When ordering your next pair of sunglasses or eyeglasses, there are several lens material to choose from. The most common are polycarbonate, Trivex, and glass. Eyeglass Tyler from SportRx briefly explains some of the pros and cons to each type of lens material; follow along to learn more.

Debunking the Myth

Many people think that glass is the standard for lenses, or is the only type of lens material available. However, many glasses tend to be made of polycarbonate material and many sunglass manufacturers don't even make glass lenses. You can still find sunglasses with glass lenses, but they're much less common than they used to be.


Polycarbonate is the most common material for sunglasses and eyeglasses. It's common to think glasses are made out of glass, but 9/10 times it's made with polycarbonate lens material. The pros of PC are that it's impact-resistant and lightweight, while the cons are its optical clarity and scratch resistance, as well as a lower tensile strength.

Many companies are developing better polycarbonate lenses to give you the best clarity possible. They also have anti-scratch coatings that somewhat take care of the scratching issue, but it's still something to keep in mind.


Trivex is a higher-end polycarbonate, and is much clearer than standard PC, lighter, and a little more impact-resistant as well. The downside is that it's thicker. If you have a higher prescription, a thick lens is something you may want to avoid.

Tyler also notes that Trivex is a good lens material for rimless frames or drilled lenses because of its higher tensile strength. Drilling holes into a polycarbonate lens can cause hairline cracks that can then spread out to other parts of the lens.


Glass has the best optical clarity and the best scratch resistance. The downside is its weight and lack of impact resistance—if the lens gets cracked, the only solution is to buy a new one. For more active lifestyles or for higher prescriptions, glass is not recommended. This lack of flexibility is why it's getting a little harder to find glass lenses, especially in prescription. Tyler notes you can still get prescription glass lenses from Costa, but not many other brands offer it anymore.

If you have a light prescription and don't have to worry about objects hitting your face, glass lenses make for a good everyday pair of sunglasses. Otherwise, it's best to stick with polycarbonate or Trivex lens material, especially if you play sports.

Prescription Glasses & Sunglasses at SportRx

We hope we were able to clarify the differences between the various lens material available to you. If you have more questions, you can always Contact Us. We’ll put you in touch with one of our friendly in-house opticians who can help you build your prescription glasses or sunglasses.

Ditch risky online shopping with the See Better Guarantee. Try your glasses or sunglasses for 45 days. If you’re not satisfied, send them back. Get a full refund, exchange, or credit towards a better pair. And return shipping? Covered. Get your pair of prescription glasses or sunglasses at SportRx today!