What Is Considered Protective Eyewear?

Posted by Paul Kim on

You’re no stranger to a little unexpected mishap during a project, and your latest blunder is probably why you landed on this page. Maybe a rock flying up from the mower came precariously close to your eyes and has you wondering if protective eyewear is right for you. 

If you’re on the fence about grabbing a pair of protective eyeglasses, we’re here to help. We’ll cover what glasses fit the protective eyewear description, why you need them, and when you should wear them. 

They Aren’t Just Glasses

The last time you had a near miss, you decided it would at least be beneficial to wear your sunglasses, but unfortunately, that’s not enough. Non-protective glasses can actually pose more of a threat to your eyes than not wearing anything at all.

If an object hits your regular eyeglasses and causes them to shatter, you could get shards of glass in your eyes (in addition to the potentially flying object). There are definite differences between standard eyeglasses and protective eyewear. And there is an even bigger difference between protective eyewear and Stoggles. 

Let’s take a look (see what we did there?):

Impact Resistance

Both safety glasses and goggles are tested under certain standards to meet impact resistance. This means that if an object were to impact your glasses, the glasses wouldn’t shatter.

There are two different types of impact resistance:

  • High Mass Resistance. In a high mass resistance test, an object weighing 500 grams and having a pointed tip is dropped from a height of at least four feet onto the lenses and frames of the glasses.
  • High-Velocity Resistance. In a high-velocity resistance test, a steel ball bearing is shot at the frames and lenses of the eyewear. For safety glasses, the speed at which the ball bearing is shot is 102 mph. For goggles, the speed increases to 250 mph. 

Glasses can be rated for one or both of the impact resistances. If a pair of safety glasses is rated for both, they’re said to have an ANSI Z87.1+ rating. To achieve this rating, however, the glasses or goggles must not shatter or break.

Spill/Splatter Proof

For protective eyewear to have the ANSI Z87.1 rating, it must also pass a spill/splatter test. This test is pass or fail. In this test, paper is attached to a mannequin head behind a pair of safety glasses.

The liquid is then sprayed directly at the glasses. If the paper remains dry, the glasses pass. If the paper gets wet, the manufacturer has more work to do. 

Frames and Lenses

For glasses to be approved as protective eyewear, both the frames of the glasses and the lenses must pass these tests. Even if you have prescription lenses in your safety frames, those, too, must be crafted from material that meets safety standards. 

One of the most popular safety frame and lens materials is polycarbonate. This material is used in numerous products that must resist breaking and remain lightweight. Because it is also transparent, it’s ideal for use in safety glasses. 

Bonus Features

Not all safety glasses will have added protective coatings, but some do.

At Stoggles, you’ll find all our safety glasses come standard with:

  • UV protection. Fun fact, UV protection doesn’t mean you have on sunglasses. Dark sunglasses filter out light, but they don’t have to be dark to filter out UV rays. The material your glasses are made from determines the amount of UV protection they offer. 

    All Stoggles have UV blocking, which means your eyes are protected from UV rays at home or in the lab.
  • Blue light protection. Blue light protection keeps your eyes safe from blue light emitted from devices like your tablet, smartphone, or computer. Stoggles safety glasses all offer blue light protection so that you can easily switch from the computer to a home improvement project without switching your frames. 

Your regular eyeglasses? They just don’t cut it when it comes to offering your eyes the level of safety they need under eyesight-threatening circumstances. 

Who Needs Them?

Short answer: you do. Long answer: you definitely do. There’s probably not a living person who can’t benefit from at least the occasional use of protective eyewear. 

On the job, you need protective eyewear anytime your eyes are at risk of injury from face hazards. 

OSHA defines a “face hazard” as: 

  • flying particles
  • molten metal
  • liquid chemicals, acids, or caustic liquids
  • chemical gases or vapors;
  • light radiation

We know what you’re thinking, but office workers, you aren’t out of the danger zone just yet. The American Academy of Ophthalmology says you need to utilize protective eyewear anytime you’re in a situation that could present a danger to your eyes.

Yard work, household projects, and your Saturday racquetball game are all candidates for protective eyewear.  It’s also a good idea to use protective eyewear anytime you’re using strong chemicals for cleaning. The fumes alone can cause eye irritation, which could damage your eyes or, at the very least, take you off task.

All in all, you don’t need to be living the real-life medical TV drama series to need protective eyewear: so many activities could benefit from a safety boost. 

Best Protective Eyewear Specs

Once you’re sold on protective eyewear, you’ll need to know what types work best. If you work in an industry that requires protective glasses, your employer may provide them for you. If not, you’ve got the freedom to choose a pair that’s right for you.

Here’s what we recommend: 


Protective eyewear should be so comfortable you forget you’re wearing it. Anything less than completely comfortable can distract you from your task and actually present a safety hazard. Comfortable frames are lightweight and fit securely, protecting all points of possible entry around the eye and protecting all fields of vision. 

Let’s be real; if something isn’t comfortable, we probably won’t wear it for long (case in point: high heels while dancing). If protective eyewear isn’t comfortable, people often just take them off after a while, or worse — not wear them at all. 


If there’s one consistent, resounding complaint that protective eyewear users have is that safety glasses that constantly fog. Foggy glasses are not only annoying; they’re a major safety concern. If your glasses fog, there’s a two-part problem. 

  • You can’t see what you’re doing. No one wants an orthopaedic surgeon with foggy glasses handling their knee replacement. 
  • Foggy glasses are a danger to your eyes. When your glasses fog, you’ll have to remove them to clean them, and in doing so, you’ll expose your eyes to chemicals, flying objects, and any other debris that has you wearing protective glasses in the first place. 

Fogging lenses are a major, industry-wide issue, and it’s why every pair of Stoggles comes standard with an anti-fog coating to make sure your eyes are protected, and your patience isn’t tested. 


Surprised? Don’t be! If you wear corrective lenses, one of the first requirements you had for selecting your new glasses was the style. We think the same applies to safety glasses. If you can’t feel cool and confident in your protective eyewear, you probably won’t wear  them as often as you should. 

Stoggles is the protective eyewear that offers you protection, style, and comfort in one irresistibly fashionable package. All the protection, none of the weird middle-school-chemistry-lab-feel

Protective Eyewear For All

No matter who you are or what you do, protective eyewear is a great decision that can keep your eyes safe from accidents or on-the-job incidents. Your regular glasses won’t keep your eyes protected like safety glasses. 

Stoggles gives you the safety protection you need with the style you deserve, so you can be comfortable, protected, and effortlessly stylish whether you’re at work or flexing your lawnmower game on the weekends. 



1910.133 - Eye and face protection. | Occupational Safety and Health Administration 

Eye Injury - an overview | Science Direct

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