Single Vision Lenses

Let's learn about single vision lenses: what they are, who can wear them, and how they compare to other lens types. 

What is Single Vision?

“What are single vision lenses?” is a very common question, with a very simple answer. The clue is in the name. The lenses provide one single type of vision correction. In other words, the lenses cater to one single prescription. This means that if you have a prescription that helps you read, you can wear a single lens. If you have a prescription to improve your distance vision, you can wear a single lens. However, if your prescription offers one corrective power to clarify close-up objects, and a second corrective power to help you see those further away, a single vision lens is not for you. If you want to correct multiple vision types with just one lens, you will be looking at bifocals or multifocal, often known as progressives. Nevertheless, if you require multiple correction types for different visual difficulties, you are more than welcome to have two or three pairs of single vision lens glasses: one for each distance. This will simply mean that you need to switch glasses to do different activities, but there are certain advantages to this, which will be addressed later on. A final point to note about single vision lenses is that they are available for those with astigmatism. This is because a single vision lens requires one prescriptive power, which is covered in an astigmatism prescription. Don't be put off by the fact that your prescription has two numbers instead of one. 

Single vision lenses are the proper basics of eye care, and so are very flexible. Single vision prescriptions can be placed in any lens material, with any lens coating, and can also fit into the vast majority of frame styles. This means that you can choose all the snazzy-shaped glasses you like. When it comes to single vision lenses, you only need to err on the side of caution with your frame choices when your prescription reaches a value of 5 and above. As soon as it gets as high as 8, you need to be wary of the frame style you opt for, as the lenses could prove too large for the prescription to work, and wraparound frame styles are renowned for being difficult! Nevertheless, a single vision lens will give you maximum flexibility when it comes to choosing your frame, compared with other, more complex lens types such as bifocals and progressives. 

If you are happy with your single vision lens choice, all you need to do is shop! Start with our face shape guide to determine which frame styles will look best on your particular features, then filter by frame design. Whenever you stumble upon a pair you like, try them on with our virtual tool! It allows you to see the glasses on your face, just like a real-life mirror. Once you have chosen your frames, pop them in your basket and head to the checkout. There, you can upload your single vision prescription or email it to us later. Then choose your lens type.

Who can wear single vision lenses?

There are three types of single vision glasses: reading, intermediate, and distance.