After a long day of staring at a computer, your eyes may become dry and irritated, prompting you to consider investing in a pair of blue-light blocking glasses. If so, you’re not alone in thinking that way. Over half of U.S. adults report experiencing digital eye strain from staring at screens for long periods of time, citing a survey by the Vision Council, which represents eyewear producers (and that was even before the pandemic started). For this reason, there is currently a thriving cottage sector producing glasses that block out blue light.
An ophthalmologist and clinical representative for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Dr. Rahul Khurana, states that the effects of blue light on your eyes are distinct from digital eye strain. Even though it’s common to associate “blue light” with electronic devices like computers and cellphones, the sun actually provides more of an average person’s daily dose of the color. It’s not so much the blue light that’s the problem, but rather how long you spend in front of a screen without any pauses. Because of this, Khurana doesn’t suggest any particular glasses for extended periods of time spent in front of a computer. Most individuals feel digital eye strain “whenever you focus on anything — from reading a book, gazing at a screen, or watching TV,” so he is skeptical that the technology will alleviate the problem. Every 20 minutes or so, he recommends looking at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to alleviate the symptoms. Khurana suggests using artificial tears to moisten the eyes if that doesn’t work. The conclusion he draws is that blue-light filtering glasses are unnecessary during the day.
Since exposure to blue light from electronic devices at night might interfere with normal sleep patterns, blue-light-blocking eyewear may be helpful for some people in certain situations. Because our bodies associate blue light with daytime, being exposed to it just before bed “pushes our internal clocks later so that it’s harder to fall asleep and harder to wake up in the morning,” says Cathy Goldstein, associate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Center.
The ideal time to stop exposing yourself to blue light from screens is four hours before night. If you’re unable to refrain from checking Instagram or the dreaded doomscroll before bedtime, blue-light-blocking spectacles may be able to help. We researched several possibilities online and consulted with eye professionals to discover the best functional and fashionable choices.
Best Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Uvex Skyper Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses with SCT-Orange Lens (3-Pack)
Uvex is your best bet for blue-light-blocking eyewear, as it is the one most commonly used by scientists. They have been utilized in experiments, and Goldstein claims that they can be purchased for less than $10. These glasses have been demonstrated to help people get a better night’s sleep because they prevent light from suppressing melatonin production. They may not be as aesthetically pleasing as some of the other blue-light-filtering glasses on the market, but being as how they are most effective before night (and not in the workplace), there is no need to feel ashamed about wearing them. The Uvex glasses come in a pack of three, so you can keep one set in each of your vehicles or at home in case one gets lost or broken.
Felix Gray Jemison Eyeglasses
Many businesses produce practically transparent lenses and fashionable frames for those who want the less obvious option when it comes to blue light-blocking spectacles. In the workplace, blue-light blocking spectacles like these from Felix Gray have become increasingly common (despite the inherent limits of wearing them during the day). According to Felix Gray, the “daytime” glasses block more than 50% of the blue-light spectrum and more than 90% of the most harmful wavelengths emitted by smartphones, computers, and tablets. They can be purchased with prescription lenses or as reading glasses and have anti-glare coating to lessen eye strain. There are many other options available than the Jemison shape if you don’t like it, such as low-bridge-fit, metal-frame, and round-frame designs.
Felix Gray Hamilton Sleep Glasses
Similar to its clear “daytime” glasses, Felix Gray also produces blue-light-filtering spectacles, albeit the amber tinted lenses of these glasses will be more effective at night. The glasses are designed so that you can enjoy your favorite activities (such as 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. Glasses with a tint prevent 62 percent of blue light from entering the eye, while clear glasses only block 50 percent. Tinted lenses are recommended for usage in the evening, when melatonin production is at its lowest, because they filter out the specific range of blue light that has this effect. It may not look like much on paper, but the amber glasses’ lenses are substantially more yellow than those of the regular pair, according to Strategist editor Maxine Builder. When worn, they don’t cause too much distortion. It’s as if someone turned down the lights, and now everything looks a little less brilliant. The glasses come in a variety of lens types and strengths, including those that don’t require a prescription, those that do, and reading glasses.
Screen Sullivan in Crimson
Look Optic is a DTC company that has built its reputation on producing stylish reading glasses thanks in part to a design team comprised of former employees of Oliver Peoples. Some of the most well-known frames from the brand, whether magnified or not, feature blue-light shielding. These frames are available in nine different hues, and the magnification ranges from +0.0 to +3.0. There are 10 additional designs available at Look Optic.
Sleep ZM Clip On Anti Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses
The yellow or orange tinted lenses of these clip-on glasses can block up to 98% of blue light, making them a useful addition to anyone’s collection of prescription eyewear. An ecstatic customer on Amazon gushes, “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 shield that I’ve seen in other competitor brands.” Another reviewer states that they are able to use the glasses while watching TV or working on a computer and that they considerably reduce the amount of eye strain they experience.
Cyxus Blue-Light-Blocking Glasses for Kids
For the past three years, Brook Sheehan, a chiropractor in California and mother of a fourth grader who wears blue-light glasses, has seen “a significant change” in her daughter’s sleep and in her focus and attention to the classwork she is doing. They come with a waterproof rabbit-shaped case, a cleaning cloth, and a blue-light torch for checking the lenses, and the frame is black with pink temples. Specifically, the brand features “very attractive kid colors and forms for the casings to make it fun,” as Sheehan puts it. (In addition to an all-black design, you can also get these with blue, green, or red temples.)
Kids’ versions of blue-light-blocking spectacles don’t prevent eye strain in the same way that adult versions do. “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,” says Milan Ranka, an ophthalmologist at Pediatric Ophthalmic Consultants in New York City. Optometrist at Acuity NYC Viola Kanevsky chimes in, “I don’t think blue light creates any more eye strain than going outside.” Kanevsky and Ranka argue that adopting Khurana’s aforementioned 20-20-20 recommendations is the best method to help children with eye strain and related concerns. Ranka recommends taking a 20 second break every 20 minutes to stare 20 feet away from whatever it is you’re doing. I always recommend that my young patients (6, 7, and 8 years old) take a peek outside every 15 to 20 minutes. Find a tree and give your eyes a good rubbing.
However, the same blue-light-blocking glasses that help adults with eyestrain and headaches from too much computer time can also benefit children.
BENICCI Stylish Blue Light Blocking Glasses
- Stay in place well
- Unlikely to fit larger faces
The Benicci Blue Light Blocking Glasses are our top pick for the best overall untinted, portable, and adjustable blue light glasses. These glasses performed exceptionally well in tests of fit, feel, and clarity, giving the impression of being a set that you could keep on your desk at work or pack in your suitcase at a moment’s notice.
Our reviewer credited the glasses’ soft feel for making them so comfortable to wear, since it prevented them from sliding down his nose and ears without pinching them. They are on the small side and more suited to women than males, but they come in a variety of colors and have a blue light refraction tool so you can see how much blue light they’re truly blocking.
Finally, our reviewers did not notice any significant change in their eyesight 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 could desire in a set of blue light blockers, and at such a low price, they make a fantastic first pair.
Warby Parker Thurston Glasses
- A sharp focus on the target.
- Hold their position securely.
- The look isn’t for everyone.
With Warby Parker’s convenient try-on service, you can see for yourself whether or not these blue light blocking spectacles are the perfect choice for your face shape and personal style before you commit to buying them. These glasses passed our tests with flying colors, impressing us with their feathery lightness and incredibly comfortable bridge. Although our testers didn’t experience instantaneous relief, by day four of use, especially after wearing them for an entire eight-hour work day, their eyes did feel less weary than they had before.
Not only are Warby Parker’s glasses lightweight and easy to see out of, but the company also provides superior style guidance to ensure you get the perfect pair for your personal taste and lifestyle. The Thurston frames weren’t a hit with our taste testers, but the app offers hundreds of other alternatives, and those with an iPhone X or later have access to a virtual try-on tool. But don’t worry if you don’t; Warby Parker makes it easy to commit to prescription blue light blockers by letting you choose up to five glasses to try on at home for free.
Peepers by PeeperSpecs Women’s Shine On Blue Light Glasses
- Wear and remove with ease.
- Our testers reported fewer headaches.
- Elegant and alluring.
- Lacks a carrying container.
Peepers by PeeperSpecs were found to alleviate the symptoms of chronic eye strain, including headaches, in our volunteers after only one week of use. Our reviewers found that the blue light glasses passed with flying colors due to its combination of a lightweight, flexible frame and clear, magnifying lenses that make daily screen use more comfortable.
We wore the glasses for five full workdays and found that they were comfortable and stayed in position, even when we made sudden head movements. They didn’t hurt our ears or noses, and the bendy arms made them easy to put on and take off. Our reviewers found that these reading glasses were the perfect combination of form and function, praising their comfortable fit and lightweight design in addition to their sleek, shiny frames. Also, after only 24 hours of using the glasses, we experienced fewer headaches when looking at displays.
Readerest Blue Light Blocking Reading Glasses
- To ease tired eyes.
- Adaptable to a wide range of contexts.
- Limited variety/colors/styles
The Readerest Blue Light Blocking Reading Glasses won out as the best fitting pair because of how nice they felt to wear even after several hours. The fit and feel of these glasses were perfect, and we had no issues wearing them for long periods of time while using our laptops and iPhones. It was easier on the eyes while testing with these glasses than without them, and their clarity impressed us.
Our team of reviewers found that these glasses not only increased our ability to focus for extended periods of time, but also reduced the amount of strain placed on our eyes.
Caddis Hooper Blue Light Blockers
- Ease your eyes’ burden.
Hold their position securely.
- Inadequate variety of frame hues.
We suggest the Caddis Blue Light Blockers in the retro-cool Hopper design if you want to protect your eyes from blue light without looking dated. They’re fashionable, to be sure, but we also found them to be very wearable, dependable even during vigorous activity, and surprisingly transparent given their relatively subtle tint.
The most noteworthy finding was that our eyes felt less strain when wearing the test glasses. “Normally I start to feel tension after an hour or so, so this was a good change.
Although these glasses are undeniably fashionable, they may not be to everyone’s taste. Although they aren’t merely for looks, if the aviator style is what you’re after, these sunglasses will effectively filter harmful blue light and come highly recommended.
MVMT Everscroll Glasses
- Enhances the resolution of on-screen visuals.
- Calming to the sight.
- Larger heads could make it uncomfortable to wear.
If you’ve found that your eyes are straining to keep up with your TV viewing habits, the MVMT Everscroll Glasses are a great option. These glasses were easy on the eyes while nevertheless improving the clarity of on-screen images (or no glasses at all). The positive effects were apparent rapidly, which is great news for anyone who watches a lot of online video and wants to avoid developing eye strain.
The MVMT blockers weren’t the most comfortable glasses we tried, and one of our reviewers noted that they didn’t feel like a good fit overall, leading them to only recommend them to folks with particularly small heads or narrow faces. The glasses themselves are nicely manufactured, and the frames come in two different sizes, but the fit problem may be resolved by selecting an alternative type frame from MVMT.
Gunnar Razer FPS
- Reduces exposure to direct sunlight.
- It’s not really fashionable.
- Discoloration and minor blurring around the lenses’ perimeter.
The long hours spent staring at a screen can be made more bearable by eliminating eye strain caused by bright lights and glare. Because of this, we think the Gunner Optiks Razer Glasses are the finest option for gamers. Though our reviewers found that these glasses, which have a very slight yellow tint, weren’t the most aesthetically pleasing option, we feel that, given that you’ll probably be wearing them alone in your house, the glasses’ primary purpose of blocking blue light is more important than their aesthetic appeal.
The testing we undertook found that these glasses were not only lightweight and wide-frame but also comfortable, with no digging into the sides of the head. Our reviewers did observe some distortion at the lenses’ borders, but it was barely perceptible under normal viewing conditions. In general, these aren’t the most attractive pair of glasses to wear in professional or social settings, but they were deemed to be a “solid, no-frills solution” for those who spend long periods of time staring at a screen and require significant reductions in glare and brightness (for instance, as the category suggests, gamers).
LensDirect Emory Glasses
- Effective elucidation.
- Consistently a good fit.
- Filters off the sun’s glare.
- That it’s unlikely to help with fatigue reduction
The Emory Eyeglasses from LensDirect are our top choice since they are cute, trendy, and clear. They also received good results in our testing for fit and clarity. 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 choice that can be worn right out of the box regardless of your face shape.
In addition, our tests showed that these glasses had the best clarity among those we examined. They did not, however, alleviate symptoms of eye strain or fatigue (other than glare) as well as other pairs. They’re trendy and easy to wear, but we couldn’t tell the difference between wearing them and not. “I can’t quite tell if these are making any difference, but they don’t seem to be doing harm either,” said one of our testers. There’s no doubt that wearing them eliminates my headaches, but I’m not convinced that they’re reducing my eye tiredness.
Eye Buy Direct Escape Blue light glasses
- Effective elucidation.
- Ideal for a wide range of facial sizes.
- It’s possible, without adjusting, that it’ll slide down your nose.
The Eye Buy Direct glasses may not have the best overall fit, but they make up for it with great comfort and excellent vision, both of which are essential when selecting transition lenses. When put in frames from Eye Buy Direct, our transition lenses were a hit with the test subjects, who praised their clarity and the lenses’ ability to help them easily shift focus.
These eyeglasses were put through their paces in a range of settings, including daylight and nighttime use of electronic devices at a distance. They consistently met or exceeded our expectations, allowing us to see clearly without any distortion and significantly reducing our experiences of eye strain. Long periods of wearing them didn’t result in any discomfort thanks to the exceptional quality of the materials used. However, our reviewers did note that the arms were a little too short to avoid sliding, therefore they felt they were best suited for smaller rather than larger faces.
What to Look for in Blue Light Blocking Glasses
You can still benefit from blue light blocking technology even if you already wear prescription glasses, but you’ll need to buy a new pair of glasses to do so. An optometrist at Mount Sinai’s New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, Vanessa Hernandez, says that blue light filters can’t be added to lenses once they’ve been manufactured.
If you don’t need glasses all the time, you might be able to get away with purchasing a pair of blue light blocking glasses to use in the evenings and on weekends. If you don’t want to invest in new glasses but still want protection from blue light, you’ll have to go elsewhere.
Hernandez explains, “There are clip-on [blue light blocking lens] choices, but they aren’t intended to match 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 “you can alter your device’s settings to provide a warmer background instead of blinding white background.”
Whether you’re in the market for fashionable sunglasses or practical bifocals, it’s crucial to find a pair that fits you comfortably. If your glasses don’t fit well, you’ll find any excuse not to wear them, which defeats the purpose of wearing them. Furthermore, 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. When choosing the perfect pair of glasses, keep in mind these important details:
- It’s important that your eyewear be a comfortable fit on your face without being too tight or too loose. No matter how you turn your head, the glasses shouldn’t come off or cause discomfort to your ears or nose.
- When you look down, your glasses shouldn’t keep sliding down your nose, and the frames shouldn’t be touching your forehead, cheeks, or sides of your face.
- A mild headache is normal when first adapting to new prescription glasses, but it shouldn’t last or be too intense. There may be an issue with your prescription if you’re experiencing persistent headaches, noticing blurriness in your vision, or feeling unsteady (like you have vertigo) while wearing your glasses.
There will be an initial time of getting used to your new glasses, but after a week or so of consistent wear, you should no longer feel them on your face. If this isn’t the case, consult your physician.
If you’re looking for relief from digital eye strain or headaches, blue light glasses may help, but it’s important to check the lenses to make sure they’re coated to reduce glare and reflections.
Dr. Brocwell recommends anti-reflective characteristics for glasses because they “lower glare and reflections off the surface of your lenses,” which is especially helpful when using a computer or mobile device.
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 for hours on end. Without the coating, your glasses will reflect light from your screen, which can be distracting and even cause you to lose your line of sight.
Daytime or Nighttime Use
Depending on the time of day, you should wear a pair of sunglasses or prescription glasses that provide additional protection against blue light. Dr. Hernandez said that studies suggest that exposure to artificial blue light before bed can increase the risk of developing digital eye strain. According to Dr. Hernandez, blue light is still necessary during the day to maintain your circadian rhythm, thus wearing clear or yellow lenses is optimal during the day.
Choose darker lenses if you have trouble sleeping or if you frequently use your computer or mobile device late at night. Because of their ability to filter out all wavelengths of light, including the ones that can disrupt your sleep cycle, red lenses are often recommended for use in the hours leading up to bedtime.
Without proper protection, prolonged or repeated exposure to the sun’s intense rays can have harmful effects. Dr. Brocwell advises that, just as you wouldn’t go to the beach without sunscreen, you shouldn’t spend a lot of time in the sun without first protecting your eyes.
Do blue light glasses work?
As of now, it is unclear whether blue light spectacles genuinely give the health benefits their makers claim they provide. A Virginia Eye Consultants optometrist named Kelly Crews, O.D., says that preliminary research suggests that blue light may disrupt sleep patterns, lead to eye strain, and perhaps have a role in the development of macular degeneration. However, she adds that this research is limited and inconclusive.
However, this does not always mean that they are ineffective; rather, it merely means that the efficacy claims have not yet been scientifically verified. It also implies that your experience with blue light glasses may be vastly different from that of another person, who may find they make no difference at all.
Dr. Lojka believes that while “blue light glasses don’t work for everybody,” they can sometimes provide “subjective comfort” from the brightness and stress put on the eyes by computer screens. “It’s a very subjective response, with no obvious test to identify those who would benefit and those who would not; some people would experience relief when on a computer for an extended period, and some will feel no difference.”
Where is the best place to buy blue light glasses?
Blue light spectacles can be purchased from a variety of sources, including internet marketplaces like Amazon, traditional retail stores, eye doctors’ offices, and vision care clinics (online and in person). New York City-based optometrist Jonah Berman, O.D. recommends that wherever you end up shopping, you do your research to ensure that the retailer has a good reputation for customer service and a hassle-free return or exchange policy.
- LensDirect. Prescription lenses are offered in a plethora of modern silhouettes, and the frames themselves are scratch- and reflection-resistant.
- These eyeglasses are from Warby Parker. You may obtain prescription lenses and test them on in the comfort of your own home, plus you get free delivery and a 30-day return policy.
- Consider Direct-to-Consumer Purchasing. You may buy a bunch of these without breaking the bank, as they are both fashionable and well regarded.
- Felipe Gray. Prescription and nonprescription lenses with integrated blue light filters and glare reduction capabilities.
What percent of blue light glasses are best?
You have to consider your own requirements. Lenses with a strong yellow, orange, or red tint can block up to 100 percent of blue light, making them necessary for some people. These tints are great, but there are restrictions on who can use them, how long you can keep them on, and where you can go.
Dr. Berman states that clear lenses can be made to block anywhere from 20% to 35% of blue light, which is sufficient for many people. However, you may need something more powerful, as these do not provide true blue light “blocking.”
Despite the fact that prescription lenses can have blue light-blocking coatings applied to them, Dr. Crews warns that even then, only a small fraction of blue light will be prevented from entering the eye. “Glasses should be tinted to effectively block specific wavelengths of light.”
A doctor of optometry can determine the optimal tint for your glasses, but in general, those who spend a lot of time in front of screens and experience symptoms like eye strain, headaches, sensitivity to light, or insomnia may benefit from blue light glasses.
Are blue light filtering glasses safe to wear all the time?
With a few exceptions, Dr. Berman says you can wear blue light-blocking glasses all the time without harm. To begin, you may not feel entirely at ease in all settings due to the lens hue.
However, Dr. Berman warns that “strongly tinted yellow lenses will block blue light, but they may alter color perception,” especially in low light.
Wearing blue-light blocking glasses outside is also not fundamentally bad, although you may not feel that they are comfortable if the lenses are clear. When it’s bright outside, some customers say the screen gets too shiny or causes them to squint.
Consider, too, that your body needs a certain amount of blue light to operate optimally.
You only have problems when you overindulge in information from “unnatural” sources like computer screens. Taking a break from your blue light glasses is a good idea, especially if you wear darker tinted blue light blocking lenses, like orange-hued ones, and especially if you wear them outside (which block more blue light than clear lenses).
Can blue light glasses cause headaches?
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, according to Dr. Berman, but only if they have your correct prescription (if one is needed) and an anti-reflective treatment.