After a long day of staring at a screen, your eyes may become dry and irritated. If this happens to you, you may have considered buying a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses to alleviate your symptoms. If that’s the case, you’re not alone. Vision Council, an organization that represents eyewear manufacturers, found that nearly 60% of Americans report digital eye strain due to excessive screen usage (and that was even before the pandemic started). There is also a burgeoning cottage business producing spectacles designed to mitigate the effects of blue light.
Clinical representative for the American Academy of Ophthalmology Dr. Rahul Khurana says that the impacts of blue light and digital eye strain are distinct issues. We may be preoccupied with blue light from our electronic devices, but the sun is actually the largest source of this wavelength in our daily lives. It’s not so much the blue light that’s the problem, but rather the prolonged exposure to it without any pauses during the day. Because of this, Khurana doesn’t advise using special glasses while using a computer. After explaining that digital eye strain, which affects most people, can occur “whenever you focus on anything — from reading a book, staring at a screen, or watching TV,” he continues, “ultimately, I’m not really sure how it’s going to assist with digital eye strain, which is what’s affecting people.” To avoid this, he recommends focusing on an object at least 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds, once every 20 minutes. Khurana suggests using artificial tears to moisten dry eyes if that doesn’t work. To sum up, he adds that sunglasses that filter out blue light are unnecessary during the day.
In order to get a good night’s sleep without being disturbed by blue light from screens, blue-light filtering glasses can be especially helpful late at night. When we’re attempting to wind down for the night, exposure to blue light “pushes our internal clocks later so that it’s difficult to go asleep and harder to wake up in the morning,” says Cathy Goldstein, associate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Center.
For optimal sleep, you should stop exposing yourself to blue light from screens at least four hours before night. However, blue-light-blocking spectacles can assist if you just can’t pull yourself away from Instagram or the dreaded doomscroll before bedtime. We researched online and talked to eye professionals to discover the best and most fashionable solutions.
Best Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Uvex Skyper Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses with SCT-Orange Lens (3-Pack)
Choose Uvex if you’re looking for the same type of blue-light-blocking glasses that scientists wear. Goldstein claims, “They are often less than $10 and these have been used in research.” Light suppression of melatonin is avoided when using these glasses, which has been demonstrated to lead to better sleep. They don’t have as sleek of a design as some of the other blue-light-filtering glasses on the market, but since they’re most effective before night (and not in the workplace), there’s no need to feel self-conscious about wearing them. The Uvex glasses are available in a three-pack, giving you options in case you misplace or break a pair.
Felix Gray Jemison Eyeglasses
Many businesses produce practically transparent lenses and fashionable frames for those who desire a less obvious method of blue-light protection. These are made by Felix Gray, a company that pioneered the trend of using blue-light blocking eyewear in the workplace (despite the inherent limits of wearing them during the day). According to Felix Gray, these “daytime” spectacles filter more than half of the blue-light spectrum and more than 90 percent of the most significant wavelengths emitted by smartphones, computers, and tablets. You may get them with prescription lenses or as regular reading glasses, and the anti-glare coating helps keep your eyes from getting tired. There are a number of other options available than the Jemison style if you don’t like it. These include frames with a rounder shape, metal construction, and even a low bridge fit.
Felix Gray Hamilton Sleep Glasses
Many of the same frames that Felix Gray offers for “daytime” use also come in “nighttime” versions with tinted “amber” lenses that filter a higher percentage of blue light. The goal of these glasses is to allow you to enjoy your favorite activities (like browsing social media or watching videos on YouTube) in the crucial hours before night without worrying about the impact of blue light on your ability to fall asleep. Tinted glasses block 62% of blue light, while clear glasses only block 50%. Because of the effect blue light has on melatonin production, these tinted lenses are recommended for usage in the evening. According to Maxine Builder, editor of The Strategist, “the lenses of the amber spectacles have a substantially stronger yellow tinge,” despite the fact that the change may not appear to be significant at first glance. When worn, they don’t obstruct your vision too much. It’s as if someone turned down the brightness on everything. The glasses come with anti-glare coating and can be ordered with either regular or prescription lenses, or even just reading ones.
Screen Sullivan in Crimson
With a design team comprised of former Oliver Peoples employees, Look Optic is an e-commerce company that sells stylish reading glasses directly to customers. Some of the most sought-after models from the company, with or without magnification, feature blue-light shielding. You can select a magnification level from +0.0 to +3.0, and one of nine different frame colors. You can also choose from eleven additional designs at Look Optic.
Sleep ZM Clip On Anti Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses
Prescription glasses wearers may find these clip-on lenses useful; they filter out up to 98% of blue light (depending on whether you choose for yellow or orange tinted lenses). A satisfied Amazon customer wrote, “They do an excellent job of remaining in position on my frames” and “fit securely onto my night glasses without having an obtrusive or cumbersome nose guard that I’ve seen in other competitor brands.” Another reviewer mentioned that the glasses helped them sleep better at night because they didn’t have to worry about their eyes getting tired from staring at the screen all day.
Cyxus Blue-Light-Blocking Glasses for Kids
California chiropractor and mother of a fourth grader who has worn blue-light glasses for three years says, “I personally have observed a tremendous improvement in my daughter’s sleep but also in her focus and attention to the classwork she is completing.” The black frames and pink temples are accompanied by a waterproof case in the style of a rabbit, a cleaning cloth, and a blue-light torch for checking the prescription. “very nice kid colors and forms for the cases to make it enjoyable,” Sheehan says of the brand’s aesthetic. Besides an all-black design, you can also get these with blue, green, or red temples.
Children’s blue-light-blocking glasses, like those made for adults, won’t prevent eye strain. New York City ophthalmologist Milan Ranka says, “If you’re looking at a book for five hours a day, you’re going to have a lot of eye strain, and there’s no blue light coming from it.” “I don’t think blue light causes any more eye strain than going outside,” adds Viola Kanevsky, an optometrist at Acuity NYC. Kanevsky and Ranka argue that Khurana’s 20-20-20 advice is the best strategy for children to alleviate eye strain and related concerns. Ranka advises, “Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.” Every fifteen to twenty minutes, I have my six-, seven-, and eight-year-old patients gaze out the window. Find a tree and give yourself a couple good blinks.
However, blue-light-blocking eyewear can help children avoid the negative impacts of screen use, such as insomnia and headaches, that affect many adults.
BENICCI Stylish Blue Light Blocking Glasses
- Stay in place well
- Unlikely to fit larger faces
The Benicci Blue Light Blocking Glasses are our top recommendation for the best overall pair of untinted, portable, no-adjustment-needed blue light glasses. These glasses performed admirably in usability tests, earning excellent marks for their lightweight, comfortable design and crisp vision. They are equally at home on your work desk or in your carry-on while you’re on the go.
The tester found that the glasses’ softly textured material prevented them from slipping and did not pinch the wearer’s nose or ears, making for a pleasant wearing experience. They are on the small side and more suitable to women than males, but they are available in a range of colors and feature a blue light refraction tool for determining just how much blue light they are filtering out.
Lastly, our reviewers did not notice any significant change in their vision when wearing these glasses; there is no tint to get used to, and the lenses are exceptionally clear. These glasses have all the features you might desire in a pair of blue light blockers, and at such a low price, they make an excellent first set.
Warby Parker Thurston Glasses
- Clear vision
- Stay in place well
- Not a universally flattering style
These blue light blocking glasses are the best prescription alternative available, and thanks to Warby Parker’s convenient try-before-you-buy policy, you won’t have to spend the money on a pair that doesn’t work for your face or your sense of style. The glasses we tested were not only clear and lightweight, but also extremely comfortable around the nose bridge. Although our testers didn’t experience instantaneous relief, they did report that their eyes felt less weary after four days of use, particularly after wearing them for an entire eight-hour work day.
Warby Parker is the best at helping you pick out the correct look in addition to providing glasses that are comfortable and clear. The Thurston frames weren’t a hit with our taste testers, but the app offers dozens of other variations and a virtual try-on feature for iPhone X and later users. Warby Parker makes it simple to commit to prescription blue light blockers by allowing you to choose up to five frames to try on at home for free.
Peepers by PeeperSpecs Women’s Shine On Blue Light Glasses
- Easy to slip on and off
- Reduced headaches in our testers
- Stylish and attractive
- Does not include a case or pouch
After a week of using Peepers by PeeperSpecs, our panel of judges found that their chronic eye strain symptom complaints, including headaches, had decreased. These blue light glasses passed all of our attribute assessments with flying colors, and our testers praised their lightweight, flexible frames and clear, magnifying lenses for making daily screen use more bearable.
After five days of wearing them to work, we discovered that the glasses were comfortable and held their shape nicely, despite our frequent head movements. The bendable arms made them simple to put on and remove, and they didn’t hurt our faces anywhere near the ears or noses. Our reviewers remarked on how these spectacles looked great on them, and how the subtle shimmering of the frames added a touch of glamour to an already chic design. In addition, we experienced fewer headaches after only one day of using the glasses with digital devices.
Readerest Blue Light Blocking Reading Glasses
- Relieve eye strain
- Versatile for many uses
- Limited variety/colors/styles
Our best fitting set of reading glasses were the Readerest Blue Light Blocking Reading Glasses because they were snug and secure yet still lightweight and pleasant, even after hours of wear. We couldn’t find a single thing wrong with how these glasses looked or felt on our faces, even after wearing them for hours at a time while working on our laptops and iPhones. Our eyes felt less fatigued when testing with these lenses in place because of their clarity.
The majority of our panel agreed that these glasses were the best of the bunch because of how well they fit, how nice they felt, and how much less strain they put on our eyes.
Caddis Hooper Blue Light Blockers
- Reduce eye strain
- Stay in place well
- Limited frame colors
We suggest the Caddis Blue Light Blockers in the Hopper design, which are inspired by the 1970s and can help you protect your eyes from harmful blue light without looking dated. Despite their light hue, they proved to be quite clear in our tests, and we found that they were not only fashionable but also extremely comfortable even during vigorous activity.
Most notably, our test subjects reported less eye strain after wearing the glasses. I felt less fatigue than I usually do after an hour, so that was good.
Not everyone can pull off these glasses (they’re definitely a statement piece!). If you like the aviator style, though, these are the sunglasses for you; they block 100% of harmful blue light, so they’re not just a fashion statement.
MVMT Everscroll Glasses
- Makes screen images crisper
- Gentle on the eyes
- May be too small for those with larger heads
The MVMT Everscroll Glasses fared well in our tests, so if you find that your eyes are straining to keep up with your TV watching habits, you may want to consider purchasing a pair. They were easy on the eyes and managed to make the screen’s graphics clearer while still being less harsh than other glasses (or no glasses at all). The advantages appeared rapidly, which is great news for everyone who wants to watch their favorite show online without getting headaches or red eyes.
The MVMT blockers weren’t the most comfortable glasses we tried, and one of our reviewers noted that they didn’t seem as secure on their face as other pairs they had tried. Nonetheless, they were still recommended for those with smaller heads or narrower faces. The glasses themselves are well crafted, and the frames come in two different sizes, so picking a different style from MVMT would address the fit problem.
Gunnar Razer FPS
- Dims brightness and glare
- Not overly stylish
- Slight distortion around edges of lenses
If you spend a lot of time playing video games, you know how important it is to have an environment free of distracting glare and bright lights. The Gunner Optiks Razer Glasses are our top choice since they offer this functionality. These glasses, which have a very slight yellow tint, are exceptionally effective at filtering out blue light. Our reviewers didn’t find them to be the most aesthetically pleasing option, but since you’ll probably be wearing them in the comfort of your own home, form can serve function (in this case, blue light filtering) more than form.
These eyeglasses passed our comfort tests with flying colors because of their light weight and roomy frame that didn’t press on the sides of our heads. Our reviewers did detect some peripheral distortion while not gazing at a screen, although this was minimal overall. Although our reviewers agreed that these glasses aren’t ideal for everyday usage, they found that those who spend long periods of time staring at a screen and require significant reductions in glare and brightness would find them to be a “decent, no-frills solution” (for instance, as the category suggests, gamers).
LensDirect Emory Glasses
- Good clarity
- Reliable fit
- Reduces glare
- Might not help reduce fatigue
The Emory Eyeglasses from LensDirect were our top choice since they were the most comfortable and cute option overall. One of our reviewers with a low bridge and a small face found that these glasses still required less adjusting than many other types of glasses, making them a good alternative that can be worn right out of the box regardless of your face shape.
In addition, we noticed that these glasses were the clearest we tested. However, they did not succeed where other pairs did in alleviating symptoms of eye strain and weariness (other than glare). We didn’t really detect a difference between wearing these and not, despite the fact that they are attractive and comfy and have uncolored, clear lenses. The verdict is still out on these, however none of our testers have reported any negative effects from using them. Although I don’t experience any headaches when wearing them, I’m also not certain that they’re alleviating my eye fatigue.
Eye Buy Direct Escape Blue light glasses
- Good clarity
- Good for small to medium faces
- May slide down the nose without adjustment
When it comes to transition lenses, comfort and clarity are more important than a snug fit, and that’s exactly what you get with Eye Buy Direct’s glasses. Testers were pleased with the clarity and consistency of their vision as they moved from one visual field to another while using transition lenses in frames purchased from Eye Buy Direct.
These eyeglasses were put through their paces in a number of settings, including testing while outside, when looking down at phones and laptops, and at different times of day. They consistently delivered above and beyond our expectations, never obstructing our field of view, and significantly reducing our experience of eye strain. They were well-made, and even after several hours of wear, I experienced no discomfort. The testers did note that the arms were a little too short to avoid sliding, therefore they felt they were best suited for petite faces.
What to Look for in Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Unfortunately, if you currently have prescription glasses, you will need to buy a new pair in order to take advantage of blue light filtering technology. Optometrist Vanessa Hernandez from Mount Sinai’s New York Eye and Ear Infirmary says that blue light filters can’t be added to lenses once they’ve been manufactured.
If you don’t need your prescription glasses all the time, you might be able to get away with purchasing blue light blocking glasses to use when you need them. However, you’ll need to try a different product if you want more effective blue light blocking and don’t want to invest in new eyewear.
According to Hernandez, “clip on [blue light filtering lens] solutions are available, though not built to fit every frame.” When using a device at night or in a dark room, “there are filters you can attach to computer monitors for daytime use,” or “[y]ou can alter your device’s settings to provide a warmer background instead of blinding white background.”
Selecting a pair of prescription bifocals or stylish sunglasses is similar to selecting any other type of eyewear: comfort is key. If your glasses don’t sit right on your face, you’ll find any excuse not to wear them, which is counterproductive. Additionally, you want to make sure your glasses fit securely to avoid experiencing any discomfort in the ears, nose, or head that may result from a loose fit. Consider the following guidelines for how the glasses should fit before making a purchase:
- Your eyewear need to be a comfortable fit, neither too tight nor too loose. As long as they don’t slip off or rub against your ears or nose, you should be good to go.
- You shouldn’t have to constantly readjust your glasses because the frames are poking into your forehead, cheekbones, or sides of your face as you gaze down (near your temples).
- In the first few days of using your new prescription glasses, you may get a mild headache, but this should subside quickly and not become serious. It’s possible that your prescription is off if you’re experiencing persistent headaches, blurred vision, or a vertiginous feeling when wearing your glasses.
There will be an initial period of adjustment when you first put on a new pair of glasses, but after a few days of consistent use, you should be able to forget you’re even wearing them. If this isn’t the case, it’s best to consult a medical professional.
If you’re experiencing headaches or digital eye strain, you may want to invest in a pair of blue light glasses; however, it’s important to ensure sure the lenses have an anti-glare or anti-reflective coating.
Dr. Brocwell recommends anti-reflective lenses for computer and smartphone use because they prevent glare and reflections off the surface of your lenses.
If you’ve never worn glasses before, you might not understand how much of a difference the anti-glare option makes, especially while staring at a bright screen all day long. Without the coating, your glasses will reflect light from your screen, making it difficult to see.
Daytime or Nighttime Use
Wearing lenses designed to filter out blue light at different periods of the day is advised. Digital eye strain and disruptions to your natural sleep rhythms may be caused by artificial blue light, as explained by Dr. Hernandez. Dr. Hernandez recommends using transparent or yellow glasses throughout the day since your body still needs to be exposed to blue light to maintain its circadian rhythm.
Conversely, you may want to go for darker lenses if you’re having trouble sleeping or if you’re a night owl who uses their computer or smartphone late at night. Wearing red lenses a few hours before night has been shown to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, and they also block 100% of blue light and nearly all green and violet light.
Overexposure to the sun’s intense rays without proper protection can lead to serious health problems. Like you wouldn’t go to the beach without sunscreen, Dr. Brocwell says you shouldn’t subject your eyes to prolonged exposure to the elements without appropriate eye protection.
Do blue light glasses work?
Regrettably, it is yet unclear whether blue light spectacles give the benefits their producers claim they provide. Some research have suggested that blue light may disrupt sleep cycles, induce eye strain, and perhaps lead to macular degeneration, but these studies are limited and inconclusive, according to Kelly Crews, O.D., an optometrist with Virginia Eye Consultants.
It’s only that scientific evidence is lacking at this time, which is not to say that they are not effective. This also implies that although blue light glasses may work wonders for you, another person may find they have no effect at all.
Dr. Lojka believes that while blue light glasses aren’t a cure-all, they can help reduce the strain on your eyes caused by your computer. “It’s a highly subjective response, and there’s no obvious test to identify those who would benefit and those who would not; some people will experience relief when on a computer for a lengthy period of time, and some will feel no difference.”
Where is the best place to buy blue light glasses?
Amazon, local businesses, eye doctors, and other vision care facilities are just some of the places you may buy blue light spectacles (online and in person). Jonah Berman, O.D., an optometrist in New York City, advises his patients to do their research before making a purchase, no matter where they end up making their selection.
- LensDirect. The prescription lenses are available in a wide variety of hip styles, and the eyewear itself is scratch- and reflection-resistant.
- Sunglasses from Warby Parker. Includes the option to receive prescription lenses and a 30-day return policy; you can even try them on in the comfort of your own home!
- Look to Online Direct Purchase. You can buy a few pairs of these (they’re cheap, trendy, and well rated) and always have a spare.
- This is Felix Gray. Lenses with built-in blue light filters, available in both prescription and non-prescription styles, that also significantly cut down on glare.
What percent of blue light glasses are best?
It really just comes down to what you require. Heavy yellow, orange, or red tinted lenses can block up to 100 percent of blue light, making them necessary for some people. There are restrictions on who can use these tints, how long you can keep them on, and where you can go while still being safe.
Dr. Berman believes that clear lenses may be made to block anywhere from 20 to 35 percent of damaging blue light, which is sufficient for the needs of many people. These may not be effective enough because they don’t actually block blue light.
Although prescription lenses can have blue light-blocking coatings applied to them, according to Dr. Crews, “these coatings actually block just a small percentage of blue light from reaching the eye.” “Glasses must be colored in order to effectively block specific wavelengths of light.”
Your eye doctor can help you determine the ideal tint for your glasses, but in general, blue light glasses may help those who spend long periods of time in front of screens and have symptoms like eye strain, headaches, sensitivity to light, or insomnia.
Are blue light filtering glasses safe to wear all the time?
With a few exceptions, Dr. Berman says it’s fine to always wear blue light-blocking glasses. The lenses’ hue, for one thing, can make it so that you can’t wear them everywhere.
Dr. Berman explains that while highly tinted yellow lenses will exclude blue light, they may alter color perception, especially in low light.
Even though there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with wearing blue light blocking glasses outside, you might not find them to be particularly comfortable, especially if the lenses are clear. When it’s sunny outside, some users have noticed glare or reflectiveness.
It’s also crucial to remember that your body needs a certain amount of blue light in order to function normally.
The problem arises only when too much information is obtained from “unnatural” sources, such as digital screens. It’s a good idea to give your eyes a rest from your blue light glasses every once in a while, especially if you’re wearing darker tinted blue light blocking lenses, like orange-hued ones, and you plan on spending time outside (which block more blue light than clear lenses).
Can blue light glasses cause headaches?
Dr. Berman says they shouldn’t if the lenses are clear and untinted and have your prescription (if you need one) and an anti-reflective treatment; lens glare is a common cause of headaches, and lenses with noticeable tints can cause you to squint in low-light environments, adding to eye strain and sometimes triggering headaches.