I did my PhD in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London. My research focused on mathematical modeling of the cell cycle in leukemia and involved experiments with cell lines. During that time, I had to count cells with a hemocytometer so often to track growth that I got tired and decided to build an app, HemocyTap, and share my knowledge on the topic here to help as many people as possible.

When choosing a hemocytometer, price can be an important factor as many of you buy them for personal use to count yeast cells in brewing or for manual counting for scientific projects. Hemocytometer prices vary greatly with quality, so a cheap hemocytometer might seem ok at first but can lead to inacurate counts, in addition to breaking more easily. In this post I will review what I think are the best hemocytometers in Amazon according to the quality of the hemocytometer you need. Here’s a hemocytometer price comparison, with detailed reviews for each of them underneath the table:

Quality Price Brand Cover slips Where to buy
Basic$30-$40Gizmo2Amazon
Advanced $80-$110 Marienfeld1?Amazon
2Amazon
Microyntech2Amazon
LW Scientific2Amazon
Professional $200-$250Hausser0Amazon
Disposable $240-$270Cell-Vu50Amazon

When looking to buy a hemocytometer, there are three main things that you want to look for: durability, accuracy and ease of use. Durability ensures your hemocytometer doesn’t break very easily; medical grade glass generally provides standard durability for everyday use. Accuracy, so that your counts are reproducible and consistent; this is generally satisfied in branded hemocytometers, which are produced according to a strict fabrication process. Ease of use is achieved with hemocytometer features such as a sample loading port, which helps loading the sample onto the chamber without overfilling it or spilling it on top of the cover slip. I am going to review the above hemocytometers according to these factors.

Gizmo hemocytometer

This basic hemocytometer is a great one to keep as a spare one in case your main hemocytometer breaks. It’s really cheap for the average hemocytometer price but it’s average quality. It also comes with a one year warranty for defects (but not for breakage etc. as this is a delicate piece of equipment). If you don’t need very accurate countings, then it might also be a good main hemocytometer. Note that it doesn’t have a loading port.


Marienfeld hemocytometer

This hemocytometer is really good quality for the price. The version with the sample loading ports is the one we had in my lab when I was doing my PhD and it produced consistent and accurate counts. The two cheaper Marienfeld hemocytometers in the list above do not have this sample v-port so loading them will be more difficult (nothing that practice can’t overcome). The squares are diamond etched into the chambers for a clean and accurate counting area. I remember dropping it on the work surface a few times and it resisted the shock. Obviously, if it falls to the floor it will most likely break, just like any glass hemocytometer.


Microyntech hemocytometer

This one is a bit of a mystery to me. The price is really great and the hemocytometer looks like it’s good quality. To be honest I had never heard of this brand before, so it might be that the quality is a bit lower than the Marienfeld. Still, it is bright lined and comes with two cover slips, so it might be a bit of a bargain.


LW Scientific hemocytometer

I recall using this hemocytometer at some point in my lab. It’s also one of the top quality ones and the brand is well-known in research labs, as they provide incubators, microscopes and cell culture material in general. This model has the useful sampling ports included and a rhodium fused on glass counting area for more accurate counting and beter visibility of the lines.


Hausser Scientific hemocytometer

The Hausser is the most expensive of all hemocytometers presented here and for a reason. Hausser is a very well-known counting chamber company and they provide very specific and tailor-made products. Their hemocytometers are the best quality both in terms of accuracy and durability. They come in thermal and shock-resistant glass with a metallized surface for ease of counting.


Disposable Cell-vu hemocytometer

These hemocytometers are very different to all the others presented above in many ways. First of all, they are disposable, single use hemocytometers, which means no need to clean before or after counting. They have a support part and a chamber part (slide) which come in plastic. Each slide has a single hemocytometer chamber, so you’ll need to use two if you want to have duplicate counts. Loading the sample is really easy: a slide is placed on top of the support area, leaving a blank space on the side where the tip can be placed to load the sample. Once the sample is loaded, the chamber slide can be moved to the final position so the hemocytometer is at the center of the circle. These are recommended for frequent use for those of you doing more medical work, to avoid contamination of samples due to improper cleaning of the material. But of course, they are really convenient! They are very expensive though.

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