Polarized vs Non-Polarized: Is That The Question?

Polarized vs Non Polarized on AmericanSunglass

You may have heard the phrase “polarized sunglasses’ and wondered what it means. Should you buy them? Why are they more expensive than regular sunglasses?

The quick answer is that polarized sunglasses minimize glare and give you a clear, crisp view. However, the polarization can cause problems with anti-glare technology and may not be an option for some.

Here is a more in-depth comparison about polarized vs. non-polarized sunglasses:


UV Ray Protection:

We all know that UV rays are harmful to our skin, so we wear sunscreen. But UV rays are also very harmful to our eyes! We should take care to protect our sensitive eyes to UVA & UVB rays. Polarized sunglasses offer much better (some even 99-100%) protection from both kinds of UV rays.

Reduces Horizontal Glare:

One of the most uncomfortable things or our eyes can experience is the horizontal glare that happens when the sun’s reflection bounces back at us. This could be from the surface of water, a road, or glass. Non-polarized sunglasses can’t take into account the direction that light is coming from, so they don’t offer protection from light that is not vertical.

Polarized sunglasses protect against this horizontal glare, keeping your eyes from having to strain against this uncomfortable light, and potentially reducing damage to your eyes.

True to Color:

Polarized sunglasses are able to correctly convey color. This means you’ll be able to see real colors and their various shades. Non-polarized glasses often skew colors radically so that objects appear very red, pink, or yellow.

An Investment:

Polarized sunglasses are usually more expensive, since they contain higher quality lenses that protect your eyes. You can think of this as an investment in your health!

One Downside:

Polarized lenses may reduce your visibility on LCD screens like ATMs, tablets, or phones.

If you’re serious about protecting your eyes, and want clearer vision with better color perception, then polarized sunglasses are a great investment!


There are many reasons why one would not be able to wear polarized sunglasses whether it’s because of technology or even just personal preference. 


Pilots cannot wear polarized lenses because the polarization can reduce or eliminate the visibility of instruments that use the same anti-glare filters as the glasses, causing the screens to look distorted. Polarized lenses may also interfere with visibility through an aircraft windscreen and mask the sparkle of light that reflects off shiny surfaces, such as another aircraft’s wing or windscreen.

LCD infotainment screens, used on some mobile devices and in vehicles, such as the Prius, also use polarizing filters and can go dark when seen through polarized glasses.

American Sunglass carries the best brand of pilot-worn sunglasses in the country, Randolph.  They offer lens technology that is military-grade spec adherence without polarization (though they offer both Polarized and Non-Polarized in many of their sunglass models).

There are many manufacturers out there that have realized that sunglasses are not only about fashion, but that they’re about protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV Rays.  So, even though polarized sunglasses will give you superior protection, there are other options out there for the non-polarized glasses that will also protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays. This technology is continually evolving, with the introduction of new materials, designs and manufacturing techniques.

Whether you prefer polarized or non-polarized sunglasses, our staff will help you to choose the perfect pair.  Feel free to contact us with any questions.  Because no matter what, you always want to look good!

Ray-Ban Polarized sunglasses on AmericanSunglass