The Best Glasses Frames for High Prescriptions & Thick Lenses (2023 Update)

Last Updated on April 1, 2024 by Irish Torres

The best frame styles for strong prescription eyeglasses are usually rounded, oval frames. However, because of advanced technologies, there can be other options. It is important to consider how different frames and lenses affect your prescription eyeglasses. Choosing an appropriate pair of prescription eyeglasses will depend on your style, prescription, and recommendations from your eye care professional.

The most important aspect of prescription eyeglasses is to correct your vision. However, it is also essential to consider an appealing style despite the necessity of prescription eyeglasses. Accessorizing with trendy frames can make wearing prescription eyeglasses less daunting. There can be challenges that transpire when you require a strong corrective lens for your prescription eyeglasses. A stronger prescription requires higher indexes to effectively reduce the thickness of the lens. This may not always be an option for your prescription eyeglasses because the clarity of your glasses can be compromised if the index is too high. Another thing to consider with the requirement of a higher index prescription is the increased edge thickness. These obstacles make choosing an appropriate frame for your prescription eyeglasses challenging. Let’s examine the best frame styles for strong prescription eyeglasses.

Frame It
As a rule, a thicker frame is often better suited for a thicker lens in your prescription eyeglasses. You most definitely want to avoid rimless or semi-rimless glasses when considering a frame style for your prescription eyeglasses. This is because the lens of a strong prescription will be thick and would not look attractive in rimless or semi-rimless prescription eyeglasses. Frames with sharp, angular edges may not be a good option for your prescription eyeglasses. It is nearly impossible for opticians to create a lens of a certain thickness to fit inside frames with sharp angles. Essentially, a smaller round or oval frame is the best shape for a strong prescription.

Another option for your prescription eyeglasses is to purchase high-refractive index lenses. These offer the same correction for your prescription eyeglasses without the added thickness. These are not uncommon, and your eye care professional may have already prescribed these for your prescription eyeglasses. This type of lens does often cost more money but is a viable option if you want to avoid a thicker lens or would like a specific frame.

Lenses Defined
The lateral edges of thicker lenses often look less attractive. The two types of lenses for prescription eyeglasses are a plus or minus lens. The plus lens is a lens with its thickest point at the center, and its function moves the focal point forward. The minus lens has its thinnest point at the center and works to move the focal point backward. Your prescription eyeglasses may include the plus lenses if you are farsighted because they tend to make things look larger and have an elevated surface. The plus lens in your prescription eyeglasses adds more curve to your eye and bends rays of light inward to help the eye focus. Contrarily, your prescription eyeglasses might include minus lenses if you are nearsighted because they minimize objects to help them look smaller. The minus lens takes away the curve of your eye and bends light rays outward to deflect and spread the focus. Typically, minus lenses are considered when the thickness of the edge is important. Higher index material is often recommended to reduce the thickness in minus lenses.

Pupillary Distance
Before deciding which pair of prescription eyeglasses are best, you need to calculate the frame pupillary distance and compare it with your eye pupillary distance. This is because the thickness of the lens increases from its central high index. You want to effectively frame the pupillary distance of your prescription eyeglasses as close to your eye pupillary distance as possible. Pupillary distance is the distance between the pupils of the eyes, center to center, measured in millimeters. Every set of lenses, especially prescription eyeglasses, has an optical center determined by pupillary distance. To take an accurate pupillary distance measurement for your prescription eyeglasses, you need to first stand eight inches away from a well-lit mirror. Look straight forward in the mirror. Stand very straight and hold the millimeter ruler against your brow. Pretend the ruler is like a pair of prescription eyeglasses. Close your right eye. Align the ruler’s zero to the center of your left pupil. While looking forward, close your left eye, and then open your right eye. Read the millimeter line that lines up with the center of your right pupil. This is your pupillary distance. Be sure to write it down so you remember it for any future purchases of prescription eyeglasses.

It is good practice to measure your prescription eyeglasses’ accuracy three to four times. You can use a friend to help you measure your pupillary distance instead of the mirror. Look straight ahead with both eyes open while a friend takes your measurements. Ensure they put the zero on the millimeter ruler over the center of one pupil. Then measure the distance to the center of the other pupil.

Consider Lens Coatings and Options

When choosing glasses frames for strong prescriptions, it’s essential to consider lens coatings and additional options to enhance your visual experience. Several coatings and features can improve the functionality and performance of your prescription eyeglasses.

One important option is an anti-scratch coating. Stronger prescriptions often result in thicker lenses, which can be more susceptible to scratches. An anti-scratch coating helps protect your lenses from everyday wear and tear, ensuring they stay in optimal condition for longer.

Another beneficial coating to consider is an anti-glare or anti-reflective coating. This coating helps reduce glare from artificial lighting and improves your vision, especially when driving at night. It also minimizes reflections on the lens, allowing others to see your eyes instead of their reflections.

Additionally, the option of UV coatings is essential for protecting your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Exposure to UV rays can lead to eye damage, and a UV coating on your prescription eyeglasses can significantly reduce the amount of UV light reaching your eyes. Alternatively, you might consider transition lenses that automatically adjust their tint based on the amount of UV light, providing convenience and optimal UV protection when transitioning between indoor and outdoor environments.

Lastly, if you’re considering purchasing sunglasses for your strong prescription, you may want to explore polarized lenses. Polarized lenses have a built-in filter that blocks intense reflected light, effectively reducing glare from surfaces like water, snow, or glass. This option is particularly beneficial for those who engage in outdoor activities or frequently drive during the day.

Don’t forget to discuss these lens coatings and options with your optician or eye care professional. They can guide you on which ones may be most suitable for your strong prescription and lifestyle, ensuring you get the most out of your new glasses frames.

Things to Avoid
There are certain things to avoid when considering your new prescription eyeglasses. A high prescription can often be strange because of the prismatic displacement where high minus lenses (AKA myopic) displace the images from the side of the head inwards toward the nose. On the other end of the spectrum, the plus lenses (AKA hyperopic) can make eyes look larger by displacing images outward, even magnifying the eyes. Another issue might be that the person wearing their prescription eyeglasses and the outward observer see reflections. This is because of the surface curvature; this can happen even in minor-strength prescription eyeglasses. Finally, there can be a minification and magnification in your prescription eyeglasses. When minification happens, your eyes will look smaller since the high minus lenses reduce the appearance of the eyes. A magnification would result in magnified eyes, commonly called “bug eyes.”

Things to Know
When shopping for the best frame for your strong prescription eyeglasses, you have many options before finalizing your order. There are many things to consider, and understanding them will only help you as a prescription eyeglasses consumer. The first thing to contemplate is high-index lenses for your prescription eyeglasses. They add comfort and offer a thinner lens appearance. You may be able to purchase a more ornate or uniquely shaped pair of frames by opting for a high-index lens, something to discuss with your optician.

Second is the anti-scratch coating. This may seem unnecessary, but first, you must consider how many times your prescription eyeglasses become susceptible to scratches on any given day. Think about when you’ve bumped your eyeglasses when searching in the cupboard or knocked them off the bedside table as you scrambled to hit the alarm in the early morning hours. These are only some instances where an anti-scratch coating can be helpful.

If you are asked to purchase an ultra-violet (UV) coating for your next pair of prescription eyeglasses, consider adding this option. UV coating greatly reduces the amount of UV light penetrating your eyes. You might elect transition lenses, optimal for UV protection in your prescription eyeglasses. Transitions lenses are best for those who move from indoors to outdoors several times a day and do not want to be inconvenienced with changing their eyewear.

You most definitely need the anti-glare and/or anti-reflective coatings. These options are important as it helps to eliminate any glare, especially when driving at night. This option also allows others to see your eyes instead of seeing their reflection in your prescription eyeglasses.

Lastly, if you are purchasing sunglasses instead of prescription eyeglasses, you may be asked to buy a polarized lens. This option may or may not benefit you. Polarized lenses have a filter that blocks out intense reflected light, effectively eliminating glare. This would be an essential option if you play outdoor sports or frequently drive during the day.

If you require a strong prescription for your next pair of prescription eyeglasses, just examine all your options before purchasing. Your best chance to avoid distortion of your eyes is to elect to have high-index lenses for your prescription eyeglasses. The best frame choice for a strong prescription is a round frame because it is easier to shape a strong prescription effectively. No matter what you choose, just be sure your prescription eyeglasses fit well and reflect your individuality.