Why are polycarbonate lenses better than plastic or acrylic lenses?

Although most sunglass lenses are made of plastic, the use polycarbonate lenses are increasing.   However, plastic lenses are still the standard for most inexpensive sunglasses.  Polycarbonate also known as poly lenses, are impact and shatterproof.  Poly is more common than you think.  Items such as helmet visors, music CDs, motorcycle windshields, and even bullet proof glass are made of poly.  Compared to plastic, poly lenses are:

  • More impact resistant
  • 20 – 35% thinner than plastic
  • 20% lighter than plastic lenses
  • Naturally 100% UV protection
  • More resistant to scratches

    What is Polycarbonate Material?

Believe it or not, polycarbonate starts as small pellets that look and feel like plastic.  Polycarbonate is a thermos plastic material that is melted into the shape of the sunglass lens, and then compressed under high pressure.   Finally, it is cooled to retain its shape.

Do You Need to Wear Polycarbonate Lenses for Sports?

If you play high impact sports such as baseball, tennis, target sports or basketball, you should probably wear poly lenses.  Not only do polycarbonate lenses provide 100% UV protection all the time, poly lenses are shatter proof.   So, you don’t have to worry about your lenses shattering from impact.   Your eyes will always be protected.  We also recommend poly lenses for motorcycle riding and for all high speed sports.  We have heard so many stories from customers who tell us that polycarbonate lenses saved their eyes.   As a matter of fact, all military personnel and police officers are required to wear safety rated poly sunglasses.


Assuming the lenses are properly coated with quality UV coatings, plastic lenses are still fine to wear for casual use.    However, for the best eye protection, we recommend polycarbonate lenses.   Fortunately, SunglassMonster.com offers a wide selection of sunglasses with poly lenses at incredible prices.  In the past, polycarbonate lenses were only available with expensive sunglasses such as Oakley, Raybans and high end fashion brands.  Now, since polycarbonate is so affordable at SunglassMonster.com, there’s not much of a reason to choose plastic lenses.