10 Best Microscopes for Students

Microscopes are widely available in schools. This tool serves more than just the students’ learning process. It also makes projects more enjoyable, encouraging students’ creativity and interest in science.

If you are looking for a microscopes for schools, check out the names below. The recommendations in the article will undoubtedly be there for you.

Our Top Picks:

If you’ve never had experience looking for a microscope before, you may have trouble choosing this scientific instrument. I’ve taken time to test, experiment, and pick up the best microscopes in this section below.

1. AmScope 120X-1200X 52-pcs Kids Beginner Microscope – Best for Overall

AmScope 120X-1200X 52-pcs Kids Beginner Microscope


  • Material: ABS, plastic, metal.
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 15.75 x 14.57 x 5.12 inches.
  • Magnification Maximum: 1200X.

Product’s Highlight

When choosing microscopes for elementary school students, I look for products that are easy to use, have advanced features, and come with various accessories.

And the AmScope 120X-1200X is a microscope model that meets the above requirements quite well. It supports 6 magnifications; the minimum is 120X, and the maximum is 1200X.

I needed to use the coaxial coarse focus knob to adjust the magnification. The simple adjustment makes me believe that even elementary school students can master this microscope model.

I also especially love the kit that comes with this microscope model. At a reasonably affordable price, it’s surprising that the manufacturer equips the sample slide, corrective lens, and high-quality collections.

This model is quite suitable for students, especially those who are learning about science and experiments for the first time.

Besides the advantages, it still has disadvantages. In particular, the problem that bothers me the most is that the light does not have its toggle switch.

Today’s Best Deal:

AmScope 120X-1200X 52-pcs Kids Beginner Microscope STEM Kit with Metal Body Microscope, Plastic Slides, LED Light and Carrying Box (M30-ABS-KT2-W),White
29,330 Reviews
AmScope 120X-1200X 52-pcs Kids Beginner Microscope STEM Kit with Metal Body Microscope, Plastic Slides, LED Light and Carrying Box (M30-ABS-KT2-W),White
  • Beginner compound microscope provides high magnification for...
  • Monocular viewing head with LED and mirror illumination and...
  • Forward-facing rotating turret provides 120x, 240x, 300x,...
  • Coaxial coarse focus has a rack-and-pinion focus mechanism...
  • Comes with 52-piece accessory kit and hard-sided plastic ABS...

What We Like

  • Durable material.
  • Reasonable price.
  • The high-quality kit.
  • Support multiple magnifications
  • Easy to use and suitable for beginners.

Things To Consider

  • The light does not have an on-off switch.

2. National Geographic Dual LED Microscope – Best for STEM

National Geographic Dual LED Student Microscope


  • Material: ABS, plastic.
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 7.25 x 5.7 x 12.5 inches.
  • Magnification Maximum: 50X.

Product’s Highlight

The STEAM method of teaching interdisciplinary knowledge and using supporting science tools is now becoming a trend. And the National Geographic Dual LED Student is a microscope designed to serve this trend.

See also:  Getting Children Ready for High School

From the first time, I found it to be a powerful learning tool. With a wide range of magnifications and simple usage, it suits students and young scientists.

This microscope model also comes with a variety of slides. I often look at these slides under LED lights to get a closer look at the specimens.

I also used available accessories such as Petri dishes and manuals to perform exciting experiments such as hatching eggs and researching shrimp eggs.

Overall, I’m satisfied with the educational experience that this microscope model provides. In the following versions, the manufacturer will improve its fake glass.

Today’s Best Deal:

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Dual LED Kids Microscope - 50+ pc Science Kit with 10 Prepared Slides & 10 DIY Blank Slides, Biology Experiment Activity, Microscope Kit for Kids 8-12 (Amazon Exclusive)
3,547 Reviews
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Dual LED Kids Microscope - 50+ pc Science Kit with 10 Prepared Slides & 10 DIY Blank Slides, Biology Experiment Activity, Microscope Kit for Kids 8-12 (Amazon Exclusive)
  • TWO MICROSCOPES IN ONE! Use the lower LED lights to view...
  • OVER 50 ACCESSORIES INCLUDED – Explore a curated set of 10...
  • POWERFUL LEARNING TOOL - This microscope features two sets...
  • BRINE SHRIMP EXPERIMENT INCLUDED – Track the life cycle of...
  • HIGH-QUALITY EDUCATIONAL TOYS - We're proud to make the...

What We Like

  • Easy to use.
  • Various magnifications.
  • It comes with various slides
  • Support high-detail specimen observation
  • A powerful tool for educational purposes.

Things To Consider

  • Need to improve the fake glass slide performance.

3. OMAX 40X-2000X LED Binocular Compound Lab Microscope – Best for Durability

Omax M82ES-SC100-LP100 Microscope


  • Material: ABS, metal.
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 9.06 x 7.13 x 13 inches.
  • Magnification Maximum: 2000X.

Product’s Highlight

The Omax M82ES-SC100-LP100 impressed me with its all-metal unibody construction. Combined with a stain-resistant enamel finish, this microscope model is one of the most durable options available today.

But Omax is a costly option in the long run. It also possesses many other impressive features that any student will love.

Some essential features of this microscope model include magnification up to 2,000X, support for slide and slide protection, and LED illumination with adjustable intensity.

In particular, I am impressed with this microscope model’s USB digital camera connection feature. With this feature, I can easily capture whatever image is displayed in the microscope and capture those beautiful moments.

For some reason, the power cord doesn’t fully plug into the socket on the microscope, which is annoying but doesn’t affect functionality.

The manufacturer has equipped quite a few unique features on this microscope model. Yet, in some cases, these features need to be fixed. Some parts I have yet to exploit are the uniform Rheinberg filter and the translucent eyepiece.

Today’s Best Deal:

OMAX 40X-2000X LED Binocular Compound Lab Microscope w/ Double Layer Mechanical Stage + Blank Slides, Cover Slips, & Lens Cleaning Paper, M82ES-SC100-LP100
  • Total magnification: 40X Magnification, 80X Magnification,...
  • Viewing head: 45 degrees inclined 360 degrees swiveling...
  • Nosepiece: revolving quadruple; Stage: double layer X-Y...
  • Condenser: NA1.25 Abbe condenser with iris diaphragm;...
  • Full solid metal frame construction with stain resistant...

What We Like

  • Anti-stain enamel coating.
  • Solid metal frame construction.
  • Multiple magnification options.
  • Capable of connecting to a USB digital camera.
  • The LED lighting is adjustable in intensity.

Things To Consider

  • The Rheinberg filter has only one solid color.

4. AmScope M150C-I 40X-1000X Microscope – Best for Elementary Students

AmScope M150C-I 40X-1000X Microscope


  • Material: Metal.
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 15 x 10 x 7 inches.
  • Magnification Maximum: 1000X.

Product’s Highlight

The M150C-I is a simple, easy-to-use microscope suitable for elementary school students. It has all the essentials of a microscope: a 360-degree rotatable monocular head, five magnification settings, and a wide field of view.

This microscope model also includes optical glass elements such as a single-lens condenser and an easy-to-replace disc diaphragm.

You can power this microscope model with AA batteries or rechargeable batteries. It is a significant advantage that users can use the support device for this experiment anywhere.

The only thing the producer could do better is to add more slide adjustments. Due to this shortcoming, the over 400x optics of this microscope can be better.

Today’s Best Deal:

AmScope M150C-I 40X-1000X All-Metal Optical Glass Lenses Cordless LED Student Biological Compound Microscope, Silver, White, Black
  • This is an ideal microscope for home school or for students...
  • 360 degree rotatable monocular head offers five...
  • Widefield all optical glass elements includes single lens...
  • Sturdy all metal framework. Power Supply - 110 V
  • LED illumination system uses either an outlet (adapter...

What We Like

  • Various power sources.
  • Focus operation is smooth.
  • Fully assembled and ready to use.
  • Include complete optical glass components
  • 360-degree swivel head for convenient viewing.
See also:  5 Reasons Teenagers Drop out of School

Things To Consider

  • Missing slide adjustments.

5. AmScope – M30-ABS-KT2-W-WM 1200X – Best for Kids

AmScope – M30-ABS-KT2-W-WM 1200X


  • Material: Plastic, metal.
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 15.31 x 12.31 x 4.65 inches.
  • Magnification Maximum: 1200X.

Product’s Highlight

The AmScope Oriented M30-ABS-KT2-WM is the first microscope model for young children. Therefore both its design and its accessories are easy to use.

The pre-installed microscope comes with 49 easy-to-use and replaceable accessories. With a reusable blank cover and Petri dish, elementary school students can instantly have their exploratory experiments.

With this microscope model, young children can observe tiny microorganisms and analyze and take notes like an honest researcher.

I encourage parents to give this microscope model to their little girl or boy. The only problem you face when choosing this microscope model is that the 1200X magnification setting is quite tricky. Yet, the product’s other magnification settings are easy to use and suitable for young children.

Today’s Best Deal:

AmScope - M30-ABS-KT2-W-WM 1200X 52-pcs Kids Student Beginner Microscope Kit with Slides, LED Light, Storage Box and Book"The World of The Microscope" White
  • THE ULTIMATE MICROSCOPE FOR KIDS: Ready to use right out of...
  • PORTABLE, EASY TO CARRY CASE: With 49 accessories included...
  • GREAT FOR GIFTING: Providing endless hours of fun, this kit...
  • COMPLETE BRINE SHRIMP EXPERIMENT: Observe the life cycle of...
  • ABS case and 2 AA batteries included

What We Like

  • High mobility.
  • Full tools included.
  • Simple and easy to use.
  • An excellent gift for young children.
  • The microscope is pre-installed and ready to use.

Things To Consider

  • Setting 1200X magnification is quite tricky.

6. AmScope M162C-2L-PB10-WM-SP14-50P100S 40X-1000X Microscope – Best for Flexibility

AmScope M162C-2L-PB10-WM-SP14-50P100S 40X-1000X Microscope


  • Material: Metal.
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 14.41 x 8.94 x 6.81 inches.
  • Magnification Maximum: 1000X.

Product’s Highlight

The AmScope M162C is one of the most versatile dual-light microscopes I have ever experienced. I can use AmScope as this universal power microscope model to observe microscopic objects and larger specimens such as leaves and insects.

Microscopes of the same price range as the M162C often have difficulty observing opaque objects. However, AmScope has overcome this drawback quite well by providing a more powerful light source.

Unfortunately, the low light bulb of this model did not work when I started using the product. Even so, I recommend the AmScope M162C 40X-1000X to anyone looking for a versatile microscope model.

Today’s Best Deal:

AmScope M162C-2L-PB10-WM-SP14-50P100S 40X-1000X Beginners Microscope Kit for Kids & Students w/Complete Science Accessory Kit + World of The Microscope Book
  • Optical glass monocular microscope with top & bottom LED...
  • 40X-1000X Five wide field magnifications
  • Sturdy metal frame with coaxial coarse & fine focusing
  • Single Lens Condenser and 6-Hole Disc Diaphragm
  • Compatible with 110V power adapter or AA batteries.

What We Like

  • Flexible dual light.
  • Solid metal frame.
  • Supports easy course focus
  • Five wide field magnifications.
  • Good observation of opaque objects.

Things To Consider

  • Low light bulbs do not work well.

7. AmScope B120C-E1 40X-2500X Microscope – Best for the Lab

AmScope B120C-E1 40X-2500X Microscope


  • Material: ABS, plastic, metal.
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 16.54 x 11.81 x 9.06 inches.
  • Magnification Maximum: 2500X.

Product’s Highlight

If you are looking for a microscope model that can be available in schools for teaching and experiments, the AmScope B120C-E1 is a name worth considering.

This microscope model has a design that is relatively easy to use. With a primary target audience of teachers and students, it is solid, supports coarse focus, and offers a convenient color filter.

Even if you attend medical school or major in biology, you will be satisfied with this professional microscope model. The powerful LED bulb and its dimmer are helpful enough for you to do any research.

Although it is a powerful and professional tool, AmScope B120C-E1 still has some disadvantages. For example, the camera that comes with it is weak and lacks calibration slides. So, I need help measuring large objects in many cases.

Today’s Best Deal:

AmScope B120C-E1 40X-2500X LED Biological Binocular Compound Microscope with 3D Double Layer Mechanical Stage + 1.0 MP USB Digital Camera Imager
777 Reviews
AmScope B120C-E1 40X-2500X LED Biological Binocular Compound Microscope with 3D Double Layer Mechanical Stage + 1.0 MP USB Digital Camera Imager
  • 40X to 2500X expanded magnification range using...
  • Forward-facing nosepiece with 4x, 10x, 40xS (spring), and...
  • Siedentopf binocular head fixed 30-degree vertical...
  • The Binocular head with pairs of 10x widefield and 25x...
  • Brightfield, LED illumination, and 1.25 NA Abbe condenser...

What We Like

  • Smart dimmer.
  • Powerful LED bulbs.
  • Supports coarse focus
  • It provides convenient color filters
  • Suitable for both students and professionals.

Things To Consider

  • Need to be a calibration slide.

8. AmScope Optical Glass Lens Microscope – Best for Budget

AmScope Optical Glass Lens All-Metal LED Compound Microscope


  • Material: Metal.
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 13 x 6 x 9 inches.
  • Magnification Maximum: 1000X.
See also:  6 Steps To Better High School Grades

Product’s Highlight

Before testing the AmScope Optical Glass Lens, I did not expect too much from this cheap microscope model. It doesn’t even support examining tissues or fungi in ready-made specimens.

However, reality proved me wrong. This cost-effective microscope for young scientists has all the advantages I look for in a high-quality product. This biological microscope brings the microscopic world closer to humans.

The image it provides is quite sharp and clear in the same segment. Even when observing the specimen at high magnification, the image does not shake as much as imagined. I was also particularly impressed with the achromatic glass objective of this microscope model. Its aberration is relatively small, and the lens durability is also quite impressive.

While it has useful features, it must include detailed installation and usage instructions. In the beginning, I couldn’t even install the second viewfinder.

Today’s Best Deal:

AmScope Optical Glass Lens All-Metal LED Compound Microscope, 6 Settings 40x-1000x, Portable AC or Battery Power
  • FIVE Magnification Powers Up to 1000x
  • 45 degree Inclined 360 degree Rotatale Monocular Head
  • Single Lens Condenser with Disc Diaphragm
  • Metal Framework and Built-in LED Illumination

What We Like

  • Provide sharp images
  • The aberration is relatively tiny.
  • Impressive lens durability.
  • The price is quite reasonable.
  • Good anti-vibration at high magnification.

Things To Consider

  • Lack of exact instructions for use.

9. AmScope M158C-E Compound Monocular Microscope – Best for Design

AmScope M158C-E Compound Monocular Microscope


  • Material: Metal.
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 15.1 x 10.2 x 6.9 inches.
  • Magnification Maximum: 1000X.

Product’s Highlight

Students interested in science can spend hours at the microscope studying and observing. And AmScope M158C-E is one of the few most user-friendly options, providing a comfortable user experience.

I took the time to experiment with this microscope sample. And its fixed 45-degree vertical tilt helps me no more extended eye strain when using. I also quickly get a full view using the product’s 360-degree rotation.

This microscope model also possesses many advantages, such as a stage clamp, wireless design, and high-resolution images.

Yet, besides the advantages, this microscope model still has some disadvantages. It does not include installation instructions for the device, while the included CD is not helpful because there is no cover slide.

Today’s Best Deal:

AmScope M158C-E Compound Monocular Microscope, WF10x and WF25x Eyepieces, 40x-1000x Magnification, Brightfield, LED Illumination, Plain Stage, 110V, Includes 0.3MP Camera and Software
  • Digital compound microscope with integrated 0.3MP camera and...
  • Monocular viewing head with interchangeable 10x widefield...
  • Forward-facing nosepiece with 4x, 10x, and 40x DIN...
  • Cordless and rechargeable, Brightfield, LED illumination,...
  • Plain stage with stage clips to secure slide and a stage...

What We Like

  • Wide vision field.
  • High-resolution images.
  • The stage clamp helps to secure the slide.
  • 360-degree rotation for a wide viewing angle.
  • 45-degree vertical tilt to prevent eye strain.

Things To Consider

  • There is no cover slide for the patient.

10. AmScope M150C-MS Compound Monocular Microscope – Best for High Students

AmScope M150C-MS Compound Monocular Microscope


  • Material: Metal.
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 15 x 10.4 x 6.8 inches.
  • Magnification Maximum: 1000X.

Product’s Highlight

It will be a mistake if the AmScope M150C-MS is not listed on the best microscopes for students list.

This kit includes optical glass components, a mechanical scale, and LED lighting. It also offers a 1,000X magnification setting, ideal for high school students to use during study and research.

This microscope model is also quite affordable. However, the price of the product does not include the base. It is also the only drawback of this relatively perfect microscope model.

Today’s Best Deal:

AmScope M150C-MS Compound Monocular Microscope, WF10x and WF25x Eyepieces, 40x-1000x Magnification, LED Illumination, Brightfield, Single-Lens Condenser, Coaxial Coarse and Fine Focus, Mechanical Stage, 110V
  • 360 Degree Rotatable Monocular Head
  • Five Magnification Powers up to 1000X
  • Co-axial Coarse and Fine Focusing
  • Mechanical Stage for Easy Control of Slide Gliding
  • Metal Framework and LED Illumination

What We Like

  • High-quality metal frame.
  • High-quality LED lighting.
  • Support 5 magnification settings
  • Include optical glass components
  • Serving learning and research for high school students.

Things To Consider

  • It does not include base

Buying Guide

High School Biology Classroom Lab

Compound versus stereo

The compound microscope is the ideal choice for students. This type is quite affordable but still provides relatively high magnification.

Meanwhile, stereo microscope models are only suitable for observing objects in 3D mode. These microscope models are more suitable for use in laboratories for surgical operations than in schools.

One eye versus binoculars

I always recommend monocular lenses to any high school student. It has a reasonably high magnification power. Although not as excellent as binocular microscopes, microscopes with monocular lenses still meet the needs quite well.

Traditional versus digital

Traditional microscopes are affordable and meet basic needs. If you have a higher budget, digital microscope models will provide a better user experience.


Most current microscopes use LEDs for illumination. With LEDs, you’ll need to decide between a single source light or a second LED at the top to aid in tracking dimmer objects.

Construction and Frame

The most advanced models of microscopes will have an enameled metal frame.

Also, it is usually quite heavyweight and sturdy. These products also support adjustment, allowing users to view the slide from different angles.


What is a good microscope for a 13-year-old?

The best microscope models for 13-year-olds need to be easy to use, have relative accuracy, and be durable.

Some of the best microscope models you can consider include AmScope 120X-1200X and Carson MicroBrite Plus LED Lighted Pocket Microscope.

Which microscope is used by students in schools?

The two most widely used microscopes in schools are the stereo and upright compound microscopes.

Which microscope is the best for students to view a diamond?

Microscopes with stereoscopic eyes and high magnification will allow you to assess the diamond’s quality properly.

How do I choose the suitable microscope?

To choose the suitable microscope, you should consider the magnification range, the type you are working with, and the primary purpose of using the microscope.

What should I know before buying a microscope?

You should consider the quality of the microscope and the budget. These criteria will help you save money on products that meet your needs.


Finding a microscope is easier than you think. The National Geographic Dual LED Microscope is supportive of STEAM activities. Meanwhile, AmScope M150C All-Metal will be the best choice for young children.

You need to consider your needs and the above assessments carefully to find a microscope model that sufficiently supports your study and research process.