When shopping for glasses frames, whether for prescription or non prescription, it is really inportant that you choose one that fits properly. Ideally, the glasses should be wide enough so that the temples, or 'arms', go straight back to your ears without putting pressure on the side of your head. That pressure can result in headaches and unsightly dents in your head, and nobody that I know wants dents in their head. Glasses frames should also not be so wide that they slide down your nose all the time.
All prescription frames are sized based on 3 measurements, in millimeters-
1- The length or width horizontally, of one lens in millimeters (mm).
2-The length or width of the bridge, again, in millimeters (mm).
3-The length of the temples in millimeters (mm).
So a typical size might look like "51-19-135" (lens-bridge-temple) This information is important to opticians but because of the widely different frame styles available, these numbers are fairly meaningless to most eyeglass shoppers. For example, some temples come out further from the frame front to fit wide faces, which means that people with wide faces can wear glasses frames with smaller measurements. Confused? For prescription glasses, the best thing to do is ask a (hopefully) qualified and experianced Optician. That's what they do.
The best way to choose, is to pick a frame size you own, or have tried on that is comfortable for you. Measure the total width of your current eyeglasses in inches. For best accuracy, measure from inside temple to inside temple. Convert to mm below:
Here is a reference guide with approximate inches conversions:
Lens (mm)= Total Frame Width (inches)
If you know the total width in inches, of eyeglassses that fit you, then just pick the lens size that most closely cooresponds.
Each style of reader you see on our site is designated by "fit"*:
Extra small = 42-45
Small = 46-48
Small Medium = 48-50
Medium = 49-52
Medium Large = 53-55
Large = 55-56
Extra Large = 56+
*This is a rough guide. The thing is, is that the extension of the temples and the bridge width can make a big difference in the "fit". A 46-22 can fit the same as a 48-18. Both are 114mm across.
Here are 2 handy calculators-
Millimeters to inches-
And inches to millimeters-
At ReadingGlassesEtc.com, we want you to be an informed shopper. When you browse through our fine collection of reading glasses, you will see a name for the frame materials, like 'Zyle". What in the world is Zyle? Well, here is where you can find out.
Eyeglass frame come in many different materials. Some are heavier, some are lighter, and some materials allow for many different colors and color schemes. Below is a list of various glasses frames materials and their basic properties, and advantages and disadvantages.
MONEL- Monel is a mixture of many different metals. This is probably the most common material used in eyeglass frames. The price of the frame will usually indicate the quality of that mixture. If you find a monel frame priced at less than $30.00 retail, it's probably junk, whereas higher priced monel frames contain better metals and better construction. Designer frames usually contain very high quality metals. That, plus the 'Designer Label' adds to the price. Generally speaking, this is true with any frame material.
Advantages: This material is fairly corosion resistant and is malleable enough to be durable and adjustable.
Diadvantages: Not 100% corrosion resistant, Nickle content can cause allergic reactions to some people, unless it is plated with a nickle free metal.
TITANIUM- Pure titanium and Beta-titanium are the best metals used in the industry today. Pure titanium is a gray metal which is very common but requires unique technologies to produce. Beta-titanium is usually titanium combined with other metals that give it more flexibility and sometimes costs less than the 100% titanium frames Both of these are sometimes plated to add color.
Advantages: Very lightweight. Strong and durable. In some cases very flexible.
Disadvantages: Pure Titanium- None. Beta-Titanium- If the metal mixture contains nickel, it is not necessarilly hypoallergenic.
Hypoallergenic?- Pure= YES Beta= Maybe
ALUMINUM- When combined with iron and silicon aluminum becomes very strong. It is corrosion resistant and light weight.Oddly, you dont see this metal used in glasses frames very often. It is not an expensive metal, yet I have only seen it used in the high-end designer frames.
Advantages- Lightweight, strong and corrosion resistant.
Disadvantages- Finding frames made from it.
FLEXON- Created by the frame munufacturing compny, Marchon, Flexon is in a class of metals loosely called "memory metals". It is very flexible. When bent it snaps back to its original shape. It is also about 25% lighter than most nickel based alloys. It is titanium based. An ideal frame material.
Advantages- Corrosion resistant, flexible, lightweight, and very durable.
STAINLESS STEEL- A good alternative to titanium, stainless steel is also lightweight and less expensive than titanium. There are varying grades of stainless steel used. Some have higher amounts of chromium which provides corrosion resistance, and some contain no nickel which makes them hypoallergenic.Usually, but not always, the price would reflect the better quality stainless steel.
Advantages- Affordable, lightweight, corrosion resistant, and sometimes hyoallergenic.
Disadvantages- Some of the cheaper stainless steel frames are, well, cheap. The price will usually reflect the quality.
Hypoallergenic?- Yes. (If it is of good quality)
BERYLLIUM- Another less expensive alternative to titanium, beryllium is lightweight and very corrosion resistant.
Advantages- The degree of corrosion resistance. If you have high skin acidity or live near salt water this is a good choice.
Disadvantages- Hard to find.
GOLD and SILVER- Obviously, gold and sterling silver are more pricey than other materials used in glasses frames.
Advantages- Gold and gold plated frames(10K) and sterling silver are both hypoallergenic, corrosion resistant, and flexible.
Disadvantages- Heavy and way more expensive than other frame materials, and generally not as strong.
Hypoallergenic- Yes, but depending on the gold or silver content.
ZYLE- Sometimes spelled ZYL, is a lightweight plastic (cellulose acetate or zylonite) which because of its many manufacturing possibilities, can come in myriads of colors and color combinations. Very common and very affordable.
Advantages- A endless variety of colors, patterns, and effects. Fairly lightweight.
Disadvantages- Less corrosion resistant than titanium, stainless steel, etc..Not as strong or as flexible.
NYLON- Todays nylon frames are composed of nylon and other materials like polymides to provide strength. Because of its strength, nylon is typically seen in sports frames and sunglasses.
Advantages- Lightweight and strong.
Disadvantages- Very difficult to have adjusted to your face. Make sure they fit before you buy.
CELLULOSE ACETATE PROPIONATE- A very lightweight plastic, this material is durable and can be made with interesting colors and even with a transparent look. This is a nylon based material.
Advantages- Very lightweight. Can be thinner than Zyle. Cool colors.
Disadvantages- Not as strong as some of the better metals but great compared to other plastic glasses frames materials.
Hypoallergenic?- Yes, Very.
Over the years I have been an optician, I have seen the quality of the materials used in glasses frames improve greatly. Most eyeglass frames made today are stronger, lighter weight, and have better color choices and style variety than what was available years ago. On the downside, there are many manufacturers that produce frames of low quality and/or dont tell the buyers what they are made of. Unless a frame is labelled 'Titanium' or 'Stainless Steel' you aren't going to know, and often your optician wont either. As always, you get what you pay for. Any frame can break, or go out of adjustment, or have screws come out. They just dont do it as much as they used to. Usually the frame price does reflect the quality, but, buyer beware.
When shopping for eyewear, make sure that you consider the fit first. If the frame size is good and adjustments can be made to make it perfect, then it's a good choice. Make sure that your frame choice will work with your particular prescription. If you have allergies to nickel, shop for hypoallergenic frame materials. Ask your optician, they should be able to guide you and answer your questions- that's what they do. If they cannot help you, then go to an optician that can!
And by the way- when we evaluate which reading glasses to offer here at Reading Glasses Etc.com, we look at the quality of the frame and lens materials, as well as the overall workmanship, to determine whether it is worthy to be listed on our site. We do not sell "disposable eyewear" (I do not believe in the concept of "disposable") We will not sell junk!