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Exploring the Pros & Cons of Mirrored Sunglasses

Phoebe Jade

Written By:

Phoebe Jade

Updated: 18 April 2024 •  
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Mirrored sunglasses have become a must-grab accessory for many people looking to protect their eyes from the sun and make a fashion statement at the same time.
 
Through a special reflective coating that’s applied on one side of the lenses, these shades are able to reduce brightness while still enabling you to see clearly.
 
Let’s look at the pros and cons of mirrored sunglasses, the types available, and the factors to consider when choosing the best pair for you.
 

The pros of mirrored sunglasses

Mirrored sunglasses aren’t your ordinary pair of sunnies, and it’s not just because they look good. Here’s how wearing a pair can benefit you:
 

1. Great UV protection

 
Mirrored sunglasses are a great way to limit exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
 
Not only do they make it easier to transition from the indoors to outdoors, some types also provide better UV protection than regular sunglasses.
 
Some modern mirrored lenses even offer complete ocular protection against both UVA and UVB rays through their multi-layered coating.
 

2. Reduced glare

 
With mirrored lenses, light is reflected in multiple directions instead of directly hitting your eyes.
 
This eliminates the glare coming from sun rays bouncing off windshields and other reflective surfaces, as well as prevents painful headaches caused by overly bright light.
 
Also, since the brightness of incoming light is lowered, your eyes experience less strain while driving in bright light conditions or engaging in other outdoor activities.
 

3. Enhanced style and fashion

 
The sleek and contemporary look of mirrored shades can instantly jazz up even the most basic outfit while still being comfortable and practical enough to wear all day.
 
Plus, they come in virtually every color imaginable, offering many options to cater to every type of fashionista.
 
woman with rainbow braided hair wearing a pair of mirrored sunglasses

Mirrored sunglasses provide sun protection, reduce glare, and make for pretty snazzy accessories.

 

The cons of mirrored sunglasses

Like most types of eyewear, mirrored sunglasses do have their drawbacks as well.
 

1. Reduced visibility

 
Wearing mirrored shades has a major drawback many may overlook: reduced visibility.
 
Its effectiveness in blocking out light could impair your ability to clearly see your surroundings under low-light conditions.
 
While driving, you’ll need to remove your mirrored shades if you must go through a tunnel.
 
Otherwise, they may affect your vision and put you and other drivers at risk for accidents.
 

2. Distortion of color perception

 
As cool as mirrored sunnies look, it’s important to know they can distort color perception as well.
 
Their reflective coating changes the way colors appear to you, sometimes making them look brighter or more muted than they are.
 
This can be a disadvantage in activities that require accurate color perception, such as drawing, painting, and even driving.
 

3. Potential discomfort

 
For some, mirrored sunglasses can become cumbersome and uncomfortable, particularly if they are ill-fitting or of poor quality.
 
Instead of simply looking stylish, a loose-fitting pair may put more strain on both sides of your head and even give you headaches if worn for too long.
 

Types of mirrored sunglasses

Mirrored sunglasses now come in different varieties, all of which keep your eyes protected while giving your look that extra flair.
 

1. Classic round frames

 
Round mirrored sunglasses offer a vintage look with a modern twist.
 
These glasses feature round lenses with metal frames that are often thicker than other styles, making them more durable.
 
Square and diamond-shaped faces look best in round frames.
 
woman wearing a pair of modern vintage mirrored sunglasses

Round mirrored sunglasses offer a vintage look with a modern twist.

 

2. Aviators

 
Originally designed for pilots in 1936, aviator mirrored sunglasses have since been adopted by millions as timeless accessories.
 
These classic frames feature metal rims with teardrop-shaped lenses.
 
The signature detail of aviator sunglasses is the double bridge between the eyes, which helps add support for heavier lenses.
 

3. Cat-eye

 
These unique frames make a statement with their bold, angled lines and upturned lenses.
 
Think Audrey Hepburn à la Breakfast At Tiffany’s, but with mirrored lenses.
 
Cat-eye sunglasses are perfect when you want to add a dash of retro chic to your look.
 

4. Square and rectangular frames

 
Square and rectangular frames are becoming increasingly popular for mirrored sunnies.
 
They make an interesting alternative to typical round frames and still give you a classic look.
 
These shapes flatter oval and round faces the most.
 

5. Wraparounds

 
One of the most popular designs for mirrored shades, the wraparound keeps your vision wide open in all directions, giving you a full, unhindered view.
 
With their curved lenses, these sunglasses offer optimum protection and coverage for both your eyes and the skin around it.
 
Aside from being fashionable, they’re also popular in extreme sports due to their comfortable yet secure fit.
 

Mirrored vs. polarized sunglasses

Both help to improve visibility in bright light conditions and reduce glare, but each has their own distinct applications.
 
Mirrored lenses are best for activities like cycling, motorcycling, climbing, and skiing.
 
The reflective coating reflects bright, direct light, protecting your eyes and allowing you to see clearly in outdoor settings.
 
Polarized glasses are usually used for fishing, boating, and other water activities, where bright light tends to be reflected off a flat water surface.
 
These sunglasses can block horizontal light from the surface, allowing you to see better.
 
Nowadays, it’s possible to have your sunnies’ lenses customized to be both polarized and mirrored.
 

What to consider when choosing mirrored shades

With so many mirrored sunglasses on the market, picking a pair that perfectly complements your face shape and activity level is essential.
 
First off, do some research on which frames are most flattering for your face shape.
 
For example, if you have a round face, you’ll want to avoid mirrored sunglasses that are too small or circular. Instead, opt for a pair that is more square or rectangular in shape.
 
Consider your activity level as well. If you often engage in intensive physical activities such as running or hiking, get a pair that’ll fit tightly and securely on your face.
 
Glasses with rubberized nose pads or straight arms will provide better grip and comfort for more active lifestyles.
 
Outdoor enthusiasts should also prioritize sturdy materials and lenses with strong UV protection when selecting your next pair of mirrored sunglasses.
 
man wearing a pair of mirrored ski goggles for snowboarding

Intensive physical activities demand sunglasses that fit tightly and securely on your face.

 
Take some time to think about your personal preferences. Do you like smaller or larger lenses? Do you want it to have a tint, and if so, what color?
 
Additionally, get your sunglasses professionally fitted so that they’re a comfortable fit that you’d be happy to wear all day.
 
Ultimately, mirrored sunglasses should stand up to everyday wear while providing your eyes protection from the sun’s harsh rays.
 

Are mirrored sunnies right for you?

Like any other pair of glasses, it’s worth taking time to weigh the pros and cons of mirrored sunglasses before making your final decision.
 
They can protect your eyes fantastically from the sun’s UV rays, help you see in bright light conditions, and instantly elevate an outfit.
 
However, your ability to see and perceive colors may be affected, and you might feel uncomfortable wearing mirrored shades.
 
If you lead an active lifestyle or love taking part in sporty activities, the mirrored sunglasses route is definitely one worth exploring.

Phoebe Jade

Written by:

Phoebe Jade

Phoebe is a registered nurse, licensed teacher and writer who's passionate about creating content that educates and inspires.