What’s the Difference Between Glass Vs Plastic Lenses?


Having a hard time picking a lens material?

Glass Vs Plastic Lenses

Lens material can be a difficult choice when purchasing glasses online, especially if you’ve never done it before. Glass vs plastic lenses, high index vs standard, polycarbonate? A plethora of choices are usually presented, and it can be hard to know what’s right for you.

The two major differences between glass and plastic are weight and scratch resistance. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, which can be annoying for several reasons. The added weight on your nose can cause uncomfortable and unattractive pressure points as you wear the glasses all day, and it can also cause the glasses to slide down your face.

The other major difference is scratch resistance. Plastic lenses, while lighter, don’t have the scratch resistance of glass. Scratching glass lenses is a fairly difficult and unlikely thing to do unless you drop them, whereas plastic lenses are fairly easy to scratch, requiring a bit more care in handling.

If you’re trying to decide between plastic vs glass lens materials and don’t know all the differences, here’s what you need to know:

  • Plastic is much lighter than glass, making it more comfortable to wear all day and limiting the glasses’ tendency to slide down your nose.
  • Glass is much more scratch resistant than plastic, making the glasses last longer.
  • Glass lenses are also more brittle than plastic lenses. It is extremely unlikely that you will ever break or crack plastic lenses, but glass lenses are likely to crack, splinter, or shatter if dropped on a hard surface such as concrete or metal.
  • Plastic lenses are less reflective than glass lenses, making them clearer and less prone to glare.
  • Glass lenses generally have a higher index than plastic lenses, making them slightly thinner and more attractive looking.
  • Plastic lenses come in more colors and larger sizes than glass lenses, making them much more versatile. Whereas the frames you can get in glass are limited, you can get virtually any type of frame in prescription with plastic lenses.


Since the creation of the plastic lens, glass lenses are much rarer than plastic when it comes to prescription glasses. The huge reduction in weight and versatility in prescription frames has caused plastic to win out in popularity in the glass vs plastic lens material race.

If you are interested in getting prescription glasses online, hopefully this narrows your choices and gives you a good idea of the differences between glass vs plastic lenses. If you have other questions not answered here, or if you’d like to make a comment on this post, you can leave them in the comments section below. You are also more than welcome to call us if you’re shopping for prescription glasses online and have some unanswered questions. Thanks for reading, and happy shopping!

  1. Mark says:

    Do vision express use glass in there glasses

  2. Charles says:

    Can round metal frames be used to place glass lens.

  3. Richard says:

    I think glass lenses are better.All my expensive telescopes use glass.Plasic is easier to manufacturer many in a week.plastic is much cheaper and more profitable to make than glass.Another thing it mush easier to clean glass lenses than plastic.Any piece of dirt or grease plastic sticks to them like glue.Yry washing a plastics dish with grease and dirt on it .It take 10 times as much water to clean versus and ceramic or corning glassware dish to get them totally clean.

  4. Majid says:

    Hello there,
    Are plastic lenses have different quality or they are same.

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