The Best Compound Microscopes

5 Best Compound Microscopes (Reviews Updated 2020)

Compound microscopes work by passing light through a specimen in a process called transmitted light illumination. Capable of extreme levels of magnification, these devices are designed for examining cells, bacteria, algae and protozoa, just to name a few. These high-powered devices are not only used by laboratory scientists, but by anyone who has an interest in the unseen world. Take a look at our reviews below of some of the best compound microscopes currently on the market.

Best Compound Microscope Reviews

Here are our reviews of the best compound microscopes

1. OMAX 40X-2000X Lab LED Binocular Microscope

Awarded 2018 Best Compound Microscope Omax 40x 2000x Lab Led Binocular Microscope With Double Laye (3)

Our top choice was the recipient of the grand prize for the best compound microscope of 2018. Although 2018 was two years ago, this microscope is completely up to date and could still hold the title.

  • Capable of magnification up to 2000x
  • 5-year warranty
  • Coarse and fine focusing knobs for desired results
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2. OMAX Built-in 3MP Camera 40X-2000X Digital Biological Compound Binocular

Omax Built In 3mp Camera 40x 2000x Digital Biological Compound Binocular Led Light Microscope With D

This microscope, with its built-in megapixel camera, is capable of magnifying microorganisms up to 2000x, making it a great choice for those looking to view bacteria close-up, with detail.

  • Capable of recording images and video
  • 8 individual magnification levels
  • Swivelling digital binocular head
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3. AmScope 40X-2500X LED Digital Binocular Compound Microscope with 3D Stage and 5MP USB Camera

Amscope 40x 2500x Led Digital Binocular Compound Microscope With 3d Stage And 5mp Usb Camera

This compound microscope comes equipped with a built-in 1.3-megapixel camera and is capable of magnifying specimens up to 2500x. Simply connect this microscope to you computer to easily share and analyze your findings.

  • Great for professionals and students alike
  • Compatible with all leading brand computer software
  • Powerful single bulb LED illumination
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4. AmScope T610-IPL 40X-1000X Plan Infinity Kohler Laboratory Research Grade Trinocular Compound Microscope

Amscope T610 Ipl 40x 1000x Plan Infinity Kohler Laboratory Research Grade Trinocular Compound Micros

Complete with 4 wide-field magnification settings, this research-grade trinocular compound microscope is as good as it gets when it comes to viewing and studying bacteria.

  • Precise mechanical adjustments and optics are ideal for advanced applications.
  • Backward nosepiece design allows for easy rotation and operation
  • Trinocular design allows for photo and video capabilities
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5. AmScope T340A-DK-LED Siedentopf Trinocular Compound Microscope, 40X-1600X Magnification

Amscope T340a Dk Led Siedentopf Trinocular Compound Microscope, 40x 1600x Magnification, Brightfield


Considering its low price, this microscope is hard to beat. Complete with interchangeable eyepieces and magnification capabilities of up to 1600x, this microscope is commonly found both in the laboratory and at home.

  • Compatible with digital cameras and software
  • 30 degree vertical inclination to reduce neck and eye strain
  • Double-layer mechanical stage for precise slide manipulation
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Best Compound Microscopes Buyer’s Guide

There is a lot to think about when purchasing a new compound microscope. With so many models to choose from —all with various capabilities and niches—, committing to a model can seem a little overwhelming, especially if this is your first purchase. Our buyer’s guide is here to help you do a little brainstorming and to point out a few features to keep an eye out for. Take a look below for some tips and reminders before committing to one of these devices.


This is one of the most important features when it comes to viewing microscopic bacteria. In order to view bacteria properly, you need a device that is capable of at least 1000x magnification. Remember, when it comes to magnifying bacteria: the higher the magnification, the better.

Digital features

Digital capabilities are highly sought out by professional researchers and serious hobbyists alike. They are a great way to record and organize your work for future analysis and scrutiny. However, this technology is often more expensive and is not necessarily needed for students or amateurs.

If you do choose to go for a digital model, consider the software and connectivity features to make sure it’s compatible with your existing technology.

Illumination system

Depending on what you intend to view, it is recommended that you choose a microscope with either transmitted illumination or reflected lighting. If possible, opt for a device that contains a light source above and below the viewing platform.


These are some of the best models on the market and some of them come with a hefty price tag. If you’re on a tight budget, a digital device may not be for you as they are often much more expensive. Consider a device that has digital capabilities, that way you can purchase the proper recording equipment at a latter date.