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Finding The Right Material For Your New Eyeglasses

Looking for a new pair of eyeglasses? Finding the perfect pair may be as simple as asking your eye-doctor which frame material is right for you.

Picking out the right pair of eyeglasses that are comfortable and complement your facial features is important, especially if you plan on wearing them full-time. Today, eyeglasses are made from a wide variety of materials which can differ greatly in terms of their:

  • Durability
  • Lightness
  • Color
  • Price

Our Calgary eye doctors understand that a simple change in material frame can greatly expand your options for a new look. During a consultation, they can help determine which material is best suited to your budget and lifestyle.

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What Are The Most Popular Materials for Eyeglasses?

Frame materials essentially come in plastic and metal, and sometimes a combination of both. Within these broad categories, there are a number of options, each with its own advantages.


Plastic eyeglass frames are a very popular option these days as they are comfortable, stylish and allow for an even weight distribution across the nose. Although they may be a little heavier and easier to break than metal alternatives, eye doctors often recommend plastic frames as they tend to be:

  • Flexible
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Available in a variety of styles, colors and patterns
Cellulose Acetate

Cellulose Acetate is a premium lightweight plastic that allows designers to create eyeglasses from an unlimited range of colors.

In addition, because it is a natural derivative of cotton, it’s hypoallergenic, making it the ideal option for patients with sensitive skin.

Cellulose Propionate

This nylon-based plastic is a good option for patients looking for a durable yet affordable pair of eyeglasses.

Not only is it  temperature resistant but also has good elasticity and is lighter and cheaper than acetate.


Another member of the nylon family, polyamide is unique due to its color retention and the fact that it can be moulded into very thin, lightweight frames.

It has the added benefit of being hypoallergenic and its hard surface means that it’s scratch and chemical resistant.


Metal is the most popular material for eyeglass frames as it allows for a very minimalist look and is generally a lot thinner and more lightweight than plastic.

Metal frames offer patients a multitude of benefits because they are:

  • Flexible
  • Strong
  • Anti-corrosive
  • Lightweight

For patients who prefer a very minimalist look or who can’t wear contacts, a metal frame is the ideal choice as it gives you the option to go semi-rimless (where the lenses are not fitted inside a frame but simply attached to the arms.)


Monel is a mixture of two or more metals. This material results in a frame that is highly rust-resistant, flexible and even stronger than steel.


The lightest of all metal frames, titanium is recommended highly by eye doctors due to its comfort.

It is also:

  • Corrosion resistant
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Can be produced in a variety of colors

Flexon is known as the ‘memory material’ and enables the wearer to twist, bend or crush the frame without affecting its shape.


Aluminium has a very distinctive look and is often used in the construction of high-end frames as it is lightweight and resistant to corroding.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel eyeglass frames are made from a blend of steel and chromium. This makes for a very strong, flexible and affordable frame.

In addition, stainless steel frames will not corrode and are ideal for those with sensitive skin as they are also hypoallergenic.

Which Frame Material is Best For My Child?

If you are a parent in search of the right eyeglasses for your kid, visiting a qualified children’s eye doctor can help you make the most informed, best decision.

In the past, plastic frames were thought to be a better choice for children because they were considered more durable, less likely to be broken, more lightweight and affordable.

However, thinner, stronger materials such as stainless steel and titanium are becoming increasingly popular in kid’s eyewear. Children’s eye doctors often recommend these frames for young patients who are active or hard on their eyeglasses.

REMEMBER: Ask your children’s eye doctor about hypoallergenic materials if your child has shown sensitivity to certain substances (e.g. nickel)

Call Today

To find out more about how our Calgary eye doctors can help find the perfect frames for any member of your family, contact our clinic today at 403-286-4884 or fill in our online contact form.

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