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-percent 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. A Classic Aviator Pair With A Cult Following
J+S Vision lenses are 400UV rated — but the fact that they boast a 4.3-star rating and over 5,000 reviews on Amazon is equally impressive. These shades also come with polarized, multi-layer lenses specifically designed to filter and block over 99.96 percent 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.
What fans are saying: “So, I broke my Ray Bans and was looking for a replacement. The Ray Bans were going for $150+ and the J+S Aviators were like $16. So I thought I'd give them a try. These glasses rock!”
2. The Best Oversized Pair
These oversized sunglasses promise 100-percent 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.
What fans are saying: “Super cute. I usually have a hard time finding fashionable cute sunglasses that look good on me. These do the trick! I picked them out because they were [polarized] and uv400 protection. This was super important for me as I had just gotten lasik done and my eyes will be pretty sensitive to light. Wearing these my eyes have been comfortable. They also feel very sturdy."
3. The Best Classic Tortoiseshell Shade
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-percent 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 4.6-star rating and over 1,300 reviews.
What fans are saying: “These are super stylish and comfortable to wear. They also look way more expensive than they are. The packaging was also super cute.”
4. A Unisex Pair With Multiple Lens Color Options
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-percent UV400 protection lenses. Plus, Amazon shoppers give this pick a 4.4-star rating and hundreds of positive reviews.
What fans are saying: “I love them when I drive in all the Minnesota seasons. A hot, humid, sunny day, thunderstorms, or an icy snow storm. They get me safely home. It takes the glare off the roads. I don't like to be without them. It helps my stigmatism too.”
5. The Best Pair For Hiking, Running, & Biking
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 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays while blocking 99 percent of glare. This sporty style has earned a 4.2-star rating on Amazon and over 700 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.
What fans are saying: “I got these specifically for distance running. They’re lightweight and stay in place with every stride. The added accessories are nice, I really like the case it comes in — it's handy for storage in my gym bag so that whatever else is tumbling around, it doesn’t scratch the lenses. These do a good job at eliminating glare when outside.”
6. A Retro Pair With Over 4,000 Reviews
SUNGAIT vintage round sunglasses promise UV400 protection with polarized lenses — plus, they boast a 4.7-star rating and over 4,000 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.
What fans are saying: “Oh my gosh these are awesome! I was shopping for sunglasses yesterday and really liked the Ray Ban Erikas, but couldn’t bring myself to pay that much. Looked online and found these. I couldn’t decide so I ordered both tortoise shell and black polarized. They are every bit as nice as the expensive brand name ones and I only paid a fraction of the price and got two pairs!”
7. A Wood-Accented Pair That Lets You Help Someone In Need
Eye Love polarized sunglasses promise 100 percent UV protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays, and they boast a 4-star rating with over 1,700 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.
What fans are saying: “I love the sunglasses, and the fact that I helped someone else get their much needed glasses.”
8. The Best Pair For Kids
Pro Acme kids' polarized sunglasses come with UVA and UVB ultraviolet-blocking lenses that boast 100 percent 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 4.5-star rating.
What fans are saying: “I bought these for my kid to use while playing baseball. They stay on great and really help the vision on those days when the sun is a factor!”
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.