Today’s bifocal glasses are not your father’s bifocals — not by a long shot. Gone are the days when bifocals were obvious, dated and (to be honest) a bit nerdy. Now, anyone who needs a little boost in the reading department can do so in style and at a great price. In addition, bifocals are not only available as reading glasses or in your day-to-day frames, but also in fashionable sunglasses and safety glasses.
With hundreds of options to choose from, there’s sure to be a design out there that will be comfortable and look great on you, eliminating the need for a pair of “cheaters” in order to read. Here are five of our best-selling frames for any need you might have:
If you have to wear safety goggles, these are the pair you want to wear. These stunning, ocean-blue frames by Global Vision have OSHA-approved, ANSI Z87.1 rated lenses and shields that are practically invisible when you’re wearing them. They are certified to protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays and all kinds of impact and are comfortable enough for all-day wear.
- WileyX Saint
Have you ever seen a cooler pair of men’s polarized bifocal sunglasses? This frame by WileyX looks anything but saintly with its fierce, half-rimmed, wraparound style. Lightweight and comfortable, they’re perfect for sports like cycling, hiking, shooting or running because of their superior field of view and glare reduction. Their tactical lenses are shatterproof by ballistic standards and ANSI Z8.1 rated as safety glasses to boot.
Made by S-Line, the Financial is a lightweight, comfortable pair of safety glasses with a sleek, retro appearance. Though they’re shield style and full-rimmed, these bifocal glasses offer a half-rim look because of their contrasting, moto-inspired bridge and frame top. Durable and ANSI Z87.1 safety rated, the Financial is the perfect choice for protection on the job without sacrificing style.
- Rocky Mount
When you’re wearing these sporty, sexy frames by M-Line, no one will ever guess they’re bifocal reading glasses! They come in three colors: Matte Carbon, Matte Black and a stunning Matte Blue — any (or all!) of which would significantly up your style game. Polarized with an anti-reflective coating, these frames are a bargain starting at $50 plus the cost of your prescription.
- ArmourX 6009
Rounding out the top five is the ArmourX 6009: unisex, all-purpose safety glasses with a fashion-forward design. The polycarbonate frames are lightweight and feature an anti-reflection and anti-scratch coating. In addition, they’re also anti-dust, anti-fog and provide UV protection, all while maintaining an ANSI Z87.1 and CSA Z94.3 safety rating.
What Is the Difference Between Bifocal and Progressive Lenses?
Bifocal lenses offer the opportunity for two prescriptions, with a distinct area for magnification at the bottom. In contrast, progressive lenses transition from distance at the top, to middle-distance (if needed) to the magnification area at the bottom without any line of demarcation. Both kinds of lenses eliminate the need for separate reading glasses.
Is There Any Advantage to Bifocals Over Progressives?
Cost is probably the biggest plus for bifocals — they are often significantly cheaper than progressive lenses. This can be an important factor if you don’t need correction for distance but want help reading when you wear sunglasses or safety glasses. Progressives take some getting used to as well and can sometimes cause dizziness and nausea during the adjustment period.
Can I Get Bifocal Sunglasses in Any Strength?
Yes and no — it depends on the model. Standard bifocal sunglasses are available with a magnification range of +1.5 to +3.0. Though there are some prescription glasses that may be able to accommodate a wider range than that, there are other sunglasses that have a more limited range or can’t accommodate bifocal lenses at all.
What Types of Bifocals Are There?
Bifocal lenses are available in these types, though not in every style frame:
- D-Shaped: at the bottom of the lens
- Executive-Styled: the entire bottom half of the lens
- Round: near the mid-line, good for jewelers or others who do detail work
- Ribbon: long, rectangular segment near the mid-line; can be used at the computer
What Strength Bifocals Should I Get?
The answer depends on how you use your bifocals, though you shouldn’t use a higher power than necessary. You can try on a variety of readers at your local drug store, find a printable diopter reading chart online or visit your optometrist to determine what magnification strength works best for you.
Bifocal glasses aren’t what they used to be and they don’t need to make you look old. The top five best-selling frames listed here are proof that you can look great and be able to read small print at the same time. If none of these styles strike your fancy, there are a whole host of comfortable, fashionable frames you can choose from at Marvel Optics. Visit their site to find the right pair for you.