What are Polarized Sunglasses and How Do They Work?


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What Are Polarized Sunglasses?

Polarized sunglasses are equipped with special light blocking capabilities that can help with certain outdoor conditions like glare and light reflection making them great for driving and other outdoor activities.

Wearing polarized lenses can make colors appear bright and vivid, as well as, preserve your eye health. For anyone whose vision is lacking, this can be helpful.

Later in this article, we will discuss the best polarized sunglasses for individuals, activities, and prices.

Feel free to use our Table of Contents above to navigate directly there or read on to learn more.

Polarized vs Non-Polarized Sunglasses

The difference between polarized and regular sunglasses is in the lenses. Regular sunglasses have a curved lens that mirrors the light, while polarized sunglasses have a lens that filters out light.

Polarized lenses are more expensive than regular lenses.

If not properly cared for, polarized sunglasses lose polarization capabilities when scratched, but they provide better protection from UV rays which can cause skin cancer and cataracts, and more.

Are Polarized Sunglasses Better?

The answer to this question is not that straightforward.  The better question is are polarized sunglasses better for YOU.

Polarized Sunglasses are helpful in a number of scenarios.  Some believe that polarized sunglasses are good for driving because glare is reduced and the visibility of objects is improved.

Others use polarized shades for fishing because water reflections are lessened and more light is transmitted through the lens.

Golfers often use polarized sunglasses because they reduce glare, so the golfer can see the ball more clearly flying toward the green or on sun-drenched courses.

Are Polarized Sunglasses Better

Many baseball players prefer polarized lenses because they cut down on haze, so the batter can pick up the spin on pitches with greater ease.

Skiers can prevent snow blindness by donning a pair of polarized glasses and reducing the amount of UV reflection off of the snow.

To be more general, polarized eyewear dramatically reduces glare and reflections and improves clarity and contrast for more clarity of sight.

Polarized sunglasses were originally popular for athletes who had a need for serious glare reduction.

With time, these glasses have found a wider use among people who spend most of their time outdoors in an abundance of sunlight.

How do Polarized Sunglasses Work?

When light strikes surfaces, such as water, snow, glass, or pavement, the light is reflected horizontally from that surface toward you.

This reflected light is called a glare and can be much more intense than direct sunlight, causing limited vision or even eye irritation.

A polarized lens is a filter that blocks out all horizontal light waves while allowing vertical light waves (natural light) to continue through.

These lenses are used to reduce glare from water, snow, and other reflective surfaces.

What Are Polarized Sunglasses

Polarized lenses are useful for people who would like to reduce glare from water or snow or those who live in areas where there is a lot of sunlight.

Polarized lenses come in different colors and they all provide the same level of protection against some UV light rays and glare.

They also reduce the amount of light coming through them which is why they may be uncomfortable for some people at first because it will make everything seem darker than usual.

Are Polarized Sunglasses UV Protected?

Polarized sunglasses are designed to reduce the glare caused by sunlight. It does this by blocking most of the UV rays that are responsible for creating glare.

UV is short for ultraviolet rays that are found in sunlight. This range of light includes wavelengths between 10 nm and 400 nm.

They are shorter than visible light waves, which is why they’re often called “ultraviolet” light.

Polarized sunglasses work by filtering out some of the UV rays on their way to your eyes, so you don’t see as much glare reflected on them.

What Are Polarized Sunglasses

The polarized lenses work with vertical and horizontal lines on top and bottom to filter out some incoming UV rays, which reduces the amount of glare you see.

If you are looking for polarized sunglasses that protect you from the sun, then there are some factors that you need to consider.

You should first find out if the sunglasses pass the ANSI Z87.1 2015 UV Protective Standards. This will ensure that your eyes are protected from ultraviolet light.

You should also look at the lens base color because it will tell you how much UV protection they offer.

Benefits Of Polarized Sunglasses

Glasses are polarized when the light waves are scattered by the material in the lenses.

The polarized lenses make it easier on your eyes because they reduce glare and reflections.

Cheaper versions that claim to be polarized are often only coated in tint.  There are two general types of polarization: linear and circular.

Linear polarization, used in polarized glasses, blocks all horizontal light waves while circular polarization (camera lenses) blocks some light waves while allowing some through.

Linear polarized lenses will not allow any glare or reflections into your eyes, but you can see clearly what is happening outside of your glasses.

Enhanced Eye Comfort

Polarized lenses decrease the glare from direct sunlight, making them a more comfortable option when outdoors.

The polarized lens enables you to see your surroundings more clearly by reducing glare.

Polarized shades make the world around you look more vibrant.

They also provide increased contrast for less eye strain and an improved viewing experience of your surroundings.

With polarized lenses, you will also be able to see brighter and more colorful marine life underwater, which is why they are well used in water sports.

Reduced Exposure to UV Light

Overexposure to ultraviolet light can impair your vision over time.

Exposure to UV radiation can cause cataracts, which in turn can cause Macular Degeneration and other eye problems.

Polarized lenses filter the harmful UVA and UVB rays coming from the sun, protecting your eyes while reducing your risk of sun exposure.

Superior Visual Clarity

Under-exposed objects, when polarized eyewear is worn, often have stronger saturation of colors as a result of a filtered reflection.

Polarized lenses provide a better contrast of colors even in intense lighting and this is due to the fact that it filters the horizontal light patterns.

The improved color clarity results in a better visual experience.

Now that you have the answers to the question “What are polarized sunglasses,” let’s get into some of the most popular polarized shades for individuals and activities.

Oh and we didn’t forget to share the best sunglasses for the price either.

Most Popular Polarized Sunglasses for Women

Contra Del Mar Anaa

Best Polarized Sunglasses For Women

Spoil yourself with Costa Del Mar‘s Anaa polarized sunglasses, named after one of the world’s most unspoiled beaches.

The teacup-shaped sunglasses will give you full coverage and a perfect fit.

If you daydream of combing beaches or spend your day relaxing by the seashore, you can let the sun caress you while leaving your eyes alone.

Wearing these glasses will make you want to grab your surfboard and hit the water.

Sporty Look that Matches your Daring Personality With Equally Bold Fashion

Ray-Ban Erika

What Are Polarized Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Erika sunglasses are the perfect way to accessorize your ensemble.

The classic and bright frames with metal temples and tone-on-tone tips will have all eyes turning toward you.

The oversized shape achieves extra coverage and 100% UV protection while balancing a light load on the soft bridge to add a twist to the design.

Choose from an assortment of frame colors and lens treatments that include green gradient, gray gradient, or brown gradient.

Frame color options include blue, white, and gray with a polished mirror effect.

Ray Ban Erika
Ray Ban Erika
Perfect Eyewear to Complete Any Look

Most Popular Polarized Sunglasses for Men

Oakley Holbrook

Oakley Holbrook Polarized Sunglasses

From the boardroom to the open road, do your life in a state of adventure with Oakley‘s Holbrook.

These sunglasses are the perfect balance of classic style and modern technology. You’ll love them from day one to day ten thousand.

Inspired by decades-old Hollywood fashion, this timeless design embodies the spirit of exploration and adventure.

For those who want performance and style combined, the iconic American frame design is accented by metal rivets and Oakley icons.

Oakley Holbrook Polarized Sunglasses
Oakley Holbrook Polarized Sunglasses
Oakley's Most Popular Look Fitting Any Occasion
Starting @ $158.00

Ray Ban New Wayfarer Classic

What Are Polarized Sunglasses

A classic and timeless design, go back to the roots of Ray-Ban with these New Wayfarer Classic sunglasses.

The design of these sunglasses has been inspired by the original wayfarer iconic shape while offering a smaller size with a slightly softer eye shape.

Choose classic black frames in a variety of lens treatments including crystal green, bi-gradient, G-15 polarized, and mirror styles.

All Ray-Ban New Wayfarer Classic sunglasses are designed to offer an easy fit with a high level of visual clarity and protection.

Ray Ban Wayfarer Classic
Ray Ban Wayfarer Classic
Ray Ban's Iconic Design with a Slightly Smaller Frame and Pantoscopic Tilt
Starting @ $200.00

Best Polarized Sunglasses for Big Heads

Best Polarized Sunglasses For Big Heads

No, we are not talking about your ego here, these are people with more area to cover from ear to ear.  We need sunglasses too!

Oakley offers a pretty good variety of XL sunglasses.  As one with a big noggin can attest to it will more likely come down to taste and style.

The previously mentioned Oakley Holbrook comes in XL, but there are plenty of additional options.

We have listed all of the frames Oakley offers in XL that we could find that also come with polarized lenses.

Click on the link to your preferred frame below to be taken to Oakley’s official website to find the perfect set for you:

Polarized Eyewear By Activity

Polarized Fishing Sunglasses

Costa Del Mar FanTail

Costal Del Mar Fantail Polarized Sunglasses

Founded in 1983, Costa Del Mar company offers innovative and high-quality sunglasses and eyewear with a focus on competitive sailing.

They were the official gear of the Stars and Stripes team in the America’s Cup racing contest by 1986.

Since then, Costa Del Mar has become one of the most popular polarized sunglass manufacturers among surfers & recreational fishermen due to their superior sun glare protection.

Nowadays, their sunglasses are popular in the sports industry, often considered great for outdoor Summer activities, and perfect for recreational sports activities, such as fishing and boating.

You will have 5 frame choices and too many lens choices to count.

Costa Del Mar Fantail
Costa Del Mar FanTail
Stay Ready to hit the Flats or Hook a Deepsea Behemoth
Starting at $179.00

Most Popular Polarized Cycling Sunglasses

Oakley Flight Jacket

Oakley Flight Jacket Polarized Sunglasses

Oakley Flight Jacket
Aerodynamic engineering makes this speed specialist the ultimate eyewear for cycling, running and beyond.
An open-edge brow maximizes the upper field of view, and our new Advancer nose bridge instantly opens airflow to combat fogging and overheating.

Oakley Flight Jacket features a Brow-less design that allows for an improved upper field of view.

Advancer’s nose bridge positions the frame to block light while opening airflow to combat fogging and overheating.

Costa Del Mar Fantail
Costa Del Mar FanTail
Anti Glare, Fogless, and Aerodynamic For Cyclers Around the World
Starting at $232.00

Polarized Driving Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Aviators

Ray Ban Aviator Total Black Polarized Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses are synonymous with quality, timeless design, and the look of a true aviator.

Ray-Ban Aviators were originally designed for U.S. aviators in 1937 and are still one of the most iconic sunglass models in the world.

Featuring lightweight wire frames for comfort, 100% polarized lenses to eliminate glare, and gray signature mirror coating to reduce eye fatigue, these sunglasses are lightweight but provide exceptional clarity.

The perfect way to protect your eyes and take in the world around you, these Ray-Ban Aviators are just for you.

With a durable gold frame and a range of lens colors, you’ll be able to see the world from a new perspective.

Ray-Ban Aviator Total Black Polarized Sunglasses
Ray-Ban Aviator Total Black Polarized Sunglasses
From L.A. to St. Tropez and Soho to Tokyo, Ray-Ban is the brand of sunglasses preferred by true individuals worldwide. Setting the standard for excellence, Ray-Ban consistently combines great styling with exceptional quality, performance, and comfort.
Starting at $178.00

Polarized Golf Sunglasses

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL

Oakley Half Jacket Polarized Sunglasses Golf

The Half Jacket 2.0 XL sunglasses come with an interchangeable lens system so that you can optimize your vision to different golf environments, as the course changes visually.

Oakley applied over 45 years of experience to bring you cutting-edge technology in the Half Jacket 2.0 series.

Capitalizing on their expertise in eyewear, these glasses provide the perfect lightweight fit whilst still providing all-day comfort and excellent sun protection.

Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 Xl Prizm Polar Sunglasses
Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 XL Prizm Polar Sunglasses
If you’re trying to keep up with the competition, you need to keep up with changing light. We engineered Half Jacket 2.0 to let you swap out the lenses with ease.
Starting at $96.00

Polarized Hiking Sunglasses

Sunski Treeline Polarized Sunglasses

Sunski Treeline Polarized Sunglasses

We know how hikers LOVE light gear.  The Sunski Treeline polarized sunglasses weigh less than an ounce and feature rubber nose pads for those bumpy trails.

They include Magna-Snap side kicks to block glare without eliminating your peripheral and may even keep a bug or two out of your eyes.

When you are not on an adventure, the Magna-Snap sidekicks easily detach.

Each pair of Sunski Treelines are made with recycled plastic frames to turn trash into shades.

Sunski Treeline Polarized Sunglasses
Sunski Treeline Polarized Sunglasses
Removable Side Panels Cut Glare while Maintaining Your Peripheral Vision

Cheap Sunglasses

Cheap Sunglasses

Or should we say Cheap(er)…

Although ZZ Top is one of my favorite bands of all time, this is not the Cheap Sunglasses we are referring to here.

Not everyone has the budget to lay down a couple of hundred dollars for sunglasses.  So we also found some great deals on glasses you would normally have to maybe break the bank on.

Best Deals On Sunglasses Under 100 Dollars

Revo Remus

What Are Polarized Sunglasses

Founded in 1985, Revo has quickly become a global performance eyewear brand and a leader in polarized lens technology.

Revo was established in 1985 and quickly became a sought-after global eyewear brand. They also lead the way in polarized lens technology.

Revo has been manufacturing sunglasses for thirty years now and continues to do so with the most advanced and high-contrast technology on the market.

Utilizing space-age technology to craft their lenses, you can protect your eyes with added confidence.

Nearly three decades later, Revo continues to build on its rich tradition of technology and innovation by offering the clearest and most advanced high-contrast polarized sunglass available.

Revo Remus Polarized Sunglasses
Revo Remus Polarized Sunglasses
Universally flattering from the Farmer's Market to the Beach
$99.00 $189.00

Ralph Ralph Lauren Tort RL5049

What Are Polarized Sunglasses

The Ralph RA 5049 by Ralph Lauren is a great pair of sunglasses from the Ralph Lauren collection.

These stylish sunglasses have a variety of features to help you look your best.

At 54 millimeters, they are fully rimmed all the way around, which creates a sense of completeness and security, while also adding style.

Gradient tinted lenses are a trendy, fashionable choice that starts out dark at the top and gradually lighten towards the bottom to add depth.

They are carefully constructed to display a bold look and stylish flair.

Polarized lenses remove nearly 100% of surface glare and can be beneficial for all outdoor activities.

The semi-cat-eye shape puts off that subtle feminine cunning look.

Ralph Ralph Lauren Ra 5049 Tort Turquoise Polarized Sunglasses
Ralph Ralph Lauren RA 5049 Tort Turquoise Polarized Sunglasses
The Perfect Blend of Fashion and Fun for Your Summer!
$93.99 $134.00

Best Polarized Glasses Under 50

Knockaround Sunglasses

What Are Polarized Sunglasses

Knockaround is the original affordable sunglass company in San Diego, CA. founded by Adam “Ace” Moyer in 2005.

Founder Adam “ACE” Moyer, started the company centered around durable shades that are both practical and stylish.

Knockaround offers high-quality sunglasses in fifteen different frame styles in a wide range of colors that won’t break the bank.

In addition, Knockaround provides Limited Editions, collaborations, and an interactive “design your own” CUSTOM shop.

Prices are from $15-$30 dollars and there are plenty of frames to choose from.

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