A Beginner’s Guide to Sunglasses Frames and Lenses

Apart from protecting your eyes, sunglasses are an omnipresent symbol of style. To choose the perfect sunglasses that fit both your lifestyle and aesthetic stand, you need to consider a heap of various construction combinations, each providing a special advantage worth weighing before purchasing.

This article guides you through what you need to know about sunglasses to help you easily pick out the perfect pair of sunglasses, be it online or in a brick and mortar store.

Sunglasses Frame

When choosing a pair of new sunglasses, the first customers should look into is their face size and shape. Smaller frames work better for customers with a smaller face and vice versa. Here is what you need to know about sunglasses frames.

Frame Size

Frame size is the sunglasses’ actual fit. Customers should not confuse frame size with the coverage of the sunglasses. For a more specific look at the sunglasses’ frame size, customers should pay close attention to the dimensions, which is normally represented in three consecutive numbers, which include:

  • Eye size: This size is the horizontal measurement of one lens’ outside to inside edge with a normal width of between 40 and 62 mm.
  • Bridge size: It measures the distance between lenses, with a normal width of between 14 and 24 mm.
  • Temple size: It measures the temple piece’s length, which is typically around 120 to 150 mm. It is also known as the earpiece or arm piece.

Frame Material

Selecting the right frame material is vital for safety, comfort and functionality. Each material provides a different function, style, price range, pros and cons. The following are some common frame materials for sunglasses:

  • Metal frame: Metal is one of the most commonly used materials for sunglasses frames. It is corrosion-resistant, easy-to-adjust and malleable, which makes it easy for the manufacturer to customise to several frame styles for various face shapes. However, metal frames are generally more costly and less durable. They are also not suitable for action sports.
  • Titanium frame: Titanium is usually used to make higher-end sunglasses. These frames are scratch-resistant, durable and tend to be quite costly.
  • Nylon frame: Nylon frames are ideal for performance activities and sports. They can withstand stresses from temperature fluctuations and stay flexible while maintaining the stiffness necessary for safety purposes. They are cheaper, lightweight yet stronger than the regular metal frames.
  • Plastic frame: Manufacturers use various kinds of plastic to create sunglasses, from polyurethane to acrylic. Generally, plastic frames are the cheapest frames available and can be an ideal option for customers on a budget.

Sunglasses Lens

Similar to sunglasses frames, sunglasses lenses come in various materials, including:

  • Optical glass lenses: These lenses are polished and ground to demanding standards to guarantee a distortion-free vision. They are highly durable and are scratch-resistant, which are their main benefits. Their cons, however, is that they can be quite costly and tend to break when impacted, which is dangerous for active sports.
  • Polycarbonate lenses: These types of lenses are perfect for customers who love moving or shaking their sunglasses. Although polycarbonate is scratch-resistant, it is not scratch-proof. Polycarbonate is more impact resistant by fifty times compared to optical glass. However, it has a lower level of optical clarity and scratch resistance than NXT or optical glass.
  • NXT polyurethane lenses: These lenses combine all the advantages of optical lenses and polycarbonate performance abilities. They are the ideal choice for customers who are willing to pay more for a top-of-the-line pair of sunglasses.
  • Acrylic lenses: Sunglasses with acrylic lenses offer a cheaper solution and are perfect for fashion or casual sunglasses.

Sunglasses lenses also come in various colours and tints, such as grey, brown, yellow, amber, purple and vermillion. While the lens colour adds to the lens’ performance in several lighting conditions, it does not increase UV protection. Each lens colour gives a different look and is more suitable for a certain condition and activity.

Moreover, sunglasses lens are created with various lens technology, including polarised, photochromic, gradient and double gradient.

Sunglasses frames are available in various types of materials and sizes. Sunglasses lenses, on the other hand, come in various materials, tints and lens technology. Knowing this information would help you pick the right pair of sunglasses that suits your needs and lifestyle.


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