Pair of blue varifocal glasses head up by a hand

Top tips on how to choose the right varifocal glasses

8 Sep 2023

Are you considering investing in a pair of varifocal glasses? If so, we are here to help you with some useful advice about what to look out for when shopping online. Perhaps this is your first time buying varifocal glasses, or maybe, you are keen to get some advice about which frame size and material to choose. Either way, it is important to do some research and decide from there what is best for you.

What are varifocal glasses?

Varifocal glasses, also known as progressive lenses, are ideal for people who need different prescriptions for distance and near vision. They allow you to see all distances with one pair of glasses. Varifocal lenses provide a clear, continuous view from distance to intermediate to near vision. Unlike bifocals, they do not have a visible line that separates the different viewing areas.

Older male with beard wearing round tortoisehell varifocal frames

What size frames are best for varifocals?

Ideally, when it comes to choosing the ideal frame size for your varifocal lenses, you want the design to be big enough so that you can see clearly whether you are driving or reading a book. The lens height should therefore be a minimum of 30 millimetres so there is enough room to accommodate the different sections of the lens. Otherwise, the near viewing area at the bottom will be very restricted. You will also want to pick a frame that is wide enough to securely hold the lenses and provide precise alignment.

Another crucial aspect to consider is that the frame fits the size as well as the shape of your face perfectly. Meanwhile, our Best Fit Machine will help you decide on the most suitable fit. Simply enter your current measurements to find new glasses that fit just as well as your existing ones! An important thing to note is that the frame should be no wider than your face, otherwise it will not fit you correctly. Having a frame that is too big may mean that you have to tilt your head more frequently in order to get the right focus.

Just remember, it is absolutely essential that you prioritise your vision and comfort. Additionally, you want to be certain that the design suits your sense of style and reflects your unique personality.

How can I identify the different frame measurements?

All of the frames on our website feature five measurements in the frame info section which you will see when you click on the product and scroll down. This information will help you find your best fit.

Internal frame width: This is the horizontal width of the frame measured from each of the furthest sides.

Bridge width: The distance between the lenses.

Lens height: This is the vertical height of each lens.

Lens diameter: This is the horizontal width of each lens at its widest point.

Temple length: This is the length of the arms of the glasses.

Pair of rectangular slim frames held up to eye test letter board

What do I need to consider when buying varifocal glasses online?

At Glasses Direct, we have a variety of different frame sizes suitable for varifocal lenses. When shopping online for a pair of varifocal glasses, be sure to check the frame measurements and keep in mind your current frame size. This will help you to locate your ideal fit. Search for frames with features such as adjustable nose pads and flexible spring hinges. That way you will know it will fit securely and will be comfortable to wear. If the bridge of your glasses is too tight it will pinch your nose, so you want to guarantee that you have a pair of glasses that sit snuggly without sliding down or leaving uncomfortable marks. A keyhole bridge design is ideal for people with wider noses.

The frame should sit no higher than your eyebrows and align horizontally with your eyes. You need to have a valid prescription to hand and it must also feature your pupillary distance (PD). This is the distance between the centre of your pupils which is measured in millimetres. An accurate pupillary distance measurement will ensure your lenses are aligned properly, helping you to avoid peripheral distortion whilst guaranteeing a comfortable viewing experience. Head to our website to find out how to measure your pupillary distance.

Once you have the information that you need, browse a huge selection of stylish frames on our website, keeping in mind the size of the frame. Apply the filters to narrow down your search according to your personal preferences. If you would like to try on some frames before you buy them, our free Home Trial allows you to try four frames at home. Get a feel for them and show them off to loved ones. You will have seven days to return your Home Trial before purchasing your favourite varifocal glasses online.

What style of frames are best for varifocals?

Rimless glasses are sleek and understated. They are lightweight with no rims around the edges. In addition, rimless frames have adjustable nose pads, promising a secure and comfortable fit. They are ideal for varifocal lenses.

Frames made of sturdy metal like stainless steel and titanium are stylish and contemporary. They suit a variety of face shapes and fashion styles. Metal glasses with thin rims are particularly ideal for varifocal lenses as they will not obscure your view.

Acetate glasses are made of durable plastic and often come in a variety of bright colours. Express your unique sense of style and look fashionable at the same time. Acetate frames are also ideal for varifocal lenses so long as they are the right size and not too thick.

You will want to avoid traditional Aviator frames with teardrop lenses and cat-eye designs with sharp angles as they will limit the bottom half of the lens. Instead, go for round or square frames. There are also many modern pilot-style and cat-eye frames with a more contemporary shape so there is no need to feel restricted!