The average person blinks roughly 15 to 20 times per minute, but when we’re caught up in a task like, say, defending the point in an “Overwatch” match or playing “Ghost of Tsushima” until the sun comes up, we tend to blink less. And while we may not even notice it while we’re absorbed in a game, this can have a domino effect on our health that leads to splitting headaches, sore eyes, and fatigue. It’s a condition called digital eye strain, and it’s triggered by staring at screens for too long without taking breaks. Blinking lubricates your eyes, so when you’re blinking less, your eyes get dry and have to strain to keep you seeing things properly.
Gaming glasses can help alleviate these symptoms by filtering out some of the blue light emitted from your monitor, phone, or tablet to reduce its impact on your eyes, letting you play comfortably for longer without feeling like you got hit by a truck by the time you log off for the day. Here’s our guide to finding the best gaming glasses to give your eyes a much-needed break.
— Best Overall: Gunnar Vayper Glasses
— Best for Glasses Wearers: LifeArt Blue Light Blocking Glasses
— Best for Streamers: Gunnar Lightning Bolt 360 Gaming Glasses
— Best for Eye Strain: Horus X Blue Light Blocking Glasses
— Best Value: Feiyold Blue Light Blocking Glasses
How We Picked the Best Gaming Glasses
To choose our top contenders for the best gaming glasses, we extensively researched and compared lenses from the industry’s leading manufacturers. We also compiled critical consensus from reviewers and gamers worldwide.
We took into consideration the specifications of each pair, paying attention to how much blue light and UV rays each blocks, as well as whether they filter out blue light in a specific range of wavelengths that experts believe may be linked to symptoms of digital eye strain. For the frames, we compared the durability, strength, flexibility, and weight of each pair’s materials. As for the lenses, we looked at the intensity of their tint and whether they offer magnification along with blue-light filtering. Finally, we looked at each pair’s design, particularly how universal or limited their appeal would be to a wide variety of face shapes.
The Best Gaming Glasses: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: Gunnar Vayper Glasses
Why It Made The Cut: Gunnar’s Vayper glasses have strong blue light filters, a lightweight frame that won’t get in the way of a headset, and everything else players could want in a pair of gaming glasses.
— Dimensions: Lens Width: 58mm, Bridge: 15mm, Temple: 130mm
— Filters blue light and UV rays
— Scratch-resistant lenses
— Strong blue light filters
— Lightweight frame
— Adjustable magnification
— Narrow lenses
Gunnar is one of the leading manufacturers of gaming glasses, so it’s little surprise that two of their products made our list of top picks. Gunnar’s Vayper glasses are one of its most lightweight models to date. The frame, which is made out of a combination of high tensile steel and polymer, is very durable but also flexible enough to allow you to adjust the temples to your face shape without cracking or breaking them. The nose bridges are similarly adjustable.
The Vayper’s temples rest slightly above the ear to minimize any interference with over-the-ear headphones and headsets. The lenses sharply cut down on screen glare caused by other lights in the room while also increasing the contrast between colors to make objects look more crisp and clear. The lenses do have a slight magnification, which could be a pro or a con depending on your vision needs. They block 65 percent of harmful blue light along with 100 percent of UV rays to help prevent eye strain.
One of the main drawbacks of these glasses is that the lenses are on the narrower side, so they don’t completely encase your peripheral vision. That could take some getting used to if you don’t regularly wear glasses.
Best for Glasses Wearers: LifeArt Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Why It Made The Cut: These blue-light blocking glasses have an extensive range of magnification options, making them our top choice for people who already wear prescription glasses.
— Dimensions: 6.3 x 6.3 x 6.3 inches
— Magnified lenses
— Flexible TR90 resin frames
— Wide range of magnification options
— Lightweight frames
— Minimal color distortion
— Thick frames
— Subpar blue-light filtering
LifeArt’s gaming glasses pull double duty: They reflect and filter blue light while also helping regular glasses wearers see more clearly without having to shell out for a pricey prescription pair. These glasses come in a range of magnification options from +0.25 up to +6.0 diopters (a unit of measurement for the optical power of a lens; the higher the number, the greater its magnification). For reference, reading glasses you can buy in any drugstore typically range from about +0.75 to +3.0 diopters.
Reducing eye strain hinges on more than just blocking out blue light alone: Most people don’t even realize they’ve been squinting to read their computer screen until that telltale ache starts pounding at their temples.
The lenses themselves are fairly clear with only a slight tint, which minimizes noticeable color distortion. However, this clarity comes at a cost, as it limits the percentage of blue light the lenses are able to filter out, making them comparatively less effective than other gaming glasses. Still, several testimonials from verified buyers said these lenses helped keep their eyes from getting tired and achy after working at a computer all day. The design of these glasses isn’t understated by any means, so some players may find the chunky frames too large for their face shape.
Best for Streamers: Gunnar Lightning Bolt 360 Gaming Glasses
Why It Made The Cut: Gunnar’s Lightning Bolt 360 gaming glasses have a modular design with interchangeable lenses, nose pieces, and temples to rest comfortably under all manner of gaming headsets and over-the-ear headphones.
— Dimensions: 7 x 3 x 2 inches
— Interchangeable parts
— Lightning bolt temple design
— Filters blue light and UV rays
— Modular design
— Comfortable to wear with headphones
— For both indoor and outdoor use
— Slight tint
One of the best ways to grow a following on live streaming platforms like Twitch is to stream often and have a consistent schedule, but that can leave your eyes with precious little time to recover before they’re back in front of a monitor for hours on end. Gunnar’s Lightning Bolt 360 glasses are specifically designed so that over-the-ear headphones and headsets don’t smush them uncomfortably against your face while you’re playing, making them a great addition to any streaming setup.
The glasses have a modular design and come with two interchangeable lenses, three nose bridges, and three temples to mix and match for a customized fit. One of the temple options resembles a lightning bolt (hence the name) so that it rests slightly above your ear. Typical lenses have temples that rest directly on top of your ear, so any headphones or headsets worn over top of them will press your ear directly into it, which can become uncomfortable over time. With Gunnar’s lightning bolt design, that pressure is more evenly dispersed so you can wear them with headphones more comfortably and for longer periods.
As for the two lens options, Gunnar advertises that its amber lenses block 65 percent of blue light to help prevent eye strain and limit glare while its sun lenses convert the Lightning Bolt 360 into a pair of sunglasses. Both options offer 100 percent protection from harmful UV rays and have a noticeable tint.
Best for Eye Strain: Horus X Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Why It Made The Cut: Of all the glasses we reviewed, these from Horus X have some of the strongest blue light filters you’ll find at this price point, so they’re our top choice for relieving eye strain.
— Dimensions: 5.28 x 5.71 x 1.57 inches
— Blue light and UV filtering
— Anti-reflective lenses
— Superior blue light filters
— Durable frame
— Heavy tint
These gaming glasses from Horus X come with amber-tinted lenses that filter out more than 86 percent of blue light with wavelengths between 380 and 450 nanometers (for reference, experts believe blue light with a wavelength around 430 nanometers is most responsible for causing symptoms of digital eye strain). They also offer broad-spectrum UV protection, blocking out 100 percent of harmful UV A, B, and C rays.
This protection comes at the cost of a noticeable yellow tint, unfortunately. That may be a small price to pay, as a slew of verified buyers said these glasses helped relieve eye strain, fatigue, and headaches from staring at a computer monitor all day.
These frames are made out of polycarbonate, a material that’s more lightweight and less likely to crack or shatter than plastic, which allows them to be super thin and light without sacrificing durability. The glasses also feature similarly durable lenses that come with an anti-reflective and anti-scratch coating.
Best Value: Feiyold Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Why It Made The Cut: Feiyold’s offers two pairs of its blue-light-blocking glasses for the price of one, and their lenses filter out as much blue light as more expensive options.
— Dimensions: 6.38 x 2.83 x 2.17 inches
— Filters blue light and UV rays
— Array of styles
— Strong blue light filters
— Comes in several styles
— Low color distortion
— Thick frames
— Not adjustable
If you’re still on the fence about whether blue-light-blocking glasses are worth getting, Feiyold bundles two glasses for less than the price of a single pair from many of its competitors. Feiyold says its glasses block out harmful blue light to keep your eyes relaxed while you’re staring at screens all day, helping to prevent fatigue and eye strain. These glasses also feature UV protection, have almost no tint, and come in a much wider array of colors than other glasses we found.
There are a few drawbacks worth noting, though. These glasses have an oversized, retro design that may not be to everyone’s taste. As for fit, many reviewers said the glasses felt relatively lightweight and remained comfortable even after several hours of wear, though unfortunately there’s no way to adjust the position of the temples or swap out the nose piece.
Things to Consider Before Buying Gaming Glasses
Trying to find the right frames can feel overwhelming. Here’s what you should keep in mind when shopping for the best gaming glasses to suit your needs.
How You’ll Wear Them: Do you plan on wearing your gaming glasses under a headset or headphones? On average, how long will you be wearing them? Do you want a pair that will double as sunglasses for outdoor use? Questions like these will help you narrow down your options to those with features that you’ll use the most.
Other Glasses You Wear: If you wear glasses on a day-to-day basis, you’ll want to look out for gaming glasses that come with magnification built into the lenses. Filtering out blue light can only help your eyes so much if you’re straining to see the screen in the first place. In addition, many manufacturers also offer versions of their products with prescription-strength lenses for a higher cost.
Style: Just like with regular glasses, gaming glasses come in an extensive range of shapes, sizes, and designs, from chunky hipster frames to sleek, futuristic-looking styles. Some manufacturers, like Gunnar and Horus X, let you try on their products virtually on their websites. When deciding on the right pair, take into consideration what kind of glasses suit your face shape and personal style. If you already have a pair of glasses or sunglasses that you really like, try to find gaming glasses with a similar design.
Q: Do gaming glasses really work?
The effects of prolonged exposure to blue light on our eyes is a subject the scientific community continues to research, so it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how bad staring at the glow of your gadgets can be. Blue light itself isn’t inherently harmful; our single largest source of exposure is the sun. But studies suggest that the specific wavelengths of blue light emitted from our devices can disrupt our body’s circadian rhythm, aka our natural wake and sleep cycles. Too much before you go to bed can throw that cycle out of whack, making it harder to fall asleep or get restful sleep. Regardless, experts do agree that concentrating on a single, bright source of light that’s just a few inches from your eyes for hours on end, i.e. a phone or computer screen, can lead to digital eye strain, symptoms of which include headaches, fatigue, and blurry vision. Gaming glasses reduce the impact of prolonged screen time on your eyes by toning down the brightness and filtering blue light to make it appear more warm-toned, because warmer lights have longer wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum.
Q: Can gaming glasses have prescription lenses?
Yes, you can get gaming glasses with lenses that match your existing glasses or contact prescription. Granted, these options typically cost significantly more than their non-prescription counterparts, starting at around $100 on average.
Q: Can you wear gaming glasses all day?
There’s currently no suggested limit for how long you should wear gaming glasses. But to avoid eye strain, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that for every 20 minutes of screentime, you take a break to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Getting a pair of gaming glasses is something to consider if you routinely find that your eyes feel sore and tired after an hours-long play session (sure, you’re supposed to be taking breaks, but we all know that doesn’t always happen). Any glasses from Gunnar are a solid option to consider. Their Vayper gaming glasses are our top pick because they combine a lot of our favorite features from other competitors—magnification, adjustability, and strong blue light filters—in one pair of lenses.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.