I wore wooden frames for a couple of years and worked with frames from Wood Fellas, Rolf Spectacles and WooDone in my optical shop. So I know a thing or two after gathering experience with wooden frames for glasses. After reading this article you will know what is good and what is bad about those frames and if they are an option for you.
Do Wooden Frames Break More Easily Compared To Normal Glasses?
Wooden frames do break more easily compared to normal stainless steel or plastic (acetate frames). If you are careful with your glasses there will be no issue.
However, during the day it sometimes happens that someone hugs you a bit more hearty or the glasses slip through your fingers and fall on the ground. I think this is something every spectacle wearer experiences at some point in her life. And after those situations, oftentimes little cracks in one of the inlays come up.
The problem with a little crack is that the structure of the frame is not the same as it was before. In a lot of cases, wearers of wooden frames experience skewed form factor because of a little crack. And as the parts of natural eyewear have their own color you can not expect to get the same color on the spare part.
I personally wore a wooden frame from WooDone and Woodfellas for approximately two years. I never had an issue with them although my daughter sometimes grabbed them. It was never a problem.
I also wore them during my sessions in the gym. With other frames, I had issues with coatings but even after a year, there were no signs whatsoever of wearing. However, that was only my experience as a user of wooden frames. With customers and my colleagues on the workbench of the optical shop, I am working the experience was another one.
During the moment when the lenses got fitted to the frames, they broke a lot more. The wooden inlays are very delicate and customers in some cases broke the frames multiple times. Especially when they are made mostly out of wood this happened pretty often.
A lot of companies nowadays fixed this issue by building other materials like carbon fiber or titanium in the wooden frame. The frames still look like they are 100% made out of wood but they do not break as fast.
This was the question I get asked most in the shop when it comes to wooden frames.
Are Wooden Frames for Glasses Worth It?
Yes, they are. Wood is a great material and if the extra bucks do not matter that much to you for the higher price and when it breaks when you have to replace them buy them.
In most cases, they are very light. Those models for example in the picture below only weigh 14 grams. That is really comfy during the day and wood in most cases feels better on your skin compared to plastic frames. That is what I can say after wearing those frames for a longer time and this is what my customers say too oftentimes.
I loved them. But after a while, I just switched back to normal frames. This is what most buyers of wooden glasses do. For a while, it is really cool but there are definitely some things that are a little nerve-wracking with wooden frames like how to clean them.
How Do You Clean Wooden Frames?
In most cases, you can clean wooden frames with a wet microfiber cloth or a dry microfibre. This oftentimes leads to a little more dirt accumulating over time on the lenses and in the space between the lens and the frame. Oftentimes you are advised to not use soaps the wooden surface could be damaged over time. So it is easier to clean normal plastic frames or metal ones.
Adjustment of Wooden Frames
In most cases when the frames are completely made out of wood there is barely any adjustment possible. So wooden frames need to fit really well right from the moment you try them on for the first time.
Some of them have nose pads and or plastic temple tips. But in a lot of cases, they have none of that. And this of course makes a fine adjustment impossible.
Why Do They Have To Be So Clunky?
Especially during the early days of wooden frames, they were definitely more clunky compared to normal frames but today they can be thinner too. But when they are thinner in most cases you won’t get the ones that are made out of wood only. They are probably a hybrid which I would recommend anyway.
How Much Do Wooden Frames Cost?
The cost of a wooden frame is dependent on the manufacturer and the model. In most cases, wooden frames start at 250$ and go up to 900$.