Difference Between Sunglasses and Spectacles


Main Difference

The main difference between Sunglasses and Spectacles is that Sunglasses is to protect eyes from the high intensity of light and sun rays, whereas Spectacles is to correct the imperfect vision.

Sunglasses vs. Spectacles

Sunglasses refers to the protection of eyes from harmful rays and other dust particles. Spectacles refer to the clear image of an object. Sunglasses is a need for all normal people who are highly exposed to the sun and for those who like to wear glasses while going outside. Spectacles are highly recommended for people who have critical eyesight issues.

The lens of sunglasses is made up of material like polycarbonate, polyurethane, acrylic, CR-39, etc. The lens of spectacles is made up of material like plastic, trivex, high index plastic, aspheric, glass, etc. Sunglasses are for aesthetic purposes. Spectacles are for necessity purposes. The lens of sunglasses is darkened, photosensitive absorbs UV light. The lens of spectacles are prescribed and maybe concave, convex, and not cylindrical.


Sunglasses have several advantages e.g., and sunglasses are stylish to wear, impact, and attractive look; we can also match it with our outfits, keep our eyes cool by protecting them from the sun. Spectacles also show many benefits like they can correct our eye vision and also reliable while reading, etc., spectacles are also present in many stylish frames.

The other name of the sunglasses is ‘shades.’ The other name of spectacles is ‘glasses’ or ‘reading glasses.’ Sunglasses are invented in 1929 by Sam Foster, he produced inexpensive sunglasses and began to sell them on the beaches of Atlantic city and new jersey. However, spectacles are invented about 700 years ago as a first visual aid. The word sunglasses are come into being during the 80s. The word spectacles are come into being during the age of Middle English.


Comparison Chart

Tinted glasses sun-protective eyewear is known as sunglasses.Defect vision eyewear is known as spectacles.
Eyes protectionFor clear vision
Originated In
In 1929About 700 years ago
Prescribed or Non-prescribed lensesPrescribed lenses
Lens Material
Glass, acrylic, etcPlastic, aspheric, etc
Also Known As
It is also known as shades, eye shields, solar shields, etc.It is also known as specs, reading glasses, glasses, etc.

What is Sunglasses?

Sunglasses work as a shade to eyes and protect the eyes from the sunrays. Sunglasses are normally made up of plastic frames and metal frames and dark or tinted lenses to filter the sunlight. Sunglasses have either prescribed lens or non-prescribed lens because the sunglasses are not involved in the correctness of eyesight. Sunglasses are beneficial for everyone because it saves our pretentious eyes from the unfavorable sun rays. Sunglasses are also very famous due to their versatile style. That’s why sunglasses are also used to boost up the style.

There is a wide range of lens colors, designs, frames of spectacles. Some people are addicted to the collection of some crazy designs. Sunglasses are such a thing that is present in our collection. Sunglasses are in trend rather than protection. UV light and other infrared rays that are emitted from the sun are not impacted a good effect on eyes, and thus our eyes need protection from such rays. These rays also damage our eyes’ vision and delicate the cells of the retina. So the sunglasses blocked these dangerous rays to reach the eyes.

It is claimed that good and expensive sunglasses can block dangerous sunrays by about 97%. Sunglasses are of two types’ polarized and non-polarized sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses are of such type that contains the special filter and can reduce the glares for comfort and visibility. The polarized lens works by reflected the rays from the lens surface and horizontally polarized the lens and vertically polarized the lens and then block the glare.

What is Spectacles?

Spectacles are basically derived from the reading glass; that’s why also known as reading glasses. In the 1960s, the spectacles or reading glasses were first invented in Italy. These spectacles are designed for elders who face difficulty while reading due to their weak eyesight. Spectacles are mainly for the purpose of reading for the persons with blurred vision. Spectacle got popular in an instant because it is a privilege for mankind who face eyesight issues. Word spectacle is also used interchangeably for reading glasses.

Term spectacles referred to the glasses with proper frame and sidebars. However, some eyeglasses or eyewear are without the sidebars. The spectacle lens is made up of specific material, either glass or plastic. The lens of spectacles is always transparent in order to bend and refracting light. The word spectacle is derived from Middle English and derived from the Latin word “spectacular,” meaning “public show.” Word “spectacular” is itself derived from the word “spectare” meaning “to look.” The principal of spectacles is to diverge and converge the light rays.

The lens of spectacles allows a sufficient degree of light to get the perfect image or clear vision. Three types of lenses are used in the spectacles. One is the convex lens, second is the concave lens, and the third is the cylindrical type lens. The convex lens is used for the correction of long defective eyesight. A concave lens is used to correct the defective, short eyesight. The cylindrical type lens is used to correct astigmatism, which is caused by the imperfect cornea curvature.

Key Differences

  1. Sunglasses are also wearing for fashion purposes, whereas spectacles are worn for only the purpose of need.
  2. Sunglasses normally can be used by every person; on the other hand, spectacles are used by persons with specific eyesight issues.
  3. Sunglasses uses shaded lens; converse,y spectacles uses a glass lens.
  4. Sunglasses refers to the protection of eyes from rays, dust, etc.; on the flip side, spectacles refers to see the things clearly.
  5. The lens of sunglasses is photosensitive. However, the lens of spectacles is not photosensitive, but they are image corrector.
  6. Sunglasses possess a photochromic lens; although, spectacles possess either convex or concave lenses.
  7. Sunglasses aren’t prescribed; contrarily, spectacles are prescribed.
  8. Sunglasses are mostly used for picnics, visit beachside, etc.; on the other side, and spectacles are mainly used for reading, writing, sewing, etc.
  9. Sunglasses are of darkening mirrors, whereas spectacles are of glass and transparent mirrors.
  10. The lens of sunglasses helps to trim down the brightness of, whether the lens of spectacles helps to correct the image of an object.


It is concluded that sunglasses are to protecting eyes, and spectacles are for a clear image.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson