Preferring Eyeglasses Over Sunglasses

Sunglasses have evolved massively over time. Introduced in the late 19th century and produced in 1899 by Munich-based company Rodenstock GmbH, the modern protective sunglasses became a widespread fashion accessory in the early 1900s. Despite immense overhauls and the introduction of prescription sunglasses, the eyeglasses or spectacles segment still takes up more than 69% of the eyewear industry share.

What are the factors behind the lagging sunglasses sales against the spectacles? And what are the indicators for the future? This article explains everything about the market share of sunglasses vs eyeglasses alongside the factors driving spectacles sales in the industry:

Sunglasses vs Eyeglasses Market Share: An Overview

According to the sales statistics provided by online glasses store, TheShadesHut, in 2021, the sunglasses segment generated a revenue of $21,174 million against the whopping $86,448 million for eyeglasses throughout the year. These enormous numbers result in a 69.9% share of prescription eyeglasses and spectacles in the eyewear industry.

Almost the same is estimated for the next 4 years until 2025. Studies have suggested that the eyeglasses revenue will surpass the $110 billion mark by 2025 with the sunglasses segment lagging far behind at $27 billion. Even the rising trend of contact lenses doesn’t seem to daunt the superiority of spectacles in the industry.

Several factors have ensured this large-scale approval of eyeglasses among the masses. Let’s have at some key drivers promising to sustain the sales of spectacles in the long run:

Key Drivers of Eyeglasses Business

1. Lacking Awareness on Sunglasses

Sunglasses, for sure, have evolved rapidly over time, so much so that just about all the variants are customizable with prescription lenses. However, lacking awareness among the common people has hampered the sunglasses business from making the most of these modernistic features.

Many research studies claim that ocular disorders are on the rise, particularly after technological advancements. People are adhered to their PC or smartphone screens eventually causing several vision problems. Consequently, the demand for prescription lenses has also ramped up in recent years. But the majority prefers clear lens spectacles over tinted shades, either due to the lack of awareness or a stigma around wearing tinted glasses at the workplace.

Experts concluded that the people, especially the natives of developing countries such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, still need to be familiarized with the customizable prescription sunglasses.

2. Eyeglasses are Highly Versatile

Versatility is one of the most prominent attributes that allow spectacles to take edge over sunglasses. The clear-lens glasses can curate every social situation – from casual gatherings and events to formal meetings at the workplace. Whereas, tinted lenses of sunglasses might bar you from officiating the formal events while wearing them.

3. Prescription Glasses are Inexpensive

Sunglasses are known for their protective lenses that offer a shield against glare and UV radiation. Only the authentic designer sunglasses from top brands can instill the quality with the utmost precision. This, in turn, raises the price of prescription sunglasses and makes them inaccessible to consumers from the developing world.

On the contrary, eyeglasses are available as both designer and non-designer variants. You can easily find quality spectacles at a price way lower than that of designer shades. This evident price difference tempts consumers to choose clear, translucent eyewear over extravagant sunglasses.

4. Eyeglasses as Fashion Statement

It’s not just the sunglasses segment that has undergone revamps, eyeglasses too are now featured in various frame designs and styles. Designers and manufacturers are introducing glasses of vogue frames and lively, exuberant colors. This has allowed spectacles to gain massive approval as a “fashion statement”. You can discover contemporary, vintage, and retro styles of clear eyewear – one that befits the aura of your personality!

5. High-Tech Blue Blocking Features

As much as we’ve seen evolution in eyeglasses styles, we’ve also witnessed high-tech reconditioning of their lenses. The clear-lens glasses in today’s world feature blue-blocking lens technology to help you focus on moving objects under hazy conditions. These lenses also filter out the color and vision distorting blue light for excellent depth perception.

This blue-blocking technology improves the perception of eyeglasses among people. They actively demand prescription glasses subsumed with vision-enhancing filters to eliminate eyesight problems as well as distortion issues.

6. Sunglasses are Inaccessible for Remote Areas

Remote areas do not have significant access to luxury designer sunglasses as yet. That’s simply because of the lack of retail shops and brand outlets in far-off regions. Resultantly, the dwellers end up choosing spectacles to calm their desire for eyewear. The simple, translucent glasses work as their fashion accessory, prescription lenses, and protective eyewear.

The online sale of sunglasses is rapidly taking over traditional retail selling. Yet, a lot needs to be pulled off before we could witness a wide network of online outlets extending over remote & rural areas. The pandemic, unfortunately, has slowed down the progress. Eventually, the eyeglasses segment is estimated to sustain its dominance in this area as well.

Final Words

This concludes our assessment of why spectacles are expected to remain superior in terms of demand, sale, and manufacturing throughout the decade. The technological improvements in sunglasses should strengthen their prominence in the eyewear industry. Yet, the extensive benefits of eyeglasses ensure that the spectacle business is never going to be doomed anytime soon.

Talking about fancy spectacles, let us leave you with a list of coolest, trendy eyeglasses designs in 2022:

Trending Eyeglasses Styles in 2022

Complete your outfit with these super-cool prescription glasses styles in vogue right now:

  • Cat-Eye Styles

Suitable to all facial features, shapes, tones, cat-eye frames are deemed the epitome of versatility in the women’s eyewear fashion. From bold full-rim to the unisex half-rim cat-eye, these frames have been in style for over a decade and do not seem to go out pretty soon.

  • Retro-Round Styles

Being “multifaceted” is the best aspect of round glasses. Blend them with your vintage attire or make a statement with round tortoiseshell glasses in Havana shade. The style never fails to complement your fun-loving personality.

  • Vintage Aviator Styles

The magical experience of 20th-century fashion is conferred by none other than these timeless classics – the vintage aviator styles. The design of these frames is ageless in the true essence; the pairs may never go out of style within and beyond the next decade.

  • Sleek Minimalist Styles

The translucent lenses combined with sleek, thin frames would add a subtle touch of decency to your personality. Partner them with your vibrant outfit this year to even up the contrasting looks.


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