Gradient vs Polarized Sunglasses: Plus Pros & Cons

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Do you have a fun day planned and are confused about whether to wear polarized glasses or gradient ones?

This war has been never-ending indeed. Both lenses have their pros and cons, uses and reasons why to wear them, and so much more.

On one hand, polarization provides better visibility, and driving with gradient lenses is better.

So, don’t keep waiting, and scroll through the article to learn all about this war of polarized vs. gradient lenses, and finally know who is the real MVP, and which lenses are just right for you!

Comparison Of Polarized And Gradient Glasses

Gradient or Polarized glasses

Starting off with the definition is necessary because you obviously cannot compare two things without establishing a basic difference between them! 

Polarized lenses are specialized eyewear lenses that are designed to reduce glare from surfaces such as water, roads, and snow. The glare is harmful for eyes, and even distracting while you are up to something. So, a polarized lens is always recommended when out on a sunny day. 

Gradient lenses have a gradual transition in tint from the top to the bottom portion of the lens. This means that the lens is darker at the top and gradually becomes lighter towards the bottom. This is not just for style purposes, but also allows you to have a crystal clear vision when looking straight. Thus, apt for driving purposes on an extremely sunny day! 

Some other differences in their properties include;  

UV Protection

These lenses cannot be compared for UV protection, but any of them with UV400 protection is good enough to protect your eyes from UV rays.

Check out the article to know more about Blue Light and UV Light Glasses


The cost of both lenses depends on the brand from which you are purchasing. But since polarization of the lens is a proper lens technology available only for selected sunglasses or might have a collection of its own, they tend to be more expensive.


gradient vs non gradient sunglasses

The polarized lenses are better for outdoor environments with a high amount of glare, like water, snow, etc., compared to the gradient lenses which should be used when driving to provide better glare protection even from overhead.


With respect to gradient and non-gradient sunglasses, the non-gradient ones tend to be very dark in some situations, but gradient sunglasses are far more versatile when compared. 

Working on the Lenses

The polarized lenses block the horizontal rays, just like the blinds, and provide glare protection to the eyes. These lenses provide better visibility, clearer image details, and lesser eye strain.

The gradient lenses are tinted providing calmness to the eye by reducing the straight strain caused by the sunlight.  

Pros & Cons Of Polarized Sunglasses 


  • Polarized glasses are used to shield our eyes against prolonged intense glare just like sunscreen is like a shield for our skin. 
  • Enhance our visual clarity and make everything appear sharper.
  • They reduce eyestrain and hence, prevent headaches and are comfortable. 
  • They are also well-suited for post-cataract surgery patients.


  • It is difficult to see LCD screens with polarized lenses 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.
  • 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.

Pros & Cons Of Gradient Lenses


  • They are two-toned lenses, enabling a clear vision in any environment.  
  • They limit the intense sun glares and are very comfortable to see through the lighter part of the lens. 
  • They are best suited for driving.
  • They are also very ideal for outdoor activities but can also be worn indoors.


  • Even though gradient glasses have a tint that reduces sun glare it does not completely block the UV rays harming your eyes.
  • They just reduce the intensity of the light. Hence, they are not exactly healthy for your eyes and are also not the best choice in high-glare surroundings.
  • They can also pose serious problems for your eyes because they cause your pupils to dilate which makes it easier for UV rays to enter your eyes. 
  • Their excellent use is only limited to driving. 


gradient polarized lenses meaning

It is evident that in the war of polarized vs. gradient lenses, there is no winner, both of them are great in their way. 

Polarized lenses provide better glare protection from the front and are lighter, the gradient lenses on the other hand provide it from overhead. But, at the end of the day, the non-gradient or the polarized lenses are more functional and effective when out. Honestly, you don’t even need sunglasses when indoors. But, I am completely not denying the fact that gradient lenses are the ones for driving!  

Thus, choose what suits you the best!

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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.