Polycarbonate or Glass Lens: Which Sunglasses are for You?

These days, picking a pair of sunglasses is more than just the style. It is also important to take into account the material the lenses are made from. Polycarbonate and glass are the most common lens materials. If you are like other people, you may be asking yourself “Should I purchase sunglasses with polycarbonate or glass lenses?

Read to know the qualities of each lens material and how one is superior to the other:

What are Polycarbonate Lenses

Polycarbonate is a specific kind of plastic. Aside from being used in eyeglasses lenses, it is also used for CDs, DVDs, car headlights, and other industrial applications. This material is quite strong which makes it a great lens material.

Polycarbonate lenses are highly resistant to impact, will not shatter, and are ten times stronger than glass or standard plastic. Also, they are lightweight and thinner than glass lenses and capable of blocking 100% UV rays without needing a special coating. Because they are flexible and lightweight, they can be easily removed and installed. Polycarbonate lenses are available in more styles of sunglasses that can’t accommodate heavy glass lenses. The current collection of EyeDope sunglasses has polycarbonate lenses.

What are Glass Lenses

Glass is the veteran option material that has been in the industry for at least 1, 000 years. While glass is an increasingly less popular option, it still has merits that justify the power it has.

Glass lenses have inherent qualities that make it difficult to scratch. And because glass is the most optically clear material available, it is still used in other tools that require precision clarity like microscopes, camera lenses, and binoculars.

Let’s Battle It Out

To determine which type of lenses you should go for, let’s compare these lenses based on the following criteria:

  • Impact protection. This refers to the ability of the lens not to shatter when it takes a hit. Sports and safety eyewear both use polycarbonate for their lenses as the latter have the best impact protection. Glass lenses tend to shatter when they go through a hard impact.
  • Clarity. Glass is known for its clear quality. That is why it has been used for tools that require precise clarity. But, most people cannot even tell the difference between glass and polycarbonate lenses in terms of clarity.
  • Resistance to scratch. In this criterion, glass lenses have the upper hand because they are not easy to scratch. That is why they don’t require extra scratch-resistant coating. But, polycarbonate lens is added with an extra layer to resist scratches and improve their durability. But, as long as you follow the manufacturer’s guide to caring for your sunglasses, you will reduce the chances of scratches, no matter which lens you choose.

  • Weight. Glass is a heavier material than polycarbonate. That is why glass sunglasses can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods.
  • UV protection. Polycarbonate blocks 100% of UV rays without the need for extra coatings. But, glass requires a special coating to block any UV rays.

Although some people prefer glass lenses, most people choose the more impact resistant polycarbonate. At EyeDope, you can find polycarbonate lenses built into stylish and quality frames at affordable prices.

Author Bio – Ron McCcoy is Founder and CEO of EyeDope; A luxury sunglasses brand offering classic and contemporary styles made in Italy.

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