How do I know which lens material to choose?
The right material for your lenses will depend upon your prescription. Sunglasses & Designer Eyewear are completely different when choosing lens material than when you are selecting for Prescription safety glasses.
For light prescriptions, plastic lenses ranging from no correction to +/-1.75 work best.
For people with prescriptions ranging from +/- 2.00 to +/-4.00, polycarbonate lenses, which are 30% thinner and lighter than plastic, are recommended. Children under 18 years of age and people with active lifestyles will also benefit from polycarbonate, due to its impact-resistance. Rimless and semi-rimless frames also work best with polycarbonate lenses.
Like polycarbonate lenses, Trivex lenses are thinner and lighter than plastic, offer superior scratch and impact resistance, and are perfect for children and those with active lifestyles. But because Trivex lenses are cast-molded (as opposed to polycarbonate lenses, which are injection-molded), they offer better clarity for both central and peripheral vision, and tend to be slightly more expensive than polycarbonate lenses.
Glass is scratch resistant and provides the clearest possible vision. While it is the most durable lens on the market, it is also heavy and shatters more easily than plastic lenses. For this reason, glass lenses should never be worn by children.
For people with prescriptions of +/- 2.00 and greater, Hi-Index lenses are recommended. They are thinner than plastic lenses and help reduce the high-prescription distortion of your eyes that people see when they look at you through your glasses.
- Note: High Index and Plastic Lenase are not a good choice for prescription safety glasses unless you have a very, very bad prescription. They have to be made 3mm thick to pass safety specifications, so they will be thicker and heavier than the Polycarbonate & Trivex lenses.
- Standard Plastic – Plastic is lightweight and more impact resistant than glass but it scratches easily.
- Polycarbonate – Polycarbonate, a plastic, is the most impact resistant material available for glasses. Polycarbonate is UV resistant and about 50 times stronger than other lens materials.
- Trivex – A composite material that is a middle ground between Standard Plastic and Polycarbonate. It has all the scratch resistance and excellent optical quality of standard plastic and is almost as impact resistant as polycarbonate. This is our preferred lens choice for most applications.
- Glass – Glass is scratch resistant and provides the clearest possible vision. It is heavier than plastic, but is the most durable lens on the market.
- High Index Plastic – Lenses correct vision by bending light as it passes through the lens. High index plastic lenses are able to bend light more than the conventional plastic used for lenses. This means that high index plastic lenses are thinner and lighter than conventional plastic lenses. These lenses are more useful for standard glasses rather than safety glasses.Note: These are not a good choice for prescription safety glasses unless you have a very, very bad prescription. They have to be made 3mm thick to pass safety specifications, so they will be thicker than the Polycarbonate & Trivex lenses.
- 1.67 High Index Plastic – 1.67 high index lenses are a great choice if you’re trying to save money when ordering your high index lenses. They have relatively low optical distortion for high index lenses, and they offer the thinness, scratch resistance, and aesthetics you’d want from high index lenses without an outrageous price tag. They are not as thin or lightweight as higher index lenses, but they are a good choice for high index lenses for medium-strong prescriptions for a lower price.Note: These are not a good choice for prescription safety glasses unless you have a very, very bad prescription. They have to be made 3mm thick to pass safety specifications, so they will be thicker than the Polycarbonate & Trivex lenses.
- 1.70 High Index Plastic – 1.70 high index lenses are our most popular high index lenses. with low optical distortion, nearly identical thinness to 1.74, high scratch resistance, low weight, and workability with all prescriptions, they are the most well-rounded high index lenses we carry. They are also the lightest. In extremely high prescriptions, 1.74 high index is slightly thinner, but 1.70 is almost always lighter due to its relatively low density. At a reasonable price point, it’s a good choice for most people.Note: These are not a good choice for prescription safety glasses unless you have a very, very bad prescription. They have to be made 3mm thick to pass safety specifications, so they will be thicker than the Polycarbonate & Trivex lenses.
- 1.74 High Index Plastic – 1.74 high index is the thinnest high index lens in plastic. It has a medium distortion rate but is incredibly thin and light. It is extremely scratch resistant, and at the thinnest profile of any high index plastic, it is the most attractive. It is also available in more color and prescription options than many other high index lens materials. This is also the most effective plastic lens material at getting rid of the “bug eyes” and “tiny eyes” looks that strong prescription wearers face.Note: These are not a good choice for prescription safety glasses unless you have a very, very bad prescription. They have to be made 3mm thick to pass safety specifications, so they will be thicker than the Polycarbonate & Trivex lenses
- 1.80 High Index Glass – 1.80 high index glass is extremely thin and attractive-looking, especially for those with very high prescriptions. High index glass is a lens material of extremes. It is extremely scratch resistant, thin, and aesthetically-pleasing. Provided you don’t drop the glasses, 1.80 high index glass lenses are extremely long-lived because they are very difficult to scratch. They also have very high optical distortion and brittleness, and they are much heavier than plastic lenses. These are a great choice for extremely high prescription wearers who want the absolute thinnest lenses possible.
- 1.90 High Index Glass – Like 1.80, 1.90 high index glass is very thin and attractive when made with extremely high prescriptions. As with other high index glass materials, this glass has its perks and trade-offs. 1.90 high index glass is the thinnest lens material in existence, giving you the sleekest profile on your glasses and eliminating virtually all eye distortion (bug-eyes, shrunk eyes) associated with high prescriptions. It is very scratch-resistant, so the glasses will last a long time with virtually no signs of wear. The material is also extremely brittle, heavier than plastic, and prone to optical distortion. Those with the highest prescriptions who want the thinnest lenses possible should consider 1.90 high index glass.
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