Best star projectors 2024: Bring the cosmos indoors

We've looked at the best star projectors and home planetariums that money can buy, with options ranging from the scientific to the... not so scientific. You'll see what we mean.

The models that tend to be more affordable are those that give you an immersive experience, to give the feel of being somewhere other-worldly, and the colors and patterns are loosely 'inspired' by space — nebulas, auroras and galaxies. You've likely seen them at parties, in game rooms, in spas and so on.

Then there are scientific home planetariums that generally project 'real imagery,' so you can study and enjoy projections of real galaxies and nebulas from the comfort of your own home without investing in expensive astronomy equipment. These are much more likened to the more traditional planetariums that teach astronomy and related sciences.

We've scoured the market for the best star projectors and home planetariums, and we've noticed that over time, there's a growing competition of manufacturers bringing out newer versions with additional functionality and better quality and packaging. We'll keep revising this list with new models as we come across and test them. For now, here are the best ones currently available on the market.

If you're looking to purchase a gift for a child, you might want to take a look at the best science kits for kids if a star projector wouldn't quite hit the nail on the head. There are also guides to the best chemistry sets and the best coding toys too.

Quick list

Best star projectors we recommend in 2024

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Best overall

Best overall: The Orzorz Galaxy Lite is a stunning, scientifically accurate star projector that's light years ahead the competition.

Specifications

Size: 160 x 120 x 120mm
Bulb type: LED
Laser: None
Control: On-body
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: Yes
Speaker: No
Projection surface: 13 ft / 4m

Reasons to buy

+
Large expandable collection
+
High-quality imagery
+
Looks stylish
+
Rechargeable

Reasons to avoid

-
Tiny disks
-
A touch noisier than some models
Buy it if

✅ You want something rechargeable: No need for batteries, this model is rechargeable with a USB-C to USB-A cable (which is provided).

✅ You want high-quality imagery on a budget: This star projector easily rivals the Sega Homestar Flux for a fraction of the cost.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You don't want to buy extra disks: It comes with a generous five disks, but you do have to buy extra if you want to expand your collection.

❌ You want to sleep with it on: We found it a touch noisier than other models.

The bottom line

🔎 Orzorz Galaxy Lite Home Planetarium Star Projector: It has everything we love about the Homestar Flux but without the expensive price tag. It's sleek, the images are vivid, it's simple to operate and it has a vast library of add-on disks. ★★★★★

We were really impressed with the Orzorz Galaxy Lite when we reviewed it recently. It easily rivals the Sega Homestar Flux in terms of image quality and functionality and comes at a fraction of the cost.

The colors produced by this projector are undoubtedly impressive — they are vivid and bright, and the images are incredibly sharp once focused. You can even enjoy the projections in the daytime; there's no need to be in total darkness. 

The projector ships with five disks — Pillars of Creation, NGC 2359 (Thor's Helmet), the Moon, the Milky Way and the Earth and Moon (on one disk), but there's a whole catalog of others to choose from to purchase separately. The disks also fit the Pococo Home Planetarium and vice versa, making the library of images to extend your collection even greater. We did think the tiny disks could be a little fiddly for those with larger hands, though.

There is one rotation speed which is slow and soothing — there's a little bit of noise from the motor but nothing that would be distracting, and better than many models we've tested.

We've chosen to put this projector at the top of this list as it offers the same (or even better) functionality as the Sega Toys Homestar Flux but at a much lower cost.

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AttributesNotes
DesignSleek, contemporary look.
PerformanceEasily rivals the Sega Homestar Flux — high quality, realistic imagery.
FunctionalityRechargeable.

Best premium model

Best premium model: Undoubtedly an excellent Home Planetarium, but cheaper alternatives are available.

Specifications

Size: 160 x 160 x 150mm
Bulb type: LED
Laser: None
Control: On-body
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: Yes
Speaker: No
Projection surface: Max 8.9ft / 2.7 m

Reasons to buy

+
Illuminated controls
+
Additional disks available
+
Runs very quiet
+
Scientifically accurate

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Rival cheaper alternatives 
-
Low stock
Buy it if

✅ You want a quiet model: In an otherwise silent room, you can only hear the faintest whir of the motor.

✅ You want scientific accuracy: All the disks and projections are scientifically accurate.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're on a budget: This is one of the more expensive models, and it's rarely on offer.

❌ You just want a pretty light: If you just want a nice light to create atmosphere, there are more suitable options in this list.

The bottom line

🔎 Sega Toys Homestar Flux: Unlike many 'star-projectors, ' this model leaves the gimmicks at the door and focuses entirely on creating an accurate projection of over 60,000 stars. ★★★★

There isn't a 'top X star projector list' you'll come across without finding the Sega Toys Homestar Flux taking a podium position. Unlike many 'star projectors,' this model's main focus (no pun intended) is to project a realistic-looking, high-quality image of extraterrestrial subjects onto your wall or ceiling, often using real photos from various observation stations around the world. 

It ships with two disks as standard, but with over 30 compatible disks available as additional add-ons, there's a greater level of exploration to be had than with other star projectors and home planetariums.

It has a sleek and mature design with a high-quality satin black finish, which we appreciated during our Sega Toys Homestar Flux review. It also comes in an attractive and robust box which would be a delight to give or receive as a gift, and one that can be saved and used as storage rather than heading straight for the recycling bin.

The 5-watt LED projects pin-sharp images across the whole projection, from edge to edge. The operation is quiet, and there are three sleep timers for automatic shut-off. There's no remote, app control or built-in speaker, but these aren't functions you'll need if all you're doing is selecting your desired disk and switching the projector on to gaze at the stars.

There is a shooting star function, but this leaves a little to be desired, and we think it's an unnecessary add-on.

Update July 2023. Stock levels are extremely low, so you might have to wait a while to get your hands on one. If you can't find one, we'd strongly recommend the Orzors Star Projector as an alternative.

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AttributesNotes
DesignMatte black finish.
PerformanceImpressive, scientifically accurate projections.
FunctionalityMore than 30 compatible disks available.

Best cheap option

Best cheap option: Excellent value for money, impressive tech and three means of control make this one of the best non-scientific star-projectors

Specifications

Size: 120 x 120 x 135 mm
Bulb type: LED
Laser: Class 2
Control: App, voice and single button
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: Yes
Speaker: No
Projection surface: Laser — 30 x 30 ft, Nebula cloud — 15 x 15ft

Reasons to buy

+
App, voice & button control
+
Color blending
+
Good value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy button on the cable
-
Mains power only
Buy it if

✅ You're on a budget: This model is incredibly budget-friendly.

✅ You want voice control: You can control it with your Alexa or Google device.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You don't want to use an app: The accompanying app is needed in order to use all its functions.

❌ You want scientific accuracy: There's no scientific accuracy to this star projector.

The bottom line

🔎 BlissLights Evolve Star Projector: This is a discrete and refined star projector, a definite upgrade to the previous Bliss Lights Sky Lite designs. The white body and small form factor complement a range of home decor. The app control is sleek and the Alexa/Google voice control is an added bonus. ★★★★

Here we have the newest version of BlissLights 'galaxy lights,' the Evolve, available with green, blue or no lasers. Unusually, it has voice control (Google Assistant /Amazon Alexa), single button control and app control. As we found out in our BlissLights Evolve Star Projector Review, the app is responsive and effective.

The spherical projector isn't fixed to the supplied base so gives maximum positioning flexibility. Point it at walls, ceilings and even the floor if you have high shelving, and you won't have a problem angling the Class 2 laser away from vulnerable eyes.

It displays an immeasurable amount of color combinations from a bright 5-watt bulb. The colors are vivid and immersive, and the BlissLights Evolve uses unique color blending technology to allow for pastel-style colors rather than highly contrasting color patterns. You can spend hours gazing up at the soothing changing patterns and experimenting with color combinations and brightness in the app. Turn on the laser 'stars' to further transform your space (up to 30x30 feet!) into an otherworldly sensory experience. 

Though clearly not a scientific star projector, it would transform your gaming room, party atmosphere or sleeping environment. As the motor is very quiet — near silent, in fact, the motor noise won't be a distraction, allowing you to focus on the immersive and impressive light patterns. 

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AttributesNotes
DesignSmall and discreet.
PerformanceNo scientific accuracy, just a pretty night.
FunctionalityApp and voice controlled.

Best for kids

National Geographic Astro Planetarium

Best for kids: A multi-media home planetarium that's most suited to a younger audience.

Specifications

Size: 160 x 160 x 190mm
Bulb type: LED
Laser: None
Control: On-body
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: Yes
Speaker: No
Projection surface: Max 8.9ft / 2.7 m

Reasons to buy

+
Time & Date selector
+
Five year warranty
+
In-built speaker & radio

Reasons to avoid

-
Not a Bluetooth speaker
-
Lacks premium finish
Buy it if

✅ You want accuracy: It's accurate to the time and date you're using it.

✅ You want an in-built speaker: It can be used as a speaker or radio, but there's no BlueTooth.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want it to blend in: It has a somewhat garish appearance, so doesn't exactly blend into your interiors.

❌ You want something quiet: We found it to be on the noisy side, especially at full speed.

The bottom line

🔎 National Geographic Astro Planetarium: Not quite as sophisticated as its Sega rival, but it's suited to a younger audience. Still, it's a good learning tool and is impressive nonetheless. ★★★★½

The National Geographic Astro Planetarium appeals to a younger audience. Primarily due to the garish yellow accented buttons and detail on the device.

The images aren't as impressive as something premium like the Homestar Flux — if super vivid imagery is what you expect — but the price point is much lower. The images aren't as bright as its Sega rival, but if you're using it to sleep with then this could be an advantage. You can power it with either a user-supplied 5V DC power cable or three AA batteries which are included.

It comes with two disks, one with the constellations labeled and one without, plus there are other additional disks available to purchase separately for other celestial bodies. 

It has the functionality of an inbuilt speaker (requiring a 3.5mm audio cable — included) and a built-in radio. We wouldn't rely on using this as a radio though; you're better off plugging in a phone or smart device to play your chosen audio instead. The sound quality is surprisingly good, something that would be perfectly acceptable in a child's bedroom or for listening to in your kitchen — although it is on the noisy side, especially when it's running at full speed.

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AttributesNotes
DesignLooks a bit toyish.
PerformanceBright, easy to focus projections.
Functionality3 x AA batteries required.

Best rechargeable star projector

Best rechargeable: Another projector to rival the big names with a huge library of additional disks available to purchase

Specifications

Size: 157 x 120 x 120mm
Bulb type: LED
Laser: None
Control: On-body
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: Yes
Speaker: No
Projection surface: 12m²

Reasons to buy

+
Rechargeable 
+
Vivid imagery
+
Plenty of add-on disks

Reasons to avoid

-
Awful marketing language
-
On button controls not illuminated
Buy it if

✅ You're on a budget: This star projector is quite affordable for what it is.

✅ You want excellent quality projections: We were very impressed with the quality of the images from the disks.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want to avoid unreputable brands: The marketing around this product is bizarre, plus they make false claims that are just greenwashing.

❌ You want a remote: It doesn't have one.

The bottom line

🔎 Pococo Galaxy Star Projector: An affordable alternative to the more expensive star projectors like the Sega Toys Homestar Flux. It offers the same functionality and image quality (if not better), and it is also rechargeable, which gives you more flexibility in terms of where you can point the projections. ★★★★

The Pococo Galaxy Projector is ultimately the same technology as the Orzorz Galaxy Lite mentioned above but in a different body. Scroll up to the top of the list to read all of the functionality, it's all the same and even uses the same shape disks; it's just the shape and color of this model that makes it different. Still, we were very impressed with the images in our Pococo Galaxy star projector review.

The Pococo's design is simple and stylish, with a pink and blue ombre paint job. Like the Orzors, the packaging and presentation are nice, so it would be good to give as a gift.

So, if it's exactly the same, why is it further down in this guide? A few reasons — one is we think the Orzors has a more 'grown up' design and would complement more decor — therefore, more of a 'safe bet' if you're purchasing it for someone else. 

The other reason is the strange marketing around the product, which seems to target ladies' insecurities (check it out for yourself if you don't believe us) — which we obviously disagree with. They seem to have tidied it up a bit since, but there's still some wording in there about how it can help love your body somehow. It also claims to be an 'eco-friendly' star projector, which simply isn't true. While this seems trivial, it's important to call out greenwashing. 

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AttributesNotes
DesignAttractive design with four available colors.
PerformanceImpressive images.
FunctionalityBasically the same as the Orzorz Galaxy Lite.

Best novelty star projector

Best novelty star projector: A conversation-starting star projector, geared towards children but still excellent quality

Specifications

Size: 120 x 113 x 228mm
Bulb type: LED
Laser: Class 1
Control: On-body and remote
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: Yes
Speaker: No
Projection surface: Not specified

Reasons to buy

+
Novelty design
+
Good build quality
+
Plenty of color combinations

Reasons to avoid

-
DC power port (USB would be preferred)
-
Basic packaging
Buy it if

✅ You're on a tight budget: This star projector tends to sit at around the $20 mark.

✅ You're buying a gift for a child: It's an affordable gift that children will love.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want scientific accuracy: This is about as far away from scientific accuracy as you can get.

❌ You want a long cable: We noted that the cable is quite short, so you may need an extension lead if you don't have any plugs near your chosen surface.

The bottom line

🔎 Astronaut Starry Sky Projector: A great quality star projector for any space lover. The novelty astronaut design is a conversation starter, and the projections are bright and vivid. The sleep timer makes it an ideal choice for a child's bedroom. ★★★★

This is a great quality star projector for any space fan. We were dubious how good this star projector would be, as historically, novelty-shaped star projectors are pretty disappointing. We're pleased to say that during our Astronaut Starry Sky Projector review, this 'cute' projector meets space-themed ornament surpassed our expectations.

The lights and laser are projected out of the astronaut's space helmet, and the buttons are on their backpack, but you can also use the handy remote control so you don't have to leave your seat to alter the color, speed and brightness settings.

There's also a 45-minute or 90-minute sleep timer (that you can also set using the remote), which we found ideal for a child's nursery, as you don't need to go in and risk disturbing the child to turn it off.

This projector would be most suited to a child's bedroom, just be mindful that the lasers aren't pointing directly in anyone's line of sight — pretty easy to accomplish given the positioning flexibility the magnetic space helmet allows.

It comes with a DC port, which is a little annoying and would be much better with a USB port. We also noticed that the cable is fairly short, so you may end up needing an extension lead if you don't have any plugs close to your chosen surface. 

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AttributesNotes
DesignNovelty astronaut design.
PerformanceAdjustable brightness, but has the dreaded green lasers.
FunctionalityHas a sleep timer with two settings.

Best educational star projector

A hands-on educational star projector, planetarium and night light for young astronomers

Specifications

Size: 130 x 250 x 320mm
Bulb type: 2 x LED
Laser: None
Control: On-body
Rotation: Yes
Sleep timer: No
Speaker: No
Projection surface: Projector 1m, stars not specified