Blue Light Glasses May Help End Your Squinting and Straining at Screens
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Blue light glasses have exploded in popularity. What was once a niche product for gamers has become a mainstream accessory. Not too long ago, these glasses were more akin to drug store reading glasses: they were cheap, a little tacky and rarely used. However, as more people wake up to the side effects of blue light (more on that below), we’ve seen this product category evolve.
Now, trendy eyewear companies like Warby Parker are making hip blue light glasses designed to be worn all day long. We’ve also seen the rise of new companies like Felix Gray, which specialize in stylish blue light glasses. Below, we’ll share everything you need to know about the dangers of blue light and what these glasses can (and can’t) do. We’ll also share some of our favorite frames from the top blue light glasses brands.
What Do Blue Light Glasses Do?
Blue light glasses are designed to block blue light from reaching your eyes. In the same way sunglasses block and filter out UV rays, blue light glasses block blue light, which is emitted from smartphones, laptops, TVs and other popular electronic devices that use backlighting. In addition, fluorescent lights, like the kind you’ll find in most offices and retail environments, emit blue light wavelengths. It’s worth noting that the sun emits blue light, too, but our increased reliance on screens and fluorescent lights means we’re exposed to more blue light than before.
Prolonged exposure to blue light, courtesy of all the screens in your life, has been anecdotally connected to painful eye strain and headaches. So far, there isn’t any hard science supporting the link between extended screen use and eye strain. For example, organizations like the American Ophthalmology Association don’t recommend any eyewear for screen use and instead recommend techniques to minimize the chance of eye strain. One technique is called 20/20/20, an easy-to-remember formula; every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Though most studies don’t back the idea of reducing eye strain with blue light glasses, there are potential benefits to wearing blue light glasses to help sleep. Blue light can affect circadian rhythms, the biological process that governs your sleep cycle. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, exposure to blue light before bed can make it more difficult to fall asleep by stopping your body from producing melatonin, which helps induce sleep. When exposed to too much blue light, your body thinks it’s daytime. Donning a pair of blue light glasses will block that light and ensure you can fall asleep when ready.
The Best Blue Light Glasses
Whether you’re worried about eye strain, headaches or insomnia, blue light glasses may be able to help. While there are blue light glasses designed for gamers and kids, for this article, we’ve focused on frames that will suit most adults. If you need blue light glasses with prescription lenses, we recommend checking out our guide to the best places to buy glasses online.
Below, you’ll find the best blue light glasses from brands like Warby Parker, Zenni Optical and Felix Gray. We’ve included a few picks from Amazon and some options from popular eyewear retailers that offer blue light lens options.
Blue light glasses come in several different lens colors, with yellower lenses filtering out more blue light but distorting the color more. Clearer lenses filter out less blue light but can have a more natural, less distracting look.
You’ll find everything from super stylish hipster frames to budget options that keep it simple.
1. Zenni Optical
If price is a significant concern, but you still want some style in your frames, then Zenni Optical is the place to go for your blue light glasses. Zenni offers a ton of frames for under $10, and you can add Zenni’s blue light-blocking Blokz lenses to pretty much any Zenni Optical frame for $16.95 and up.
For our top pick, we like Zenni’s basic square glasses frames in blue. They’re ultrabasic (in the good way) and come in four other straightforward colorways for an affordable $9.95. If you’re looking for a decent variety of cheap, stylish blue light glasses, Zenni Optical has the best blue light glasses for you.
2. Felix Gray
Felix Gray is one of the hippest makers of blue light glasses. If style is your top priority when shopping for new glasses, this company makes finding a new pair of stylish frames much easier. The Turing glasses in the Horn colorway look sleek and professional and will filter out eye-straining blue light whether you’re Zooming or just up late working or browsing the web. They are pretty expensive for just blue light filtering, but they’ll last a long time with proper care. You can also buy prescription blue light glasses from Felix Gray, which can help justify the higher cost.
EyeBuyDirect is a great glasses retailer for its reasonably priced in-house glasses and its ability to offer brand-name frames like Ray-Ban and Oakley. In terms of blue light glasses, EyeBuyDirect offers hundreds of frames with three different kinds of blue light-filtering lenses: EBDBluePlus for $19, EBDBlue360 for $49 and SightRelax for $28.95. All three lenses promise anti-scratch, anti-glare and some UV protection, water-resistant coating and the ability to repel dust. The only real differences are that EBDBlue360 offers the most anti-glare protection due to a higher-quality coating, and SightRelax offers reading enhancement.
So if you need a pair of readers that also filter blue light or have anti-glare protection in your blue light glasses, then EyeBuyDirect has the best blue light glasses for you. For our pick, we like the Alastor round glasses in either of the colors, blue or black.
4. TIJN Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Are you looking for basic, stylish, affordable blue light glasses available via Amazon Prime? Then the TIJN Blue Light Blocking Glasses make for a solid pick. The rims are round, and the plastic frames come in a brown tortoise colorway. TIJN also makes the bold move of including a blue light testing kit so you can verify they work. (Yup, they work.) With more than 18,000 reviews, this is a great pair of cheap blue light glasses that can be yours in two days or less.
If you’re looking for endless style possibilities in blue light glasses, you want to head to GlassesUSA. As of this writing, GlassesUSA offers 913 different frames, of which about 500 are for men, that can have blue light-filtering lenses, including plenty of in-house styles and a ton of name-brand glasses. Frame prices run the gamut but tend to be more expensive overall than Zenni or EyeBuyDirect. But one consistent thing is the $19 add-on for blue light-blocking lenses. So if you want a ton of variety to choose from, GlassesUSA will have the best blue light glasses for you.
For our pick, we like the Ottoto Mexicali in black and gold. They’re stylish and thin and sleek with all-metal frames and a circular lens shape.
6. Warby Parker
BEST BRAND NAME
Many of you are probably wondering about Warby Parker. We totally rep Warby for its stylish frames and pioneering home try-ons, but its blue light-blocking glasses add-on is priced at $50. However, they do offer this add-on with any of their glasses, so if you’re keen on a particular style, you’ll be pleased to know blue light lenses are an option.
If you already have a pre-established relationship with Warby Parker and like its designs, we recommend buying your blue light glasses there. And if that’s you, we love the Durand frames in whiskey tortoise. You can get them in 10 other styles for whatever look you want.
7. Privé Revaux
Privé Revaux is a SPY favorite for its consistently priced yet stylish frames. The Rand frames combine warm copper metal frames with black frames around the rims for a more edgy look. And we wouldn’t be mentioning the frames if they didn’t have 100% protection from UVA and UVB light and offer blue light filtering.
While Peepers glasses aren’t as hip as Warby Parker or Felix Gray or as cheap as Zenni Optical, Peepers still makes some of the most dependable blue light glasses, especially if you need reading glasses that also block blue light.
These round tortoiseshell polycarbonate frames with a tan and brown ombre fade are sure to get people asking where you got your glasses. Peepers Focus Blue Light lenses also promise to filter more than 40% of blue light to keep your eyes feeling fresh. Plus, they’re pretty cheap, and you can pick them up as readers, also with blue light filtering, for no additional charge.
9. Knockaround Blue Light Blockers
Knockaround is the affordable sunglasses brand you should have on your radar. As the name suggests, the glasses are meant to be knocked around, making them perfect for beach days (fitting since the brand started in San Diego). They also make blue light glasses, such as these affordable frames with clear lenses, UV400 protection and blue light filtering. The frames come in black, clear or tortoiseshell.Buy: Knockaround Blue Light Glasses $28.00
10. GUNNAR Gaming Glasses
BEST FOR GAMING
Any blue light glasses will work for gaming, but Gunnar specifically makes blue light glasses with gamers in mind. These lenses have a yellow tint that filters out up to 65% of blue light. Gunnar also makes glasses with lighter or darker tints.
Buy: Gunnar Blue Light Glasses $73.58 (orig. $99.00) 26% OFF
11. Madewell Gladwyn Aviator Blue Light Glasses
BEST RETRO GLASSES
Blue light glasses are often lacking in the style department, but not these from Madewell. They have a retro aviator-inspired style with transparent champagne-colored frames. They’re the frames you’re unlikely to want to take off, even when you’re not looking at a screen.Buy: Madewell Gladwyn Blue Light Glasses $34.99 (orig. $39.50) 11% OFF
12. Prospek Clip-on Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Clip-ons may not be the most fashionable style of glasses ever invented, but they make a lot of sense if you already wear opticals and don’t want to pay for a prescription version of blue light glasses. These block 50% of blue light with minimal discoloration.Buy: Prospek Clip On Blue Light Glasses $28.95 (orig. $32.95) 12% OFF
13. AOMASTE Blue Light Blocking Glasses
If semi-rimless frames are more your bag, AOMASTE has you covered. The AOMASTE Blue Light Blocking Glasses filter out blue light as promised and come in a stylish package: semi-rimless plastic black frames with gold metal for the lower half of the lens.
14. FEIYOLD Blue Light Blocking Glasses
BEST TWO PACK
The FEIYOLD Blue Light Blocking Glasses are excellent for a few simple reasons: You get two frames — we like the classic black and transparent frames — they’re extremely cheap, and they work. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that these blue light glasses have over 21,000 five-star ratings, and thousands of people can’t be so wrong about something like this.
15. AIMISUV Blue Light Blocking Glasses
RUNNER UP TWO PACK
Check out the AIMISUV Blue Light Blocking Glasses for two cheap semi-rimmed blue light glasses. We like the two-pack of brown tortoiseshell and black frames. They’re retro and modern, all at the same time.
16. ANYLUV Blue Light Blocking Glasses
For another cool semi-rimmed option, we like this reddish-brown rim on the ANYLUV Blue Light Blocking Glasses. In a room or Zoom full of classic black or all-metal frames, these brown frames will be different without standing out.
17. SOJOS Blue Light Blocking Glasses
BEST METAL FRAMES
While plastic frames, rimmed or semi-rimmed, are cool, it’s never a bad choice going for all-metal frames, especially the SOJOS Blue Light Blocking Glasses in rose gold. The rose gold is just the right balance between the pink and gold hues to be truly unisex, and the lenses are sizable enough to block any blue light from sneaking through.
18. Holtmance Blue Light Glasses
BEST ROUND GLASSES
We love gold metal frames, but the gunmetal frames on these Holtmance Blue Light Glasses just pop. They’re a bit smaller than some of the other options we’ve included, but they’ll block more than enough blue light to minimize eye strain and headaches.
19. Livho Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Maybe we’re biased, but there’s something so cool about the combo of black and gold, as is the case with these Livho Blue Light Blocking Glasses. The rims are all black, and the hinges feature a touch of gold for a little stylish flair. The lenses are also nice and big, perfect for blocking blue light.
20. Maho Shades Buenos Aires Onyx Blue Light
BEST FRAME SHAPE
We love the bold frames on these blue light glasses from Maho, but they are more than a striking pair of frames. They effectively filter high-energy blue light but maintain all the color and clarity you need.
21. Tomahawk Shades Ebekos Blue Light Glasses
These fun shades have light filtration and anti-glare tech, meaning you’ll spend a lot more time at the computer without the eye strain (or playing video games. We don’t judge.)Buy: Tomahawk Shades Ebekos Blue Light Glasses $45.00
22. WALDO Blue Light Glasses in Stacia
These non-prescription glasses are designed to block the highest frequency of blue light. That means blocking 100% of blue light up to 410 nm and 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays. They are also FDA-approved, anti-glare, anti-reflective and scratch resistant, and have adjustable acetate frames made from renewable resources and biodegradable materials. Each purchase of their blue light glasses funds a pair of prescription glasses for someone in need via their partnership with Sightsavers.
23. Gaoye 5-Pack Reading Glasses Blue Light Blocking
Blue light glasses can get pretty pricey, and while they can be worth the investment, it’s great to know a good pair is out there for those on a tight budget. Well under $15 at Amazon, this comes in a five-pack, so you’ll always have glasses handy wherever you find yourself on a tablet or at the computer.Buy: Gaoye 5-Pack Reading Glasses Blue Light Blocking $14.99