The best reading glasses

Sunglasses & Eyewear

When you’re farsighted, reading glasses allow you to get stuck into a novel or browse social media on your phone without experiencing blurriness or eye strain.

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Reading glasses

Farsightedness is a condition that causes your closeup vision to become blurry or distorted, while you can see objects at a moderate or far distance perfectly well. Luckily, you don’t need to suffer through blurry pages when reading glasses help you read and view images up close. 

Read on for all the information you’ll need to buy your perfect pair of reading glasses, along with a few recommendations. Our favorite reading glasses are Scojo New York Reading Glasses with their lightweight rimless frames and durable construction. 

What to know before you buy reading glasses

Frame material

Reading glasses generally have either plastic or metal frames. Plastic frames are lightweight and inexpensive. It’s easier to mold plastic into any shape, so you’re more likely to find thick-rimmed frames made from plastic or frames with more intricate designs, such as vintage cat-eye frames. 

Metal frames are arguably more durable than their plastic counterparts though they can be more expensive. If you prefer a thinner rim, you’ll probably want to consider metal frames over plastic frames.

Lens material

Reading glasses generally have lenses made of various types of plastic since glass is more expensive, heavier and prone to breaking. Polycarbonate lenses are durable and inexpensive, though they can cause some image distortion. Trivex lenses are also lightweight and durable but less prone to causing image distortion. If you need strong reading glasses, high-index plastic lenses are thinner than other types of lenses, even with high magnifying power. 

High-quality reading glasses

Prescription vs. non-prescription

You can buy prescription reading glasses, but you don’t need a prescription to purchase standard reading glasses off the shelf. However, if you don’t know which strength glasses you require, it can be tricky to get it right without an optometrist’s prescription. The trouble with non-prescription reading glasses is that both lenses offer the same degree of magnification, so if one of your eyes is weaker than the other, you’ll run into issues. What’s more, non-prescription don’t correct for astigmatism. 

Style

You can find reading glasses with a wide range of frame styles. Popular frame shapes and styles include wayfarer, cat eye, horn-rim and rimless. While some people will tell you that specific frames only suit certain face shapes, we recommend choosing any style of frame that you like and feel confident wearing. 

Colors

You can buy reading glasses in a range of frame colors, so you’re sure to find something you like. If you want understated glasses that will look good with a range of outfits, opt for black, gray or tortoiseshell. On the other hand, you can find offerings with bright colors and bold patterns if you want your reading glasses to stand out. 

How much you can expect to spend on reading glasses

Inexpensive reading glasses sold in packs of four to six can cost as little as $2 per pair, while high-end non-prescription reading glasses can cost as much as $50 a pair. If you choose prescription reading glasses, they can cost even more, especially if you opt for designer frames, which can cost more than $200. 

Reading glasses FAQ

How do you know which strength reading glasses to buy? 

A. Reading glasses are available in a range of strengths, generally from 1.0 to 3.0, but you can occasionally find stronger or weaker options. Technically, these strengths should have a plus symbol in front of them, while glasses strengths for nearsighted people have a minus symbol in front of them to differentiate between the two. If you don’t know your reading glasses prescription, you’ll generally need to find the correct strength through trial and error.

Is it safe to wear reading glasses all day? 

A. Wearing your reading glasses all day won’t damage your eyesight, so it’s perfectly safe to do if you find it comfortable. It’s likely, however, that you may get eye strain from wearing reading glasses for long periods when you aren’t reading or viewing something up close. If you simply like the look of your reading glasses but don’t need to wear them all day, you can buy glasses with plain lenses that don’t correct your eyesight and are more comfortable for all-day wear.

What are the best reading glasses?

Top reading glasses

Scojo New York Reading Glasses

Scojo New York Reading Glasses

What you need to know: A stylish and durable choice for people who like rimless glasses.

What you’ll love: These are solidly made though still lightweight and comfortable to wear. They are available in a range of colors and strengths. 

What you should consider: They are on the pricey side.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top reading glasses for the money

ThinOptics Universal Pod Rectangular Reading Glasses

ThinOptics Universal Pod Rectangular Reading Glasses

What you need to know: These reading glasses offer excellent value for money and are perfect for buyers who want to use their glasses on the go.

What you’ll love: It has a slim design that fits into a small case, which is ideal for travel use. They are well-made with shatter-resistant lenses and are available in a variety of color options.

What you should consider: These are great for quick bits of reading, like checking a menu or package ingredients, but not ideal for longer periods of use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Gamma Ray Women's Reading Glasses

Gamma Ray Women’s Reading Glasses

What you need to know: With five pairs in a pack, these are ideal for anyone who’s constantly losing their reading glasses.

What you’ll love: This option includes five different colors of glasses, each with geometric patterns on the arms and fashionably thick frames. There is a wide choice of strengths. 

What you should consider: Certain colors may be too loud for some people’s tastes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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