Polarized Lenses 101 (Updated for 2023)

Polarized Lenses

What do Polarized Lenses do?

Quality polarized lenses are designed to filter out harsh light and remove irritating glare from reflected surfaces such as water, snow, roads, buildings, cars and any reflective landscapes and objects. Good polarized lens making with quality materials and processes, will result in polarized lenses providing a sharper, more vivid, and colorful view.  Your eyes will be more relaxed and comfortable with reduced squinting, facial and muscle strain.

Polarized Lenses vs. Non Polarized

By comparison, non-polarized sunglass lenses are only tinted to block light, resulting in a more dull, muted view. They will not remove glare or the harsh irritating light that a good quality polarized sunglass lens filters. A great polarized lens will eliminate the discomfort of glare while providing sharper vision.

How Polarized Lenses Work

Why are Polarized Lenses Better?

While many non-polarized lenses and some value-priced polarized lenses block some or all harmful UV rays, not all sunglass lenses offer the protection you need, making your eyes and the surrounding skin more susceptible to burning, aging, cancer, and significant eye damage/disease.

We believe that eye health and sun protection is a very important factor to consider when choosing sunglass lenses. Every Tajima Direct polarized replacement lens and prescription lens will block out 100% of all harmful UV rays. This includes UVA rays that cause premature aging and UVB rays that cause burning. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends going with high quality lens technology for its ability to protect not only your eyes, but the surrounding skin as well. Think about those annoying crow’s feet and aging wrinkles caused by sun damage around your eyes – that could have been slowed or eliminated by wearing good, large wraparound sunglass lenses blocking UV rays like sunscreen protects your skin.

Are All Polarized Sunglass Lenses Created Equal?

Lens Material Comparison

Simply put, NOT all polarized sunglass lenses are created equal. There are wide disparities between polarized lens products that affect lens clarity, visual acuity, color, detail and depth perception. Not to mention durability, scratch resistance, weight and impact resistance. Lens materials are critical to understand. Just like a cut of beef, that are graded differently based on their quality, e.g., choice, prime, or kobe  – lens materials will also offer different levels of visual quality and performance. Marketing “noise” is just that. Buyer beware. The more educated you are, the better your purchase will be.

What Lens Materials Make the Best Polarized Lenses?

Most lens materials such as polycarbonate fit the “Choice” beef category. They’re inexpensive to make and mass-produced rendering only average quality. Nylon and CR-39 lens materials are also widely available commoditized lens materials. Each has their compromising downsides whether its weaker clarity, scratching easily or simply shattering. Glass lenses are optically good, but are heavy, can shatter, and have limited frame use-capability.

Only our patented Tajima Urethane™ lens material offers an uncompromising accumulation of all the very best properties – visual clarity of glass, superior durability and scratch resistance, impact resistant and extremely light weight with zero distortion.

How Do Tajima Direct Polarized Replacement Lenses Compare to the Big Sunglass Brands?

Let’s take a look at the lens materials commonly found in well-known sunglass brands:

Maui Jim lenses: Polycarbonate, Nylon and Glass.

Costa lenses:  Polycarbonate, Glass

Ray ban lenses: Polycarbonate, CR-39, Glass

Oakley lenses: Polycarbonate, Nylon

Persol lenses: Glass

Tom Ford lenses: Polycarbonate, Glass

Prada lenses: Polycarbonate, CR-39

Smith lenses: Polycarbonate, Nylon, Glass

Warby Parker lenses: Polycarbonate, CR-39

Virtually all other lens replacement companies will only offer Polycarbonate or CR-39.

Who Makes the Best Polarized Lenses?

Tajima Direct makes the best polarized lenses due to their patented Tajima Urethane™ lens material that offers the highest optical clarity possible equal to glass (backed up by lab testing), 5x more scratch resistance than any plastic lens, won’t shatter or crack and is the lightest weight polarized lens. Tajima Direct will custom cut these superior polarized lenses to fit into any frame. Don’t worry, the process of getting Tajima lenses in your frames is simply, easy, and less expensive than buying a decent pair of sunglasses.