By Meredith Marmurek
If you’ve ever shopped for glasses, you know you have plenty of choices when it comes to the color, size, and style of your frames. But what about the frame material? Read on to learn more about plastic vs. metal glasses.
For the widest variety of shapes, colors, and patterns, plastic frames are the way to go. Take a look at some of our favorites:
- The Linda is a bestseller from our Sofia Vergara® x Foster Grant® collection. It’s available with fully magnified or multifocal lenses in five different colors and patterns.
- The Malcolm is a modern square frame made with 50% recycled plastic.* It comes with fully magnified lenses and in three color options.
In addition to all the styles and options available, plastic frames have numerous other benefits. They are also:
- Lightweight – Plastic is light enough that you can wear your glasses comfortably for hours at a time.
- Budget-friendly – Many plastic frames are available for under $25, including all of our bestselling readers.
- Hypoallergenic – The materials used in plastic glasses typically don’t cause an allergic reaction, so people with sensitive skin are usually able to wear them.
- Nonobstructive – If you wear a style with a light color inside the frame, you probably won’t notice your glasses in your peripheral vision.
But plastic frames do have a few drawbacks:
- They may break more easily than metal frames.
- It’s difficult to adjust them by yourself.
- Sun exposure and general wear and tear can weaken plastic frames over time.
- They may melt if left in extreme high temperatures (like a hot car) for several hours.
While plastic frames may have more color choices, most eyeglass frames are made from metal or a combination of both metal and plastic. Titanium, beryllium, nickel, and stainless steel are a few of the materials used to make metal frames.
Here are a couple styles we love:
- The Lubbock Bifocal is an iconic aviator frame that comes in gray and gold.
- The Sawyer Multi Focus Reader is a rectangular frame available in gunmetal gray and classic black.
Metal frames offer numerous benefits to wearers. They are:
- Durable – Metal frames are noncorrosive and can last a long time.
- Lightweight – Our metal frames are lightweight so they’re comfortable to wear all day.
- Easy to adjust – Metal frames typically have nose pads that can be made tighter or looser because they aren’t built in.
- Available in numerous frame types and styles – For example, the Magnum is a popular semi-rimless frame and the Cerritos has a unique geometric shape.
Metal frames also have some cons, such as:
- Many metal frames contain nickel, a common allergen that can lead to a skin reaction called contact dermatitis. However, some metal options are considered hypoallergenic (and/or nickel-free), including titanium and stainless steel frames.
- Metal glasses are most commonly available in standard metallic shades of gold and silver, so there aren’t as many colors and patterns to choose from as with plastic frames.
You may have heard the term “wire frames” in reference to glasses. Wire is not a material; it’s a component made of metal. Wire frames can be used to describe glasses with a metal frame, like the square-shaped Rowland frames in our Styles for Y.O.U.™ collection.
Metal and Plastic Combination Frames
If you can’t decide between metal and plastic frames, we have numerous styles made with both materials. Here are two popular pairs:
- The Tristan is a round unisex style with a plastic frame front and metal arms.
- The Dunlap Bifocal is a browline frame with a cool retro vibe. The thick top part of the frame is made with plastic while metal is used for the nose bridge.
- The Carina is a semi-rimless cat-eye reader with a metal rim over the lenses and plastic-encased wire temples for added style and color.
To see all the different frames we have available, shop Readers.com. We have a wide variety of styles and materials so you’re sure to find your next favorite pair of glasses.
*Recycled content is calculated by mass balance.