Polycarbonate vs Plastic Lenses

Polycarbonate vs Plastic Lenses

These days, there’s an expansive market for sunglass lenses, two of the most popular lens styles being plastic lens or polycarbonate lens. Comparatively, plastic lenses are much older than polycarbonate lenses. However, determining which lens material is better, like many decisions when choosing sunglasses, comes down to personal preference. The same can also be said when it comes to polarized vs non polarized sunglasses. Our objective in this blog is to equip you with ample information so you can make the best decision possible for your specific needs. If you’re in the market for replacement sunglass lenses, you can rely on Revant to help you find the perfect pair for your sun protection needs. 

Overview of Polycarbonate Lenses

Polycarbonate lenses were first developed 40+ years ago and immediately gained popularity and have since become the standard for safety glasses, sports goggles, and children’s eyewear. 

Advantages of Polycarbonate Lenses

  • Polycarbonate lenses are highly resistant to impact, won’t shatter, and are 10 times stronger than glass. This means they are ideal for children, safety eyewear, and physical activity.
  • They are lightweight and have a thinner lens than glass lenses, making them comfortable for extended periods of time.
  • Polycarbonate lenses block 100 percent UV rays without special coating, meaning your eyes and eye health will always be protected.
  • They are lightweight and flexible, easy to remove and install (compared to glass lenses), and come in a variety of styles that would not be able to accommodate lenses made from heavier materials. 

Disadvantages of Polycarbonate Lenses

  • Due to the nature of its materials, polycarbonate is susceptible to scratches and, as such, requires scratch-resistant coating for durability. 
  • Polycarbonate lenses typically have a higher price tag than other eyeglass lens material

Overview of Plastic Lenses

Plastic lenses have been in existence longer than polycarbonate lenses. Since its inception, it’s become a widely used material in the sunglasses industry, and often the #1 choice for wearers. 

Advantages of Plastic Lenses

  • Plastic lenses are lightweight and flexible within any glasses frame. 
  • They often come at a lower price tag than polycarbonate lenses, making them a highly affordable option for those on a budget.
  • Plastic lenses, while lightweight, are incredibly durable and shatter-resistant as well as scratch-resistant, so if you live a hands-on life and are very active, you don’t have to worry about damaging them.
  • If you are interested in tinting your sunglasses, plastic lenses typically tolerate the process of tinting more than other types of lenses. 

Disadvantages of Plastic Lenses

  • Plastic lenses do not offer UV protection, which is a huge consideration for many users. However, you can also add an extra coating to your plastic lenses that would help with the absorption of UV rays. Keep in mind that this would impact the thickness of the lens. 

Weigh the Pros and Cons

Polycarbonate lenses are becoming increasingly popular over plastic lenses, but as we always recommend, it’s worth taking the time to consider what you’ll be using them for. Depending on the individual and their use of sunglasses, one eyeglass lens type may be preferable to others. While some diehards swear by glass lens eyeglasses, the greater majority opt for more impact-resistant polycarbonate lens eyeglasses. It is helpful to also know the difference between polycarbonate vs glass lenses, when deciding which lens is best for your lifestyle. Whatever you choose, as long as you’re seeking to protect your eyes, you can’t go wrong.
Back to blog