Owning a new telescope is one of the first steps towards the field of astronomy, whether you are really serious about it or you are into this matter out of your curiosity. It’s pleasing to have an eye on the space that is far away from your earth. But, you cannot just get any random telescope to get the best possible view.
If you are a beginner, you don’t need to spend crazy amounts of money. There are many best telescopes for home use with enough features and decent specs to feed your outer world curiosity.
I have gathered the top 10 and explained their key specs and features in the review section so that you can finally decide which one to go with. There will be a buying guide, which will help you to narrow down your requirements, so you don’t end up buying the wrong one.
How We Wrote This Review?
Before wrapping these 10 telescopes, I had to go through a lot of stuff, from the materials to specs, features, functions, and whatnot.
While doing the research, I did consider how the customers benefited from these telescopes. Different customers have different purposes. So the list is made while keeping everyone’s requirements in mind. An enthusiastic person would need a more capable machine than a beginner.
These recommendations also came from product experts, who have tested the telescopes thoroughly to know what purposes the products can serve to customers.
Telescopes are pricey products. But, not everyone would like to spend a huge amount of money. Beginners mostly look for decent equipment with an affordable price tag. The list includes both expensive and inexpensive products prior to this fact as well.
10 Best Telescopes for Home
Whether you are a pro enthusiast or just a random person who is willing to spend money to get the best view of outer space, the list includes products for both purposes.
Apart from its great aperture, focal length, and reflective lens, there was another important feature, which was the reason why I enlisted this one at the top. Its compatibility with smartphones makes it the most convenient and starter telescope on the list. This is best telescope for the money.
Using the ios and android based app, you can know the actual location of planets, nebulae, galaxies, and lots of other space things from your screen. The telescope uses your smart device to find the real-time position of stars as well.
With an aperture of 130mm, the lens is able to produce enough light allowing you to see the dark space without any trouble. In addition, the lens got reflective coatings, which is something you don’t get to see in conventional ones.
Even if you are a beginner, using your smartphone, you will easily be able to move the telescope following the given instructions on the screen to get the maximum visibility of outer space.
The magnification on this unit is a maximum of 307x. So, locating small items won’t be an issue for you while exploring the universe.
You will get a handful of accessories and tools with the package, such as two eyepieces, a red dot finderscope, a full-height tripod, and a smartphone holder. Surely these items will make your beginning astronomical journey hassle less and more convenient.
Although the telescope doesn’t fall under the budget category, still the price isn’t much if you consider the features this one offers. You get to experience great space viewing with convenience using your smartphone.
Good aperture size of the lens.
Can be controlled via app.
Tripod properly align with the earth axis.
User-friendly StarSense software.
Stiff moving mechanism.
Wind misplaces the alignment.
For those who are looking for a pretty basic yet capable enough telescope for seasonal astrophotography, this unit from Sky-Watcher will be more than enough. This is the best telescope for viewing planets and galaxies. The lens is made of quality glass to make sure you get the maximum view of the space at this price point.
Although it’s a refractor telescope, its high quality optics make it perform like a pro. The lens is still able to deliver great contrast and HD resolution for amateur astronomers unlike other refractor telescopes. Thanks to its ED optical glass that delivers quite an astrophotography-like experience without spending much money for it.
To reduce unnecessary reflections, the lens got Metallic high light transmission coatings, which also contribute to show sharp images with decent color accuracy. With an aperture level of 72mm, there will be enough light to spot things in the space.
Even after a few years, when you need an advanced machine, you can still use the same unit as the primary optical tube assembly. So, for both beginners and enthusiasts, this deal can be worthwhile considering.
Featuring a 10:1 dual-speed focuser, you will be able to focus on objects like a breeze — no need to struggle much from an amateur level.
To protect the precious things, the manufacturer used foam-lined aluminum hard case. The mounting rings do a decent job at stabilizing the lens.
For the price, you can’t really ask for more. If you are to get a beginner-level telescope and plan to use it for a few years, this is a good deal to consider. This can be the best beginner astrophotography telescope you can find on the market.
Lens produces sharp and clear images.
Great focusing speed.
Value for money unit.
Focuser struggles to handle 2 inches eyepiece.
Most beginners require a versatile telescope that can easily be transported from one place to another. Keeping such requirements in mind, Orion comes with this beginner-level equatorial reflector telescope at an affordable price tag.
Its 130mm aperture and 650mm focal length can get some great detail and a bright view of space for you. You, along with your family, can enjoy stunning views of planets, the Moon, as well as bright nebulas, galaxies, and star clusters without any trouble. From its focal ratio of f/10, you get to see stunning space views in wide-field.
Weighing only 27 lbs. the unit isn’t that portable. But for setting it up on the terrace, you will not face such issues.
Comes with a sturdy equatorial mount; you can adjust it to slow motion to be able to track celestial objects in the night sky. No matter how far these objects migrate across the night sky, you will always have your eyes on them.
The manufacturer was generous enough to send a whole lot of accessories and tools along with the telescope. You will get two Sirius Plossl eyepieces, rack and pinion focuser, finder scope, tripod and accessories tray, Starry Night astronomy software, and more.
Comes with numbers of useful accessories.
A bit time consuming to assemble it.
Bulky and not very easy to move.
Looking for an astronomical telescope for your kids at a low price? This refractor telescope from Solomark can be the right deal for you. It is one of the best refractor telescopes for kids. The overall specs are quite decent for kids to get a fairly clear space view. Operating the unit is so much easier, as it’s primarily aimed at kids and younger people.
Although it’s a low-priced device, with an aperture of 70mm with 700mm focal length, the optics is above average for astronomical and terrestrial use for beginners. With 70x max magnification, the planets and Moon come crisp and clear on the optics.
The mount is an equatorial type. So, yeah, you can adjust fine pointing with two slow-motion controls.
Installation of the unit is a lot easier; even a kid can do it without taking too long. You won’t need any additional tools to set this up for space view.
There is also a phone adapter and tripod to hold the phone at your comfortable height and angle. You will be able to get the view on your smartphone easily.
If I were to purchase a telescope for my kid, I would definitely go for this one. Price is the main factor here. Plus, this great telescope comes with decent specs and features, which adds great value to the small investment.
Good aperture with standard focal length.
Tool-free easy setup.
Multi-coated optics show stunning images.
Overall durability isn’t up to the mark.
If you judge this telescope by its smaller size factor, you will miss out on a true space viewing performer for this price. Comes with the necessary features and specs that you need to get a great stargazing experience. This is the best telescope for stargazing. Whether you are a beginner or a pro observer, Celestron Nexstar 6 SE will impress you all the way.
Equipped with an optic lens of 6-inch aperture, the unit can gather some serious amount of light to brighten the dark space in your eyes. Apart from planets and Moon, you will be able to see crisp and clear views of Nebula, Orion, and Galaxy.
The device has a database of over 40,000 bright celestial objects for you to locate without spending much time. You can track the objects in the night sky with decent accuracy if you are up for hours of viewing.
Regardless of your skills, its SkyAlign technology will align the scope in a few minutes.
Celestron Nexstar 6 SE really shines when it’s about mobility. If you go to darker areas to get the best night sky view, you will find it extremely easy to transport. You can break down the tripod into separate pieces for carrying convenience. The tripod is sturdy enough to hold the telescope for hours without wobbling issues.
There’s also a smartphone mounting adapter for you to capture stunning space images and videos through the eyepiece.
More light gathering power.
Lightweight, easy to carry.
Doesn’t come with common accessories.
Takes time to set it up.
Smaller telescopes don’t always mean poor quality sky viewing. Zhumella Z130 Portable Alt azimuth is an ideal example of that. This best portable telescope has a small and compact form factor, the overall quality and optical performance are pretty satisfying both for a experienced and amateur astronomy guy.
Regardless of your skills, you will be able to aim at this particular model like no other. The equipment comes with a red dot finder to make aiming a lot faster and easier.
The manufacturer used a 1.25-inches focuser to make sure you don’t complain much about its optical performance. In addition to that, you can attach or mount a lot of accessories with great convenience to enhance your space exploring experience.
When it comes to magnification, the reflector telescope doesn’t disappoint its user as well. The unit ships with two magnification eyepieces, 25mm and 10mm, and changing between the eyepieces is a breeze – I must say.
With a 130mm aperture, you get to see objects in the night sky with great lighting and without any optical defects. As the manufacturer claims, this high quality optics can transmit more than 90% light, and you can even see dark objects like Nebulae without much struggling.
Talking about its portability, the size factor says for itself. Portable telescopes can be moved to optimum viewing locations.This one is aimed at amateurs who want to roam around dark locations to get the best space images. It weighs a little over 17 pounds, which is pretty lightweight compared to others on the list.
Great aperture for excellent lighting.
Fast and easy focuser.
Smooth motions for convenient tracking.
Compact and lightweight.
Eyepieces can’t get the proper view of Saturn’s ring.
Aperture cover comes off easily.
Another powerful and portable telescope on the list. If you move from one location to another with your telescope, this can be a great addition to your collections. Or even for a beginner, the unit is worthwhile considering because of its easy functions.
With an aperture of 102mm, this one probably gathers the best light among its competitors. The focal length of 600mm also adds to the overall performance of this device.
For magnification, this telescope comes with 3 different eyepieces. In addition to that, you can use a 2x Barlow lens to double the magnification power of the eyepieces for different viewing situations.
Pointing the scope to objects is quite an easy task with its red dot viewfinder.
For precise tracking, it comes with an altazimuth mount that moves in slow motion locking your desired object. Be it day or night; you can track the space objects without losing them for a sec.
If you are a beginner, you will find the included astronomical software and DVD much helpful for you to understand how everything works.
For this price, there are hardly any other telescopes with similar features and specs. Definitely, a go-to option if you can afford the device.
Effective aperture with decent focal length.
Tripod precisely tracks with slow motion.
Red dot viewfinder for easy aiming.
3 magnification lenses with 2x Barlow lens.
Compact, lightweight, and easy to carry.
No focusing knob.
Mount isn’t that stable.
For those beginners who don’t want to spend much time stargazing, this computerized telescope from Celestron can be the ideal equipment to consider. It is one of the best computerized telescopes in the list. The device presents a list of available objects to view in the space. A great detailed view is quite possible using this telescope as the components are really great for the price.
With a 114mm aperture, the telescope is able to produce great lights to view Moon craters, Saturn’s Rings, cloud bands of Moon and Jupiter, and even a number of brighter nebulae. Also, the focal length contributes further to get a more comfortable and wide sky view.
The telescope comes with an internal database of up to 4000 objects, including planets, stars, galaxies, nebulae, and more.
For magnification and stuff, you will get two eyepieces of 25mm and 9mm. Unlike what you see on conventional telescopes, the quality of these eyepieces is much higher.
You won’t have to struggle much to carry this unit to places to get the best space view. It weighs 20 pounds, which stands for a lightweight and portable telescope. Whether you are up for a camping trip, star parties, or backyard observing session, carrying will be a hassle-free task.
Although it’s not a low-priced telescope, the price is worth spending considering the advantages it comes with. As a beginner or advanced sky observing person, you won’t regret buying this piece of the unit for sure.
Computerized sky viewing assistant.
Gathers more light for detailed viewing.
Huge database of objects in space.
Lightweight and easy to carry.
Durable aluminum made mount.
Doesn’t provide fine detail.
Another basic reflector telescope on the list! For its price, you might think it’s not that good when it comes to viewing darker objects. But in reality, the unit is pretty capable of providing you and your family a great deep sky objects view.
One of the most selling points of this budget-friendly telescope is its 114mm aperture, which shows planets, Moon, star clusters, galaxies, and other objects with enough brightness. Unless an object is extremely dark, you won’t face much trouble seeing.
Talking about this telescope lens, it’s quite large in size and perfect for family sky viewing sessions on the backyard or terrace.
Planets move, so does the telescope mount. The package includes an EQ-1 mount that moves along with the planets to make sure you always get the centered view.
Right out of the box, you will get two Sirius Plossl eyepieces of 25mm and 10mm. Also, for a more comfortable sky viewing experience, the telescope ships with MoonMap 260 and a reflex sight.
In the end, let me get straight into it. If you want an entry-level telescope at an affordable price tag with some decent components for a fairly better space sighting experience, you won’t be disappointed after getting this product.
Able to show objects in space with enough light.
Slow-motion moving mount.
Comes with handful of stargazing accessories.
A bit difficult to adjust.
Last but not least, this one is a pretty basic telescope with not that capable of components. If you want to get an average stargazing and sky viewing experience, the Solomark 80EQ model can be the right deal for you. It’s least expensive than other products that suit beginners the most.
This telescope aperture is 80mm, which is more than enough for kids and young people. Also, the focal length of 700mm is large enough to get a comfortable and wide-field view.
Comes with two eyepieces of 10mm and 20mm to make sure you see a more detailed view of the Moon and other planets. You can even view Saturn’s ring, Jupiter’s Galilean moons, Nebula, Galaxy, and more. Due to its all-glass optics, you get to see a very crisp view.
The mount for the unit is an equatorial type. With a slow-motion altitude, tracking celestial objects and planets are possible on this one.
To enhance your sky viewing experience, the telescope comes with an erect image diagonal, finderscope, moon filer (13%), a smartphone adapter, and a 1.5x Barlow lens.
So, for its price, there’s nothing much to complain about. If you are looking for a telescope for a hobby and occasional stargazing without spending much, the deal is clearly a value-added package.
Portable and lightweight.
Decent sky viewing.
Good zooming eyepieces.
Comes with a handful of accessories.
Slow-motion altitude mount.
Mount isn’t that stable.
Not very beginner-friendly.
What to Look for Before You Buy?
Although telescopes aren’t that complicated and electronically powered devices, you cannot just randomly pick one as you like. There are factors that influence how you will get the view of the sky, how far you can see, the lighting condition, mount system, and many more.
Also, the requirements for the beginner and advanced users won’t be the same. If you are intersted in buying your first telescope, this telescope buying guide will help you how to choose a telescope while understanding those factors and provide you with information to make the right buying decision.
As there are different designs and sizes, there are different types of telescopes available in the market. Depending on your stargazing level and requirements, you must get the right type to make sure the investment is worthwhile.
You will notice some telescopes with a large lense, these are refracting telescope. This lens collects the light and focuses on objects. You need to see through an eyepiece to get the sky view.
Compared to the other type, refracting telescopes don’t shake much and require less careful handling.
When it comes to using a telescope for lunar as well as planetary observations, these are the best you can get. If you ever got the chance to ask a stargazing expert ‘what is the best telescope for viewing planets, you will get the suggestion to buy a refracting Telescope.
Due to the large lens size, the price is a bit higher for most refractor telescopes. Also, having a large structure, these are heavier, which doesn’t make them ideal for moving from one place to another. The weight factor also requires you to use a sturdy tripod to support the telescope.
To gather focus light onto eyepiece, reflecting telescopes use a large concave mirror. This mirror collects from distant galaxies or celestial objects. If you ever saw huge telescopes that professional astronomers use, these are the reflecting ones.
One of the most common reflective telescopes is the Newtonian reflector. From the name, you probably can guess the reason behind it. As it was invented by Sir Isaac Newton, this type was named after him. This particular model has a primary mirror near the bottom and an eyepiece on its side.
Although it sounds expensive, it’s not how it seems like. In fact, some reflecting telescopes with low center gravity are relatively inexpensive than other types. These have a more compact form factor to be able to carry in different locations with ease.
If you are already feeling tempted, you need to be well aware of the disadvantages as well. Maintenance is the toughest part. You must maintain periodic collimation – adjustment. From time to time, you will also have to clean the scope as dirt will accumulate on the open optical surface frequently.
There’s a lot to guess hearing its name. Yeah, compound telescopes pretty much combines both the characteristics of refractor and reflector telescopes. Since 1930, advanced astronomers commonly rely on these telescopes for stargazing and stuff.
Due to the optical folding form factor, these units are extremely compact and highly portable. You get to use a large-aperture advantage with a long focal length in compact and lightweight housing.
Unlike reflector telescopes, you won’t need to take the cleaning hassle, as these models have a sealed optical tube to make the internals dust-free.
For beginners, these are extremely user-friendly. You can use easy-to-use software as well as mount your smartphone to control and view objects in the sky. All the stunning astrophotographers that you see on the web are taken with these telescopes.
If I’m to look for only one particular characteristic when it comes to choosing a telescope, I’d be very picky about aperture. This is the thing that determines the sky viewing clarity. The light-gather ability of a telescope depends on the aperture.
An 8 inches telescope will have a relatively larger aperture than 4 inches one. The larger one will be able to gather four times brighter than its counterpart. Also, if you are to view the lunar crater, the larger aperture will show a much larger view.
You don’t need that large aperture if you’re a beginner who is looking for a decent telescope for occasional or regular usage. A larger aperture would cost more money as well as lack portability, which only suits well with the professionals.
How far can a telescope see is determined by the magnification power. However, magnifying too much won’t get you to see a clear view.
Most people would like to get a unit with higher magnification capability. Keep in mind that when the view is magnified excessively, the bright objects will look blurry and dim objects will look dimmer. Just like smartphones and digital cameras, don’t fall for magnification, the lens, and light gathering ability matter more than zooming.
Bigger is better; but, not everyone would need a large telescope. If you are to get a telescope for galaxies, eclipsing binaries, nebulas, etc. bright deep sky targets, you will have to compromise with the portability factor. Powerful telescopes are heavy and a bit hasslesome when it comes to carrying.
You won’t be able to easily fit the device inside the car. It would require something bigger than that.
But, if the telescope is solely for Moon and solar system observations, a smaller unit will be sufficient enough. You can easily carry such a telescope to your backyard and terrace all by yourself. Carrying the telescope on the back seat of your car will not be an issue at all.
As telescopes are something that most people aren’t familiar with, how much are telescopes cost is a common question that beginners are concerned about.
For Lunar and solar system observations, you will find telescopes within $200-$400. These will come with a relatively small aperture, focal length, and magnification power.
If you are a beginner, look for one within this price range. You can still capture some stunning Moon and planets photos using a budget-friendly telescope.
Professionals mostly deal with brighter deep sky objects. These telescopes are priced from $400 to $700. Some models cost above $1000 as well.
What type of telescope should I buy?
There are four main types of telescopes: refractor, reflector, catadioptric, and Dobsonian. Refractor telescopes use a lens to focus light, while reflector telescopes use a mirror. Catadioptric telescopes use a combination of both lenses and mirrors. Dobsonian telescopes are a type of reflector telescope that uses a simplified mount.
When deciding on what type of telescope to buy, you should consider what you want to use it for. If you want to do astrophotography, a catadioptric telescope would be your best bet. If you want a telescope that is easy to set up and use, a Dobsonian telescope would be a good choice.
What is a good magnification for a home telescope?
A good magnification for a home telescope would be about 100-150x. However, it is important to keep in mind that the higher the magnification, the more difficult it will be to keep the image steady. For this reason, it is often best to start with a lower magnification and then gradually increase it as you become more comfortable with using the telescope. Additionally, the amount of light that is available will also affect the maximum magnification that you can use. If you are observing during the daytime, you will likely be limited to using a lower magnification than if you were observing at night.
Which telescope is best for viewing planets?
The best telescope for viewing planets is the Sky-Watcher EvoStar 80 APO. It has the largest aperture of the three telescopes, making it the best choice for viewing planets. It also has a higher magnification than the other two telescopes, making it better for planetary viewing. Finally, it has a tracking mount, which will keep the planet in view as it moves across the sky.
As you have made this far, I hope this article and the buying guide really help to determine your uses of a telescope and what type of telescope you would need to meet these.
Don’t overlook the mounting system or tripod that comes with telescopes. Although you can get a separate one, it’s always good to get an overall good package without spending much. The tripod should have slow-motion rotation to track space objects. Check the durability factor as well.
The telescopes would always be the ones with a relatively lightweight. There will be times when you might need to move from location to location to get the perfect view. However, if the unit is for professionalism, you have every reason to get a heavier unit to get the most out of your investment.