Best Gaming Glasses 2019 - Buyer’s Guide

Did you know that there is a bit of truth to the Old Wives tale that sitting too close to the TV can affect your vision? It turns out that distance to the screen isn’t really the culprit, it’s actually blue light. Although we encounter it daily through the sun and computer monitors, blue light is actually quite harmful in large doses.

Constant exposure leads to everything from eye-strain and headaches to literal blindness. That’s why gaming glasses entered the market. They filter out the most harmful light rays while simultaneously helping to keep eyes from drying out and lessening migraines.

Don’t let the name mislead you, anyone who uses a screen regularly can benefit from the use of gaming glasses. Whether it’s hours on end doing graphic design or making sure you sleep better by blocking out harmful blue light, these glasses may greatly improve your quality of life. In this guide you’ll find out why you need to think about the health of your eyes, why blue light is dangerous, and some quality hand-picked products that you’ll want to check out. 


Best Gaming Glasses 2019

1. HyperX Gaming Eyewear - The Best Clear Lenses

Pros:

  • Minimal color distortion (Rare with gaming glasses)
  • Very Durable
  • Can look good or even fashionable if paired with the right outfit
  • Designed to be comfortably worn with HyperX Gaming Headsets
  • Prescription Option with reasonable price
  • Can literally block a blue laser

Cons:

  • HyperX branding is all over these glasses


HyperX offers one and only one item for Gaming Glasses and we are fine with that. Coming in the classic red and black tones of HyperX products, these glasses look simple and respectable. They don’t attempt to play the role of ADHD toy glasses or seem out of place outside of the office. It’s a nice balance in an industry full of bright loud peripherals. HyperX has made glasses that stand up to the best of companies and keep your eyes safe while retaining accurate colors.

The secret to success with HyperX is the unique material that they designed for lenses. Known as MR-8 material, these lenses are resistant to oil, water, and dust. They were created with minimal color distortion as a goal. Often Gaming Glasses give a very orange or yellow hue to things because they eliminate so much blue light.

HyperX managed to create glasses that make a minimal change to vision yet are EXTREMELY effective at blocking blue light. You’ll notice less eye strain and fewer headaches within days of converting to these. On both the promotional materials and numerous youtube videos, people show the MR-8 lens design as being good enough to block an actual blue laser beam. We weren’t able to test this ourselves but it speaks to the quality of the blue light filter and the confidence that HyperX puts in these glasses.

Our only con is that these glasses are branded. It’d be awesome to have a plain black and white option but the subtle color shift isn’t too intrusive. Observant people may realize you aren’t wearing normal glasses, a pitfall of branded frames. Still, it’s a very minor issue in the grand scheme of things.

2. Gunnar Intercept - The Most Versatile Frames

Pros:

  • The Intercept is one of the most versatile Gunnar frames
  • Four levels of tint for custom color and blue light protection
  • Casual glasses that can be worn anywhere
  • Great feel on the face

Cons:

  • Big branded word Gunnar across the side
  • HyperX has better clear lenses


The Gunnar intercept is one of the most versatile frames offered by Gunnar. It comes in several formats with both clear and amber lenses. It looks simple enough to wear at an office without screaming “I’m a gamer!” like many other options. It’s debatable between HyperX and Gunnar which company has the best quality of lenses.

HyperX is pretty standard and minimal in tint change while Gunnar offers several options that are tested and patented. The amber lenses can be a bit distracting to outsiders and while effective at blocking light make these glasses look less like high-quality office gear. The crystal lenses on the other hand are see-through, minimize color loss, and allow you to wear awesome gaming glasses without raising eyebrows. Gunnar doesn’t stop there either. They offer a range of sunglasses and prescription options. The Intercept is a very versatile option.

We love the feel. They’re comfortable and can be worn for a long time. They also hug the face in a way that keeps eyes from drying out. Combined with the light filter, you’ll feel amazing on marathon gaming sessions. The intercept comes in an array of normal colors and there are a few similar items from Gunnar with bright popping hues as well. For those who want maximum customization and are a bit picky, the Intercept is the way to go.

Two things may make you consider another item on this list. HyperX has a lead on the Crystal lenses from Intercept but can’t beat some of the other lenses coming out from Gunnar. If you want the best color quality WITH the best light blocking, you’ll do best with HyperX or Pixel. If you want the BEST light-blocking, the amber lenses or sunglass lenses from Gunnar are unbeatable. Our second issue is that these glasses have a lot of side branding. We aren’t a big fan of that as no one wants to rep a glasses company 24/7. If you can ignore that though, these are a great pair of glasses.

3. Gunnar PPK - The Most Durable Glasses

Pros:

  • The PPK blocks 65% of blue light and 100% of UV radiation with the standard lenses
  • Stylish name that references one of the greatest games of all time
  • The metal frame is durable and strong enough to take a few blows
  • Wrap-around style keeps eyes moist and refreshed

Cons:

  • Metal isn’t as fashionable as plastic in today's world


These metal framed wrap-around glasses are some of the most durable on the market. Named after the infamous gun that James Bond uses in Goldeneye, the PPK blocks 65% of blue light and 100% of harmful UV radiation.

That means happy eyes and more time gaming in comfort. These metal frames can hold up to bumps and drops for years to come. If you game at a desk and get a little too excited, the PPK might be for you. The PPK has a sibling product as well known as the Sheadog (Looks very similar) with clear lenses for those who want durability and blue light protection. The PPK takes advantage of design to offer one of the best humidity options for dry eyes.

Trapping in moisture, they allow you to play for a long time without feeling like you haven’t blinked. The PPK also comes in three different color options for those who want to switch up the style a little bit. We particularly like the feel of the PPK on the side of the head. The weight is balanced and feels just right for a pair of glasses.

So what’s the downside? While you may enjoy the look of metal, most common glasses today are plastic. The style of full-frame metal glasses can look a little dated or like you are trying to hard. These are computer glasses though. You don’t need to be the talk of the town, you just need something durable that will keep your eyes safe and happy.

4. Pixel Buteo - Our Favorite Prescription Glasses

Pros:

  • Minimal Yellow Tint
  • 50% of Blue Light is filtered out
  • Very Comfortable
  • The most stylish glasses come from Pixel
  • Check Square
    An advanced coating that also filters out glare and UV lighting

Cons:

  • Not the strongest blue light protection


Plastic isn’t the most durable material but it sure looks sharp around the office. Most Computer Glasses come with the curse of being a bit strange in design. Instead of vibrant poppy colors, Pixel Eyewear specializes in hip trendy frames. The lenses are AMAZING. Color hardly changes and they are incredibly light for computer glasses. As a newer manufacturer, Pixel has gone for the fashion conscious apple crowd. Stylish and elegant, these glasses are just good looking. They aren’t outrageous or overtly colorful and can fit a barista at a classy coffee shop just as well as a three-piece suit.

We really love the way Pixel has created a lens that blocks 50% of blue light and yet hardly changes the color of what you are looking at. Much of the eyewear available out there turns things yellowish and that isn’t the case with the Buteo. It simply looks fantastic. The very minimalistic take helps you feel like you are just wearing glasses. Better yet, they offer an array of top-notch prescription options. As prescription eyewear, the Buteo can go anywhere and just be your go-to glasses. A fantastic choice overall.

There is only one con and we concede it’s not a very large one. They only block around 50% of blue light (More than enough) meaning that they aren’t suitable for outdoor use as sunglasses and won’t be as effective as the Amber line from Gunnar. Regardless, they do the job and will keep your eyes comfortable and safe.

Gaming Glasses Buying Guide

Gaming Glasses are not about style any more than safety glasses are. You most likely won’t be super cool wearing gaming glasses at the office Christmas party but you’ll go home without a headache and be gaming well into your 70’s. Although some Gaming Glasses look great and may even work as eyewear outside, the primary concern is how effective they are at filtering out the right type of light and catering to your eye health.

Read on to learn about why blue light is harmful and how to select the best gaming glasses! We’ve chosen pairs that are good enough to protect your eyes and look sharp but in general, gaming glasses may not always look stylish. New brands are popping up regularly such as Pixel Eyewear. These newcomers cater to those individuals that want to look sharp and protect the photoreceptors.

The Lenses Come First

The entire purpose of buying computer glasses is to filter out harmful light sources. Many brands will do a decent job at filtering but few are able to retain image and color quality. Filtering out harmful wavelengths tends to give images a yellow tint. Most users adjust to this but those in fields such as graphic design need visuals that are the closest to true color as possible.

Important Lens Qualities

Lenses should be judged in several categories. The first is the quality or percentage of blue light that is eliminated. Getting rid of half of the harmful rays will work wonders but you can push this further if necessary (such as those who spend 40 hours working on a device). Filtering out 90% or more will result in a fine pair of sunglasses (And since the majority of blue light comes from the sun it’ll be a healthy decision).

UV protection is also an important quality to consider as well. Good glasses will offer 100% protection from harmful UV rays. As an added bonus this will often cut down on glare. Nothing is worse than trying to navigate a dark corridor in Tomb Raider with massive glare turning your monitor into a dirty mirror. The right gaming glasses actually help minimize this. Another consideration is lens durability and material.

Some are made from cheap plastic like material and don’t maintain quality for very long. Others are made from premium materials and will naturally repel dirt, grease, and scratches. Finally consider whether or not your lenses will have the tint you need. HyperX, Gunnar, and Pixel all offer great frames with nearly clear lenses. These will have minimal color change and keep you gaming in high-fidelity.

Ignore Gimmick Words

Companies love to rename random qualities of products they sell in order to make it sound like an attribute is more valuable or unique than those of a competitor. With Gaming glasses, you aren’t getting a sophisticated piece of technology that has hundreds of features. You’d expect that this would mean companies are less likely to spout technobabble but it doesn’t. The thing that matters are the lenses themselves.

Often lens technology will have some unique code word that means little without knowing why the lenses themselves are high quality. It’s important to read reviews and check out the technology section of each manufacturer. Cheap glasses are terrible and may just hurt you in the long run anyway. That’s why we selected glasses that are guaranteed to block blue light and have earned a good reputation in the gaming market.

Which Companies Offer the Best Gaming Glasses?

Picking the right company is very important. Fake lenses could offer little protection and even cause harm if you depend on them to block light. We love these three companies as they have awesome products and a proven track record with high-quality lenses.

Gunnar

Offering a large range of eyeglasses, dozens of styles, and even prescription options. Gunnar is a premium source of high-quality gaming glasses. They have a huge selection of custom glasses. Some look quite ridiculous with vibrant color patterns. Others are quite sophisticated or at least casual enough to wear in public without being considered strange. Gunnar has four different lens options that offer different levels of protection and color correction. This is very nice for those who might need close to real life color for work. They also offer an array of sunglasses that rock and help you solve two problems with one pair.

HyperX

Traditionally HyperX is known for making the best all-around gaming headsets on the market as well as several other incredibly peripherals. They currently offer only one set of gaming glasses but they’re very good. In fact the blue light protection offered by them can stop a blue laser light pretty effectively. The HyperX Gaming Glasses are top notch quality, only come in one color, but make the decision easy. You can also get prescription gaming glasses from Gunnar as well.

Pixel Eyewear

A relative newcomer to the gaming glasses scene, Pixel offers modern and sleek glasses for computer users. Computer glasses and Gamer glasses are basically the same thing with a different name. Pixel decided to cater to the fashionable Apple crowd and offers killer design that’ll look amazing in an office setting. We honestly LOVE them and are stoked to see what they develop in the years to come!

What about Off-Brand Gaming Glasses?

We recommend avoiding companies that aren’t well known or offer good science behind the glasses they produce. The reason for this is that gaming glasses need to be up to a certain level of quality to effectively block blue light. Design can also help with other forms of eye strain as well. Nothing is more obnoxious than dropping cash on a flawed no-name set though that ultimately makes your eyes hurt just as bad. There are many cheap options out there but a serious gamer or digital professional will want eyewear that minimizes color changes.

Other Options for Eliminating Blue Light

Besides blue light glasses, there are a few other ways to keep your vision healthy and filter out unhealthy light. Consider picking up something in addition to gaming glasses that may help you as well. It’s worth it to protect your eyes!

A High-end Gaming Monitor

Many companies offer gaming monitors with an onboard blue light switch that turns off the most harmful blue rays involved. It might make the screen a bit yellow and unenjoyable to view at first but if you aren’t gaming or are working on a paper, it’s a simple great option for your health.

Smartphone apps

It’s undeniable that cutting out smartphones from bedtime is a bit challenging. We get that. Both Android and iOS stores have several top-notch apps that filter out blue light from your phone and keep you from messing with your melatonin levels. Just switch them on an hour before heading to bed and it’ll work wonders on your sleep quality. It’s worth it to save your eyes!

A physical blue light filter

Many stores sell plastic blue light filters. These aren’t a perfect option but they’ll do in a pinch and work great for living rooms or devices that many users tend to congregate around. They normally come in the form of a thin sheet of material that you apply to a monitor or television.

Healthy eye maintenance

One practical tip, as obnoxious as it seems, is to take regular eye health breaks. Literally every game warns users that taking regular eye breaks can be good for health. It’s annoying to cut out of a good play session for a stretch break but if it keeps your vision clear and healthy, it’ll be worth it!

Health Problems with Computer Screens

Have you ever stared at a screen until your eyes hurt? Our digital lifestyle, unfortunately, comes at a price and the eyes are one area where it is most noticeable. The majority of Americans spend around 10 hours a day engaging with screens. It’s just a part of life. At that rate you’ll most likely spend 2500 hours a YEAR viewing things on a screen.

Many if not the majority of people report some sort of regular discomfort when using screens for hours on end. Medical professionals say it could be a multitude of things causing discomfort. In fact, the amount of rest we give our eyes immediately diminishes when in front of a screen. For instance, we blink approximately 60% less when using a device like a computer, smartphone, or tablet. This lack of blinking can cause dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches.

On top of that, permanent damage can be sustained from the death of photoreceptors, a common side effect of too much blue light. Whether it is from straining eye muscles, ignoring the urge to blink, or exposure to harmful rays, the science is clear that screen time is dangerous if not properly kept in check.

This isn’t some random problem removed from you either. If you are reading this then you are being exposed to harmful light rays.

Why Gaming Glasses?

Gaming glasses are ultimately an item that caters to the health of your eyes. Much like sunglasses, gaming glasses are a practical health and wellness device that some have chosen to invest a lot of quality and technology into. They can be stylish or gaudy depending on what you select. They can also be called computer glasses as blue light glasses have been around a long time. Most consumers will want to avoid the stigma that a gaming item could bring to the office as well so computer glasses is a good compromise on terms.

Gaming glasses primarily attempt to block bad light sources, keep eyes moist, and even help correct for the glare in a bright room. They accomplish this by designing them in unique ways that alleviate the symptoms associated with too much exposure to technology. Most Gaming Glasses sit close to the face and trap in humidity to keep eyes moist. This solves the common problem of eye-strain caused by blinking less subconsciously in-game. Lens technology has also developed to eliminate harmful blue light as well as glare and UV rays. Overall they make a huge difference in gamer quality of life.

How bad actually is blue light?

Think of blue light like smoking for the eyes. Moderate regular exposure to bad light may cause discomfort and small side effects but it is the long-term exposure that really causes devastating health problems down the road. It’s very hard to convince people to take the risk seriously though since much of the negative effects aren’t experienced until much later in life. The immediate effects can be downright terrible as well.

Blue Light can affect Sleep

The effects of blue light tend to have the most profound effect on sleep when compared to other wavelengths. That’s because blue light not only raises alertness, it's primarily delivered to us through interaction with the sun. In a sense, blue light tells us that it is daytime and when we are outside we get huge amounts of exposure to it.

The blue sky and bright rays of sunlight feel great but too much exposure can be very bad. Our bodies use blue light to naturally deduce circadian rhythms and time our sleep schedule. Constant exposure to the sun or artificial light will trick our brain into withholding one of our key components in healthy sleep, melatonin. Many sufferers of chronic insomnia that convert to Computer Glasses find out insomnia was being caused by too much blue light! Studies show that the blue rays from artificial light hamper the production of melatonin.

Simply putting a smartphone in front of your face close to bedtime can make sleep quality diminish. Insomniacs and those sensitive to blue rays may have terrible sleep quality purely because of the way blue light affects the brain. Instead of OTC medication to sleep or eliminating coffee and sugar, a simple change of glasses may do the trick!

Gazing at a screen can cause headaches, dizziness, and eye-strain

Looking at a screen for hours on end has been attributed to migraines, dizziness, and eye-strain. The most common cause is unrelaxed eye muscles that are tired from focusing too much. Another root cause is blinking less. Dry eyes and sore muscles often result in blurred vision, fatigue, and a painful throbbing head.

The insane part is that so much of this often preventable. Not only preventable but many know that screens cause these side effects but have no idea that a simple solution exists. These are temporary though. A day away from a screen will probably help your eyes feel better and get you right back into the swing of things. It’s the long-term effects of blue light that you should really concern yourself with.

Short-term exposure simply leads to mild discomfort and maybe a headache, long-term consistent exposure though will lead to macular degeneration. The real damage starts when blue light rays begin to make the cell membranes of your photoreceptors dissolve. The rays literally start killing the crucial cells that make your retina function correctly. A recent study by the University of Toledo shows that this isn’t just irritating. The combination of light is downright toxic to your photoreceptors.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular Degeneration is a condition that results in blurred or reduced vision in the center of one’s visual field. This doesn’t usually result in full-blown blindness but can make it difficult to read, recognize faces, or live your life. Imagine having a huge hole in your forward line of site. It’s just a pain.

Macular Degeneration is also a terrible problem for those who love gaming or other visual media. The most common occurrence of macular degeneration is in older individuals, so it is commonly known as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Recently studies have been able to not only link blue light to AMD but explain the exact mechanism.

Macular Degeneration is caused by damage to the macula, a portion of the eye that gives vibrant colors and high-resolution to central vision. More specifically as mentioned earlier, too much blue light is toxic to the photoreceptor cells of the human eye. It literally kills the photoreceptors that allow you to see with clarity and good color. Even worse, when these cells die off, they are permanently dead. They don’t grow back.

Since they are required for good color vision and high-resolution vision, too much constant exposure WILL eventually manifest in life-changing medical problems. If you spend several hours every day working with a computer screen, you may be at risk for the long-term effects of blue light. Like smoking it may hurt just a little bit right now but the real damage appears years from now. Sadly AMD is not a rare occurrence either. There are two million new macular degeneration cases each year in the U.S. making AMD one of the most common forms of visual impairment.

What does Macular Degeneration actually look like?

As photoreceptors die, AMD showcases in a slight blurring of focal spots near the center of vision. Over time these blurs can increase and grow until seeing is difficult or near impossible. Visual artifacts, poor color, spots of shoddy resolution are all possible symptoms of AMD. At first it seems minimal but since the sun itself gives us a large amount of blue light exposure, stopping degeneration after it’s in full-swing is pretty unlikely. There has been some use of Vitamin E in alleviating symptoms and research is still ongoing but the best cure is prevention.

Who are Gaming Glasses for?

Everyone. Whether you use a Smart Phone, watch a ton of television, work on a laptop, or design stuff for Apple, you get bombarded with blue light. Gaming glasses are marketed toward gamers because they tend to use computers for very long periods of time but they are just as important for an office worker who inputs data or a chronic Smartphone user.

It’ll help you sleep better, work better, and game for hours without pain. It’s especially important that office workers who use computers think about protecting eyes. Looking at a computer screen for hours on end is so harmful. Having a desk job means between work and home that you may spend over 12 hours a day viewing screens. That will have consequences.

Gaming Glasses F.A.Q.

Can I really get Prescription Gaming Glasses?

Prescription Gaming Glasses are offered by several companies but like normal prescription glasses, they are a bit harder to buy and more expensive. You’ll need a recent accurate prescription and sometimes to go through a third party for companies such as HyperX. This still might be the best option though if it saves your eyes and keeps you from headaches! If you need to use a computer for several hours a day, it's worth picking up a prescription pair of gaming glasses. Otherwise you might need to see an optometrist in the future anyway! They are just as good as normal prescription glasses with a little bit of a difference in tint.

Will Gaming Glasses make me better at Gaming?

Yes and no. Gaming Glasses will eliminate glare, limit discomfort from eye-strain and headaches, and ultimately eliminate distractions. If you are terrible at FPS games, you are not going to start an esports career because of gaming glasses. If you usually play marathon sessions though and note that a couple hours in you are normally sluggish, your eyes start to ache, and you can’t focus.

Gaming glasses may correct that. Don’t buy into the gimmick that you’ll play any better than good shoes make you run faster. Instead, they cater to your health, prevent injury, and help you perform to the best of your ability. Most companies are honest about this but some off-brand ones may make outrageous claims.

Does the percentage matter for blue light?

Yes and no. Blue light comes in a spectrum so when companies claim to eliminate a percentage they are talking about a spectrum of blue light that is cut out from view. This percentage when too low makes gaming glasses ultimately meaningless. When very high though it can cause a lot of color shift and is best suited for use with the outdoors. We recommend at a minimum going for 50% blue light blockage because that's enough to mitigate the effects of screen time. When outdoors though you’ll need up to 90% to block all the blue rays the sun sends at you!

Thanks for joining us!

We hope that reading through our guide on gaming glasses helped you reflect a little bit on just how precious your eyesight is. Protecting the ability to see clearly is invaluable for gamers and life in general. Only time will tell how important blue light filters are for the eyesight of an entire generation glued to screens.

For now though, you can take proactive steps that keep you healthy and gaming for hours in comfort. If you’ve learned something from us, swing back later for more unique content on Gaming Hardware and check out some of our other guides as well. And finally, don’t put off purchasing some new lenses. It may be the simple purchase that very literally saves your eyes.   

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