What are the Differences Between Frame Types?

Frames can be categorized into all sorts of different categories, from sizing to gender, lens shape to frame shape, curvature to lens edging type.

For the sake of ordering prescription glasses online, this article concerns frame types and how certain ones can limit your lens or prescription options.

What are the Differences Between Frame Types?

FramesCurvature, lens size, even the way the lens is inserted into the frame can affect your lens choices. When shopping for prescription glasses, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with what your limits are before browsing your options. It is a shame when customers call us after much browsing to say they’ve chosen a frame, but the form doesn’t allow them to enter their prescription in. Better to know what will work before choosing a style that may leave you disappointed.

If you’re getting ready to buy a pair of prescription glasses online, here’s what you should know about frame types:

  • Curved or “wraparound” frames are limited in the strength of a prescription they can accommodate. You can expect that most prescriptions with a sphere measurement outside the range of -5.00 to +3.00 and/or a cylinder measurement outside the range of -2.00 to +2.00 will not work in a wraparound. There are several exceptions and extensions to this rule.
  • Frames with a drill mount (arms and bridge drilled and screwed to lens) do not work with glass lenses, and plastic is not as good as polycarbonate for these.
  • Frames that are semi-rimless (frame on top but not bottom) also will not work with glass. They should work with any plastic material and polycarbonate.
  • Lenses in wraparound frames that are semi-rimless are generally more expensive than for the other wraparounds. This is because the edging of lenses into these frames uses very advanced machinery.
  • The larger your lenses are, the more your pupil distance (PD) may have an effect on whether the frame will work for you. This is generally only an issue with wraparound frames. Many have lenses so large that they can only accommodate medium- to larger-sized PD’s if you are ordering progressive bifocals.
  • Many frames with larger lenses will not accommodate all types of high index plastic.

Knowing these guidelines should make it easier for you to narrow your search criteria, and it may save you some disappointment as well. We do our best to accommodate all requests, but current optical technology dictates that certain things just cannot be done yet.

If you’re shopping for prescription glasses on our site and are unsure whether what you want is going to work, let us know by commenting below and well do our best to let you know where you stand. You can also contact our customer service department to get answers about your available options. Thanks for reading, and happy shopping!

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