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What Are the Best Frames for Lenses with High Prescription?

Danielle Willatt

Written By:

Danielle Willatt

Dr. Melody Huang

Reviewed by:

Dr. Melody Huang

Updated: 12 June 2024 •  
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Did you ever try on your grandparent’s glasses when you were a kid and see your eyes distorted up to five times their usual size? Those now-vintage glasses likely had extremely thick lenses and a high prescription.
Luckily, times have really come through for us spec-wearers, as newer technology means that a high prescription no longer requires ultra-thick lenses.
Today, we’ll dive into the best frames for high prescriptions, specifically high index lenses.

What are your options if you need a high prescription?

Your eyeglass prescription can affect the types of glasses you’re able to wear. This is especially the case if your optometrist has given you a high prescription – which means that your glasses will need to work a little harder to correct your vision.
However, eyewear advancements have opened up many more options available for you. When picking glasses for higher prescriptions, your two main options are:

  • You opt for thinner, high-index lenses.
  • You opt for regular lenses and simply choose a frame design that’s suitable for higher prescriptions.

We’ll be explaining both options in more detail.

What are the thinnest lenses for high prescriptions?

The thinnest lenses for high prescriptions are generally high-index lenses.
The key word when it comes to high index lenses is efficient. These lenses are made from a more sophisticated material that’s designed to bend the light more efficiently to accommodate a high prescription, which allows lenses to be far thinner than regular index lenses. It’s kind of like the optometry version of “work smarter not harder”.
This means that having a high prescription doesn’t mean you are doomed to carry the load of super heavy lenses. High index lenses come to the rescue for anyone with high prescriptions, astigmatism, and both high near and farsightedness.
There are many of reasons why people opt for high-index lenses:

  • They’re more comfortableThick lenses housed in full frames can be taxing on the nose and ears. That extra weight can cause dents in the nose and achy ears after a long day of wear. High-index lenses, on the other hand, feel weightless and won’t cause those annoying red marks.

  • They look greatWhile oversized eyes are beautiful, we don’t always want our facial features to be distorted by our glasses. Older prescription lenses tend to magnify or minify the eyes and result in an inaccurate view of the wearer’s face. High index lenses tell it like it is! Due to their super-thin construction, they won’t magnify or distort the eyes as much, providing a clear window to your peepers.

  • They’re very versatileHigh index lenses and their fabulously thin constructions can saunter into almost any frame. If you’ve been dreaming of that ultra sleek, lightweight rimless aesthetic, you and your high prescription are in luck.

Here at Mouqy, we offer a range of high-index lenses that we can add to almost any frame you desire.

What frames can you wear with high-index lenses?

Traditionally, high prescriptions meant thick lenses, which meant rimless and semi-rimless frames were out of the question. Semi-rimless frames were simply not strong enough to securely hold a thick lens.
High praise to the inventors of high index lenses, as they allow high prescription users to rock almost any frame style. The thin nature of high index lenses means rimless and semi-rimless glasses can be a viable option. With trends moving toward lightweight, delicate options, this is great news.
So, since there are almost no restrictions on the frames you can wear, the next step is to find the right ones. More on that at the end of this article!

The best frames for high prescriptions (with regular lenses)

Despite their many benefits, high index lenses are not for everyone. Your budget may not allow for high index glasses, or you may have been recommended to go for a lower index. Never fear, there are options out there for you.
Here are some top tips to follow which will help you find the most flattering frames to accommodate your thicker lenses.

1. Opt for plastic or acetate over metal

laura rectangle red glasses frame top view

Laura in rectangle red.

Metal frames are thin, meaning a thicker frame won’t be entirely encased by the frame, further accentuating the thickness.
Plastic and acetate frames, however, are naturally thicker and fully conceal the edge of the thicker lens. In fact, thick plastic frames give the opportunity for bold pops of color or interesting patterns.

2. Full frames are best

nori tortoise flatlay view

Nori in square tortoise.

Rimless and semi-rimless frames don’t really go hand-in-hand with thick lenses for high prescriptions. The thickness of the lens is far more obvious when the edges are left exposed. Plus, the lightweight nature of a rimless or semi-rimless style is lost on the thicker frame.
Play to the strength of the lens and go with a full frame that conceals the thick edges of the lens. This is a good thing! It means you can explore unique colors and patterns to enhance your features or even make a statement.

3. Try smaller frames with a smaller lens area

potter round navy blue glasses frame top view

Potter in round navy blue.

The smaller the frame, the smaller the lens area will be, minimizing the look of a thicker lens. This helps to reduce the chance of distorting the eye and upper cheek area of the face. We love small, round frames with thicker lenses as they sit neatly on the face and especially flatter more angular face shapes.
What’s more, the lack of angles and edges of round glasses reduces the opportunity for the lens thickness to be visible from the outside.

How to always choose a frame style you’ll love

Whatever option you go for – you’ll always want to make sure you find a frame that you love. Glasses are perched upon your face for most of the day so it’s important you’re happy with your choice.
Here are two fail-safe tips to help you.

1. Consider your face shape

Face shape is one of the key considerations when finding frames, as some flatter and some may detract from your features.
The right pair of glasses will balance out your features, adding angles to roundness, and roundness to angles (to put it simply). For example, rounder faces suit geometric or square frames. Triangular faces, on the other hand, look great in wide, large frames that balance a smaller forehead with a bolder jawline.
To find a fit for your face shape, check our guide.

2. What’s your overall daily aesthetic?

Now that you’ve found the right silhouette, it’s time to consider the overall aesthetic in terms of color, pattern, and material.
What makes you feel most like you? While bold neon plastic frames may be fun for a weekend night out, you may feel overpowered by them during the work week. To compromise, you could try a sweet pastel shade that adds color without the intensity. Or, a pair of amber tortoiseshell full frames could be ideal for bringing out the warmth in your complexion while going with any eye makeup look.
Have a look through our curated collection at Mouqy and play around with our Virtual Try-On to see what you love most. Your new favorites are waiting!

Danielle Willatt
Danielle Willatt is a seasoned freelancer and digital nomad who’s written for brands around the world. Find her off exploring, camera-first.
Dr. Melody Huang
Melody Huang is an O.D. and medical writer with over ten years of expertise. As an optometric physician licensed with the California State Board of Optometry, Melody currently practices in the Los Angeles area.

Frames for High Prescriptions