When it comes to high index plastics, there are none thinner than 1.74 high index lenses.
1.74 High Index Lenses
While other lens materials may offer more options as far as lens colors, frame styles, and polarization, if you have a high prescription and want the thinnest plastic lenses possible, 1.74 high index lenses are the way to go. 1.74 is thin, lightweight, and the most aesthetic. It also represents some of the most advanced engineering to date in eyewear material research. Here are some key things to keep in mind if you are interested in 1.74 high index lenses:
- 1.74 is the thinnest high index plastic lens available on the market today.
- 1.74 is one of the lightest high index lens materials (with a specific gravity of 1.47 g/cm3), and because it is thinner than other slightly lighter materials, the weight ends up lower than or the same as competing lenses.
- 1.74 high index lenses are the best choice for high prescriptions in flat (fashion style) frames with clear lenses. In other words, regular glasses you’ll wear daily.
- 1.74 is generally the most expensive high index plastic lens material, but you get what you pay for.
- 1.74 high index lenses are generally only available in single vision or progressive bifocals.
- Polarization and photochromic (such as Transitions®) lens colors are often not available in 1.74 high index lenses.
1.74 high index is not a good choice for wraparound frames or curved frames because the curvature, combined with the dense nature of the material, will cause color aberrations (where you see a “rainbow” effect on the edges of objects). The lenses are often not made in the large size required for these styles anyway, for that reason.
It is important to make sure you are getting anti-reflective (AR) coating when ordering 1.74 high index lenses, as they are highly reflective without it and can cause distracting glare, especially at night.
Because they are the thinnest, 1.74 high index lenses cause the least distortion of your eyes from an outside point of view. In other words, there is virtually no “bug-eye” or “tiny eyes” effect.
If you have a high prescription and are looking for the highest quality and most attractive glasses for daily use, 1.74 high index is the best choice. These lenses are the thinnest, they look the best from the outside, and they are strong and scratch resistant.
The old “bug-eyed” look that high prescription wearers used to be doomed to is definitely a thing of the past thanks to advanced optical engineering and the amazing science behind the newest lens materials. If you are curious about other types of high index lens materials, take a look around at some of our other posts, and happy shopping!