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Guide to glasses lenses

Reviewed by Dr. Justin Asgarpour

Everything you need to know about glasses lenses is right here. Find out which lenses are best for you and your prescription and learn how to choose lenses for your next pair of glasses.

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Blue-violet light filtering lenses

Blue-violet light filtering lenses protect your eyes from UV and filter blue-violet light, both indoors and outdoors.

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If you have an ADD power

See a number in the ADD or 'addition' section of your prescription? That means you need multiple prescriptions to help you see at different distances (near, intermediate, and far). Multifocal lenses and task-specific glasses are the answer. 

Multifocal lenses

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Progressives

One pair for all distances. Progressive lenses provide near, intermediate, and far vision within one lens (with no visible line on the surface of the lens).

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Computer Progressives

Designed for screen time. Our Computer Progressives provide correction for intermediate and reading distance along with blue-violet light filtering.

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Bifocal lenses

Bifocals provide near and far vision correction, with a visible line across the surface of the lens that divides two prescriptions.

We do not currently offer bifocal lenses

Transitions® Light Intelligent Lenses™

Automatically adapt to the light around you. Transitions® turn dark outdoors and clear indoors, filtering blue-violet light and protecting against UV while keeping up with your busy routine.​

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Sunglasses

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Polarized sunglasses

Reduce glare, preserve colour and clarity. Polarized sunglasses provide UV protection and make it easier to see clearly in bright conditions. Available in stylish tints and colours.

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Tinted sunglasses

Protect your eyes in style. Get UV protection in a style that suits your aesthetic and routine. Choose a solid, gradient, or mirrored finish to customize your own pair.

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Lens Coatings

Level up your lenses. Anti-reflective coating reduces glare, while C Shield brings anti-reflective, anti-static, and water-repellant protection (and then some).

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Lens index

Let's get technical. 'Lens index' refers to the material your lenses are made from, how thick they are, and how that affects their performance.

How to buy glasses online

Get the lenses you need and a style you love

1. Grab your recent, valid prescription

2. Pick your frames and lenses

3. Head to the checkout

Frequently asked questions

At Clearly, we don't currently offer a re-lensing service. However, we offer a wide variety of frames, starting at $9, and free shipping over $80.

Some independent optical stores may be able to replace lenses in frames, but it will depend on the condition of the frames, their size, shape, curvature, your prescription, and the lenses that you choose.

While all lens manufacturers offer a wide range of lens materials, the best lenses for you will vary according to your lifestyle, frames, and prescription.

Those who have a high prescription will typically benefit from high-index lenses, as they will offer the thinnest solution while providing the highest-quality vision correction. 

If you have a low prescription, you'll want to decide what your priorities are. High-index lenses are the 'best' quality, but tend to be more expensive than low-index options.

Kids and sporty folks might want to choose polycarbonate lenses, because they're impact-resistant. They're thinner than the standard plastic lens, but thicker than high-index plastic lenses. For rimless glasses, which have no protection from the frames, you should consider mid-index or high-index plastic lenses for better durability.

If you need help or advice on which lenses are best for you, reach out to our 24/7 customer service team via chat, email, or phone.

When comparing glass to plastic lenses, weight and durability are the main concerns. Glass lenses can be roughly three times as heavy as plastic lenses and of course, glass lenses can break easily. For these reasons, actual 'glass' being used for glasses is relatively rare in today's eyewear industry. Clearly does not offer glass lenses for the reasons above.

Plastic lenses are lighter than glass lenses, making them easier to fit in any type of frame and more comfortable to wear throughout the day. They are more durable and more impact-resistant, and less reflective than glass. Since plastic is susceptible to scratches, you’ll need a scratch-resistant coating to prevent scuffs and marks. Plastic lenses come in a variety of different specifications and thicknesses, depending on your vision needs.