Reading Glasses: Choosing the Right Ones

woman wearing readers

Reading glasses, or readers, can be a stylish and simple solution to mild vision problems and eye strain. Discover four signs you might need readers. Print a free diopter chart to learn what power reading glasses you need. And get tips on face-flattering frame shapes.

Four Signs You Might Need Readers

  1. Everyday Issues: Do you struggle to clearly see the food on your plate at mealtimes? Moreover, have tasks and hobbies, such as cooking, sewing or playing board games become more challenging because things are blurry or unclear?
  2. Read Alert: Are you holding books or magazines farther and farther away as you try to read? If that distance is more than 10-12 inches, then it’s likely you’re a good candidate for reading glasses.
  3. Achey Face: If you’re noticing frequent headaches or the sensation of tired eyes, this may be caused by eye strain. Readers may provide some relief.
  4. Doctor’s Orders: A visit to the eye doctor is the most reliable way to determine whether reading glasses are right for you. An eye exam will help you understand whether you need vision correction and you can discuss the option of readers with a professional.

Choosing Your Reading Glasses’ Power, Shape & Fit

Three elements go into choosing a satisfying pair of reading glasses: POWER, SHAPE and FIT

small image of diopter charg

Power: The power indicates how much magnification your reading glasses provide. Download this free chart from our friends at A.J. Morgan to help find the number you need.

readers of different shapes

Shape: Next, find the frame that flatters your face – and feels as fabulous as is looks. First, pull your hair back and look straight in the mirror. Consider the outline of your face, then choose the description that best applies. Circle-, oval- and heart-shaped faces generally pair well with boxy frames. Squarer faces tend to look better with rounder frames.

  • An oval-shaped face has a narrow jawline and narrow cheekbones.
  • A triangle- or heart-shaped face has a wide or large forehead and narrower jawline
  • A round- or circle-shaped face has full cheeks with a forehead and jaw of similar width
  • A rectangle- or square-shaped face has a strong jawline of a similar width to the forehead

Measuring for Fit

Reading glasses come with three measurements: lens width, bridge distance and arm length. If you own glasses or readers, look inside the arm to see if the measurements are noted there. Or use a ruler or measuring tape to figure out the dimensions.

Here are a few measuring guidelines:

  • First, the bridge distance (between 14 and 25mm) measures between the lenses. For close-set eyes or a narrow nose, for instance, this number should be lower. A higher number may be better for wide-set eyes or a wider nose.
  • Second, the lens width (between 40 and 60mm) is the horizontal width of each lens at its widest point. Eyes should look centered within the lenses for a balanced, flattering look.
  • Finally, arm length is the distance from the attachment screw at the front of the frame to the end of the curved piece. Arms should rest comfortably along the sides of your head and over your ears.
Teacher wearing glasses and holding mug of coffee

Now you’re ready to order your readers with confidence.

Happy Shopping and see you again soon!

Learn more about caring for your vision here.