Do you have the right color sunglasses lenses? The benefits of each color


If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors this summer, it’s important to protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays. But how do you choose the right sunglasses? What effect does the color of the lens have? Do different sunglasses serve different purposes?

The color of your sunglasses lenses can affect the way sunlight gets in, and depending on the type of work or activity you are doing, some colors may be better than others. So considering sunglasses lens color when looking for your next pair of glasses will allow you to take advantage of the many benefits sunglasses have to offer.

Let’s discuss lens color and how different colors affect the way you see the world while protecting your eyes.

Read more: Best Prescription Glasses

brown or amber sunglasses

best for: Sports and activities that require high visual acuity, such as playing golf and racing.

Dark colors like brown or amber are common and good for everyday use, reports REI. Brown has a number of benefits that make it such a popular color. It protects your eyes by reducing glare and preventing eye strain. Brown sunglass lenses also enhance warm colors and make your vision brighter.

According to VSP Vision Care, the high contrast provided by these lenses ensures that objects appear sharper and clearer, even from a distance. This makes brown or amber lenses an excellent choice for sports and outdoor activities that require clear vision and high visual acuity, such as racing and golfing.

Yellow or orange sunglasses

best for: Gamers, pilots, hunters and winter athletes.

According to REI, yellow or orange sunglasses are perfect for medium to low light conditions. They can be helpful in hazy, foggy, or cloudy weather because they increase contrast and clarity. According to VSP, this color also makes it easier for your eyes to focus on moving objects. Gamers, pilots, hunters, and winter athletes are attracted to this color.

Blue or purple sunglasses

best for: Water sports, snow activities and wet or foggy conditions.

According to Hunting and Fishing, blue or purple tinted sunglasses help reduce glare in bright, sunny conditions and environments, so they reduce discomfort caused by bright reflections. According to Frames Direct, they also improve color and contour perception. These properties make them perfect for water sports, snow activities and wet or foggy conditions.

Green Sunglasses

best for: Outdoor activities in the sun such as golfing, fishing, and hiking.

Green sunglasses are suitable for a wide range of conditions. They improve color perception and contrast, reduce glare and also help brighten shadows. This makes them helpful for sunny outdoor activities such as golfing, fishing and hiking but they are just as effective in low light or partly cloudy weather.

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pink or red sunglasses

best for: Winter sports and people with sensitivity to light or certain eye problems.

According to Hunting and Fishing, pink or red colored lenses are ideal for depth perception. This color is also a popular choice for winter sports because it provides great contrast against a white background. Additionally, these lenses may benefit individuals with sensitivity to light or certain eye conditions, providing a soothing effect and reducing eye strain.

Grey sunglasses

best for: Outdoor activities such as running, cycling, walking on the beach, or driving.

According to VSP, grey sunglasses provide neutral color perception and reduce overall glare without distorting colors. They are versatile and suitable for a variety of conditions, making them ideal for everyday wear. In bright sunlight, they reduce glare and eye fatigue and provide eye comfort. They are equally helpful in cloudy or low-light weather. Wear them for outdoor activities such as running, cycling, and walking on the beach or while driving.

Black framed sunglasses with pink lenses are raised towards a blue sky surrounded by clouds. Black framed sunglasses with pink lenses are raised towards a blue sky surrounded by clouds.

Kinga Krzeminska/Getty Images

Other glasses for your glasses

When considering sunglasses for eye protection, there is much to consider beyond color and style. For example, lens coating, lens material, and frame material. Polarized lenses reduce glare, while mirror or flash coatings enhance visual comfort. The most important factor is UV protection, ensuring that sunglasses block harmful rays that can cause certain eye conditions such as cataracts or cancer. The combination of these factors, tailored to specific conditions, helps determine the best sunglasses for optimal eye protection and comfort.

If you think you may need prescription sunglasses or transition lenses, always seek out your eye doctor for their professional opinion and advice.

Correction, August 15: An earlier version of this story contained an incorrect tip. It is not advisable to wear red or pink lenses while driving.


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