Do safety glasses expire?


You’re ready to get your first set of premium prescription safety glasses, or maybe your work provided you with a standard run-of-the-mill pair of safety glasses to get for your work environment. You think to yourself, that’s it, the hard part is done, your eyes are protected, and you can get back to work. There’ll never need to be a reason to get another pair ever down the line. But then again, do safety glasses lose their protective features over time?

It can depend on the use case

The answer to the question of if safety glasses expire is a complex one. We may never think to ask this question because we’re replacing our safety glasses every year. This is especially with those that have prescription safety glasses, as the prescription lenses may need to be updated, and it’s common to get a new frame with those new prescription lenses. Safety glasses are meant to last that period and won’t expire during that time.

It all depends on usage and care. If you’re using safety glasses on a daily basis and they’re doing their job and taking the brunt of debris instead of your eyes, then they will eventually degrade through wear and tear. It’s just like a suit of armor or a bulletproof vest loses its protective elements from simply too many dings on the material over time. 

Another thing is how they’re cared for. It’s one thing for them to take a beating during the working day, but then how are they handled afterward? Are they being thrown onto a table on the work day or without any type of protection into a bag with other elements? Are they constantly being flung around and falling on the floor with little regard for them? This makes the frames and lenses degrade faster and can easily start to scratch the lenses more quickly, which will reduce their integrity. 

About the coatings that are put on them, that can also depend, but there are some instances over a long period of time and extensive usage that the anti-scratch coatings or the UV protection coatings will start to lose their efficacy. 

Of course, this can be faster when they aren’t stored properly, and that first scratch on the lens begins to add a compounding effect of your protection breaking down. 

A final consideration is whether these safety glasses are used in the right setting. For example, are they properly rated for the intensity of the role, or should a stronger certification of safety glasses be used instead? Using the correct equipment for the right job affects how long your safety glasses will last or how fast they will end up degrading.


Key considerations

For a concise overview on whether safety glasses expire and what to keep in mind, check out a quick summary below.



Safety glasses last about a year, especially with prescription changes.


use & care

Lifespan depends on daily use, care, and exposure to debris.


proper handling

Proper handling is crucial; rough treatment accelerates degradation.



Coatings like anti-scratch or UV protection may lose efficacy.



Improper storage hastens degradation; the first scratch compounds breakdown.



Using glasses in the right setting is essential for durability.

What are the best safety glasses

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Keep it consistent

Regardless, if you don’t want to worry, there are many options for safety glasses and prescription safety glasses that are affordable and full of features. Some frames may also perform better than others depending on the work environment, but either way, we’ve got you covered and protected at RX Safety. Of course, it’s better to replace safety glasses more often than not.


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