Plastic vs Metal Frames: Comparing These Two Frames

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In choosing a pair of eyeglasses between Plastic vs Metal Frames, I bet the first thing that pushes you to pick one or two out of all the other eyeglasses in the optics store is the frames.

Sure, the lenses are much more critical with their UV protection and polarized features, but the frames you’ll choose will carry your whole aesthetic!

Although, it would be wise not to base your choice on pleasing colors or a unique style only, especially if you plan to use it for a long time.

So, without further ado, here you’ll be learning more about two of the most common materials that usually make up the frame of your eyeglasses, adding to the overall style and look of your eyewear.

About Plastic Frames

A Part of Life

For as long as you could remember, plastic has made its way into society as a go-to kind of thing.

Do you want to use something that can store your things? Something to carry stuff around? Or maybe something to use for eating and drinking?

Plastic is the way to go!

As it’s nearly dominating our resources, you can even use plastic as an accessory.

The best example of that concept applies to eyeglass frames.

Plastic frames are just as common as metal ones, maybe even more so!

Since plastic is already being mass-produced, you can only imagine how many plastic frames are available worldwide.

And you’ll find out here why so many people like them so much!

About Metal Frames

The Old Times

Way before plastic or anything else, metal is as precious as it is versatile.

Using metal was the norm in our everyday life before; without any alternatives available, of course, that’s the inevitable path to be taken.

And it even went so far as to take over our eyewear!

Until now, metal is at par with plastic in being used as frames, and you’ll learn why the demand for metal frames shows no signs of declining as you continue reading.

Comparison of Plastic vs Metal Frames

CharacteristicsPlastic FramesMetal Frames
DurabilityMore prone to breakage, especially at stress pointsMore durable and less likely to break
WeightTypically lighter than metal framesHeavier than plastic frames
ComfortCan be less comfortable due to weight and fitGenerally more comfortable due to adjustability and lighter weight
StyleA wide range of colors and designs are availableLimited color options, but often a more classic and timeless look
CostTypically less expensive than metal framesMore expensive than plastic frames
HypoallergenicCan be made hypoallergenic, but not alwaysOften made from hypoallergenic materials

It’s important to note that these are generalizations, and the specific characteristics of a frame can vary based on the material, design, and manufacturer. Ultimately, the best frame for you will depend on your individual preferences and needs.

Carries Your Weight!

You might think that plastic means it’s the most lightweight option of the two, which isn’t entirely false.

Yes, plastic frames are lightweight; there’s no denying that, but science is a thing that pushes technology onward.

And science discovered a way to construct metal frames that can be a bit on the heavy side AND one that can be as light as plastic, too!

This is made possible as opticians designed these frames to be a lot thinner than the plastic ones, making them appear almost rimless, and giving them a minimalistic look.

Of course, because of this thinness, having thick lenses due to a higher grade can make it impossible to hide.

Meanwhile, plastic doesn’t have this issue at all since it can either be thin or thick, and it’s still lightweight all the same!

Tough It Out!

Despite being thin, metal frames have an advantage in terms of durability.

Even without any heat, you’ll find metal still retaining some of its malleability; because of this, the frame will only get bent if something hits it. 

And even if it bends, you can always turn it back into shape, just like that! 

Of course, you might notice it’s still uneven at some points, but what matters is it’s still a pair of eyeglasses that you can wear.

Titanium metal frames are known to be highly resilient, with memory metal being a close second since it’s commonly used for kids who are just as extreme on their eyewear!

However, as they’re still metal, there’s a higher chance of the material changing colors or resulting in a bad reaction due to prolonged sunlight exposure and/or salt that might cause discoloration or affect your skin as well.

An example of this is the cheaper metal option: monel.

The same can’t be said for plastic frames regarding high pressures, unfortunately.

If you sat on it by accident (we’ve all been there), then you’ll find yourself with a broken piece of plastic.

Unless you stand up quickly as soon as you realized it, only then could there be a chance of saving it (and protecting yourself from getting a heart attack).

But the good side of this is, unlike metal, plastic frames have zero chances of causing an allergic reaction to the skin since it’s hypoallergenic!

So Many to Choose From

For this one, plastic makes a swift comeback!

Colors and designs of all kinds are available in plastic frames. They are made to be much easier to change since it’s artificial, therefore, EXTREMELY easy to mold.

Stars, ovals, and any shape under the sun can be accomplished through plastic frames, even the classic circles or squares available in metal!

Not only that but it can even be colored by either matte, muted shades or bright, neon colors without worrying about the material reacting badly to it because, again, it’s plastic!

As for metal, only those who prefer subtle, minimalist aesthetics can complement well to it because the only colors available for it are black, gold, and silver in round or square-shaped lenses.

So, as durable as the metal frames are, a variety of styles is its Achilles’ heel. 

Which is Better Plastic vs Metal Frames?

After the many ups and downs between the two materials, here’s the final verdict…

Neither of them is better than the other.

If you think about it, how COULD one be better in the first place?

There’s no question about metal’s durability and resilience, but its limited style options are just that- LIMITED.

Not everyone will enjoy its subtle designs.

Plastic can offer you that and more! However, it comes with the price of breakability under pressure.

So, because of this line of argument, both plastic and metal frames are great for everyone who needs to wear eyeglasses or for those who only want to wear them for additional fashion points!

Plastic and  Metal Frames comparision

Final Words

There are many aspects to be considered in choosing a pair of eyeglasses between Plastic vs Metal Frames and the frame is one of them.

Your frame must compliment your style and preference, but it also must possess durability for nasty falls or many, many repeats of being-sat-on-by-accident.

And a way to know this is through the material it’s used!

Plastic and metal frames have layers upon layers of variety that’ll blow your mind with how much is available for your picking.

Fortunately, nowadays, there’s the option of having both metal and plastic in a single frame, so you don’t need to have your brain explode under all of that variety when you can have the best of both worlds in one individual frame!

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.