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Photochromic vs. Polarised Glasses (What is the Difference?)

With countless different types of lenses available, it may be difficult to choose which is right for you. To make your decision easier, we will give an overview of photochromic vs. polarised glasses to help you find a great pair of glasses that best fits your lifestyle and personality.


What is the difference between polarised and photochromic lenses? 

Both photochromic sunglasses and polarised sunglasses effectively protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and are available in a diverse range of frame styles. Since both have similar underlying qualities, you can compare their distinct functions to see which will better benefit your daily life. Let’s take a look at the key features of photochromic vs. polarised glasses.


What are photochromic lenses?

Photochromic lenses, also known as Transitions® lenses, offer a great alternative between eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses

When UV rays are present, the molecules on the lenses change shape and absorb the light. This causes them to gradually darken to better protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation. When there is no UV exposure, the lenses revert back and become clear again. 

The lenses fluctuate from clear to dark shades depending on the level of UV rays in your environment. It is important to note that some photochromic lenses are not suitable for driving because the car windshield blocks the UV rays that normally cause the lenses to adjust. For example, Transitions Signature® Gen8™ lenses do not darken behind the windshield, but the Transitions XTRActive® lenses have more molecules, which allows them to transition while in the car.


What are polarised lenses? 

When the sun reflects off of surfaces such as water, metal, glass, and snow it causes a powerful, horizontal glare that can damage your eyes and cause squinting. polarised lenses have a distinct filter designed to reduce glare and boost visibility, increase clarity, and enhance contrast to make your surroundings more vibrant. 

When you purchase prescription polarised sunglasses, the lenses are always going to be tinted. Therefore, when you go from outdoors to indoors, you will need to carry an additional pair of clear eyeglasses to wear inside. 


Is polarised or photochromic better? 

polarised and photochromic lenses both have distinct qualities that make them difficult to compare. We encourage you to review their functionalities and decide which fits best with your lifestyle before determining the choice that is best for you.

Photochromic lenses are great for those who are always on the go. This choice is perfect for you if you prefer to have just one convenient pair of glasses that functions as both sunglasses and eyeglasses.

Alternatively, if you spend excessive time in bright conditions and are often burdened by glare, polarised sunglasses are a better fit to keep your eyes safe with maximum UV protection.



Now that you are more informed about the differences between photochromic and polarised lenses, you can move forward with purchasing your new pair of stylish glasses! At SmartBuyGlasses, we offer an extensive selection of men’s, women’s and kid’s sunglasses from 180+ designer brands, so you are sure to find the best pair to fit your personality. 

Browse our great selection of polarised sunglasses and photochromic glasses to inspire your fashionable, yet practical, new look.