Best Reading Glasses Consumer Reports

Best Reading Glasses Consumer Reports, Tips, Reviews, Ratings, and Guides in 2022

Anyone who needs glasses to read knows how important it is to find the right pair. Not all reading glasses are created equal, and what works for one person might not work for another. That’s why it’s important to do your research before you buy a pair of reading glasses. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to help you make the best decision, including Consumer Reports. In this blog post, we’ll look at the best reading glasses Consumer Reports has to offer. So, if you’re in the market for a new pair of readers, be sure to read on!

What are reading glasses?

Reading glasses are spectacles that have been designed specifically to aid people who suffer from vision impairments. These often include farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism. By using reading glasses, you can relax your eyes without taking away their ability to focus on nearby objects. You also won’t need to strain yourself by holding the object up to your face for it to be clear.

Most Common Types of reading glasses:

Reading glasses come in a variety of styles and designs. The most common types include:

Traditional Magnifying Glasses: Traditional reading glasses are by far the most popular glasses on the market today. They typically sport a half-moon design which allows the user to see both near and distant objects with ease. These types of reading glasses can also be used as sunglasses or regular corrective lenses, making them highly versatile.

Reading Sunglasses: As you might expect from their name, these kinds of readers offer an extra layer of protection from bright lights and harmful UV rays. In many cases, they’re polarized as well, allowing users to reduce glare when they’re trying to enjoy a sunny day outdoors. Reading sunglasses tend to have a flexible band so that they can be folded for easy storage.

Half-Moon Readers: These glasses have a traditional flat lens, but the top of the frame features a cut-out that allows them to rest on your nose. You’ll be able to see both near and distant objects with ease, just as you would with a traditional reading glass. However, these glasses tend to cover more surface area, so they might not work as well if you’ve got limited peripheral vision. This style of the reader is also known as a “cheater.”

What should you know about reading glasses?

There are a few things you should know about reading glasses before deciding to buy. These include:

Traditional glasses will keep your eyes from becoming fatigued during long periods of reading or other work. This means that your eyes won’t feel as tired after working or studying for several hours, which can help prevent long-term eye damage.

Reading sunglasses typically have tinted lenses to provide extra protection against bright lights and harmful UV rays. If you wear contacts, you probably shouldn’t use reading sunglasses because they could damage your contacts or irritate your eyes even more than usual.

A half-moon design is better if you need bifocal lenses. Bifocals allow users to see both near and distant objects without switching between two different pairs of glasses. In most cases, users can switch between near and far vision simply by tilting their heads down or up.

Reading glasses typically have a hinge so that they can be folded for storage in a briefcase, purse, or desk drawer. This is especially useful if you need to use your readers in a public setting such as a library or classroom.

Factors to Consider before buying reading glasses:

Pupillary Distance (PD): This is the length between your pupils, which is important because you’ll need a pair of glasses that can be adjusted to fit properly. If your current glasses don’t have a PD number on them, simply measure the distance from one pupil to the other with a ruler or piece of string. Alternatively, an optometrist will usually measure this for you during an eye exam.

Frame Size: Reading glasses need to fit comfortably on your face, so you’ll want a pair that has the right combination of size and flexibility. You should be able to open and close them without too much trouble, though a larger lens surface area will provide more coverage.

Lens Color: A lighter-colored lens with a subtle tint will allow users to see things in their immediate environment with clarity. However, these lenses tend to make objects further away look darker or less vibrant. On the other hand, a dark brown/amber tint allows users to see faraway objects clearly while still providing an adequate view of what’s nearby. Think about how you plan on using your reading glasses before choosing this feature.

Lightweight Frames: This is one of those features that are pretty much a necessity. If your glasses don’t weigh very little, they’ll quickly become uncomfortable to wear as you read or work on a computer for several hours at a time. You can do without this feature if you’re only going to use your reading glasses occasionally, but those who rely on them all day will want lightweight frames.

Prescription Lenses: This is an option that not everyone needs or wants, but it provides one more level of protection and comfort. If you already wear prescription eyeglasses and contacts, having the same prescription in both sets of your glasses will make life easier because you won’t have to switch between two different pairs when working with different distances.

Lens Compatibility: Check the pupillary distance (PD) listed on your prescription as well as the measurements of any glasses you already own that you want to use as a reference before buying replacement lenses online. This is especially important if you’re looking for bifocal lenses because they’ll spread out your corrective power across two sections of glass instead of just one. Although this makes it much easier to read and focus on specific areas, it also means that the magnification area has to cover more space in order not to make distant objects appear blurry or distorted. As such, many companies won’t be able to help you upgrade old eyeglasses with new lenses if they’re too small to accommodate bifocal technology.

Lens Strength: If you’re looking for strength numbers, remember that 1.0 is considered “Plano” (no magnification). Anything more than 1.00 provides some degree of magnification​, while less than that number means the eye will be less magnification.

1 – 1.25 – These lenses offer a low range of magnification generally used for reading text that isn’t too small or light in color. They aren’t recommended for those who already have a significant amount of trouble seeing things from a normal distance because they don’t provide much help.

1.50 – This is the lowest strength you should consider buying if you want to watch TV or use a computer while wearing your glasses. You’ll need about this level of magnification if you have trouble seeing details at long range.

1.75 – 2.00 – If you’re going to be using your readers as “computer glasses,” these are the strengths you should choose for optimal results. Keep in mind that the average computer user will need even stronger glasses than these once they reach their 40s.

2.25 – 2.50 – If you’re over the age of 40, you’ll probably benefit from anything in this range. This level of magnification is best for individuals who have trouble seeing things up close but don’t necessarily want to wear bifocals or transition lenses just yet.

2.75 – 3.00 – You should consider buying a pair with these strengths if your current pair of glasses doesn’t provide enough help regarding focusing on nearby objects. Slightly farsighted people (hyperopia) ​will benefit most from these levels of magnification when reading, working on the computer, or performing other everyday tasks that require close-up views.

3.25 – 3.50 – Individuals who need more help seeing things up close and suffer from moderate farsightedness (hyperopia) or presbyopia will benefit most from a pair of reading glasses with this level of magnification. This is generally the best option for individuals over the age of 50 whose vision has declined significantly since their younger years.

3.75 – 4.00 – If you’re at least 65 years old, you’ll find these levels of magnification to be helpful for common everyday tasks such as reading, working on the computer, and cooking. However, they aren’t suitable for viewing objects that are too far away because we just don’t naturally focus on them like we used to.

4.25 – 4.75 – If you want the most powerful magnification possible in a pair of frameless readers, these would be your best bet. You’ll need them to function if you’re older than 65 and have lost a significant amount of vision to presbyopia or hyperopia. In addition, they can also help individuals who are severely nearsighted see things more clearly from further away.

5.00 – 5.50 – These lenses provide the greatest level of magnification currently available for men and women with severe visual impairments that prevent them from seeing items up close or viewing objects that are far away clearly. Individuals with cataracts will especially benefit from wearing these glasses because they allow you to read things in small print better without having to switch to another pair.

6.00 – 8.00+ – These lenses are the most powerful types of readers that you can buy and should only be worn by those who have terrible vision, such as people with low vision conditions such as macular degeneration.

Price:  Most people don’t want to spend a lot on their reading glasses, but you’ll be better off if you shell out the extra cash for quality lenses. Cheap lenses tend to not do as good of a job at seeing near or far objects with clarity, which can make them uncomfortable to wear over long periods.

If your current eyeglasses are also prescription glasses, buying two pairs will usually work out cheaper than purchasing one pair. It’s always best to ask an optician about prices before making your purchase.

Prescription Information: When buying glasses without prescriptions, the only thing you’ll need is your pupillary distance (PD). However, if you want prescription lenses with magnification powers for computer use or bifocals to share with a friend, you’ll need to bring in an old pair of glasses and get your PD measured.

Although it’s always best to do all of this at once, you can usually get new eyeglasses with regular and reading magnifications and then take the other pair back later on when they’re ready.

Frame Style and Size: There are three basic types of eyeglasses frames available for purchase, which include full-rimmed, semi-rimless, and rimless.

Full-Rim: These are the most traditional type of glasses because they have a complete frame around your lenses. They tend to look best on people who have rounder faces with no sharp angles or facial structure. However, if you have an angular shape that makes your face appear much longer than it is wide when viewed from the side, this style may not work out well.

Semi-rimless: This variation on the classic full-frame style has a partial rim placed at the top corners of each lens to offer moderate protection against light glares and debris while also keeping your lenses from showing underneath. They’re generally designed to blend into the bridge of the nose and sit a few millimeters away from it for a comfortable fit with most face shapes.

Rimless: These are also known as “beach glasses” because they have no frame at all, which makes them look like you’ve applied your lenses directly onto your eyes. If you don’t want people to notice that you’re even wearing glasses while still needing some magnification power, this is an option worth looking into. The drawback is that they aren’t very durable or protective against the elements, so you should only use these when indoors.

Lens Curvature: You’ll frequently see two types of lenses listed when buying reading glasses online – flat and bifocal.

Flat: These lenses are completely flat and don’t provide any additional magnification power aside from increasing the size of your image through magnifying lenses. They’re generally designed for people who have presbyopia, which is a condition that requires you to hold items close to see them. Because their lenses are so thin, they give you slightly less peripheral vision than other styles while still being relatively easy to read if the glasses are small enough.

Bifocal: Unlike standard reading glasses where each lens provides equal levels of magnification on each side of your vision, bifocals have an area above the center point that’s designed specifically for seeing objects up close without them appearing blurry or distorted. This makes them ideal for people who need to see things both at a desk and over the counter.

Advanced Lenses and Frames: As you start looking at higher-end glasses, more options are available for your consideration. These include tints, coatings, and bonus features such as scratch resistance and UV protection.

Tints: The most common types of tinting used on prescription eyeglasses include gray and brown. They’re designed to look like regular sunglasses and can be worn by people who want to change the color of their lenses without having to pay extra for non-prescription shades that they’ll only use occasionally.

Coatings:  If you buy glasses with either AR or anti-reflective coatings, it means that there’s an additional layer added into the mix that minimizes light glare from hitting your lenses while also allowing you to see objects better in brighter conditions. This is generally an upgrade that you’ll only see on higher-end options, but it can also come included at no extra charge on some cheaper sets as well.

Bonus Features: Generally, the more money you spend on a pair of eyeglasses means they’ll offer more benefits than simply allowing you to see better. For example, if you plan to wear your reading glasses outside often and want them to stand up against scratches or raindrops without breaking easily, look for high-quality materials such as titanium or stainless steel instead of plastic frames. Keep in mind that just because something doesn’t cost more does not mean that it’s cheap either, so avoid buying anything with lenses made from standard unless it comes with a durable frame.

How to Adjust Your Glasses: If you wear regular glasses and have trouble keeping them in place, adjusting your reading glasses is usually a matter of simply bending the temple tips so they fit securely against the sides of your head. This is typically done by hand and shouldn’t require any additional tools. Each side should move independently so that you can find a more comfortable angle for how they sit on your face while also providing enough support to keep them from falling off during physical activity or if something accidentally brushes up against them.

The Right Fit: Getting the right fit is harder than just grabbing anything that isn’t too loose or tight and hoping it works, but there are some simple guidelines you can follow to make sure that your glasses stay secure throughout the day.

The lenses should rest against your face without touching any of your eyelashes or squishing up your nose as if they were a full mask. They should also be low enough on your face that you can see at least a little bit of skin under them when looking down, but high enough that they won’t fall off even if you lean forward.

If there are gaps between your eyes and the glasses wherever they touch your face, then it’s either time to change to a larger size or find another style that fits better. For people with narrow faces, it’s best to look for glasses with thin lenses and small bridge pieces. Readers with wide noses might be more comfortable in styles that have thick arms and less prominent nose pads.

Material:  Choosing the right material for your glasses is important because it’s what determines both their durability and how likely they are to keep your eyes safe. Some of the most common choices that you’ll see include plastic, titanium, stainless steel, aluminum, and wire.

Warranty: Buying glasses that come with a warranty can save you money in the long run, but it’s important to keep in mind what they cover and decide if it’ll be worth your time and effort to send them back for repairs.

The Pros and Cons of reading glasses:


No need to spend extra money on lenses when you only want glasses for occasional use

Many options come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles to make them look like regular prescription eyewear, especially with bifocals and trifocals

Available in many different diopters or strengths that help people see better in certain conditions: such as nearsighted, farsighted, and presbyopia.


It May not be ideal if you need glasses to correct your eyesight all the time because they don’t come with built-in lenses

Not available for children under 12 years old or adults over 55 years old unless they have a valid prescription from their eye doctor. If you fall into that age range, it’s best to look for therapeutic or reading glasses with side shields that provide extra protection.


Can reading glasses for men and women come in the same styles and sizes?

All types of reading glasses can be found in both unisex and two-toned designs that are ideal for either gender, but they usually don’t come in different diopters or prescriptions.

Why do most glasses only come with clear lenses?

Most manufacturers use clear lenses because it saves time and money by avoiding the additional step of tinting them after they’re made. That also means you won’t have the option to choose the exact color or darkness level that’s best for your eyesight needs.

How long can my new glasses stay clean before I start seeing smudges and fingerprints on them?

If they have no anti-reflective coatings, most glasses will remain clear for a few hours before showing signs of dirt and smudging. However, if you have an antireflective coating added to the lenses, then you might only need to give them a quick wipe with a cloth or your shirt sleeve to keep them clean after each use.

Should I pay extra for scratch-resistant coatings?

Most pairs of reading glasses don’t come with any type of scratch-resistant coating because it adds one more step during the manufacturing process. However, those who tend to keep their glasses on while doing household chores or work outside will find that having a scratch-resistant coating is worth the extra cost because it’ll keep the lenses from getting as dirty and smudged up over time.

How do I choose between anti-reflective and polarized lenses?

Anti-reflective coatings are ideal for people who spend long hours reading on electronic devices and want to reduce eye strain and fatigue because they minimize glare and reflections from light sources. Reading glasses with polarized lenses cut down on glares and reflections from water, snow, ice, windows, car windshields, etc., which makes them great for outdoor activities such as hiking or playing sports during sunny days.

How often should I replace my reading glasses?

Since most models are quite durable, you can keep them for several years without worrying about the optics or hinges getting worn out. However, if they get dropped or crushed by accident, then it’s best to buy new ones with an updated style because there might be subtle changes in how they fit on your face.

Does anti-reflective coating prevent 100% of reflections?

The primary benefit of having an anti-reflective coating is that it makes lenses less reflective and easier to see through with lower levels of light, which helps with eye strain and fatigue. To reduce glare, even more, some manufacturers offer polarization treatments that can block up to 99% of the reflected light; especially when combined with an anti-reflective coating.

Why do most glasses have spring hinges?

Spring hinges are great for people who need their glasses to stay put while they’re walking, exercising, or engaging in other physical activities because the lenses won’t bounce out of place easily. However, if you frequently take off your reading glasses and want a more secure fit with snug temples behind the ears, then another type of hinge might be better for you.

How much should I spend?

You can find glasses for as little as $5 for 1.67 single-vision lenses, but they usually won’t have any added coatings or features to enhance their performance and durability. Opting for a pair with higher quality lenses and other features will cost around $30+.

What kind of lenses comes with reading glasses?

Most of them have a regular 1.50 index lens, which means they can provide you with a sharper image from 35 inches or more away from the center of the lenses. However, some models come with intermediate index lenses that can offer even more clarity across larger distances of up to 45 inches, which makes them perfect for people who need bifocals but want their reading glasses to look more natural on their faces.

Is it alright if I clean my glasses with alcohol wipes?

You should never use alcohol wipes on your eyeglasses because they contain solvents that can damage not only the anti-reflective coating, but also the surface of the lenses and anti-reflective coatings. Instead, try using warm water and a mild detergent to remove smudges and stubborn dirt. When you’re finished, use a microfiber lens cloth or eyeglasses cleaning solution to dry your glasses without scratching the lenses.


Reading glasses provide you with a sharper image for close-up work such as reading or computer usage, and they can also help treat presbyopia. If you’re not sure whether single vision lenses will be fine for your needs, then consider having bifocal lenses put in instead.