Plastic or Metal Frames?

Back to Eye Care News

Plastic or Metal Frames?

It’s a tough decision choosing the right type of glasses that you will be comfortable with, and so a lot of the time we get asked “Which type of glasses frame is better for me… Metal or Plastic?”

Altogether there is no real outright winner and it really does depend on the person’s lifestyle and style choice, both do the job well and both come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Today we going to look at these so we can help you make that final decision.

Metal Frames

Metal frames have a very minimalist look and are generally a lot thinner and more lightweight than the plastic glasses frames. They are also slightly more flexible, so they make good options for those sporty types who enjoy a vigorous lifestyle. Unlike plastic frames, metal frames come with the option to go semi-rimless, where the lenses are not fitted inside a metal frame, but simply attached to the arms. This is really great for those people that don’t want to or can’t wear contacts, and prefer a super minimalist look.

One of the downfalls of metal frames is that they are more likely to break at the temple joints if they don’t have spring hinges. The other is that anyone with a metal allergy may be affected. Some of the more high class metal glasses frames however, do a good job of coating the nickel so as to prevent any irritation caused by a metal allergy. So have a chat with one of our Cape Town optometrists to find out which of the metal frames will not cause any kind of reaction.

You can choose from four main metal types for these frames:

  • Pure titanium (Nickel free and hypo-non-allergenic)
  • Titanium alloy frames (ultra-light weight including memory metal frame options)
  • Stainless steel (used to create ultra-thin frames due to its durability).
  • Monel (the most common metal frames used worldwide – does contain nickel)

Plastic Frames

While metal frames for glasses tend to go for the minimalist look, plastic frames generally lean the other way; taking advantage of their thicker, heavier and more rigid look to create bold and colourful statements. Because plastic frames are so much sturdier and have a much wider range of colours and styles, they make a good choice for kids. The thicker frames and easily dyeable plastic material make the perfect platform to create spectacles that range from subtle and stylish to vivid & outrageous.

Plastic frames come with no nickel, so those with metal allergies can wear them and also because of their strength can hold a much thicker lens, making them ideal for those with particularly strong prescriptions.

The only real downfall of plastic spectacle frames is that they lose their adjustment a bit faster than metal frames, so you might need to come in to one of our EyeQ stores a little more often to get your glasses tightened or adjusted.

You can choose from four main plastic types for these frames:

  • SPX (the lightest plastic used for spectacle frames and has a high resistance to perspiration absorption)
  • Optyl (high quality plastic that comes in both solid and translucent colours)
  • Cellulose Acetate and Proprinate (most widely used around the globe and come in every possible colour you could imagine)

I really hope this in-depth look at the difference between plastic and metal glasses frames has been of some help to you. If you still have questions, don’t forget our super friendly optometrists are always available to answer your questions over the phone, or you can come in and visit us in person and we can show you all the metal and plastic frame options that are available to you.

See you next week and enjoy the weekend!

Share this post

Back to Eye Care News