Best Sunglasses for the Money


When looking for a new pair of sunglasses, most people generally know what to look for. They know the shape of their face, and more or less what type of sunglasses are good for them, what shading of lens feels about right, and generally which direction of style they want to go. What most don’t realize or look for, though, are the features which make up the entire basic function of sunglasses: their eye protection features! When looking for your sunglasses, these features should be your first concern, not the last. Oftentimes, they don’t raise the cost of styles very much, but the payoff for your eyes is totally worth it. Read on to make sure you know which features should be included in your sunglasses no matter what.

UV Protection

Protection from ultraviolet radiation should be your primary concern when looking for sunglasses. Period. All other concerns are secondary, as UV rays can actually damage your eyes. You should be looking for lenses which block out 99% – 100% of UVA and UVB rays coming at your eyes. Sunglasses that sit really far from your eyes aren’t the best idea either, as they can allow UV light to leak around the edges and hit your eyes directly. Instead, try to pick frames with good side coverage to protect your eyes from damaging radiation coming in to your peripheral vision. Check out this great article from the Mayo Clinic on choosing your sunglasses wisely.

Shatter Resistant

All of us have had one of those days when we accidentally drop our sunglasses or they fall from our pocket. One way to prevent the pain of seeing your sunglasses chip or crack is to buy a pair that have shatter-resistant or shatter-proof lenses. Lenses made of polycarbonate plastic, for example, are a great idea and have great optical quality. Your eye protection is increased, as objects that fly in the area of your eyes will be unable to penetrate the lenses. For the budget conscious, don’t worry, as the overwhelming industry trend is toward quality shatter-resistant products, as consumers increasingly demand this feature.

Darker Lenses

Getting a pair of UV protection sunglasses should come with a caveat: the regular light coming in should be cut down as well, by a significant amount. The medical recommendation for light reduction to the eye is between 75 and 90 percent of light being blocked. A good way to check this is when you look at yourself in the mirror, your eyes should not easily be seen. If you can see them, just a little bit, then it’s probably around 75 percent. If they are not visible, then the lenses you are looking through are closer to 90 percent light reduction. This article by Glaucoma.org explains the benefits of dark lenses.

The Best Sunglasses

Obviously, picking up a pair of fake Ray Bans isn’t going to help your eyes at all. While they might be cheap and fool other people for style, you are doing yourself and your eyes a disservice. The main factors in choosing sunglasses, after the points we have listed here, is you. Whether you are budget conscious, or want to splurge on your eyes, your sense of style and needs will guide your purchase. Whether you want seem more eco-conscious and get a pair of wood frame sunglasses, or you tend to go boating or swimming in the local lake (or the beach if you are a lucky one!) quite a bit and need floating sunglasses, your particular situation will help you to determine which are the best sunglasses for the money, and for you.