There are so many eyeglass frame materials available these days that it’s hard to know what is best for you. So you have to narrow the field to help make a decision before you buy new eyewear. There are 8 different factors to consider when deciding on eyeglass frame materials: Style, Durability, Weight, Color, Flexibility, Corrosion Resistant, Hypo-Allergenic, and Price. Start by ranking the top 3 that are most important to you. Once you have your priority list ready, here are all the options:
Benefits of Different Eyeglass Frame Materials:
Plastic Frames – plastic is one of the most common materials used to make eyewear these days. It is lightweight, inexpensive, and hypo-allergenic. Eyewear designers love plastics because it can be molded into countless shapes and a huge variety of colors. But not all plastic is the same, there are 3 different types used: zyl (zylonite or cellulose acetate), propionate (cellulose acetate propionate) and nylon blends. Each of these materials have their benefits… zyl is great for providing the best color and texture options at a lower cost, propionate is the most hypo-allergenic and lightest weight of the plastics and nylon blends are great for sports performance eyewear because of its resistance to heat/cold and flexibility. The biggest drawback of plastic frames is that they are easier to break than metal frames so if you are a klutz or often subject your eyewear to abuse, then plastic may not be right for you. Plastic eyewear frames can warp more easily if left in a hot car and they can burn (this is rare, but if you are a firefighter, then maybe this is something to keep in mind).
Wide Selection of Metal Eyeglass Frame Materials:
Metal Frames – there are so many different metals and metal blends used for eyeglass frames that you’ll need a degree in chemistry to figure out all the options. One of the biggest benefits of metal frames is that they are stronger than plastic frames and can withstand a lot more abuse. They are also lightweight and corrosion resistant. Here are the most common varieties:
Stainless Steel – this metal is lightweight, strong and reasonably priced so is used in many eyewear designs. If it is nickel free, then it is also hypo-allergenic. It can come in both matte & polished finishes.
Titanium & Beta Titanium – Titanium is super strong, super light and very cool. This premium metal will withstand the most extreme sport and still look fabulous. It also comes in different colors so it allows for more styles than with other metals. Beta Titanium includes a blend of other metals to make the frame more flexible and easier to adjust for sizing. If you need durability, you can’t go wrong with material used to build spaceships.
Magnesium – this is a super-lightweight material that is strong, durable and hypo-allergenic. Magnesium weighs even less than Titanium but costs more. This eyewear material is only found in higher end frames.
Beryllium – stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum, Beryllium is a good choice for those with high levels of skin acidity or who hang on salty beaches. It resists corrosion better than most other metals.
Flexon (or memory metal) – this is a titanium based alloy that can snap back into shape better than other metals. It was first manufactured by Marchon to withstand damage that other glasses would not be able to handle. If you like to bend, crush, twist or stretch your glasses when frustrated, then you may need Flexon or other new memory metals for your eyewear choice.
Aluminum – stronger than a soda can but almost as light, Aluminum can be sculpted in ways that other metals cannot so the designs can be unique. When aluminum is mixed with other metals, it can be strong, light, fashionable and even recyclable. Aluminum is a fave among high-end designers because it allows more creative frame shapes.
Monel (or mongrel metal) – Monel is a mix of metals which means it uses a variety of metals to make strong, lightweight frames that will hold up to damage better then plastics. One drawback is that it may react with certain skin types unless it is plated with a hypo-allergenic coating.
Solid Gold or Solid Silver – while eyewear can be made from either gold or silver, there is not much of an advantage in using such precious metal in eyewear. Silver is simply not comfortable as it is heavier when thick enough to stand up to daily use and gold is both too soft and too expensive for use in frames. However, both can make nice accents on the right pair of glasses.
Unique Eyeglass Frame Materials
Beyond the assortment of plastics and metals, there are some other interesting choices for eyewear frames. Eyeglass frames can be made from Bone, Water Buffalo Horn, and Wood. Of these unique choices, we at Front Row Eyewear don't recommend wood frames because wood is prone to expansion and warping. We do, however, offer simulated wood frames that look great and will be more durable. You also won’t find us carrying bone or buffalo horn rims… we simply believe that all people and animals should keep their body parts on their own bodies. Seems logical to us!
We hope this info is helpful as you shop for your new eyewear as we carry a wide range of eyeglasses that are both durable and fashionable. Now, get back to your shopping trip www.FrontRowEyewear.com