Decoding MRI Technology: The Differences Between 3T and 1.5T Scans Explained

Written by: Dr. Nitin Shori

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) has become an essential part of medical imaging. As a non-invasive test that produces higher-quality images than CT tests without using harmful ionising radiation, MRI is the preferred test for imaging soft tissues like the brain and spinal cord.

However, MRI tests are not equal. Based on magnetic field strength (measured in Tesla), there are two common types of MRI scans—1.5T MRIs and 3T MRIs.

While going to a hospital or imaging centre for an MRI scan should be straightforward, the different types of MRI scans can make things a little complex. All of a sudden, you’ll find yourself asking, which MRI scan should I do, a 1.5T MRI or a 3T MRI?

This article will make it a little easier for you when you have to choose between a 1.5T MRI and a 3T MRI. We will look at the difference between the two MRI technologies, including the pros and cons of each one.

Differences Between 3T and 1.5T Scans


The two types of MRI scanners differ in one key way: It’s their magnetic field strength. A 3T MRI has a magnetic field twice as strong as that of a 1.5T MRI. This extra strength allows for clearer, more detailed images. It’s especially good for visualizing fine anatomical structures.

1.5 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging

  • Pros: Ideal for most standard scans, less expensive, and available. It provides adequate image quality for general diagnoses.
  • Cons: It has lower resolution than the 3T. This can limit complex brain studies or advanced neurological disorders.


  • Pros: Higher-resolution images, which enhance the visualization of small details. This is crucial for finding small brain problems. It’s also key for advanced neuroimaging.
  • Cons: More susceptible to artifacts, which can affect image clarity. Higher cost and less availability compared to 1.5T MRIs.

3T vs 1.5T Scans, Which is Better?

The choice between a 3T and a 1.5T MRI often depends on the specific medical situation. For routine imaging, a 1.5T MRI is enough and more cost-effective. But, for more detailed images, neurology or oncology might need a 3T. It’s often the better option despite the higher cost.

3T MRI Near Me and Its Cost

Finding a 3T MRI can be a challenge as they are not as prevalent as 1.5T machines. Cost can also be a factor. 3T scans cost more because of their advanced tech and clear images.

1.5T MRI Near Me and Its Cost

In contrast, 1.5T MRIs are more common and are often enough for most diagnostic needs. They are also more affordable, making them accessible to a broader range of patients.

Conclusion: The right MRI scan that depends on your needs


3T scans have double the signal strength of 1.5T MRI scans, making them offer better image quality (for more accurate diagnoses) and reduced scan times (for a more comfortable patient experience).

1.5T MRI will give you results at half the price and is more accessible.

A 3T MRI or a 1.5T MRI can serve you depending on your particular needs and risk factors.

However, whether you go for a 3T or 1.5T scan, the accuracy of test results and subsequent diagnoses also depends on the hospital or imaging center where you do your test. This is where GetScanned comes in!

GetScanned is a marketplace for imaging centers where people can find the best facilities near them for diagnostic imaging tests. We’ll not only give you a list of the best facilities; we’ll work with the imaging facility you choose to ensure you have a seamless experience.

Ready to be on your way to good health? Book your MRI scan today!