When it comes to anything involving welding, soldering and painting, it’s not just great quality tools you should be concerned about – protecting your eyes is also incredibly important.
Just as you’d use trust-worthy, UV sunglasses on a trip to Asia, you need to make sure you’re looking after your eyes when undertaking any DIY task.
Safety goggles and glasses are widely available, which is fantastic, but also means it can be hard to choose the best ones out there. No fear, I’ve done the legwork for you and found the best safety goggles and glasses currently on the market.
Safety Glasses - Comparison Guide
3M Virtua CCS
Encon Wraparound Veratti 307
TRUST OPTICS 12 Pack
NoCry Safety Glasses
Toolshed Clear Lens
Features of the Safest Glasses & Goggles
Men’s Safety Glasses
Can you put a price on your eyesight? Of course, you can’t. When it comes to your eyes, ignoring your safety is never worth the risk. All it takes is a bit of flying debris or a splash of a dangerous chemical and you can become permanently blind.
Nowadays you can buy excellent-quality safety glasses for a few dollars apiece, so there really is no excuse for not wearing them. But there are a number of things you should look out for when choosing safety glasses.
Most importantly, look out for the stamp of approval from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Safety glasses should have an ANSI rating of Z87-1, which means the glasses have undergone a number of stress tests and will not shatter when hit by a high-velocity object.
Glasses should be lightweight and comfortable enough that you can wear them all day. There’s no point in getting glasses that you’re not going to wear because they are too heavy or hurt you.
The glasses you choose should be fully adjustable, to ensure they properly and snugly. You don’t want them to slip or fall off when you bend over or if you brush against something.
If you wear prescription glasses like I do, you can get safety glasses made in your prescription. But that will cost you. You do get great goggles nowadays that can fit over certain prescription spectacles and I’m told they work very well. Additionally, there are over glasses safety glasses that are simple and effective to use.
Look out for lenses that are hard-coated and scratch-resistant so they won’t impede your view. Clear wraparound frames are great for the same reason.
And make sure the glasses are anti-fog too. There’s nothing worse than trying to concentrate on fine detail work when your goggles are misted up. And you don’t want to be taking them off every five minutes to clear them.
Finally, it’s also handy if your glasses or goggles can be worn with other safety gear, like respirators and a hard hat.
Women’s Safety Glasses
It’s very hard to find safety glasses made specifically for women. And that’s a problem. The shape of women’s faces obviously a lot different than men’s; they are narrower, the bridge of the nose is smaller.
Women also have a problem finding safety glasses to accommodate long eyelashes. I’m not joking; it’s incredibly irritating have your lashes constantly brushing up against the lenses.
Obviously, all the safety advice for men’s glasses applies to women, but women should pay special attention to how adjustable the glasses are.
If you’re going for glasses and not goggles, I’d look for a pair that has properly telescoping side pieces and adjustable temples.
Look for the lightest pair you can find without compromising the quality of the lens. A padded nose piece is also a must for comfort. Safety glasses are so inexpensive nowadays you can probably afford to get a separate pair for yourself and your spouse. Keep your eyes safe, whether you’re trimming the lawn or finishing odd jobs or DIY projects around the house,
Children’s Safety Glasses
When it comes to your kid’s safety, you don’t want to compromise on quality, but you also don’t want to have to shell out a fortune for something he or she is going to lose at school.
But, I promise, for only a few dollars, you can keep your child’s eyes safe, whether they’re building rockets at school, playing Nerf Wars with their friends, or helping you out doing your odd jobs around the house.
Okay, that last one probably is never going to happen. But a parent can dream, right?
Again, look out for glasses that are ANSI-rated and make sure they are fully adjustable to the size of your child’s face. They have to be able to withstand the wear and tear of kids, who are probably tougher on glasses than any hard-working contractor. Guaranteed, your kid will either lose or break his or her glasses by the end of the day.
Luckily, quality ANSI-rated glasses can be bought in packs of up to 12 glasses for under $15. And your kid won’t worry about looking like a geek, because today’s s safety glasses come in a range of colors and look kind of cool too. He or she child won’t want to take them off – and that’s the point.
Safety Glasses Buying Guide
While it may be tempting just to find the most stylish pair of safety goggles, and buy them, there are things you should consider first. Before you click that buy button, think about the following aspects and how they affect you.
The glasses or goggles need to be comfortable to wear. Nose pads and rubber earpieces will help the goggles or glasses sit on your face without digging into your skin. There should be an elastic strap on goggles and a lanyard on glasses to help them stay on your head and prevent falling below should you drop them.
If you work outdoors or in places with heavy lighting, polarized glasses might be worth the investment. Polarization reduces glare from lights, sun, water, or liquid surfaces and glass. If you go with a non-polarized pair of safety glasses, you may have a tough time seeing clearly in brighter conditions or distinguishing between colors.
If you are doing any outdoor work at all, you will want a pair that has UV protection. The UV protection is a special coating on the lenses that reduces the amount of ultraviolet rays that enter your eyes. UV coatings do come in colors or can be darkened like sunglasses, or even clear. As long as the UVA and UVB protection is there, the color doesn’t matter except for style.
Paint splatters, air compressors, and misting paint sprays can enter your eyes from any angle, not just head-on. It is important that you get wrap-around goggles or choose glasses with peripheral coverage to protect you from the side.
You won’t always be able to wear the safety glasses directly on your head. Sometimes you will need the straps or earpieces to go over respirator straps, hard hats, or head coverings. Making sure you have a pair that is adjustable will ensure a safe and proper fit at all times.
Even though we have opposable thumbs, we still drop things. We use eye protection to prevent debris from getting into our eyes, but also to protect our eyes from hits or contact. Impact-resistant glasses or goggles will further protect against drops, hits, or contact with heavier items without shattering or breaking into small pieces that could cause even more damage.
Top 10 Safety Glasses Reviewed
Never take any risks when it comes to your eyes. Preventing accidents and promoting safety at home or in the workplace is always highly recommended. These are my top 10 picks for eye protection.
1. DEWALT DPG82-11 Concealer Clear Anti-Fog Dual Mold Safety Goggle
- DEWALT tough Coat hard coated lens provides...
- DEWALT Xtra clear anti-fog lens coating...
- Soft, dual injected rubber conforms to the...
- Adjustable, elastic cloth head strap provides...
Up first, and for good reason, are these beauties from Dewalt. Safety goggles with a comfy, elasticated band to ensure they fit tightly to your face.
The soft rubber of the mask moulds itself to your face, so you’ll stay comfy regardless of how long you’re working for. These goggles are great value for money and provide fantastic protection for any DIY jobs around the home and garden.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll get a bit worked up while working – these have ventilation technology to ensure you don’t fog up, no matter how hot and sweaty you get! Easy to clean the paint flecks off, too…
2. 3M Virtua CCS Protective Eyewear
Next up are these fancy safety glasses from a DIY brand that is rapidly becoming my favorite – 3M.
They know exactly what you need from every product they offer, and these glasses are no different. The frame is nice and lightweight, so you can work comfortably without them digging in or falling off your face.
These glasses also offer the promise of being anti-fog, which is more important that you might initially think, especially when doing precise work such as welding or intricate painting.
The seal around the lenses protects your eyes from any stray dust particles and paint or chemical fumes. For me, these are the best rated safety glasses.
3. Encon Wraparound Veratti 307 Safety Glasses
- Protective eyewear with untinted lenses can...
- Polycarbonate lenses resist impact, have...
- Meets ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010 and CSA Z94.3-2007...
- Wraparound frame and 9 base curve lenses...
Proving that safety can be stylish, these translucent blue wraparound glasses can be used indoors and outdoors. They are scratch and UV-resistant and feature clear polycarbonate lenses that are light as a feather at less than half an ounce. They offer wraparound protection without impeding your view.
The glasses are rated by both the ANSI and Canadian Standards Authority. The semi-rimless design also helps with vision and anti-fogging. The slim fit around the temples means they won’t fly off by accident.
Look, they’re not meant to be used in a very heavy industrial setting, but they are perfect for woodworkers and can be used for light auto work, yard work and for lab work. At less than $5 for one pair, they’re still a bargain
4. Trust Optics Impact and Ballistic Resistant Safety Protective Glasses
- Package Includes: 12 pairs of Safety Glasses...
- HIGHLY PROTECTIVE: Trust Optics Safety...
- SLEEK AND COMFORTABLE: The protective glasses...
- COMBO PACK: Receive 12 Safety Glasses at an...
I can’t get over the price: A pack of 12 – yes, that’s a dozen – safety glasses for under $15. These guys, who come in a range of bright colors, are great for kids.
They look cool and will withstand a fair bit of rough and tumble, or a few mishaps in the science lab, at least. And if they don’t, you’ve got 11 spares to choose from.
They’re lightweight, comfortable, anti-scratch resistant, UV resistant and anti-glare. They’re also ANSI-rated, although, again. I don’t think they’re suitable for heavy industrial settings. They weigh less than half an ounce so you won’t even know you have them on.
5. Dewalt DPG55-11C Clear Anti-Fog Protective Safety Glasses
- Rubber tipped temples provide a secure,...
- Tough, polycarbonate lens provides impact...
- Telescoping temples adjust for a comfortable...
- Cushioned brow protection for extra comfort...
If you want to get a little more serious about your eye safety I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Dewalt’s products.
At about $7 for a pair, they’re a little pricier but they have the Dewalt name behind them. These glasses feature dual-injected rubber in the frame and the temple to offer double the amount of comfort. They have a ratcheting and telescoping temple so it can be adjusted to fit your face securely and comfortably.
The glasses are ANSI-rated and offer 99.9% protection against UVA and UVB rays. The extra comfort and safety cost you more in the weight department, but at about 1.5 ounces the glasses are still not very heavy.
They give you full eye protection against flying debris, like wood, metal shavings, and chemicals. And they are anti-fog.
6. NoCry Safety Glasses
- DESIGNED TO BE PROTECTIVE AND BUILT TO LAST -...
- CUSTOMIZABLE FOR ULTIMATE FIT AND COMFORT -...
- FOG, GLARE, AND SCRATCH RESISTANT FOR BETTER...
- IDEAL FOR WORK AND PLAY - Ideal for...
These wraparound safety glasses are stylish enough to be worn on a racquetball court or out cycling. They’ll serve you well while doing woodwork or metal work too.
The sides and nosepieces are adjustable to fit your face properly. They are non-slip so they‘ll stay on your face even when you’re dripping with sweat. The lenses are untinted and double-coated which protects against glare while not distorting your view.
The lenses are anti- almost anything: anti-scratch; anti-fog, anti-UV; anti-glare. They’re also extremely lightweight at 0.2 ounces. They cost a bit more at around $10, but most of the reviews I’ve read have been very positive. They are rated according to the European EN166 safety standard
7. Clear Armor Safety Glasses
For less than $15, you’ll get two pairs of safety glasses – one clear for inside and one tinted for outdoors, two neck cords, a microfiber bag for each which doubles as a cleaning cloth.
The wide lenses, while not wraparound, do provide a wide field of vision. The lenses are also anti-scratch, anti-distortion, and anti-fogging. They are also ANSI rated and offer UVA/UVB protection, like most of the other glasses.
At first, I liked the idea of having a neck cord, but on second thought I wondered whether it would encourage workers to wear them around the neck and not on their faces where they are supposed to be. I don’t know. It’s a nice-to-have, but not a must-have.
The glasses are pretty comfortable to wear I reckon, although the nose bridge isn’t padded and might begin to irritate you if they are too much of a tight fit. They’re pretty light at less than an ounce.
8. 3M Virtua Protective Eyewear, Clear Frame, Clear Anti-Fog Lens
3M again, and I’m not even sorry – these protective safety glasses may be similar to their other product listed in this article, but they’re both too good to ignore!
Again, these glasses offer a lightweight frame and sit close to the face to ensure nothing nasty gets into your eyes, whether you’re soldering, sawing or painting.
These are my best budget buy when it comes to eye protection, but they still work hard so that you can, too. If you’re not ready to commit to just one, more expensive pair of goggles or glasses (or if you’re as clumsy as I am), these are the perfect option for you.
9. Toolshed Clear Lens Chemical Safety Goggles
Goggles, this time, and good ones at that. Toolshed have created the perfect safety goggle for all the DIY jobs out there. A nice, wide space for your eyes and comfy, adjustable straps to ensure you feel secure at all times are essential, and are provided with this pair of safety goggles.
My favorite thing about these is that they fit perfectly with half-mask respirators – this means you can fully protect yourself during bigger, more dangerous jobs, or those involving stronger fumes, such as spray-painting.
Another great value option with all the perks of high-quality, expensive goggles – protect your eyes from physical debris as well as harmful fumes and gases.
10. Uvex Stealth Safety Goggles with UVextreme Anti-Fog Coating
- UVEXTREME ANTI-FOG COATING: The Uvextreme...
- SUPERIOR OPTICS: Clear toric lens is suitable...
- SPLASH & IMPACT PROTECTION: Gap-free fit...
- LONGWEARING ECONOMICAL COMFORT: Flexible body...
Last, but certainly not least, ‘Stealth Safety Goggles’ from Uvex. Now, when something has the word ‘stealth’ in the name, you just know that you’re on to a winner.
These goggles come with the promise of comfort, with an adjustable strap and soft, flexible seal. They fit close to the face with a gap-free fit, keeping your eyes safe from dust, metal debris and paint splashes.
These also offer ventilation, meaning you can work in any enviroment and keep your cool. Anti-fogging makes these a firm favorite! Their USP? You can wear them over prescription glasses if needed, not something you get with every pair of safety goggles out there, making them the best safety goggles out there.
Who Uses Safety Glasses?
There are many industries that require the use of safety glasses. Here are some of the most common.
Construction workers experience more eye injuries than in any other workforce. In fact, about 20% off all occupational injuries to the eye occur to construction employees. That’s because they have more opportunity to have a foreign body enter the eye. Safety glasses are the only way to protect the eye from injury.
Manufacturing professionals face numerous injuries when working with industrial equipment like grinders and sanders. Those working around high-powered machines must take precautions to protect their eyes from flying foreign objects. Many employers will require safety glasses to comply with OSHA regulations. Without proper eyewear, the employer might be liable for any injuries.
While mowing the lawn, you want eye protection that provides a shield from UV rays, but you also need something shatter-proof in case something flies at your eyes. It’s also important to have a pair that is secure so they don’t come off while exerting yourself. Many people with allergies find that purchasing glasses that are combined with a respirator works best for overall protection.
Health care workers face numerous dangerous situations. There’s a consistent risk for infectious disease from patients. That’s why safety glasses are an essential piece of protective wear. Not only do they prevent transmitted diseases, but also any injury from medications or bodily fluids. It’s a must have in conjunction with gloves and face masks.
Should I Go With Polarized Safety Glasses?
If you’re going to be working outdoors all day or in an environment where you’ll experience a lot of glare, polarized lenses would be a wise investment.
When light reflects off shiny surfaces, like windows, water or even white walls, the rays are horizontally polarized. Polarized lenses, on the other hand, have vertically polarized filters that cancel out the glare.
Cutting down on the glare will reduce eye fatigue and stress, so you’ll be able to work for longer and more efficiently.
All polarized safety glasses are ANSI-rated and offer 99.9% protection against ultraviolet rays. Here’s a safety warning though: this does NOT mean they’ll be suitable for watching a solar eclipse or for welding.
When should you buy Anti-fog glasses or goggles?
There’s always a case to be made for anti-fog glasses. Just ask anyone who wears normal prescription glasses how often their glasses get fogged up: in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the car… Expose your glasses to any humid conditions and they’ll get fogged up.
But in a dangerous working environment, you can’t afford to keep removing your glasses every few minutes to clear the fog.
But it’s also dangerous keeping them on because your vision will be compromised. Most safety glasses now come with anti-fog as standard, which is great. But don’t expect perfectly fog-free lenses.
At least one manufacturer warns that there is no way to ensure their glasses will always be fog-free, but those that do have the anti-fogging feature are noticeably better than those without.
Where can I buy bulk safety glasses at a good price?
I really don’t know why people bother going anywhere other than Amazon to buy their home improvement equipment. They’re the cheapest around, they have a wide variety and your purchases are shipped free to anywhere in the US within days.
For a small fee, you can also get your order delivered the same day. And if you’re not happy with your purchase, you can send it right back within 60 days and get fully reimbursed.
Okay, so I still stroll the aisles of my local hardware store every now and then to indulge in a bit of nostalgia, but I usually go right back home and order my gear straight off Amazon. It’s simple, it’s fast and it’s hassle-free.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are safety glasses made of?
Most safety glasses have lenses made from some form of polycarbonate. Plutonite, used by Oakley, is a pure polycarbonate, for example. Lexan is a polycarbonate resin thermoplastic with a high shock and impact resistance. Anything other than glass in your goggles or glasses will be some form of polycarbonate.
How can I prevent safety glasses from fogging?
There are many methods to prevent fogging. You can purchase anti-fogging wipes and sprays that will coat the lenses to help prevent fogging. There is also an old divers trick where you use saliva to coat the lenses and then quickly dip in water. This can prevent fogging for several hours.
Can consistent use of safety glasses damage eyesight?
There is no supporting evidence that safety glasses damage eyesight. However, long-term wearing can cause eye fatigue, headaches, or discomfort. Once the glasses are removed, and the conditions are resolved, there is no damage to your vision, though.
Which safety glasses fit my prescription glasses?
Most manufacturers of safety glasses and goggles will produce a product called eyeglass protectors. These polycarbonite frames fit over your existing eyeglasses to offer you the same protection without taking away your vision. You can also have special safety glasses made with your prescription built-in. Your optometrist will be able to assist you in getting a prescription for safety lenses.
Do I need my safety glasses/goggles to be OSHA/ANSI approved?
OSHA and ANSI are organizations to oversee workplace safety. If your job requires eye protection, that eye protection must meet OSHA/ANSI minimum standards. However, DIY and home projects aren’t covered by OSHA, so no one is going to knock down your door or hand you a fine if you aren’t OSHA compliant in your garage. It isn’t a good idea to get a pair that is not OSHA or ANSI certified, though. Even for personal projects.
How can I store my glasses, so they don’t get broken?
You can keep safety glasses in an eyeglasses case, a padded box in your locker or toolbox, or anywhere you can store items that won’t get damaged.
So, what have we learnt? Well, we know that safety goggles or glasses are an absolutely crucial bit of kit when it comes to pretty much every DIY job around the home and garden. With some budget buys and great quality pieces in my top five best safety goggles and glasses, there’s something to suit everyone’s needs.
Eye protection is often overlooked – sometimes it seems easier to just get on with the job instead of rummaging around for a pair of old goggles you have ‘somewhere’ in the garage/ shed/ attic. With my reviews of the best rated safety glasses and goggles out there, you have no excuse not to stay safe!