The 8 Best Blue-Light-Blocking Glasses of 2019
A simple way to reduce eye strain
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Although it naturally occurs in daylight, blue light, which ranges between 380 and 500 nanometers (nm), also comes from our computer and phone screens. This high-energy visible light has been linked to eye strain, headaches, and macular degeneration. Many experts also believe that it contributes to the suppression of melatonin, which is a hormone that's responsible for sleep regulation. While blue light can boost our attention and mood in the day, prolonged exposure to it can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
But, of course, we can armor up against the potentially harmful side effects of blue light. Lately, there's been an uptick in blue-light-blocking glasses. Besides comfort and durability, the most important quality in a pair of blue light blockers is the amount of blue light that it absorbs. Many pairs will block around 90% or more, though, of course, this involves a level of color distortion. For very minimal color distortion, you can find lenses that block 40-50%, but they are less effective in mitigating the side effects of blue light. If you already wear glasses, a handful of blue-light-blocking glasses are available with prescription lenses, while others are designed to fit over your regular specs.
Whether you’re a gamer or an office worker, we’ve rounded up the best blue-light-blocking glasses to help you say goodbye to screen-related eye strain and headaches.
Gamma Ray is one of the biggest names when it comes to blue light blocking. These glasses balance functionality, durability, and style. First and foremost, they block 97% of blue light. They also come with a flexible, light frame that will fit most head shapes comfortably with spring-hinged temples. The sleek rectangular shape is also trendy, although you can choose from different frame shapes within the Gamma Ray product line.
You can also get these glasses with magnification for reading small prints, and they can be fitted with prescription lenses by an optometrist. When you buy the computer glasses, you’ll also receive a complimentary cleaning cloth and carrying case.
The unique Uvex Skyper Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses look more like goggles, but they’ll give you good coverage. While they aren’t the most stylish, they’re definitely effective. At under $8, these affordable glasses serve their purpose well, and many reviewers noted how this product helped them regulate their sleep better. The blue light blockers absorb 98% of blue light to help promote better sleep and reduce eye fatigue. The wraparound lens design ensures that you get as much protection from blue light as possible. Additionally, the three-position lens inclination system allows for a sturdy, custom fit around your face. The frame also has comfortable, cushioned temples as well as a molded nose bridge.
Those who wear frames with prescription lenses may also be interested in Uvex’s Ultra-Spec 2000, which is designed to be worn over glasses.
If you wear glasses and aren’t motivated to swing by your optometrist and get a prescription pair of blue-light blockers, grab a pair of Swanwick Sleep Fitover Computer Glasses. As their name suggests, you can wear them over your regular lenses. The acetate frame, while strong, is also light and flexible so you can wear it comfortably on your face.
If you prefer not to wear two pairs of glasses, you can peruse from any pair of Swannies and put them over your contact lenses. Do keep in mind that Swanwick Sleep blue light blockers run on the pricier side.
If you already wear prescription glasses, you might be interested in clip-ons that fit over your frames. Spectra479 creates lenses that you can attach to your glasses. You can choose between the yellow daytime lenses and the orange nighttime lenses. The yellow lenses block 100% of UV lights and 45% of blue light, best suited for daytime use in front of computer screens. The orange lenses will block 99.8% of light with a 450-510 nm range. It’s great for nighttime when you want to have as little exposure to blue light as possible so that you can fall asleep easier. Both are lightweight and will not add too much pressure to your nose.
While many reviewers enjoyed the clip-on blue blockers, one person did mention that the clip may not fit if your glasses are more than a ¼ inch thick on the top.
Most of the glasses here are best for doing work in front of a computer, but there is a product you can take on your walks as well. Developed by two optometrists, Eye Love’s blue light blockers not only shield your eyes against blue light, but they’ll also give you glare-free UV protection when you go outside. Outdoors, the lenses transition to dark gray sunglasses that provide UVA and UVB protection. Despite this extra feature, the glasses are affordable at a $30 price point. They don’t look too bad either, sporting a classic, slightly oversized wayfarer frame that comes in blue and matte gray. Plus, your money is put towards a good cause — a portion of Eye Love’s profits goes to eye examinations and glasses for communities in need in Jamaica and South Carolina.
Besides the transitional lenses, the frame is lightweight and sturdy so that your glasses rest comfortably on your face without breaking. That said, the lenses are not scratch resistant, so you should still treat them with care.
The TrueDark Twilight Elite Glasses work best when you put them on at least thirty minutes before you go to bed at night. The bold red color on their lenses reduces melanopsin production, which suppresses melatonin production and prevents sleep. The glasses block the harshest blue light wavelengths from screens to reduce eye strain. These glasses are designed to improve sleep quality and reset your circadian rhythm during travels.
Keep in mind, these glasses are for indoor use only, so you shouldn’t wear them while driving or walking outside at night.
Gaming for a long period of time exposes you to blue light that can contribute to eye strain. Gamers can invest in Duco’s blue-light blockers in order to protect their vision from symptoms such as blurred vision and headaches. The amber-tinted lenses shield against 90% of high-energy blue light in addition to UV 400 and anti-glare protection. If you wear prescription glasses, you can also put your prescription into these blue-light blockers. Here’s another perk for gamers: The temples are slim and light so you can wear a headset over them without feeling uncomfortable. They won’t add pressure to your ears and are spring-loaded for sturdiness. These glasses come with a kit that includes a case, cleaning cloth, pouch, and mini screwdriver.
J+S Vision offers a fair amount of variety for unisex blue-light blockers when it comes to shape and finish. The frame selection includes rectangular, round, and wayfarers. For the finish, you can choose from tortoiseshell, clear, and glossy black, all classically-stylish options.
The glasses also perform well, blocking up to 90% of harmful blue light. They come in high definition and low definition. With the low definition lenses, you’ll get less color distortion because the glasses will let through 70% of low energy blue light (which is less potentially harmful). You won’t sacrifice your viewing quality this way. The high definition lenses come with a darker yellow tint, and they offer higher levels of blue light protection and reduce glare. However, you get more color distortion with them.