8 Best Reading Glasses | December 2016

8 Best Reading Glasses
Best Mid-Range
Best High-End
Best Inexpensive
If you're finding that you are starting to hold books, newspapers and menus at arm's length, it may be time for you to consider a pair or two of these reading glasses. They bring everything into sharp focus, including the annoyingly tiny print on product ingredients labels. Skip to the best reading glass on Amazon.
The sleek and subtle Apollos Vision Minimalist Rimless reading glasses almost disappear on your face, blending into your overall style with ease. They are a great choice for the person who wishes he or she didn't need glasses.
  • stainless steel chassis
  • flexible nylon temple arms
  • nose pads sometimes fall off
Brand Apollos Vision
Model pending
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
Reading glasses from the Optx 20/20 Airlite Reader series are great for the farsighted person who loves to read. You'll forget you're even wearing these lightweight glasses except for the fact that you can read that novel.
  • frame has unisex design
  • comfortable nose pads
  • do not have spring hinges
Brand OPTX 20/20
Model 3PK150M
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
You can get a pair of Urban Boundaries Classic Spring Hinged reading glasses in just about any color you want, from black to gray to gold. The sturdy storage case that comes included will match the frame's color.
  • genuine quality lenses
  • too large for some users
  • hinges prone to wearing out
Brand Urban Boundaries
Model pending
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
When you get six pairs of reading glasses for less than $20, you can't expect much quality. That's why you'll be pleasantly surprised by the Gamma Ray Optics Readers, which are low-cost, but actually well-made.
  • spring hinge for comfortable fit
  • lightweight plastic frame
  • magnification ratings often innaccurate
Brand Gamma Ray Optics
Model pending
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
These Vision World Eyewear Deluxe Wayfarer-style reading glasses look so good you'll wish you could wear them even when not reading a book or studying a menu. They come in both black and tortoise shell coloration.
  • protective case comes included
  • impact resistant lenses
  • arms tend to loosen over time
Brand Vision World Eyewear
Model VW-RD-W2
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
If you're like most people, you often misplace reading glasses. That's why a five-pack of these Eyekeeper Vintage Reading Glasses is a great idea. Leave a pair at the office, by your bedside, and anywhere else you need to read.
  • timeless frame design
  • sun readers included
  • great value for 5 pairs of glasses
Brand Eyekepper
Model pending
Weight 2.9 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
A pair of Eyecedar Folding Reading Glasses collapses down small enough to fit in any pocket, even when stashed inside their protective case. These compact, clever glasses are ready to go anywhere you are.
  • cloth pouch doubles as a lens cleaner
  • comes with mini screwdriver
  • case has magnetic closure
Brand EyeCedar
Model pending
Weight 0.8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
The unique design of the CliC Adjustable Front Connect Reader glasses means they're always available there hanging on your neck, and quickly and easily pop into place on the bridge of your nose via their magnetic attachment point.
  • can be fitted for most prescriptions
  • available in several sizes
  • ergonomic and comfortable
Brand CliC
Model pending
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Up Close and Clear: Getting Reading Glasses

If you regularly find yourself pointing at the wine list when attempting to order desert or squinting to make out the print on the page of a book, the screen of your phone or computer, or the ingredient list on the back of a snack in consideration, it may be time to accept the fact that you need reading glasses.

The technical name for the condition afflicting most people who need reading glasses is hyperopia, but the more common term is farsightedness. People who are farsighted can see objects at a distance with relative clarity but have trouble focusing on that which is within arm's reach or closer. In fact, though, calling many people farsighted is to use a misnomer, for many people unable to see objects up close are also afflicted with poor distance vision. Fortunately, objects both near and far can easily be brought into focus using surgery, contact lenses, or simply a fine pair (or two) of glasses. (For reference, the opposite condition, wherein one can see objects clearly up close but has blurred distance vision, is called nearsightedness or myopia.)

Reading glasses are, as a general rule, very inexpensive. They are also often rather poorly treated by their owners, being thrust into a purse or pocket whenever they're not on one's face; thus the popularity of brands that sell glasses in multi pack sets. If you are likely to join the ranks of the rather careless reading glasses owner, get multiple cheap pairs at once and distribute them about your home, office, and car. You will find options that can be had for less than four dollars per pair when ordered in bulk.

On the other hand, if you can be trusted to take good care of your glasses, it may behoove you to invest in a more expensive and, often enough, more stylish pair. Look for features like folding frames that allow you to tuck your glasses away in a breast pocket or a magnetic nose bridge that makes for quick and easy donning or removal.

A Common Cause of Eyesight Degeneration

As a human ages, quite often his or her eyesight will grow progressively poorer. This is most often caused by presbyopia, a common condition that is quite simply the result of the eye aging along with the rest of the body. While many vision issues are caused by a weakening of the muscles that focus the eye, presbyopia is a result of the hardening of an eye's lens. As a person ages and their lenses become less and less flexible, the light passing through the lens is concentrated less on the retina and instead is often directed behind the retina (which is the light-sensitive layer of the eye responsible for actually perceiving images of the world around us).

The word "presbyopia" is derived from the Greek words for "old" and "vision." But indeed this condition begins to afflict many people well before they are anywhere near to old age. Even people only in their 30s and 40s often experience a lack of clear vision brought on by hardening lenses.

Fortunately, the condition is also one of easiest to alleviate, with basic reading glasses usually all that is required to compensate for the degeneration. Do keep in mind that inexpensive reading glasses cannot compensate for certain afflictions such as astigmatism or severely impaired vision. Most have a strength rating somewhere between 0.75 - 3.5 diopters, and any needed correction greater than that will almost surely require a visit to an optometrist and a prescription.

Even if you feel that "off the shelf" reading glasses may be sufficient for your vision needs, it is still a good idea to visit a respected optometrist or ophthalmologist to have your eye health checked and your vision tested, especially if you have only recently found yourself in need of vision correction. (In rare cases, a reduction in a person's visual acuity can be symptomatic of a larger underlying issue; a checkup can help ensure this is not the case and simply make sure you get the right strength of lens, whether through prescription of not.)

A Look at the History of Reading Glasses

When one thinks of historical reading glasses, the first figure that comes to mind will likely be Benjamin Franklin. Many images show the famed founding father huddled over a book or a sheaf of papers peering through his iconic round spectacles. Indeed Franklin not only wore glasses, but even improved their design: ever the tinkering inventor, Franklin is credited as being the inventor of the bifocal lens, or glasses that can be worn both for enhancing distance and close-up vision.

But while Franklin is perhaps the most famous gentleman to have worked on the improvement of reading glasses, he was far from the first person to develop the technology. In fact, we have irrefutable evidence that people were wearing glasses to aid their close-up vision dating back to the mid-1300s as evidenced both by writings and by artwork clearly depicting individuals wearing spectacles. The use of convex lenses to aid in visual clarity likely predates even these Medieval references by several centuries; a lens is mentioned in a work called the Book of Optics written by the early Medieval Muslim scholar Ibn al-Haytham in or about the year 1021.

While early details are blurry, by the 15th century, eyeglasses were commonly seen in Europe, in India, and all the way across the vast Chinese Empire, as well. By the 1800s, glasses were more effective than ever, but had also come to be seen in many circles as a sign of old age and/or infirmity. Such vanity led to the brief popularity of scissor spectacles and lorgnettes, both of which consisted of a pair of lenses held to the eyes by a handle as needed, but not worn on the face.

In the 1900s, glasses would finally come to be seen not merely as necessities, but also as fashionable accessories. Soon many of the most famous names in the fashion design industry, including Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Burberry counted glasses -- often referred to as eyewear in the modern era -- as some of the finest products they sold.

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Last updated on December 15, 2016 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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