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.
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 that complete coverage.
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.
Almost all of the 10 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 aviator sunglasses are UV-400 rated to block both UVA and UVB rays, and they come in a perennially chic style. These shades also come with polarized, multi-layer lenses specifically designed to block 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: “I had been looking for a pair like this for a long time, meaning the particular style. They fit great, can see clearly through them and now I wear them when driving and outdoors. I even bought a 2nd pair in case I lose them.” Available styles: 7 (including some mirrored lens options) 2 The Best Oversized: GQUEEN Oversized Polarized Mirrored Cat Eye
oversized polarized sunglasses promise 100% UV-400 protection — which means they'll effectively block harmful UVA and UVB rays. They’re great for all occasions and 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 after thousands of positive reviews. Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I love them! They are cute & fun, they are also polarized & that means my eyes feel amazing while wearing them. Absolutely fantastic purchase. I would recommend them 1000 times over.” 3 The Best Tortoiseshell: SOJOS Classic Square Polarized Sunglasses
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 22,000 reviews. Enthusiastic Amazon review: “These glasses are great! They are polarized as described. They are sturdy and feel wellmade- they aren't extremely lightweight, they have a little bit of weight to them that gives them a more luxury brand type of feel. I personally don't want to spend $100+ on sunglasses b/c I tend to lose, drop or sit on them... These are an awesome alternative that give the feel of more expensive sunglasses for a fraction of the cost.” 4 The Best Value Pack: ELITERA Brand Polarized Sunglasses
It’s hard to beat the price of this two-pack of funky shades. They boast HD polarized lenses with a full-glare barrier that makes them a particularly solid choice for driving, although they’re stylish enough to wear basically anywhere and sturdy enough to see you through plenty of activities too. Importantly,
ELITERA Brand polarized sunglasses come with 100% UV400 protection lenses. Plus, more than 3,000 Amazon shoppers have weighed in on this budget pack, with the vast majority of them giving it a perfect five-star rating. Enthusiastic Amazon review: “[...]The lenses are soothing to my eyes in day light, they feel solid, the hinges don't catch my hair and they look nicer than their price would indicate. They are not uneven upon my face and also came with a nice hard sided case, which hopefully, will extend their life span in my purse. I've had them two months now and they haven't scratched, bent or cracked. That's more than I can say for other more expensive brands.” Available styles: 6 (including a three-pack) 5 Editor’s Choice: Revo Maxie Navigator Sunglasses
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 6 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. Plus, they’re designed with an anti-fog coating that works when temperatures get chilly. This sporty style has earned a 4.2-star rating on Amazon and over 3,000 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. [...]” 7 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 39,000 reviews. These cult-favorite shades are highly fashionable and versatile — but they’re also shatter-proof with high-definition lenses with glare-blocking capabilities, which makes them ideal for everything from beach days to road trips. Enthusiastic Amazon review: “To start, these are excellent "cheap" sunglasses. They're very light and probably won't be as durable as $100+ shades, but the look is perfect, fit is good, and the lenses are quite nice. For the price, the value is excellent. And they throw in a slew of extras: glasses bag, polishing cloth, frame adjustment multitool (pretty neat tbh). [...]” 8 The Best Wood Frames: Eye Love Polarized Sunglasses
Featuring sides made of ebony wood, these
Eye Love polarized sunglasses promise 100% UV protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays and they come with glare-proof, polarized lenses for added protection. 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: “These look good, came well packaged with tools, two cases (one slim, one bulkier but more protective) and wipes. The wooden frames are real (not plastic) and are genuinely polarised. [...]” 9 The Best Retro Shades: YDAOWKN Classic Vintage Aviator Sunglasses
retro-inspired sunglasses are just $11, 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, 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. Just note: this pair is not polarized. Enthusiastic Amazon review: “So cute & stylish! Love both these pair so much! Very well made & quality for the price!” 10 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 4.7-star rating. Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Small fits my 3 year old. So happy with the purchase, they look adorable and he bends them without them breaking. They don’t squeeze his head under his winter hat either which is awesome.”
Get Even More From Bustle — Sign Up For The Newsletter
From hair trends to relationship advice, our daily newsletter has everything you need to sound like a person who’s on TikTok, even if you aren’t.
This article was originally published on
Aug. 3, 2019