When searching for the pair of sunglasses that’s meant to be, there are some things you need to think about. Not sure where to start? No worries. You’ve landed on our easy-to-use guide to lens materials and sunglass fit.

Finding the Right Sunglass Lenses

Lens Material

Think fast: What’s the difference between glass and plastic* lenses? Which holds up best when scratched? Which offers the most effective UV protection? Relax — you don’t really need to know this off the top of your head. Here’s our list of pros and cons:

*Includes regular plastic, polycarbonate, and high-index plastic lenses.

Glass Lenses


  • Highly scratch-resistant
  • Anti-scratch coating not required
  • Offer more clarity
  • Best for bi- and trifocals


  • Twice the weight of plastic
  • Shatter more easily
  • Typically more expensive
  • Require a special UV coating for 100% UV protection
  • More expensive

Plastic Lenses


  • Usually thinner and less bulky
  • Can be tinted for sun protection
  • Reduce harmful UV rays (with UV coating)
  • Half the weight of glass lenses
  • Higher impact resistance
  • More Rx strengths available


  • Require more care to prevent scratching (an extra coating must be applied)
  • Can get very expensive (lens type + coatings can add up)

For more on lens tints and their benefits, check out our Guide to Sunglass Tints.

Frame Fit

Let’s be honest: Our heads and faces are all different sizes and shapes — and sometimes our shades don’t fit quite right. So how do you know if you do have the proper fit?

  • Your sunglasses shouldn’t pinch, squeeze, or slide down. They should fit nice and snug on your ears and nose.
  • The weight of the sunglasses should be evenly distributed between your nose and ears. You shouldn’t have indentations on your nose when you take them off.
  • Your eyelashes should not hit the lenses (you know that weird feeling we’re talking about).

When you cruise online for shades, be sure to pay attention to the product description and look at the measurements. Break out a tape measure if you have to. Keep in mind, too, that your favorite pair of sunglasses may also start to loosen over time. If this happens, check out our page on sunglass maintenance.