Which Glasses Are Best for Single Vision?

Ask the Optician

Single vision glasses have the same prescription across the entire lens. Here we outline how they compare to multifocal lenses.
Which Glasses Are Best for Single Vision

Single vision glasses are very widely-used glasses. They’re called single vision because there is only one prescription across the lens – as opposed to something like bifocals, where one lens has different areas that allow the wearer to see differently close-up or further away.

What are single vision lenses?

Single vision lenses are the most popular type of prescription lenses. They’re commonly used by near- or far-sighted users and those with astigmatism to help see at a distance of up to 30 feet. They can also be helpful with common daily activities such as reading, using a computer or driving.

If you wear prescription glasses, they most likely have single vision lenses. The statistics also suggest that under-40s are more likely to wear single vision glasses too, as younger people often have only one prescription.

At SmartBuyGlasses, there is an enormous range of low-priced eyewear and designer glasses specifically catered to these types of prescriptions. Click here to find out more.

What does single vision mean?

The term ‘single vision’ is as simple as it sounds. Both of your eyes work the same way – in a single unit, if you will. A prescription for someone with single vision will be the same in both eyes – which makes it really easy to pick up prescription glasses right off the bat.


Bifocals were invented by former US President benjamin Franklin, who created them when his single vision lenses were no longer enough to correct his vision.

Does pupillary distance matter with single vision glasses?

Pupillary distance is extremely important when fitting any kind of glasses – including single vision glasses. This is because all lenses are designed to have an optical center which is intended to align precisely with your pupil.

If the measurement is not correct, this optical center will still be in the middle of the lens, but it won’t align with your specific pupil.

Instead, you’ll be looking through a different part of the lens. This can affect your ability to focus correctly which, in turn, can lead to headaches, tired eyes, blurred or double vision, dizziness and nausea.

Single vision vs. progressive lenses

While single vision lenses are designed for one field of vision, progressive lenses are defined as follows:

Progressive lenses correct multiple vision requirements in one piece of glass. Therefore, one pair of glasses can be used for correcting your distance, intermediate, and near sighted requirements.

In real terms, this means the top of the lens is adapted for distance vision, and gradually diminishes in power towards the bottom, which is designed for reading or other “close up” tasks, like checking a price tag or using your smartphone.

When it comes to the aforementioned smartphone usage (with single vision or progressive lenses), studies from institutions like the universities of Houston and Harvard suggest that blue light blocking lenses (such as those from zFORT®) can alleviate some of the eye strain that blue-tinted screen glow can cause.

When combined with a prescription, blue light glasses can be a really effective all-in-one eyewear solution.

Single vision vs. bifocals

Bifocals are glasses with lenses split between two prescriptions – for example, one half will be adjusted for long-range vision, and the other will be adjusted for short-range vision. Bifocals are easy to spot because they have a line dividing the lens in two; progressive lenses are another matter entirely.

They handle this prescription difference more subtly and almost ‘blur’ the line between the two sections of lens. If you’re interested in finding out more, check out this article about the difference between progressive and bifocal lenses.

How much do single vision lenses cost?

At SmartBuyGlasses, single vision lenses are more affordable than ever. With designer frames for great prices, or the incredibly good-value SmartBuy Collection, there has never been a better time to get your hands on a solid pair of glasses.

Whether you want wild style, or sensibility and middle-of-the-road function, our huge glasses range really does have something for everyone.

If you’re interested in picking up a pair of low-cost lenses, try this range from the SmartBuy Collection. Alternatively, there are thousands of pairs of affordable designer glasses, and blue light blocking glasses available now at SmartBuyGlasses.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *