Whether you’re a chemist, a mechanic, or an ATV enthusiast, your eyes are one of your most valuable and vulnerable assets, and they need reliable protection. We’ve taken a closer look at the best safety glasses and goggles to find out which ones will stay put, stay clear, stay comfortable, and—most importantly—protect your precious peepers.
At around five bucks, these safety glasses might be the least expensive DeWalt tool in your toolbox, but that doesn’t mean you’ll sacrifice DeWalt quality. The Dominator safety glasses are styled like sporty sunglasses, with 99.9% UV protection. They boast a sturdy, full frame with a close fit similar to what you’d find in expensive sunglasses brands like Oakley. They meet the ANSI Z87.1+ standard, and they come in a variety of different lens tints. We like the rubber-tipped temples and rubber nosepiece for comfortable, all-day wear, but we found that the nosepiece can fall off and get lost, so we recommend gluing it in place as soon as you get the glasses.
Close-fitting and comfortable
Nosepiece may loosen
Pyramex I-Force Dual Pane Goggles: Best for Antifog
Goggles that fog up on you can get annoying really fast, so Pyramex put antifog technology at the forefront of its I-Force goggles design. The goggles have both an inner and outer lens, creating an air barrier between the two to equalize the temperature and reduce fogging. Both layers have unique coatings to ensure antifog protection, with a layer of vented foam in between to allow for airflow. For even more ventilation, you can change out the strap for temples and turn the goggles into glasses. But the antifog technology isn’t without drawbacks—the specialized chemical coating on the lenses is very delicate, so be sure to read the cleaning instructions carefully so you don’t accidentally ruin them.
Be honest: if you don’t look good in your protective eyewear, how likely are you to wear it? If you’re like most people, not very likely, which is why these stylish frames from Magid earned a top spot on our list. They look more like trendy eyeglasses than safety glasses, but they offer all the features you need for protecting your eyes. Lenses are scratch-resistant polycarbonate, ANSI Z87.1 high impact-certified, and they have an antifog coating. Soft temple pads make the glasses comfortable enough for everyday wear, and because the frames are much like regular eyeglasses, most eye care centers can swap out the regular lenses with your prescription. They’re not the highest-quality glasses on our list, but they’re inexpensive and they hold up well to regular use.
Cleaning cloth case included
Clear side shields
Prescription lenses can make them front-heavy
More Safety Goggles and Glasses That Are Worth a Look
Uvex Stealth OTG Safety Goggles
Prescription safety goggles can get expensive, and you may not always want to have to wear contact lenses, so safety goggles for glasses like the Uvex Stealth are an economical option if you need corrective lenses. The Stealth goggles have a rubber body for a snug fit, and the headband pivots, so you can adjust where it rests on your head. We like the extra-wide field of view offered by the lenses of these goggles, but their antifog properties get mixed reviews from users. These are some of the most accommodating OTG goggles on the market, but they still might not fit all glasses, so check measurements before you buy.
3M Virtua CCS Protective Eyewear
If you want the best of goggles and glasses, the 3M Virtua glasses have a little of both. They fit like glasses, but they also have an extra protective removable foam gasket around the outer edge to create a more secure seal around your face. The gasket has vents to reduce fogging, though we’ve found they can still fog up. We like the Cord Control System (CCS) that keeps your earplug cords in place and prevents them from tangling. They’re not as sturdy as other models, but we thought they had enough unique features to warrant a spot on our list.
Smith and Wesson Safety Glasses
It’s hard to find a pair of sunglasses that look cool on everyone, but these Smith and Wesson safety glasses might just hit the mark. Their sleek design lets them do double duty as your favorite pair of shades, and their sturdy construction and wraparound design give you all the protection you’ll need, whether you’re at the range, on the jobsite, or just mowing the lawn. The tinted lenses reduce glare and protect against harmful UV rays, so they’re great for bright, sunny days. Bonus: the glasses come with a microfiber bag you can use for storage and for cleaning.
DeWalt Concealer Clear Safety Goggles
If protection is your primary concern, the snug fit and tough construction of the DeWalt Concealer Safety Goggles have you covered. But their durable design doesn’t mean they’re heavy—the goggles are surprisingly lightweight. We like the clip attachment that lets you add your own prescription lenses if you need them, without the added hassle and bulk of a pair of glasses. You can get these goggles in a clear or smoke finish to better protect against harmful UV light, but we don’t recommend them for working with paint or stain, as it can be nearly impossible to get off the lenses.
NoCry Over-Glasses Safety Glasses
If you want to be able to protect your eyes while wearing prescription glasses but you don’t like the feel of goggles, then the NoCry Over-Glasses Safety Glasses might be a good fit. They have a flatter front to them than other safety glasses, so there’s less image distortion, but they don’t have antifog. They have padded temples to reduce pressure and discomfort behind the ears, but they don’t work well with earmuffs. The NoCry glasses are slightly smaller than traditional OTG glasses, so be sure to check the dimensions to make sure your prescription glasses are compatible with this design before you buy. These glasses also come with a money-back guarantee.
What do the certification numbers mean?
There are a few organizations that create standards for protective eyewear, including the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), and Military Ballistic Standards (denoted by MIL-PRF). Each number is a code indicating how well a product performs under a series of tests. When it comes to safety glasses and goggles, impact protection tests measure whether or not the lenses protect against hazards like flying debris. If the glasses provide adequate protection during these tests, they earn a standard rating: ANSI Z87.1 and above, CSA Z94.3, and MIL-PRF 32432.
What is the ANSI minimum standard rating for OSHA approval?
The minimum ANSI rating on eyewear protection for legal approval by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for use on most jobsites is Z87.1. If you need lenses that are certified for laser safety, look for an ANSI rating of Z136.
What is the best way to wear safety goggles or glasses with face shields?
There are a lot of reasons you might need to wear a face shield with safety glasses, goggles, or other personal protective equipment, but doing so can pose challenges. If you have to choose, always prioritize the protection of your eyes over face protection—faces can be repaired and replaced; eyes cannot. To reduce fogging between your facemask and your eyewear, use adhesive tape to secure your face shield to your nose and cheeks. This will prevent your breath from fogging your glasses.
How do I choose the safety eyewear that’s best for me?
When it comes to choosing protective eyewear, the most important things to consider are your activities and your comfort.
If you need it for something more active, like sports, then select something that secures snugly to your face and won’t shift around with movement. If you’ll need it while outside, go with something that has a tint to protect your eyes from harsh UV rays. If you work in a lab where you may deal with splatters or airborne chemicals, the additional protection offered by goggles will keep you safer than glasses. If you frequently take your protective eyewear on and off, glasses might be a better choice.
No matter what eyewear you choose, make sure you feel good in it, or you’ll be less likely to use it.
How should I care for my safety goggles or glasses?
Regular care and cleaning is essential to keeping your eyewear in good working condition. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper cleaning after each use, and avoid touching the lenses of your glasses or goggles with your fingers, since they can leave behind debris and oils. For safety glasses, use a neck strap to keep them in place and prevent accidental drops. When you’re not using your glasses, store them in a case or in another protected location. If your glasses ever crack or show other signs of damage, stop using them right away. Get them fixed or purchase a replacement pair, and keep an extra pair on hand just in case.
If you’re a DIYer, you’re not under the watchful eye of OSHA, so it might be tempting to use your own glasses or sunglasses instead of safety glasses while you’re working on projects around the house. But don’t give yourself a false sense of security—the American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that almost half of all eye injuries happen at home. Play it safe and use OSHA-approved eyewear, and check out our Ultimate Home Safety Guide for more ways to stay safe at home.
Pro Tip: For a little extra professional help with your DIY projects, check out Thumbtack for the best home services in your area.
How We Chose the Best Safety Eyewear
We studied the highest-rated and most popular safety goggles and glasses to see which ones truly rose to the top. We checked safety ratings and considered each product’s unique features, and we read what users had to say about the comfort and convenience of each one. You can learn more about how we review and rank products by checking out our methodology.
Written by Kasey Tross
Kasey is a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and a freelance writer with expertise in emergency preparedness and security. As the mother of four kids, including two teens, Kasey knows the safety concerns parents face as they raise tech-savvy kids in a connected world, and she loves to research the latest security options for her own family and for SafeWise readers. Learn more