Lens materials

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Lens materials

The lenses in your glasses can be made from a variety of materials. Today, most frames are usually made up with plastic lenses. Below we will discuss in more detail the different materials available so you can decide which is suited to your lifestyle needs.


Glass was used as the main material for vision correction many years ago. Optically they offer the best experience as they refract light more efficiently than plastic. However the main reason why glass is no longer widely used today is because they are heavy and also break easily, which can cause harm to the eye and surrounding areas.



CR-39 plastic lenses became a popular alternative to glass lenses. The main benefit over glass is that it was half the weight, lower cost and also provides a good level of optical clarity.


Polycarbonate is a common material used to make lenses these days. They are thinner and lighter than CR-39 lenses, and also provide UV protection without the need of a special coating.  They are also extremely durable which makes them ideal lens material for both children and safety glasses.


Trivex is a newer material than polycarbonate. It shares a lot of similar traits to the polycarbonate lens in the sense that it is durable which makes it ideal for children glasses. Polycarbonate lenses are slightly lighter than trivex lenses however trivex has a higher abbe value which means it offers better optical clarity.

High index plastic

These are sometime referred to as thinner and lighter lenses. The main benefit of high index lenses is that they are thinner and lighter when compared to other lens materials. This is especially useful for people with high prescriptions as it prevents the lenses from being too thick. They come in different levels with the higher the index, the thinner your lenses will be depending on your prescription.