Any time you make an investment, you want to ensure your money is well-spent. Paying attention to the materials used to construct your glasses can give you a good idea what to expect when it comes to how much the glasses weigh, how well they stand up over time, and their environmental impact.
Metal is one of the most durable frame materials. Aluminum or titanium frames are particularly durable and resist breaking down over time. Although some metals can cause allergic reactions, most metal frames have a coating on them to prevent this from happening. The downside to metal frames—especially high-quality metal frames—is that they can be a little more pricey than other frame materials.
Plastic is one of the most popular choices for frames because they’re cheap, lightweight, and come in a wide variety of colors and styles. Plastic is a flexible material, so if you drop them, they’re less likely to break on impact than other types of frames. However, the material also wears down more quickly than other frame materials, and both their color and durability can fade over time. Plastic frames are a great choice for kids who are hard on their glasses or for people who tend to trade out their glasses often. But if you’re looking for one pair of glasses to last for years, this may not be the best frame material for you.
Soft matte frames, also known as matte acetate frames, are made of a mix of natural materials and are 70-80% cotton. This material prioritizes comfort. Not only do they have a soft look, but they also have a soft feel, and tend to mold slightly to the shape of your head. However, because they’re made of an all-natural, porous material, they can become discolored over time.
Eco-friendly frame materials are made from recycled materials, including recycled wood or plastic. The goal is to reduce one-time plastic use and waste. The downside is that recycled materials may not be as durable as the original materials. But if you’re concerned about your environmental impact, these are the frames for you.