So I’m at the beach, right, and I’m trying to read Where the Crawdads Sing on my Kindle, when I hear someone say something about dolphins out in the water.
I look up, but can’t see anything because my reading glasses just don’t work for long distances.
And by the time I fish out my regular prescription glasses, there’s nothing to see anymore.
So this got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be nice if I had a pair of glasses that would make it easy to read and see long distances.
Enter the bifocal, the time-proven way to get the best of both worlds.
So I threw together my list of lens options for the best bifocals on the market, specifically for readers.
Check it out!
Comparison Chart of the Best Bifocal Reading Glasses
Here’s everything in a nut shell, if you want to get straight to the goods. What follows is my in-depth reviews of the individual bifocals. And if you read to the end, I’ll even give you a guide for what type of bifocal to choose. Let’s dive right in!
Best Overall – The Vancouver Bifocal
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When it comes to bifocals, I think this one wins out overall. It’s got a couple of features that I just like, if you’re looking for just a standard pair of reading glasses.
First, it’s really sturdy, and made from high-quality materials. And it’s made by Readers.com, and they know their stuff when it comes to reading glasses.
Second, they got that simple but elegant style going on! I love these because they’re really simple, no crazy horned rims or anything, but I definitely thought I looked cute in these.
Third, they’re unisex, meaning they work for both men and women, which I love. You can also adjust the magnification factor, so they’re super customizable.
All in all, a really decent pair of bifocal reading glasses.
Best Bifocal Reading Sunglasses – Lovin Maui Sunglasses
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Okay, so let’s say you’re at the beach, or in the park,and you’d really love to sit back and enjoy your book or whip out your kindle and pick off where you left off, but the sun is far too bright, and it just ends up being too much eye strain.
Furthermore, a pair of sunglasses doesn’t necessarily help either, because they’re not meant to be a reading glass.
Enter, my pick for the best bifocal sunglasses, the Lovin Maui. Even if you haven’t visited Maui and therefore can’t say if you love it (you would), you’ll definitely love these sunglasses.
I’ve found they’re great for reading in harsh sunlight, from reading at the beach, to just out on my patio. It gives me that chance to enjoy the outdoors while i read, but not feel overwhelmed by how bright it is.
An excellent pair of bifocal sunglasses, in other words.
Best for Women – Bifocal Reader for Women
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Okay, I’ll admit to a little personal indulgence on this one. I love some good feminine styling on my glasses, and I hope my male readers will forgive me this one option that is not for them (though if you’re into that, rock on dude).
I just loved these because they were standard and sturdy bifocals, come with all the magnification customization that I wanted, and they were super cute!
I seriously love how these look on my face, and I just had to share that with the world.
I should also point out that these come with blue-light filters and an anti-reflective coating, which helps with glare and eye-strain, which is just the icing on the really delicious cake.
Best Half-rim/Lightweight Bifocals – Spring Hinge Readers Men and Women
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Alright, all that geeking out aside, I know most of you probably just want some functional and affordable pairs of reading glasses, and there really isn’t a better option than my next pick, these half-rim metal glasses with a spring hinge for both men and women.
I love these, because they’re super affordable, and they’re lightweight, which I totally get is a priority for the majority of people.
Even I will admit, those glasses for women above, they aren’t the lightest, at least not when compared to these. And these are made from lightweight metal frames, so you get decreased weight, without sacrificing durability.
All in all, if weight, price, and convenience are your priorities, you definitely look at these half-rim bifocal reading glasses.
Best Blue Light Blocking Bifocals – Alsenor Progressive Multifocal Computer Reading Glasses
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For my pick for the best blue light blocking bifocals (say that five times fast), I have to pick these computer glasses by Alsenore.
Let’s face it, most of us do the majority of our reading on our devices. And even if we try to cut back on that (I’m working on it), by using ereaders instead of phones or tablets, or by using a warm-light plugin on our computers, most of us still work or play on some kind of blue-light-producing device for several hours a day.
These bifocals help with that.
I chose these because they were light weight, just like our previous option, not too expensive, and super practical. If you want something more stylish, check out my “best for women” option above.
Ultimately, if you need the added blue light protection (and most of us do), you can’t really go wrong with these.
So with that out of the way, let me walk you through some of the reasons why you might want to use bifocal lenses, and what some of the different bifocal style types can do to make a difference in your decision.
What Are Bifocals?
Bifocals are glasses that are designed to give you both long-distance vision as well as near-distance vision.
In short, they are great for reading without compromising long-distance vision.
Bifocals were invented by none other than the late, the great, Benjamin Franklin!
You can purchase bifocals as prescription glasses (the fanciest way to do things), but if all you need are bifocal reading glasses, you can use the options on this list, which provide the magnification without all the expensive lenses that you need for distance vision correction.
Types of Bifocal Lenses
All in all, there are several types of bifocal lenses that you need for clear vision. Here are some of those options.
- Traditional Bifocals: These are the kind that Benjamin Franklin invented, and have been in use ever since. These bifocal glasses are two different lenses that are spliced together, one for distance vision, and the other for magnification up close.
- Progressive No-line Bifocals: These multifocal glasses have a more progressive lens system, where they start out normal at the top, then slowly progress to an intermediate magnification in the middle, and full magnification at the bottom. So they’re kind of like trifocal glasses, but with more of a gradient.
- Computer-style Progressive Lenses: These are glasses meant specifically for working on computers, with the top meant for intermediate range viewing, and the bottom at full magnification for a reading range. And while not required, they often come with tinted lenses for better blue-light prevention. Which just improves the eyewear experience in my opinion.
- Bifocal Safety Glasses: A safety eyeglass is often the best for readers. This is where the magnifiers are molded directly into the lens, making them less likely to shatter, while keeping the overall practicality the same. You’ll often see these made from polycarbonate or plastic lenses to increase the impact protection.
- Executive Bifocals: These are closest to what Benjamin Franklin originally designed. They are simply two pieces of two different lenses stuck together in half-moon shapes. The disadvantage of this is that there’s less lens meant for distance sight, but they’re also super simple, and perhaps a bit more stylish.
- Bifocal Sunglasses: And this one is pretty self-explanatory. Bifocal sunglasses are simply the same as we’ve seen above, but tinted to make them great for the outdoors and harsh sunlight.
How do Bifocals Work for Readers?
For reading glasses, bifocals are one of the best options, because they allow people to get all the benefit of a reading glass, through the magnified part of the glasses, and still be able to see long-distance.
That way, I don’t constantly have to take them on and off again if I have to look somewhere else.
This is particularly nice for my reading-by-the-beach habits (see sunglasses recommendation above).
And the best part is, you don’t have to have a prescription.
So I hope that helps you make a decision on some of the best bifocal reading glasses out there. I tried to sample a variety before making my final decisions.
Of course, none of these will be a perfect substitute for a prescription, but when it comes to reading, you really don’t need a prescription to make it work.
Personally, I find that $10-15 dollars is way worth it.