Mirrored vs. Polarized Sunglasses : Complete Details Here

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Just stop for a second and imagine this:

A time when everything still ran on coal, everything still required all hands on deck, and a simple pair of glasses can make a loud statement about your social status.

Since then, technology has developed and developed- what was only exclusive to the higher-ups became far more widespread as people start to gain access to it.

So, now we can have that pair of glasses at an affordable price.

And as time advances, so does technology; until now, you have all of these coatings that make a lens far better than how it used to be!

Some of the best examples that demonstrate the advancements in technology are mirrored and polarized sunglasses.

Keep reading to find out more about mirrored vs. polarized sunglasses in this article!

What is Mirrored Sunglasses?

The key signature that identifies the former one between mirrored vs. polarized sunglasses is – you guessed it! – its reflective lenses!

Usually, these lenses are tinted with colors of many options you could choose from, and these tints are paired with reflective lenses that make the color seem “opaque,” but it’s all thanks to the coating!

Because it IS a kind of mirror, this pair of reflective sunglasses will only let the person in front of you see their reflection while you could still take them in clearly!

This concept puts the whole “two-way mirror” idea into play completely!

What are Polarized Sunglasses?

Now that we are discussing mirrored vs. polarized sunglasses, let’s go into details first about polarized sunglasses.

Polarized sunglasses have a non-mirrored coating, which leaves them without any visible distinction.

If anything, these look like your classic pair of sunglasses you can see almost everywhere, even from a cheap souvenir shop!

However, this deals with something somewhat similar to mirrored lenses’ purpose.

This zeroes in on blocking glare from any reflective surface. 

Sounds familiar, right?

If you are familiar with Gradient lenses you would love to see the comparison between gradient and polarized sunglasses

Comparison of Mirrored and Polarized Sunglasses

Bring That Glare Down

Reducing glare and reflective light is this lens’s top priority.

This makes them ideal to be worn by athletes competing in the water or those in the snow Olympics!

Why is that?

Well, since water is called nature’s mirror, it makes sense for its surface to reflect light, especially when it’s in the middle of a bright, sunny day.

Too much reflective light can hinder your vision from seeing what’s beneath the surface. Because of it, fishing can be difficult when you don’t know what you’re catching!

As for the snow, being made out of pure white powder can seriously mess with your eyesight! And you’re supposed to snowboard down a mountain full of this stuff? 

Well, you better be prepared to squint your eyes the entire way because it’s going to be bright (and bitingly cold)!

Not only that, with how much light you’re shoving in your retinas because of all that reflecting, your eyes will only get drier quicker, thus affecting your eyesight.

Using either polarized or reflective sunglasses can lessen the time you have to look at surfaces where sunlight bounces from, resulting in too much brightness.

Always know the hack to check whether the glasses are polarized or not.

mirrored sunglasses are useful

Sunny Side

On top of the anti-glare feature, another thing these two have in common is their capacity for good UV protection.

And this only makes them ideal for athletic purposes!

Out of the three categories, these sunglasses can protect you from only UVA and UVB rays.

Which, if we’re honest, are far more severe than UVC.

Why is that?

Well, first off, UVC comes from artificial light-emitting sources, like welding. The only way you can witness this category first-hand is to go to where this is happening on purpose.

Sure, UVC is the most hazardous UV ray out of the three, but if you think about it, UVA and UVB can cause more harm.

Compared to UVC, both UVA and UVB rays are found in sunlight, so that means it’s everywhere.

Still, what all three have in common is that prolonged exposure to them can result in physical harm that can easily climb up to life-threatening levels.

What UV protection does is, as it filters UVA and UVB rays, it lessens the risk of adverse effects while improving your vision!

In mirrored vs. polarized sunglasses, check them for stickers if they can ensure you 100% UV protection! 

Do You See Me?

As mentioned earlier, mirror sunglasses have the key feature of having reflective lenses, and these reflective lenses do the job of deflecting light.

But another thing that’s included in its package is anyone who looks at you can’t see your eyes.

A photo of you wearing that pair of sunglasses won’t show your eyes; spending a whole day with you wearing that pair of sunglasses won’t show your eyes—

As long as you wear a pair of mirror sunglasses, no one can see your eyes.

Polarized sunglasses, on the other hand, stay the same- a somewhat clear pair of sunglasses.

This aspect’s more for personal preferences than anything.

Maybe you want your eyes to stay hidden because you look tired, or you wish to have your eyes stay visible the entire time.

Either way, between mirrored vs. polarized sunglasses, choosing either of these sunglasses is entirely up to you!

In the Shade

Of course, no one’s physically capable of staying out under the sun unless you want to look like a roasted tomato.

And as great as their protection has been, they’re still both sunglasses that can’t work too well under a shade.

Well, mirrored sunglasses can’t, anyway, so it has to sit this one out.

Because it reflects the light instead of absorbing it, mirror lenses don’t work too well in low light conditions.

“If it doesn’t work, then I can just take it off! I’m under a shade anyway, so what’s the harm?”

Okay, so let’s say you’re at a beach in the middle of the day, spending time beneath the shade of a palm tree or an umbrella.

You’ll notice, though, that if you look anywhere beyond the shade you’re in, you have to narrow your eyes to see things correctly.

So, what’s happening now is you take off your mirror sunglasses to “see properly,” but that just made your eyes much more vulnerable to the UV rays. 

Meanwhile, polarized sunglasses don’t have this kind of limitation when their color contrast leans more on the beneficial side.

They’re not photochromic, but it’s still better than nothing!

A Colorful World

In mirrored vs. polarized sunglasses, you have quite the selection when it comes to colored lenses.

And in each color comes a bonus that can amplify the lenses’ benefits!

For example, the blue mirror coating is perfect for fishers and anglers because it goes perfectly well with the water (in bright conditions, of course)!

As for the polarized coating, brown lenses are great on sunny and cloudy days, too!

There’s a specific purpose in choosing the right color because each one brings a world of difference while you spend your day outside.

And it’s bound to be a good one if it can take care of your eyes the entire time!

Mirror vs. Polarized Sunglasses pros and cons

Seeing Things Digitally

In mirrored vs. polarized sunglasses, anything with liquid-crystal display screens is both of these sunglasses’ number one enemy.

So that goes with cell phones, TVs, computer screens—practically MOST of the tech anyone comes to contact with in their day-to-day life.

That’s because of the blue light these devices are emitting.

The chemicals included in the sunglasses’ coating for filtering light get confused, therefore you might face problems every time you try to check on the text your friend sent you when you’re outside.

Sure, you might “see” them somewhat, but you’ll notice that the screen will look distorted with static lines across it.

What’s worst is the screen might “disappear” entirely if you don’t have it in your line of sight anymore.

Unless you find this experience “fun,” it’s recommended you don’t use either of these sunglasses while looking at any device.

Pros & Cons of Mirror vs. Polarized Sunglasses

Mirrored Sunglasses


  • Among mirrored vs. polarized sunglasses, mirrored ones are glare-resistant; they reduce glare through the reflective coating used on their lenses.
  • They also provide UV light protection and protect our eyes from getting damaged due to the sun’s harmful rays. 
  • Under bright light conditions, these lenses offer 100% visibility making them ideal for outdoor use such as driving, ice-skating, and even swimming.
  • Apart from being durable, mirrored sunglasses are also quite fashionable and come in various colors.
  • They also give a mysterious vibe to the person wearing them by hiding the eyes very well and can be used to hide away your puffy eyes or dark circles.


  • Between mirrored vs. polarized sunglasses, mirrored ones require extra care to resist scratching and can require you to wash them with some lens cleaning wipes or through dish soap and warm water.
  • You can consider buying a pair with scratch-resistant coating for extra protection against scratches. 
  • These extra features add more cost to the already rather expensive sunglasses. Mirrored sunglasses are already pricier than other standard sunglasses.
  • Also, these sunglasses are not suitable for viewing LCD screens and make the images displayed on the screen distorted and dark.
  • Another major demerit of these sunglasses is that since they don’t absorb light and reflect it, they don’t brighten the vision in low-light situations.
pros of polarized sunglasses

Polarized Sunglasses


  • Polarised glasses are used to shield our eyes against the prolonged intense sun glare.
  • Apart from providing protection against intense UV rays, polarised lenses enhance our visual clarity and make everything appear sharper.
  • They reduce eyestrain and hence, prevent headaches and are comfortable. An added advantage is that polarized lenses can accommodate both prescription and non-prescription sunglasses.
  • They can be worn by people of varying needs, from light-sensitive people to those continually exposed to prolonged bright sunlight.
  • They are also well-suited for post-cataract surgery patients. Overall, among mirrored vs. polarized sunglasses, polarized help to keep our eyes and eyesight healthy and protected.


  • While on the one hand polarized glasses are good for UV protection, they too have some drawbacks. It becomes difficult to see LCD screens because the filtering mechanism reduces the amount of light your eyes process from an LCD screen.
  • This filtering mechanism also changes how you perceive the world, hence, heavy machine users like airline pilots are often restricted to using polarized lenses. 
  • Polarized lenses also cause you to see grid patterns on the windows of automobiles, but the main problem arises when these grid patterns become too distracting while driving.
  • Then you should take them off. They are costlier than other standard lenses and can even have durability issues.
  • High sunlight exposure can cause the chemical film to start fading, which can diminish the protection your glasses provide.

Which is Better?

Between mirrored vs. polarized sunglasses, none is better than the other.

“But what about the mirrored lenses? Doesn’t that make them better?”

“And what about the polarized lenses?”

Well, first off, you should’ve noticed by now that both have perks that can be considered “at par” with the other.

In the same line, both have downsides that bring them to the same level as one another.

But does that mean that a pair of sunglasses can be polarized and mirrored at the same time?

Honestly, it won’t be surprised if someone did that yet!

The reflective lens that can hide your eyes combined with polarization that maintains color contrast in whatever light condition there is? That sounds like a great deal!

And what’s also great is how similar some of their weak points are, so that should make it easier for you to avoid if you can!

Final Thoughts

Both sunglasses are created as excellent examples of how far technology has come for eyewear.

And what’s more, the technology has advanced to this level for your benefit and preferences alone.

None of these lens technologies is better than the other, but that doesn’t mean you should be careless in choosing which one you’d want for yourself!

Once you consider what you want, then whichever you select will be the best for you.

We hope this article on mirrored vs. polarized sunglasses gives you an idea of which is more suitable for you.

Photo of author


Tessa Reynolds
Meet Tessa Reynolds, who lives in Denver, Colorado. She likes to write about sunglasses, and eye makeup so that she can share her knowledge, and help all the people who need something for their eyes. When she is not writing, you can find her skiing in the mountains of Colorado.