Best Sunglasses Brands for You

Sunglasses placed at the top of the building

Have you ever grabbed a pair of sunglasses on a bright day, only to find out that they don't work, or worse, decrease your visibility? The chances are that you had a cheap, low-quality pair of sunglasses. Sometimes it's easier to buy any pair of sunglasses because we think that they all work the same. However, that's not the case. Good, high-quality sunglasses protect the eyes in ways that cheap sunglasses don't. That is the difference between the best sunglasses brands and your drug store off-brands. When you invest in a brand known for quality, you're buying a product that will not only last long but will protect your eyes the way that sunglasses were originally designed to do.

When I think of the best sunglasses brands, I always think of my high school friend Emily. Throughout school, she wore her Ray-Ban sunglasses. She loved those sunglasses more than anything else. I never understood why Emily was so attached to her Ray-Bans. Back then, I only wore cheap sunglasses and didn't see the difference. Looking back, I remember how Emily never squinted at anything when she wore her sunglasses. However, sometimes when I wore my sunglasses, I still squinted at bright light.

Furthermore, Emily's eyes looked healthy and relaxed. On the other hand, my eyes didn't look as healthy. I now know that Emily's eyes were in better shape because her Ray-Bans protected her from the harsh sun, in the way that a great pair of sunglasses is supposed to do.

Why Wear Sunglasses?

Good sunglasses protect the eyes from UV rays. UV rays can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium, which is a tissue growth over the conjunctiva, that is, the skin that covers the eyeball and insides of the eyelids. Pterygium, or "surfer's eye," can also cause astigmatism. The best sunglasses brands will block out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation, and protect the skin around the eyes the same way they protect the eyes from the sun's harsh light.

How Do Sunglasses Work?

High-quality sunglasses modify incoming light to match it to your eyes. When light becomes too bright for our eyes, we may see flashes of white. That is called glare. Prolonged exposure to glare can cause permanent eye damage, sometimes resulting in blindness. High-quality sunglasses block out the glare.

There are two other types of light that great sunglasses protect us from: direct light and reflected light. Direct light goes straight from the light source to your eyes. Too much direct light makes it painful for you to focus on anything. Reflected light is light that bounces off of a particular object and into your eyes. This light makes it difficult to see details or directly view an object. Sometimes reflected light comes in the form of glare. High-quality sunglasses reduce direct light to the point that it is comfortable, and decrease or eliminate reflected light.

Where Can I Buy Sunglasses?

sunglasses reflecting light

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You can find the best sunglasses brands at high-end retailers such as Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus. You can also find them on Amazon and different online retailers. It pays to shop around. Not only can you find exactly what you want, but you can often find a better deal if you don't buy the first pair you see. Beware, though, when purchasing from third-party sellers. There are a lot of knock-offs out there that people are passing off as the real thing.

How We Found The Best Sunglasses Brands

girls wearing sun glasses

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When we looked for the best sunglasses brands, we focused on the best features of each brand, customer reviews, and added anything that might make one brand stand out from another. We also diversified the choice of websites we used for the customer reviews. With the best sunglasses brands, some websites such as Amazon were not a good choice because reviews sometimes reflected dishonest sellers or fake products.

Photo by Ethan Robertson on Unsplash

The Best Sunglasses Brands: Our Top 10

Here are the best sunglasses brands in no particular order. Some brands are high-end and more expensive, while others are more affordable and consumer-friendly. All of them will protect your eyes and look great while doing it.

An Italian maker of eyewear, Persol makes durable and stylish sunglasses that last many years. The name "Persol" is from the Italian phrase "per il sole," which means "for the sun." The name highlights their function of protection against the sun's rays. The company was founded in 1917 by Giuseppe Ratti and has its headquarters in Italy. And their commitment to quality has paid off. Persol sunglasses can now be spotted on some of today's most famous faces.

Customers say that the sunglasses are stylish, high-quality, and comfortable. However, some customers said that the sunglasses are not worth the high price. 

Maui Jim Sunglasses | Ho'okipa 407 | Rimless Frame, Polarized Lenses, with Patented PolarizedPlus2 Lens Technology
  • Polarised: Yes
  • Frame Type: Rimless
  • Frame Shape: Rectangle
  • Frame Material: Acetate
  • Lens Colour: Maui Rose Polarised

This company started in Maui, Hawaii. Maui Jim makes sunglasses that protect from 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. The company works on finding new ways for their customers to see the world while shielding themselves from harsh sunlight. Customers say that the sunglasses have great lenses, are durable, stylish, and lightweight. However, some customers said that they don't give as much protection from the sun as they claim. 

Ray-Ban Aviator Classic,  Green Classic, 58 mm
  • Metal aviators featuring prescription-ready lenses with "RB" etched on left lens
  • The shape and curvature of these sunglasses may need adjustments. Adjustments should only be made by a professional.
  • Includes protective case
  • Polarized

Founded in 1937, and known as my friend Emily's favorite sunglasses, Ray-Ban is one of the most popular high-end sunglasses brands in the world. The brand has a reputation for stylish and comfortable sunglasses. Customers say that they are comfortable, fashionable, and fit well. However, some customers said that the sunglasses are too heavy and the lenses aren't what they expected.

Ic! Berlin Men's Eyeglasses Jens K. Black Full Rim Flex Optical Frame 55mm
  • Brand: Ic! Berlin Model: Jens K.
  • Style: Full Rim Rectangle Frame/Temple Colors: Black
  • Size: Lens-55 Bridge-16 Temple-145mm Gender: Men's
  • Frame Material: Flexible Metal RX-able
  • Made In: Germany

Founded in Germany in 1996, this sunglasses brand has its headquarters in Berlin. The company specializes in light and flexible sunglasses. Therefore, it is the go-to brand for consumers looking for comfort.

Customers say that they like the screwless frames and different temple options. Also, customers said that the sunglasses are comfortable, lightweight, and they fit well. However, some customers said that the sunglasses are not as indestructible as the company claims. 

Founded in New York in 1915, this family-owned sunglasses brand produces sunglasses with bold and classic designs. You can find frames in metal, acetate, and a combination of the two. Moscot also makes high-end glasses frames. As far as reviews, this brand is a little bit of a mystery. However, the brand does appear to be a favorite among celebrities. 

Randolph Aviator Polarized Sunglasses
  • Aviator-style sunglasses with metal frame, brow bar, and tipped arms
  • Case included ,Frame: 23K Gold, Bright Chrome, Gun Metal

Established in 1972 and headquartered in Randolph, Massachusetts, Randolph Engineering is the sunglasses brand associated with the U.S. government. They make their products in the United States. Furthermore, they produce thousands of sunglasses for the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force. Also, they have a reputation for creating some of the toughest and most durable sunglasses in the world.

Customers said that they liked that the nose pads stay on their face. Also, customers said that the sunglasses are stylish, lightweight, and have excellent optical quality. However, some customers said that the lenses are too dark and too large. 

American Optics Flight Gear Original Pilot Sunglass, 57-mm Gold Frame with Bayonet Temples, True Color Grey Glass Lens
  • Own these authentic military issue sunglasses.
  • A case is included with every purchase.
  • Choose the color that fits your lifestyle with either gold, black or chrome finish.
  • Bayonet temples and grey glass lenses complete these stylish sunglasses.
  • Made in U.S.A.

One of the oldest eyewear brands in the world, American Optical was founded in 1826 by William Beecher. The company makes sunglasses that are not only durable and last many years but are affordable for the average consumer. Also, the sunglasses are famous for being worn by Neil Armstrong and the crew of Apollo 11. Customers say that the sunglasses are stylish, sturdy, they fit well, and are high-quality. However, some customers said that they are too expensive and the angle of the blade presses into their head too much.

Founded in 2003, Mykita is a German eyewear brand known for its high-quality and long-lasting sunglasses. This award-winning company has its headquarters in Berlin. Customers say that the sunglasses are stylish and high-quality. We could not find any negative reviews for this brand. 

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Oliver Peoples started in 1987 and has a reputation for sunglasses that are detailed and have distinct frames. Customers say that they are durable, fit well, and are high-quality and high-class sunglasses. However, some customers said that the sunglasses have lousy durability. 

Established in 2010, Warby Parker is one of the newer sunglasses brands on the list. Their sunglasses are very stylish and more affordable than the other brands on our list. Also, they have a charitable side. They participate in a "buy one, give one" business model. Every time someone buys a pair of sunglasses, the company donates another pair to a non-profit organization. The company primarily sells their sunglasses online, but they have retail locations throughout the United States.

Customers say that the hinges and frames are smooth, and the sunglasses are stylish and comfortable. However, some customers said that the frames lean towards the smaller size. 

The Best of the Best

Sunglasses

Photo by Charles on Unsplash

When it comes to the best sunglasses brand for you, it all depends on what you're looking for. If a stylish brand that gives a good image is what you're aiming for, and you have the money to fork over, then Persol or Moscot are good choices. However, if you want durable and stylish sunglasses, but are on a budget, then Warby Parker or American Optical might be better. Either way, purchasing from one of the best sunglasses brands will save you money and frustration over the long run -- and it may even be better for your eyes.

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