Gaming glasses sellers often claim that by blocking blue light, their products help reduce eye strain and headaches. Even though the optometrists we asked tell us the science doesn’t exactly back that up, they’ve heard enough anecdotal success stories to recommend that their patients try them.
We were curious to see for ourselves, so we tested out 10 different pairs from 8 different brands in an attempt to find the best gaming glasses on the market. Glassy’s Bennett Plus won our pick for best overall. We liked Barner’s Shoreditch as an upgrade pick and Zenni’s Square Glasses as a budget-friendly alternative.
Our Picks for Best Gaming Glasses
Best Overall: Glassy Bennett Plus
Use the code VOLTCAVE when shopping at Glassy Eyewear for 10% off.
The Glassy Bennett Plus impressed us with everything it offered for its price. Its metal and acetate frame felt indistinguishable in quality from the pairs we tried that were well over $100 and the clarity of its anti-glare lenses was comparable.
The Glassy Bennett Plus was the only pair we tested that featured metal spring hinges and its thin metal arms were comfortable even after hours of wear with headphones. All of Glassy’s products include a unique foldable hard carrying case and a soft pouch that doubles as a lens cloth.
While they give you the option of Clear, Yellow, or Plus lenses, we only recommend the Plus. Their Plus lenses have anti-reflective coatings on both sides of the lens while the others only have it on the front. The other pair we tested from Glassy, the Prod Premium, performed the worst out of all pairs in terms of glare.
Upgrade Pick: Barner Shoreditch
If you don’t mind shelling out extra cash for more fashionable frame choices and slightly better lenses, check out the Barner Shoreditch. These stylish round glasses performed the best out of all pairs in our anti-glare tests. The Barner Shoreditch had excellent visibility with minimal reflection even in the least ideal lighting environments. This may be due to anti-reflective coatings applied to both sides of their lenses as well as a special property within the lens itself that absorbs light.
All Barner glasses include a rigid leather case and branded lens cloth as you would expect at its price point. While Barner’s pairs were too expensive for us to recommend over Glassy overall, we still appreciate their value at ~$120 considering that their frame styles and frame materials rival those of the Italian fashion brands.
Budget Pick: Zenni Square Glasses
If you’re still skeptical about gaming glasses and don’t want to spend too much on your first pair, we recommend the budget-friendly Zenni Square Glasses. The Zenni Square Glasses were the most comfortable and had the best performing lenses out of all pairs we tried in the $10-$45 price range. While its frame materials clearly felt “budget”, some aspects worked to its advantage. Its flat and thin temple arms are made from a flexible TR-90 plastic that we hardly felt with a gaming headset on.
The included carrying case is plastic and oddly small compared to the leather cases from our other picks, but it was also the most rigid and protective. But as with all the gaming glasses we tested in the budget range, it had stiff hinges that creaked when folded and lenses that were more susceptible to glare.
Buying Guide: What to Look For in Gaming Glasses
These are the main factors we considered in our evaluations and what you should look for when you go shopping yourself.
Frame Shape and Size
As with all glasses shopping, you’re mostly shopping for frames that will fit comfortably and look good on you. We will defer to glasses experts for more guidance on finding the right size and shape frames for your face.
Frame style choices will mostly come down to personal preference. In general, we appreciated providers that had a wider selection of styles because we know not everybody wants that “esports player” look. We also value the option of wearing our gaming glasses outside of the house without raising eyebrows.
Temple Arm Design
If you’ll be wearing a gaming headset, you’ll need to pay close attention to how each glasses’ temple arms are designed to ensure maximum comfort. Tight headphones clamping into hard glasses arms is a recipe for pain.
Typically, the flatter, softer, and thinner the arms, the better. Adequate frame width is a crucial factor too because no temple arm design will save you if the glasses are too small for your head.
Gaming glasses come in a variety of lens color options including yellow, amber, and clear. Industry experts tell us “the stronger the tint, the more effective the blue light blocking”. Consequently, even “clear” lenses will have a varying level of yellow tint to them.
Some gaming glasses come with a small blue light device meant to demonstrate the blue light blocking of their lenses. We found it to be an unreliable tool to compare products and it seemed like all products in our roundup blocked a good amount of blue light from passing through.
Since we only reviewed gaming glasses with clear lenses anyways, our evaluation assumed comparable blue light blocking across all pairs and focused more on the other factors. If maximum blue light blocking is essential to you, you may want to opt for a pair with amber-tinted lenses. Keep in mind this will come at the cost of accurate color perception and fashion.
Nearly all gaming glasses claim to have anti-glare lenses which makes sense since they’re meant to be worn while staring at a shining screen. Upon testing, we quickly learned that not all anti-glare coatings were created equally.
We found budget pairs of glasses tended to only have anti-glare coatings on one side of its lenses or seemingly none at all. The higher-end glasses had double-sided coatings in addition to properties within the lens itself to discourage reflection. If you end up choosing a budget pair, expect to have to be strategic with your environmental lighting to avoid glare.
With “budget” gaming glasses in the $10-$45 range, you can expect stiffer hinges, anti-glare coatings that don’t work as well, and generally lower quality extras (carrying cases and lens cloths).
On the higher end, you’ll find better performing lenses, higher-quality frame materials, and more stylish frame choices. While we certainly appreciate style and aesthetics (we’re all about building beautiful gaming setups after all), there was an upper limit in price where we noticed neither style nor quality improved. Our Barner Shoreditch pick is in the upper end of that range.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do gaming glasses work?
In short, gaming glasses block a percentage of blue light from reaching your eyes, which has been proven to help improve sleep quality when used correctly. Their effectiveness in reducing eye strain and headaches haven’t been proven but there are countless anecdotal success stories. Read our in-depth article on gaming glasses to learn more.
Are there prescription gaming glasses?
Yes. Most glasses providers offer the option to add a blue-light-blocking coating to your prescription lenses and many gaming glasses providers also offer prescription lenses.
Can I just buy a cheap pair from Amazon?
We tested out a popular well-reviewed pair from FEIYOLD on Amazon and were impressed with its frame quality and style. But it fell victim to the same issues as other budget gaming glasses: lens glare and lower-quality frames. If you’re conscious about the lighting in your environment, they can do the job.
What about Gunnar?
We are coordinating with Gunnar to get our hands on a pair to evaluate and will update this article once we receive them. Here are our initial findings:
- Most of Gunnar’s gaming glasses line don’t have the option of clear lenses.
- The majority of their styles have the hardcore gamer look which is not our preference.
- Some of their frames have innovative temple arm designs that we haven’t seen from other providers and are looking forward to testing.
Here are the other gaming glasses we evaluated for this roundup review. Many of them had redeeming qualities but weren’t better overall than our top picks.
The Warby Parker Durand had high-quality materials and great lenses that performed on-par with our upgrade pick. However, at $145, it was too expensive for us to recommend over Barner. We suspect the extra money went into the design of their packaging and extras. Warby Parker might be a good choice if you like their styles over Barner’s.
The HyperX Spectre React actually had the most comfortable temple arms out of all glasses we tested. However, its lenses also had more glare and color distortion than we would’ve liked and its frame design was nothing special.
The Zenni Browline Glasses share the same lenses and cost as our budget pick from the same company. However, the Browline’s materials felt even more “budget” with its shiny plastics, and the metal holding one of its nose pads was bent out of shape.
The Syght Glass Storm was one of the other contenders in the budget range at ~$40. While the frame felt higher quality than the pairs from Zenni and had smoother hinges, its lens allowed too much glare for us to recommend.
The popular FEIYOLD Blue Light Blocking Glasses from Amazon were the most affordable pairs by far in our evaluation. Even though the frame was surprisingly comfortable and stylish for its price, it had similar issues as the other budget options: stiff hinges and glare.
The Glassy Prod Premium disappointed us given that the Bennett Plus was our pick for best overall. Everything was a major downgrade including frame materials and lens quality. If you decide to go with Glassy, make sure to grab one of their “Plus” glasses over their “Premiums”.