Can You Turn Prescription Glasses Into Sunglasses?

Thinking about turning prescription glasses into sunglasses? You’re not alone in wondering if it’s doable, where to get it done, and how much it’ll cost.

In this post, we’ll explore these concerns and more, discussing the various methods and options available to change prescription eyewear into UV-protective sunglasses.

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Can You Turn Prescription Glasses Into Sunglasses?

eyeglasses to sunglasses
Warby Parker Boggs Frame With Optical & Tinted Lenses

Yes, it’s possible to transform prescription glasses into sunglasses. However, this usually involves replacing the existing lenses with new ones that feature the desired tint and UV-blocking properties.

This is because many prescription lenses, particularly those made from polycarbonate, cannot be effectively tinted.

Additionally, your frame must be in good condition, as most opticians are reluctant to risk damaging it while installing new sunglass lenses.

How Can I Make Sunglasses Out of My Existing Glasses?

Have Your Lenses Tinted At Your Local Optical

optician holding glasses in hard case

If your lenses are plastic and don’t have any coatings (anti-reflective or otherwise), most opticians can tint your existing lenses and apply UV-blocking.

Ensure your lenses are in excellent condition, as even minor imperfections will be more noticeable once tinted.

Replace Your Rx Lenses With Tinted Lenses

If your frame is in good condition and compatible with lens replacement, you can order custom-tinted prescription lenses.

Optical labs or professional eyewear services can create sunglass lenses with various tints, colors, and darkness levels based on your preferences.

Replace Your Current Lenses With Photochromic Lenses

photochromic lenses in sunlight

Photochromic lenses, commonly known as Transitions™ lenses, enable you to have one pair of glasses for both regular prescription use and as sunglasses.

These lenses automatically adjust their tint based on UV light exposure, darkening in sunlight and clearing indoors or in low light conditions.

Get A Clip-On

Clip-ons are removable accessories that attach to your frame using small clips or magnets, providing instant sun protection.

The easiest and most economical option, clip-ons come in various sizes, shapes, and tints and can be easily purchased online or in-store.

Where Can I Get Sunglass Lenses Installed In My Frame?

Local Optician or Optical Store

They often offer a wide variety of lens options and professional guidance on the most suitable lens choice for your frame and prescription.

Specialty Lens Replacement Services

Reputable companies include Lens Factory, ReplaceALens, Lensabl, and ReplaceRxLenses. They typically operate online and require you to send in your glasses for lens replacement.

Online Optical Retailers

Overnight Glasses,, LensDirect, and Rx-Safety offer lens replacement services in addition to their selection of glasses and sunglasses.

Eyewear Manufacturers

Some frame makers or brands may offer lens replacement services. Check their website or contact customer service for information on availability and cost.

Can You Turn Sunglasses Into Rx Glasses?

How Much Does It Cost To Change Rx Lenses To Sunglass Lenses?

The cost can range from as low as $50 to over $300 or more due to various factors:

Lens Material

CR-39 plastic lenses are the most affordable, while high-index lenses are the most expensive.

Lens Coatings and Add-Ons

Anti-reflective, scratch-resistant, UV-protection coatings, and polarized lenses can increase the cost.

Prescription Strength

Stronger prescriptions or progressive lenses often require more expensive high-index lenses.

Service Provider

Local opticians and optical stores may have higher prices but offer personalized service, while online retailers often have lower overhead costs and competitive pricing.

Frame Compatibility

In some cases, your frames may require more expensive lens options. Always consult a professional for the most appropriate choice for your specific frame and prescription.

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