zoom or fixed focal length lens with a modern reticle camera, the Polytec can be flexibly used and is much cheaper than a microscope.

The Polytec system can be connected directly to a monitor via a VGA or HDMI cable, so a computer is not necessary and images can be stored directly on a USB stick.However, with its crosshair camera, the Polytec does not offer the possibility to examine living organisms and to illuminate the objects under the camera.

Another alternative to the microscope is the iPhone. The camera of the Iphone has been converted to a microscope with a magnification of 350x, which allows you to examine blood samples. (Photo: Jaron Nix /

In order to convert the Iphone camera to a microscope, it requires a rubber sleeve, some tape and a round lens with a millimeter thick, this is then placed in front of the camera of the iPhone. However, due to the cheap lens design, the images show several optical defects.

What are the advantages over a Polytec and an Iphone?

With the microscope, living organisms can be examined and it guarantees up to a 1200-fold magnification. True microscope lovers, will see the difference through the Polytec or Iphone during the microscopy, as there are strong variations in resolution and magnification.

In summary, a microscope offers you the following significant advantages over the Polytec and Iphone:

  • Site lighting
  • Living organisms can be microscoped
  • Selective focus
  • Accuracy of the recordings

The microscope is ideally suited to the microscopy of animal and plant components, and ensures that the resolution is always in optimal quality.

What can be microscoped?

Depending on which microscope you choose, you can also microscopy different samples. First, you can microscopy animal and plant components.

You can look at the Animal Components either Living or Dead. You can only examine living organisms with a light microscope. With a scanning tunneling microscope it is possible to investigate atoms and molecules.

Trivia: Facts worth knowing about microscopes

When and by whom was the microscope invented?

Basically, the history of the microscope can also be described as the history of optics, because it was not until the 16th century that the microscope split off from spectacles, magnifying glasses and telescopes as a stand-alone device. The first microscope was built at the beginning of the 17th century by the Dutch traders Hans Jansen and his son Zacharias Janssen.

Where does the microscope come from?

Microscope is a term that comes from the Greek and consists of two words, micros stands for “small” and skopein stands for “see, look, look”.

How do I clean the microscope?

As a rule, optical equipment should be cleaned as little as possible. You may clean the microscope only wipe-resistant, hard-coated lens surfaces. The cleaning of hard-coated surfaces should only be cleaned with ammonia- and acid-free agents.

Before wiping the lenses with a cloth or cotton wool, always remove the dust first, otherwise scratches may result.

Fingerprints, grease or oil can be wiped gently with a soft, lint-free cloth. Dust particles are removed with a bellows. Dust particles adhering to the lens can be cleaned carefully with a degreased brush or a cotton swab. Please note that fresh cotton wool is used for every cleaning process. Finally, a dry cleaning should be doneProf. Dr.Irene LichtscheidlUniversity Professor

To clean a lens, it is important to first remove dust particles carefully with a bellows, or with distilled water and a cotton swab.

If the lens is heavily soiled, the lens can be cleaned with cotton and mineral spirits or diluted detergent solution in a circular motion from the inside to the outside. After each cleaning process, a new piece of cotton wool must be used.

Which microscope do I need?

There are basically two types of microscopes: 

1) Stereomicroscopes (stereoscopic eyepieces) with which one looks at “surfaces” just like with a magnifying glass (eg coins, prints, insects, plant parts, etc.). The difference to the magnifying glass is that you get a three-dimensional (therefore stereo!) Image and the magnification is much stronger than with magnifying glasses. The typical magnification range is 2-45x (maximum 90x), with simple stereomicroscopes having two or three magnification levels, better models with a five or six magnification selector, or even a step-free zoom adjustment. 

The typical application for such microscopes is: 

  • Entomology (enlarged view of insects) 
  • numismatics 
  • Mineralogy (consideration of mineral or rock surfaces) 
  • Botany (enlarged view of plants (parts) in the whole) 

2) Transmitted-light microscopes (and these are the microscopes that are commonly referred to when referred to simply as a “microscope”) serve to look through objects illuminated from below. For this purpose, you need preparations on a glass slide (slide), in the simplest case, for example, water with microorganisms such as algae or specially prepared cutting preparations of eg parts of plants. In the normal case, this presupposes first of all the preparation of a suitable preparation, in the case of plants, for example, the preparation of a virtually transparent, gossamer-thin section, which can then be placed on the slide and viewed. 
The objects to be microscoped are “illuminated” from below, so they must be very flat and transparent. 
These microscopes are not intended to be “on something” to look at surfaces. Thus, such microscope are not suitable, for example, to consider coins or insect surfaces. 

Typical applications for transmitted light microscopes are 

In all areas of biology / medicine 
In pathology, forensic medicine etc .: consideration of thin sliced ​​samples of human or animal tissue or thin cell smears 
Examinations of the blood and urine 
Botany: (making of very thin plant sections) => also typical hobby application 
Consideration of microorganisms eg in the water => also typical hobby application 

Transmitted light microscopes are by no means “stereomicroscopes”, even if they have a two-eyed view and are often misnamed by unfortunately completely unqualified Internet dealers. These microscopes never create a three-dimensional image (ie a “stereo image”). They are in “one-eyed” (monocular) and “two-eyed” (binocular) versions, so they are properly called “monocular microscope” or “binocular microscope”, but never “stereomicroscope”! 
The two-eyed insight only serves to make the microscopy “relaxed”. 
If the microscope is equipped with a third output for photo purposes, this is called a “trinocular microscope”. 

The best microscopes in comparison

Welcome to our large Microscope Test 2019. Here we present you all the microscopes that we have tested more closely. We have put together detailed bac

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