When we think of the lenses in our glasses, most of us would never assume that the lenses are actually glass. That’s because, over the years, plastic (polycarbonate) lenses have become mainstream due to the lower cost of production, lightweight nature, and lower risk of eye injury. However, in some instances, glass lenses can still be ordered and may be the preferred choice. So we put each material to the test to find out which would duke it out to be the winner!

Disclaimer: For the sake of this argument, we are comparing glass against polycarbonate plastic.


UV Rays

Most glass will absorb UV radiation, but when it comes to protecting your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays, polycarbonate plastic is the best bet. Polycarbonate lenses have a built-in UV protection by nature, and they also easily allow for special treatments to be added to the lenses to protect your eyes.

Winner: Plastic Lenses





Lens Tinting

Polycarbonate lenses can be tinted a wide range of colors. With this capability, you open the door for tinted fashion lenses and fun sunglass lens tints.


Winner: Plastic Lenses






If you’re looking for durability, then you may want to choose plastic. Polycarbonate plastic lenses are less likely to shatter than glass and this makes them perfect for children and to use during sports and other physical activities.


Winner: Plastic Lenses





Glass is more resistant to scratching than plastic; however, to reduce your plastic lenses’ susceptibility to scratching, you can apply an anti-scratch coating.


Winner: Glass Lenses






While glass lenses won’t exactly weigh you down, they are significantly heavier than polycarbonate plastic (twice as heavy, in some cases!) Along the same lines, plastic lenses are less bulky than glass ones.

Winner: Plastic Lenses






If you’re looking for the highest optical quality, glass is the way to go. Glass lenses are clearer than polycarbonate plastic and will provide you with the crispest visual experience.

Winner: Glass Lenses







As a general rule of thumb, glass lenses will cost you more than plastic ones.


Winner: Plastic Lenses






Anti-Reflective Coating

Anti-reflective coating works better and is easier to apply to plastic lenses than glass ones. Chalk up a point for polycarbonate plastic.

Winner: Plastic Lenses






The Winner

After duking it out for eight rounds, the judges have come to a decision – the winner of this battle is plastic lenses with a 6-2 decision.