Lens Questions

Which lens material is right for me?

At LensFactory, we have one of the largest online offerings of lens material available. If you’re not familiar with these options, it can seem a bit overwhelming.  You can always contact us to answer any questions you have, but there are four main options to choose from:


Plastic or CR39 is as close to glass in clarity that you can get.  It’s the most cost effective solution, and very easy to tint.  With plastic lenses, you will generally have thicker or heavier lenses than using Polycarbonate (“Poly”).  Plastic is easy to scratch, crack or shatter.   Plastic lenses can’t be used with drill mounted or semi-rimless frames.  Children under the age of 18 cannot be prescribed plastic lenses.

Polycarbonate (Poly) 

Polycarbonate or “poly” for short is very impact resistant.  Poly lenses are thinner, lighter and more durable than plastic lenses.  Unlike plastic, poly lenses are able to be used for drill mounted or semi-rimless frames.  With these additional pro’s in poly’s favor, there is additional cost.  While we put anti-scratch on all of our poly lenses, they can be easily scratched.  Poly does have lower clarity than it’s glass or plastic cousins.  Poly, while it can be tinted, does not take tint very well.

High Index

If you have a high prescription, High Index is the way to go.  We can get the thinnest lens with High-Index lenses.  Ever had that “soda bottle” look? Say goodbye to it with high index lenses.  Many times, people use high index lenses on vanity glasses.  High index lenses are lighter and thinner than plastic, but heavier than poly.  Because it takes a lot of work to make these lenses thinner, High Index lenses are usually the most expensive lenses.  We add anti-scratch and anti-reflective coating to all high index lenses due to the amount of reflection that can occur with high index lenses.


Glass has the highest clarity and greatest optical quality due to it’s high ABBE value.  With no coatings it is very scratch resistant.  Glass is very heavy.  If you’re not used to it, it may not be for you.  Glass is NOT impact resistant and can chip or shatter when dropped.  This is not a good material if you have an active lifestyle that may put your glasses in danger of being dropped.  Glass also takes a long time to manufacture, sometimes over 30 days.

We know!  That’s a lot of information to take in.  If you'd like to read more about our lens materials, check out this page.  If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to us via phone, email or chat.  Contact Us Now!