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Glass or Plastic Lenses

Which is Better?

Plastic eyeglass lenses are by far the most popular choice these days, thanks to their affordability and lightweight design. However, glass lenses are still having their moment despite their higher price tag and scarcity. And in some aspects, glass lenses are a better choice than plastic lenses. Keep reading to discover the pros and cons of glass and plastic lenses, and find out which lens is best for your needs and your lifestyle.

The Advantages of Glass Lenses

Higher Refractive Index
The stronger the sphere or cylinder power of your prescription, the more you’ll benefit from glass lenses. 
Glass lenses have a higher refractive index than plastic--that is, light passes through them at a lower speed, meaning that they can be made a lot thinner and thus feel less bulky and heavy on your face. This is extremely important if you wear your glasses all day long. Glass lenses are usually thinner and less bulky than their plastic counterpart due to their density and ability to bend light.

Made to Last
Another advantage of glass lenses is their durability. Although glass is more fragile than plastic and can shatter if dropped, glass is more scratch-resistant and built to last. Plastic lenses are cheaper and more readily available, but as with everything else in today’s consumerist culture, they will wear down and you’ll have to replace them very shortly after purchasing them. 
Choosing glass lenses is a way of appreciating vintage craftsmanship--of appreciating and benefitting from a product that is designed to last, not designed to be replaced. 
Although we do not offer glass lenses, we still value the beauty and timelessness of handcrafted, vintage-inspired eyeglasses. If you appreciate craftsmanship and attention to detail, check out our collection of artisan-made frames and find a pair that echoes your style. Shop now

The Cons of Glass Lenses
Although glass is a superior lens choice for durability and longevity, it does have downsides.

Glass lenses are more fragile than plastic and can shatter if not properly taken care of. This is important to note if you have an especially active lifestyle, or if you frequently remove your glasses throughout the day. Spectacles with glass lenses shouldn’t be taken off and thrown onto your desk or into a bag--they require more care and diligence on your part in order to last. 

If you have a stronger prescription, glass lenses might end up being too heavy and uncomfortable for all-day wear. The combined weight of glass lenses and your frames could be too heavy on your face. If you want glass lenses, choose frames that are slim or rectangular to minimize the weight of your spectacles on your face. 

The Pros of Plastic Lenses 
Although plastic lenses are less retro and do not bear the unique spirit of hand craftsmanship, they are still an ideal choice for many people these days. 

Lower Weight
Plastic lenses tend to weigh less and are a more comfortable option for those who play sports or have a physically demanding job. Plastic lenses are not as heavy as glass, and in most cases will stay put on your face. 

Plastic eyeglass lenses usually cost less than glass lenses, making them a more economic option for most people. 

What We Offer
Although we do not offer glass lenses, we offer many plastic alternatives that are incredibly effective for everyday wear. And in some cases, these types of plastic lenses are more durable and long-lasting than glass. 

Polycarbonate Lenses
Made from plastic, these lenses are extremely lightweight yet durable. Their impact and wear-resistance make these lenses a popular choice for children, athletes, and others who work a physically demanding job. These lenses also come with built-in UV protection to protect your eyesight.

CR39 Lenses
CR39 lenses are the most popular plastic lens option thanks to their lightweight and scratch-resistant design. These lenses weigh almost half as much as glass, and are the most resistant to scratches even when the lenses are not coated. CR39 lenses are also ideal for prescription sunglasses because they hold tint easily. 

Trivex Lenses
Trivex lenses are a bit more durable than polycarbonate, however they are lighter weight. Their durability makes them another great option for athletes and other people with active lifestyles. 

High-Index Lenses
High-index lenses are any lenses with a refractive index that is higher than 1.5. We can make these lenses from polycarbonate, Trivex, and CR39 plastics. 

Aspheric Lenses
Aspheric lenses are less spherical than traditional lenses, with flatter curves and a thinner design. These lenses lessen your eye distortion and lower the profile of your glasses. They also work for both farsighted and nearsighted prescriptions.

Polarized Lenses
Polarized lenses are made with a built-in chemical filter that increases clarity, and reduces glare off of shiny surfaces such as snow, water, and ice. These lenses are popular among those who spend time driving, or outdoors for sports and leisure. Their design filters sunlight to reduce eye fatigue, making them extremely comfortable for all-day wear.

Photochromic Lenses
Photochromic lenses automatically darken when exposed to different levels of UV light. In bright environments, they will darken to make seeing more comfortable for you. If your eyes are sensitive to bright light, photochromic lenses are an ideal choice.

Still don’t know which lenses are better for you and your lifestyle? Reach out to us today and we will help you decide. Also, don’t forget to browse our collection of unique frames for your prescription. You’re sure to find a pair that speaks to your unique personal style. Shop now