Why not do everything you can for your eyes, even if the jury is out on whether or not they actually work? We're talking, of course, about the best blue light glasses—which tons of people say help keep their daily screen-time grind manageable, and their eyes from looking like the terrifying close-ups from Ren & Stimpy.
As far as the opinions of "the experts" go, some say they really help, while others are far more skeptical. But look, let's just lean into it: Maybe they do something, maybe they don't. At the very least, they can make us feel smart and, ideally, perhaps even look hotter. Wasn't Superman actually hotter as Clark Kent? Think about it.
There’s a scene in the 1985 fantasy movie, Return to Oz (exactly what it sounds like, but this time, we have the brain-curdling nightmare of wheelers) in which the absolutely primo, Hot Girl villain changes permed heads like most people (this people) change mismatching socks:
We want that. But make it eyewear.
You know what else? It really sucks that the range of eyewear doesn’t match up to the range of our wardrobes. We have cowboy hats, Air Force Ones, Carhartt overalls, bell bottoms, massive puffer sleeping bag jackets, and at least 20 other personalities in our closets. But we can’t say the same thing about eyeglasses, of which we have been stuck with the same one to two pairs since 2017. "They’re versatile,” you’ll say, staring at the boring-ass frames in your hand, and depending on what you're looking at, maybe you won’t be wrong. But prescription glasses are versatile like our face is versatile: It’s not going anywhere, so we just make it work. With blue light glasses, which are generally cheaper and less of a commitment, we can add a little more flair.
Also, there's no better time to buy them. The pandemic has bolstered blue light glasses sales—since we're all stuck to our screens 24/7—with some retailers, such as optical company Zenni, reporting that "sales for [their] blue-light-blocking product have risen 60% annually for the last 2 years, with nearly 2 million pairs sold in 2020 alone.”
All of this is to say: We have eye strain, we're bored, and we're ready to jazz up our accessories that are visible to the other people on the way-too-many Zoom calls we have to sit through every week. Here are some of our fav brands, and the blue light glasses that made us love them (and will make you look both well-read and white-hot).
Quay Australia is known for its beachy shades—but it's also gotten deep into the anti-blue-light realm. The brand is currently running a two-for-$80 deal on its blue light glasses, saving you up to 50 bucks if you pick up styles like the streetwear-friendly Still Standing or the super highly-rated, cat-eyed CEO. All of Quay's frames are prescription-friendly, so you can always take them to your optometrist and get news lenses popped in.
Quay CEO blue light glasses, $55 at Quay
Quay On the Fly blue light glasses, $55 at Quay
You already knew. But maybe you didn’t, in which case: Warby Parker is such a solid destination for trendy and classic frames that can handle getting butt-crunched into your couch for the trillionth time. Also appreciated: You can opt to pay for the lenses in three part installments. ILY Warby.
Seaweed Crystal Carlton, $95 at Warby Parker
Percey Petal Tortoise, $95 at Warby Parker
Esme Blue Thistle Tortoise, $95 at Warby Parker
When a brand called “Zeelool” popped up on our Instagram feed, we thought it might be one of those sketch internet ad games where you make characters makeout-cheat on each other. As it turns out, it’s actually a really fucking cool eyewear company, one that makes an enormous selection of styles that you probably won't see anywhere else. (See: the boldly asymmetrical Paola; the campy-art-teacher Haydee.) It's an affordable spot for buying all kinds of unique eyewear, from sunglasses to scrips to blue light blockers—and while prices are low, the quality is surprisingly good. Check out the gajillions of 5-star reviews, or just ask this writer (who is wearing a pair of their frames as I type this).
Willow glasses, $28.95 at Zeelool
$20.95 $12.95 at Zeelool
MVMT has a dedicated 'Everscroll' line (LOL) for its blue-light-blocking glasses for both men and women. The slick, aviator-style Mavericks are sold out—but you'll also find classic shapes like the Wayfarer-style Ritual and the oversized, retro Reveler.
Ritual Everscroll glasses, $75 at MVMT
Reveler Everscroll glasses, $75 at MVMT
Eyeconic makes frames that give us the look of, like, a basement coder/late night raver from 2003. Which is exactly the personal rebrand we’re here for. This is the crown jewel, IMO:
Kilter K4010 Blue Light, $69 at Eyeconic
Sweet Jesus, the world of optical e-comm is RIPE with dad puns (into it). EyeBuyDirect is one of the most price-accessible online stores out there for anti-blue-light glasses with a sense of design sensibility of what the people want. You can get a lot of these stunnah frames for the price of a few Erewhon radishes.
November Tortoise Frames, $9 at EyeBuyDirect
$49 $40 at EyeBuyDirect
$70 $49 at EyeBuyDirect
There’s a buy-one-get-one-free sale RN at Firmoo, whose name brings us a strange pastoral joy, and whose frames are sleek and affordable. Their best-selling, S0165 (Just name it??) model frames, for example, have glowing reviews from all around the world in praise of their lightness, durability, and comfort. (See: “I love how they fit my face (because I have a big head lol.”) Same, bud.
S0165, $23.99 at Firmoo
YSL17115, $23.99 at Firmoo
F18903A, $29.99 at Firmoo
Peepers is beloved by the queen of juicy reads, Oprah. Once it makes the Favorite Things list, we, too, will be bringing it to our graves. Also, hot thought: Are people buried in their eyeglasses, or nah? In any case, we will be.
Green Tortoise Center Stage Blue Light, $27 at Peepers
Dylan Blue Light glasses, $27 at Peepers
Frontier Blue Light Glasses, $25 at Peepers
Amazon, in particular, is where herds (a.k.a. multi-pair packs) of solid anti-blue light glasses abound, because you need not choose between the minimalist clear ones, the Ray Ban dupes, the tortoiseshell ones, and every other pair that suits your fancy. They will all deserve a spot in your weekly personality rotation during, and post-COVID.
LNEKEI Blue Light Blocking Glasses (3 Pack), $16.98 at Amazon
Genseion Blue Light Glasses (2 Pack) in Black and Gold, $16.99 at Amazon
AOMASTE Retro Blue Light Blocking Glasses, $13.57 at Amazon
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