What Are Those 3 Numbers On My Glasses?

Glasses frame size—not many people give much thought to it. After all, you don’t often hear people ask at the shop “Do you have glasses in this glasses frame size with these dimensions?” There are always questions about the frame styles, product material, and the method of production. Yet as consumers’ desires for good quality glasses increases, glasses frame size plays a vital role in contributing to what is considered ”good quality.“

THE NUMBERS
When you’ve worn glasses the majority of your life, you might not take much notice of the details on your glasses. If you’re wearing them now, take a look at the inside arm or bridge of your glasses. What do you see? Most likely a sequence of incomprehensible numbers. Maybe a “China” or an “Italy” adorns the area, depending on where your glasses were made.

So what exactly are these numbers? You might just assume they’re a product ID or model numbers, and that’d be a pretty good assumption. But no – they’re actually the glasses frame size. However, this question remains: why do glasses frame size matter? As long as they fit pretty well and they correct your bad eyesight, it’s good, right? Perhaps. But as mentioned earlier, there’s more demand for better quality and well-fitting glasses, and glasses frame size fits right into one of those crucial factors that can really make or break the whole glasses experience.

Now it wouldn’t be sufficient to just leave our understanding of the numbers as just a general and vague concept of glasses frame size. To delve into what these numbers actually mean, there are usually three numbers in sequence like this: 50-19-145.

The first number, which comprises the first part of the glasses frame size, accounts for the lens width — sometimes referred to as the eye size. As the name suggests, lens width describes the length of the glasses lens. Excluding the frame, the lens width is usually between 40mm to 60mm. It’s a factor of the glasses frame size that can influence how well the glasses fit you. Obviously you don’t want to get glasses with an eye size that is disproportionate to your face.

The other two numbers in the glasses frame size are usually put together, separated with a dash or sometimes by a small box between the numbers. The second number is the distance across the bridge on the glasses frame and can sometimes be referred to as DBL, or distance between lenses. The typical bridge size ranges anywhere between 14mm and 24mm. And despite its seemingly minimal role in the glasses frame size, the DBL can be important because it dictates a number of things like how high or how low the glasses rest on the face, if the fit for the nose is too small, or the distance from the eye to the lens is too far or too close.

Perhaps what would be referred to as the “arm” of your glasses, the last number in the glasses frame size describes the temple length and is the measure of that long piece of your glasses that rests on the side of your head and behind your ear. And like the other glasses frame size numbers, the temple length also plays a vital role into the fit of your glasses. While manufacturers generally aim for between 120mm and 150mm for the temple length, a length too long will make the fit too loose and one too short will make the fit too tight.

WHY DO THE NUMBERS MATTER?
Alright, so now you know the three numbers are the glasses frame size. But maybe you’re saying to yourself, “Who cares? My glasses frame size doesn’t heavily impact my life. I can still just go to the shop and try on a pair and buy them.” True. Simple head knowledge that the numbers compose the glasses frame size isn’t too useful. We can’t argue about how glasses frame size impacts your life personally, but we can investigate why it’s still relevant.

As world trade increasingly moves to the online realm, glasses frame size plays a significant role. Anyone who shops online will understand that it’s important to know your clothing size in order to make the best purchase—otherwise there are going to be a lot of returns, exchanges, and shipping fees involved.

In a sense, the same applies to glasses and glasses frame size. In the past when shops and companies utilized less online services and when e-commerce was not as big, going to an optometrist and then a shop was appropriate and completely necessary to get new glasses. But as more consumers purchase online, companies have similarly moved more of their products and services online.

If you’re going to shop for glasses online, it’s obvious that you can’t just buy a pair of frames on a whim. Doing so would be as if you were to buy a pair of shoes without paying particular attention to the size. No, you know your shoe size and you know which size fits you comfortably. Likewise, glasses frame size should fit that same kind of role as you shop online for glasses.

AFFORDABILITY & EFFICIENCY
Glasses are no longer strictly about utility. They’re about correcting vision, but they’re also about style, fashion, and how people express themselves. And because of this shift in the functionality of glasses, people don’t necessarily want to go through the whole process of seeing an eye doctor, getting the prescription, and then going to the shop and browsing through the millions of frames which, not to mention, is time consuming.

This is precisely why knowing your glasses frame size can save you a lot of time. And assuming that time is equal to money, knowledge of your glasses frame size will also save you money.

A lot of convenience comes from knowing your glasses frame size. As mentioned earlier, you don’t have go to the eye doctor every time you want a new pair of glasses and you can save time going to the shop browsing through a collection of frames that don’t appeal to you.

Glasses are specialized items and they’re a whole lot more specialized on a grander scale than in the past; there are a whole variety of glasses to choose from online and are not limited to just a physical shop.

Just imagine that you find a beautiful pair of glasses while perusing through the web. But where is this company’s shop? Amêdî, Kurdistan. Interesting. Well, you know you can’t just take a trip to get these glasses, unless you really are that zealous about these frames. But what’s this? They offer shipping worldwide! That certainly is good news for you. You look to the right of the screen and you see a “glasses frame size chart guide” with a bunch of numbers which you don’t understand. As stunning as these frames are, the dark abyss of not knowing how the frames will fit hinders you from clicking that Add to cart button.

Now if you know your glasses frame size, then you can confidently press that same button and proceed to complete your transaction. The only thing you need to worry about now is if the site is a scam and if it’s not, then your only concern becomes when you’ll get your frames.

SO HOW DO I FIGURE OUT MY GLASSES FRAME SIZE?
Good question. If you already wear glasses, you’re ahead of the game in determining what a good glasses frame size is for you. Take a look at the inside of the arm of your glasses and look for those three sequential numbers we discussed earlier.

If you’ve been wearing these glasses for a while and feel that they’ve served you pretty well, then you know you have a pretty good glasses frame size to work with and one that you can use for future purchases.

With some frames, the glasses frame size may not be indicated anywhere on the frames. The simplest thing to do would be to take a trip to the pros at a shop to see what your glasses frame size is. Otherwise, you can always conduct a DIY measurement if you have a millimeter ruler or cloth measuring tape handy, but some parts may get a bit technical.

For the bridge you can measure horizontally at the top of the bridge from the edge of one of the lenses to the end of the other. The lens width should be measured horizontally at the widest point and this should exclude the frame. With lens width, you need to take into account your pupillary distance—something you might want to look into further should you pursue this DIY measurement.

As for the temple length, you should measure from the hinge—the point at which the arm connects to the front to the point where the arm begins to bend and wrap around the ear. Then you should measure the top of the bend to the bottom and add it together for a complete temple length.

Now those three numbers don’t seem so obscure, do they? Glasses frame size is a rather simple concept, but most people don’t pay much attention to them because they’ve never really had a reason to. Now however, knowing your glasses frame size is ultimately to your benefit. It’s not something entirely necessary, but as more people opt to purchase glasses online and avoid the hassle associated with getting new glasses, it is something that can make using and purchasing glasses more comfortable and more convenient.