As previously mentioned in our guides to men’s and women’s eyeglasses for 2013, plastic eyeglasses have become incredibly popular in recent years, and are likely to be the trendiest selection for eyewear for 2013 and beyond. But what about functionality? Do plastic eyeglasses offer greater utility than their metal framed counterparts?
Plastic Eyeglasses vs. Metal Frame Glasses
Plastic frame glasses definitely offer some benefits over metal frame eyeglasses, although most of the benefits are more related to style and aesthetics than overall functionality. So what functional advantages are available for plastic frame styles?
1. Plastic Frames are resistant to permanent deformation caused by being dropped, dented, or impacted. While metal frame eyeglasses can be bent back, many metal frames have a high level of “memory” and are difficult to bend back once the shape has been distorted or bent. The only disadvantage here is that plastic frames may simply snap instead of bend when placed under high stress.
2. Plastic Frames can be made in more shapes and sizes than metal frames since they offer material that’s easy to mold and shape during the manufacturing process.
3. Most plastic glasses frames are hypoallergenic, eliminating risk of allergic reactions to the frame.
Metal frames on the other hand feature many benefits that you can’t find on plastic frame eyewear. While metal frames don’t offer the same options for styling that plastic frames would, many people feel the practical advantages of metal frames outweigh the fashion benefits of plastic frames.
1. Since metal frames hold their shape better, they can be adjusted to fit one’s face much easier than plastic frames. The drawback here is that metal frames may be difficult to permanently bend back to their original shape in an exact manner.
2. Metal frames are more difficult to break than plastic frames, and can be bent back into place if damaged.
3. Metal Frame eyeglasses won’t discolor when exposed to heat and sunlight as many acetate frames would, although they are limited to more traditional colors such as gold, gunmetal, silver, and black.
4. Eyeglasses made from metal offer a lighter overall frame due to requiring less material than a plastic frame would, although some find the thinner frames to be less comfortable when resting on the ears.
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