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How to Measure for Sunglasses: 3 Easy Ways to Do It Yourself

When you’re regularly out and about in a sunny climate, sunglasses are essential. You’ll see more clearly when you’re not squinting into the glare, you’ll protect your eyes from sun damage, and you can keep unwanted wrinkles at bay. The trick is finding the perfect pair of sunglasses for you — and to do that, you need to know how to measure for sunglasses.

Let’s clarify why getting the right size of sunglasses frames is important and which measurements you need to know. We’ll teach you how to measure for sunglasses and where to find the perfect pair for you.

Why Your Sunglasses Size Is Important

Finding the perfect fit for your new pair of glasses matters for several reasons:

They’ll Stay In Place

If your sunglasses aren’t the right size, they’ll keep slipping, feel too tight, or sit too high or low on your nose. You’ll constantly be adjusting them, which is annoying and a waste of time — and they might end up collecting dust in your glovebox.

Specialty Lenses Need a Precise Fit

If you wear progressive lenses, your eyeglasses need to sit in exactly the right place on your face, so when you look through the bottom section, you can do close-up work like reading, and when you look through the top part, you can see into the distance. If those sections aren’t in the right place on your face, you’re going to struggle to do either.

The Wrong Size Looks Off

Let’s face it — ill-fitting frames just won’t look good. If your sunglasses are too big for your face size, they’ll make your face look small, and if they’re too small, they’ll make your face look bigger. The lens size also needs to be right for your eye size, so that your eyes are centered in the lenses. If the lenses are too wide, your eyes will look too close together and vice versa.

The best frame size for you will sit comfortably in the right place on your face and look good doing it.

That means you need to know how to measure for sunglasses.

So what exactly are we measuring?

How Sunglasses Are Sized

How to measure for sunglasses: woman wearing a pair of sunglasses

Before we dive into how to measure for sunglasses, we need to know which measurements are important. These are the most common measurements for a pair of glasses.

Lens Width

How to measure for sunglasses: lens width

Also known as eye size, this is the horizontal width of the lens across its widest point. When sunglasses sizes have a number like 55 millimeters, that number is referring to the lens width.

Temple Arm Length

How to measure for sunglasses: temple arm length

This is the length of the temple arms from where they connect with the main glasses frames to the end of the arms, including the bend. Because this is curved, it’s measured from the frame to the bend, then from the bend to the end of the arms.

Bridge Width

How to measure for sunglasses: bridge width

This is the size of the section that separates the two lenses. It’s measured between the two closest points of the frames where they sit on the bridge of your nose. Although you can get away with a small margin of error on the lens width and temple arm length, getting the bridge width right — within 2 millimeters — is critical if you want your sunglasses to fit well.

Frame Width

Frame width

This frame measurement is the width of the front of the frame. You’d choose the widest part for this, including any hinges, decorative elements, and end pieces. If the frames are thick, this measurement will be higher.

Lens Height

Lens height

This is the vertical height of the lens from the highest to the lowest point. It’s only important if you wear bifocals or progressive lenses.

Now that you know what you’re looking for, let’s get into exactly how to measure for sunglasses.

How to Measure for Sunglasses: 3 Easy Ways

Man and woman wearing Pair Eyewear's sunglasses

There are several ways to go about this, depending on whether you already have a pair of glasses frames you like or not.

If you’re simply replacing your current frame:

1. Look for the Numbers

Frame measurements

Many pairs of sunglasses have some of the frame measurements printed on them. These may be on the inside of the temple arm, on the bridge, or inside the nosepiece. You’ll see three numbers, which might be separated by a space, dash, or square. These represent respectively:

  • Lens width

  • Bridge size

  • Temple length

That’s three of the measurements you need already taken care of. Then you can simply measure your current pair to get the other two.

2. Measure Your Current Glasses Size

To measure your current pair of glasses, you’ll ideally need a ruler, not a measuring tape. A tape measure tends to bend and you need to measure straight.

Use your ruler to take all the measurements you need from your current frame — whether that’s all five numbers or just the remaining two that aren’t printed on your current pair.

3. Establish Your Frame Size by Measuring Your Face

If this is your first new pair of sunglasses (and you don’t have an old pair of normal glasses either), you may need to measure your face to figure out your frame size.

If you have a ruler:

Stand in front of a mirror and hold the ruler just above your cheekbones and just below eye level. Measure horizontally from the left to the right temple area. Make a note of the size in inches or centimeters.

In case you’re wondering, your full frame size is the sum of two lens widths, plus your bridge width and the width of the end pieces.

If you don’t have a ruler:

You can also use a credit card to get an approximate idea of the right frame size for you.

Hold your credit card with the short side under your eye and the long side running down the center of your nose.

  • If the other long side of the card lines up with the outer edge of your eye, you need a medium size frame.

  • If the other long side is further out than the edge of your eye, you need a small frame.

  • If the other long side sits closer in than the edge of your eye, a large frame should work for you.

Once you know how to measure for sunglasses, it’s time to look for your new perfect pair.

Where to Get the Perfect Sunglasses to Complement Your Face

Pair Eyewear’s collection of sunglasses frames checks all the boxes and makes it easy to find the perfect sunglasses for you — whether you wear prescription glasses or not.

Each sunglasses Base Frame has a Fit Guide that gives you the measurements of that frame in millimeters, so you know exactly what you’re getting. You can customize the lens and frame colors for each Pair to fit your personal style.

And our Size Guide summarizes the most important measurements for each style.

We offer a range of different shapes to cater to different face shapes. For example, if your face is more angular, try one of our round styles:

If your face is rounder, try one of our rectangular styles:

Or if you want something a bit more unusual, our cat-eye styles suit any face shape:

When you’ve narrowed down your options, use our Virtual Try-On feature to take a photo of your face. Then you can easily see how different Base Frame shapes and colors suit your features.

Once you’ve chosen your Base Frame, you can up your style quotient even further by choosing as many Top Frames as you like. Top Frames magnetically snap onto the Base Frames, allowing you to change your look as you choose. No need to clutter your space with 10 different bulky sunglasses — simply swap out the Top Frames when you want a different look.

All Pair sunglasses are hard-wearing and scratch resistant, with cellulose acetate frames and polycarbonate lenses. They’re also polarized, reducing the glare from reflective surfaces, and offer 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays, keeping your eyes safe from the harmful effects of the sun.

Find Your Perfect Sunglasses Fit Today

Learning how to measure for sunglasses is the first step to choosing the perfect fit for you. The right sunglasses feel comfortable, improve your vision, and complement your face shape.

Get your perfect new pair of sunglasses from Pair Eyewear today. Our selection will enhance your natural style — and suit your wallet too.