Before we break out our buying guide and top 10 list, there are a few myths about blue light and blue light glasses we’d like to bust. You can’t really make an informed decision until you know what science has and hasn’t proved.
Actually, blue light is everywhere. The sun up above emits it. In fact, the sky is blue because of blue light. And the amount of blue light your smartphone gives off is only a fraction of what the sun gives off.
So don’t think that slipping on a pair of blue light glasses will magically make your eyes feel like new. Rather, the AAO suggests you follow the 20-20-20 rule: look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. However, this is not to say that blue light glasses don't have their uses.
If fluorescent lighting at the mall or hours in front of a computer trigger migraines for you, you might have photophobia. That means that you’re more sensitive to it than most people. Blue light glasses dull the light. So many photophobics, after slipping on a pair, report that their headaches fade in a matter of days.
A second use for blue light glasses is to get better sleep. Staring at a phone right before bed is not exactly good for shut-eye. Blue light, emitted from the sun and our devices, actually suppresses the production of melatonin, which is a sleep-inducing hormone. During the day, it’s a good thing; it keeps us bright-eyed and awake at our desks.
At night, exposure to blue light throws off our circadian rhythm. But, if you still need to use your phone before bed, then we suggest slipping on a pair of blue light glasses two hours before bed. It's been shown to improve sleep quality.
To give you a little inspiration before you go through how to pick your own pair of glasses, we'd like to introduce ten blue light glasses that’ll protect your retinas and help you sleep more soundly at night.
|Dimensions||6.5 x 2.2 x 1 in.|
|Extra features||Blocks UV, anti-scratch, anti-glare, anti-reflective, anti-fog, fingerprint resistant|
|Dimensions||5.23 x 1.57 in., (length, width) 2.36 x 0.69 in. (lens, bridge)|
|Dimensions||1.89 x 0.87 x 5.71 in. (lens, bridge, arms)|
|Extra features||Blocks UV|
|Dimensions||2.36 x 0.55 x 5.43 in. (lens, bridge, arms)|
|Dimensions||2.17 x 0.67 x 5.91 in. (lens, bridge, arms)|
|Extra features||Non-BPA frames|
|Dimensions||2.09 x 0.71 x 5.63 in. (lens, bridge, arms)|
|Extra features||Blocks UV, water resistant, smudge resistant, scratch resistant, anti-reflection|
|Dimensions||1.85 x 0.59 x 4.88 in. (lens, bridge, arms)|
Clear Lens Gold
|Dimensions||2.28 x 0.78 x 5.31 in. (lens, bridge, arms)|
|Extra features||Blocks UV|
|Dimensions||1.65 x 0.67 x 5.51 in. (lens, bridge, arms)|
|Extra features||Blocks UV|
|Dimensions||7 x 2.5 in. (length, width)|
|Extra features||Vented side shield, adjustable arms, anti-fog|
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Clip-on Blue Blocking Amber Lenses for Sleep
Round Rim Frame Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Fitover Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Sleep Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Kids Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Blue Light Blocking Aviator Glasses
Blue Light Shield Computer Reading/Gaming Glasses
Ultra-Spec 2000 Blue Light Blocking Eyewear
Fashionable for the Light Sensitive to Wear Around All Day
A Clip-On Option That Won’t Scratch Your Lenses
Vintage, Round Glasses Perfect for Smaller Faces
Helps You Fall into a Deep Slumber
Available in Numerous Sizes and Puts You Right to Sleep
Versatile Tortoiseshell Frames That Help With Watering Eyes
Protect Your Little Ones' Eyesight
A Pair of Stylish Aviators to Flatter Almost Any Face
Personalize the Design and Reduce Headaches
Protects Even Your Peripherals From Blue Light
|Dimensions||6.5 x 2.2 x 1 in.||5.23 x 1.57 in., (length, width) 2.36 x 0.69 in. (lens, bridge)||1.89 x 0.87 x 5.71 in. (lens, bridge, arms)||2.36 x 0.55 x 5.43 in. (lens, bridge, arms)||2.17 x 0.67 x 5.91 in. (lens, bridge, arms)||2.09 x 0.71 x 5.63 in. (lens, bridge, arms)||1.85 x 0.59 x 4.88 in. (lens, bridge, arms)||2.28 x 0.78 x 5.31 in. (lens, bridge, arms)||1.65 x 0.67 x 5.51 in. (lens, bridge, arms)||7 x 2.5 in. (length, width)|
|Extra features||Blocks UV, anti-scratch, anti-glare, anti-reflective, anti-fog, fingerprint resistant||-||Blocks UV||-||Non-BPA frames||Blocks UV, water resistant, smudge resistant, scratch resistant, anti-reflection||-||Blocks UV||Blocks UV||Vented side shield, adjustable arms, anti-fog|
You’ve probably seen two types of blue light blocking glasses on the market–ones that are clear and look pretty normal, and ones that are super orange and tinted. Both are necessary in their own different ways.
Orange-tinted glasses are actually the strongest types and block out an upwards of 90% of blue light. They’re also called computer glasses. Because they’re so effective, they’ll help you adjust your body clock by encouraging melatonin production. We recommend them if you’re often up late at night and can’t get to bed.
But, since they are heavily tinted, they distort the colors on your screen, so they’re not great for graphic designers and illustrators. They're also not the best for when you really want to see full HD color on your TV. And many people think the yellow-orange tint makes you look a bit silly.
Clear glasses aren’t completely free from tint, but usually, it's subtle enough that the colors on your screen look pretty much the same. It can come off a little amber though. So if color fidelity’s important to you–whether it’s because you’re a designer or you want your Technicolor films to look just right–then clear is the better choice.
You can also wear these around town without looking like your eyes are orange and without feeling like everything looks too dim. That’s why these are a godsend for the photophobic, who need a lot of protection from light. They usually only block 25 to 50% of blue light, but that’s enough to clear up most light-induced migraines and tension headaches.
The materials used for frames all have a different look, feel, and purpose to them. Here are a few of the most common–see what appeals to you.
Zyl (also known as cellulose acetate, or just acetate) is most commonly used for frames because it’s cheap and can take on almost any color imaginable. A lot of zyl frames are different colors on the inside and outside–and lighter colors on the inside look cool and aren’t as noticeable in your peripherals. But zyl gets brittle with age and is the heaviest of the plastics.
Monel, on the other hand, is the most commonly used in metal frames. It’s a mixture of usually copper and nickel. It’s malleable and resists corrosion, but, of course, isn’t an option for anyone allergic to nickel.
Titanium is a great all-around option. It’s hypoallergenic, super strong, and half as heavy as other metals. But it’s also the most expensive.
If you’re getting these to wear an hour or two before bed, then you might not care about looking like a little outside the norm. But if you’re going to wear blue light glasses around town, or in front of your coworkers, then it’s worth getting frames that flatter your face.
In general, oval faces can wear any frames. That’s because they’re balanced–about twice as long as they are wide, with a chin that’s only a bit smaller than the forehead. But they look extra good in angular glasses that suit round faces.
Round faces have full cheeks and no angles. That’s why rectangular and sharp frames (such as your classic cat eye) look so good–they sharpen you up and accent the cheekbones.
A square face is defined as if your forehead is broad, your jawline strong, and your chin square. Again, the general rule with frames is contrast. Round and oval frames will add some flowing curves to your face, making you softer and irresistible.
If you’re photophobic, chances are that UV rays also irritate your eyes. If you’re going to be out and about, look for blue light glasses that also include UV light in their spectrum.
Now that you've chosen your glasses, you're probably looking for more ways to revamp your workspace. And, of course, computers are necessary to perform any sort of work these days. Why now get the most comfortable mouse and a mousepad to take that strain off your wrists?
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