A home planetarium, also called a room planetarium, is a great way to bring the starry sky into your own room.
However, there are more and more different models to buy, which due to their quality are simply not worthy of the price to be paid.
For this reason I have written a big buyer's guide for you here on home-planetarium.com and present the best home planetariums. Furthermore I will show you how to get the most out of a room planetarium.
The 7 best Home Planetarium
Below you will find a summary of the best room planetariums. Some devices have links to reviews in which I present them in detail. The planetarium information comes from my own test, product features and reviews from Amazon customers. Thus all evaluations consist of neutral information, which will help you in any case with the purchase.
The Homestar Flux is the newest home planetarium of the brand Sega Toys. Basically, the device can have the same qualities as its predecessor, the Homestar Original:
It represents more than 60,000 stars per disc, has very good product quality and has an extensive repertoire of functions. Unfortunately the planetarium is a lot more expensive.
You wonder why it is still the best home planetarium? It's simple. It has by far the best representation of the starry sky thanks to a strong 5-watt LED in combination with optical glass lenses. The predecessor was already better than the competition .
- over 60,000 stars per disc, far more than competing devices
- most realistic representation of the starry sky in the test
- easy to operate
- enorm large projection screen
- very high material quality
- adequate relationship between price and performance
- strong 5 Watt LED
- smart design in matt black
- unproblematic in the dark operable
- easy to understand instructions
- adequate guarantee period (full 2 years)
- various power sources can be used (socket, power bank etc.)
- various different projections by purchase of additional discs possible
- star images without caption
- one of the most expensive room planetariums
The second best home planetarium from my point of view is the Homestar Original / Star Theatre by Sega Toys.
Although it did not convince us by its price, it offers a lot of other advantages compared to the competition. So, according to the manufacturer, whole 60,000 stars are thrown at once to the ceiling, the rotary motor does not make too many noises and also the material quality is very good in my experience.
The two star discs in the package promise hours of exciting observations. If even these are not enough, the Homestar Original / Star Theatre by Sega Toys can easily be upgraded with additional cards.
- many more stars than models of the competition (60.000 pieces)
- realistic representation of the starry sky
- simple operability
- very large projection surface
- high material quality
- really good ratio between price and performance
- simple design
- in the dark well operable
- clearly understandable instructions
- longer guarantee period (whole 2 years)
- expansion of the repertoire of celestial bodies by the purchase of additional discs possible
- star images not labeled
- the second most expensive planetarium in my test
The third planetarium in my highscore list is the National Geographic Astro Planetarium Multimedia. A and if it is one of the cheaper home planetaria, the price is reflected only conditionally in the quality. The stars and other celestial bodies are not displayed as clearly as on the first two projectors.
For this, the National Geographic Astro Planetarium Multimedia, however, also brings positive Properties. It has a striking, fancy design, has been cleanly processed and contains many informative posters in scope of supply. Furthermore it has many functions. For example, it also allows playing music over a mobile phone or similar.
- 2 discs with 8.000 celestial bodies each
- display of star images possible
- 5 years warranty for online registration
- robust and really chic design
- low weight
- four posters for learning the constellations included
- can play music (either via the integrated radio or the 3.5mm jack)
- fair price
- fast, simple start-up
- white, low power LED used
- illuminated buttons for operation in the dark
- stars at the edge of the projection due to elliptic shape very difficult to detect
- music function was not usable with me
- for rotation not quite quiet
- high shipping costs
After that, the Bresser junior Astro-Planetarium deluxe has just landed on the 4th place in the best list. In terms of price, this model is even very good and, therefore, also my price-performance winner. However, it "only" displays 8,000 celestial bodies simultaneously. Otherwise, the Bresser junior Astro-Planetarium deluxe is convincing due to its easy handling, the rotating projector as well as the battery operation, whereby no annoying cables are in the way.
Besides the normal stars the constellations can also be displayed, which you can't detect directly otherwise. It is in the rating only behind the National Geographic Astro Planetarium Multimedia, as it has a pair of fewer features.
- two discs with each 8,000 stars
- Possibility to display constellations
- 5 years warranty by the manufacturer for online registration
- Projector can be aligned manually
- also well operable in the dark
- self-explanatory operation
- uniform motion with electrical rotation
- favorable for the offered qualities and functions
- low power, bright LED used
- inclusive interactive PC-Software
- the 2 motors give partly stronger noises of themselves
- edges of the projection surface are blurred
- could be something better processed
5th Place: In My Room Star Theater Tabletop Planetarium Light Projector
The In My Room Star Theater Tabletop Planetarium Light Projector takes the top shelf as one of my most exciting product reviews so far. It makes sky exploration more accessible to me. With a smooth surface and the right blackout curtains, I can summon the panoramic night sky even on a clear day.
I highly recommend this to all astronomy enthusiasts with a low budget out there. It’s priced fairly and is well-designed. I’ve been using this some days for a few months now and I have yet to tire of it. But I would not say that it is my favorite. More expensive planetariums are way better. So here you get a cheap product with a average to low quality.
- displays hundreds of constellations and stars
- adjustable view based on the season, month, day, and hour
- complete with a downloadable audio tour
- comes with a meteor maker, best for meteor reenactment
- made of durable materials
- can be battery-operated or plugged in an AC adapter
- fair price
- you cannot use rechargeable batteries
- needs to be propped in a stable surface for optimum view
- outdoor use possible, but does not show the most vivid figures
- walkthrough audio not necessary
- shipping costs a bit expensive
- product warranty not readily disclosed
6th Place: Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium and Dual Projector
In terms of price, the Smithsonian Optics Room Planetarium and Dual Projector is one of the cheapest planetariums. The device can display the Northern Sky with 24 space images, allows a rotation of the stars and is already for children from 8 years suitable.
Also there are over 50 combinations of images. However, the quality of the home planetarium and the projection is not the best . Also the brightness is clearly too low.
- very low priced
- shows the Northern Sky mit 24 Space images
- 50 combinations of images possible
- suitable from 8 years
- poor workmanship
- low quality of the projection
- too weak light source
7th Place: Uncle Milton 3D Star Theater
If you look at the price, the Uncle Milton 3D Star Theater one of the cheapest home planet. This can also be seen in the evaluation of the device.
First of all, however, I would like to highlight the positive characteristics. The Star Theatre is suitable for making fun of children, can display different pictures with astronomical motifs and can be manually focused on a wheel. The projection also has a 3D effect, which is why 3D glasses are supplied.
However, the advantages also have some disadvantages. The planetarium does not look very stable, the image quality is rather bad and also the processing does not leave the best impression. Neither can you replace the disc inside, which is standard on most other home planetariums.
- very cheap price
- gives smaller children fun
- different motifs can be displayed
- with 3D effect
- 3D goggles included in delivery
- not very stable
- image quality is not the best
- unclean processing
- disc inside not interchangeable
Buyer's Guide & FAQ:
At this point I would like to show you what you have to consider when buying a home planetarium. I have written a big buyer's guide for this. I also answer frequently asked questions.
Scope of delivery
The first thing you should look at at any home planetarium is the scope of delivery. You should try to evaluate which accessories are included, if you really need them and what quality they have.
With regard to the functions, you should consider how many features the home planetarium has. But more is not always better. Rather, everything had to function as desired. You must also pay special attention to how realistic the starry sky is displayed, the quality of the projection and how many celestial bodies are displayed. A good projection is probably the most important thing for a room planetarium.
Many home planetariums make quite loud noises, especially during automatic rotation. If you want to relax primarily with the star projection, however, this is very unfavorable. You should also bear this in mind when buying.
In addition to the inner values, you should consider the outer factors for each device. One of these is quality. With this evaluation criterion, I can see, for example, how often the projector has any errors according to customer reviews and what physical effects it can withstand. I also look at how high-quality the material and the workmanship look.
If price is important to you, you should put it in relation to performance. Sometimes you get just 10% less power for a much better price.
Sega Toys Homestar Original and Homestar Flux compared:
At this point I would like to show you again why the Homestar Flux in front of the former best home planetarium, the Homestar Original / Star Theatre by Sega Toys, has landed on 1st place. Here you can find a video-comparison with the previous model. In the video both advantages and disadvantages of both planetarias are addressed and a conclusion is drawn over both. Check it out so you can form your own opinion.
YouTube-Video by Mark Draper
If you want to read more about this, look here: Sega Homestar Flux vs. Original.
What is a home planetarium suitable for?
Primarily, a home planetarium can be used to observe the starry sky, even if the sky is overcast or the climate outside is simply wrong. In addition, the cyclic movement of the constellations can be easily followed without having to observe the sky every evening anew. Finally, most models have a function to display the constellation of stars from a certain date. You can also find more features in my reviews.
Very often home planetariums are also used as a kind of mood light for babies. Of course not the professional, expensive variants are suitable for this, but rather simpler and above all cheaper ones, which I also present here on my website.
How to use a home planetarium properly?
When using a home planetarium there is not too much to consider - no matter if you want to use it for discovering or relaxing. The golden rule, which applies to almost all models, is: There must be complete darkness in the room. If this condition is not fulfilled, then a lot of atmosphere is lost and you don't even recognize half of the stars anymore. In addition, a home planetarium should be set up evenly so that the projection really throws an optimal image to the ceiling.
Where should I buy a home planetarium?
I clearly recommend that you buy a home planetarium on the Internet (Amazon, for example). The reason is quite simply that most models are not offered at all in the shop. And even if there are them to buy, you won't directly find experiences of other buyers or even Reivews like on the Internet. To make it easier for you to buy online, I have also written a detailed review of some planetariums on this website.
How much does a home planetarium cost?
The price depends strongly on the quality you expect and especially on what you want to use the home planetarium for. For a really high quality you have to put at least $100 on the table. If, however, it is to be used only for experimenting with children, there are corresponding models available for about 40$. You can get the star projectors for babies for $20.
Pros and cons of home planetaria
- can be used regardless of the weather
- observation of any parts of the sky possible
- suitable for adults and children
- easy to operate
- significantly less expensive than most telescopes
- small selection of various models
- projections are often displayed blurred
What is the difference between a home planetarium and a Star Projector?
Many of my website visitors confuse the starry sky projector with planetariums for their own four walls. So that this doesn't happen to you, here are the two biggest differences explained for you:
As you can see from many online test reports and online shops, home planetarium prices are in the range of 100$ and more. A starry sky projector, on the other hand, normally costs 20$ to 30$. For this reason alone, you shouldn't run away and buy a starry sky projector instead of a home planetarium. Finally, there is the second, much greater difference.
The usage and functions
In terms of functions and associated use, the two types of equipment are completely different. While star projectors are more for entertainment and throw colorful stars at the ceiling, the home planetarium is designed to discover the starry sky. Accordingly, you can, for example, display the date of the sky.
Conclosure - home-planetarium.com
I hope very much that I could help you a little with the purchase decision or the knowledge search over the correct home planetarium further. If you think I haven't dealt with a topic in enough detail or if you are missing the answer to a question completely, then simply write me a message with your request. You can find my e-mail address in the legal notice.
You are from Germany and interested in home-planetariums? Look here: heimplanetarium.info.
If you are interested in aquariums, you also should check my website myaquarium.net.