Safety glasses are an essential piece of protective equipment for a variety of professionals and hobbyists. Whether you're a construction worker, a lab scientist, or a home DIY enthusiast, it's crucial to protect your eyes from potential hazards. In 2023, manufacturers have taken safety glasses to new heights, combining superior protection with comfort, style, and advanced features. Let's take a look at the best safety glasses of 2023.
Why Do You Need Safety Glasses?
Safety glasses are needed in many professional and personal situations to protect the eyes from potential hazards. This includes:
- Construction and industrial work: Protects against flying debris, dust, and sparks.
- Laboratory work: Shields from chemical splashes, biological hazards, and intense light from certain equipment.
- Outdoor activities: Protects from harmful UV radiation, wind, dust, and insects.
- Home DIY tasks: Prevents damage from tools, materials, or chemicals you may be using.
What to Look For In Safety Glasses
Safety glasses should meet specific safety standards. Look for those certified by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and marked with "Z87" or "Z87+". The "Z87" standard means the glasses are rated for basic impact, while "Z87+" indicates they're rated for high-impact protection.
In Europe, safety glasses should meet the EN166 standard. This standard provides ratings for optical clarity, resistance to aging and corrosion, robustness, and protection against various hazards.
Safety glasses lenses are typically made from polycarbonate, a durable, impact-resistant material that offers excellent protection. Other materials include Trivex (lighter and more impact-resistant than polycarbonate) and glass (scratch-resistant but heavy and less impact-resistant).
Different lens coatings provide additional features:
- Anti-scratch: Enhances the durability of the lenses.
- Anti-fog: Prevents condensation on the glasses, which is particularly useful in hot or humid environments.
- UV protection: Protects your eyes from harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Comfort and Fit
Comfort is crucial, especially if you'll be wearing your safety glasses for extended periods. Look for adjustable frames, padded nose bridges, and flexible temples. The glasses should fit snugly but not too tightly.
Prescription Safety Glasses
If you wear prescription glasses, you can get safety glasses with your prescription built-in. Alternatively, you can opt for over-glasses safety glasses, designed to be worn over your regular glasses.
While aesthetics is secondary to safety and comfort, having stylish safety glasses can encourage regular use, especially in less regulated environments like home workshops.
Our Top Safety Glasses Recommendations
1. 3M Virtua CCS Protective Eyewear
The 3M Virtua CCS Protective Eyewear is a perfect mix of comfort, protection, and affordability. The glasses feature a wraparound design that provides an excellent field of vision and high-level eye protection. They come with a foam gasket to provide a comfortable seal and keep out dust and debris. The anti-fog lens coating ensures clear vision in humid conditions, and the removable earplug cord makes it easy to keep track of your ear protection.
2. DEWALT DPG94-1C Dominator Safety Glasses
The DEWALT DPG94-1C Dominator Safety Glasses are renowned for their durability and comfort. These glasses feature a modern, stylish design with a full-frame, making them not only practical but also aesthetically pleasing. The rubber-tipped temples provide a secure, comfortable fit, while the tough polycarbonate lenses provide excellent protection and are resistant to impact and UV radiation.
3. NoCry Over-Spec Safety Glasses
If you wear prescription glasses, NoCry Over-Spec Safety Glasses are a top choice. These safety glasses are designed to fit comfortably over your regular glasses, providing protection without compromising your vision. With sturdy polycarbonate wraparound construction, these glasses shield your eyes from direct and peripheral threats. They are also scratch-resistant and offer UV protection.
4. Pyramex Fortress Safety Eyewear
Pyramex Fortress Safety Eyewear offers excellent value for money. These glasses feature a lightweight, comfortable design with vented lenses for maximum fog prevention. The adjustable nose pads ensure a perfect fit, while the straight-back flexible temples provide comfortable, secure wear for extended periods. The gray lens provides 99% protection against harmful UV rays.
5. Uvex by Honeywell Hypershock Safety Glasses
The Uvex by Honeywell Hypershock Safety Glasses are designed for those who need reliable eye protection in challenging environments. They feature a sleek, sporty design and come with a variety of lens options to cater to different work conditions. The glasses are equipped with Uvex’s proprietary anti-fog, anti-scratch, and anti-static lens coating for clear vision in any condition.
6. Bollé Safety Rush+ Safety Glasses
Bollé Safety Rush+ Safety Glasses bring together style, comfort, and protection. They feature an ultra-flexible, comfortable frame and a non-slip bridge for a secure fit. The platinum anti-fog and anti-scratch coating on both sides of the lens make them ideal for high-humidity environments. The glasses also offer 99.99% UVA and UVB light absorption.
7. Gateway Safety StarLite Safety Glasses
Gateway Safety StarLite Safety Glasses are the epitome of affordability without compromising on quality. These ultra-light glasses are comfortable enough for all-day wear, yet they provide a high level of protection with their scratch-resistant polycarbonate lenses. The wraparound design ensures excellent peripheral vision and protection.
8. Oakley Industrial M Frame Safety Glasses
Oakley Industrial M Frame Safety Glasses are a high-end option that combines superior protection with Oakley's renowned style. They feature a unique lens design that provides an unrestricted view and meets ANSI Z87.1 standards for high mass and high velocity impact protection. The glasses also offer 100% UV protection and come with a comfortable, lightweight frame.
9. Radians Dewalt DPG55-11C Clear Anti-Fog Protective Safety Glasses
Radians Dewalt DPG55-11C Clear Anti-Fog Protective Safety Glasses provide a comfortable and snug fit with rubber-tipped temples and a soft rubber nosepiece. They offer excellent protection with polycarbonate lenses that meet ANSI Z87.1+ standards. The lenses also provide 99.9% UVA/UVB protection and are coated for anti-fog performance.
10. Wiley X Saber Advanced Safety Glasses
Wiley X Saber Advanced Safety Glasses are military-grade eyewear with a versatile design. The glasses come with a variety of lens options, all of which meet the strict MIL-PRF-32432(GL) ballistic standards and ANSI Z87.1-2010 high-impact and optical performance standards. The adjustable nose piece accommodates any face/nose bridge, and the foam brow bar prevents debris and perspiration from entering the field of view.
The year 2023 has brought a variety of excellent safety glasses to the market. From budget-friendly options like the Gateway Safety StarLite Safety Glasses to high-end choices like the Oakley Industrial M Frame Safety Glasses, there's a safety eyewear choice for every need and budget. When selecting safety glasses, it's crucial to consider the level of protection needed, comfort, fit, and any additional features such as anti-fog or scratch resistance.
The 3M Virtua CCS Protective Eyewear and the DEWALT DPG94-1C Dominator Safety Glasses are two top-rated options that combine comfort and high levels of protection. For those who wear prescription glasses, the NoCry Over-Spec Safety Glasses offer a practical solution.
The Pyramex Fortress Safety Eyewear is a great value option with a comfortable, lightweight design and vented lenses to prevent fogging. For a more high-end, stylish choice, the Uvex by Honeywell Hypershock Safety Glasses and Bollé Safety Rush+ Safety Glasses offer excellent protection with a sleek, sporty look.
For those on a tight budget, the Gateway Safety StarLite Safety Glasses offer a high level of protection at a very affordable price. For those willing to invest in high-end protection, Oakley Industrial M Frame Safety Glasses offer superior protection with Oakley's renowned style.
In terms of specialized options, the Radians Dewalt DPG55-11C Clear Anti-Fog Protective Safety Glasses offer excellent anti-fog performance, while the Wiley X Saber Advanced Safety Glasses meet military-grade ballistic standards for those in the toughest environments.
Ultimately, the best safety glasses for you will depend on your specific needs, work environment, and personal preferences. Always prioritize protection and comfort, and remember that investing in high-quality safety glasses can prevent serious eye injuries, making it well worth the cost.