Most of us now spend the majority of our day glued to various screens, be it on our laptop, tablet or phone. Staring at multiple screens for long periods of time isn’t good for our eyes, leading to digital eye strain, but that doesn’t seem to stop the average American adult who spends 8 hours and 47 minutes on a device.
Thankfully, it seems there’s a way to help both your eyes and your sleep quality – you just need to wear blue light blocking glasses when looking at screens.
BEST BLUE LIGHT BLOCKING GLASSES: OUR TOP 4 PICKS
BEST OVERALL: SWANWICK SLEEP SWANNIES
RUNNER UP: UVEX SKYPER GLASSES
BEST FOR EYE STRAIN: DUCO COMPUTER GLASSES
BEST CLIP-ONS: CYXUS CLIP-ON GLASSES
1. SWANWICK SLEEP SWANNIES
The creators of Swannies, Swanwick Sleep, also believe that the general population is having health problems due to the fact that we are not sleeping well at night. Lack of sleep not only leads to health issues, but it can also impact our work, as we struggle to focus.
Their solution? Swannies, which block artificial light in the evening. The idea is that with these glasses you won’t subject your eyes to computer vision syndrome when you’re around computer, tablets, smartphones or TVs.
These are the only glasses on our list which are FDA-registered, and they will prevent blurred vision, fatigue, headaches, sore eyes and other issues commonly associated with digital eye strain as their technology and anti-reflective coating will block out the blue light wavelengths, and allow your brain to think it’s night time.
Swanwick Sleep’s blue light blocking glasses are a popular choice amongst gamers, who are prone to sleeping issues due to the amount of time they spend in front of computer screens and are looking for a good night’s sleep.
The yellow-tint on the glasses will block the majority of blue light from entering your eye while providing fantastic glare protection. As an added bonus, you currently get a free copy of the book “7 Ways to Sleep Better”.
2. UVEX SKYPER GLASSES
These glasses are not for the stylish, as they look like the glasses you used to wear for high-school chemistry. They are very large, but not heavy, and sit quite lightly and comfortably on your face, aided by the adjustable side arms.
If you wear prescription lenses or need to use some other glasses, these are an excellent option for you, as they are designed to go over existing eyewear. Another great thing about them is that they are designed to completely wrap around your eyes and give you maximum protection from light coming in all directions. Therefore, if you want you eyes to be blocked entirely from harmful blue light because you are very light sensitive, these are a fantastic option.
The lens tint is SCT orange, to also assist you in avoiding CVS, or Computer Vision Syndrome. They also help inhibit vision problems, reduce eye fatigue, and help improve focus with their premium anti-reflective coating.
Don’t let the low price fool you, according to Consumer Report; these glasses blocked almost 100% of blue light. The glasses are also very high quality for their low price point, and they are surprisingly comfortable despite their large size.
BEST FOR EYE STRAIN
3. DUCO COMPUTER GLASSES
If you are typically in front of screens for extended periods of time, typing away, gaming or doing any other activity, then these Duco ergonomic glasses are the ones for you. They will allow you to stare at any LCD screen without getting eye strain, while being comfortable, contemporary, and stylish.
These glasses were manufactured by Duco especially for gamers or people that stare at LCD screens for lengthy periods of time, which explains why they included anti-radiation and anti-glare features along with also being able to block blue light. Therefore, your eyes will be more comfortable, less dry and there’s no need to strain or stress them when working away at your computer.
The amber tint on the lenses, combined with their anti-glare coating materials and the ultrapure lens will provide you with a much sharper and more precise vision. If that wasn’t enough, the frame is also shatterproof and super bendable.
These high-quality material glasses, made from quality and light plastic, come at a great price point. They feel and fit very comfortable on your face, resting lightly on the bridge of your nose. The light tint, which some feel could be darker, gives you a more precise vision without any distortion.
4. CYXUS CLIP-ON GLASSES
These glasses don’t come with a specific frame, as they are designed as clip-on glasses meant to be attached to your own prescribed lenses. The Cyxus glasses will protect your eyes from harmful rays and block blue light and are great for people that can’t sacrifice their prescription lenses and find placing another pair of glasses on top of them uncomfortable.
The lens on these glasses is high-quality optical glass, which, along with the yellow tint, have been designed to reflect back high energy radiations. Since the lenses have no magnification, they work in sync with your prescription eyeglasses, giving you a seamless experience without any eyesight disruption or disturbance.
These clip-ons are great if you don’t want to use another pair of lenses on top of your existing ones, and they work in overcoming red or watery eyes and headaches. They can help increase your productivity as you avoid eye fatigue and can prolong your working time.
5. EYEKEPPER VINTAGE COMPUTER GLASSES
These glasses come with a stylish frame that feels light on your face and look enough like regular glasses that you don’t feel awkward wearing them at the office or in public. The high-quality lens has no image distortion when bought with no magnification, though it should be noted that you can buy them with magnification up to +4.00 if you need it, so they’re super versatile.
Another great thing about these glasses is that they come in a variety of tints, from light yellow to amber so that you can choose the tint level depending on your preferences. We’ve found that the darker the hue, the better they are at blocking blue light, but what you choose is really up to you.
The frame is durable and sturdy, and the glasses come with a hardshell case making transporting them efficiently easy, without having to worry about scratches or damage.
These stylish frames come in loads of options to suit all tastes. The frames are sturdy but lightweight and relieves eye strain at a considerable level. The price point also can’t be beaten!
6. J+S VISION BLUE LIGHT SHIELD COMPUTER GLASSES
These stylish glasses have spring loaded temples, making them very comfortable to use even with a big headset. The nose pads uniformly distribute the frame pressure, reducing any unsightly frame marks on the bridge of your nose by constant or prolonged use. The material of the frame is a hybrid plastic made out of high-quality materials, making it both very strong and stylish.
The lenses block around 70% of all low-energy blue light and approximately 90% of high-energy blue light, making them an excellent option for increased sleep satisfaction and reduced eye strain.
These frames are the heaviest of all our reviews, but they still manage to feel lightweight and comfortable. They can be a bit more reflective than other blue light blocking glasses, but they are great for reducing eye strain, headaches and blocking blue light. Excellent quality for a great price.
What are Blue Light Blocking Glasses?
Blue light blocking glasses are basically glasses that have been designed to block out most blue light you encounter after the sun has gone down, a sort of reverse sunglasses if you will. Instead of wearing them outside, you wear them inside, and instead of blocking the sun, they block artificial light and provide you with UV protection.
They might seem or look a bit silly, but if you look at the research, they can serve a serious purpose!
How Blue Light Can Be Harmful
Artificial light is still a newish invention, and human exposure to this type of light could be affecting our biology. In the past, people’s circadian rhythm was controlled by the sun, as people rose and slept according to the number of daylight hours, relying on their internal clock.
Nowadays, we experience light at all times and the blue light emitted from our electronic devices only happens naturally at the brightest part of the day, so when our body encounters that light, it can get confused.
There are several ways that LED screens, and blue or UV lights, can be harmful. One the ways it can be bad for your eyes is that when you are looking at your screen, you tend to blink less, as you are mostly focused on what’s in front of you, which can cause blurred, vision, irritation, burning and dry eyes.
It’s not just blue light that’s the problem, as all colors from the light source can potentially cause retinal injury, depending on the duration and intensity of light exposure. However, blue light, which is the primary light type emitted from LED-based devices, has a shorter wavelength than other light colors, delivering more energy to your eye compared to other sources, such as yellow or red lights.
Suppressed Melatonin Production
Another problem is that blue light can suppress the secretion of melatonin. A Harvard study comparing the effects of blue light and green light found that blue light suppressed twice as much as the green light, while also shifting circadian rhythms by two times as much.
The suppression of melatonin production has been backed up by other studies, and when your circadian rhythms are thrown off, it also affects your sleep, making it more difficult for you to fall asleep.
Previous studies have looked at how working night shifts, and the fact that this leads to exposure to artificial light at nighttime, affects your health. Not only do people who work night shifts have an increased risk to various cancers, but a Harvard study also found that artificial light exposure at night also increases the risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
The disruption of our sleep cycle is also linked to higher rates of high blood pressure, heart disease, and other cardiovascular problems. These studies are mostly linked to night and shift workers, but further research is also showing that any of us who are looking at blue light sources after dark are also at risk.
Benefits of Blocking Blue Light
Experts are recommending that we power down our electronic devices a few hours before our bedtime to give our eyes a rest, but some of us don’t get a chance to do that and need to consider alternative.
So, are blue light blocking glasses worth it?
Melatonin Production and Improved Sleep
A study by researchers at the University of Houston College of Optometry also found that the blue light emitted by our digital devices seems to contribute to sleep dysfunction. The study participants who donned blue light blocking glasses three hours before sleep, however, experienced an increase in their evening melatonin levels of 58%. Participants also reported staying asleep for longer, falling asleep faster and sleeping better.
One of the primary benefits of blue-blocking glasses is the prevention of DHA essential fat damage. DHA is in your retinal pigmented epithelium, and it is responsible for converting sunlight into DC electric current, which is vital for your body.
According to some ophthalmologists, exposure to blue light can also aggravate age-related macular degeneration, which is what causes us to lose vision as we age.
Decreasing Depressive Symptoms
According to research, people that suffer from seasonal affective disorder or postpartum depression can all benefit from reducing their exposure to blue light.
The bottom line is that while blue light blocking glasses are not going to reverse the effects of all the time spent staring at screens, they can assist you in falling asleep faster and better the next time you have to work late or want to stay up watching your favorite TV show. Below you will find the best blue light blocking glasses to protect your eyes and sleep the next time you decide to binge watch your favorite new series before hitting the sack.