Computer Glasses Collision: Gunnar Optics Vs. Uvex
Gunnar Optiks and Uvex computer glasses promise to reduce eye strain, prevent computer-related headaches, and are comfortable to wear for a long time. But Uvex base frames aren’t even remotely as attractive as the Gunnar line, but only represent a fraction of the cost. Let’s see who wins this battle between the beauty and the beast.
You’ve probably heard of Gunnar, or at least seen one of their high-octane, player-centric“keep your eggs moist” ads. Uvex, on the other hand, is relatively unknown unless your job requires a lot of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Here’s a rundown of what they are:
- Gunnar Optiks : Founded by Jennifer Michelsen and Joe Croft in 2007 and named after Michelsen’s son. Gunnar manufactures blue light blocking glasses and sunglasses in a wide variety of styles. Their target market is gamers with partners like Razer , MLG and Blizzard, as well as anyone who wants to look good while looking at the screen. Their glasses can cost anywhere from $ 70 to $ 250 (over-the-counter only). For this comparison, I tried the Gunnar Optiks SheaDog Full Rim Ergonomic frames ($ 74) .
- Uvex : Uvex (uv-ex = excluding ultraviolet) is based in Germany and has existed since the mid 50s. They manufacture goggles and protective products for sports and leisure, as well as PPE for the industrial sector. For this comparison, I tried the only set of computer glasses they have: the Uvex Skyper blue light blocking computer glasses ($ 9) , which doubles as safety glasses and meets ANSI Z87 + and CSA Z94.3 standards .
This comparison focuses on how cheap and functional computer glasses like the Uvex Skypers are up against chic and powerful hitters like the Gunnar SheaDogs. Assuming they both work, Uvex Skypers seem like the obvious choice for those looking to save some money, while Gunnar SheaDogs are best for those looking to look good. I’ve been wearing both for the past couple of weeks to be sure.
Gunnars blocks a lot of blue light, but Uvex blocks more
To judge the effectiveness of these struggling blue blockers, you need to understand how they work. The lenses of computer glasses have an unmistakable orange or amber hue that filters out the harshest light or “blue light”. Some also have an anti-reflective UV blocking coating that reduces the amount of bright light passing through the lenses into your eyes. The more bright blue light is filtered out, the less eye strain is required to look at the display. Do they really work? We’ve talked about this at length before , and for the most part, they do it. In fact, there is evidence that turning off blue lights before bed even helps you sleep better .
In the above diagram, you can see that Gunnar’s blue blocking lenses are filtering about 65% of the blue light. This is quite good compared to some of the other lens coatings on the market. However, Uvex Skypers block out a whopping 98% of blue light . For example, my router has blue LEDs. When I wear the Gunnars, the blue light becomes less bright and greenish. When I wear Uvex Skypers, the blue light disappears completely. Thanks to the high blue Skypers blocking, I was as comfortable as possible during long work at the computer.
But there is also a downside: everything is warm, amber in color. Gunnars at least allow some color difference. Gunnars also have UV400 anti-reflective coating to help reduce glare, while Uvex Skypers don’t. I personally cannot say how much it helps, but as we explained , people prefer lenses with anti-reflective coatings over lenses. However, UV protection doesn’t mean the Gunnars are meant to be worn outdoors. You will still need sunglasses for this.
Both are comfortable to wear, but the Gunnars look less silly.
Uvex Skypers does a great job, there is no doubt about it, but they look completely ridiculous. This is in part due to the fact that they also have impact-resistant goggles, and also because they cost about the same as a junk food combo meal. Despite how silly you may look in them, they are very comfortable to wear. They have a molded bridge that fits comfortably over the nose, and the padded temples can be adjusted to three different positions. The lenses are also anti-fog coated, so you never have to worry about your botanical glasses fogging up.
I can’t talk about all of Gunnar’s styles, but SheaDogs are pretty handy too. They are very light (only 20 grams) so you barely feel them on the face, and the frame seems flexible enough to fit different face sizes. The temples are also very thin and sit right on the sides of the head, so in-ear headphones are great. You can also wear the earbuds on the Uvex Skypers’ temples, but things are not so sealed. If you like in-ear noise canceling headphones like me will do better. And of course the biggest find for the Gunnar SheaDog dogs: they look like stylish glasses. It cannot be denied that all of Gunnar’s frames look much better than what Uvex has to offer. However, I still felt strange about them. For the record: I was stupid to wear Gunnars in a coffee shop, but I couldn’t even bring myself to put on Skypers. AsDr. John Dorian would say, “Do they have allergies and hats?”
Gunnar SheaDogs also has a slight magnification, which is supposed to further reduce eye strain, but actually gives me a headache after an hour or two. However, I had laser eye surgery earlier this year , so my experience may be different from yours. Many seem to like the small magnification. Uvex Skypers have no magnification (which I noticed anyway).
Gunnar offers prescription lenses, Uvex Skypers can fit over some frames
Gunnars also has the advantage of offering prescription blue blocking lenses for most frame styles. But they are not cheap. For example, SheaDog-style frames will set you back anywhere from $ 230 to $ 350 for prescription lenses. And that cost will be added to the cost that your regular frames or contacts will cost you.
However, Uvex Skypers are one size fits all and they don’t have a recipe for them. If you need vision correction, you will have to wear contacts or regular frames under them. The Skypers adjustable temples allow you to fit most frames underneath (I could fit my old thick hipster frames), but it’s not the most comfortable option. Not by chance.
Uvex Offers Much More Money, Gunnar Is Better For Gaming
When I wear Uvex Skypers, my eyes are resting. This is not always the case with my Gunnars. They block light well and are comfortable enough, but the slight magnification and smaller field of view I have with SheaDog frames end up doing more harm than good. In the end, Uvex Skypers cost me $ 9 with Amazon Prime free shipping – or about 12% of what Gunnar SheaDogs cost me . This is insane. I can’t believe I bought Gunnar’s pair first. Plus, for the record, I wore my Skypers while writing this.
If you’re really worried about looking stylish in the office and have money to burn, then be sure to grab a couple of Gunnars. They work fine. But truth be told, you still won’t look cool. The orange tint of blue-blocking lenses will always make you look like a neo-maxi zoom wimp. Life hack: stop trying to look cool, no one cares . I say go for broke – or rather, don’t go broke – and get a cheap pair that gets the job done.
That being said, the amber shade of Gunnar lenses is better for gaming if that’s the main reason you need computer glasses . They don’t block as much blue light, and I wouldn’t recommend them for long days in front of a computer screen, but they allow you to see more color variations on your display. Uvex lenses make you feel like you are inside a bottle of orange soda, which is not ideal if you want an adventure in beautiful, colorful worlds . However, even Gunnars will give everything an amber hue (unless you choose the blue blocking crystal line ). And despite Gunnar’s claims , their glasses do not “improve game accuracy and graphics,” so temper your expectations. At best, they will allow you to play your favorite games for a little longer, before your eyes are dry and tired.