Embroidery is a beautiful, intricate work. The most delicate and beautiful ones require quite a lot of patience and an abundance of attention.
One of the best things to do if you enjoy needlework is to take care of your eyes. Detail work can be hard for everyone, from people who have aging eyes to those who are far-sighted.
Sometimes it is just more comfortable to see your stitches clearly, even if technically you don’t need to enhance them. That’s where the best magnifying glass for embroidery enters!
Choosing the right one is not hard, but there are some things to consider. The power of magnification you need, the size and shape, and even the color temperature of the lamp bulb.
A good magnifying glass will allow you to see your work through clear crystal lenses, enhanced and with no color changes. To make your life easier, we selected nine of the best options on the market today.
Best Magnifying Glasses for Embroidery
1. Brightech Lightview Pro LED
This is not the only Brightech product on our list, and there is a reason for that. They make really good lamps and quality magnifying glasses, used by hobbyists and professionals alike.
The lenses are made from good diopter glass and are wide enough to see an entire book page, they don’t scratch or break, and have a magnifying rate of a whopping 2.25%. The stand is heavy and sturdy, and the arms are highly adjustable and stay in place.
The lamp emits a cool white light of 5000 kelvin, but you can dim it and control it to your desires. This is not the cheapest of glasses around, but definitely a strong contestant for the best magnifying glass for embroidery.
2. Brightech LightView PRO for Desks
Another Brightech option, the difference between the previous glass and this one is the fact that this is a desk lamp only.
While the previous product can be used as a floor and desk magnifying glass, this only works on surfaces where you can clamp it. On a positive note, the price reflects that, so you can enjoy the perks of a fantastic 2.25% lense on a much more accessible price point.
Another amazing feature is the adjustable color and brightness – you can choose from a cool to a warm white and everything in between. This is especially useful when working on different colored embroidery projects.
All Brightech products come with a 3-year warranty, and customers are quite happy with the support received.
3. Brightech LightView Pro Flex Magnifying Glass
A great middle point between budget and premium magnifying glasses, this desk lamp also offers a 2.25% enlarging power.
The lenses are top quality and the gooseneck is adjustable, although not as steady as the previous two models. That is because it is lightweight and smaller – which can be a positive if you are looking for something that is war more portable and discreet.
You can regulate the height anywhere from 6 to 16 inches, and clamp the glass onto desks or tables that are up to 2.5 inches thick. The LED light is powerful (6000 Kelvin), although not dimmable – so be aware of that.
4. Magnifying Glass Hands-Free Large Rectangular
The selling point of this magnifying glass is its incredible portability. As the name says, this is a rectangular glass that can be used in different ways.
The first as a standing glass with foldable legs – it looks like a mini transparent table that goes over your work. Or as a necklace with a string – a questionable fashion accessory but very useful to carry around.
The lenses are made of strong PVC material and have a 3x magnifying power. LED lights around the border complete this inexpensive set that can be powered by batteries or a USB port.
5. Hands-Free Headband Magnifying Glass
This is the best magnifying glass for embroidery to have if you want to make sure the glass is pointing to your work.
That is because you attach it to your head like a head torch, and have it in front of your eyes like glasses the whole time.
You can choose the magnifying power to best suit your current needs, from 1X, 1.5X, 2X, 2.5X, to 3.5X, by attaching different lenses. This is a great product for those who move around a lot while working, and it can be used on a sofa, bed, or anywhere since it does not need to stand.
On top of that, it also has a LED light that can be switched on or off, so you can work on your embroidery in the dark while your partner sleeps.
6. EasyLifeCare Hands-Free Magnifying Glass
The EasyLifeCare magnifying glass is a great, traditional option if you are looking for a small product to always have in hand.
It is a modest round one, and it can be used with a stand or on your chest like a necklace. It amplifies things by 2.5% and it comes with two inbuilt LED lights.
It is made with readers and embroiderers in mind, as many people prefer to do this craft on sofas or beds. To have a small magnifying glass with a chest support brace readily available is a huge help with those intricate patterns.
The lenses are well-made and have an anti-glare feature that helps to keep the colors as visible and bright as the original.
7. Folding Magnifying Glass
This foldable product is very versatile. It comes with two different lenses, and you can choose the powers according to your needs. It is also possible to combine the lenses, which gives you even more options!
It is hand-held when folded but hands-free when opened – just stand it on any surface and point it to your embroidery. The LED light is strong and powered by either a USB cable or three AA batteries.
Unlike most of the other small, portable magnifying glasses, this one allows you to adjust the brightness of the light, a definite plus in our book.
8. MagniPros Jumbo Size Magnifying Glass
This is a very simple product, but that does not mean it’s not useful. It is a big, square magnifying glass with acrylic lenses that enlarge your work by 3 times.
It does not have a light, but if you only do embroidery during the day and want a light and straightforward product – this is the one for you.
The acrylic lenses and the shock prove frame make this quite a resistant product, so if you are prone to dropping things it will give you peace of mind.
The side handle also makes it more comfortable to hold and use, and the big size is great for big embroidery projects.
9. Carson Clip and Flip
Do you wear glasses? Have you ever wished they could magnify as well as improve your vision? Well, there is a solution for that!
The Carson Clip and Flip magnifying glass easily clips to your glasses and gives your eyes a much-needed rest.
Embroidery is a fine work that requires attention and focus, and with this product, you can forget you are even using a magnifying glass.
Users are happy with the quality of the lenses, and the image is clear enough with no color distortion. When you are purchasing, you can choose the best power for you – 1.5,1.75 or 2.0.
They are the best magnifying glasses if you are looking for portability and already wear glasses.
Best Magnifying Glass for Embroidery Buying Guide
This is a must feature for most crafters. Think carefully at how you do embroidery more comfortably, and then buy a magnifying glass that fits your needs.
If you do it at the table, consider a table glass. Feel better on the sofa? Purchase a headband glass or one that hangs on your chest.
The diopter defines how much the glass magnifies the object. All glasses will have that information on the specifications, and it is the most important one to consider.
Interestingly, you don’t want to amplify stitches too much, look for something with power between 1.75 and 3 times. We find that to be around the perfect amount for fabric-based crafts – much more than that and the fabric looks warped and distorted.
Furthermore, the stronger the power, the closer your eyes and the embroidery need to be to the loupe – which is far from comfortable.
The vast majority of magnifying glasses come with a light attached to it.
That makes sense, but be careful with warm-colored lamps with weak lights – they can change the way you see the color of the thread and jeopardize your work. LED white lights are ideal, with at least 5000 Kelvin.
How adjustable the glass is? Does it have a goosing neck you can move close to your work? Legs that work in different positions? Consider how versatile (or not) the glass needs to be for you.
Lens size and shape
Consider the size and shape of the lenses, especially if you are used to working on bigger projects. If you want the glass to cover the entire work, consider purchasing a square one.
If you only need it for occasional use to check on small stitches, a round, portable one may be better.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the highest magnification?
Microscopes can enhance something by even 1500 times, but the regular glasses for house use usually go up to 70x. As we mentioned before, you really only need 3x for embroidery work.
What do magnification numbers mean?
To make it easy to understand, most products will showcase the magnifying power of the lenses, for example, 2.5% or 2.5x. That means the image will be 2.5 times bigger than the reality.
If you see the Diopter number, that refers to the curvature of the lens – the more curve a lens is the more powerful it is too. Take the Diopter number, divide by 4 and add 1 to get the power.
For instance, a magnifying glass with a Diopter 8 has a power of 3x (8/4 = 2, +1 = 3).
How do magnifying glasses work?
A magnifying glass is made of one convex (curved) lens that bends the light rays, making them converge when coming to our eyes. It is a trick of light that makes the retina see something larger than it is.
Why is the image upside down on?
The converging point of the light is called the focal point. This is the primal distance between the glass and the object you want to enlarge. Moving the magnifying glass too far away from the object will get it past the focal point, and the object’s image will flip upside down.
Don’t worry – this only happens with arms reach distance with much more powerful lenses.