As reconfigurable intelligent surface (RIS) is expected to be implemented with a large aperture in terms of wavelengths, using a RIS to perform near-field rather than conventional far-field communications might gain some benefits. The electric fields in the near-field region from the near-field focusing and conventional far-field RISs are simulated and compared to assess and validate the benefits. Two metrics of benefit distance and near-field gain are defined to characterize the electric fields in the near-field region. The cumulative distribution function (CDF) related to the near-field gain is calculated to describe the benefits in the area of interest where the total scan patterns from the near-field focusing and conventional far-field RISs are plotted. For demonstration, the benefit distance, near-field gain, and CDFs are presented and calculated for near-field focusing RISs with assigned focal distances of 80 and 300 mm. It is concluded that the benefit distance is a critical factor affecting the CDF directly. The effects of the size of a RIS and phase quantization of elements on the benefit distance, near-field gain, and CDF are also discussed. Moreover, the maximum focal distance of a near-field focusing RIS with a certain size is derived and specified. Finally, the electric fields of three prototypes (e.g., conventional far-field RIS, near-field focusing RISs with assigned focal distances of 500 and 1500 mm) at 26 GHz are measured and compared, where the benefit distances and near-field gains are experimentally observed.