Frame Guides,  Lenses & Coatings

Varifocal Lenses – FAQs and all you need to know!

Varifocal lenses 

Varifocal lenses can also be referred to as a progressive lens, a term more commonly used in America. This is due to their progressive lens tones because unlike bifocals, varifocal lenses have no specific area of lens strength. They gradually combine your reading, mid-distance and distance prescriptions. As lens technology has advanced the old fashioned line which used to show the division between prescriptions has become close to invisible. For distance, you look through the top section of your lenses, mid-distance in the middle and to read the lower half. With varifocal lenses, you don’t have to carry around three pairs of glasses anymore. So just buy a pair of varifocal glasses and varifocal sunglasses and you are covered for everything.

Varifocal FAQs

We put together some of our most commonly asked questions and had our lens technologist Gary answer them to help with any varifocal queries:

  1. What frame should I go for when buying varifocals?

Go for a frame with depth, these allow for deeper lenses and a wider field of vision. Here are some examples of frames you should shop:

Alexander Mcqueen AM0160O

2. Are reading glasses better for reading?

  With a pair of reading glasses, the field of vision is wider, so you’re only going to need to move your eyes when reading. Varifocals with a reading prescription can be used for reading but you may need to move your head a bit when reading to get just the right focus. But if you are varying your activities, for instance when you are driving or at work then varifocals give you all of your prescription needs in one frame. Even if you go for varifocals we recommend having a pair of reading glasses as well for when you just want to focus on reading.

3. Why are the prices of Varifocal lenses so varied?

Varifocals come with the simple rule ‘you get what you pay for’. Just as you can pay £50 or £500 for a pair of shoes, it’s the same principle with your lenses – the better the materials the better the quality of the final product. 

All our varifocals are custom-made, engineered to your precise prescriptions in our lab using expensive lathe machinery and tested by our experts.

The starting cost of the blank lens and the technologies used in that lens is the biggest factor in determining just how much you pay for your varifocals. 

The cheaper the varifocal lens the narrower the field of vision. The more expensive lenses make use of cutting edge glass technology to give you a higher clarity of vision. You wear your glasses all day every day so think about the cost per wear of your lenses – we recommend going for the highest-priced varifocals you can afford to get you the clearest vision possible.

4. Why can’t I see out of the side of my varifocal?

The better the lens the wider range of vision you will be able to see. The more affordable lenses tend to have a narrower field of vision. We recommend buying our Essilor X Series to get the best possible range of vision out of your varifocals.

5. Can I get varifocal sunglasses?

Yes, simply choose your favourite sunglasses frame from our website and add your prescription, these are useful for driving and other outdoor activities. 

6. Can I add a blue light filter?

Yes, you can add our blue light filter or coating of your choice to any of our lenses, whether varifocal, single or distance vision.

7. Can I wear varifocals for driving?

Yes, Varifocals are perfect for driving. Having all three prescription types in one lens allows you to see the road, your dashboard and your sat-nav all clearly and safely. You could add a driving coating to help reduce glare, particularly useful for nighttime driving. 

Another useful lens for driving is our Essilor Road Pilot. This lens has a wider field of vision for distance paired with mid-range distance too. This lens comes with our drive coating as standard.

8. Can I wear varifocals in the office?

Yes, Varifocals are great to wear in the office. The Varifocal allows you to read notes on your desk, see your computer screen clearly as well as being able to see distance behind your screen. We recommend adding the blue coating for extra protection against blue light glare from excessive screen use. 

9. What is the best lens brand to go for?

The most advanced lens to go for when buying varifocals is the Essilor X series. This lens is designed with the most advanced lens technology presenting you with impeccable optical quality. Created with the use of honeycomb technology, otherwise known as Nano Optix tech, the X series has the widest field of vision and gives the top of the range vision across the three prescription types.

10. How old do I have to be to wear varifocals?

There is a myth that varifocals are for ‘old people’. This is not true. The varifocal lens is a lens bought and worn by a range of ages. Now that lens technology has improved the varifocal is aesthetically pleasing with no division lines and can be added to any designer frame of your choice so you can tailor your lens to your personal style. 

11. Can I buy Varifocals online?

Of course! At Fashion Eyewear, we specialise in designer prescription glasses. All you have to do is choose a frame out of our 45 designer brands, add your prescription at the checkout. Use our online PD tool to measure your pupillary distance and wait for our lab technicians to fit your bespoke lenses and deliver them to your door! 


Our Varifocal Lenses:

Our new Varifocal return policy: No Quibble, No Fuss, Just Perfect Glasses!

Are you worried about ordering Varifocal lenses?

If your prescription means that you could benefit from Varifocal lenses but you haven’t tried them before, you might be nervous about making the switch. And even more nervous about ordering them online. At Fashion Eyewear we understand those concerns. And we know how important getting your glasses just right is. 

If you order a pair of Varifocal lenses from us and you find that after trying them for a few weeks you just can’t get on with them we will happily change them to something that might work better. Simply send your frames back to us and we’ll make any necessary adjustments. If you would prefer to switch back to single vision glasses we will exchange the lenses and refund you the difference – easy. 

To swap your varifocals all you will need to do is call our Customer Service department on +44 (0) 207 590 5500 within 30 days, with your order details and we will help you with any returns.

Varifocal fact from Gary: 

Varifocals were actually not initially created to singly improve vision and ease, they were innovatively designed to improve the posture of people while reading! 

Shop our bestselling designer frames here:

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