Glasses Parts Anatomy 101: How Many Can You Name?

Posted by Paul Kim on

Even if you don’t wear corrective lenses, you probably wear sunglasses some of the time. If you work in a hazardous environment, you might even wear safety glasses or goggles

If your glasses break, you might be tempted to just trade them for a new pair, but if you love them (or have invested a small fortune for a designer pair), you can simply have them repaired. 

Knowing the different parts of your glasses can help you keep them working properly and probably save you some serious cash in the long run. 

Ready to test your glasses parts anatomy? Read on. 

Dissecting Your Glasses

We promise this won’t get messy. Your eyeglasses have three main parts:

  • Frame: You can compare your eyeglass’s frame to your car’s chassis. It provides the structure for your glasses and all other parts attached to it. 
  • Lenses: The reason you’re wearing your glasses in the first place. Your lenses may be corrective, protective, or both. 
  • Arms: The arms of your glasses are the parts that fit over your ears. They attach to the sides of your frames. 

Seems easy, but your glasses are a little more complex. Each of the three main parts of your glasses has different subparts. Let’s look at them a little more in-depth. 

The Frame

The frame of your glasses consists of the rim that fits around your lenses. The frame houses the lenses but also determines how your glasses will fit against your face. It’s also the key determining factor of your glasses’ overall style. 

Frames can be made from different materials. Depending on the specific purpose for your glasses, you might have a frame that is made from titanium or even polycarbonate (popular with safety glasses and goggles). You’re probably familiar, too, with plastic frames, a popular material for sunglasses. 

There are three different types of frames:

  • Full rim: This type of frame surrounds the lenses entirely. 
  • Half-rim: These types of frames only surround the top half of your lenses. These frames are lightweight and usually require another material (like hidden nylon cording) to help keep the glasses intact and from popping out. 
  • Rimless: Rimless glasses essentially have no frame but rather a series of small hardware pieces that connect the lenses over the bridge of the nose and hold the arms to the sides. Rimless glasses are very low profile, which some users prefer. 

In addition to providing structure for your glasses, the frame is also home to a few other glasses parts. 

  • The bridge: The portion of your glasses that fits over your nose is referred to as the bridge. There are numerous different types of bridges. The bridge holds your lenses together in one piece and also bears the majority of the weight of your glasses. An uncomfortable bridge can make wearing your glasses miserable. The bridge helps ensure your glasses fit your face comfortably. 
  • Nose pads: To make your eyeglasses even more comfortable, your pair may have nose pads. Nose pads are sometimes small oval pads that rest on either side of your nose. Some, on the other hand, are integrated within the design of the frame. Saddle bridge style glasses are glasses that have a bridge without nose pads. If these glasses sound familiar, they probably are: Steve Jobs frequently wore this iconic look.

The frame of your glasses is highly functional in structure and simultaneously important to your style. A great pair of frames can change your look and highlight different aspects of your personality. Many wearers choose to have multiple frames to match their mood or outfit.

The Lenses

Any glasses you wear are worn because of the protective or corrective factor of the lenses. Eyeglasses provide vision correction but are also able to provide protection from hazards like the sun, chemicals, spills, debris, and other particles that could harm your eyes. 

Lens material is determined by the function of the glasses. For instance, if you’re wearing a pair of ANSI-certified safety glasses, both the frame and the lenses will likely be made from polycarbonate. 

Some of the most popular eyeglass lens materials are:

  • Plastic: Plastic lenses are crafted from an ultra-light, high index material that makes it easy for your glasses to remain lightweight, even if you have a strong prescription. These lenses are cost-effective and extremely comfortable.
  • Polycarbonate: The industry standard for safety goggles and glasses, polycarbonate lenses are durable enough to withstand high-velocity impact without cracking, breaking, or scratching. They can also be crafted with or without a prescription.  
  • Crown Glass lenses: Crown glass lenses refract light better than plastic, so glass lenses will always provide a better optical experience for the wearer. However, glass lenses are heavier than plastic and aren’t known for their durability or safety. 

It should be noted that even though glass lenses provide the highest level of clarity, for most of us, the difference between glass and plastic lenses isn’t noticeable. 


The arms of your glasses are also known as temples because they rest against the temples and fit over the ear. The arms of your glasses attach to the frame at the outer side of each lens. Arms can be made from the same material as your frame or from another material. 

There are three distinct types of arms, each created to keep your glasses fitting securely and comfortably on your head. 

  1. Straight temples: These types of arms fit straight across your temples and do not have a bend over the ears. If you dislike the feeling of something touching your ears, these would be a great solution for you.

  2. Cable temples: These types of arms curl around the ear for a comfortable fit. Especially popular in children’s glasses, these arms help make sure your glasses don’t fall forward on your nose when you lean over or bow your head. Also referred to as “curl” temples, these arms may not be comfortable for people who continually remove their glasses and replace them. 

  3. Drop temples: These arms have a slight hook or bend at the end of the arms that point downward. These are the most popular types of arms available and the type you’ll most likely find on sunglasses, eyeglasses, and even safety glasses. 

The arms also feature a few more parts. It’s important to become familiar with these parts, as they are most often the parts of your glasses that break and need repair. 

  • Hinges: We’ve all been victim to a loose arm, or worse, one that comes completely detached from the frame. When this happens, the hinge is to blame. The hinge is the joint where the arms attach to the frame of your glasses. 
  • Screws: The screws are located in the hinges of your glasses, and keep the arms attached. More often than not, when your glasses aren’t fitting properly, keep slipping, or become uncomfortable, you’ve probably got a loose screw (no pun intended). The screws can also be loosened or tightened to customize the fit of your glasses.

What’s Your Score?

Now that we’ve covered the components of your glasses, it’s time to tally your score. Just kidding, this wasn’t a test. Hopefully, you’re more familiar with the design and style of your glasses so that the next time you have an issue, you don’t feel the need to throw them away. 

In the market for a new pair? We can help. Stoggles are where safety and style meet. Each pair of Stoggles offer all the protection of safety glasses but look like your favorite frames. Our lenses are available with or without a prescription and are all blue-light protective. They also have a powerful anti-fog coating to keep your life crystal clear. That means you can quite literally wear our frames all day. 

You don’t have to know the anatomy of your glasses to know great style. Stoggles are the safety glasses that make personal protective equipment iconic. 



Complete Guide to Polycarbonate Lenses | Vision 

Crown Glass - An Overview | Science 

Plastic Lens - An Overview | Science 

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