How to Know If Your Sunglasses Are Polarized

How can you know for certain whether or not your sunglasses are polarized, and why is it important to be sure?

Well, the truth is, there are unscrupulous eyewear manufacturers out there who claim their lenses are polarized when, in fact, they really are not! Polarized lenses are a very special type of sunglass lens – they don’t simply shade your eyes from the light, instead they filter light rays in a very specific way.

First, let’s look at what ‘polarizing’ actually means… which also means here comes the science…

Visible (for example the sun’s or a light bulb’s) light is effectively a wave… and as it travels towards your eyes it vibrates in all directions! When that light reflects off a surface, it bounces off chaotically.

A ‘polarized’ lens sometimes uses the application of a thin chemical film to only allow light vibrating in a certain direction through to your eyes. Higher quality lenses. Higher quality optics have a polarizing film laminated between two layers of lens material.

Most of the glare we encounter comes from horizontal surfaces – water, snow, a low-sunlit highway – so, the polarized lenses in sunglasses are fixed at an angle that only allows vertically polarized light to enter. When a polarizer is oriented vertically, it will block horizontal reflection.

Polarized Sunglasses

Now you know what they are, how can you check?

There are a number of simple, and fun, ways to check whether the sunglasses you own, or are about to buy, really are polarized.

1 – Put the sunglasses on and look at a horizontal reflective surface (a car hood or a glass table, for example). When tilting your head slowly to the left or right, if your sunglasses are genuinely polarized, you’ll notice a brightening of the glare as you move your head from horizontal. BINGO!

2 – Tilt your head while looking at your computer or cellphone, and portions of your screen will become blank or go dark if you’re wearing polarized lenses! HOORAY! Why not try it now! The same is true of many LCD display screens – including those on a gas pump. Why does this work? Because most modern computer and mobile phone screens feature the same glare-reducing technology as polarized lenses. Clever stuff.

3 – On a new pair of sunglasses, you’ll often find a ‘test’ sticker. Hold the sunglasses you want to check at a 60-degree angle to it and, if your sunglasses are polarized, the sticker will appear darker! HURRAH!

4 – Take two pairs of polarized sunglasses and, holding them facing in the same direction, hold up to the light so one lens overlaps a lens of the second pair. Rotate one to a 60-degree angle and – hey presto – if it gets darker then BOTH pairs are polarized. If neither gets darker, one pair might still be polarized but, well, shucks and phooey to the other pair.

So, in a glare-free nutshell, there are numerous advantages to wearing polarized lenses, these include a reduction of eyestrain and improving vision by blocking excess glare. And, on a simple level, polarized sunglasses can even help reduce or eliminate headaches!

polarized lens

Polarized Sunglasses FAQ:

How can polarized sunglasses improve your vision? The reduction in glare offered by polarized sunglasses has many positive effects. It not only provides protection from exposure to bright light, it can also enhance visibility, contrast, clarity and depth perception.

Can I get polarized prescription sunglasses? Yes. The polarized process is created by applying a thin chemical film to a high-quality lens under laboratory conditions or through placing a polarized film between two layers of lens, and they are available in almost every prescription strength.

Are polarized lenses 100% UV protected? Not always. Polarizing and UV protection are two different things. A top-quality pair of sunglasses will always deliver a high-degree of UV protection, whereas a polarized lens’ main role is to reduce glare. However, in all cases, it is best to choose polarized lenses that also offer 100% UV protection.

Who is best suited to using polarized lenses? They are favored by outdoor enthusiasts, in particular skiers, climbers, cyclists, and fishermen. But polarized lenses make a great choice for anyone where the sun is strong and their environment includes many shiny surfaces – not only water, but the dazzling glass-facades of our city’s contemporary tall buildings too!

Polarized Sunglasses 2


  1. Burberry 4281
Burberry 4281
What do we love most about Burberry eyewear? Perhaps it’s the way they take classic styles, and refine them through updating palette and proportion… like with this on-trend pair with polarized lenses!

2. BVLGARI 8201B

Extraordinary beauty in everyday objects – that’s the essence of Bvlgari. Every piece of the their eyewear collection is inspired by the Maison’s exquisite jewelry designs… and every pair is a perfect example of uncompromising creativity.  

3. CHANEL 4238

“Every day is a fashion show and the world is the runway”… so said Coco Chanel. From the house famed for its unstated style, we love these latest frames… with subtle branding and polarized lenses, they could be our go-to sunglasses for any occasion!   


A unique combination of contemporary design and Armani heritage, for us, these frames from Emporio Armani strike the perfect balance between formal and funky! 


Giorgio Armani’s unique expression of Italian style runs through every inch of this latest model. Dark and polarized lenses – it’s the ideal duo to see you through the summer!


Prada’s Linea Rossa line delivers a new perspective – a fusion of sportswear and contemporary elegance. This sleek style with modern silhouette – paired with polarized lenses – it’s the look for catwalk or sidewalk!

7. RAY BAN 8319CH

Ray-Ban… for so many years a by-word for style in eyewear, you can add functionality that too now with their latest polarized lenses. This season, with Ray-Ban, we’re looking at a world of heightened clarity and color!

8. RAY BAN 4171

RAY BAN 4171
One-up your eyewear game this season with the latest from Ray-Ban. Their ultra-cool styling together with polarized lenses means you’ll eliminate glare, reduce strain on your eyes, and see colors like never before… while all the time heightening your coolness-quotient!

9. OAKLEY 9334

Enriched by Oakley’s sporting DNA, with their bold red lenses, these make a great choice active sports, or just for cruising the city streets. Red lenses are known to reduce eye fatigue, and will enhance depth perception – bonus!


Inspired by the aesthetics of sport and lifestyle, the frames of the Prada Linea Rossa eyewear collections reinterpret brand creativity through contemporary, avant-garde design. We say… with Linea Rossa… we’ve never looked sharper!

More blog posts

  • Magrabi_Blog_Images_Blog_Direct_Image_342x210px-copy.jpg

    Shades of Fun: Discover the Exciting World of Kids Eyewear

    Read more
  • Magrabi_Blog_Images_Blog_Direct_Image_342x210px.jpg

    The Exciting Growth Journey of MAGRABi Across the Market

    Read more
  • Magrabi_Blog_SunKIssed_Blog_Direct_Image_342x210px-copy.jpg

    Sun-Kissed Style: Your Ultimate Summer Sunglasses Guide for Middle Eastern Destinations

    Read more