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What Are Mirrored Sunglasses?

By Klaudia Pasternak
Reviewed by Maria Horan
Maria Horan

Reviewed by

Maria Horan
Maria holds a BSc Honours in Ophthalmic Dispensing and has over 17 years of optical experience.
Learn all about mirrored sunglasses and their pros and cons in this comprehensive guide.
Man wearing mirrored sunglasses

If you’re someone who loves to express your style while ensuring practicality, mirrored sunglasses could be just what you’re looking for. 

In this article, we’ll cover what mirrored sunglasses are, when to wear them, their pros and cons and if mirrored sunglasses come in various lens colours. So first things first, what are mirrored sunglasses? 

Mirrored sunglasses are a type of eyewear that features lenses with a reflective coating on the outside. This coating gives the lenses a mirror-like appearance, helping them to reduce glare as more light bounces off them compared to standard tinted lenses.

The popularity of mirrored sunglasses originates from their aesthetic appeal. They exude a feeling of modernity while also offering a sense of mystery and intrigue. 

Because of the interplay of light, they can create a fascinating visual impact, boosting the wearer’s style and making a bold statement. 

Looks aside, mirrored sunglasses have also become a staple accessory for many people thanks to the practical advantages of their reflective quality. 

Benefits of mirrored sunglasses

Mirrored sunglasses, often known as reflective sunglasses, have numerous advantages in addition to their fashionable appeal. Here are some other benefits which mirror sunglasses provide:

Mirrored sunglasses

Enhanced contrast

Their mirror coating can enhance contrast, vision clarity and reduce glare. This feature can be particularly beneficial in snowy environments, where the vast white surfaces can create blinding glare, affecting safety.

UV protection

While mirrored sunglasses prevent excess light from hitting your eyes, they are also great at protecting against harmful UV rays

By blocking harmful UV rays, mirrored glasses contribute to maintaining good eye health over time. They can help prevent conditions like photokeratitis (sunburn of the cornea), which can occur after spending prolonged periods in intense sunlight without proper eye protection against UV light. 

Style versatility

Mirror shades come in a wide range of frame styles, colours and lens tints. From sporty, athletic-inspired frames to classic sunglasses silhouettes, mirrored lenses can be worn for any occasion. 

Increased privacy

The mirrored coating on the lenses acts as a one-way mirror, meaning people can’t see your eyes while you can still see out clearly. Regular sunglasses obscure your eyes to people on the outside too, but mirrored lenses give wearers a greater sense of privacy.

Benefits of mirrored sunglasses
DID YOU KNOW?

Mirrored sunglasses are regularly worn by astronauts to protect their eyes from intense glare and harmful radiation in space.

Downsides of mirrored sunglasses

Although mirrored sunglasses provide several advantages, there are some drawbacks you should be aware of when buying a pair of sunglasses with mirrored lenses.

Maintenance

In comparison to standard sunglasses, mirrored sunglasses demand additional care. Because of their reflective coating, they need more frequent cleaning as they’re more prone to being marked by smudges and fingerprints. Some mirror sunglasses may have a scratch-resistant coating, although it’s still important to take extra care of them.

You can do so by always cleaning them with a microfiber cloth to remove smudges, as using tissues, towels or clothing can further harm your lenses. When not wearing them, keep them in a protective case to avoid scratches.

Cost

Mirrored sunglasses can also be more expensive than regular tinted sunglasses due to the additional manufacturing process required to apply the reflective coating.

Colour distortion

Mirrored glasses can also sometimes distort the perception of colours. The reflective coating, while effectively reducing glare and enhancing visual comfort in bright conditions, can alter the appearance of objects and surroundings by reflecting different hues onto the lenses. This distortion of colours may affect activities that require accurate colour perception.

Fine detail and contrast

When wearing mirrored sunglasses, less light reaches your eyes, which can mean that you don’t see fine details as clearly. Depending on the colour of the lenses, this can also affect contrast. 

Mirrored vs polarised sunglasses

Mirrored and polarised lenses cater to diverse needs and preferences, each offering unique benefits. Mirrored lenses boast a reflective coating that deflects light away from the eyes, reducing glare and enhancing visual clarity, making them perfect for sunny outdoor activities

On the other hand, polarised sunglasses are designed to reduce glare from horizontal surfaces like water or pavement, improving visual clarity and reducing eye strain.

So, choosing between mirrored and polarised sunglasses often depends on the specific activities and environments you anticipate encountering.

Women wearing mirrored sunglasses

When to wear mirrored sunglasses

As mirror sunglasses reflect glare, they’re an excellent choice for outdoor activities. Here are a few situations in which they come in handy:

Beach activities

When gearing up for beach activities, a pair of sunglasses with reflective lenses emerge as the perfect accessory.

They’re excellent at handling glare from the sand and water, enhancing your beach adventures or any water sports. 

Outdoor sports

Whether you’re cycling through rugged terrain, shredding down snowy slopes or trekking along sun-drenched trails, mirrored sunglasses will be highly beneficial. Their ability to reflect light rather than absorb it ensures reduced eye strain, making them a must-have for your outdoor pursuits.

Daytime driving

When you’re behind the wheel, glinting sunlight can be a nuisance as it bounces off the road, car hoods, LCD screens located in your car or other vehicles. 

Mirror sunglasses can significantly reduce glare from these reflective surfaces and protect your eyes, providing clearer vision and enhancing safety on the road.

Do mirrored lenses come in different colours?

When it comes to selecting the perfect pair of sunglasses, mirrored lenses stand out as a popular choice. However, a common question arises: Do mirrored lenses come in different colours? The answer is yes. Here is a brief overview of the options available. 

Different colours of mirrored lenses

Silver lenses

Silver mirrored lenses typically provide true colour perception and natural contrast. They’re suitable for a wide range of outdoor activities, making them a classic and versatile choice for everyday wear.

Green lenses

Green mirrored lenses offer excellent contrast and depth perception while minimising colour distortion. These would specifically be beneficial if you’re playing golf or going fishing as they provide better contrast between the surfaces and objects beneath.

Red lenses

Red mirrored lenses are extremely popular as they offer a brighter view and reduce eye fatigue.They are particularly favoured among snow sports enthusiasts and runners, who often opt for them during early morning runs to benefit from their brightening effect which enhances visibility and reduces eye fatigue.

Blue lenses

Blue mirrored lenses are popular for their stylish appearance and ability to reduce glare. They also provide a soothing effect on the eyes, making them a fashionable and functional choice. Because of this aspect, these are particularly beneficial if you enjoy outdoor sports such as sailing or cycling. 

Gold lenses

Gold reflective lenses provide a warm, soothing tint that enhances contrast and depth perception. They offer excellent glare reduction and are particularly effective in bright sunlight. 

As a result, they are perfect for activities like driving or hiking, where varying light conditions demand optimal vision. Additionally, gold lenses also make a fashionable statement as they add a touch of glamour to eyewear choices. 

Why should you go for mirrored sunglasses?

A pair of mirrored sunglasses is an ideal option for individuals seeking something more from their eyewear. Their trendy and modern design not only catches the eye but also helps to keep your eyes safe from UV rays, and shade them from harsh glare and uncomfortable levels of brightness on sunny – or even overcast – days.   

Whether you enjoy being outdoors or simply love the fashion appeal of mirrored sunglasses, getting a pair of these sunglasses is a decision that you’re unlikely to regret. 

If you’ve got questions about mirrored sunglasses or anything related to eyecare and eyewear, you can speak to one of our certified opticians via the link at the top of the page.

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