How to Tell if Sunglasses are Polarized: The Three Ways

How to Tell if Sunglasses are Polarized: The Three Ways

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How to tell if sunglasses are polarized? Surely, you would want to know if your current pair is the real deal since you do not wish to have spent your hard earned money on sunglasses that do not do anything to protect your eyes.

When people are serious about protecting their eyes, more often than not, they prefer polarized ones. The good thing is that it is possible to know if your sunglasses are polarized in the comfort of your own home. To help out, we are going to discuss the three different ways on how to do that. However, before we do so, we are going to talk about why having sunglasses that are polarized is a good thing.

With this read, you might just be surprised that owning polarized sunglasses might even help with some of your health woes. Hopefully, by the end, you will have a greater appreciation for this current fashion fad, which again should not just be a fad because they truly help our eyes.

What Are Polarized Sunglasses?

Before, not a lot of people go for polarized sunglasses because the only design that it comes in is those glasses that have multi-colored film. You might agree that that look is not so fashionable, right?

Now, polarized sunglasses are everywhere and they do not come in that tacky film. Speaking of film, polarized sunglasses are glasses that have a distinctive chemical film that can help in reducing glare. When you wear one, you can completely open your eyes and stare out into the sun.

The difference between polarized sunglasses and regular sunglasses is the fact that the latter only offers a bit of “shade” to your eyes. On the other hand, the former really protects it against the harmful rays of the sun. So, why do you have to know how to tell if sunglasses are polarized?

It is because just like what we mentioned before, they now come in designs that look like regular sunglasses instead of having that distinct multi-colored film. In fact, even if you use them, you might not be able to tell if what you have are regular or polarized sunglasses.


Let us now discuss some of the advantages of having polarized sunglasses.

  • Improve safety: These glasses can remove the glare by blocking the reflections. In the process, they can improve eye comfort and help with squinting. Therefore, while you are driving, you can see everything clearly even if the sun is really high.
  • Great for water sports: When you do not use polarized lenses, water will only reflect off your current sunglasses. With polarized ones, the reflection is blocked, and you will be able to see the water instead of just seeing the sky.
  • Can reduce eyestrain: Your eyes will be well rested and more comfortable as again, these glasses can help prevent glares and squints. Hence, they can prevent headaches, redness, fatigue, and irritation.
  • Can help with having a better vision: This might surprise you, but wearing polarized sunglasses can enhance how you see things. Colors can be more vivid and clearer, and there will also be more detail and depth to images you see.

How to Tell if Sunglasses are Polarized?

Here are the ways to check if you have polarized sunglasses.

Use a Computer Screen

  1. Turn on your computer and set the monitor to the brightest setting.
  2. Open a white screen as this will make the efficacy of the test better.
  3. Put on the sunglasses and look at the monitor like you would typically do.
  4. Slowly tilt your head left and right at a 60-degree angle.
  5. If you have polarized sunglasses, you should notice that the screen will turn black due to the anti-glare properties of the sunglasses.

Use a Reflective Surface

  1. You can use a mirror, tabletop, or just a flat surface that is shiny. Just make sure that it is still reflective even if you are two to three feet away.
  2. If there is not enough glare, you can use a flashlight against the reflective surface to produce more glare.
  3. Wear your sunglasses or hold them in front of you at about six to eight inches.
  4. The idea is that you should be able to view the surface through each one of the lenses at a time.
  5. Rotate the sunglasses or tilt them at a 60-degree angle. One of the lenses should be now higher than the other.
  6. Look through the lens. If it is polarized, the glare will disappear.
  7. Compare that to the other lens; it should still have a glare.
  8. Repeat the process with the other lens to see if they are both polarized.

Compare Two Sunglasses

  1. Get a pair of sunglasses that you know for a fact are polarized.
  2. Hold the sunglasses that you are testing in front of the polarized sunglasses.
  3. Align the lenses in front of your eyes. This can be about one to two inches away from your face. The closer one should be the sunglasses that you are testing, and the farther one should be the polarized glasses.
  4. Take note that the lenses should not also touch each other as this may lead to scratches.
  5. It is best to position the glasses in front of bright light just like a lamp or overhead light for best results, but you can also just go out in broad daylight.
  6. Rotate the sunglasses that you are testing at a 60-degree angle. By this time, the test sunglasses should be diagonal while the polarized sunglasses are horizontal.
  7. Take a look at the section that is overlapping, and then check if it is darker. If it is darker, then the sunglasses that you are testing are polarized. If there is no difference, then it is not polarized.


Testing sunglasses if they are polarized or not is tricky if you do not have certain tools. That said, the three ways we shared with you only need tools that you can easily find in your own home. The easiest way is the computer screen test, but it is not as effective as the comparison test. Go on and test your sunglasses and protect your eyes against harmful glares!