Polycarbonate vs High Index Lenses

When you’re thinking of buying new glasses, you surely have the ideal frame in mind. But what about the kind of lenses you require this time around—polycarbonate or high-index lenses? The lenses you choose for your glasses have a significant impact on your visual ability. Thus, read about polycarbonate vs high-index lenses to determine which is more effective for you.

Among the different kinds of lenses available on the market, polycarbonate and high-index lenses are often compared. So, by being aware of their differences, you can select the one that best suits your needs.

Always choose glasses that not only enhance your appearance but even make you feel good in them.

Now let’s explore polycarbonate vs. high index lenses!


To get the perfect pair of glasses, you must determine which lenses are best for you. For that, let’s read about them and their differences.


Polycarbonate lenses are made of thermoplastic, making them strong and lightweight. These lenses are far more impact-resistant than any other lenses, which makes them an excellent option for people with active lifestyles (such as athletes) or those who tend to be careless (such as kids). That’s why they’re popular.

Additionally, because they are rather thin, they are beneficial for those with a prescription up to +/-5.00. For prescriptions other than that, it’s no longer a thinner choice. And they also offer UV protection, which helps shield your eyes from damaging UV radiation.

But they lack inherent scratch resistance, so they are easily scratched. Because of this, many people want to add a scratch-resistant coating, however, doing so raises the price.

Pros and cons of polycarbonate lenses

Let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of polycarbonate lenses to see if they fit in an ideal pair of glasses:

  • They weigh less, are stronger, and are thinner.
  • It is popular due to its strong impact resistance.
  • Durable and even offer UV defense.
  • Ideal for kids and athletes alike.
  • These lenses are a great option for even rimless frames.

Read more: Can old glasses make you dizzy?

  • They lack an included layer that resists scratches, making them readily scratched.
  • If you add a scratch-resistant coating, it’ll increase their cost.
  • Higher prescriptions may result in distorted vision.
  • Polycarbonate lenses will no longer be thinner with a higher prescription.


High-index lenses are specifically made to bend light more efficiently, improving vision. They are lightweight and thin because they are composed of a unique type of plastic. Although high-index lenses are also available in glass material, they are no longer advised.

High-index lenses have the advantage of staying thin even with large prescriptions. Thus, it’s the ideal choice for those who have a higher prescription. These lenses cost more than other kinds of lenses because of their premium materials, and they have a specialty in lightbending.

But they offer less impact resistance, increasing the likelihood of breaking. Also, that provides no UV protection at all.

Pros and cons of high-index lenses

  • They are quite comfy, light, and thin.
  • The greatest choice for those with larger prescriptions is that they stay thin for even greater prescriptions.
  • Offer better scratch resistance as compared to polycarbonate lenses.
  • More costly than alternative lenses.
  • Generally, they are more brittle than polycarbonate lenses due to their low impact resistance.
  • Have no built-in UV protection, therefore, you may need to apply an extra coating if necessary.

Read more: Why do my new glasses make me feel cross-eyed?

Polycarbonate vs high index lenses: which is better?

After going through the above-discussion, you get to know the difference between the two. But let’s summarize this polycarbonate vs. high-index lenses so that it gets easier for you to make the right choice (as per your needs):

  • While high-index lenses are specifically made to provide high refraction, polycarbonate lenses are specifically made to provide impact resistance.
  • For higher prescriptions, polycarbonate lenses become thicker than high-index lenses.
  • High-index lenses are slightly better than polycarbonate lenses.
  • UV protection is provided by polycarbonate lenses, however, it is typically absent in high-index lenses.
  • While wearing polycarbonate lenses, some individuals with higher prescriptions experience distorted vision. However, no such problem occurs while using high-index lenses.
  • High-index lenses cost more than polycarbonate lenses.

That suggests…

  • Polycarbonate lenses are better than high-index lenses if you’re searching for lenses with greater impact resistance.
  • For those seeking thinner lenses to fit a larger prescription, high-index lenses are a better option than polycarbonate ones.

Final words:

It would be incorrect to ask this question if you’re trying to figure out which of the two lenses is superior. Because the ideal option just depends on your needs. Examine the advantages and disadvantages of each to choose which best suits your needs. You can quickly make your choice after reading the details of polycarbonate vs. high-index lenses.

Even though both types of lenses fit into frames with ease, it’s still a good idea to ask the store employee about this. You can receive assistance from the online or physical store if you are still unsure. Just remember to make wise choices.

About Linda

Linda runs her own optical company in Arizona. Not only does she have eight years of expertise in this field, but her partner, an optometrist, has fifteen years as well. They are not just business associates but also close friends.

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