About Lens Materials

When purchasing eyeglasses, your frames should not be the only factor you consider – it is important to also consider and choose lenses that will best suit your lifestyle and vision correction needs. A variety of lens materials are available, which impact the weight, overall comfort and cosmetics of your lenses.

Choosing the right lens material will depend on your prescription and lifestyle. Discover some of the most common lens materials below:

  • Glass Lenses: Many years ago, glass was the only available lens material for vision correction. Glass offers excellent optics but is heavy and can break easily, which can potentially cause damage to the eye1. Today, less than 6 percent of eyeglasses sold are made of actual glass2.
  • Plastic Lenses: In 1947 Signet Armorlite first introduced the first lightweight plastic eyeglass lenses. The plastic lenses, also known as CR-39, are much lighter than glass lenses and are widely prescribed for their comfort, durability and impact resistance.
  • Polycarbonate Lenses: Polycarbonate lenses are thinner, lighter and more durable than standard plastic lenses. Polycarbonate lenses are ideal for strong prescriptions because vision can be corrected without adding thickness to the lens. Additionally, polycarbonate is impact-resistant, making it a preferred material for children or adults with active lifestyles.
  • Trivex Lenses: Trivex lenses, introduced in 2001, are much like polycarbonate lenses – they are thin, lightweight and more impact-resistant than plastic or glass lenses. In addition, Trivex lenses also block UVA and UVB rays and have excellent clarity.
  • High-Index Plastic Lenses: High-index plastic lenses were introduced within the past 20 years to offer lenses that are thinner and lighter than CR-39 plastic lenses. High-index plastic lenses are ideal for stronger prescriptions, as the lenses are not thick.
  • High-Definition (HD) Lenses: High-Definition lenses have been referred to as the most important improvement in prescription eyewear in the last 100 years3. HD lenses are digitally manufactured to customize the surface of the lens to an individual’s prescription and viewing needs. The customization of each individual prescription provides superior clarity along with sharper and brighter eyesight4.