HomeBlogGlass vs. Polycarbonate Lenses

Glass and polycarbonate. If you’ve browsed for prescription or non-prescription frames you know both types of lenses offer their own benefits and disadvantages. Which is the best option, though? Here’s a quick rundown of their top features to help you decide.

What are Polycarbonate Lenses?

Polycarbonate lenses are ultra-durable, ultra-lightweight lenses. They are more than 10-times more impact resistant than your average plastic or glass lens. While they’re not the thinnest kind of lens out there, they still remain their position as the switch-army-knife of eyewear lenses. With the right scratch resistant or digital protection coating, their potential increases even more.

Do Polycarbonate Lenses Have UV Protection?

Polycarbonate lenses are more than just durable: they also have 100% protection from the sun’s UV rays! This kind of UV protection is an inherent part of the material they’re made out of, which glass and plastic lenses lack.  Fun fact: The material polycarbonate was originally used to manufacture the windshields of fighter planes!Fun fact:

Are Polycarbonate Lenses Worth it?

Polycarbonates lenses are worth it. They’re durable and impact-resistant, lightweight and thin, and even offer extremely effective UV protection. At EyeBuyDirect, you can get a pair of polycarbonate lenses with your choice of frame for as low as $18! Considering their price and the many pros that come with polycarbonate lenses, they are definitely worth it in both the long run and short term.

Polycarbonate lenses advantages and disadvantages

  • Clarity: A lens that’s optically clearer provides a better picture. Glass is superior in this category, which is why binoculars, telescopes, and cameras use it. Its superiority doesn’t mean polycarbonate lenses don’t provide a clear picture — just that glass offers more clarity.
  • Scratch resistance: A scratch on your lens will affect its clarity and your frame’s overall appearance. Glass and polycarbonate can both become scratched, but polycarbonate is less scratch-resistant, making anti-scratch coatings popular among glasses wearers.
  • Impact resistance: A lens with high impact resistance is less prone to cracking or shattering. While we love our frames, it’s not uncommon to drop them. Glass and polycarbonate lenses can handle occasional falls but aren’t invincible against long drops. Glass is the most vulnerable in this category. Polycarbonate is 10 times stronger.
  • Weight: A lens weight becomes noticeable when wearing your frames for long periods. Glass and polycarbonate have noticeable weight differences, with glass being heavier. In comparison, polycarbonate lenses are lightweight. You may notice the weight of your glasses by feeling pressure on the nose pads and temple tips.
  • UV Protection: A lens with UV protection is a must-have. While polycarbonate blocks 100 percent of UV rays, glass requires a UV protective coating. Both can offer UV protection, though.

Who is the winner of polycarbonate lenses vs. glass lenses? Both!

Each lens offers advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the lens for your frames relies on you. If you’re sensitive to your frame’s weight, for example, polycarbonate lenses may be the right choice. Of course, if you’re unsure of which to choose, you can always contact our support team for advice.

2 girls with metal and acetate eyeglasses

Eyeglasses – St Michel in Silver and Prism in Cafe Glace

Purchasing Glass or Polycarbonate Lenses

At EyeBuyDirect, you’ll find polycarbonate lenses built into stylish and high-quality frames at affordable prices. And reasonable prices mean it’s realistic to buy more than one pair without going over your eyewear budget.

Our guarantees — a 12-Month Product Guarantee and a 14-Day Style & Fit Guarantee — also ensure that you’re happy with your purchase by replacing, refunding, or exchanging your frames if they become damaged or aren’t quite your style.

Start browsing our catalog of eyewear and sunglasses to see our selection of fashionable frames.