Ask the Optician


Multifocal Lens Sunglasses

By Kushla Brewster
Reviewed by Beck Jinette
Beck Jinette

Reviewed by

Beck Jinette
Aurora is a Digital Marketing Specialist for SmartBuyGlasses. She’s enthusiastic about supporting the marketing.
Protect your eyes from the elements whilst seeing clearly at every distance with multifocal lens sunglasses.
a pair of orange-tinted Oakley sunglasses

What are multifocal sunglasses?

Regardless of your lifestyle, prescription sunglasses are highly recommended for correcting your vision whilst simultaneously protecting your eyes.

Before deciding on the right pair, it’s best to understand what your multifocal lens prescription means, the different lens add-ons and the best frame options. 

Firstly, multifocal lenses have three different prescriptions within one lens – near, intermediate and far.

They sit in different parts of the lens so when you look through the appropriate area, you can see clearly at all distances. 

Multifocal lenses eliminate the need to constantly switch between your glasses. This makes them perfect for your sunglasses.

Imagine you’re out gardening, going for a drive, or soaking up the rays whilst reading a book. With multifocal lenses, all of these tasks are possible with one pair of frames.

Why should you wear multifocal sunglasses?

A benefit to wearing sunglasses with multifocal lenses is you don’t need to carry your reading glasses, distance vision glasses, as well as your sunglasses for outside tasks and activities.

Wearing your multifocal lenses throughout the day will also help you to adjust to these lenses faster if they are new. 

Prescription sunglasses protect your eyes as well as correct your vision, offering UV protection and eliminating glare and eye strain in both sunny and overcast weather conditions.

All while being a fashionable accessory all throughout the year. 

infographic of prescriptions in a progressive lens
infographic of prescriptions in a progressive lens

Lens options for multifocal sunglasses

You can add more than just multifocal lenses to ensure you’re getting the most out of your frames.

There are a variety of lens options like UV protection, tinting, polarisation, as well as scratch-resistant, anti-glare and anti-reflective coatings.

Let’s discover some of the options for your multifocal sunglasses. 

UV protection

Whether it’s sunny or cloudy, the sun emits harmful UV rays which can be too strong for our eyes to filter and can lead to eye health issues.

To combat this, it’s important to wear sunglasses with UV protection. There are 5 different UV filter categories.

With 0 blocking 3-20% of UV rays up to category 4 which blocks 92-97% of UV rays. 

infographic of UV protection categories
infographic of UV protection categories


Adding tint to your multifocal sunglasses provides many benefits, more than just style and UV protection.

Tinting can reduce glare and enhance contrast and depth perception to enhance your vision. 

Green lenses are most protective  against UV and blue light, and are especially great for bright conditions.

Brown lenses are another strong option for multifocals, providing UV protection and enhanced contrast and depth.

A pair with grey lenses are great for everyday use and significantly reduce light. 

Your lifestyle and how much time you spend outside will determine which tint is best for your multifocal sunglasses. 

a pair of green-tinted sunglasses
a pair of green-tinted sunglasses

Red or pink-tinted lenses are perfect for racing, skiing and winter sports because they enhance details and improve your depth perception.


Polarised lenses block the horizontal blinding glare from the sun which causes you to squint.

This benefits you especially during activities like driving, where there are higher chances of sudden blinding moments. 

Colours appear clearer and you can experience better visual clarity as this lens coating reduces bright sunlight. 

If you’re an avid lover of outdoor sports, golf, or time by the water such as fishing, polarised multifocal lenses will provide greater visual comfort. 

Scratch-resistant coating

Adding a scratch-resistant coating to your multifocal glasses enhances visual clarity and lens durability. Economically, they will also save you money in the long term. 

Scratch resistance and durability are extremely beneficial for sunglasses because they’re exposed to the elements.

You could be engaging in physical activity or sports, so the chance of damage is higher.

Disclaimer: While this coating cannot guarantee complete scratch prevention, it offers a substantial level of protection and can significantly enhance the durability of your lenses. 

infographic of lens option benefits
infographic of lens option benefits

Best frame shapes for multifocal lens sunglasses

When deciding on what frame style to buy, it’s essential to keep in mind that your multifocal glasses need to fit three prescriptions. 

Firstly, the ideal lens height is 28 – 34mm, so styles that are too wide or narrow will be less comfortable. 

The best frame shapes for multifocal lenses are round, oval and square. These frame shapes have a deeper lens area which allows you to transition between each prescription seamlessly.

Wearing well-suited frames will enhance visual clarity and comfort. 

Multifocal lenses work best when very close to your eyes. Round and oval styles typically sit snug on the bridge of your nose, which is why they’re such a good choice for multifocal lenses.

As for what to avoid, you’re best to steer clear of aviators, oversized and narrow frames.

Aviators and narrow frames can cut off the near distance prescription at the bottom of the lens and oversized styles have too much lens space. 

This affects where you need to look through the lens and can result in discomfort or distorted vision.

If you feel you need more guidance on how to choose the right sunglasses or lens options for your multifocal lenses, take a look at our Lens Hub or Optical Centre.

Alternatively, you can reach out to one of our certified optical dispensers for help.

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