The biggest difference between plastic and glass lenses is the material. Glass lenses are made from a solid piece of glass, while plastic is a polymer that’s molded into a lens shape. So based on whether you have doctor prescribed discount frames glasses, or you have them for fashion, you may have a glass or a molded plastic lens.

The main advantage of glass

The main advantage of glass is its durability. It won’t scratch as easily as plastic, which means it can last longer than lenses made from other materials.

Plastic has several benefits over glass lenses:

  • It’s lighter than glass, which makes it more comfortable to wear.
  • It has better optical clarity than glass, so you can see through it more clearly.

Plastic is also less expensive than glass lenses, making them more affordable for people who need prescription glasses but don’t have insurance coverage or the money to pay out of pocket.

But how do you tell if your eyeglass lenses are made of plastic or glass?

How to Distinguish Between Glass and Plastic Lenses

If you have ever wondered what the difference is between plastic and glass lenses, the answer is both simple and complex.

Plastic lenses are lighter than glass, which can make them more comfortable for the wearer to wear. They are also more durable than glass, but less scratch-resistant. While plastic eyeglasses are not as strong as their glass counterparts, they are much easier to replace if damaged.

If you’re wondering how to tell whether your eyeglasses are made of plastic or glass lenses, there are a few things to look for:

Slightly tap the lens with a small metal object

If it is made of glass, it will make a sound that is similar to tapping on a window. If it is plastic, it will make no noise when tapped. So, if you hear nothing, then your lenses are probably made of plastic.

Touch the lens to feel for temperature

Glass lenses tend to feel colder than plastic ones. Plastics tend to be warmer in temperature than glass, so if you can feel heat when touching the lens then chances are good that it is made from plastic.

Check for any Scratches or cracks in the lens material

If there are scratches on the lens surface then there is a good chance that they are made from plastic instead of glass because scratches and cracks can easily occur during manufacturing and shipping processes. On the other hand, a scratch-resistant glass lens material does not scratch as easily as other materials like plastics do during these processes due to its naturally hard feature.

Inquire from an Optician

You can also ask your optician directly about the material used to make your frames. They should be able to tell you whether they’re made of plastic or glass without much trouble at all.


The main reason why knowing the material used in the manufacture of your eyeglass lenses is important is that you will need to know how to handle it specifically based on its fragility. A glass lens, for example, should not be cleaned with any solution to avoid staining.

A plastic lens, on the other hand, should not be washed in hot water because it will warp or become tainted with steam. So, whatever material is used for your glasses lens, it will aid in the maintenance of the eyeglasses. As a result, you should feel free to ask the optician about the same.


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