It is a misconception that blue-light-blocking glasses help reduce eye strain when you spend all day looking at computer and smartphone screens. The truth of the matter is that the
best blue-light-blocking glasses have the most use when worn at night, as they help block out blue light that might keep you awake into the night.
If you suffer from repeated eye strain from staring at computers or devices all day, blue-light-blocking glasses aren't the best solution. Doctors recommend instead that
you take breaks from looking at your computer (some advise 20 seconds looking away for every 20 minutes of work). How Blue Light Affects Sleep
According to a sleep expert,
Dr. Lina Velikova, MD, PhD, "During the day, blue wavelengths boost alertness and improve our mood. However, exposure to blue light in the evening and especially close to bedtime can interfere with our sleep quality. This is because it inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates our circadian rhythm."
Dr. Velikova continues, "Our body starts releasing melatonin in the evening when the sun sets to prepare us for sleep. Although any kind of light can inhibit melatonin production, blue light has a much stronger effect, which is supported by
a study by Harvard researchers." Choosing The Right Blue-Light Glasses
What makes one pair of blue-light glasses any different or better than another? While aesthetics will play into which pair you pick (after all, the best pair is the pair you will wear), the key is how much light they block out.
The best glasses for reducing blue-light emissions will feature high-powered lenses that block up to 90 percent of blue light. In your search you'll find blue blockers that come with both clear and colored lenses. The main difference here is that only glasses with colored lenses truly "block" blue light. Glasses with clear lenses can
filter out blue light which, while not quite as effective offers a much less conspicuous overall look.
Here are some of the
best blue-light-blocking glasses out there, organized by function, design, and wearability to help you find your perfect pair.
Best Overall: J+S Vision Blue-Light Shield Glasses
What's Great About Them: These high-powered glasses don't mess around — they block 90 percent of blue light and 100 percent of harmful UV light. Plus, the lenses are made with a seven-layer, anti-reflective coating for maximum protection from long-term use of computers and other devices. Bonus: They come in a variety of shapes, styles, and colors so you can mix and match. Tradeoffs: This pair is slightly more expensive than other blue-light glasses, and reviewers note that despite the price increase, they don't prevent all blue light from leaking through (only 90 percent). What Fans Say: Most reviewers noticed an improvement in the quality of their sleep, with one reviewer writing, "I've never had to wear glasses but got interested in these when I heard they could aid sleep. The first night of sleep, after using these every time I used technology, was amazing."
Best Magnifying Lenses: Trust Optics Blue-Light Reading Glasses
What's Great About Them: Not only do these amber-tinted glasses reduce blue light, but they're also non-polarized, anti-glare, and you can choose the magnification strength you'd like before you purchase. For example, you can go with no magnification at all, or all the way up to 2.5 times the magnification so that you don't have to strain to read small print on a screen. On top of that, the frames are constructed with lightweight, impact-resistant nylon so they're extremely durable. Tradeoffs: Some people noted that while the frames are flexible, the lenses tend to smudge and even scratch easily. If you go with this pair, be sure to use the included carrying case to keep them clean and scratch-free. What Fans Say: "Nice looking glasses, the best thing is they actually work very good, you can actually see the blue light reflected on the glasses, my eyes aren't getting tired anymore, even though I work till 3 or 4am, I can go to sleep no problem after it, my aren't getting red either, love these glasses."
Best Transparent Lenses: Cyxus Blue Light Filter Computer Glasses
What's Great About Them: These square-framed glasses look exactly like regular glasses while reducing blue-light emissions. The lenses are transparent, but unlike other glasses, they feature HEV substrate absorption technology so they can literally absorb blue light while you read or watch TV. The frames are made of sturdy plastic and designed to fit different sized heads and face shapes. Plus, each pair even comes with its own mini blue light so you can put the lenses to the test yourself. Tradeoffs: Some reviewers noted that although the glasses fit around their ears nicely, the frames themselves were pretty large on their faces. Other reviewers mention that the construction is a bit flimsy near the hinges, so you'll have to be careful to watch out for loose screws. What Fans Say: "I noticed the biggest difference when using them in the darkness, the contrast of the dark room and bright screen usually strains my eyes but not so much anymore. I also found that it is easier for me to sleep almost immediately after using my computer which is a huge boon! I never expected blue light to have such an impact in that department."
You Might Also Want: Blue-Light-Blocking Clip-Ons For Your Own Glasses
What's Great About Them: These clip-on lenses are fantastic if you already have prescription glasses that you need for your vision. You can easily attach these to your favorite pair of glasses by pinching the bridge to clip them on. These block out more than 99 percent of blue light to protect your eyes when you're ready for bed at night. Even better, they come in a daytime and a nighttime version. The nighttime glasses (pictured above), have an orange tint to them to maximize the amount of blue light they block. In turn, the daytime glasses are a bit more discreet, and have yellow tinted lenses for a lower-profile look if you wear them out and about during the day. Tradeoffs: If you don't already wear glasses, these aren't for you. They don't have any arms, so you won't be able to use them if you can't clip them to your own glasses. What Fans Say: "These were recommended to me by my neurologist for sleep issues... Seems to be working. I’ve been wearing them for about three hours at night before bed and my sleep seems to be improving. I definitely feel less eye strain and an almost calming effect when wearing them. I have added about an hour or two of sleep and that was my goal! I plan on ordering more!"
You Might Also Want: Blue-Light Glasses Designed To Slide Over Your Own Glasses
What's Great About Them: You can get these blue-light glasses with either 95 percent or 99 percent blue-light-blocking capabilities. That means they'll block out nearly all of the blue light emanating from your technology. While these glasses are designed to slip over your existing pair, you can also wear them as standalone glasses. That makes them more versatile than any other pair on this list. They even have a 100 percent fit guarantee, so if you try them on and they don't quite work, you can get a refund. Tradeoffs: These aren't quite as durable as some of the other pairs of glasses on this list. But, reviewers say the company's customer service is outstanding and that it's easy to get a replacement pair if you have any issues. What Fans Say: "I start wearing them about an hour before going to sleep and they've helped so much with my now former sleep issues. They're really comfortable with or without my prescription glasses, although I prefer without but either way, they feel light on the face." Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments. This post was originally published on October 6th, 2018. It was updated and republished on June 19th, 2019. Additional reporting by Amy Biggart.