When it comes to protecting your eyes in the workplace or the workshop, prescription safety glasses are a must-have for those who don’t see clearly without glasses. These specialized glasses not only provide the necessary eye protection against flying objects, debris, or chemical splashes, but also help you see 20/20.
But how much do you have to pay for a pair of prescription safety glasses? In this post, we’ll explore the variables that contribute to the price of prescription safety glasses so you know what to expect.
- How Much Do Prescription Safety Glasses Cost?
- Factors Influencing the Cost
- Where Can I Buy Prescription Safety Glasses?
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How Much Do Prescription Safety Glasses Cost?
On the lower end, basic prescription safety glasses with polycarbonate lenses and a standard frame start around $70.
Mid-range options with additional lens coatings or higher safety ratings can range from $100 to $200.
Premium prescription safety glasses with high-index lenses, specialty frames, and features such as light-adjusting lenses can cost anywhere from $250 to $400 or more.
Factors Influencing the Cost
The complexity of your prescription plays a significant role in determining the cost of your protective eyewear.
Higher prescriptions with stronger lens powers, astigmatism correction, or multi-focal lenses are more complex and may increase the overall price.
Lens Type & Material
Safety glasses come in various lens materials, including polycarbonate, Trivex, and high-index plastic.
Each material has its unique set of advantages and pricing.
Polycarbonate lenses are the most popular choice due to their impact resistance and affordability.
High-index lenses are thinner and lighter for those with stronger prescriptions, but come at a higher cost.
Tinted lenses (prescription sunglasses) also cost more than clear lenses.
Frame Material and Style
Frame material and design also impact the price you’ll pay for prescription safety glasses.
Strong, lightweight materials like titanium can be more expensive than plastic.
Certain designs such as wraparound or streamlined semi-rimless frames are also more costly.
You may also be limited to specific frames if you have a particularly strong prescription.
Wraparound frames may not be able to handle a high Rx due to the curvature of the lens. The thicker the lens, the more difficult it is to fit into a high base-curve frame.
ANSI-rated, military ballistic-grade, or sports-rated safety glasses are more expensive than non-certified safety glasses.
This is because certified safety glasses undergo rigorous testing and must meet specific impact and safety standards to ensure they provide adequate protection against potential hazards.
The higher the safety rating, the more you can expect to pay.
For example, MIL-PRF-31013 (ballistic) ratings are more stringent than ANSI Z87 (occupational) ratings, which in turn are more stringent than ASTM F803 (sport) ratings.
Just like regular glasses, various lens coatings can be applied to prescription safety glasses, including anti-reflective, scratch-resistant, and UV protection.
Each additional coating increases the cost, but they also provide added functionality and durability.
At a minimum, you’ll want to add anti-reflective treatment to your lenses to ensure that you don’t experience glare.
The last thing you want while working in hazardous conditions is something that can negatively affect your vision.
Brand and Retailer
Naturally, the brand and retailer you choose significantly affects the price of your prescription safety glasses.
Want a pair of Oakleys? You’re going to pay a premium for them.
Where you purchase your safety glasses makes a difference too.
Some places sell Oakley frames but can install non-Oakley Rx lenses for you (alternatively, you can also ask your optician if he or she is able to fill your prescription if you get a pair of Oakley safety glasses).
This way, you’ll save on the cost of custom lenses, which can be quite substantial.
Where Can I Buy Prescription Safety Glasses?
Now that you have a better understanding of the cost factors associated with prescription safety glasses, you might be wondering where to actually buy them.
There are several options available, ranging from traditional brick-and-mortar stores to online retailers.
Specialty Eyewear Stores (Mostly Online)
Specialty eyewear stores that focus on safety glasses or sport-specific eyewear are your usual starting point for prescription safety glasses.
These stores often carry a wide range of safety glasses for all types of activities, and can install prescription lenses for you.
The staff at these stores are also quite knowledgeable about the different types of safety glasses and can help you find the best pair for your specific needs.
You can also purchase a pair of prescription-eligible safety glasses from any of these retailers and have your optician install custom lenses.
Big Box and Select Eyewear Retailers
Some large retail chains such as Walmart have optical departments where you can purchase prescription safety glasses.
Although the selection may not be as extensive as specialty eyewear stores, these retailers often offer competitive pricing and the convenience of one-stop shopping for both an eye exam plus a pair of glasses.
Online Optical Retailers
These are good options for healthcare workers and lab technicians who require safety glasses with prescription lenses.
Be sure to have an accurate and up-to-date prescription and know your correct frame size when ordering online.
Also make note of the return policy in case the safety glasses don’t work out for you.
Industrial Safety Suppliers
If you require prescription safety glasses for work, your employer may have a preferred industrial safety supplier they work with.
In some cases, your employer may even cover part or all of the cost of your safety glasses.
Check with your company’s safety officer or human resources department for more information.