Standard vs. Premium Progressives: Choosing the Right Option

If you wear glasses, you may have heard of progressive lenses. These lenses are designed to correct vision at multiple distances, making them a popular choice for those with presbyopia (age-related farsightedness). However, not all progressive lenses are created equal. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between standard and premium progressive lenses and help you decide which option is best for you.

What Are Progressive Lenses?

Before we dive into the differences between standard and premium progressive lenses, let’s first understand what they are and how they work.

Progressive lenses are a type of multifocal lenses, designed to correct vision at multiple distances. They have a gradual change in prescription from the top of the lens to the bottom, allowing for a seamless transition between distance, intermediate, and near vision. As you move your eyes up or down the lens, the prescription changes, allowing you to see clearly at different distances. This gradual change in prescription is what makes progressive lenses different from traditional bifocals or trifocals, which have a visible line separating the different prescriptions. This makes progressive lenses a popular choice for those with presbyopia, as they eliminate the need for multiple pairs of glasses.

Standard vs. Premium Progressive Lenses

Standard progressive lenses, also known as basic or entry-level progressives, are the most common and affordable option. The reading area in standard lenses is typically smaller than in premium lenses, making it more difficult to read small print. Some people may also experience distortion or blurriness in their peripheral vision with standard progressive lenses. However, they are widely available and can be made to fit a wide range of prescriptions. They are also easy to adapt to, as the transition between prescriptions is gradual. Zenni offers standard progressive lenses at an incredibly low cost of $37.95.

On the other hand, premium progressive lenses offer the most comfortable visual experience. Premium progressive lenses offer significantly larger usable viewing areas for all distances, including far, intermediate, and reading. These lenses are designed to minimize distortion in your peripheral vision. Nevertheless, premium progressive lenses usually come with a higher price tag compared to standard lenses, particularly when buying from a physical optical store. However, Zenni provides premium progressive lenses at an exceptionally affordable price of $52.95.

Which Option Is Right for You?

When deciding between standard and premium progressive lenses, it’s important to consider your individual needs and budget. If you have a simple prescription and are looking for an affordable option, standard progressive lenses may be the best choice for you. However, if you have a more complex prescription or are looking for a more customized and comfortable experience, premium progressive lenses may be worth the extra cost.

Tips for Adjusting to Progressive Lenses

Whether you choose standard or premium progressive lenses, there may be an adjustment period as your eyes get used to the new prescription. Here are a few tips to help you adjust to your new lenses:

  • Wear your glasses consistently: The more you wear your glasses, the quicker your eyes will adjust to them.
  • Move your head, not your eyes: When looking at something in a different distance, try moving your head instead of just your eyes to help your eyes adjust to the different prescriptions.
  • Give it time: It may take a few days or even a couple of weeks for your eyes to fully adjust to progressive lenses. Be patient and give yourself time to get used to them.

Progressive lenses are a popular choice for those with presbyopia, and there are two main options to choose from: standard and premium. Although standard lenses are less expensive, premium lenses provide greater visual comfort and minimize peripheral distortion. Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on your individual needs and budget.

About the Author: Dr. Sophia Moh, OD, ABOC

Dr. Sophia Moh, OD is an optometrist located in Bay Area, California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UC San Diego and earned her doctorate at UC Berkeley School of Optometry. She has experience in a variety of eye care settings including primary care optometry, general ophthalmology, community health clinic, and Veterans Affairs. Her mission is to help the world see better by developing high-quality, affordable eyewear for everyone. She is also a certified American Board Optician (ABO) and provides training and lectures on optical education topics.