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How can you choose the best glasses for kids?

Reviewed by: Dr. Matthew Miller, OD on August 5th, 2020

So, you’ve just found out that your kid needs vision correction. A question you’re probably asking yourself is, how can I choose the best glasses for kids? Their needs are different than those for adults, right?

Finding the perfect eyeglasses for yourself is complicated enough; making all the right choices for your child’s vision correction can seem overwhelming! So before you jump into our extensive selection of kids’ eyeglasses, take a look at this handy guide where we break down the main points to consider when buying kids’ glasses.


Find the best lens index for their prescription

An important feature to consider for your child’s new prescription eyewear is the lens index. The index of a lens indicates how thick it is. The higher the number, the thinner the lens. Low prescriptions give more freedom in terms of lens index. If your kid’s prescription is higher, say, around +/- 5 and above, you will need to select a higher-cost, high index lens. Without a high index, high prescription lenses would be unreasonably thick and bulky, making your youngster’s glasses uncomfortable and more likely to slip off their nose. Find out more about lens indexes on our lens index guide.


Check their frame measurements

There are a few essential measurements you should know about when buying kids’ glasses online. The frame width and temple length determine the overall dimensions of the frame. If you have an existing pair your child has worn, you can measure the temple arms and front of the frame to find these numbers. If you don’t have a frame on hand, you can use a tape measure to get a general idea.

Once you have your new pair of kids’ glasses, you can check that the temples are fitting correctly:  they should be snug behind the child’s ears, but not tight enough to leave marks. The front of the frame should be only slightly wider than the face, leaving about a finger’s width between the temple arms and their face.

Because they’re growing so quickly, glasses for a 2-3 year old should have some flexibility to fit better for longer. Glasses for a 10-13 year-old will last longer since your child’s head won’t be growing as rapidly.


What is the best material for kids’ glasses?

When it comes to the frames of kids’ glasses, choosing a material that’s both comfy and durable is the best strategy. Acetate is a special type of plant-based plastic that fits the bill for kids’ frames. In addition to being light and sturdy, acetate is also hypoallergenic, which means it’s unlikely to irritate sensitive skin.

Lens material also depends on the index of the lens. 1.59 index lenses, suitable for mid-range prescriptions, are made with a special polymer called polycarbonate. This material is tough, shatter-proof and naturally UV-filtering — features that are ideal for keeping a child’s eyes safe. While unbreakable glasses for kids sadly don’t exist, glasses with tough polycarbonate lenses are as close as you’ll get. Other index lenses for kids’ glasses are made with lightweight and break-resistant plastic.

Speaking of lenses, you can customize EyeBuyDirect lenses with a range of different coatings and filters. Blue light blocking lenses filter out blue light, which, evidence shows, can disrupt sleep. This option is great if your child spends time in front of screens (which, let’s be honest, is pretty much everyone these days!).


Ask your child what style and color they like

Choosing a style you consider stylish for your kid’s new eyeglasses is all well and good, but to ensure your kid actually wears their new glasses for the long haul, the number one priority should be making sure they’re excited about how their glasses look. Take the time to browse our full selection of kids’ styles and the available colors. Kids’ clear glasses are an especially trendy choice, or maybe they’re interested in a more playful, colorful style.  You can even use our virtual Try On feature with your child, to see precisely how they’ll look in any frame and make it a fun, collaborative process!


Consider a backup pair

Accidents can happen, and for more active kids, being careful with their eyeglasses probably isn’t a top priority. Kids should be free to play, roam, and have fun without having to worry — and let’s be honest, it’s hard enough to keep track of our own glasses as adults. It can be a tall order for a little kid to keep track of a small item like glasses. Because of this, it’s a smart idea to consider a backup pair when buying eyeglasses. Luckily, EyeBuyDirect frequently offers buy one, get one free deals, so keep an eye out.

Once you’ve chosen the best glasses for your kid, make sure you double-check their prescription numbers at checkout — then go ahead and order!

Hopefully, this guide has made ordering kids’ glasses a little simpler, so you can browse our extensive selection of children’s’ frames, worry-free.

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