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Mirrored vs. Polarized Sunglasses

Mirrored vs. Polarized Sunglasses


Sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement—they play a vital role in protecting our eyes from harmful UV rays too. And so, when scouring the market for the best pair of sunnies for you, you may come across a dilemma: should you buy mirrored or polarized sunglasses?

So that you may come to an informed decision for your next purchase, we have broken down what these options actually mean, what the benefits of each are, and which type of lens might work best for you and your lifestyle.

Skateboarding with sunglasses
So, what are mirrored sunglasses anyway?

These sunnies are exactly as they sound. Just like mirrors, this type comes with a reflective coating so that they reflect light instead of allowing the direct glare of the sun to your eye. These are typically equipped with 100% protection against UV rays, an option best used for when you anticipate glaringly bright conditions.

Outwardly, the lenses in mirrored sunglasses look shiny and, much like its namesake, can be used as reflective surfaces that you can flip and use as a mirror.

People who use mirrored sunglasses report more ease in carrying out activities outdoors and driving.

This option is best for:
● Spending the day outside, especially in bright winter conditions
● Preventing the bright glare of the sun without shelling out too much money for a polarized pair of sunnies
● Sporting that fashionable reflective outer coat

Mirrored sunglasses
Pros and Cons of Mirrored Sunglasses

1. Compared to other tinted lenses, mirrored lenses can reflect sunlight by up to 60%
2. 100% protection against UV rays
3. You can choose just about any lens color and gradient style you want
4. They make driving and outdoor sports more comfortable
5. Colors appear brighter and more vivid with mirrored eyewear

1. Depending on the designer and manufacturer, some mirror coatings are more prone to scratching
2. They can be more expensive

So, what are polarized sunglasses anyway?

Polarized sunglasses are much like mirrored sunglasses sans the top mirrored coating. It can help you avoid glare by filtering horizontal and vertical light waves. If at any time in the past, you’ve gone to an eye doctor for migraines, they might have recommended this type of sunglasses for you. See, polarized lenses reduce eyestrain and are best used by those who suffer from migraines.

The downside to this type of lens is that it makes it difficult for you to use your phone or GPS while wearing it.

This option is best for:
● Daily use, especially when it’s particularly bright outside
● Preventing migraines and eyestrain
● Outdoor sports

Polarized Sunglasses
Pros and Cons of Polarized Sunglasses

1. They can help prevent eyestrain and migraines
2. You can see below the surface of the water with it, making this option great for those who participate in water sports
3. Colors become more vivid and you’ll be able to see more clearly when wearing polarized sunglasses
4. It can block severe glare from the sun and other reflective surfaces
5. It blocks horizontal light

1. Costs a bit more than mirrored sunglasses
2. The wearer might have a hard time using their phone and other electronic displays while wearing polarized sunglasses
3. The color of its base lens can be rather limited

Sunglasses with friends
Mirrored vs. Polarized Sunglasses

The main difference between mirrored and polarized sunglasses lie in their external appearance. Polarized mirrors often look much like any other regular shade, but mirrored lenses can be comparable to tinted mirrors.

Mirrored and polarized sunnies also filter light differently. While mirrored lenses work by reflecting the glare, polarized lenses work by blocking it.

If you’re caught in the middle and can’t make a decision between these two options, we just have one thing to say: it all boils down to your preference and lifestyle. Both mirrored and polarized sunglasses can prevent the direct glare of the sun to your eyes and can help you view the world in more vivid colors.

Party with sunglasses
Similarities Between Mirrored and Polarized Sunglasses

Whichever option you may choose to go with, you will still be able to enjoy some shared benefits from using these. For example, both options will give you 100% protection from UV rays and can help you see the world through lenses that intensify rather than dull down colors.

The Takeaway

Deciding between mirrored or polarized sunglasses heavily depends on the outdoor activities that you want to get involved in. Polarized lenses, for example, are best used for activities that are in a reflective environment. On the other hand, mirrored lenses can be used for places and activities where excessive sunlight is anticipated.

kid with sunglasses on the beach

Still can’t decide between these two lens options? Why settle for just one? The good news is that you can get polarized lenses that are mirrored too. This way, you can completely block out the harsh glare of the sun and prevent eyestrain while still enjoying that stylish look associated with mirrored sunglasses.

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