Ray-Ban’s sunglasses are popular for a reason – here’s why they’re worth the money, plus our favorite pairs

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Ray Ban

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If a company has been thriving for years, it’s safe to say they probably make pretty good stuff. Ray-Ban has been making functional and cool eyewear since 1937. Today, the brand still offers some of the best sunglasses on the market. Here, we lay out why we love these sunglasses and answer frequently asked questions about the brand.

What kind of UV protection do Ray-Ban sunglasses provide?

While sunglasses have become a fashion accessory all on their own, at the core of it, they’re made to protect your eyes. Every pair of Ray-Bans delivers on this front. All Ray-Ban lenses have UV protection, but the exact level varies among the types of lenses. Here’s what Ray-Ban offers:

  • Classic lenses absorb 85% of visible light and block most blue light while providing a “natural vision” because they don’t alter the colors you see around you.
  • Mirrored lenses reduce glare for visual comfort near snow and water. Colors look clearer and brighter.
  • Polarized lenses block more than 99% of reflected light around you, eliminate glares, and enhance contrast. Everything looks clearer and brighter.

Does Ray-Ban offer prescription lenses?

Another great feature from Ray-Ban is the ability to get prescription lenses. Choose from a wide range of classic Ray-Ban frames and make them yours with custom prescription lenses. You can even make them polarized.

Of course, nice lenses need to be complemented by equally nice frames, and luckily, Ray-Ban has those, too. You can find high-quality metal and acetate options in small, standard, or large sizes to get the perfect fit. A majority of Ray-Ban customers go for the standard size, but if you’re on the fence, you can check out the brand’s size guide.

The high-quality frames, protective lenses, and just-right fit make Ray-Bans equal parts performance and fashion. That means they’re just as fit for a leisurely day on the town as an active day on the water, in the snow, or wherever you like to go.

What kind of sunglasses does Ray-Ban make?

From the iconic to the contemporary, Ray-Ban has a strong selection of stylish pairs fit for every face. You’ll probably recognize Ray-Ban’s three most classic pairs: The Aviator, The Wayfarer, and The Clubmaster. While eyewear trends come and go, these three pairs are classics. Insider Reviews social media associate Victoria Gracie swears by her Ray-Ban Clubmasters. “In the past,” she said, “I’ve had trouble finding sunglasses that fit my face well, but Ray-Ban’s Clubmasters seem to do the trick. The quality is also top-notch – I’m not as careful as I should be with my Ray-Bans, but they’re still in pristine condition, and the mirrored lenses don’t even show any scratches.”

In fact, the Aviators and Clubmasters have even earned spots in our guides to the best women’s sunglasses, best men’s sunglasses, and best polarized sunglasses – they’re that good. In the rare event that you don’t see a pair you like, you can even design your own pair from scratch.

Our personal favorite Ray-Bans

woman wearing a pair of ray ban sunglasses in front of the colosseum in Rome
Style and beauty editor Ashley Phillips wearing a pair of round Ray-Ban sunglasses in Rome.

Erika Classic (small)

Personal Finance Insider reporter Liz Kneuven has both prescription and regular Ray-Bans. She credits her love for the Erika sunglasses ($153) to the unique shape that’s slightly round but still angular. “Before those glasses got really popular, it was hard to find anything that shape. They’re just so flattering,” she says. “For me, it’s all about the shape. I’ve owned and shopped for several pairs of nice sunglasses, but I’ve never been able to find any other round-ish ones that complimented my face shape like the Ray-Ban Erikas do.”

The Round Metal sunglasses ($161) are by far my favorite Ray-Bans, and truthfully, my favorite sunglasses ever. I’m already on my second pair. Inspired by musicians in the 1960s, the style is just retro enough. They’re understated but universally flattering, and they edge up pretty much any outfit I wear. Whether it’s a sundress and sandals or ripped jeans and a plain white T-shirt, the gold frame and dark green lenses on these match everything. While they are a little pricey, I feel like I’ve gotten more than my money’s worth of wear. Plus, I’d rather pay a little extra for comfort, quality, and the peace of mind that my eyes are actually protected from the sun.

Style and beauty editor Ashley Phillips is also a fan of the Round Metal sunglasses. “I like how these have a cool retro feel, but at the same time they go with basically everything. And even though the wire frame looks delicate, I’ve owned this pair for years and it’s still in great shape.”

How much do Ray-Bans cost?

The range of prices you’ll come across when shopping for sunglasses is huge. You could pick up a pair for five bucks at the local bodega or drop over $500 on a pair from your favorite designer label. Ray-Ban falls pretty central on the spectrum, with pairs starting around $150 and going up to about $500 for ones made with an ultra-light titanium frame.

With Ray-Ban, you know you’re getting quality lenses and durable frames that can keep up with you through whatever activities your day brings. Cheap sunglasses are a great way to try out new trends without spending too much money, but many pairs are more fun than functional and don’t offer enough UV protection. On the other hand, just because a pair of sunglasses is very expensive that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a higher quality UV protection. You may be paying more for the designer label. I’ve spent more than $150 on sunglasses from other brands and was ultimately disappointed at how they (barely) blocked the sun from my eyes. From these experiences, I’ve decided that $150 on a pair of Ray-Bans is actually pretty fair – just do your best not to lose them.

If you’re looking for a pair of Ray-Bans with prescription lenses, you may also be able to receive reimbursement from your insurance company. Both Ray-Ban and retailers like GlassesUSA accept several types of insurance plans.

A close-up of the Ray-Ban round metal sunglasses
A close-up of the Round Metal sunglasses ($161).

The bottom line

Ray-Ban is a heritage brand, and for good reason. They’ve stayed true to the classics, but have also managed to keep up with the trends without losing sight of their brand. The end result is a brand with universal appeal that everyone from your younger brother to your best friend to your grandma will be proud to rock. Whether you’re a Ray-Bans loyalist, or new to the brand, it’s definitely a great place to pick up your next pair of sunglasses.

Shop all sunglasses at Ray-Ban.

Shop Ray-Ban sunglasses at GlassesUSA.

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The 7 best places to buy women’s sunglasses, and the 28 best shades to shop

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  • Sunglasses double as a fun fashion statement and protective eyewear.
  • Investing in a quality pair will be long-lasting and less prone to break, like cheaper options may.
  • Below, see advice from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) on selecting effective, protective frames.

Whether you’re someone who believes in a wardrobe of shades, or you’re a loyalist who wears the same pair every day, you can’t underestimate the importance of a solid pair of sunglasses. While eye protection is a priority, the style of your shades should match your own personal style. From classic circles to slightly-trendier squares, there’s a wide array of retailers boasting unique designs.

Here’s what to look for when shopping for sunglasses:

  • They block 100% UV rays: Though the style can make or break sunglasses, protection should take precedence. AAO says this is the most important factor when selecting a pair.
  • They are relatively big: Big frames may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but additional coverage can help to prevent sun damage inflicted on the eyes. Pay special attention to wraparound-style glasses, AAO notes, that block some UV rays from entering from the sides.
  • They are durable: Look closely at the temples on both sides, as well as the formation of the screw and hinges. You may have to get certain frames adjusted, but make sure they are of good quality.
  • They are comfortable: Comfort is key, so you want to take note of how they feel at the bridge of your nose. Some sunglasses have nose pads for extra support, though some people may find slight pressure to their nose uncomfortable. Find a pair that you can wear for hours.

Keeping shopping notes in mind, we rounded up the best places to buy sunglasses so your elegant eyewear will last you throughout the warmer months for years on end. And while this guide specifically calls out sunglasses marketed for women, we think anyone should feel free to wear any type of sunglasses, regardless of gender or how it’s labeled.

Here are the best places to buy women’s sunglasses in 2021:

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Ray-Ban

Ray Ban

Ray-Ban has been a favorite retailer of sunglasses for years, thanks to its classic frame shapes and great customer service. 

Ray-Ban has been a big name in the sunglass business for over 80 years, and they’re still credited with making some of the best glasses today. They come in a variety of styles, honoring timeless classics like the Aviators, as well as frames inspired by modern trends. Ray-Ban also offers most glasses in a variety of sizes, so you can get a perfect fit for your face.

All Ray-Ban lenses have UV protection, so they’re as functional as they are fashionable. You can choose from classic, mirrored, or polarized lenses. All offer different levels of UV protection and come in a variety of colors. 

Many members on the Insider Reviews team swear by their Ray-Bans for their flattering styles and high-quality, durable frames that last for years. You can bet that if you choose to spend the money on a pair of Ray-Bans, it’s an investment you’ll have for a long time. — Remi Rosmarin

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Under Armour

underarmour

Under Armour has an athletic appeal to its sunglasses, which are specifically designed for golfing and other activewear outside.

Much like their workout tanks and leggings, performance is a key player in Under Armour‘s shades. Many of the brand’s glasses feature “multiflection” coatings on the lenses, which helps guard against scratches and smudges if they are dropped. Plus, the coating protects against intense sunlight, which is great for long outdoor workouts. 

A great option is the Getaway Mirror Sunglasses, with an adjustable nose pad to help customize the fit. Other great options are the brand’s Glimpse RL Polarized Mirror Lens and Golf Octane Sunglasses. Both are intentionally designed for outdoor wear by eliminating glare without color distortion. Under Armour offers a lifetime warranty, too, should anything go awry.

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MVMT

MVMT

MVMT sells modern, comfortable shades that are as timeless as the brand’s popular watches.

MVMT is popularly known for its line of simple, yet sleek watches — and its wide array of sunglasses are equally stylish. 

The Rival pair, in particular, is one to consider. Featuring sleek round frames and a tortoiseshell design, it’s no surprise this 1950s-inspired model is one of the brand’s bestsellers. The pair is crafted with comfortability and durability in mind, too, with a green lens color that provides a subtle flair to typical eyewear. 

Another top pick is the Nightowl — a truly trendy pair. The stainless steel brow bar really pops, giving you a modern twist on a classic Aviator style. 

The Ace Sunglasses, a black option with gray lenses, channel the sleek style MVMT is known for, They are mid-sized and provide a sure level of comfort and durability, too. And for all of its sunglasses, MVMT offers a two-year limited warranty on any defects, which just sweetens the deal. 

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Warby Parker

Warby Parker

For stylish, anti-glare sunglasses that you can try before you buy, Warby Parker is the place to shop.

Warby Parker has been making budget-friendly eyewear since 2010, and the brand’s focus on quality and affordability make them a true standout. Unlike other retailers, Warby Parker allows you to choose up to five frames to try for five days before you buy them. Find a pair you love, and the brand will send you a brand new pair — they’ll even add your prescription.

All of Warby Parker’s sunglasses feature anti-scratch and anti-glare coatings at no extra cost, which certainly will help you keep the sun at bay. An eye-catching piece is the Delaney, a unique blend of rose gold and medium brown in a chic style. 

Warby Parker‘s “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” pledge is another reason to shop this brand. With this program, Warby Parker will donate a pair of glasses to someone in need with every purchase of a pair of prescription glasses or sunglasses. That way, you can feel as good as you look. 

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ShopBop

shopbop

For a sweet splurge on sunglasses, Shopbop has you covered with brands like Saint Laurent, Gucci, and Prada.

Shopbop is one of my favorite places to shop because the curation of products is on point season after season. 

If you’re looking to splurge on a pair of sunglasses, Shopbop has more than enough options to excite your shopping senses. The online store has a dedicated designer sunglass boutique where you can find eyewear from brands like Prada, Gucci, and Saint Laurent. 

Whether it’s timeless styles or on-trend frames, Shopbop has them all. They also have a host of more affordable options from brands like Quay and Le Specs if that’s what you’re looking for. 

One of my favorite things about Shopbop is that you can sign in with your Amazon account and get all of the Prime benefits with your Shopbop order — that means free, speedy two-day shipping and free returns. On top of that, Shopbop offers outfit ideas with every product, including sunglasses. You can choose to “shop the look” at the bottom of the page and find some great inspiration for clothing pairings. For high-end sunglasses and a style-first experience, you can’t go wrong with Shopbop. — Remi Rosmarin, commerce reporter

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GlassesUSA

GlassesUSA

GlassesUSA has a slew of options, including designer frames, that allow you to customize your perfect pair of sunglasses.

GlassesUSA provides a bevy of eyewear options, yet its sunglasses really stand apart. Offering designer sunglasses, like Ray-Ban, along with prescription frames and sports options, they have a pair for every need and lifestyle imaginable.

Conveniently, GlassesUSA makes customizing sunglasses accessible. Just upload your prescription, choose your insurance provider, and have fun adding cute finds to your shopping cart. There is also a 100% money-back guarantee when ordering from GlassesUSA, so it’s not only a great hub to try out new trends, 

A sharp choice is the Tom Ford TF606, featuring full-rimmed round frames with adjustable nose pads for a customized fit. The Amelia E. Kristy and Ottoto Damiano pairs, on the other hand, offer the oversized look AAO recommends for receiving enough UV ray protection — and are also happen to be super stylish. 

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Costa Del Mar

costa womens sunglasses

Costa Del Mar has an array of options that are sustainable, don’t distort color, and are perfect for water activities.

If you’re looking for sustainable shades, Costa Del Mar is your one-stop-shop for designs made from recycled and eco-friendly materials. And, the sunglasses are of high quality — there are at least eight people who inspect each pair before it ships. We were blown away in our review of the brand.

For each pair, the hinges are corrosion-resistant and the frames are colored with bio-resin to prevent chipping. Not to mention, the brand is well known for its 580 lens technology that polarizes while eliminating glare and filtering reflective light for clarity.

For lifestyle glasses, the new Mayas feature a lightweight frame in an attention-grabbing cat-eye style. The nose pads and temple grips help keep them comfortably on your face in the warmer months, too.

For other styles, the Fernandina‘s have a minimal rose gold design, while the Anaa‘s reflect are more designer-like. Uniquely, the Cut style has a boxier look that is great for tanning outdoors.

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