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The Best Harmonicas for Home Use

a harmonica over a music book in a closeup
hjochen/Shutterstock.com

Harmonicas are free-reed wind instruments popular all over the world. Famous for being portable and inexpensive, harmonicas are used in many kinds of musical genres, ranging from blues to pop music. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced player, we recommend checking out these harmonicas.

Choosing a Harmonica

You have many options when selecting a harmonica. Consider these factors when making your choice:

  • Material: Harmonicas can be crafted from several materials ranging from copper to plastic. Be sure to choose a combination that meets your preferences.
  • Size: All harmonicas are relatively light, small, and portable. However, they all vary slightly in size. Double-check measurements to ensure that you select a harmonica that’s right for you or your child.
  • Type: There are many types of harmonicas. The three main types are chromatic, diatonic, and Asian tremolo, but diatonic is the most popular in North America and Europe.
  • Key: Harmonicas come in twelve different keys to make a variety of sounds. The most commonly used harmonicas are made in the C key.

Best Overall: Urbane Harmonica

Made of a copper reed plate that measures 0.8 millimeters for optimal sound and a nontoxic, food-grade ABS resin comb, this diatonic harmonica plays in the key of C. It measures 5.8 by 1.6 by 1.2 inches, features ten holes, makes 20 tones, and has a polished black finish. Each harmonica is tested and tuned and comes with a decorative and durable plastic box, an instruction manual, and a dust cloth. This harmonica is great for players of all levels.

Best Overall

Best for Budget: SMALL FISH Harmonica

This diatonic harmonica in the key of C has ten holes and makes 20 notes. It is made out of phosphor bronze reed with stainless steel covering for a silver finish and has an ABS resin comb. Each harmonica is tested to minimize air leakage. Measuring 5 by 2.1 by 1.4 inches and weighing only 0.2 pounds, it is perfect for any age and safe for children to use as it meets the ASTM F963 International Toy Standard. A storage pouch, microfiber cleaning cloth, and simple instructions also come with the harmonica. It is ideal for beginner-level players of all ages. 

Best Set: Eison Harmonica

Eison’s C major diatonic harmonica is made of phosphor bronze reeds, a 1mm thicker copper plate, and non-toxic, food-grade ABS resin frets plated with nickel metal. It is 4.1 by 1.1 by 0.77 inches, has 10 holes and 20 notes, and offers crisp sound through its precise design, which includes a beautiful blue finish. The harmonica comes with a heavy-duty case, a cleaning cloth, and an instruction manual. It can be used by any player but is ideal for professional performances as well.  

Best Premium: Hohner Harmonica

The Hohner harmonica comes in 12 key options, plus lower and higher octave tunings, which makes it suitable for advanced or professional players. It measures 4 inches long, has recessed 0.9-millimeter brass reed plates, is mounted with screws, and its plastic comb has a projecting mouthpiece for added playing comfort. In addition, its stainless steel covers with closed sides make it exceptionally airtight. 

Ellie Miller Ellie Miller
Ellie Miller is a full-time copy editor and occasional writer for LifeSavvy’s reviews articles. With years of experience in substantive and copy editing, proofreading, and publishing, she has edited thousands of online articles, as well as memoirs, scientific essays, book chapters, and workplace training documents. She hopes you’ll find some new favorite products here on LifeSavvy like she has. Read Full Bio »

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