Fashion

The 10 Best Sunglasses For UV Protection

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Whether you’re headed to the beach, the trails, or simply driving to and from work, the best sunglasses for UV protection can help you protect your eyes and showcase your personal style simultaneously. But before you start shopping, there are a few important factors to consider. According to Health, selecting shades that offer 100% UV protection from both UVA and UVB rays is the most important thing you can do to protect your eyes. To ensure you're getting that full protection, look for sunglasses with UV400 labels that offer both UVA and UVB protection.

It's also worth nothing that polarized lenses can help protect your peepers too, because they reduce glare brought on by reflection or horizontal light. These can be particularly helpful for driving, whether it’s snowing or super sunny outside. But keep in mind that while polarized lenses might be able to keep you from squinting, they don’t actually provide any UV protection on their own. To protect you from harmful UV rays, polarized lenses need to be combined with a UV-blocking substance.

The last criteria to consider is style, which is entirely dependent on your personal preferences. Some glasses are strictly for fashion, while others blend style and utility to give you fashionable yet practical options for all sorts of occasions. Whatever your sunglasses needs may be, you're sure to find a pair below that provides optimal protection from harmful UV rays.

All of the picks below are $30 or less and come highly rated on Amazon.

1

The Best Aviators: J+S Premium Military Style Classic Aviator Sunglasses

J+S Vision lenses are 400UV rated — but the fact that they boast a 4.3-star rating and over 7,000 reviews on Amazon is equally impressive. These shades also come with polarized, multi-layer lenses specifically designed to filter and block over 99.96% of glare. Whether you're headed to the beach or festival-bound, this pick is the perfect choice for any outdoor activity. Plus, they bear a striking resemblance to the always-stylish Ray Ban Aviator.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “These are great aviators for the price. They look classic and don't have oversized / outlandish proportions like some other aviators. The polarization was iphone friendly (I could see my iphone and macbook screen perfectly fine while wearing these). They were comfortable to wear, didn't slide off my face easily, and had a good level of tint without being too dark when walking in to the house from outside.”

2

The Best Oversized: GQUEEN Women's Oversized Polarized Metal Frame Mirrored Cat Eye

These oversized sunglasses promise 100% UV400 protection — which means they'll effectively block harmful UVA and UVB rays. They claim to be great for all occasions — from driving to running to fishing — but the mirrored lenses and cat-eye frames make them super fashionable. This gorgeous pick is also ideal for extra sunny beach days when you might want the added protection of oversized frames, which may help prevent squinting around the extra-delicate eye area. Plus, Amazon shoppers give them a 4.3-star rating and hundreds of positive reviews.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “They're dark enough to be WORTH it to wear them, but not so dark you can't see the moment the sun isn't directly overhead. They're adorable, perfect size, look SO good. I get compliments over and over wearing them, even when I'm in my pajamas just trying to let the dog out without going blind.They are incredibly sturdy, they're not at all flimsy. They come with a soft carry bag, and a soft lens wipe, and comes in a quality cardboard box to keep them protected during delivery. I am WAY more than satisfied and I will be looking for more options from the brand!”

3

The Best Tortoiseshell: SOJOS Classic Square Polarized Sunglasses

These classic tortoiseshell sunnies are a solid choice for everything from walking to shopping to traveling. They offer UV400 protection, which means they’re capable of blocking 100% of harmful UVA and UVB rays — and they're anti-reflective sunglasses with HD polarized lenses to keep glare at bay. Even better? This pick boasts a 4.5-star rating and over 4,200 reviews.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “First of all I am still in shock that these sunglasses were so nice. I bought them for the style and look [...] I was going on a trip and needed some sunglasses I wouldn’t cry over if I didn’t return with them (always lose mine). These sunglasses were packaged beautifully. They came with a polarized tester! [...] BUY THESE!! Crazy good deal you won’t be disappointed!”

4

The Best For Driving: ELITERA Brand Polarized Sunglasses

These funky shades offer multiple lens color options and work great for any activity, but their HD polarized lenses and full-glare barrier make them a particularly solid choice for driving. Importantly, ELITERA Brand polarized sunglasses come with 100% UV400 protection lenses. Plus, Amazon shoppers give this pick a 4.4-star rating and hundreds of positive reviews.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I love these shades, so glad I purchased two pairs! Retro, stylish, and great fit. When I am wearing these I feel like I am wearing regular glasses, everything is clear no tint. I haven't worn them on the water yet for the true test but driving is amazing. For the price I will keep buying these over my maui Jim's any day!!!”

5

The Best For Outdoor Activities: Gear District Polarized UV400 Sport Sunglasses

As the name suggests, Gear District Polarized UV400 Sport Sunglasses have polarized lenses, making them particularly great for outdoor activities. This pick also comes with a UV400 protection label, and they promise to block 100%of harmful UVA and UVB rays while blocking 99% of glare. This sporty style has earned a 4.2-star rating on Amazon and over 1,500 reviews as well. They can be used as everyday wear, but they’re specifically designed to be worn during biking, driving, running, fishing, racing, skiing, climbing, trekking or other outdoor activities.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “These sunglasses are fantastic for sand volleyball. I'd never had polarized sunglasses before, and now I can't imagine what I would do without them. When I wear them, everything is so clear, they come with a cloth to clean it (which works a lot better than my sweaty, sandy shirt), and the case is so great to have so I'm not worried about them breaking in my volleyball bag. I also really like the way they curve to stay on my head. These glasses stay put and you don't have to constantly push them up your nose after sweating. Seriously a great buy for the price. My boyfriend got so jealous, he got a pair for himself, and I'll probably buy a couple more to put in all my sports bags so I never have to be without them.”

6

The Most Popular: SUNGAIT Vintage Round Sunglasses

SUNGAIT vintage round sunglasses promise UV400 protection with polarized lenses — plus, they boast a 4.7-star rating and over 11,100 reviews. These shades are highly fashionable and versatile — but they’re also shatter-proof with high-definition lenses that claim to have glare-blocking capabilities, which makes them ideal for everything from beach days to road trips.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “These are really great, and I’m picky about sunglasses. For what you pay, I was skeptical. I have two Ray-bans, and I reach for these way more because they are polarized (some models), comfortable, lightweight, and stay on my face well. I’ve never had glasses accomplish everything I need [...] I sound like an ad, but there were no negatives for me. I got my friend to buy them too, and she loves them too.”

7

The Best Wood Frames: Eye Love Polarized Sunglasses

Eye Love polarized sunglasses promise 100% UV protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays, and they boast a 4-star rating with over 1,600 reviews to back them up. This pick also comes with glare-proof, polarized lenses for added protection, and each purchase comes with a free e-book on eye health. These shades are ideal for anyone who wants to protect their eyes and look great in the process, but they’re also especially great for people who like it when their purchases help someone in need. According to Eye Love, 700 million people are blind due to lack of glasses. That’s why, for every product purchased, the company gives an eye exam, glasses, and sunglasses to someone in need.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Wow, I am really impressed with these sunglasses. I just came upon this brand when I was searching Amazon for decent quality, affordable sunglasses. These fit the bill and then some. They look just like wayfarer sunglasses, and the "wood" temples give the glasses a unique look that I love. The tint of the lenses is quite dark (which is what I wanted) and they are polarized. They really do keep out the sun rays, even in direct sunlight. I also love that buying from this brand contributes to building clinics in countries and areas that do not have them, and to provide eye care to those who would not get it otherwise.”

8

The Best For Kids: Pro Acme TPEE Kids Polarized Sunglasses

Pro Acme kids' polarized sunglasses come with UVA and UVB ultraviolet-blocking lenses that boast 100% protection from harmful UV rays, and as the name suggests, these shades offer polarized lenses as well. The “unbreakable,” soft, rubber frames were designed specifically for young, active kids, ages three to 10 — and they should be large enough to cover your young child’s eye area without being too bulky. Additionally, Amazon shoppers love this pick, giving them an impressive 4.6-star rating.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “They fit my daughter perfectly. I was afraid they’d be too small since so many reviews seem to be for toddlers. They do a great job protecting her eyes. Before she’d come home with red eyes from the sun but now that she wears these that is no longer happening. I also like how the frame is so flexible. I’m very happy with this purchase.”

9

The Best Retro Shades: YDAOWKN Classic Vintage Aviator Sunglasses

These retro-inspired sunglasses are just $13, but they have all the features you want in a pair of on-trend sunglasses that still offer great protection. Both the lenses and the frames are made from lightweight plastic that weight just 28 grams, so you’ll barely feel them when they’re on. The UV400 lenses block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays, and you can choose from a wide variety of colors and patterns for both the frames and the lenses. They’re sold both as singles and in two-packs, that way if you lose a pair, you can have another on hand. They come with a soft cleaning cloth, a soft bag, and a carrying case.

Enthusiastic Amazon review: “These glasses are the best. First off aesthetic af. Practicality, I live in SoCal where the sun can be harsh so I do feel these protected my blue eyes from the uv rays. We also have these marine layers by the coast that make everything gloomy, but these yellow tints make everything like bright sunshine again [...] Such a steal :)”

10

The Splurge: Revo Maxie Navigator Sunglasses

The Revo Maxie sunglasses have a navigator style, so they have the same width as aviators at the top, but flatten out at the bottom of the lenses rather than narrowing to a point. The polarized lenses are made from a super durable nylon material called Serilium+ that the brand developed in collaboration with NASA in order to provide the most complete light-management possible. That means these lenses not only protect against 100% of UVA and UVB rays, but they also can help to block blue-light. Whether you’re looking at your devices or are out hiking, boating, or driving, you’ll have a clear field of vision. The frames are made from lightweight stainless steel, and they have adjustable nose pads so you can get the right fit.

Editor’s note: “I have never been quite as obsessed with a pair of sunglasses as I am with my Revo Maxies. I do a ton of outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing, and these glasses stay in place through all of my adventures. I can see more clearly through these lenses than any others, and even on the brightest days, I can be in direct sunlight out on the water. I love the aviator style, but I have a round face, so the look of these navigators suits me better, too.” — Carina Finn