The 7 Best Safety Glasses to Protect Against Hazards

The Ergodyne Polarized Safety Sunglasses are our top pick

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The 7 Best Safety Glasses of 2022

The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

Whether you love DIY projects, work in construction, or engage in other tasks where flying debris can be a hazard, safety glasses offer an essential layer of protection

We researched dozens of safety glasses, evaluating comfort, durability, and lens quality. Our favorites, the Ergodyne Polarized Safety Sunglasses, have scratch-resistant, polarized lenses with glare and UV protection.

Here are the best safety glasses.

Our Top Picks

Best Polarized: Ergodyne Skullerz Dagr Polarized Safety Sunglasses

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Ergodyne Skullerz Dagr Polarized Safety Sunglasses

Courtesy of Amazon

Ergodyne Skullerz have polarized lenses, which minimize glare from things like water, sun, and glass. This prevents light from going directly into your line of vision, reducing sensitivity to reflective surfaces, and is generally more comfortable for the eyes.

The lenses also provide UV protection and resist scratching. These protective glasses meet ANSI standards for safety and MIL (military) standards for ballistic impact resistance. The blade-style frame is made of flexible yet durable nylon, and rubber around the bridge and temples keeps them in place.

Best Prescription: RX Safety Prescription Safety Glasses RX-15011

Prescription Safety Glasses RX-15011

Courtesy of RX Safety

The best prescription safety glasses are this pair from RX Safety. With TR-90 nylon arms and an adjustable nose piece, they're suitable for men and women and can accommodate various face shapes and head sizes. (TR-90 nylon is a type of ultra-flexible yet endlessly durable thermoplastic.)

These ANSI-approved safety glasses have large rectangular frames and wraparound shields to help protect you from chemicals, particles, paint, and other irritants from every angle. The frames come in a few different colors, including black, clear, red, and yellow.

Best Over-Glasses: NoCry Over-Glasses Safety Glasses

NoCry Over-Glasses Safety Glasses

Courtesy of Amazon

If you're looking for something to wear over your prescription eyeglasses, check out this pair from NoCry. They fit over most reading classes and cost substantially less than a pair of prescription safety glasses.

With a resilient polycarbonate frame and clear wraparound lenses, you'll be protected from all angles without distorting your vision. The lenses resist scratching and block over 90 percent of UV rays, and soft tips minimize pressure around your temples.

The extendable arms can be adjusted to fit various head sizes, so they work for men, women, and kids. You can also wear them as normal safety glasses without a prescription pair underneath. These specs are certified safe by the ANSI, CSA, and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).

Best Outdoor: Carhartt Carbondale Safety Sunglasses

Carhartt Carbondale Safety Sunglasses

Courtesy of Amazon

Carhartt has been a go-to for work apparel for over a century, so it's no surprise the brand makes the best outdoor protective eyewear. These ANSI and CSA-approved safety sunglasses have a flexible nylon frame and extra-durable, scratch-resistant polycarbonate lenses.

The lenses block 99 percent of UVA and UVB rays from the sun, as well as UVC radiation from artificial lamps or lasers. With dual-injected arms and a soft rubber bridge, these glasses feel as comfortable as a custom pair.

Best Readers: 3M Nuvo Reader Protective Eyewear

3M Nuvo Reader Protective Eyewear

Courtesy of Amazon

3M Nuvo offers +1.5 magnifying strength. You don't need a prescription for these protective readers, but they'll help you read small text and see close-up objects in better detail while you're working.

The polycarbonate lenses meet ANSI and CSA requirements for high-impact protection and block almost 100 percent of UV rays. Thanks to wraparound shields and a protective brow bar, you'll have coverage from all sides.

Best Goggles: SolidWork Safety Goggles with Universal Fit

Safety Goggles with Universal Fit

Courtesy of Amazon

SolidWork Safety Goggles are designed to fit everyone. A super-soft material between the frame and your face ensures a perfect fit and a protective seal. They have an adjustable band that wraps around your head without digging into any pressure points.

The ANSI-certified polycarbonate lenses resist scratching and have a special anti-fog coating. Not only that, but the lenses block UV rays and are polarized to minimize glare. You'll also appreciate the panoramic design, which provides a wide field of vision and complete protection from particles and irritants.

Best Indoor: NoCry Safety Glasses

No Cry Safety Glasses

Courtesy of Amazon

For indoor jobs and interior home improvement projects, we suggest NoCry's Safety Glasses. With a lightweight construction and wraparound design, they offer ample protection while still keeping you comfortable. They also have an adjustable construction, so you can customize the side and nose pieces to fit your face. Score!

This pair meets ANSI standards for high-impact eye and face protection, and the lenses are treated to protect your eyes from radiation emitted by artificial indoor lights. They're also scratch- and fog-resistant and reduce reflective glare. If you do venture outside wearing these glasses, you'll have peace of mind knowing they block 90 to 100 percent of the sun's rays.

What to Look for in Safety Glasses

Comfort and Fit

Comfort is key, particularly if you’re planning on wearing your glasses for an extended period of time. Though you might not be able to try on the pair you’re buying in person, look for soft nosepieces, rubber temples, and ergonomic frames. You can also find styles with different frame sizes to better fit your face.

Lens Material

Safety lenses are usually made from one of four materials: polycarbonate, NXT, acrylic, or glass. Polycarbonate is the best option for most uses, as it’s lightweight, impact resistant, and offers UV protection. If you’re in need of prescription glasses, however, you might opt for NXT or glass lenses, which offer greater optical clarity.

Tints and Treatments

In addition to the lens material, you’ll also want to consider the lens color and any tints or treatments that have been added. For indoor or low-light activities, it’s safest to go with clear lenses. Shaded or tinted lenses are helpful for outdoor use, protecting you from bright sunlight or lights.

You can opt for anti-reflective or mirrored coatings to further reduce glare, or an anti-fog coating to reduce or eliminate lens fogging (particularly useful for mask wearers). Other treatments include blue light blocking, hard coat, and hydrophobic coatings.

Safety Certification

If you’re buying safety eyewear in America, make sure that it has an ANSI Z87.1 Certification. This ensures that the glasses have been properly tested and meet the standard for personal Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices. You should see it clearly marked on the inside of the lens.

FAQ
  • What are safety glasses?

    Safety glasses are a form of protective eyewear that is designed to prevent objects from coming into contact with your eyes. They are used in many professional industries as a basic safety requirement and are also common in most DIYer workshops where the risk of flying debris from a power tool is high.

  • When should safety glasses be worn?

    It's a good idea to wear safety glasses whenever there is a risk that your eyes could be damaged by flying particulates, like wood chips, hardened grout, tile, or brick. Switch to goggles or a full face mask if the risk includes liquid chemicals.

  • How do you keep safety goggles from fogging up?

    The best way to keep your safety goggles from fogging up is to invest in a pair of anti-fog safety glasses, but if you are stuck with a regular pair, you can try to pinch your mask so the fit is more snug around the bridge of your nose. This will help reduce the amount of warm air entering your glasses. Additionally, you can apply an anti-fog coating to the inside of the safety glasses before use.

  • What are safety glasses made of?

    Not all safety glasses are made of the same material, but most manufacturers rely on impact-resistant and scratch-resistant polycarbonate lenses to protect your eyes while you work.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This roundup was written by Theresa Holland, a freelance writer with substantial experience researching, testing, and reviewing home improvement products and DIY supplies. You can check out more of her work on Byrdie, MyDomaine, and Verywell Health.

Lily Sperry, a commerce editor at The Spruce, conducted additional research for this round-up, reading through third-party reviews and expert safety considerations at ANSI and Safety Gear Pro to help you find the right pair of safety glasses for your needs. Additional reporting and research for this article was done by Timothy Dale, a long-time home improvement expert specializing in plumbing, construction, and product recommendations, among other topics.

Updated by
Timothy Dale

Timothy Dale is a home repair expert and writer with over a decade of hands-on construction and home improvement experience. He is skilled in residential, commercial, industrial and institutional plumbing, electrical, carpentry, installation, renovations, and project management.

Learn more about The Spruce's Editorial Process
Article Sources
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  1. Boyd, Kierstan et al. What are Polarized Lenses For? AAO.org. American Academy of Ophthalmology. 2021.

  2. American Optometric Association. Ultraviolet (UV) Protection. AOA.org. 2021.

  3. "ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020: Current Standard For Safety Glasses". The ANSI Blog, 2021, https://blog.ansi.org/2020/04/ansi-isea-z87-1-2020-safety-glasses-eye-face/#gref

  4. Vimont, Celia. How to Choose the Glasses Frame Material That’s Right for You. AAO.org. American Academy of Ophthalmology.

  5. Skid, Nate. How Carhartt became an American Fashion Icon. CNBC.com.

  6. American Optometric Association. Protecting Your Eyes At WorkAOA.org. 2021.

  7. Branch, Jessica. What You Need to Know About Eyeglass Lens Coatings. ConsumerReports.org.