Last Updated: Oct 30, 2021 @ 4:29 pm.

What's the best globe? Well, the answer depends on your needs—is this for kids to learn geography? A gift for that cartography enthusiast on your list? Or just a plain globe for an office desk? We looked at 13 different globes, comparing accuracy and extra features (some illuminated globes also can function like a night light).

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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Best Light Up Globe

Also great as a night light
This light-up globe is just the right size and features a duo of maps: political borders (when lit up) and physical features (when not). Very good quality.

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Best Light Up Globe: Replogle 10” Lisbon, Blue Illuminated World Globe

Let’s talk globes!

When it comes to globes, things can get surprisingly political. Some globes made overseas don’t accurately reflect the current status of certain countries. That’s why when it comes to the best light-up globe, we recommend globes manufactured in the USA—they are the most objective. A great example: Repologle’s “Lisbon” globe is our favorite.

This well-made globe is just the right size (10″) for kids to learn . . . or just to have as a desk ornament.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Lights up! This globe uses a 25 watt candelabra-style bulb.

• Details include ocean currents, mountain ranges and other physical geography.

• Can be used as a night light.

• Made in the USA. 

• 10″ diameter.

• When lit up, it shows political borders . . . when not lit up, you see just the physical features.

Here’s what the globe looks like when illuminated (not the color-coded countries):

When not illuminated, the globe looks like this:
Best Globe Not Lit Up


What Needs Work

• Electrical cord extends from globe base, making it somewhat awkward to carry around.

• More ocean topography would be welcome.

• Plastic stand could use some more heft to make it stable.

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Best Kids Learning Globe

Silver-finish base is sharp-looking
Great detail is what makes this globe excellent for kids studying geography—we liked the ocean topography, mountain ranges and more. And yes, it spins!

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Best Kids Learning Globe: Advantus 12 Inch Desktop World Globe

This no-frills globe is our pick for kids who want to learn geography—at 12″, it is much easier to use than smaller models. 

We liked the detail (mountains, deserts, forests are all called out) as well as ocean topography. And it spins nicely!

What We Liked

 Great for classrooms or home school.

• Large size = easy to read.

• Good detail.

• Spins both horizontally and vertically!

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• Doesn’t light up.

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Best Floating Globe

Great gift for an office
We liked this black and silver globe which is a great conversation piece—plus it lights up.

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Best Floating Globe: Trenzsary Floating Globe with LED Lights C Shape

Thanks to a clever electronic magnet system, this globe “floats” in the air—and is a great desk toy. We liked the overall look and LED lighting.

What We Liked

• Affordable gift for mom or dad’s office.

• 3″ globe.

• Three colors to choose from (this article is linked to the black and silver model, but it also comes in natural colors and black and gold).

• Lights up at night via LED.

What Needs Work

• Electrical interference = no floating! This globe can’t be near other electrical gadgets because the interference can keep the globe from floating. 

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Best Splurge

Slowly spins on its own!
Stunning globe uses solar tech to spin on a three-pronged acrylic stand. Gorgeous! And quite the conversation piece.
$298.00 ($3.10 / oz)

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Best Splurge: Mova Earth with Clouds 6”

Yes, this thing is pricey . . . but wow! We love the detail. And it spins on its own (using solar power). Quite the conversation piece.

What We Liked

• Earth + clouds = stunning!

• Comes with acrylic stand.

• 6″ diameter.

• Slowly spins on its own in ambient light (no batteries needed).

What Needs Work

• If liquid leaks from globe center, the globe will stop spinning. Take care to handle it gently! 

• Pricey.

• More for display than learning.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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