Shop our collection of the best polarized sunglasses to find an array of styles that will improve your vision by eliminating glare and enhancing contrast. Maui Jim and Costa have long made polarized sunglasses for the specific purpose of reducing glare that comes off the water. But polarized sunglasses aren't just for fishing and water sports. Ray-Ban—a fashionable choice in eyewear for keeping your eyes comfortable and safe in bright light conditions—is the most popular maker of polarized sunglasses at FramesDirect.
Polarized sunglasses are fitted with lenses treated especially to realign incoming horizontal light, thus reducing glare, improving contrast, and relieving eye strain. This technology exists anywhere sunglasses are sold, but finding the best polarized sunglasses can be difficult. While many makers claim their sunglasses are polarized, the quality of their glare-blocking properties and the level of UV protection they offer varies widely among them. To find men’s and women’s polarized sunglasses that truly qualify as the best, you need to understand polarization and how it works to reduce glare.
You’re commuting in the morning when, suddenly, intense sunlight bounces off the cars ahead and blinds you. Maybe you’re out on the open water and have trouble looking in any direction because the ripples are sparkling with bright sunlight. Or maybe you’re fishing your favorite river and your friend points to a fish below the surface, but all you see is the reflection of the sun and sky. These are all examples of vision glare, or “difficulty seeing in the presence of bright light or reflection." Glare is experienced in two ways.
Glare happens when intense light bounces off of a surface and is redirected at your eyes. Most glare you’ll experience is caused by the intense light of the sun, which is always situated above those flat surfaces, so most of the time the light will be reflected horizontally. Water, traffic, snow, highway surfaces—these everyday glare sources all reflect light horizontally. Polarized sunglasses, specifically the lenses, are treated with a laminate which blocks horizontal light waves while allowing vertical light waves to pass through. The laminate is applied in a vertical row pattern and works like window blinds to block horizontal light (a horizontal pattern blocks vertical light).
The best polarized sunglasses come with an evenly applied laminate that works with the contour of the lens. An easy way to tell whether your polarized lenses are the best quality is to tilt them 90 degrees (or tilt your head close to 90 degrees while wearing them). You should see an even change in light, as the lenses are now blocking vertical light waves. Poorly made polarized sunglasses won’t evenly transition, and you’ll notice darker-toned blotchy areas in the lens when they are turned 90 degrees.
The polarized sunglasses in this collection feature advanced polarized lens technology combined with 100% UV protection to keep your eyes safe while you’re in the harshest light conditions. Brands like Costa and Maui Jim stand at the leading edge of polarized lens design, and their sunglasses offer impressive performance in the most demanding field environments.
You may already know of a few situations in your life where you’d want to wear polarized sunglasses, but here are other common scenarios where polarized lenses are especially helpful:
Not inherently. Polarization by itself does not protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, but most quality glasses that feature polarized lenses, also come with protection against ultraviolet rays.
Essentially, there are two types of polarized lenses: 0.75 mm lenses and 1.1 mm lenses. The different thickness of the polarizing film used can affect the durability of the lenses, since it is placed on the outside of the glass and protected with a scratch-resistant coating. The thinner, 0.75 mm lenses are good for most casual sports where there's no risk of impact. The 1.1 mm layer provides additional strength that is useful in sports where impact may occur. The thicker film, however, does not make glasses of this type any better when it comes to reducing glare.
Polarized lenses can also come in almost any lens shape and contour. And among these types of polarized lenses, quality can vary greatly. But with a few easy steps, like the 90-degree test, you can identify the best polarized lenses.
Browse our collections of the best polarized sunglasses for men and women to find a multitude of options in authentic premium designer eyewear. Questions? Contact us and speak to one of our certified opticians for answers.