How to Shop for Sunglasses

A good pair of sunglasses isn’t just about looking great. They should also serve a function while being a stylish addition to your wardrobe. You can get sunglasses almost anywhere nowadays, but not all sunglasses are made equal.

If you want to invest in a high-quality pair of sunglasses, it’s important to visit a place with knowledgeable staff that can help you find the right pair. They can help you navigate all the considerations like protection level, price, brands, and lens type.


There are several things to consider when shopping for sunglasses. It may feel like huge savings if you just pick up a cheap pair at the corner store, but taking the time to find the right sunglasses pays off in the long run if you spend a lot of time outside.


One of the primary considerations for sunglasses is the protection they offer—and not just blocking the bright sun protection. The sun produces ultraviolet (UV) radiation that we cannot see, and these UV rays can cause damage to your eyes over time. There are three types of UV rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC.

Even though it’s the most dangerous, we don’t have to worry about UVC because the atmosphere absorbs it. However, UVB and UVA can both cause damage as well. Finding sunglasses with a UV 400 rating offers you 100% protection against both types of UV rays.


Not everyone has the budget to spend hundreds of dollars on a new pair of sunglasses. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a ton to find sunglasses with adequate UV protection. In fact, the price of the sunglasses doesn’t depend on the amount of UV protection they offer.

One of the most significant factors in price is brand. We all know that sometimes you’re paying for a particular logo on a product. Other than that, things like the style of frame, type of lens, and lens coating play into the price.

Brand Choice

If you’re not considering the brand for the price, you should consider it for the quality. Some brands have been around much longer and built a good amount of trust with other consumers. If you spend the money on a good pair of sunglasses, make sure you’re looking at high-quality brands within your budget.


Some people just want protection, but many wear sunglasses for fashion. If you’re one of those who likes to wear the latest styles, you have two choices. Buy new sunglasses as styles come and go. Or, you can go with a timeless style that never really changes. Aviator or large-rim frames are two styles that have been around for a long time and are probably not going anywhere soon.

Lens Type

Another major consideration is the type of lens in the sunglasses. Lens type is another factor that influences price heavily. Here are some of the most common types of lenses and lens coatings:

  • Prescription: You can order lenses for your sunglasses that match most prescriptions.

  • Non-prescription: People often associate “non-prescription” with less importance on where you get it. However, an optometrist clinic will carry many non-prescription sunglass options to ensure that your eyes remain healthy by protecting them from harmful UV rays.

  • Clip-on: If you wear glasses and don’t want to have a second pair of glasses, clip-on sunglasses are an option. There are a couple of ways these work. Two common clip-on styles are magnets and clasps.

  • UV protection: As we discussed above, ideally, you want UV 400 lenses if you want maximum protection from the sun’s damaging radiation.

  • Polarization: Keep in mind that polarized lenses don’t necessarily block out UV rays even though they are darker. Polarization provides clarity by blocking out specific wavelengths of light, which enhances colour and contrast. However, you can get polarized lenses with UV protection as well.

  • Anti-glare coating: Glare from water and other shiny or reflective surfaces can cause eyestrain and headaches. Getting an anti-glare coating on the lenses of your new sunglasses is a great way to add some additional protection.

Quite often, you’ll find that a good pair of sunglasses combines several of these. For example, you could have prescription sunglasses that are polarized with an anti-glare coating and have UV 400 protection.


Still undecided about your next pair of sunglasses? Stop by Vista Eyecare today or book an appointment and let our professional team help you find the perfect pair. If you need an exam for prescription sunglasses, we’re happy to book you in with one of our optometrists to ensure you have an up-to-date prescription.