Trivex: How Does It Compare to High Index Plastic?

Trivex is one of the newest lens materials alongside the higher index plastics. How do they compare?

Trivex: How Does It Compare to High Index Plastic?

High Index Vs. Trivex

Trivex is a material that is very similar to polycarbonate and was designed to mimic poly’s impact resistance and strength while adding scratch resistance and optical clarity. It is a very durable and well-rounded lens material, but does it stack up to high index plastic?

High index plastic’s key feature is its thinness, especially in higher prescriptions. If have a pair of glasses made with high index plastic and compare them to a pair made in the same prescription with Trivex, you’ll find that the high index plastic lenses are always thinner and, in higher prescriptions, more lightweight.

So how do high index plastic and Trivex compare?

  • Trivex has a low index of 1.53, similar to standard plastic. High index plastic’s index ranges from 1.67 to 1.74, making it considerably thinner and more lightweight than Trivex, especially in higher prescriptions.
  • High index plastic has similar scratch resistance to Trivex.
  • Trivex is more impact resistant than high index plastic, making it a much better choice for safety glasses or other types of glasses that need to meet certain impact requirements.
  • High index plastic generally has a lower Abbe number than Trivex, meaning that Trivex is more optically clear and causes less distortion than high index plastic. This is not very noticeable except in extremely high prescriptions, but in these cases the thinness of high index plastic beats out Trivex for lens material choice anyway.
  • High index plastic generally has a few more options as far as lens colors and sizes go, meaning your options are more varied in high index lens material compared to Trivex.
  • Trivex is generally a similar cost to high index plastic. In high index 1.74 and 1.70, Trivex is generally a bit cheaper.

If you’re shopping for safety glasses or prescription glasses with a low prescription, Trivex is worth considering. All in all, though, high index plastic is a better all-around lens material that Trivex.

Shop High Index Glasses

If you are interested in getting the thinnest, lightest lenses possible, there is no question that high index plastic is the best choice for you. It beats out all other lens materials for thinness, lightness, and aesthetics. Trivex is not too far behind, but in higher prescriptions there is no comparison.

Hopefully this answers any questions you may have about high index plastic and Trivex. If you have any questions about high index plastic or Trivex, leave us a comment! We’d love to hear from you. Thanks so much for reading!

Guide to High Index Lenses 10 Responses to Trivex: How Does It Compare to High Index Plastic?
  1. [...] High index plastic always costs more than traditional plastics or polycarbonate to manufacture. [...]

  2. [...] These standard lenses, though, are sold to a large portion of eyeglasses wearers worldwide, and they’re worn in all sorts of special applications. This begs the question, then, “Are there any advantages to low index lenses, other than their affordability?” The answer is yes, but only in certain circumstances. Here are the times when standard or low-index lenses are a better choice than high index plastic: [...]

  3. [...] High index plastic is a plastic material that is denser than standard plastic or polycarbonate. High index glass is similar in that it’s made of a glass material that is denser than crown glass. The increase in density results in the lens’s ability to refract or bend light more efficiently than standard lens materials. This is where the term high index comes from in the first place. “Index” refers to the index of refraction of the material, or the efficiency with which a lens can bend light. A high index lens can bend light (such as for corrective lenses) more efficiently than standard materials, meaning that the lens requires less material for the same prescription in a standard lens. So density is what makes high index lenses thinner. [...]

    June 15, 2014 | 4:43 pm

    I have -8.5 vision and at 64 years have tied almost all lenses but in recent years High Index of many manufactures.
    One thing that is consistent is that the Anti-reflective coatings start deteriorating after just 12 months and leave a mottled appearance and my eyes become sore.
    Other people I have met have the same criticism of the coating.
    I always clean with a spray cleaner and rinse under flowing water then dab droplets away.
    Is there a manufacturer who has a better coating and why does the coating breakdown so soon?

    • Rob Langer
      September 15, 2015 | 7:58 am

      I have the same concern as lesliejpayne, in that “the Anti-reflective coatings start deteriorating after just 12 months and leave a mottled appearance and my eyes become sore”.
      I have -10.0 vision and was recently told by my eye practitioner that Hi index lenses HAVE to be coated with the antiglare material and there really is none that withstands it’s initial appearance for much longer than a year – maybe a little longer. I was told that heat wears it quicker. VERY disappointing because my new lenses cost $164.99 APIECE!!

  5. J.Chambers
    July 9, 2015 | 7:38 pm

    I am almost 62 and also have a strong prescription. I have been wearing anti-reflective coatings since they first came out. What you are describing is typical of the older ar coatings. The best one for clarity and durability I found is Crizal. I wore one pair over 4 years before the coating showed any signs of breaking down. It cost slightly more but is well worth it. The one drawback is that it is generally not available in low cost chains such as Walmart and Vsionworks. You need to get it from an optometrist or reputable optician.

  6. Nekros
    September 30, 2015 | 1:16 am

    The part about high index being lighter is only true in higher prescriptions. For the same thickness of lens, Trivex will weigh about half as much as high index.

    • Ryan Phillips
      November 9, 2015 | 10:28 pm

      Yes that is true. Sometimes high index is not always lighter thinner yes. Although Trivex has a very low index so the lenses will be thicker but on smaller rx it will be lighter.

  7. James Penry
    September 2, 2016 | 7:41 pm

    I need 2.5 base out prism in each eye. The last glasses I ordered were high index and the prism (2.5 base out) did not do as well as the old Trivex lenses I have. It seemed like it was not enough prism. Is this normal? I then got Trivex with 3.5 base out prism lenses and it was too much. Caused headache and severe eye stain after only 6 to 8 hours of use. Does the lens material affect the prism?

    • Ryan Phillips
      September 16, 2016 | 9:12 pm

      Hi James,

      Yes prism can be affected by the lens material. More to the point, by the ABBE value of the lenses. That is a measure of chromatic aberration which is incorrect focusing of individual colors of the spectrum. High Index lenses have low abbe values and offer more chromatic aberration. That may be why the old Trivex lenses, with a high abbe number worked better.

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