Best Blue Light Blocking Glasses And Signs You May Need Them

healthy habits

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People are finally coming around to the idea that wearing sunglasses and sunscreen are easy ways to protect yourself, long-term, from UVA and UVB exposure, but is there anything to the hype around blue light blocking glasses, which proponents claim can prevent us from frying our eyeballs with all that constant Netflix binging? Was grandma right all along about sitting too close to the TV?

The answer is maybe.

A lot of the science about what blue light blocking glasses can or can’t do is still under research, so while some may argue that they’re the next health wonder and that they might even prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, it’s just too soon to tell.

We all spend too many hours per day staring at screens, with a wide gamut of eye-related aches and pains to show for it, from eyestrain and headaches at the office to dry, burning eyes during leisure hours at home playing games. Even a little light reading before bed on a tablet or smartphone seems to cause problems, disrupting your sleep schedule and decreasing melatonin production.

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What Doctors Say

It’s actually your habits that are hurting your eyes, not necessarily the light from your device screens. Studies show that while looking at a screen, people blink half as often as they do during their “offline” time. So whether you’re playing competitive games that require keeping your eyes peeled for danger or just pouring over spreadsheets, you’re neglecting eye-protecting habits. Eye drops and regular breaks are the best way to fight this strain. Wearing contacts may exacerbate this problem, so swapping them out for frames, regardless of whether they advertise protection from light damage, is an easy way to help rest and rehydrate.

Self-reporting surveys from people wearing blue light-blocking glasses report fewer headaches, and any kind of lighting adjustment seems to prevent migraines. Adjusting monitor contrast or using your phone’s night mode settings are proactive ways to cut down on all that light pollution.

These positive results could just be a placebo effect. Still, it could also be that wearing blue light-blocking glasses serves as a physical reminder to blink more (like the old trick of tying a string around your finger) or to pay more attention to the signs of impending headaches or strain. Blue light blocking is available with most prescription lenses now, so there’s no need for glasses wearers to forego their favorite frames for an additional set with a special blue light blocking purpose. Clear lens options integrate seamlessly into your usual frame styles.

What Studies Show

Studies show there are some verifiable benefits to blue light-blocking glasses, and it’s to your sleep schedule. While the jury may be out about the plethora of other health benefits some wearers claim, there is more than enough evidence that blue light makes it harder to sleep, so if your sleep schedule is in the trash, your first step has to be cutting out screen time before bed. If that’s a harder habit to break, trying out a pair of blue light glasses is an easy, affordable, drug-free option worth trying.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, we should all spend less time staring at screens, take more breaks, alter our office lighting and screen contrasts when possible, use eye drops, and remember to blink. As someone who experiences light sensitivity with migraines, I can say that yellow-tinted glasses and sunglasses do make a huge difference for me. While I still own the Gunnars I bought to survive long nights dungeon crawling in college, I’m excited about their new, cuter design styles too, and a few more of my favorites are below.

What You Should Know

  • Choose between RX and fashion lenses

  • Non-RX cheaper than RX

  • A fashion-forward option from one of the first makers of gaming glasses

Gunnar offers a couple dozen fashion or prescription-capable frames with plenty of variety of styles. These emerald green frames are available with single vision or progressive prescription and a computer-focused progressive option that’s best for close-up work. These glasses are ideal for people with a digitally focused career, like programmers or web content creators, when both work and play are spent staring at screens.

Review Highlights

“Love these, they are stylish, comfortable and flattering on my face. I like that they don’t look like ‘gamer’ glasses and function well for use at my work desk.”

What You Should Know

  • Zenni offers frames for all ages

  • Available in RX or fashion lenses

  • Blokz blue light protection added-on is around $17

Kids can spend hours every day staring at screens between homework and play. Zenni Optical offers prescription or fashion lenses in a wide range of frame options, including a large selection for adults, kids, teens, and preteens. With frames starting at just $9.95, kids without a vision prescription can get blue light-blocking fashion lenses in stylish frames for less than $40.

Review Highlights

“My 5 year old son went through 2 pairs of glasses within 3 weeks before we discovered zenni. These frames are a very good fit for him, and he absolutely loves the look of them. I love them because they are so durable and they look great on him too. He wears them every day without a fuss.”

What You Should Know

  • Single vision, bifocal, progressive, and ready readers available

  • No yellow lens tint, unlike most blue-blocking lenses

  • Professional and understated, great for work or play

Ambr eyes offers a blue light-blocking lens that flies under the corporate radar while offering superb protection for working professionals who need an office-appropriate look to their lenses. Prevent headaches and eyestrain with these protective lenses that are available with or without a prescription and even come in an over-the-counter bifocal reader, perfect for anyone who enjoys spending hours reading on a Kindle or other digital reader.

Review Highlights

“I was debating getting screen glasses for the longest time. I stare at a screen all day for work and I can get some eye strain and headaches. I wasn’t sure they would work but after using them for 2 weeks I couldn’t be happier!”

What You Should Know

  • Adjustable silicone nose pads fit a wider range of bone structures

  • Designed to ergonomically fit wide range of head and face shapes

  • Slim-fitting to accommodate headsets

With 100 percent UV blocking, these wide lenses keep your field of view unobscured, so you’ll see threats a long way off. Whether on a marathon stream or just grinding out dailies after work, preventing headaches and eye strain helps keep you focused on your objectives without any uncomfortable distractions. Slim and low-profile, they’re designed to fit well under most headsets.

Review Highlights

“Love the look and the feel. With the low profile arms they do not interfere with any of my over or around the ear headphones.”

What You Should Know

  • No yellow tint

  • Not an RX available frame

  • Good for gaming or office work

Eye protection has gone mainstream. Affordable fashion lenses are a great option to try blue light-blocking glasses for the first time and see if you notice any benefits to your sleep schedule or minimize eye strain. Discount web retailers make it easy to pick up sunglasses, computer glasses, or just a frame refresh for a new and different style.

Review Highlights

“These are amazing. I love they style and the color. And they actually fit my face! I love these glasses and I’ll definitely be getting them in another color!”

What You Should Know

  • Available in fashion or RX lenses

  • Blue light blocking starts at around $30, plus frame costs

  • 20 percent student discount available

All-night sessions in front of a screen, whether you’re conquering new content or trying to digest material for an 8 a.m. final, can wreak havoc on your vision. The last thing you need when facing an uphill battle is headaches and double vision. Pick the right frames to suit your style and face shape, choose prescription or fashion lenses, and add blue light blocking, and you’ll have the right tools to keep you sharp and focused.

Review Highlights

“Was surprised at the quality and how perfect the prescription is. The quality at such a low price was awesome! Will order more in the future!”

What You Should Know

  • Available in clear or light-sensitive lenses

  • Comes in fashion lenses or most RX types

  • Universal bridge fit design fits more face types

The typical bridge sizing for glasses fits a surprisingly small swath of faces comfortably; for a lot of people, the assumed standard just isn’t comfortable, and their glasses rest uncomfortably on their cheekbones or slide down their faces. These feature Zenni’s Universal Bridge Fit design, accommodating a lower and wider nose bridge. Available in prescription or fashion lenses, this frame also offers the choice of blue light-blocking photochromic lenses, which darken slightly when exposed to light, protecting them against screen lighting and sunlight.

Review Highlights

“Have worn various Zenni glasses over the last three years and these are by far my favourite. They look so pretty on my face! Highly recommended.”

What You Should Know

  • Use your vision insurance

  • You can try on five frames at home before ordering

  • Free shipping and free returns

Warby Parker is famous for its home try-on policy, which allows you to have five frames delivered to your home for a free try-on so that you can order your favorite pair confidently. Many frames are available with a blue light-filtering lens option and come with a one-year, no-scratch guarantee. Warby Parker offers everything you’re looking for if you’re tough on your glasses and need something durable and high-quality while still being stylish. However, unlike some other brands, there’s not a significant price break for non-RX lenses. If you need vision correction, these will be a better deal than if you’re only looking for blue light blocking.

Review Highlights

“I love Warby Parker!! They are amazing quality glasses for an actually reasonable price…I have almost my whole family in Warby Parkers.”

What You Should Know

  • 0.0 to 2.50 magnification

  • Slight amber tint

  • Stops fluorescent light headaches

Gamma Ray optics offers an incredibly inexpensive pair of blue light-blocking glasses in no magnification or as a bifocal up to 2.50x. They do have an amber tint, though reviewers differ in opinion about whether they can alter color perception. It’s definitely not noticeable while reading on a tablet or e-reader or while gaming. Still, it may be tinted just a hair too much for professional digital artists or designers.

Review Highlights
“I work in an office setting and after just one day of wearing these glasses I noticed an improvement in my eye health. My eyes no longer hurt, water, itch, or feel bleached out after staring at a computer screen for hours on end.”

What You Should Know

  • Clear, untinted lenses

  • Only non-RX available through Amazon

  • Stylish enough for office use

Fly under the radar at work with these light protective glasses that are fashionable enough to pass as regular glasses. Clear lenses and a durable frame make them useful for screen-facing tasks and help protect against headaches and eye strains from working in an office with fluorescent lighting. They won’t look out of place at after-work drinks if you forget you’re wearing them, which is possible because they fit all day comfortably.

Review Highlights

“I can’t express how much these lessen the load on my eyes. I play a A LOT of games and spend 95% of my work day at a computer. I feel the difference between using these and not, and use them for both work and gaming now. I definitely feel the difference when not using a computer after having used them for a previous session.”

What You Should Know

  • Available in two lens shapes

  • Silicone feet protect your lenses

  • Anti-reflective coating

If you use different prescription strengths for tasks throughout the day and aren’t interested in purchasing separate blue light blockers for every prescription strength, a pair of clip-ons may be the solution you’ve been searching for. Useful with reading glasses while using a tablet or computer, or swap them to distance vision for watching television, you’ll save money and have protective coverage no matter what you’re watching with these multi-use clip-ons. It’s also helpful to have removable AR protection, as anti-reflective coatings can make night driving more difficult.

Review Highlights

“They may be designed for gamers but it’s a HUGE help to anyone who spends a lot of time in front of LED lighting.”

What You Should Know

  • Highly reviewed

  • A moderate price point; neither the cheapest nor anywhere close to the most expensive

  • A range of classic style options with clear lenses

For best results, blue light glasses should be worn during 100 percent of your screen time, but to do that, they have to be comfortable, durable, and not make you feel like you look too silly wearing them. This classic Wayfarer design by Spektrum has rave reviews and a classic style, so you won’t feel out of place wearing them anywhere life takes you.

Review Highlights

“I had bought a pair of cheap blue light glasses- what can I say, you get what you pay for. Spektrum are a little more money, but well worth it; no eye strain or headache, and screen time is a pleasure.”

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