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What Are the Various Sunglasses Categories?

Phoebe Jade

Written By:

Phoebe Jade

Updated: 14 April 2024 •  
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The perfect pair of sunglasses isn’t just an accessory – they’re necessary for protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Choosing the right type can make all the difference in how effectively they serve their purpose.
Let’s look at the different categories of sunglasses and how you can choose the best pair for you.

There are four general categories of sunglasses

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between the different darkness levels of lenses?
Sunglasses are generally grouped into categories based on the darkness of the tint.
The darkness level determines how much light is absorbed through the lens, making it easier on the eyes and reducing glare.
So, whether you’re looking for a subtle tint or full-on sun protection, knowing the different categories can help you choose the perfect pair of shades for any occasion.
a rack displaying multiple pairs of sunglasses

Tint darkness affects what category sunglasses are slotted into.


Category 1 sunglasses: light tint for easy wear

If you’re looking for something to throw on to accessorize your outfit, these sunnies are the way to go.
Also called fashion spectacles, they’ll add extra oomph and personality to your look.
Wearing them outside, especially in bright sunlight, may not be the best idea as they only provide minimal protection from harmful UV rays.
They can reduce glare, helping you to see clearly, though.
You can use them for driving during the day but not under dull light conditions.
They might look cool but don’t offer enough protection against harmful UV radiation.
Your eyes deserve better than just looking stylish.

Category 2 sunglasses: medium tint for better protection

You want to protect your eyes from the bright sun rays when you’re out and about.
However, it’s also necessary to balance style with functionality.
Enter medium tint shades- the perfect intersection of cool and practical.
They shield your eyes from the sun’s glare and offer killer UV protection, which is vital if you spend lots of time outdoors.
Plus, you can wear them while driving during the day, though not in dim light.

Category 3 sunglasses: dark tint for stronger outdoor shading

Choosing the right category is crucial for sunglasses.
Dark-tint sunnies are perfect for outdoor use, providing excellent protection against the sun’s glare and harmful UV rays.
They’re great for activities like hiking, biking, and beach trips, giving you clear and comfortable vision even on the brightest days.
Just be sure to avoid wearing them when driving at night or in low light conditions, as they’re unsuitable.

Category 4 sunglasses: very dark tint for maximum protection

Do you squint in the sun, struggling to keep your eyes open against the blinding glare? If so, look into a pair of very dark-tinted sunglasses.
These bad boys are no joke. They offer a seriously high level of protection against the harshest sun glare.
But you have to remember – they’re not for driving.
These dark shades are for lounging by the pool, skiing down a mountain, or hanging out in your backyard.
So if you plan outdoor adventures, especially this summer, these shades will keep your eyes comfortable and happy.

Choosing the right sunglasses category and frames

a pair of aviator sunglasses held up towards the sky

Choosing the right sunglasses is essential for style and eye protection.

Whether you’re hitting the beach, hiking up a mountain, or running errands around town, choosing the right sunglasses is essential for style and eye protection.
Here are some things you need to consider:

Get sunglasses that fit your purpose

It’s not just about the frames; it’s about finding the right sunglass category for your intended use.
Are you going to be on the water or near reflective surfaces?
Look for polarized lenses.
Are you going to be out in bright sunlight for extended periods?
Consider lenses with a high level of UV protection.
Whatever your needs, there’s a category of sunglass that can offer the perfect combination of style and function for your lifestyle.

Match them with your personal style

Do you want a iconic look or prefer something more classic? Are you looking for a bold and bright color, or do you like a more muted tone?
It’s essential to consider these things when picking out the perfect pair of shades.
Remember frame style, too – do you want a sporty wraparound frame or a sophisticated cat-eye shape? Keep your style in mind.

Other factors to consider when choosing sunglasses

When it comes to shades, there’s more to consider than just style.
You want to ensure those sunnies protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Look for sunglasses labeled with UV 400 or 100% UV protection.
You should also take lens material and coatings into account. Polarized lenses can reduce glare and increase visibility, while mirrored lenses can be great for bright, sunny days.
Don’t forget about fit and comfort – you’ll want a pair that feels good on your face and stays put during activities.
And lastly, durability and cost can be important factors.
You don’t want to break the bank on a pair of sunglasses, but you also don’t want them falling apart after a month of use.
Consider all of these factors when choosing your next pair of sunnies.

Choose a sunglass that fits your needs

Choosing the right sunglasses category is more important than you might think!
Not only does it impact how you look, but it can also affect your vision and eye health.
It’s vital to remember that not all sunglasses provide the same level of protection, so it’s essential to figure out which category fits your needs best.
One piece of advice: don’t skimp on protection!

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.