What are your lenses made of?

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The first time I took a tour through the VSPOne Optical Technology Center and saw firsthand how lenses are shaped to fit individual prescriptions and frames, I was surprised to see the number of materials used, but virtually no glass.

I thought for sure that lenses would be made of glass, and there was a time that was true.

Today, however, lenses are primarily made from plastics and for good reason – they’re lightweight, can provide better protection for your eyes, and help you see better. There are a variety of lens materials to choose from. Don’t forget to ask your optical professional what the best fit is for your prescription and lifestyle!

Take a closer look to see what lens materials might be best suited for your eyewear needs.

Plastic lenses are commonly used today and are best suited for mild or minimal prescriptions. The benefits include its lightweight feel and durability, without compromising the optics in your lenses.

Do you live an active lifestyle? Polycarbonate lenses are an impact-resistant option, perfect for athletes, kiddos, and those on the go.  These lenses also help protect against UV rays and are slightly thinner than standard plastic lenses, and are a step up in durability.

Originally designed for military use, Trivex lenses got their name for three main performance properties, including improved visual clarity, strength and impact resistance, while maintaining lightweight comfort. These lenses are approved for both sports and safety glasses. They also provide UV protection. Trivex lenses provide better optics than plastic lenses, and are lighter than Polycarbonate, but are not as thin as High Index for those of us needing a stronger prescription.

High Index
Do you have a strong prescription but want to avoid the Coke-bottle look? High index lenses provide the thinnest lens option while still accommodating strong prescriptions so they won’t detract from your stylish frames and also provide UV protection.

Lens Guide
Compare the features for yourself!

4549-16-VCCM_Lens_Materials_Guide_516 (1)

Your eye care provider can help you determine which lens material best suit your visual needs, as well as further customization options to fit your lifestyle. Click here to find a VSP provider near you and find out how VSP members can save on UNITY lenses and enhancements here.


  • Kahtleen says:

    Where can I find trivex lenses and what is the comparative price between trivex and other lenses.

  • Jim Webb says:

    What lens is chemical resistant

  • Mark Blumenthal says:

    I have been wearing glass safety glasses for nearly 30 years. Although glass lenses are heavy, the first pair of plastic lens safety glasses became so scratched that they were unusable in little more than a month. I’ve stuck with glass ever since. Is Trivex lens material as scratch resistant as glass and does it meet Z-87 safety glass standards?

  • Alex Avedis says:

    In high index progressive lenses, why do the images lose clarity when looking through the sides of the lenses as opposed to perfect clarity when looking dead straight ahead?

  • Steven Soong says:

    VSP has been great for us. Thank you VSP from http://www.bvoptometry.com

  • Willie says:

    New to VSP and just recently used the plan. Very happy with the coverage that I have and the fact that my Eye Doctor accepts VSP? Will probably sign up my wife.

  • Robert C says:

    My Polycarbonate lenses seem to get dirty faster than glass and are harder to clean.

  • Fanny says:

    I get both eyeglasses and sunglasses from my prescriber. Very happy with his recommendations

  • […] a frame that looks great and fits comfortably. They can also provide expert insight about different lens materials and coatings to further customize your […]

  • gerald s says:

    I have vsp and have found no info on the coverage. At what percentage are they covered? and why is this not found on explanation of benefits page?

    • Angelina F. says:

      Hi Gerald,

      For an overview of your benefits you can log into vsp.com and click on Benefits with VSP Network Providers, which will provide a breakdown of what benefits you are eligible for, or to hear your benefits over the phone, contact Customer Care at 800.877.7195.

      Hope that helps!
      Angelina F., VSP

  • Lisa says:

    Just wondering why we are charged Unity Pix 15 Clear & then Unity Classic?

  • […] are even different lens materials to pick from, such as upgrading to polycarbonate lenses or high-index lenses for the thinnest […]

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