Roughly 166.5 million of our friends, family members, and neighbors wear sunglasses. Sadly, there are no figures that tell us how many of them wear sunglasses at night, but we can assume a lot. But have you ever stopped to think about the dimensions of sunglasses?
The measurements of sunglasses vary from frame to frame and brand to brand. There are six variables to take into account when measuring sunglasses:
- Frame width
- Frame height
- Temple length (arm)
- Bridge width
- Lens width
- Lens height
Only after measuring these parts of a pair of sunglasses’ form will you come to a final measurement figure. In this guide, I’ll show you to size sunglasses frames, describe the various sunglasses frame styles, as well as provide a size chart for glasses frames.
What Do the 3 Numbers on Sunglasses Mean?
Whether you have prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses, you will find three numbers on the inside portion of their temples. An example of these numbers is 40 22 150. So, what do they mean?
The three numbers correspond to the frame’s lens width, bridge width, and arm (the foldable portion of the sunglasses frames that goes over your ear) length, respectively, in millimeters. So, in this example, the lenses are 40 millimeters wide, the bridge is 22 millimeters wide, and the arm is 150 millimeters long.
- Lens width—The width of each lens at its widest points. It does not include the thickness of the frame.
- Bridge width—The measurement of the bridge—the section that connects the lens frames together. This measurement is taken from the two nearest points of each lens.
- Temple length—The distance from the screw to the end of the arm, including curves or bends (if applicable).
There are usually two additional codes found on the frames of sunglasses. Those codes usually refer to the style of the frames and the color. You can ignore these codes since they do not relate to the size of your head or face.
These measurements will not give you a comprehensive overview of the frame’s dimensions, but these are the more crucial measurements to determine comfort.
How to Size Sunglasses Frames
As indicated earlier in this guide, there are three more variables that determine the sunglasses frame sizes.
- Frame width—The width of the frames between the two widest points. This is usually recorded by measuring the distance between the hinges of both arms.
- Frame height—The height of the frame between the two widest points. If you stood a pair of sunglasses on a table perpendicularly, you would have to measure the distance between the bottommost and topmost points of the frame.
- Lens height—The height of the lenses between their two widest points. This figure does not include the thickness of the frame.
Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do to measure your face for a pair of snug-fitting sunglasses. The only real measurement you can get is the frame width, which is measured by taking a straight ruler and recording the distance between where each of your ears connects to your head. After that, you will need to get fitted to see which bridge width and temple length sizes are right for you.
Sunglasses Size Chart
Again, the only reliable method for finding a pair of perfectly fitting sunglasses is to pay your optician a visit. That said, here are a few size charts to help you come up with frame widths on your own.
|Size||Lens Width||Bridge Width||Temple Length|
|Small||43 to 45 mm||15 mm||125 mm|
|Large||46 to 48 mm||16 mm||130 mm|
|Size||Frame Width||Lens Width||Bridge Width||Temple Length|
|Small||<= 125 mm||44 to 47 mm||14 to 16 mm||125 to 130 mm|
|Medium||126 to 130 mm||48 to 52 mm||17 to 18 mm||130 to 135 mm|
|Large||131 to 135 mm||53 to 55 mm||19 to 20 mm||135 to 140 mm|
|XL||>= 136 mm||>= 21 mm||>= 56 mm||>= 145 mm|
Some opticians may provide different sizes (between 40 and 60) that correspond with the frame’s overall width. However, the 3 numbers will still be imprinted somewhere on the inner portions of the arm or bridge.
Sunglasses vs. Eyeglasses
We have to address the elephant in the room, which is, what are the differences between sunglasses and eyeglasses?
There are a few key differences that you will notice just from a quick glance. Basically, sunglasses have slightly darker lenses than traditional eyeglasses. The tinted lenses shade the wearer’s eyes from sources of bright lights, such as the sun (hence, its name).
The primary difference between the two is that prescription eyeglasses frames are larger than those belonging to sunglasses. This is due to the lenses of prescription sunglasses can be thicker and heavier than the lenses on sunglasses. So, for the most part, you can not swap frames between prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses.
That’s not to say you can pick up specialized frames for sunglasses to accommodate prescription lenses. Just take a look at Ray Ban’s selection of prescription sunglasses to see what I mean.
With all that said, both sunglasses and eyeglasses share one huge similarity—there are endless frames to choose from. This means finding the average dimensions of a pair of sunglasses can be downright impossible.
What Is Pupil Distance?
Pupil distance is an informal variable for sizing sunglasses frames. In a nutshell, it’s the distance between the centers of each pupil and between the outer edges of each pupil at their nearest points.
To measure pupil distance, place a straight ruler on the bridge of your nose while you look straight ahead in front of a mirror. Record the distance between the inside edges of both pupils and do it again for the centers of your pupil. Ideally, someone else would measure your pupil distance for you. Repeat this process 2 or 3 more times to get an average.
After knowing your pupil distance, your optician can help you find a pair of lenses with the right optical center.