The 4 Best Blue-Light Blocking Glasses of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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If you believe the hype, blue-light blocking glasses will prevent headaches, decrease eyestrain, and help you sleep like a baby. But do they work? Cotton

The 4 Best Blue-Light Blocking Glasses of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

Too much exposure to blue light, particularly at night, may disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. The experts we spoke with agree that wearing blue-light blocking glasses after dark, for computer work or scrolling through your phone, may help you to doze off afterward and sleep better.

Still, these glasses won’t magically cure headaches or tired eyes, and those who tell you otherwise don’t have the data to back it up.

For people who are curious and want to give blue-light blocking glasses a try, we found four comfortable and stylish options that won’t break the bank: a wire-framed pair with a subtle cat-eye shape; a square-shaped frame that comes in tons of colors; and two higher-quality rectangular pairs that can be filled with your prescription, if needed.

Stylish and well priced, these wire-framed cat-eye glasses fit comfortably, and they won’t turn your whole world orange, as many other glasses of this type will. But the lenses have a slight film, so they can look a bit foggy at times.

If you’re curious about blue-light blocking glasses—and you don’t need a prescription—the Sojos She Young pair is a great place to start. These flexible, wire-framed specs are comfy, and their subtle cat-eye curve looks stylish without making too much of a statement. Also, unlike many other blue-light blocking pairs we tried, the She Young glasses have nearly colorless lenses.

They’re durable and flexible, and they fit well. The She Young glasses were the sturdiest wire-framed pair we tested. Their extra-thin arms flex farther than the arms of most other glasses we found, so these glasses are comfortable and easy to wear. Plus, they have silicone nose pads, which means they are less likely to slide down your face than all-acetate frames, like our Tijn glasses pick.

The She Young glasses were one of the few pairs that didn’t trigger migraines for our headache-prone tester—she attributed this to the comfortable frames, rather than to the blue-light blocking lenses. Though that’s anecdotal, it’s still something to keep in mind if you suffer from headaches.

The lenses are nearly colorless. Some blue-light blocking glasses we tried were so warmly tinted that they made our computers look distractingly orange. (For the uninitiated: To do their job, blue-light blocking lenses have an amber tint that absorbs blue light, but it’s more noticeable on some pairs than on others.) On the She Young glasses, the blue-light blocking tint is barely perceptible.

However, the lenses do have a film-like quality, so they can look a bit foggy at times.

They come with a few accessories. The She Young glasses come with a microfiber cleaning cloth and a microfiber storage bag. You also receive a blue-light test card and torch, which purports to prove this pair’s blue-light blocking abilities. But we don’t think at-home testing is all that illuminating.

These glasses come in eight different colors but only one size. With Amazon’s friendly return policy, you have 30 days to send them back if they don’t work out.

The She Young pair’s blue-light blocking coating can sometimes make the lenses look a bit filmy.

These square-shaped glasses are inexpensive, and they come in a wide range of colors, if you want to stock up. But they’re heavier than our other picks, and the lenses have a noticeable orange tint.

The Tijn Blue Light Blocking Glasses (also referred to by the company as “Orange by Tijn”) are easy on the wallet. And they come in over a dozen translucent shades and patterns (more than for any other pair we tested), from sea green to leopard. They’re great for folks who like to match frames to an outfit as well as for those who like to keep spare pairs stashed on a nightstand, at their work station, and in every handbag.

They’re comfy and unobtrusive. Our testers found the Tijn glasses comfortable to wear—they smoothly hug the bridge of the nose, and their arms lie flat across the temples. “I forgot that they were on my face,” remarked one tester. At 0.9 ounces, these glasses are the heaviest of our picks, but we didn’t hear any complaints on that front.

They’re sturdy but not stiff. The plastic frame feels durable and doesn’t twist, and the arms are level. Unlike half of the pairs we tested, the Tijn glasses don’t suffer from overly stiff hinges.

Their lenses are a little orange-y. The lenses on these are not as colorless as the ones on our Sojos She Young pick. The Tijn glasses have an orange-y tint (blue-light blocking glasses use orange to filter out the blue rays), and it’s definitely noticeable when you’re wearing them, but it’s also not unusual for this category. Our testers weren’t put off by this, but clearer options are out there. If you try these glasses and you’re not a fan, you can return them to Amazon within 30 days.

These versatile glasses are available with or without a prescription, and they come in multiple colors; they’re also the only pair we recommend with two size options. The lenses have a slightly orange tint, but if you’re willing to pay for an upgrade, you can get clearer lenses.

These narrow rectangular frames—best suited for smaller faces—are the lightest glasses we tested, and they’re available in multiple colors, with or without a prescription. The lenses have a slightly orange tint, but if you’re willing to pay for an upgrade, you can get clearer lenses.

EyeBuyDirect is our pick for the best place to buy glasses online, thanks to its high-quality offerings and reliable customer service. (It also has a free 14-day return policy.) This company sells blue-light blocking glasses with both prescription and non-prescription lenses. We tested and liked two styles: the classic acetate Escape Glasses and the narrow, lightweight Botanist Glasses. If those aren’t your bag, however, EyeBuyDirect has hundreds of other pairs in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes.

The Escape frames come in two different sizes. These glasses are available in both small and medium, so you can select a more-custom fit. (All of our other picks come in just one size). The timeless, rectangular acetate frames—with subtle silver studs at the hinges—come in several patterns and colors.

The Botanist frames are ultra-light. At just 0.5 ounces, this pair is the lightest we tested (most frames ranged in weight from 0.8 to 1.2 ounces). Due to the narrow acetate frames and slim, rectangular lenses, they are better suited to smaller faces. (For reference: The Botanist frames come in just one size, medium, and it’s smaller than the Escape’s medium.)

The Botanist frames are available in several slightly more-daring color options, including a striped navy finish, black with marble temples, and a wood-effect finish.

You can customize the lenses. We paired our frames with EyeBuyDirect’s cheapest blue-light blocking non-prescription lenses, which currently cost about $25 (not including the price of the frames). Like many other glasses in this category, these have a slightly orange tint.

But if you’re willing to pay more—the add-ons currently go up to about $85—you can get upgrades like thinner and clearer (non-orange-y) lenses, a premium anti-glare coating, and magnification for reading. In addition to customizing your lenses, you can have them filled with your prescription.

They’re higher-quality glasses than off-the-rack models. Both pairs that we tried from EyeBuyDirect looked and felt noticeably better than any of the competition. And if your glasses don’t fit or aren’t flattering, they come with a 14-day, no-questions-asked full refund policy.

The fact is that anyone promising miracles from a pair of blue-light blocking glasses is probably selling something. To cut through the noise, we read nearly two-dozen studies and position statements on blue-light blocking technology.

We interviewed three optometrists, two eyeglasses providers, two sleep specialists, a medical doctor, and an ergonomics expert. And we enlisted a panel of three testers to try 13 different pairs.

Imagine light passing through a prism, fanning out into the colors of the rainbow. Each color you see is part of the visible light spectrum, which is defined by wavelengths. “Blue light” describes the visible light with the shortest wavelengths. It’s found in every light source, including sunlight, and it’s known to boost attention and mood. So why block it?

The most compelling reason to reduce blue-light exposure has to do with sleeping. Daylight, which contains blue light, helps to tell your internal clock when it’s time to start the day or to hit the hay. If you stare at a device that emits blue light (like your phone or computer) for too long at night, your body might think it’s still daytime and suppress melatonin production, keeping you alert for longer. That could mean the difference between falling asleep in 30 minutes and one hour.

Although there’s some evidence linking extremely high levels of blue-light exposure to an increased risk for age-related macular degeneration, it’s unlikely that the blue light from your devices is harming your eyes: The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association have both stated that exposure to blue light from digital devices doesn’t cause adverse effects.

Blue-light blocking glasses are often touted as a solution for digital eyestrain and eyestrain-induced headaches. Ultimately, research and testing (including our own) have shown that these glasses probably have very little effect on those conditions.

If you’re thinking of getting a pair of blue-light blocking glasses, it’s best to talk to your eye-care provider first. But here are some things to keep in mind:

Blue-light blocking glasses can help you sleep. The effect that blue light has on our sleep patterns is well established, and the experts we interviewed agreed that a pair of blue-light blocking glasses can help adults snooze better.

For the best results, use several strategies. Get outside during the day, wear blue-light blocking glasses at night, and reduce screen brightness and exposure before bedtime.

Blue-light blocking glasses probably won’t reduce headaches or digital eye strain. Experts told us that the low levels of blue light emitted by your computer screen aren’t a big contributor to headaches. But digital eye strain is.

For this, you’re better off using artificial tears to prevent eyes from drying out, said Dr. Sunil Garg, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. And follow the 20-20-20 rule to give your eyes a rest: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

According to Thomas Caffrey, an ergonomic consultant for The New York Times, a suboptimal ergonomic setup can also contribute to digital eye strain and headaches. (We have advice on  creating an ergonomically correct workstation.)

Most kids shouldn’t wear blue-light blocking glasses. Eyes that are still maturing need blue wavelengths from sunlight to develop; a deficiency of natural blue light can lead to myopia (nearsightedness).

To ensure children get better-quality sleep, limit their screen time and exposure to bright lights before bed, said Dr. William T. Reynolds, president of the American Optometric Association.

To find stylish blue-light blocking glasses, we scoured online sellers of both prescription and non-prescription pairs. We scrolled the feeds of Instagram influencers. And we asked our friends, family members, and colleagues for their chicest recommendations.

From a pool of 22 over-the-counter blue-light blocking glasses, we selected 13 pairs for testing after considering frame styles, materials, color choices, brand reputation, third-party reviews, and prices. Three panelists tested each pair while working on their laptops and scrolling through social feeds on their phones.

We paid special attention to the following criteria:

Fit and comfort: We looked for glasses that fit across our noses without sliding or pinching, as well as pairs that were light enough to wear for a few hours at a time. And we sought glasses that didn’t squeeze or feel tight around our temples and ears. Fit and comfort are especially important if you suffer from headaches: Our tester who gets migraines and tension headaches found that poorly fitting pairs actually triggered and worsened her symptoms.

Most over-the-counter pairs are sold in just one size. But prescription and higher-end pairs usually have three numbers etched into the arms—millimeter measurements that correspond to lens width, bridge width, and arm length, respectively. If you already own glasses that fit well, you can refer to those numbers (or take measurements) to figure out your size.

Aesthetics: We sought designs that would flatter a wide variety of face shapes and that our panelists found appealing. We preferred styles in classic shapes, with multiple color options to suit different tastes.

Lens tint: The lenses of these glasses usually have an orange tint, which absorbs blue wavelengths. But some lenses are more orange-y than others.

We chose glasses that looked and felt like everyday eyeglasses, with lenses described as colorless or nearly colorless (though we still noticed a faint-to-moderate orange tint on every pair we tried).

Although we preferred the look of colorless lenses, there is a time and place for an ultra-orange pair: If you’ll be wearing them right before bed only, lenses with a darker tint may be better for your sleep cycle since they block out the most blue light. Dr. Chris Winter, a neurologist and sleep specialist, recommends this Honeywell Uvex pair as well as the Swanwick line of blue-light blocking glasses.

Quality: We steered clear of glasses with twisted arms, rigid hinges, and lenses that scratched easily (and there were many). Some lenses also had a distracting glare that became very noticeable during video calls.

Price: Don’t assume that you’ll get better blue-light blocking by spending more: A July 2019 study in Optometry and Vision Science found no correlation between price and advertising claims when comparing the efficacy of cheap ($3), mid-priced ($40), and high-end ($350) blue-light blocking glasses and sunglasses.

If you’re curious about blue-light blocking glasses, we think it’s smart to start with an inexpensive pair. Then, if you find them helpful, you can upgrade to a longer-lasting or medical-grade pair (such as one of our picks from EyeBuyDirect).

You may have seen the claims that you can put your blue-light blocking glasses to the test with DIY tricks, such as looking at overlapping blue circles on your screen or shining a light through the lenses onto photosensitive paper. Some glasses even come with their own test kits.

We’ve tried these methods, but we couldn’t find any difference among the pairs we tested. Short of using a $5,000 spectrometer, there’s no way to know for sure how any particular pair will perform.

The best way to determine whether a pair of glasses will work for your eyes is to try them out and be willing to return them, if necessary.

This article was edited by Ingela Ratledge Amundson and Jennifer Hunter.

Blue-light blocking glasses filter out a percentage of the daytime-signaling blue light that your eyes absorb. Wearing a pair at night can help you doze off faster and sleep more soundly, since they can tell your internal clock that it’s time to rest.

But blue-light blocking glasses probably have no effect on preventing digital eye strain or headaches. Your eyes get tired because you blink less when you’re focusing intensely, which can lead to dryness, blurred vision, and headaches; taking frequent breaks and using artificial tears can help with that.

Probably not. But you should not wear them all the time—especially when you’re outside during the day. Your eyes need to absorb natural blue light from the sun to tell your internal clock when it’s daylight (time to wake up) or nighttime (time to rest).

Most children should not wear blue-light blocking glasses. Their eyes need the blue wavelengths from sunlight to mature properly, and not getting enough can lead to myopia (nearsightedness).

Adults who have trouble sleeping at night can benefit from wearing blue-light blocking glasses. For maximum effectiveness, use a combination of strategies: Wear the glasses while using screens, especially in the evening; reduce the brightness of your phone and computer screen; and limit exposure to other sources of synthetic blue light before bedtime (think: LED and fluorescent bulbs).

If you’re considering blue-light blocking glasses because you’re experiencing eye strain or headaches, it’s best to talk to your eye-care provider first—your vision may have changed, and you may need a new prescription. Your ergonomic setup could also be to blame.

Kids shouldn’t wear these glasses, since their eyes are still developing and they need the blue light found in sunlight to prevent myopia (nearsightedness).

Experts say that blue light from digital screens is probably not what’s causing your headaches, so blocking it won’t help that much. The more likely culprit is that you’re blinking less. As you focus intently on your screen, you don’t blink as frequently, and that can lead to digital eye strain, blurry vision, dry eyes, and headaches.

Premilla Banwait, OD, FAAO, optometric consultant at Zenni, email interview, August 28, 2020

Thomas Caffrey, ergonomic consultant for The New York Times, email interview, August 31, 2020

Sunir Garg, MD, FACS, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and professor of ophthalmology at the Retina Service of Wills Eye Hospital, phone interview, September 9, 2020

Sean Pate, brand marketing and communications officer at Zenni, email interview, August 28, 2020

Roy Raymann, PhD, chief scientific officer at SleepScore Labs, email interview, October 29, 2020

William T. Reynolds, OD, president of the American Optometric Association, email interview, September 3, 2020

Richard Rodriguez, public relations and communications manager at EyeBuyDirect, email interview, August 28, 2020

Bridgitte Shen Lee, OD, FAAO, FBCLA, FEAOO, medical advisor to The Vision Council and co-founder of Vision Optique, email interview, September 28, 2020

Chris Winter, MD, D-ABSM, D-ABIM, D-ABPN, F-AASM, neurologist and sleep specialist, phone interview, October 30, 2020

Kaitlyn Wells is a senior staff writer who advocates for greater work flexibility by showing you how to work smarter remotely without losing yourself. Previously, she covered pets and style for Wirecutter. She's never met a pet she didn’t like, although she can’t say the same thing about productivity apps. Her first picture book, A Family Looks Like Love, follows a pup who learns that love, rather than how you look, is what makes a family.

Zoe Vanderweide is a staff writer reporting on style and accessories at Wirecutter. She has been wearing things for over three decades, and she has spent years covering streetwear, luxury, art, and design. Off the clock, you can find her painting the town rainbow with her (devastatingly stylish) daughter.

by Mark Smirniotis and Leigh Krietsch Boerner

It’s still unclear whether computer glasses are more beneficial than other eyestrain-reduction options, such as apps that reduce blue-light exposure.

Safety glasses offer protection against surprise objects flying into your beautiful eyes, and these picks fit a wide range of head sizes and facial structures.

After testing comparable frames and lenses from 11 online retailers, we recommend starting your search for prescription eyeglasses at Eyebuydirect .

Though buying online gives you more choice and could save you money, some people are better off purchasing prescription glasses in person through an optician.

The 4 Best Blue-Light Blocking Glasses of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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