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If your eyes have gotten gradually blurrier over the years, then it might be time to pick up some reading glasses. For those without Mr. Magoo-like sight, readers make it easy to correct your vision without needing to visit the optometrist. But before you settle for the basic options on the rotating rack at your local pharmacy, consider these fashionable frames that fit your style and needs, whether it’s an office-friendly silhouette or something to upgrade your outdated specs.
What’s the Difference Between Reading Glasses and Prescription Glasses?
Technically, any pair of optical frames can be reading glasses — depending on your eyesight, you might be able to get away with wearing readers. Sometimes referred to as over the counter readers, these types of glasses offer ready-made lenses with magnification strengths ranging from +1 to +4, making them a common and convenient solution for eyes that have worsened with age (a condition known as presbyopia).
Unlike prescription glasses, readers don’t require a vision test from an optometrist. Rather, you’ll try on different lens powers and see what works best for you. Since both lenses have the same strength, reading glasses won’t be the best option for those with conditions such as astigmatism or who require multifocals to correct their vision. For those types of issues, prescription glasses are your best bet.
How to Find Stylish Reading Glasses
From minimalist rimmed glasses to oversized frames, you can find practically every type of readers under the sun. If you’re going for style, you’ll want to consider silhouettes that suit your face shape and noggin size. Here are the most common types:
Oval: Rectangle and cat-eye frames complement faces with high cheekbones and a narrow jawline.
Square: Round or oval frames look best on square-shaped faces.
Round: Square, rectangle, and narrow glasses are great for those with a wide forehead, full cheeks, and a rounded chin.
Oblong: Square frames and aviators are ideal for long faces.
Heart: Oval, cat-eye, and rimless frames are a good fit for those with a wide forehead, wide cheekbones, and a small chin.
Asian Fit: Also known as low bridge or universal fit, frame styles with thicker nose pads and shorter/wider lenses are best for those with high cheekbones and short or minimal nose bridges. This fit tends to rest more comfortable on the nose so that they don’t slide off your face.
We’ve handpicked some of the best reading glasses to suit a range of faces and styles — check out our favorites below. A bonus: many of these can be turned into prescription frames as well, in case your eyesight worsens and a pair of readers won’t cut it anymore.
1. The Book Club LOL Eaters 57mm Reading Glasses
Available in +1 to +3 lens strengths, these square aviator-like glasses feature a sleek metal frame and adjustable nose pads for comfort. They’re great for large faces or those who dig the oversized, retro look.
2. Eyebobs TV Party Reading Glasses
If you’re looking to make a creative statement with your frames, these acetate round readers are quite the lookers. They come in a range of colorways and in lens strengths from +1 to +4, or you can fill them with a prescription. You can also upgrade to blue light filtering lenses.
3. GlassesUSA Revel Tenor Glasses
These translucent rectangle readers come in +1 to +3.50 lens powers, and are great for oval and round face shapes. They’re made of acetate and have a gold tint that gives a modern aesthetic.
4. EyeBuyDirect RFLKT Era Glasses
These vintage-meets-modern acetate frames feature a clear and gray finish and a straight metal nose bridge for a contemporary look. They’re great for small or narrow faces, and you can order them in prescriptions from +.25 to +12 or as multifocals, as well as in an array of coating and tint options.
5. Look Optic Liam Reading Glasses
Available in lens powers from +1 to +3, these retro oval frames are made of super lightweight material and feature a smooth matte finish. They come in a variety of neutral and bright colorways, and you can also upgrade to blue light lenses.
6. Muse Chance Reading Glasses
These Clark Kent-like reading glasses are from GlassesUSA which has thousands of stylish reading specs available on its website. We like these ones for their smart looks and the lightweight and durable construction. They come in lens powers from +1 to +3.50 and feature scratch and impact-resistant lenses. Since they’re pretty wide, they’re a great option for large faces.
7. Peepers by PeeperSpecs Sticks & Stones Glasses
Family-run company Peepers has caught the eye of Oprah, thanks to its thick-framed readers in a range of stylish colors and patterns. These translucent oval glasses feature wood-like arms for a natural look, and the UVA- and UVB light-blocking, anti-scratch lenses are available in magnifications from +1 to +3.
8. Readers The Joy Convertible Temple Reader
These cat-eye reading glasses feature removable temples so that you can mix and match your specs with your style. The readers are available in lens powers +1 to +4, as well as in a tortoise colorway with pink or blue temples.
9. Felix Gray Turin Glasses
These round lenses feature a keyhole bridge, giving them a vintage-inspired professional look. They’re available in lens powers from +.5 to +2.5 as well as in prescription lenses if you need something stronger.
10. Caddis Miklos Readers
The Australia-based company is known for its stylish frames designed for Gen X’s cool and creative set. Choose from vintage-inspired options to chunky silhouettes like this one in a translucent forest green shade (among other colors) in magnifications from +1 to +3.5. The lenses include anti-reflective, non-smudge, and blue light coatings, while the frames are made of handcrafted acetate.