Picking Out Sunglasses? Don’t Forget The Frames

When looking for sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, it is easy to become hyper-focused on the lenses. You look for lenses that are polarized, block 100% of UV rays, and that perhaps change color depending on the amount of light exposure. However, the frames also play a role in how effective sunglasses are at protecting your eyes. (They're not just a fashion statement.) As you shop for the best sunglasses, pay attention to these frame features.


If the frames are so small that the lenses let light in from the top and sides of your eyes, then it doesn't really matter how many UV rays the lenses block! You need to choose frames that are large enough to block UV rays from all angles. Aviator-style sunglasses are great for this purpose, and there are many styles of rectangular frames that also effectively block sunlight from the top, bottom, and sides.

Ear Comfort

If the frames are not comfortable, then you're not going to be motivated to wear them as often. So, make sure you actually try on the sunglasses and wear then around for a few minutes before you buy them. Sometimes an ear piece may feel comfortable when you first put it on, but it will then start rubbing. Some sunglasses have adjustable ear pieces that either you or your eye doctor can bend slightly to allow more space or to secure the glasses more tightly to your ear. This style is a good choice if you're having trouble finding comfortable glasses.


In general, you want to stay away from sunglasses frames that are completely rigid. If you drop them, they may break -- and you can't wear broken sunglasses! Look instead for frames that have a little "give" to them. These will be far more resistant to damage if you bump them against a table or drop them on the floor, so you won't be left without sunglasses to wear for days or weeks on end.

Dark Color

There's a reason why many sunglasses have dark frames. The darker colors absorb more sunlight, rather than reflecting it. If you choose lighter-colored frames, some of the sun's rays are more likely to bounce off the frames and into your eyes.

If you're struggling to find sunglasses frames that are comfortable and suited to your needs, reach out to your local eye doctor for help.