Janis is loves to study topics involving health & wellness, and is obsessed with natural supplements and learning about what goes into them and what they do, or don’t do. She went to university for nutrition with a minor in economics.
Out of the Beach Baby Squad, she is the most likely to stay home. She also does the most of the product reviews on this site.
Today we’re going to be looking at what makes the best polarized sunglasses for women, including some popular models.
Polarized shades are a somewhat mysterious topic to some, and there’s actually a lot to go through if you want to fully understand the how’s and why’s of getting them.
But don’t worry, that’s why we’ve done a ton of research on polarized sunglasses until our heads were spinning, but it all makes sense now! Read on to find out all about these unique and actually quite popular type of eyewear.
Table Of Contents
- What Are Polarized Sunglasses?
- Are Polarized Sunglasses Worth It?
- Who Needs Polarized Sunglasses?
- What Color Lens Is Best For Sunglasses?
- How Can You Tell If Sunglasses Are Polarized?
- Are Polarized Lenses Bad For Your Eyes?
- Are Polarized Sunglasses Better For Driving?
- Are Polarized Sunglasses Right For Night Driving?
- Are Polarized Sunglasses UV Protected?
- Choosing The Right Polarized Sunglasses For Your Face Shape?
- Review Ray-Ban Rb2140 Original Wayfarer Polarized Sunglasses For Women
- Review Maui Jim Punchbowl Sunglasses For Women
- Review Eye Love Polarized Sunglasses For Women
- Over To You…
What Are Polarized Sunglasses?
It may seem odd to know that polarized sunglasses have been around for the best part of a century.
They were actually invented in 1937, by Edwin Land. His company Polaroid created the Polaroid glasses from the polarizing material he invented back in the late twenties.
The idea is that polarized sunglasses can filter out the glare from shiny, reflective surfaces. This makes them mandatory wear in terrain which gets a lot of sun – or snow!
They are also worn by beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts for the same reason.
These lenses come with a special filter that only lets vertical oriented rays of light through. This is because the horizontal rays are the ones which are most likely to dazzle you.
Polarized sunglasses can come in many colors, but the ones you’re most likely to find are brown and gray.
Other colors are available if you look hard enough, though!
Are Polarized Sunglasses Worth It?
If you live in the sunshine state – or just anywhere with a lot of sunny weather, then we would say polarized sunglasses are a must. The same applies to those of you in wintery climes, seeing a lot of snow.
For certain sports; i.e. skiing and water borne activities, then polarized sunglasses are immensely useful for protecting against glare. Glare is something which can be more than an inconvenience, it can be deadly.
When sunlight bounces from a flat surface, like a car hood, or expanse of water, it can reduce your color perception and lead you misjudge depths. Additionally, when glare strikes it may even temporarily blind you.
And in certain situations like driving, that is decidedly not good!
Who Needs Polarized Sunglasses?
People who should consider polarized sunglasses include sports players, skiers, boaters, fishermen and even just plain old drivers.
This is in addition to the advice that polarized sunglasses really are essential in sunny climes, on or near water and anywhere it snows.
On top of all this, polarized sunglasses might also be an idea for anyone who simply has light sensitive eyes.
They also may be beneficial for office workers, or perhaps just anyone using a computer regularly, to guard against the glare of staring constantly at a screen.
It is also possible that polarized sunglasses might be advisable for certain medical conditions, for example anyone recovering from a cataract operation.
In short, just about anyone may require polarized sunglasses, at least at some point in their lives!
What Color Lens Is Best For Sunglasses?
With all the pretty colors of sunglasses available out there, it is tempting to only think about whether they match with your outfit. However, there is more to consider than whether your shades clash with your popsicle pink lip gloss.
Of course, for everyday wear, you may sport any color that takes your fancy, but for certain activities there are different colors which are preferable;
Blue lenses may look cool, but they should be avoided whilst driving.
Green shades should also not be worn for driving, but they are recommended for sports such as tennis and baseball.
Yellow shades are highly recommended for all snow related activities – or even just for anyone living in a whiteout.
Shades of yellow can also be beneficial for driving in, as they sharpen contrast and contours beautifully.
VIOLET OR PINK
Whereas pink shades are not to be worn behind the wheel of a car, they may give you an advantage when at the wheel of a boat!
The same goes for other watery activities, such as surfing or water skiing. Fishermen may also try pink or violet colored sunglasses to better concentrate on their next big catch!
Brown lenses are some of the most common shades found in polarized sunglasses.
These are pretty much your go to pair of polarized specs for everyday wear – don these for activities such as biking, hiking, jogging or, you know, even just chilling!
They may also be worn behind the wheel of your car.
Gray is another popular shade for polarized sunglasses and one which is endorsed for drivers. They also blend in well with most outfits!
How Can You Tell If Sunglasses Are Polarized?
Because polarized sunglasses sometimes come with a superannuated price tag, you want to be sure you are getting your money’s worth!
To check that you get what you’ve paid for, then follow these simple tests; the screen test, the reflective test and the comparison test.
THE SCREEN TEST
Office workers are particularly vulnerable to ocular discomfort and other occupational hazards begot from long hours in front of a computer screen.
It is the blue light which causes your eyes to blur and strain, at the end of a day in front of the PC. And although you can choose a pair of un-polarized sunglasses to filter out the rays, polarized sunglasses will also work.
Here’s how to check out whether your hopeful pair of polarized specs is really what it is cracked up to be;
FIRST: Whack your screen setting right up to blinding and deliberately look at an all-white screen; yes, we know it hurts!
NOW: Get your shades on and sit head on, in front of the screen. If you haven’t already done so, check your screen is correctly aligned to your eye level, because often laptop screens are much lower.
THEN: Do a 60 degree turn, in either direction. Position your head towards one side; if the glasses are really polarized, the screen should look black, as the anti-glare technology which comes with your screen should delete the effects of the specs.
If it’s only on one side, then tilt your head the other way to check. If it’s not black, they aren’t properly treated.
THE REFLECTIVE TEST
FIRST: Try using a mirror, or similar reflective surface, which is flat. Then add a glare – this may be as simple as switching the light on.
THEN: Place the shades about seven inches from your face. This means you can see the surface with each eye, separately.
NEXT: Start to rotate the shades upwards, at 60 degrees. They should be angled with one lens above the other. You might have to fiddle around to see if the glasses help with the glare.
NOW: Observe the severity of the glare via the lens. If they are properly polarized then all the dazzle should simply dissolve, although the light will still be visible. Compare the effects versus either no glasses, or your own, normal pair.
THE COMPARISON TEST
FIRST: Find two kinds of polarized sunglasses to test – the ones you are considering buying, versus a tried and tested pair.
ADDITIONALLY: Hold the hopeful sunglasses aloft and the second, reliable, pair a little further ahead. Get the lenses into your field of vision, ensuring they are a couple of inches apart – maybe a little less. Just be careful the lenses don’t rub against each other – they could scratch the polarized coating.
THEN: Add a bright light. This will help make the test clearer – this could be natural sunlight or a lamp.
NEXT: Taking the unknown pair you are testing out, begin to rotate it to a 60 degree angle. The lenses of this pair should be at diagonals and the tried and trusted shades remain where they were. You should be looking to ensure that only one lens is in alignment with the second pair. Keep holding them correctly.
NOW: Check the overlap of the lenses, is it darker? If your questionable pair of shades is truly polarized, then when you look through two sets of lenses it should be darker than when they are viewed head on.
Are Polarized Lenses Bad For Your Eyes?
Polarized lenses might not actually harm your eyes, but they may be wrong for a variety of situations. Whilst they are excellent for certain sporting pursuits, such as sailing or skiing, there are sometimes when you might be best off without them.
Perhaps contrary to other advice, some feel polarized lenses are not a good idea for LED screens (which may include televisions and PCs). They may also effect LCD screens negatively.
This may not be a major concern for users of computers, but it could be dangerous when at a dashboard or some other safety device, which may be rendered difficult to see.
If you’re preparing for take-off, then ditch the polarized shades, no matter how cool because they are not designed for flying.
And a word about night-time; polarized specs really will make you look like a doofus and they will block all the available light your eyes actually need to, you know, see.
Are Polarized Sunglasses Better For Driving?
Whereas polarized sunglasses are generally recognized as being suitable; even beneficial for driving in, there are some caveats.
A lot depends on the color of the lens. Pinks, blues and greens should normally be avoided for driving in – unless they are labeled specifically as designed for driving. By contrast, a yellow or amber tint will help, as will gray and brown shades.
Other things to consider when choosing a pair of driving shades include the frame style. You might not realize it, but the frames you choose could have an adverse effect on your ability behind the wheel.
Oversized frames are not advisable for driving, as they can cut into your peripheral vision and ultimately make it harder for you to see.
Styles which are best for driving are ones with large lenses (not frames!) and glasses with thin arms.
Are Polarized Sunglasses Right For Night Driving?
No, in a word. Your polarized sunglasses should generally not be worn for burning through the midnight tracks in. Quite simply, they will block out any available lighting.
It’s true that your anti reflective polarized specs may help reduce glare from on coming headlamps, but tints often found in polarized shades are the darker kind – this is going to have a knock on effect for your night vision – and could be dangerous behind the wheel!
Are Polarized Sunglasses UV Protected?
Some people seem to think that polarized sunglasses and UV protection are one and the same thing. However, this is not true.
It’s a popular misconception that all polarized glasses automatically include protection from UV rays. They do not.
Polarized sunglasses make it easier to see when there is a lot of water or sunshine and help to take the dazzle out of your eyes.
They are more comfortable to wear in bright weather and improve your experience when it comes to playing certain sports.
Polarized sunglasses may aid image clarity, but they do not necessarily come with UV ray protection as standard.
We would advise anyone looking for Polarizes sunglasses to remember to check the UV protection offered by their sunglasses.
WHY UV MATTERS
- Each year over 3 million people go blind, as a result of eye diseases caused from UV exposure.
- Look for sunglasses with a 99 to 100% UVA and UVB ray protection.
- Whereas some contact lenses may offer some UV protection, they are not enough alone.
- Boost your cover from UV rays, by investing in a wrap around pair of frames, as they protect all angles of the eyes better.
- UV protection is as important as wearing sunscreen in summertime. And it is not only the summer which you should remain protected in!
Choosing The Right Polarized Sunglasses For Your Face Shape
Ah fashion. It has brought us some brilliant inventions, flares, spandex pants, double denim and more recently, leggings for men.
And we know, that no soon as a style of sunglasses is launched, then you are going to be pounding the store looking for it. Given the vagaries of fashion, it is easy to overlook one simple question; do these frames suit my shape?
The answer to this lies in the shape of your face. This is why it is so important to try a few pairs on first. Just because your best friend rocks the sixties chic in Jackie O frames, doesn’t mean that you will.
We know that it can be frustrating to try on the height of fashionable frames only to resemble, well something like this;
KNOW YOUR SHAPE
For simplicity, it is convenient to split up the major face shapes into four categories; heart shaped, oval, square and round.
You have a heart shaped face if you have a wider forehead, coupled with a prominent chin and high cheek bones. If this is your face then the best frames for you are rounder, smaller ones which have a narrower bridge.
If you are a square (wide forehead, angular features and a notable jawline) don’t despair – there are plenty of styles out there to complement your face shape.
Try looking for oval, rounder, wayfarer, aviator or wrap around frames when choosing your polarized shades.
Lovers of oversized sunglasses are in luck, as these might well suit your shape, as do frameless styles, cat’s eyes and colored frames.
If your face is oval, then it is best to avoid both round and oval shapes on your face – these won’t do you any favors.
Instead, opt for geometric, aviators wrap around, square or rectangular frames. Anything with a smooth line frame will be your friend.
But you’re a devotee of Sir Elton and want to don his shades, they’re unlikely to flatter your face (or, frankly, anyone’s)!
Women with rounded faces are better off choosing wayfarers, aviators and pointed sunglasses.
You may also be able to wear narrow bridge styles as well as wrap around and squares. But keep away from frames which are circular or oval shaped.
As a basic rule of thumb, if your face is the same shape as the shades you are wearing, it isn’t going to look good.
Instead, pick the opposite shape to your face, i.e. round frames on square faces, and square frames on round or oval faces.
Ray-Ban Rb2140 Original Wayfarer Polarized Sunglasses For Women
- MANUFACTURER: RAY-BAN
- MODEL: ORIGINAL WAYFARER RB2140
- MADE IN: ITALY
- UV PROTECTION: 100%
- POLARIZED: YES
- SIZES: REGULAR AND LARGE
- FRAME/LENS COLORS: GREEN, BROWN, BLUE GRADIENT PINK, BLUE, MATT BLACK /BLUE GREEN GRADIENT, MATT BLACK/ BLUE GREEN, HONEY/CRYSTAL BROWN, MATT HAVANA/BLUE/GREEN,
- FRAME MATERIAL: ACETATE
- WEIGHT: 2 OUNCES
- SHIPPING WEIGHT: 4.8 OUNCES
- LENS MATERIAL: GLASS
- LENS WIDTH: 50MM
- LENS HEIGHT: 37MM
- ARM: 150MM
- BRIDGE: 22MM
- HEIGHT: 3.94 INCHES
- WIDTH: 7.87 INCHES
- FACE SHAPE: ANGULAR AND ROUND
- PERSONALITY: CREATIVE AND ICONIC
- ALSO: PRESCRIPTION READY
- PRICE: $203 APPROX
- RATING: 4 STARS OUT OF FIVE
The Original Wayfarer from iconic brand Ray-Ban is never out of style. Launched in 1952, the style has been synonymous with the stars ever since.
We suggest if you are looking for a truly classic pair of polarized sunglasses, that you check out these!
Best suited to women with either a round face, or one which is angular, the Original Wayfarer RB2140 weigh in at a mere 2 ounces, so your nose won’t feel the strain beneath them. In fact, they’re so light that you might forget to take them off indoors!
These Wayfarer’s are prescription ready and will absorb 85% of sunlight and nearly all blue light.
WHAT CUSTOMERS SAY
The original and the best, satisfaction level is clearly high with these iconic sunglasses.
Any negative reviews do seem to stem from the fact the customer believes they have been sent fakes – so do verify carefully the credentials of the seller you choose!
Maui Jim Punchbowl Sunglasses For Women
- MANUFACTURER: MAUI JIM
- MODEL: PUNCHBOWL
- UV PROTECTION: YES
- POLARIZED: YES
- FRAME/LENS COLORS: TORTOISE WITH PINK/BRONZE, BLACK WITH BLUE/NEUTRAL GRAY, CHOCOLATE FADE/MAUI ROSE
- FRAME MATERIAL: INJECTED NYLON
- SHIPPING WEIGHT: 1.4 OUNCES
- LENS MATERIAL: SUPERTHIN GLASS
- LENS WIDTH: 54MM
- LENS HEIGHT: 36/7MM
- ARM: 135MM
- BRIDGE: 17MM
- EYE HEIGHT: 36MM
- EYE WIDTH: 54MM
- FACE SHAPE: SMALLER FACES
- PERSONALITY: EFFORTLESSLY CHIC
- ALSO: PRESCRIPTION READY/WATERPROOF AND SCRATCHPROOF LENSES/BLUE LIGHT PROTECTION/ CASE INCLUDED
- PRICE: $174.93 APPROX
- RATING: 4.5 STARS OUT OF FIVE
These Punchbowl Women’s Sunglasses by manufacturer Maui Jim are truly stylish and enough to add some pizazz into your summer – or even winter- wardrobe.
The shades come in three colors; all specifically designed for different conditions. The first, blends a bronze colored lens with a cute tortoiseshell with pink frame.
These are your go to pair for changeable conditions – perfect for everyday as well as activities such as boating or anything near water.
The second style is a plainer black with blue frame and neutral gray lens. This is the color recommended for the maximum light reduction and gives the wearer the best possible viewing experience; colors are contrasted better and appear enhanced.
The third option are the subtle but eminently blend-able chocolate fade style, these come with a Maui rose lens, real life rose tinted spectacles!
This color is best for sports and can cope with changeable weather, catering from cloudy to bright and back again!
With high production standards, the Maui Jim aims to wow, and delights their wearers. The lenses are also waterproof and scratch resistant – good news for beach lovers!
WHAT CUSTOMERS SAY
Nearly everyone raves about the Maui Jim, in every shade. They are a well-constructed pair of shades and a thing of beauty to behold. The lenses are praised for being “very clear” to see through and for also blocking a large amount of light (especially blue light).
With comments such as “I felt like a blindman seeing for the first time”, you will quickly realize these are a shade that not only look good, but deliver a first class wearing experience.
Are there any negatives? Although they are few, there has been the odd dark muttering about “peeling” on some of the frames (notably, the chocolate fade). We must stress this is a minority only.
On the whole, we think the Punchbowl packs its punch squarely between the eyes!
Eye Love Polarized Sunglasses For Women
- MANUFACTURER: EYE LOVE
- MODEL: POLARIZED SUNGLASSES FOR WOMEN
- UV PROTECTION: YES
- POLARIZED: YES
- FRAME/LENS COLORS: FLEEK BLACK FRONT/ SILVER TEMPLES/WITH BLACK HIGH DEFINITION POLARIZED LENSES ALSO BLUE/PINK/PURPLE MIRRORED HIGH DEFINITION POLARIZED LENSES, FLEEK/BROWN TORTOISE FRONT/GOLD TEMPLES/BROWN HIGH DEFINITION POLARIZED LENSES
- FRAME MATERIAL: COMPOSITE/PLASTIC/METAL
- SHIPPING WEIGHT: 3.2/4.2/4.8/5.6/7.8 OUNCES
- LENS MATERIAL: PLASTIC
- LENS WIDTH: 58 MM
- ARM: 150 MM
- BRIDGE: 14MM
- PERSONALITY: CONFIDENT AND SASSY
- ALSO: 100% SATISFACTION REFUND GUARANTEE
- PRICE: $19-29.77 APPROX
- RATING: 4.5 STARS OUT OF FIVE
Ready to show your eyes some love, but don’t want an eye watering price tag? Just to prove that not everything of quality has to cost the earth, there is Eye Love.
More than just a manufacturer, Eye Love take eyes and your health very seriously!
For each pair sold, Eye Love commit to providing free glasses and eye exam to those in need. Additionally, they donate to eye charities, dedicated to helping prevent blindness in poorer communities.
With a pleasing array of different frames and lens colors, Eye Love can offer a plastic framed fleek black front, with silver temples and black high definition polarized lenses, a composite framed fleek black front with silver temples and a choice of either pink, purple or blue mirrored high definition polarized lenses.
If a metal frame is more your thing then the fleek brown tortoise front with gold temples and brown polarized lenses might float your boat.
WHAT CUSTOMERS SAY
Customers heaped praise upon Eye Love, saying they love the style and the design. The only sour note is that these are sadly, unlikely to last forever.
At the end of the day, you do get what you pay for, but if you are looking for a stylish pair of quality polarized shades for under $30 then we love Eye Love.
Over To You…
So now you know a little about just why UV protection and polarized sunglasses matter so much. And it is the view of Beach Baby that protecting your vision is every bit as important as protecting your skin!
As you can see, polarized shades are more than just a pretty thing to have on your face, they actually do some real good and, it is reassuring to know, don’t have to break the bank either.
Whatever you are doing in the summer – or winter – sun, don’t neglect some protection for your eyes – you only get one vision!