And, we explain why you might need readers sooner than you thought.
Remember your grandfather’s reading glasses? They were huge and bulky, possibly hung from his neck on a lanyard. Well, thankfully reading glasses have come a long way since then. First, they are now referred to simply as readers. And there are now a ton of incredibly chic options to choose from and plenty of ways to customize them.
That’s great news because many of us should already have a pair handy, optometrist Robert Layman, OD told us.
“Generally speaking, most people begin having problems seeing small print sometime after age 40, and these problems gradually worsen with age,” says Layman, the President of the American Optometric Association. And that change is just a natural part of getting older.
When we enter our 40s, the lenses in our eyes gradually lose their ability to focus due to a condition called presbyopia. “Initially, you may need to hold reading materials farther away to see them more clearly, or you may need to remove your glasses to see better up close,” Layman says. “You may notice your eyes feel tired more quickly when reading. You may even start to get headaches when reading or using a computer extensively.”
Thankfully, a good pair of reading glasses should fix that. Progressives, which have multiple prescriptions built into the lens and can be comfortably worn all day, are the most popular type of readers, Layman says. A high-quality pair of reading glasses will have lenses that “maximize the usable portion of the lens and minimize the distortion on the side.” You should visit an eye doctor to determine your prescription and if over-the-counter readers are the right option for you, Layman says.
For those of you who already know how strong a pair of reading glasses you need and are looking for an upgrade, check out our round-up of great-looking readers.
Caddis MIKLOS Reading Glasses
These readers have a bold look that we love. And like all of Caddis’ products, they’re sturdy, stylish, and are partially blue-light blocking (which, research shows, can help you get a better night’s rest!).
Caddis Katie Couric
We love this brand for a lot of reasons, one of which is that they created a pair of readers inspired by our beloved Katie! They’re almost sold out but you might be able to still snag a pair of these gorgeous blues!
Caddis BIXBY Progressive Glasses
If you’re after a pair with a little more flair, check out the Caddis Bixby. They’re available as both progressives and readers with a customizable prescription.
Warby Parker Hughes
Warby Parker is another great brand that lets you try frames on at home before making a purchase. The Hughes have a super flattering angular frame that comes in an extra-narrow to wide fit.
Warby Parker Gillian
The Warby Parker Gillian has a slim frame for a sophisticated look. They come in solid black, tortoiseshell with a fun pop of turquoise, and clear frames with a beige tent.
Warby Parker Gaines
After a cute bookish look? Try these charming Warby Parker Gaines frames!
Genusee Roeper Readers
Genusee makes all of its eyewear from recycled water bottles in Flint, Michigan, utilizing the surplus of plastic waste created by the city’s water crisis while creating jobs in the community. That’s a mission we can really get behind, and their Roeper readers look oh-so-cool.
Genusee Roeper All-Day-Reader Sunglasses
Genusee also makes a pair of readers that doubles as sunglasses — just perfect for enjoying your next book on the beach.
Look Optic Sullivan
Look Optic customers have raved about how comfortable these lightweight frames are. The Sullivans come in different prescriptions (from +1 to +3) and are available in a variety of colors.
Looking for a budget pair of reading glasses? The Peepers, available on Amazon, are a good cute option.
3 Pack Reading Glasses, Amazon
If you’re the type that’s always misplacing your glasses, these readers from Amazon are for you. They come in a pack of three, so you’ll always have a spare!