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Types of Nose Pads for Glasses & What They Do

Shu Kie

Written By:

Shu Kie

Updated: 26 February 2024 •  
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Anyone who wears eyeglasses knows how important nose pads are. They’re the two small pieces that separate your nose from the rim of the frames.
 
However, they can be uncomfortable when they aren’t fitted and adjusted properly.
 
If you’re frustrated with nose dents, pain, and discomfort caused by your glasses, or maybe you’re just looking to switch things up, you’ll need to figure out the right type of nose pad for you and get them sitting in the right place.
 
Need a helping hand? Here’s everything you need to know.

Glasses nose pads and their main purpose

nose pad separate the nose from glasses frames

Nose pads are what separate your nose from the frames of your glasses.

 
Nose pads are one of the most essential parts of your glasses. They’re the two teeny-tiny supports attached near the nose bridge that help hold your glasses in the right place.
 
They also prevent the frames from sliding off your face and are especially helpful if you have a low nose bridge. Furthermore, they provide comfort and a snug fit so you can wear your glasses anytime comfortably.
 
Aside from these functions, nose pads are also great for fashion. They tend to give glasses a more classic, vintage appearance.
 
Additionally, nose pads come in two types: fixed and adjustable nose pads. As the name suggests, fixed nose pads are nose pads that can’t be moved and are used in metal frames. You can also find them on certain high-grade plate eyewear, which are glasses made out of very strong metal.
 
Adjustable nose pads on the other hand are a non-metallic adhesive type. They are held in place by welding the brackets of your eyewear.
 
Apart from these two types, nose pads also have other defining characteristics. Below is a list of things that needs to be considered when picking nose pads.
 

  • How it’s mounted
  • Size
  • Material
  • Shape

 
Let’s dive into each part in more depth.
 

Types of nose pads (mounting method)

1. Screw-in/screw-on nose pads

 
screw in nose pad for glasses

Screw-in/screw-on nose pads are attached to your glasses with screws.

 
As you can guess by the name, this nose pad is mounted on to your glasses with screws. While the functionality isn’t a problem, its main downside comes from the manufacturers.
 
In cases where you want to replace your nose pad, you should keep in mind that some manufacturers don’t provide new screws. As such, make sure to keep the original screws with you at all times.
 

2. Push-in/push-on nose pads

 
push in nose pad for glasses

Push-in/push-on nose pads are attached to the glasses with a rectangular piece.

 
When you see a nose pad with a rectangular shape on its back, that’s how you know it’s a push-in/push-on nose pad. Compared to screw-in/screw-on nose pads, these don’t use screws. Instead, they’re attached to the frame of your glasses with a small rectangular metal piece.
 
They’re easy to put on, and you can easily replace them when one wears out.
 
However, because they’re easy to attach, there are times when they might fall off if they’re not attached securely enough.
 

3. Slide-in/slide-on nose pads

 
slide in nose pad for glasses

Slide-in/slide-on nose pads are similar to push-in/push-on nose pads.

 
Slide-in/slide-on nose pads have a round protrusion on their backs. These bumps are used to mount the nose pads, and they also have a lip on their outer edge which allows the nose pads to be slid into your glasses for a secure fit.
 
These are similar to push-in/push-on nose pads, but due to the lip on the outer edge, slide-in/slide-on nose pads are more secure while still being easy to mount.
 

4. Clip-on nose pads

 
clip on nose pad for glasses

Clip-on nose pads are made from soft silicone or soft-firm PVC.

 
Clip-on nose pads, which are also known as crimp-on, have two prongs with a metal clasp at the back. They’re usually constructed from soft silicone or soft-firm PVC, which we’ll explain in more detail later on.
 
Each clasp is curved around the metal pad attached to the nose pad mount, which is then attached firmly to each nasal side of the frame of your glasses.
 

5. Adhesive nose pads

 
adhesive nose pad for glasses

Adhesive nose pads are best suited for those who have frames made of plastic.

 
Adhesive nose pads are great for those who have frames made out of plastic. They are stuck in place with 3M adhesives.
 
The silicone material used for adhesive nose pads makes them super comfortable and is great at preventing them from slipping off your face.
 

What are the common different nose pad sizes?

glasses nose pad size chart

Nose pads come in different shapes and sizes. Source: Amazon

 
Nose pads come in all different shapes and sizes. They’re measured in millimeters (mm), and 1 millimeter is roughly around 1/32 inches. Their sizes are determined by their vertical length.
 
With this, you’ll find that nose pads’ lengths commonly fall within the range of 9mm to 15mm. However, it’s important to note that these are only the most common measurements, and some eyewear companies may offer custom nose pad sizes to give you optimum comfort.
 

How do you pick the right size for your nose pads?

 
When choosing sizes, comfort is the key thing to keep in mind.
 
What this means is they shouldn’t be too tight until they cause pain and give you nose dents. That said, they also shouldn’t be loose to the point where you feel like they’ll just slip off. For this, you’ll want to pay attention to the measurement of your nose bridge.
 
You can also find more tips on nailing the right fit for your glasses here.
 

What materials are used for glasses nose pads?

Silicone

 
Silicone nose pads offer great comfort. It’s the ideal material to wear when going outdoors, which is why you often see them on sunglasses.
 
Additionally, with silicone nose pads, it’s easy to get a perfect fit. The material molds to the shape of your nose and helps distribute the weight of the glasses on your face more evenly.
 
While they have many advantages, every nose pad has its cons. Its main drawback is that you have to clean them pretty regularly, as they can easily absorb sweat and dirt. Without regular upkeep, you could be at risk of contracting skin infections over time.
 

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

 
Polyvinyl chloride or PVC for short, has a similar look to silicone nose pads. Both soft and hard PVC nose pads exist, depending on where you’re buying them from.
 
The best part about them is that they make your glasses comfortable and easy to wear.
 
It’s worth noting, however, that while PVC nose pads don’t require the same level of maintenance as silicone nose pads, it’s still important that you clean them regularly.
 

Polycarbonate (PC)

 
Polycarbonate or PC for short is a great choice for those that prefer hard nose pads. The main advantage of these nose pads is that they’re extremely lightweight and highly durable to boot. Polycarbonate is said to be 250 times stronger than glass!
 

Other nose pads materials

 
In addition to the materials we mentioned above, titanium, rubber, glass, and ceramic are also used to make nose pads. However, they’re rare and you usually need to have them custom-made which can be pretty heavy on your wallet.
 

What shapes do nose pads come in?

Nose pads are available in a variety of shapes for both metal and plastic frames.
 
Below is a list of some of the shapes they come in:
 

  • D-shaped
  • Oval
  • Round
  • Teardrop
  • Soft wing
  • Strap bridge

 
If you’re looking for a new pair of glasses with nose pads, you can virtually try on all the frames you see on Mouqy to get a good idea of how they look on you.
 

How often should nose pads for glasses be changed?

How often you should change your nose pads depends on numerous factors. The first of these is the material: some like silicone nose pads wear off quickly, whereas others like the PC are far more durable.
 
The next factor is the frequency of wear. For instance, if you have an active lifestyle, you may see yourself replacing your nose pads more frequently than someone who doesn’t go out that often.
 
Lastly, the longevity of your nose pads depends on where you buy them from. While you may save more upfront on a pair of cheap nose pads, you have to anticipate changing them more often as they could be of lower quality.
 
Here are some useful tips on how to maintain your glasses in tip-top condition.
 

Now you can choose the right glasses nose pads for you!

Nose pads are great for keeping your glasses secure on your face and for extra comfort. However, these are only achievable if they’re fitted and adjusted properly. Make sure to take all the factors above into account before deciding on a pair of nose pads.
 
For more eyewear info and tips you need to know, be sure to follow Mouqy!

Shu Kie

Written by:

Shu Kie

Shu Kie is Mouqy’s certified optician with over 5 years of experience in the optical industry. She earned her certification from Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO).