High Index Glass Lenses 1.9

Topping out at the peak of the high index scale, 1.9 lenses are the “highest of the highest,” so to speak.

High Index Glass Lenses 1.9

High Index Glass Lenses 1.9High index lenses appeal to wearers of strong-to-extremely strong prescriptions because they can reduce the bulky size, weight, and distortive features of thick lenses. No lens does this more than the 1.9, which is highest index material currently available. However, the reduction in thickness and weight they provide comes at a price… quite literally. 1.9 high index lenses also top out the scale in terms of cost.

As one travels up the index scale, anything over 1.74 switches from high index plastic to high index glass. Glass lenses have some innate weaknesses – they’re more brittle, for example, and weigh more than plastic – but also enjoy some innate strengths; they’re highly scratch resistant, for example, so require no additional anti-scratch coating. Glass lenses also provide a visual clarity that plastic lenses cannot match.

While high index glass lenses are heavier than high index plastic lenses, one should not conflate them with standard (low index or mid-range index) glass. Because high index lenses require less physical material to create a prescription, they are much thinner than standard glass lenses, shaving off valuable ounces. A prescription fashioned of high index glass will be significantly lighter than the same prescription in standard glass. That weight reduction, for anyone requiring severely high prescriptions, means a lot in terms of fit and day-to-day comfort.

Along with weight reduction, 1.9 lenses are also notable for being the thinnest possible. Again, if your prescription is very strong, standard glass or plastic material will result in very thick lenses with a deep curvature. This limits the frame styles you can select. Rimless, semi-rimless, and indeed just about any wire frame choice would be out; you’d require thick-framed glasses to help mask the ends of the lenses, which protrude from the inner side of the frames toward the face. 1.9 lenses are nearly 80% thinner than standard, 1.5 low-index lenses.

Shop High Index GlassesFor handy reference, here’s a checklist of the advantages and disadvantages of 1.9 high index glass lenses:

  • Highest index available
  • Available in glass form only
  • Are approximately 80% thinner than standard 1.5 index lenses
  • Highly effective for strong “minus” prescription
  • Great for nearsightedness (also known as shortsightedness)
  • Available only in single vision (no bifocal, trifocal, or progressive trifocal options can be ordered)
  • Innately high level of scratch resistance
  • Hard surface also makes it fairly brittle
  • Great replacements for extremely thick lenses
  • More expensive than other low, mid-range, or high index options
  • Anti-reflective coating is strongly recommended
Guide to High Index Lenses 27 Responses to High Index Glass Lenses 1.9
  1. Cathy
    March 22, 2014 | 7:42 pm

    What density would you recommend for me? My prescription is +4.25 -0.75×5 +4.50.

    • Kieran Hunt
      March 27, 2014 | 12:14 am

      Hi Cathy,

      I recommend either high index plastic 1.74 or high index glass 1.90. If you are comfortable with the weight of glass, go with the glass. If you’d rather have plastic, the 1.74 is the thinnest you can currently get.

      Kieran Hunt

  2. Michael Centola
    May 8, 2014 | 8:03 pm

    I would like to have thin light prescription lenses for ray band aviator glasses (large frames). I have tried 1.74 double aspheric lenses in other glasses before but they made me dizzy. Is 1.9 glass the best possible alternative?



    • Kieran Hunt
      May 24, 2014 | 5:15 pm

      Hi Mike,

      Unfortunately, most high index lenses do not come in a large enough diameter to fit into a pair of aviators. This includes all high index glass. 1.74 plastic is probably the highest you can get.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Kieran Hunt
      High Index Lenses

  3. Simon
    June 11, 2014 | 7:17 pm

    Is the 1.70 high index grass or 1.74 high index plastic heavier and thicker? My prescription is -14.5


  4. Dawne
    June 13, 2014 | 2:53 pm

    There are several high index choices. Generally the higher the number the thinner the lenses. 1.67 is common and at lots of places the thinnest you can get.
    There is also 1.70 and 1.74 high index. 1.70 has the best optics. 1.74 is the thinnest that you can get in a plastic material and is much lighter than glass.

    The differences in thickness between 1.67 and 1.70/1.74 isn’t real noticeable until your prescription gets to the -8. and above range.

    Another very important thing is the size of the lenses. Round or oval lenses will be thinner. Smaller lenses will be thinner.

    Hope this help!
    Have a great day!

  5. Praf
    June 17, 2014 | 3:53 pm

    I’m 27 years old. I have – 14 L and – 16 R prescription. Should I get 1.74 plastic or 1.9 glass lenses?

  6. Dheeraj
    June 24, 2014 | 11:00 am


    I have high prescription of -15 D both eyes, please suggest suitable High Index along with expected thickness for HI 1.9

  7. Abenezer
    July 19, 2014 | 8:44 am

    which one is very thin compare to 1.74 plastic vs 1.9 glass and which one very expensive and pleas tell me how much it worth for -7 and -8 power without frame

  8. Ryan Phillips
    July 21, 2014 | 6:40 pm


    They are both very thin. The 1.90 will be slightly thinner but it will weigh more than the 1.74 plastic.

  9. Karma Kristufek
    May 5, 2015 | 10:11 am

    Help. I am -10.50 and have always been very unhappy with my glasses. Over the last few year I have had increasing eye allergies to the point that I cannot wear my contacts all the time. My current glasses and all past pairs have made me nauseated, given me a headache, and are embarrassingly thick. I have been shopping always at places such as LensCrafters and always pay for the upgrade to the highest index lens to try to make them thin. I always spend a lot of money and am so excited to get my new thin glasses and then I have the same outcome. How much of a difference would a glass 1.9 vs a standard Lenscrafters highest index lenses(don’t know how high these retail stores go). And about how much is the price difference? Like 400 vs 700 or 1,000?

  10. Arun
    July 1, 2015 | 10:05 am

    My eye spectacle power is
    R -14.50
    L -4.75
    I have been a lens user for a very long time now. But I plan to go for a spectacle that makes the lens look balanced. Can I opt for different high index powers? What would be your suggestion?

    • Nick
      December 11, 2015 | 7:14 am

      What is your cylindrical power?

  11. N
    February 13, 2016 | 5:33 pm

    My Rx is OD: Sphere -11.75, Cyl +3.50, Axis 110, Add +1.75; OS: -11.00, +2.75, 065, +1.75

    I read that 1.90 hi-index glass is only available in single vision. I would be okay without the bifocal. What kind of cost am I looking at for glasses? Thank you!

  12. dayan
    February 20, 2016 | 2:51 am

    RE sph-8cyl-2.5ax40
    LE sph-9cyl-2ax140
    kindly suggest me a highindex lens with cost and other characters

    • Ryan Phillips
      February 22, 2016 | 2:39 pm

      I would say that probably 1.74 High index material will work the best for you. If you want prices please contact Kyle Ferris at 732-227-4225 or you can email him at kferris@phillips-safety.com

  13. Ankit singh
    March 10, 2016 | 12:24 pm

    my prescription is -19.5 D for both eyes. What kind of high index lenses you recommend for me?

  14. kusum
    June 25, 2016 | 3:29 pm

    i have myopia of -8.75 in both eyes..
    should i go with 1.74 or 1.90.
    i want thinnest of them. how much will 1.90 cost approxiamately.. plz reply

    • Ryan Phillips
      June 27, 2016 | 1:38 pm

      You can shop around on our website to see approximate costs of frames and 1.90 lenses, or contact us at 1-855-463-5185 to ask any specific questions.

  15. Bren
    July 9, 2016 | 12:13 pm

    What would be the minimum lens thickness for a -1 dioptre lens of index 1.9?

  16. mahesh manu
    September 16, 2016 | 1:04 am

    i have minus 14 power….i was fed up with my bulky glasses..is there any posible chances to reduce the thickness of the power glasses

    • Ryan Phillips
      September 23, 2016 | 7:16 pm

      Hi Mahesh,

      Going with high index lenses will help decrease the thickness of the lens. With your range of prescription you could do the 1.74 plastic or the 1.90 glass material.

  17. Alan Jess
    October 6, 2016 | 10:36 am

    Hi I have a plus 11.5 in both eyes
    can I get 1.9 in glass with a grey tint
    Kind Regards Alan

    • Ryan Phillips
      October 11, 2016 | 3:03 pm

      Hi Alan,

      We are not able to get the high index glass for high positive prescriptions. We are able to the 1.74 in plastic for the high positives. None of the high index lenses are available with tints. It does not absorb well on the lenses.

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