Eyesight is one of the most active senses when gaming. That’s why it’s imperative to protect your eyes every chance you get, as the amount of strain from hours of staring at the strain is no joke, and can cause visual impairment when left unchecked.
One great way to do this is by using gaming glasses, which are specialized optic solutions that help in filtering out harmful “blue light” from digital displays like TVs, monitors, and even smartphone screens.
This guide will help you choose the perfect pair of gaming glasses to buy, depending on your budget, purpose, or requirements. You see, while the name suggests gaming as its main application, these glasses are also useful for a variety of situations, whether it be at home, at the office, or outdoors, the benefits offered by gaming glasses for eye protection is no secret.
What Are Gaming Glasses?
Gaming glasses are specialized optics that are designed to filter out high-intensity blue light emitted from screens, as well as blocking out glare from reflective surfaces. This is usually the main cause of eye strain, headaches, and even eye damage for most gamers.
This flickering lighting phenomenon forces your eye muscles to contract and expand at an abnormal rate, forcing your brain to think that it’s still daytime. While this can help you with drowsiness, the drawbacks concerning eye health are not worth the tradeoff.
Gaming glasses sport amber-tinted lenses to help contrast against blue light emission, effectively blocking it out from the spectrum of vision. You can now enjoy gaming over extended periods of time without worrying about headaches, eye fatigue, watery eyes, and other woes that come with blue light exposure.
How Do Gaming Glasses Work?
Gaming glasses prevent eye strain when playing games for extended periods of time by:
- Filtering blue light emitted from screens
- Providing a more vivid contrast of colors and distinction between different hues thanks to the amber tint
- Intercepting glare and other reflections to improve the visual clarity of on-screen elements
- Some have close-fitting designs that prevent air from drying your eyes out while gaming
Should You Wear Gaming Glasses?
TL;DR – Yes.
If you are equipped with gaming glasses, you are more likely to single out in-game elements faster due to the enhanced contrast and distinction between colors. This is especially important for games that rely on lightning-quick reflexes to win them, like first-person shooters or battle royale titles, which are often challenging due to enemy-spotting mechanics.
Games are made to be played to escape reality, right? As such, you can easily burn several hours just to get that win or to finish that final boss level. Without gaming glasses, you’d often end up with a bad headache and bloodshot, stinging eyes – not to mention the constant loss of focus due to these physiological consequences.
With gaming glasses, however, you can enjoy your gaming sessions for much longer and have increased focus for critical-level plays without the accompanying fatigue and strain on the eyes. Of course, comfort is another important factor to consider, as wearing bulky frames or poorly-designed units that do more harm than good.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for Gaming Glasses
While most gaming glasses are designed to protect your eyes from the blue light menace, not everything will suit you. Different folks, different strokes, right? Here are some factors to look out for when getting your own pair of gaming glasses.
- Anti-reflective lenses
- Durable frames
- Comfortable size and fit
- Smudge and scratch-resistant lenses
What Are the Best Gaming Glasses in 2020?
When it comes to gaming glasses, Gunnar Optiks has been a leading brand in the market for some time now. One of their top-selling offerings is the Gunnar Optiks Intercept Gaming Glasses. This all-around blue light solution offers great performance for the price, filtering up to 65% of blue light emission and 100% of UV light exposure, making it a viable outdoor accessory as well.
The Gunnar Optiks Intercept sport a full-rim design with a lightweight frame for maximum comfort when wearing them for prolonged periods, and has a temple measurement of 135 mm, allowing it to fit a wide range of head sizes without being uncomfortably tight or annoyingly loose.
Its nose rest is curved for comfort, while the amber lenses minimize overall glare from reflective surfaces. Moreover, the lenses are silicone-coated to resist scratching, while the frame’s design restricts airflow from going into the eyes. Say goodbye to dry eyes, headaches, and eye muscle strain with the Gunnar Optiks Intercept.
It has a lens width of 58 mm, a bridge of 17 mm, and a frame width of 133 mm – ensure that these dimensions fit your needs for a hassle-free experience.
If you’re on a tight budget but still need that blue light protection for your gaming sessions, Gamma Ray Optic’s Blue Light Blocking Glasses are a good pair to pick up.
These glasses have a unisex design, and are intended for general blue light use, hence the absence of gamer aesthetic gimmicks. Nonetheless, it gets the job done. Unlike other glasses that sport polycarbonate or alloy frames, the Gamma Ray glasses come with a full plastic frame making it a lightweight option for those who want to go with something that’s virtually unnoticeable when worn for long periods of time.
Apart from blue light protection, it also offers UV protection and glare reduction properties, significantly reducing the strain on your eyes whether it be indoors or outdoors. Do note that the frame size leans a bit on the smaller side, which can be uncomfortable for wearers who have larger heads.
Another contender for the budget-friendly award is the Trust Optics FeatherView Glasses. These glasses are designed for everyday use, but also include gaming as one of its applications.
Its amber-tinted lens boasts the brand’s proprietary BlueGuard technology that filters blue light from sources like monitors, TVs, and smartphones. This helps in reducing eye fatigue, soreness, and dryness, which may result in headaches, insomnia, and loss of focus when gaming. Just like its pricier counterparts, the Trust Optics FeatherView Glasses sport UV400 protection for frequent sun exposure and glare reduction properties to improve clarity on reflective surfaces.
The slim frame provides an ergonomic platform for the lenses to hang on, with a lightweight TR90 nylon material construction for maximum comfort when worn while introducing impact resistance to the formula for that added ruggedness when needed. The Trust Optics FeatherView Glasses are offered in various magnification grades, from zero to 2.5x, to suit your visual correction needs.
If you’re new to the scene and want to get a pair for trial use, this option is a cost-effective way to ease yourself into wearing gaming glasses.
If you want a simple blue-light blocking solution, save more by bypassing gamer-targeted gimmicks with the COASION Blue Light Blocking Glasses. These glasses are great for a daily driver solution as it can take a beating thanks to its durable construction. It is made from TR-90 nylon material, which is often dubbed as plastic titanium due to its inherent ruggedness and impact-resistance – all wrapped in an ultra-lightweight package.
It has a relatively small lens at 50 mm, while the frame has the following dimensions: 20 mm at the bridge, 143 mm frame width, and a temple length of 140 mm, making it compatible for people with medium to large-sized noggins. The COASION Blue Light glasses also have a semi-rim design, giving it a sleek, minimalist look that can be sported outside without being too obvious.
Apart from blue light filtering, these glasses also feature 100% UV400 protection and have anti-glare properties for that all-around functionality. Game like there’s no tomorrow with the eye health benefits of the COASION Blue Light Blocking Glasses.
For those who still want to enjoy their game’s graphic settings turned to max, the J+S Vision Blue Light Shield Gaming Glasses give you the clarity you need with a slight level of compromise. These glasses come in two versions, which have different levels of blue light filtering. The low-color distortion lens provides up to 52% of blocking, while the high-definition lens offers 62% of blue light filtering.
The low-color distortion lens is the way to go if you want to get the most visual detail out of your game’s graphics, as the tinting is reduced so as to not affect the original image’s quality, which can also be handy for photo and video editing work where color accuracy is important. For heavy-duty usage, the high-definition lens protects the eyes better, but at the cost of image quality. Choosing between the two options will always be a balancing act, so pick accordingly depending on your usage.
The J+S Vision glasses sport a large rectangular frame as well, making it a bit bulky to wear, but it does have its merits. Its face-hugging design minimizes airflow from drying your eyes out, lessening the strain on them during extended periods of gaming. It also has spring-loaded temples that ensure a snug fit for a wide variety of head sizes.
With a minimal tradeoff for blue light filtering, the J+S Vision Blue Light Shield glasses offer a more immersive experience in gaming.
On the other end of the spectrum, the GAMEKING Value Blue Light Blocking Glasses offer such strong blue light filtering capabilities (up to 85%) that you won’t need to worry that much about not sleeping well after, or getting excessive eye strain at all. This is due to the thicker amber tint that blocks out the short-wavelength blue light at the expense of slight image distortion. You won’t have to worry about glare either, as the glasses come with an anti-reflective coating to deal with excessive light from reflective non-matte screens.
It has a thick full rim frame that can really stand out in a crowd, but you won’t be going out soon with the hours you’ll spend gaming with these glasses. Just like the other options, the GAMEKING glasses are crafted from TR90 nylon material that makes them durable yet lightweight, extending service lifespan even under regular everyday use. Comfortable and rugged, this is the pair to grab for those who like to play rough.
Apart from that, these gaming glasses are also extra-resilient to external factors that make maintenance a fairly easy task. They come with a stain-repellent coating that provides smudge and fog-resistance and are even scratch and abrasion-resistant, making them easy to clean while keeping the same brand-new sheen as when you first took them out of the box.
If it gives you extra reassurance, the GAMEKING Value Blue Light Blocking Glasses are FDA-approved for the safe usage for the general public. For a workhorse pair of glasses that is extra-durable yet comfortable and snug, this is a no-brainer pick for your late-night gaming binge.
If you want to go a tad exotic in your search of a blue light gaming solution, the GAMEKING Ultra Blue Light Blocking Clip-on Glasses don’t disappoint. Instead of being a full-fledged pair of glasses, this model conveniently clips onto your existing prescription pair for those who want to keep the magnification level functionality and forgo the hassle of a looking for a pair with a matching prescription grade.
It blocks up to 60% of blue light emission from screens, as well as the added total blockage of UV400 and an anti-glare coating to minimize excessive reflection from screen surfaces. The patented amber polycarbonate lens doesn’t alter image quality that much versus the other glasses on this list, which is good news for those who want to get the best color reproduction on their games.
This clip-on design works with most frame types that have a 38mm height measurement and below, while the lenses are supported by a durable alloy clip head mechanism that allows you to flip them up when not in use. It also features silicone feet that separates your glasses’ own lens from the GAMEKING’s lens, preventing abrasion that can impair clarity, while adding a friction factor to prevent sliding when moving your head.
Do note that these glasses may only partially cover the lens of your own pair if its frames are more than 38mm in height. Also, double bar or aviator style frames are not compatible with the GAMEKING clip-on glasses as the clip legs aren’t able to bite down all the way, resulting in a loose fit.
That being said, the GAMEKING Ultra Blue Light Blocking Clip-on Glasses is one of the most affordable pairs in this lineup and provides decent filtering capabilities. Your call.
Hardcore gamers and productivity users will be happy to know that the KLIM Optics Blue Light Blocking Glasses ranks way higher in blue light filtering effectiveness versus its competitors with an astounding 92% protection level. Of course, this comes at a price, as it is also one of the priciest options in this list.
The frame is constructed from Grilamid TR90 material, boasting lightweight thermoplastic attributes without compromising durability. The glasses weigh around 20 grams, making it one of the lightest units around, and when paired with an ergonomic design and hypoallergenic contact points, makes it virtually unnoticeable when worn for maximum comfort and a snug fit.
It also boasts shape memory properties, which means the frame goes back to its original shape after being distorted when worn. The frame material is also highly resistant to shock, acids, solvents, heat, and is even hydrophobic – maintenance will not be an issue with the KLIM Optics Glasses. Long story short, this pair is built like a tank.
Of course, there’s a drawback that comes with its amazing blue light blocking capabilities. The amber tint is extra strong versus competing models, making image distortion more apparent when in use. If you don’t mind a slight alteration of your game’s graphics and need the mileage to grind for long hours, however, this pair is a great accessory to have.
Show that you are a true-blue gamer with the Razer RPG/Onyx Glasses by Gunnar Optiks. The renowned gaming glasses brand joins forces with one of the most acclaimed gaming hardware company Razer to bring you a comfortable yet effective blue light blocking solution that hosts a well-balanced plate of features for a slightly higher price tag.
This pair offers the standard 65% blue light filtering level that doesn’t go too hard on the amber tint, providing a balance between eye protection and visual clarity allowing gamers to appreciate in-game environments with almost-accurate color reproduction. It also has a lightweight frame constructed from a combination of aluminum-magnesium and thermoplastic material that is virtually unnoticeable when worn.
But what sets the Razer RPG/Onyx Glasses apart from the others is the inherent flexibility of the frame, which is enhanced by hidden spring hinges and a quad-core hinge design that allows it to fit a wide variety of head sizes without the annoying irritation from a fit too loose or too tight. Also improving overall comfort are the adjustable silicone nose pads and rubber temple grips that provide a gentle yet firm anchoring point for the glasses.
It still hosts anti-glare properties, a minimal level of magnification, and a lens contour that blocks most of the airflow going towards the eyes. Need the extra focus and clarity for your competitive games? The Razer RPG/Onyx Glasses by Gunnar Optiks provide this and more in a stylish package that screams top dog.
From the trusted gaming peripheral brand HyperX comes their very own blue light solution: the HyperX Gaming Eyewear. These glasses still provide the standard level of blue light and UV blocking, along with anti-glare properties to protect your eyes from excessive digital strain.
These glasses sport a hand-cut, colored acetate frame to retain a lightweight profile while being durable at the same time and are outfitted with lenses made out of MR-8 material. Moreover, a special coating makes them resistant to scratching, smudging and adds a dab of impact resistance in the mix.
The lenses also produce one of the least distorted images among the bunch as the amber tint is toned down to provide gamers an immersive experience while effectively filtering harmful blue light out of the equation.
The HyperX Gaming Eyewear glasses come with a sleek gaming case for you to stash them away when not in use, but with the enthusiast-level aesthetic it sports, we doubt you’ll not want to wear them every chance you get.
Who Can Benefit from Gaming Glasses?
While the ‘gaming’ tag can be intimidating for some, gaming glasses actually serve more than just what its name suggests.
Graphics designers/video editors – While the slight color distortion brought by the amber tint can be an issue with color accuracy-dependent tasks, graphics designers and video editors usually dabble with content creation for hours on end, making blue light emission a threat to eye health. It is advisable to go for variants with minimal tinting to get as close as possible to the actual image quality without compromising focus on the task at hand.
Tourists/vacationists – Going to the beach, or virtually anywhere with the sun on your face, can take a toll on your eye health thanks to damaging UV rays. Fortunately, most gaming glasses block UV emission fully, making them handy on your outdoor excursions.
Office workers – for those with 8 to 5 jobs which require them to stare at a screen all day, the strain on the eyes is just unforgiving. Gaming glasses to the rescue!
Those who want to make a fashion statement – Admit it, gaming glasses have some of the most innovative frame designs in the optics aftermarket. You’ll have a license to be stylish while getting all those health benefits at the same time.
As to what type of gamer you are isn’t the question here. In fact, you don’t have to be a gamer at all to understand how blue light emitted from monitors, TVs, and smartphones can be harmful to eye health. Apart from loss of focus, irritation, and headaches, exposure to blue light can bring in serious implications regarding eye damage, including macular degeneration and the formation of cataracts.
Exposure to blue light has never been more widespread than now, as the rapid advancement of technology has employed the use of digital screens in almost every aspect of life. Thus, gaming glasses present a viable solution to protect eye health in general, being equipped with the necessary filtering material and other features like UV protection and anti-glare capabilities.
We’ve carefully curated our list of gaming glasses to fit a wide range of needs and budgets, so go ahead and pick what strikes the perfect balance of price to performance for you.