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The Best Polarized Sunglasses for Sunny Summer Days

Protect your eyes and keep your vision clear, no matter where your day takes you.

polarized sunglasses
Runners World; Courtesy Zeal Optics

Sunny days by the water are one of the great joys of summer, but whether you're relaxing by the ocean or camping at the lake, the sun reflecting on a body of water can cause your eyes some serious discomfort. Luckily, investing in a pair of good polarized sunglasses can help prevent the sharp glare from reflective surfaces—which can feel like a hot knife to the eyeball—from causing either pain or damage by deflecting those blinding lights instead.

While polarized lenses don't typically have greater UV protection than non-polarized glasses, they do help you see better when there's a glare. The downside is that polarization can sometimes cause screens to appear warped, so they're a better bet for periods where you're paying more attention to the great outdoors than your phone. Since there are so many options out there, we've rounded up our favorite polarized sunglasses for both adults and children that will keep you seeing clearly all summer long.

Best Polarized Sunglasses

To Polarize or Not to Polarize

If you aren't sure whether polarized lenses will meet your needs or not, check out the pros and cons of polarized and non-polarized lenses below.

Polarized: Polarized lenses filter out extra light, making them effective at reducing lens glares and blinding light and making them particularly useful when you're around bodies of water or other reflective surfaces. Polarized lenses can also reduce eye strain and improve the clarity of your vision when you're wearing them.

Non-Polarized: Non-polarized lenses typically cost less and are less fragile than polarized models. They also typically make objects appear more true to color and they don't have the screen warping effects that can sometimes occur with polarized lenses.

How We Selected

To find the best polarized sunglasses among the many options on the market, we researched the most popular styles available and considered price, UV protection level, durability, and design. We looked at both expert reviews and customer ratings, written by people who’ve bought these models on sites like Amazon, to settle on the sunglasses you'll find below.

Check out some more great sunglasses here.

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Best Overall
Coastal Dunes
Pacific Palisades

Key Specs

  • Colors: 1
  • Prescription Option: No

These Knockarounds may look expensive, but they'll set you back less than $30. The large lens is great for keeping sun out of your eyes and this style works great for people of all genders, with a flattering, unisex shape, and neutral olive color.

Best Wire Framed
RB3025 Classic Aviator Sunglasses
Now 19% off

Key Specs

  • Colors: 21
  • Prescription Option: No

You really can't go wrong with a pair of aviators. This classic style can be dressed up or down, provides great eye coverage, and looks great on people of any age or gender. This one comes in 21 colors and three different sizes, which makes it easy to get the proper fit for your face. Note that these do have glass lenses, so you'll want to be cautious when handling them.

Best Premium Prescription
Barkley Sunglasses
Warby Parker

Key Specs

  • Colors: 4
  • Prescription Option: Yes

If you prefer wearing glasses to contacts, a pair of prescription sunglasses can be a lifesaver in the summer time. This pair from Warby Parker is stylish, classic, and works great for everything from running errands to walking along the beach. This style comes in four different colors, and is also available in medium and wide widths, making it easy to find the perfect pair for you.

Best Affordable Prescription
Malibu Sunglasses
Eye Buy Direct

Key Specs

  • Colors: 3
  • Prescription Option: Yes

If you're looking for a more affordable prescription option, these shades from EyeBuyDirect are quite the bargain. They have large lenses, a basic style, and come in three color options. You can also customize their lens color, thickness, and you have the option to choose progressive lenses on multifocals.

Note that any prescription glasses will become more expensive with the addition of specific features, including your preferred type of prescription lenses, and this price only reflects the cost of the frames.

Best Sporty
Flak 2.0 XL

Key Specs

  • Colors: 29
  • Prescription Option: Yes

If you are in search of a sportier style, look no further than these stylish Oakleys. They have a particularly wide lens that wraps slightly around the side of your face to help keep out sunlight, and you can even get them with prescription lenses. They also come in 29 different colors, so there’s truly an option to suit every aesthetic.

Best for Runners
OG Polarized Sunglasses

Key Specs

  • Colors: 1; more on
  • Prescription Option: No

If you are going to be out on the water, you probably don't want to risk losing a pair of expensive sunglasses. The solution? This pair of Goodrs. They're presentable enough to wear on a regular basis, but at just $30, it won't be a devastating blow if they happen to fly off into the water.

As long as you can keep them from sinking, they are also quite durable, and hold up well against the elements and unplanned drops. These are also a favorite of runners for their non-slip, lightweight feel.

Best Affordable for Everyday Wear

Key Specs

  • Colors: 10
  • Prescription Option: No

Christened the “Weekenders,” these glasses live up to their name, as they’re sure to become a staple on your days off. They are classic, universally flattering, unisex, and blissfully affordable. They come in 10 different colors and are designed to take a beating whether on the trails, in the water, or just after a mimosa-heavy brunch.

Most Stylish
Crowley Sunglasses
Zeal Optics

Key Specs

  • Colors: 4
  • Prescription Option: no

    Not only are these glasses super cute, but they're eco-friendly, as well. Made with plant-based materials that replaces traditional plastics, these sunnies are created using a low-CO2 process, too. And not only are these glasses polarized, but they also protect against blue light, which can be harmful to eyes and skin.

    Best for Kids
    Polarized Children's Sunglasses

    Key Specs

    • Colors: 10
    • Prescription Option: No

    You probably don't want to spend too much on your kids sunglasses as they're likely at risk of being broken or lost at some point. Luckily, these shades are relatively inexpensive but still provide great sun protection. They come in 10 different colors and sizes for kids from under 1 up to age 12.

    The lenses are also quite sturdy—and shatter-resistant—so your kids will have to put in some work if they really want to destroy them.

    Best for High Glare
    Holbrook XL

    Key Specs

    • Colors: 2
    • Prescription Option: No

    While winter sports aren't happening in most places right now, avid skiers and snowboarders haven't forgotten their time on the slopes. These sunglasses are great in the summer months as well, but truly shine when the ground is coated in fresh powder. They use Oakley's PRIZM technology, which significantly improves your vision in high glare situations, meaning they also work great when out on open water.

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