Polarized Versus Gradient Lenses

Whether you are stocking up to sell sunglasses at your outlet or simply picking a pair for yourself, you may well find yourself caught between selecting those with either polarized or gradient lenses. For sure, both types are popular and serve different needs, but these needs can fall into quite different camps. For example, it depends very much on why you are buying the sunglasses – do you need them for driving, to wear in sunny weather, use for winter sports, or just as a fashion accessory? All of these will affect your decision.

In the case of those buying sunglasses for resale, sunglasses wholesalers Olympic Eyewear recommend that the best bet is to look for a combination of both, which follows the general wholesale principle of ensuring you order a wide variety of styles in assorted batches. If you are selling sunglasses, the idea is to appeal to the broadest range of people possible – and that means buying both.

What’s the Difference?

But what are these two different types of lenses that can come in the sunglasses you purchase? The difference is, in fact, pretty simple.

Polarized lenses are those which feature a laminate filter across the whole lens, filtering out UV, reducing glare, and minimizing eye strain. Gradient lenses feature a gradual shift in tint intensity, from darker at the top of the glasses to lighter at the bottom. There is a range of specialized applications for gradient glasses, but it should be noted that both are very popular and very often people will pick a pair of sunglasses for some other reason, not caring whether the lenses are polarized or gradient. This is especially true of cheaper sunglasses supplied by wholesalers. 

Which are Better?

It’s certainly possible to weigh up the relative pros and cons of both polarized and gradient lenses. However, it is worth first noting that each of these relative benefits needs to be viewed in the context of the whole pair of glasses. And because there can be many other factors, it is always worth acquiring both kinds of glasses with any wholesale order. But if you do find yourself picking between the two, here are the most important things to consider.

The Environment

Where will the wearer wear the eyewear? You can remember that little tongue twister to keep in mind that polarized sunglasses are best for high-glare settings. This means bright white snow, water, and so on. Gradient lenses, with their changeable tint, are best for those applications where you require two types of vision, as it were. A good example is daytime driving as you will want to block overhead lights while keeping your vision of the interior of the car and the road ahead clear.

UV Protection

So when it comes to damaging UV radiation, which of the two types of lenses are preferable? Well, the answer is neither – or both. The truth is that when it comes to protecting your vision from harmful radiation, you simply need to check the UV rating. The type of lens has little to do with this.


Again, cost doesn’t rely too heavily on whether the lenses are polarized or gradient. There do exist high-quality polarized lenses which more typically appear with designer shades. Nevertheless, both types are represented at the lower end of the price scale as well.


A final point to note might be that gradient lenses, with their changing tint, can be the more versatile of the two types, as polarized lenses can be too dark in some settings. But as mentioned before, if you are shopping for yourself, all you can do is pick for yourself. If you’re stocking your inventory, get both.

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