Can You Wear Safety Glasses Over Prescription Glasses?


Fitover safety glasses can be one of the most worthwhile investments that you can make. They can be essential if you work at a difficult job with flying dust or other debris. If you are a hobbyist who loves woodworking in your spare time, safety glasses can protect your eyes when you are doing the work that you love. And if you love sports? Safety glasses can keep your eyes clear and protected so that you can focus on the action that is occurring on the field, court, or diamond.

All of this is well and good. That said, if you are thinking of purchasing safety glasses and already wear prescription glasses, you may have some questions before you sign on the dotted line. Specifically, there is the question of whether you can wear safety glasses over your prescription glasses. For example, you may have a pair of prescription glasses that you particularly love, yet your boss or manager requires you to wear safety glasses when you’re on the job. While you could find safety glasses that contain your prescription, it may not be an ideal outcome for you.

Will your safety glasses over glasses? Ultimately, we wanted to take this time to explore this question further. The answer can make a large difference not only if you are thinking of purchasing safety glasses, but when you are actually contemplating whether you should wear safety glasses over your prescription glasses for a job or task.

Can you wear safety glasses over prescription glasses? The simple answer? Nothing is stopping you from wearing safety glasses over your prescription eyewear. While it may not be your preferred option, your eyes won’t suffer damage or any harm if you wear safety glasses over your prescription glasses.

How Safety Glasses Work

To better understand why you can wear safety glasses over your prescription eyewear, it is helpful to analyze how safety glasses work in the first place. Doing so will dispel any fears or anxiety you may have about potentially wearing safety glasses over your favorite pair of prescription glasses.

Safety glasses are different from other pairs of glasses in that they are created to withstand more impact resistance. This is true both in the materials that comprise the frame itself and the materials that make up the lenses in your safety glasses.

Let’s start with the frames. Safety glasses are often made out of polycarbonate, which is a lightweight and strong material. These frames are more likely to hold up when they fall off your face or are experiencing extreme pressure. Along with the frames themselves, many lenses in safety eyewear (both prescription and non-prescription) are made out of polycarbonate. Polycarbonate has approximately half the weight of glass lenses, making it much more comfortable when you are wearing these glasses. Critically, polycarbonate lenses are more impact-resistant than other types of lens material. While they may scratch more easily than other materials, they can protect your eyes from dust, sand, wind, and other flying debris.


Before a pair of glasses can be characterized as safety glasses, it must conform to a higher standard of impact resistance. Often, it must meet standards promulgated by the American National Standards Institute (“ANSI”), which releases some of the most respected and widely-followed standards in the world today. To achieve this distinction, prospective safety glasses must pass a series of tests that are designed to place massive stress on the glasses.

With this background in mind, let’s explain why you can wear safety glasses over prescription glasses. The simple explanation is that safety glasses are not affecting your vision or causing any short or long-term damage. Their only role is to provide additional protection when you are working or playing in challenging conditions.

If, for instance, you are working in an environment where there is lots of flying sand or other debris, wearing safety glasses over your prescription glasses can give your eyes some additional protection. They won’t interfere with your sight. On the contrary, they are there to help you see more clearly.

A common misconception is that prescription eyewear can provide you with enough protection to work or play in these challenging environments. Or in a different scenario, you may be working on one particular job or task and think that your prescription eyewear will protect you from any potential hazards.

The simple fact, however, is that unless your prescription eyewear meets ANSI standards (or other equivalent standards), your eyes will not be sufficiently protected. To put it another way, you are putting yourself at risk of eye damage if you enter a challenging environment without safety glasses. The better solution is to invest in a pair of safety glasses and use them when you are working or playing in these environments.

The Benefits of Wearing Safety Glasses Over Prescription Glasses

Understanding the basics and benefits of safety glasses, you may be wondering why you would want to wear them over your prescription glasses. While you may have your reasons, there are several typical reasons for doing so.

First, it may be simply easier for you. To explain why let’s assume that you work at a job where your boss requires you to wear safety glasses. Your boss also supplies safety glasses to you and your colleagues. From here, it is essentially a no-brainer. Even though you may not like the design or look of these safety glasses, you can place these glasses over your favorite pair of prescription glasses. Essentially, this is the path of least resistance, allowing you to focus less on eyewear logistics and more on the job in front of you.

Wearing safety glasses over your prescription glasses can also be more cost-effective. Visiting online eyewear retailers, you will see that you can buy prescription safety glasses. You are free to make this purchase, yet you may be on a tight budget. You may enjoy your current pair of prescription glasses and may not have the budget flexibility to invest in this type of eyewear. Because of this, you can purchase a cheap pair of safety glasses, put them on top of your prescription glasses, and be sufficiently protected.

Finally, you may want to wear safety glasses over prescription glasses to protect your favorite pair of prescription glasses. This is pretty straightforward. If you are worried that your prescription eyewear will be damaged in a certain situation or scenario, you can buy a pair of safety glasses and wear them above your prescription glasses. Doing so, you can gain the confidence that your favorite prescription glasses will not break or suffer any damage.


Safety Glasses over Prescription Glasses

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The VerEdict

In sum, wearing safety glasses over your prescription eyewear is certainly possible. In fact, it is recommended in some of the scenarios referenced above. Safety glasses can provide you with added eye protection when you are entering a difficult environment with flying dust or other debris. By placing them over your prescription eyewear, you can be sufficiently protected while maintaining clear sight.

But even beyond this tangible eye protection, safety glasses can provide you with some much-needed peace of mind. Placing them over your prescription glasses provides you with the reassurance that your eyes will be safe and your vision will be clear. With this confidence, you can confidently take on a task, project, or job without worrying about your eyes.

  1. Robert Clark says:

    Good article! Thanks for the great explanation of over glasses. We must consider purchasing one of these.

  2. Robert Clark says:

    Good overall protection. I used to be able to mow my entire yard without burning my eyes. I forestall to the weeds within the morning. I’m sure they’ll work great on other projects, but I bought them primarily for lawn mowing. My frame is kind of large, but these glasses fit over them. whether or not you do not wear RX lenses, they fit well, are comfortable, and are light.

  3. Stephen Ryan says:

    Gateway safety goggles are exactly what I was looking for. I was willing to live with a little fogging, but there was none. They didn’t even steam up when I got hot and sweaty. And the glasses themselves weren’t hot to wear like a mask is. They’re sturdily constructed. Very pleased.

  4. Armando Guzman says:

    Is it osha approved to wear over sized safety glasses over prescription glass?

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