High Index Lenses

High index eyeglass lenses refer to one of several different kinds of plastic lens material.  Eyeglass lenses all have a definite “index”, which ranges from 1.56 to 1.74.  For strong prescription, the higher the index, the thinner the lens; for weak prescriptions, a low index lens will be no thicker than high index eyeglass lenses.  As a result, if you are looking for the “thinnest eyeglass lenses” for your prescription, read more so you do not pay extra money for lenses that are not thinner.

Most people are looking for the thinnest eyeglass lenses, but “thinnest eyeglass lenses” differs from prescription to prescription.  If your prescription is under +/-3.00 sphere, a 1.56 index CR-39 lens is the best index for you, because a higher index lens will be more expensive and not thinner.

In this article we talk about the thinnest eyeglass lenses for your prescription, but this is a very general discussion.  There are a billion different prescription combinations, and there are several factors in each prescription making it unique.  We have found an excellent tool online to find out exactly how much thinner a lens and high index choice will be for your exact prescription. 

Follow this link to see the  Lens Thickness Tool.

LENS MATERIALS

Plastic Lenses 1.56 Index

Most lenses are plastic (glass is still available, but heavier and more expensive), but the least expensive plastic used for eyeglass lenses is called CR39 hard resin lenses. Hard resin lenses are good for everyday use. These lenses have the least distortion of any non-glass lens.  For children or active adults engaged in sporting activities, we strongly recommend polycarbonate (impact resistant) lenses.

If the sphere on your prescription is higher than +/-3.00, you will benefit from the selection of a high index lens type. If the sphere on your prescription is higher than +/-4.00, we recommend a thin lens type. Thinner lenses have three advantages: they do not look thick, they do not magnify or minify your eyes when seen by others, and they are lighter.

Polycarbonate Lenses 1.59 High Index

Polycarbonate lens material is the best choice for children or active adults. Polycarbonate lenses are virtually shatterproof, provides the best eye protection of any lens, and includes 100% UV protection inherently. If the sphere on your prescription is +/-3.00 or higher, you should choose polycarbonate lenses. Polycarbonate lenses are very difficult lenses to tint and are not recommended for people who want custom dark sunglass lenses (we suggest Trivex lenses in this case). The suggested prescription range for polycarbonate lenses is plano (0, no Rx) to +/-6.00 sphere.

Trivex High Index Lenses

Trivex is a new plastic lens material that is being used as a substitute for polycarbonate lenses. Trivex is optically superior to polycarbonate and it is lighter. Like polycarbonate it provides 100% UV protection and it is extremely durable. Most importantly, Trivex is a great substitute for polycarbonate lenses that need to be tinted, because Trivex can be easily tinted but polycarbonate cannot. Trivex is much better suited for tinting and is an excellent choice for rimless drill mounted frames. The suggested prescription range is Plano (0, no Rx) to +/-8.00 sphere.

Trivex may be slightly thicker than polycarbonate lenses, but due to its specific gravity the weight will be similar.

High Index Lenses 1.60 High Index

High index lenses with 1.60 high index are good for people with prescriptions over +/-4.00 sphere, because they are thinner and lighter. Thinner lenses have three advantages: they do not look thick, they do not magnify or minify your eyes when seen by others, and they are lighter. The suggested prescription range is +/-4.00 to +/-8.00 sphere. Thinner, lighter and more expensive than mid-high index or hard resin lenses, high index lenses are a good choice for every day use.

High Index Lenses 1.67 High Index

High index lenses with 1.67 high index are good for people with prescriptions over +/-6.00 sphere, because they are thinner and lighter. Thinner lenses have three advantages: they do not look thick, they do not magnify or minify your eyes when seen by others, and they are lighter. The suggested prescription range is +/-6.00 to +/-8.00 sphere. Thinner, lighter and more expensive than mid-high index or hard resin lenses, high index lenses are a good choice for every day use.

High Index Lenses 1.70 and 1.74 Ultra High Index

High index lenses with 1.70 high index and 1.74 are the thinnest lenses on the market, and are made only for people with the highest prescriptions.  If your prescription is lower than +/-6.00 sphere, there is no need for you to spend the extra money for an ultra high index lens.  If you do have a strong prescription, however,  the 1.70 and 1.74 high index lenses will be a good deal thinner than the 1.67 and 1.60 high index lenses; the higher your prescription, the thinner the lenses will be.

Eyeglasses Categories

There are many different types of prescription glasses that are out there. For example, most eyeglasses frames are unisex, meaning they work both for men and women.  We have created some categories for mens eyeglasses, womens eyeglasses, and kids eyeglasses to make it a little easier for you.

If you have a high prescription, you may be looking for small eyeglasses so that the lens is not too thick at the edges.  If you are a large person and have trouble finding eyeglasses big enough to fit you, check out our selection of big eyeglasses.

The retro eyeglasses look is all the rage now, and coming back strong.  We have the largest selection of round eyeglasses on the internet, and we also have a beautiful collection of vintage eyeglasses and retro eyeglasses.

 

Comments

Karen

Karen wrote on 09/13/10 11:50 PM

I have a +7.00 prescription and need the thin lenses. How can I get these with very little to no money so I can see on my new job that I started last week.
Mark Agnew

Mark Agnew wrote on 09/14/10 12:58 PM

Unfortunately there is no escaping the fact that thin lenses cost more money. I suggest that you suffer with thick lenses until you have earned a few paychecks, and then upgrade to thinner lenses.
karen

karen wrote on 02/06/11 10:04 PM

I have a new prescription with a sphere of -7.75 and an add of +3.00. My current lenses are quite thick and I want the thinnest lenses I can get. Also, my ophthalmologist indicated that I need to select frames that will accommodate all the add on the progressive. What types lenses do you recommend and should I stay with frames that are at least 30mm? Thank you.
Mark Agnew

Mark Agnew wrote on 02/07/11 6:45 AM

There are several factors to consider here, so you should call us to discuss them all. Higher lens shapes will work better for progressive lenses. To reduce lens thickness, we recommend smaller lens widths, and a 1.67 index lens material.
Andrea

Andrea wrote on 02/16/11 10:39 AM

Hi, I am concerned about which lens would work best for my prescription, sadly I keep getting mixed comments from the various opticals I have visited, could you please help?

-1.50, -1.75 spherical
-2.50, -2.50 cylinder
073, 105 axis

I am looking to get metal frames this time around.

Much appreciated,
Andrea

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