The 14 Best Bifocal Safety Glasses

Workplace safety has come a long way and today’s protective gear combines technology with high-tech materials to protect workers like never before. This is especially true of protective eyewear, namely safety glasses, as stringent safety standards require that they meet certain thresholds for impact resistance and other airborne hazards like chemical splashes.

But what if you are among the millions of people who are unable to see close-up objects clearly? Switching between safety glasses and reading glasses while on the job or in the midst of a task is not only inconvenient but potentially dangerous as well. Fortunately, with new technological developments in protective eyewear, bifocal safety glasses are now widely available and easier than ever to obtain. 

This definitive guide to the best bifocal safety glasses will help you wade through the myriad of options that are currently available to find the best choice for your safety and optical needs, whether in the workplace or at play.

Bifocal Safety Glasses – What You Need to Know

Recent figures show that nearly 2,000 workers suffer eye injuries in the workplace, requiring medical attention each day. Of these, an estimated 90% could have been avoided by simply wearing proper eye protection such as safety glasses, which goes to show that state-of-the-art eye protection is of no value if it is not being worn. 

Why Does Anyone Need Bifocal Safety Glasses?

For many occupations and tasks, protective eyewear is an absolute must. But there are instances when they must be removed, such as to switch to reading glasses in order to read fine print or to view intricate details or small objects. 

Reading glasses do not provide any significant measure of eye protection, and thus the risk of eye injury is elevated when they are worn in the place of safety glasses.

In the workplace or during certain activities, the risk of eye injury is so inherent, or the potential degree of injury so great, that even a moment of exposure should be avoided.

Presbyopia and the Need for Bifocals

According to the National Eye Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health), more than 150 million Americans suffer from some form of vision impairment. 

Among these, the condition known as presbyopia – or difficulty seeing things up close – is very common among people over the age of 40. The issue is most commonly with smaller typefaces and things that have intricate details. The “quick fix” can be reading glasses, but for those who have an additional vision impairment such as nearsightedness, wearing bifocals is often necessary.

With magnifiers molded directly into the safety lenses, bifocal safety glasses are the ideal solution for situations requiring elevated eye protection and the enhanced close-up vision provided by the reading lenses.

The 14 Best Bifocal Safety Glasses

Choosing the right bifocal safety glasses depends on a variety of factors, but the ones that will play into most decisions are:

  • Protection level (an indication of the eyewear’s resistance to impact as established by various standards, the foremost being ANSI)
  • Magnifier lens strength (this is usually measured or indicated by “diopters (Add value),” which are basically degrees of magnification)
  • Comfort level (the features offered by the manufacturer that enhance comfort and/or extend the length of time that the eyewear can be worn comfortably)
  • Price (with the prevalence and widespread availability of bifocal safety glasses, purchasing a high-quality pair is more affordable than ever)

With these important considerations in mind, here are the 14 best bifocal safety glasses:


3M is a Fortune 500 company known for its innovative products (of which there are currently over 60,000) that are used across countless industries, including medical, pharmaceutical, and aerospace, just to name a few. 

In recent years 3M has come to be known for its innovative and reliable lines of personal protective equipment (PPE), and included among these is its stylish Nuvo Reader safety glasses.

FRAME MATERIALThermoplastic polyurethane 
LENS MATERIALClear polycarbonate
UV PROTECTION99.9% absorption 
EXTRA FEATURESRemovable side shieldsAdjustable temple pieces

The 3M Nuvo Reader safety glasses feature a unique construction by which the two lenses are molded into a single piece but have the appearance of traditional eyewear. 

With its signature retro styling, the 3M Nuvo bifocal safety glasses not only provide top-tier protection in a wide range of workplaces, but it is also a sleek, thoughtfully designed alternative to traditionally bulky safety eyewear.


Carhartt is a Michigan-based apparel manufacturer that specializes in work clothes and gear for outdoor activities like hunting and fishing. In the mold of its clothing lines, the Carhartt Braswell bifocal safety glasses are straightforward and highly functional with ANSI- and CSA-rated impact resistance and seamlessly integrated reader lenses for close-up viewing.

LENS MATERIALPolycarbonate
EXTRA FEATURESAnti-fog coatingScratch-resistant lenses

With the wearer’s extended comfort in mind, the Braswell’s rubberized nosepiece (fits over the bridge of the nose) is adjustable while the temples (the arms which extend out from the main frame and go over the ears) feature ratcheting technology, which allows these bifocal safety glasses to securely fit a broad range of facial widths.


Dewalt is a well-known brand from Stanley Black & Decker specializing in power tools and hardware. Its Reinforcer bifocal safety glasses are among the highest-rated (average 4.6 stars out of 5.0) protective eyewear, and for a good reason. 

The highly flexible rubber frame ensures a good fit for nearly all head sizes, while the scratch-resistant, gray-tinted bifocal lenses provide high-impact protection with distortion-free clarity. Rubber temple pads with an integrated handgrip texture provide an assured fit to tackle any job or task without sacrificing comfort.

LENS MATERIALPolycarbonate
READING LENS DIOPTER(S)+ 1.5, + 2.0, + 2.5
UV PROTECTION99.9% absorption
EXTRA FEATURESScratch-resistant lensesThis model features tinted lenses only

With its signature black frames with yellow trim (the same colorway as the Dewalt power tool lines), the Reinforcer bifocal safety glasses have a built-in fanbase through Dewalt’s vast tool offerings, but these are high-quality protective eyewear in their own right. 


From a safety standpoint, specifically, impact resistance, there may be no better choice than the Elvex RX500 bifocal safety glasses. The ANSI Z87+ rating is the universally accepted standard for indicating the impact resistance of protective eyewear. Any eyewear bearing this mark has been subjected to extensive testing and stringent requirements to earn the ANSI Z87 designation.

The RX500 standard, however, satisfies the military ballistic standard of MIL-PRF-31013, which is a standard that is an astounding four times the impact rating of ANSI Z87 and is typically reserved for high-end eye protection gear that would be used in activities or conditions presenting a high to an extreme level of risk or danger.

LENS MATERIALPolycarbonate 
SAFETY RATINGMIL-PRF-31013 (military ballistic standard)Exceeds ANSI Z87.1-2010Exceeds CE EN-166
UV PROTECTION99% absorption 
EXTRA FEATURESNeck leash included 

Safety features aside, the RX500 bifocal safety glasses also have structural elements designed for comfort, including padded nose and temple pads for a secure fit. The magnification portion of each safety lens is a generous two inches (50 mm), which results in less eye strain when switching back and forth between near and far vision.


Gateway Safety’s Conquerer line of bifocal safety glasses is a family of protective eyepieces that offers a wide and diverse range of products that are bound to have an ideal option for everyone. Diopter strengths range from + 1.0 to + 3.0, and lens choices include clear, tinted, mirrored, and even amber for low light conditions. 

With so many options (there are more than 20 lens and reader strength combinations to choose from) these bifocal safety glasses are suitable for just about any environment, whether for work or play.

READING LENS DIOPTER(S)+ 1.0, + 1.5, + 2.0, + 2.5, + 3.0
UV PROTECTION99.99% absorption UVA, UVB, and UVC
EXTRA FEATURESAnti-fog coating availableScratch-resistant lensesNeck lanyard included

Comfort-related features include rubber nose pieces and contoured temples that flex to fit a wide range of head shapes and sizes. The removable neck lanyard ensures that these bifocal safety glasses are always available in moments of need.


Global Vision’s Contender bifocal safety glasses feature 1.5 diopter reader lenses integrated into ANSI-rated safety lenses that provide wraparound eye protection. The lightweight nylon frame flexes where it needs to and includes an adjustable rubber nose piece and soft temple pads to ensure a secure fit regardless of the activity or task at hand.

LENS MATERIALPolycarbonate
EXTRA FEATURESAnti-fog coatingScratch-resistant lenses

Weighing just under an ounce, the Contender bifocal safety glasses can be comfortably worn all day but are rugged enough to withstand the rigors of use in industrial settings, with anti-scratch coatings applied to both sides of the lenses.


Lincoln Electric is a brand that is very well-known (and liked) by anyone whose occupation or hobbies involve welding so it should come as no surprise that its bifocal safety glasses are a popular choice among those seeking eye protection with integrated reader lenses. 

FRAME MATERIALRubberized plastic
LENS MATERIALPolycarbonate
READING LENS DIOPTER(S)+ 1.0, + 1.5, + 2.0, + 2.5
UV PROTECTION99% protection
EXTRA FEATURESAnti-scratch coating on lensesBuilt-in side shields for full coverage

The adjustable nosepiece and rubber temple pads ensure a secure, non-slip fit, and weighing just over an ounce, they are light enough to wear all day. From an eye protection standpoint, the ANSI rated lenses feature curved, wraparound shaping to fully protect each eye, while fully integrated side shields provide side coverage against potential hazards.


The Magid Y50 series bifocal safety glasses are high-performance, unisex protective eyewear that is suitable for various types of workplace activities and is designed to be worn indoors and outdoors. With retro-style frames that are available in black or grey, these safety glasses are lightweight (weighing a mere 2.3 ounces) but durable and satisfy the ANSI Z87 standards for impact rating.

FRAME MATERIALThermoplastic polyurethane 
LENS MATERIALClear polycarbonate 
EXTRA FEATURESRemovable side shieldsAnti-fog coating on lenses

Additional lens options include amber for low-light situations and grey for sunny, outdoor work environments. For applications that require heavy screen time (e.g. computers, tablets, handheld devices) there are also blue light blocking lenses.


The ProSPORT Methane bifocal safety glasses are ANSI rated eyewear that is suitable for any industrial application but with their signature yellow-tinted lenses, they are ideal for specialized activities like shooting, driving, and cycling, particularly in low-light conditions. The molded bifocal lenses are nearly undetectable with no visible lines indicating that these safety glasses double as readers.

LENS MATERIALPolycarbonate
READING LENS DIOPTER(S)+ 1.5, + 2.0, + 2.5, + 3.0
EXTRA FEATURESScratch-resistant lenses

Much of the Methane’s extensive design and engineering has gone into making them comfortable for all-day use. The frame’s composite material provides a great deal of flex to eliminate pinching while the rubberized nose piece holds these bifocal safety glasses firm and steady even during the most strenuous of activities.


The Radians C2-110 bifocal safety glasses are a straightforward, no-nonsense offering of protective eyewear that simply gets the job done with little to no fanfare. Fully integrated rubber nose and temple pads ensure a proper fit with minimal slippage while the lightweight, molded frames are suitable for extended wearing under a variety of conditions.

LENS MATERIALPolycarbonate
READING LENS DIOPTER(S)+ 1.0, + 1.5, + 2.0, + 2.5, + 3.0
EXTRA FEATURESSuitable for indoor & outdoor use

Lenses are available in clear or smoky gray finishes in five different diopters. These bifocal safety glasses provide a budget-conscious eyewear solution while providing crucial ANSI-rated protection.


SSP Eyewear’s line of bifocal safety glasses features flexible, lightweight nylon frames that are highly durable, weather-resistant, and equally suited for workplace environments and outdoor recreational activities like shooting, biking, and extreme sports. 

With five different diopter levels to choose from, these bifocal safety glasses can accommodate a wide range of vision needs while providing ANSI Z87+ level protection against potential eye hazards regardless of the activity.

LENS MATERIALPolycarbonate
READING LENS DIOPTER(S)+ 1.25, + 1.5, + 2.0, + 2.5, + 3.0
EXTRA FEATURESAnti-fog coating

The modern wraparound frames are designed to be worn comfortably for extended periods and are available in red, black, and tortoise shell finishes with clear and mirror-tinted lens options. Rubber ear pads are designed to become tacky as they are worn to ensure a secure fit.


While it may be one of the pricier options, the ToolFreak Rebel bifocal safety glasses are the complete package in terms of eye protection, comfort, style, and accessories. The sleek, form-fitting lines of the ToolFreak Rebel are not only stylish with a bold burnt orange colorway but highly functional as well in keeping these bifocal safety glasses firmly perched in a proper position.

FRAME MATERIALMetallic finish 
LENS MATERIALPolycarbonate
EXTRA FEATURESHard case and waterproof pouch Optional neck cord for a more secure fit Scratch-resistant lenses

Designed to provide a full day’s worth of eye protection, the ToolFreak Rebel features wraparound bifocal lenses that offer crystal clear, panoramic visibility for close-up and distant objects alike, while allowing for natural ventilation around the brow. Despite the name these bifocal safety glasses equally well-suited for industrial workers and sporting enthusiasts alike.


From the multinational conglomerate Honeywell comes the Uvex Genesis bifocal safety glasses, which are touted as one of the top-selling models in the world. Its wraparound construction is designed to shield the eyes from workplace hazards including chemical splashes. A built-in brow guard provides facial padding in the event of an impact.

LENS MATERIALPolycarbonate
READING LENS DIOPTER(S)Range from + 1.0 to + 3.0 (5 choices)
EXTRA FEATURESLenses are interchangeableScratch-resistant coating

While the Uvex Genesis 2 bifocal safety glasses are designed with eye protection and close-up vision in mind, they are also thoughtfully fitted with features intended to enhance comfort such as frilled (finger-like) pads that conform to the shape of any nose, and rubberized temples to provide a secure, non-slip fit for even the most active of tasks.


With its sleek, modern design the VoltX Constructor bifocal safety glasses could easily be mistaken for pricey, high-fashion sunglasses. Suitable for a broad range of applications and activities, the Constructor meets or exceeds rigorous European standards for impact resistance and safety.

LENS MATERIALPolycarbonate
SAFETY RATINGCE EN 166F (frame)CE (lens)EU certified for impact
READING LENS DIOPTER(S)+ 1.0, + 1.5, + 2.0, + 2.5, + 3.0
EXTRA FEATURESAnti-fog lens coatingNeck leash included

Unlike most bifocal safety glasses on the market, the VoltX Constructor’s lenses are polarized, so they are particularly well-suited for job sites and locations where sunlight and glare make work or activities more challenging. Fishing (commercial or recreational), driving, sailing, cycling, and shooting are just a few endeavors for which the VoltX Constructor is tailor-made. 

What About Prescription Safety Glasses?

Finding suitable protective eyewear may be more challenging for the millions of workers who not only have difficulty reading close-up things like small print or fine details but are nearsighted as well and therefore require optical assistance to see faraway objects clearly. (After all, this is the most common scenario for bifocal wearers: nearsightedness with presbyopia.)

Fortunately, there are several options that are available for people who fall into this large segment of the population:

Safety Goggles

These are designed to be worn over prescription glasses and are highly effective at providing impact and splash protection. The drawbacks, however, are that they are bulky to wear and because they are largely enclosed, fogging and perspiration are concerns particularly if the safety goggles are worn for extended periods or during strenuous activities.

There are also oversized safety glasses that have the appearance of goggles but have the traditional temple pieces (the arms that go over the ears) and are designed to be worn over prescription glasses. However, wearing what basically amounts to overlapping pairs of glasses seems to be less than ideal in terms of comfort.

Prescription Safety Glasses

Another option is prescription safety glasses that have two optical powers incorporated into the safety lenses, one for close-up vision (the reader lenses) and the other for far-off vision. 

How to Purchase Prescription Safety Glasses

Unlike bifocal safety glasses where the magnifier portion of the protective lens is measured in the same manner as common reading glasses (e.g., diopters or magnification strengths), true prescription safety glasses cannot be purchased as a “stock item”. 

Rather, they must be ordered from a manufacturer who can craft the protective lens with the needed prescription, and in the case of prescription bifocal safety glasses, then add the desired magnifier strength in the bottom portion of the lens for dual optical powers. Typically, the process for ordering prescription safety glasses will involve the following steps:

  • Frame selection – the first step involves selecting the frame much in the same way that prescription eyeglasses are purchased. Many online providers have virtual-reality capability that will place frames you are considering on an image of your face so that you can see how the frames look and fit. But of course nothing beats just putting the safety glasses on your face. Only then you can check if they will fit you comortably over hours.
  • Lens selection – as far as the safety aspect of prescription safety glasses is concerned, this is the stage where the material (e.g., ANSI-rated polycarbonate) is selected. Other lens options include special coatings (e.g., anti-fog, scratch-resistant) and desired tinting such as amber for low light conditions. Polarization of lenses will reduce glare and reflections from sunlight.
  • Measurements – I highly recommend you get your safety glasses from an eye care professional. Of course you can order them online but usually this leads to a less ideal positioning of the optical centers and a compromised anatomical fit. This is definetly not ideal when it comes to your safety. If you want to order it online anyways I wrote an instruction below for you.
  • Prescription upload – the final step in ordering safety glasses with prescription lenses is uploading your prescription. This can be done in several ways, the most coming methods being:
  1. If you have a written eyeglass prescription from your optometrist you can simply enter the values directly on most provider websites
  2. Most providers accept digital copies (e.g., scans or photos) of the written eyeglass prescription sheet
  3. A copy of the written prescription can also be emailed or faxed
  4. If you do not have a copy of your eyeglass prescription many providers can contact your optometrist directly to obtain the needed information

Purchasing prescription safety glasses is a more involved process than selecting a pair of common bifocal safety glasses which basically requires selecting a style and a magnifying strength. But the benefit is immeasurable when combining clear vision with critical eye protection in hazardous situations.

3 Great Prescription Safety Glasses

Here are a few prescription safety glasses options to consider:


3M is one of the world’s largest and most respected manufacturers of PPE and it has an online portal dedicated exclusively to prescription safety glasses. This website offers a virtual fitting room where you can “try on” frames before ordering them (you must upload an image of yourself to do this). 

Through the use of the site’s many filters, visitors can customize their look and add optional features as circumstances may warrant, including:

  • Frame material – choices range from plastic to polycarbonate to metals like stainless steel or even titanium 
  • Side shields – for those seeking peripheral protection, side shields can be affixed to frames
  • Style – rather than browsing through hundreds of frame styles, site visitors can sort frames by style, such as geeky, sporty, or classic
  • Temple – the importance of comfort cannot be overstated and a big part of the comfort equation are the temples, and features like spring hinges and adjustability go a long way toward sustained, pain-free wearability 


The Wiley X brand always had a loyal following but shot to fame thanks to the movie American Sniper in which the protagonist played by Bradley Cooper donned a pair of its sunglasses throughout the film. 

Although technically a manufacturer of high-performance sunglasses, Wiley X has a dedicated team of opticians to convert nearly all of its styles to fill-fledged prescription eyewear.

What qualifies Wiley X sunglasses as safety glasses is the fact that they have undergone the same stringent testing as conventional safety glasses and carry the following certifications:

  • ANSI Z87.1-2003
  • GL-PD MCEP (a military combat standard for eye protection)
  • MIL_PRF-31013 (a military ballistic standard)

Being impact-resistant sunglasses, Wiley X prescription eyewear would only be suitable for outdoor job sites or activities. But as far as performance (and yes, looks too) they may be the gold standard in terms of outdoor eye safety.


Another option for purchasing prescription safety glasses is to go through an online distributor specializing in protective eyewear. RX Safety is not only an online boutique carrying the most reputable brands in the field of safety eyewear, they also operate a full-blown optical lab for crafting lenses and fitting them to selected frames.

Among the advantages offered by RX Safety as far as prescription safety glasses are: 

  • Variety. The wide variety of prescription safety glasses, in terms of manufacturers, price points, frame materials and features. 
  • Range of styles. Plenty of options in frame styles (10), face shapes (4), and colors (24), for true personalization of prescription safety glasses
  • Different ratings. Prescription safety glasses categorized by safety rating types (of which there are six to choose from)

What is the ANSI Z87 Standard?

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is the preeminent governing body that accredits national standards applying to products and practices across thousands of industries. One of its primary roles is establishing standards with respect to safety equipment. 

The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) is a national organization whose members and governing board are comprised of representatives from member companies and organizations (manufacturers, distributors, testing labs, and others) who ensure transparency and accountability in the development of standards pertaining to particular products.

In the case of protective eyewear the applicable safety standard is known as ANSI/ISEA Z87 will show that the eyewear has passed certain safety testing standards in various category, such as:

  • Impact testing
  • Non-ionizing radiation
  • Liquid splash exposure

Of all the ratings advertised and touted by protective eyewear manufacturers, the ANSI family of standards are the most widely used and respected.


Bifocal safety glasses are essential for people engaged in potentially hazardous activities, be they occupational or recreational in nature, where safeguarding against eye injuries and maintaining peak vision quality are equally important. What bifocal safety glasses mean for their wearers is unimpaired vision when it matters most, without sacrificing even a moment of critical eye protection.

The protection is highest when the perfect fit is established in combination with the optimal materials. This is why I can only recommend getting your safety bifocal glasses from a professional. I as an optician for example first need to talk to an safety engineer who sets certain criterias for me to select the safety glasses.

I wish you a great day.

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