Reviewed by Sandra Sosa, MD
In the last decade, there’s been a rising concern about the potentially harmful effects of blue light on health and well-being, especially in our digital age. Thankfully, blue light blocking glasses provide a solution to the issues caused by overexposure to blue light. However, choosing blue light glasses requires some understanding; the purpose of this article is to provide you with information to help you make the best possible selection while shopping for blue light filter glasses.
Best by Category
Blueberry Computer Glasses
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J+S Vision Blue Light Shield Glasses
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Spectra 479 Glasses
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Uvex Skyper Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses
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BluBlocker Black Nylon Sunglasses
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DUCO Optiks Semi Rimless Gaming Glasses
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What Is Blue Light?
Before we take a closer look at glasses that block blue light, let’s first explain blue light and how too much of it can cause eye damage and negatively impact general health…
Blue light is a visible light (440 to 500 nm wavelength) at the short-wavelength side of the full visible light spectrum (380 to 760 nm). From fluorescent lights, televisions, and computer monitors to cell phones and other electronic devices using light emitting diode (LED) displays, these days we are constantly exposed to it, so minimizing exposure to blue light poses a major challenge.
The energy output of light on the visible light spectrum is inversely proportional to wavelength. Since blue light is among the shortest wavelengths, it has greater energy output, which further increases its potential impact on our health. The effects of high energy blue light on the retina depend on wavelength, intensity, exposure duration, time of day, and repetitiveness (cumulative effect); hence, it is important to take into account the overall output from these factors.
Potentially, environmental and genetic factors, concurrent diseases, pre-existing eye conditions, indoor lighting and properties of the digital screen (including glare amount and font size) play a role.
Blue light retinal injury (photochemically induced photo retinopathy) can develop when exposed either to an extremely bright light for a short duration (type II, short/sudden exposure) or to a less bright light for a longer duration (type I, chronic exposure) as per guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection ICNIRP.
With prolonged exposure to blue light from electronic devices, we are more prone to health problems such as eye strain, headaches, and fatigue. Blue light can also impede the production of melatonin, which disrupts our circadian rhythm and productive sleep; cellular phone, tablet and personal computer use before bedtime can delay sleep onset, degrade sleep quality and impair alertness the following day.
Why do you need Blue Light Blocking Glasses?
Considering the hazards on your health, minimizing exposure to blue light poses a major challenge to the present generation. As more reports and evidence come out about the potential health risks of blue light overexposure, blue light glasses become increasingly popular.
How Do Blue Light Blocking Glasses Work?
Blue light glasses have pigmented lens or coatings, which aid in filtering out blue light and its harmful effects. Generally amber or orange in color, these lenses work by reflecting blue light away from the iris of the eye so that it does not get absorbed in the retina where it can do damage.
Wearing blue blocking glasses during the evening mimics natural darkness, which contributes to the production of melatonin – the hormone responsible for our sleep cycles.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Using Blue Light Blocking Glasses?
The use of blue light blocking glasses has an overall positive impact on both physical and mental health:
- Physical Health: According to The Vision Council, about 80 percent of American adults report using digital devices for more than two hours per day, with nearly 67 percent using two or more devices simultaneously and 59 percent experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain. Long term exposure to blue light has also been associated with more serious health concerns such as cancer, diabetes and obesity.
- As a filter against daily computer and other electronics use, moderate blocking of blue light can relieve eye strain, headaches and physical aches and pains, but also, more importantly, prevent the more critical potential long-term effects of extended blue light exposure.
- Mental Health:Studies have revealed that blocking artificial blue light has profound effects on the treatment of bipolar disorders. The researchers found that placing the bipolar patient with rapid cycling of mania and depression in a dark environment for 14 hours on a daily basis led to quick stabilization of the patient’s mood and sleep patterns.
- Sleep: As it relates to sleep, wearing these glasses two to three hours before bedtime can protect you from blue light emitted from your electronic devices. This will increase your melatonin production and help make you drowsy, fall asleep faster, and achieve more restful sleep. In a study, researchers found that adults diagnosed with sleep disorder insomnia (inability to sleep) got about 30 minutes more sleep when wearing wrap-around amber lenses for two hours before bedtime.
You should keep in mind that not all blue light is bad. Our bodies need natural blue light to assist in the production of serotonin, which helps regulate our moods and other essential hormone producing functions. So don’t overdo it, two to three hours per day is more than enough.
How to Choose the Best Blue Light Blocking Glasses for You?
A broad range of blue light blocking glasses with exclusive features and designs are available these days. The features you should keep in mind while shopping for blue light glasses are:
- Light blocked: Go for glasses that block at least 90% of blue light to have complete protection. Look for the percentage of blue light blocked and specific range of wavelengths covered by the glasses.
- Lenses: While choosing lenses, consider the lens color and image clarity. The color will depend on the time of day you plan to use the glasses and can range from yellow to orange and even a dark red. The darker the lens, the more blue light gets blocked. Lenses light-yellow in color block the least amount of blue light, orange is midrange, and red blocks nearly all blue light. So for night-time, use dark lenses to encourage melatonin production, and for daytime, lighter lenses to avoid the overproduction of melatonin. Don’t make the mistake of choosing the wrong colored-lens for the wrong time as you won’t get the desired results! Image clarity refers to the distortion produced by the glasses. While you might want to choose distortion free glasses for computer use, this feature is not as important for outdoor use.
- Frame: Blue-light blocking glasses come in a variety of frame designs and colors to match the preferences of different individuals. Some frames can be used by people of all ages as they are available in kids and unisex adult sizes designed to fit average-sized heads. Some fit-over blue blocking glasses have been developed to wear easily over eyeglasses for people that use prescription glasses.
- Use: You should consider your main purpose for these glasses to make the best personal choice. Will you use them as computer glasses, outdoor glasses, nighttime glasses or gaming glasses?
Reviews of the Best Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Best All-Purpose: Blueberry Computer Glasses
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- LIGHT BLOCKED: Blueberry glasses block 100% of UV rays and the most harmful range of the blue light spectrum (380-450nm).
- LENSES: These lenses are transparent, which makes them perfect to wear for any occasion or setting (unlike the amber or yellow-tinted glasses on this list). They don’t distort screen colors and are impact and scratch resistant.
- FRAME: The frame’s stylish, modern design sets these glasses apart from the clunky, safety-style design of many of their competitors. They are comfortable to wear, lightweight, come with flexible spring hinges and have a soft smooth feel.
- USE: Blueberry glasses are the best all-purpose glasses on our list since you can use them as computer glasses, for night time driving and as sunglasses. They make eyewear more fun and innovative by offering a range of sizes, colors, and styles to choose from, suitable for both adults and children.
While pricier than other models, Blueberry’s BLP (Blue Light Protection) lens technology, cutting-edge design, and durable construction make them outstanding for a broad range of needs.
- Effectively blocks out harmful blue light and UV rays
- Features clear lenses instead of the usual amber or yellow-tinted lenses
- Frames are lightweight and lenses are scratch-resistant and easy to clean
- Available in 8 different eyeglass frame colors and 3 stylish shapes
- High-quality construction
- Cost prohibitive for some
Best Lenses: J+S Vision Blue Light Shield Glasses
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- LIGHT BLOCKED: The J+S Vision Blue Light Shield glasses effectively block out 90% of high energy blue light and 70% of low energy blue light for optimal protection.
- LENSES: These glasses have yellow tinted lenses, do a good job at reducing glare and there is no visual distortion. Some noticeable reverse glare can take some getting used to. The two types of lenses are:
- LCD (low color distortion) – Best for general daily use -less than 4 hours a day- and color sensitive work such as photoshop, graphic design etc. They provide good level of protection while looking good.
- HD (heavy duty) – Best for extended use -less than 8 hours a day- like people who do a lot of excel work, have intense gaming sessions or watch movies for long periods of time. It provides you with the best protection if you don’t mind the lenses being a bit yellow.
- FRAME: Constructed with a high-quality durable material that is up to 10 times more impact-resistant than normal plastic, they are light and strong. The classic large rectangular frame is suitable for both males and females and covers a large field of vision. Spring loaded/spring hinged temples allow for comfortable fitting for large and small heads. While the frame isn’t adjustable, these glasses still fit most people’s heads thanks to the flexible hinges.
- USE: Unlike many other blue light blocking glasses, the J+S Vision glasses look stylish enough to wear out in public.
The J+S Vision Blue Light Shield glasses offer you the best lenses as per our rating and offer solutions to the issue of blue light exposure along with durability and style.
- Effectively blocks out harmful blue light and UV rays
- Lightweight, stylish design
- Comes with attractive hard case and wiper cloth
- Yellow tint my be too strong for some users
- Plastic frame too rigid
Best Nighttime:Spectra 479 Glasses
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- LIGHT BLOCKED: The Spectra 479 Glasses reportedly block 99.82% of light waves in the 280 to 510nm range – the exact range of most artificial blue light. They also do provide UV protection.
- LENSES: The lenses on these glasses are designed to let as much non-blue light through as possible. They are not tinted dark and are not polarized.
- FRAME: With a stylish, sporty design and wrap-around fit, the Spectra 479 glasses are attractive while also blocking blue light from the side.
- USE: The percentage of blue light blocked by Spectra 479 glasses is pretty high, which makes them the best for nighttime use in our selection.
Spectra 479 glasses are a bit more expensive than other glasses but their durability and quality seem worth the added cost.
- Blocks blue light waves specific to electronic devices
- Wrap-around frames block blue light from the side
- Durable and stylish
- Pricier than other models
Best Budget: Uvex Skyper Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses
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- LIGHT BLOCKED: They block 98% of blue light from electronic devices due to their Spectrum Control Technology (SCT) featured in the orange lens.
- LENSES: The orange lens with SCT improves screen contrast with sharper details for improved focus. 3-Position lens ratcheting inclination system allows for optimal screen viewing at different heights and positions.
- FRAME: The size of the frame is adjustable, giving a custom, comfortable fit. Cushioned temple tips prevent digging in to side of head and molded nose bridge sits on the face without difficulty. Frame has wrap-around design to block blue light from the sides.
- USE: These glasses are reasonably priced in comparison to other brands, which makes them our top choice in the best price category. Your focus will be improved, eye fatigue caused by blue light reduced, and neck strain prevented thanks to the lens inclination adjustment system.
The blue light blocking capabilities, comfortable customizable design and convenient price make the Uvex Skyper Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses a safe buying bet.
- Blocks 98% of damaging natural and artificial blue light
- Wrap-around frames block blue light from the side
- Customizable for comfort
- Not suitable for night driving
Best Daytime: BluBlocker Black Nylon Sunglasses
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- LIGHT BLOCKED: BluBlocker Black Nylon Sunglasses effectively block blue light and UV light.
- LENSES: The lenses are composite and yellow tinted, but not polarized.
- FRAME: With a lightweight construction and old school aviator look that’s both durable and stylish, these glasses effectively block out blue light from the front but not from the sides as they lack a wrap-around feature.
- USE: The Blue Blocker Black Nylon sunglasses top our list in the best for daytime use category. They are quite popular because they serve several purposes. From driving to flying, these glasses provide the clarity and UV protection needed for different activities.
BluBlocker Black Nylon sunglasses are a solid pick and best suited for outdoor protection from UV light while also blocking blue light.
- Effectively block out blue light from the front
- Durable and stylish
- Comfortable to wear for long periods of time
- No wrap-around feature
Best Gaming: Duco Optiks Gaming Glasses
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- LIGHT BLOCKED: Duco 302 Gaming glasses are highly effective in blocking blue light.
- LENSES: The lenses of these glasses are amber-tinted with special anti-glare coatings. They are manufactured with ultra-pure material, which eliminates distortion of images.
- FRAME: The frame is particularly good, made of a flexible, shatter-proof material and it even offers the option to fit your own prescription lenses at a later date if you like.
- USE: These are among the best gaming glasses and computer glasses out there, but naturally also suitable for web-browsing, watching TV or working under fluorescent lighting.
Duco 302 Gaming glasses are one of the most customizable gaming glasses available at an affordable price and our top pick in the category of best gaming glasses.
- Highly effective in blocking blue light
- Amber tint and anti-glare coating in lenses
- Flexible durable frame
- No distortion
- No wrap-around feature
Do you have any more tips for the protection of my eyes?
While we have discussed blue light blocking glasses, there are some additional tips that you can consider for the general well-being of your eyes:
- Reduce the brightness of the screens on your electronic devices and change the background colors from white to cool gray. Glare reduction filters for computer screens are also available.
- Decrease the amount of light competing with your screen by dimming the indoor light and avoid using electronic devices in direct sunlight.
- Purposely try to increase the number of times you blink while working on a digital screen. Staring at a screen can decrease the number of times you blink as well as the completeness of the blink, affecting eye moisture and increasing the risk of dry eye.
- During the day, try to decrease the use of electronic devices and take breaks to avoid prolonged use. Eye care providers recommend using the “20-20-20 rule”: every 20 minutes, take your eyes away from the screen for 20 seconds and look at something 20 feet away, blinking fully and frequently.
- At night, consider using a red-light filter app for your electronic devices and try to stop using them 1 hour before bedtime; this will allow your brain to start relaxing for sleep.
- Finally, give your eyes a much-needed break by getting at least 7 hours of good sleep every night.
Now Over to You!
What are your thoughts about blue light blocking glasses? Leave your comments below!