GUNNAR Glasses: Review, Pricing, and More

GUNNAR Glasses Review, Pricing, and More

If you’re reading this review, chances are you saw Joe Croft pitch GUNNAR Computer Glasses on Shark Tank! Or, maybe you’re a hardcore gamer and you’re interested in learning more about the ever popular GUNNAR Gaming Glasses. Regardless of how you landed here, I’m happy to provide you with my professional insight!

As an optometrist, my passion is educating patients and those who visit this website on the importance of eye health and wellness. This includes yearly comprehensive eye exams, safe contact lens wear and the importance of UV and harmful blue light eye protection!

I first discovered GUNNAR glasses a few years ago. As a somewhat digital junkie (I’m always on my phone/laptop/desktop), I wanted to make sure my eyes were protected. With limited prescription requirements (I had LASIK during optometry school and absolutely love it), I recently decided to give GUNNAR Glasses a try. Below is a review of what you need to know about GUNNAR Glasses, including my own personal experience!

Gunnar Computer Eyewear

Benefits of GUNNAR glasses

Do you spend hours (or virtually your entire day) in front of digital devices? If you’re like most people, you probably do! After reading up on GUNNAR Glasses, I discovered they provide a number of benefits for your eye health and overall wellness. Below is an overview of these benefits.

1) Blocking of harmful blue light

GUNNAR lenses block varying levels of harmful blue light (depending on which lens you go with). Harmful blue light is a part of the visible light spectrum that carries A LOT of energy. While its primary source is the sun, the digital devices that consume our daily lives give off harmful blue light too.

Unfortunately, short-term overexposure to harmful blue light can suppress melatonin production and lead to poor sleep. On the other hand, while still debatable, studies suggest that long-term overexposure can increase your risk for macular degeneration formation and early-onset cataracts!

However, keep in mind, not all blue light is bad! In fact, blue light is necessary for regulating your mood and circadian rhythm.

2) Decreased digital eye strain & improved visual comfort

According to the Vision Council, “More than 83% of Americans report using digital devices for more than two hours per day with 60.5% experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain.” These symptoms include dry eyes, eye strain, headaches, blurry vision and neck/shoulder pain. 

Fortunately, GUNNAR lenses have +0.2 diopters of focusing power built into their lenses. As a result, they help eliminate muscle strain from viewing digital devices up close for long periods of time.

Also, by blocking glare and harmful blue light, GUNNAR lenses can help decrease your chances of experiencing digital eyes strain! Plus, their yellow tinted (Amber) lenses can help improve your visual contrast and soothe your eyes during digital device use. 

3) Improved overall wellness

Unfortunately, exposure to blue light a few hours before bed can significantly impact the quality of your sleep. Why? Exposure to blue light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a natural sleep hormone.

Honestly, decreasing your exposure to blue light before bed is challenging! That’s why blue blocking glasses should highly be considered if you’re going to “burn the midnight old” in front of your digital devices.

RELATED: How To Purchase the PERFECT Pair of Glasses!
Gunnar Computer Eyewear

GUNNAR lens types 

Fortunately, all GUNNAR Glasses have anti-reflective coatings on both the front and back of their lenses. These coatings help reduce glare and unnecessary reflections. Also, they help increase the durability of GUNNAR lenses and make them easier to clean and care for. Below is an overview of the 2 main GUNNAR lenses available.

GUNNAR's Haus frame with Amber lenses
Source: Gunnar.com

Amber lens

GUNNAR’s signature Amber lens was designed to absorb 65% of harmful blue light from your digital devices. This is significantly more than their Crystalline lens

In addition, these lenses have a slight yellow tint and improve your visual efficiency by enhancing overall contrast and minimizing screen glare.

If you need prescription glasses, Amber lenses are available in prescriptions up to a +/- 6.00D for flatter frames.

Pros

  • Largest % of harmful blue light protection (compared to their Crystalline lens).
  • Superior contrast and comfort.
  • Excellent visual efficiency.

Cons

    • Can alter your color perception and impact jobs that need true color.
    • Yellow tint is less ascetically pleasing (compared to their Crystalline lens).
GUNNAR's Phenom frame with Crystalline lenses
Source: Gunnar.com

Crystalline lens

GUNNAR’s Crystalline lens was designed to absorb 10% of harmful blue light from your digital devices. This is significantly less than their Amber lens.

Overall, it’s intended for individuals that need true color in their digital environment. This includes creative visual artists like graphic designers and video production editors.

Like their Amber lens, these lenses are available in prescriptions up to a +/- 6.00D.

Pros

  • Best for individuals who need an equally balanced color spectrum (i.e. true color).
  • Clear appearance may be seen as more aesthetically pleasing (compared to the yellow tint of their Amber lens).

Cons

  • Significantly smaller % of harmful blue light protection (compared to their Amber lens).
  • Not as comfortable with less visual efficiency.

GUNNAR frame styles

Browsing GUNNAR’s website, I noticed they offer a large range of frame styles. For example, if you’re looking for glasses to wear at the office or while you’re using your digital devices, you should strongly consider GUNNAR Computer frames.

On the other hand, if you’re an avid gamer and need glasses designed to fit around your gaming headsets, you should definitely check out GUNNAR Gaming frames.

GUNNAR testimonials

Patients

“I talked to my eye doctor after my son’s annual eye exam about Gunnar glasses. She told me the science was sound and these, certainly wouldn’t hurt. I was concerned about the kid’s eyes. His school has gone fully digital. Everything is on a laptop or tablet. An hour into his homework his eyes looked like a vampire on a day pass. I bought him a pair of Gunnar’s. One of the best things I have ever bought. No more tired, itchy, bloodshot eyes.” – David

“As a scientist, I have spent many hours in the lab collecting data, and many more hours on the computer turning that data into excessively fancy graphs. But hey, that’s my style. Just like GUNNAR eyewear! These glasses get me through long hours on the computer so that I can go home at the end of the day and hop right into my other passion, gaming.” – Christina

“Thank you for the amazing glasses. They have really been amazing. Even tho I’m 12, I’m very proud to say that I love them.” – Capone

Eye care professionals

“The Gunnar Amber lens significantly blocks blue light and enhances contrast and depth perception. The two primary properties of Amber lenses that make them good at preventing digital eye strain are added visual contrast and the filtering of blue light. Over saturation of blue light decreases our visual acuity, depth perception, and can make focusing difficult. This ultimately makes our eyes work harder, resulting in greater eye fatigue and headaches. In the long-term, there are studies and literature stating blue light can cause cataracts and macular degeneration.” – Dr. Eric White

RELATED: Anti-Reflective Coatings: What Are the Real Benefits?
Gunnar Computer Eyewear

Pricing

GUNNAR Glasses are competitive in pricing. For example, their over-the-counter glasses range from $49.99 to $99.99. On the other hand, their single vision glasses start at $169 while their progressives start at $269. Honestly, not a bad bang for your buck for blue blocking glasses!

Warranty

Non-prescription warranty

According to GUNNAR’s website their non-prescription warranty:

  • Covers products against defects in materials and workmanship for 1 year from the original purchase date.
  • Does not cover normal wear and tear (i.e. scratched lenses, etc.).
  • Does not cover products purchased through eBay or any non-authorized dealer including Amazon non-authorized resellers.
  • Requires eyewear registration and upload proof of purchase.

Prescription warranty

According to GUNNAR’s website, their prescription warranty:

  • Covers products against defects in materials and workmanship for 1 year from the original purchase date.
  • Covers defects in the lens AR coating for a period of 2 years from the date of purchase.
  • Covers a 1-time change of Rx by your Doctor, or change of frame for a period of 120 days from the date of original purchase.
  • Does not cover normal wear and tear (i.e. scratched lenses, etc.).
  • Does not cover damages caused by accidents, neglect, improper use or improper storage are also not covered under warranty.
  • Requires eyewear registration and upload proof of purchase.
  • Note: ALL RX Orders are final and nonrefundable.

Personal experience and final thoughts

First and foremost, I found that GUNNAR’s website made it very easy to narrow things down to a pair that fit what I’m looking for. Also, GUNNAR glasses are available at major US retailers, including Best Buy.

GUNNAR's Sheadog frame with Amber lenses
Source: Gunnar.com

Sheadog frame with Amber lenses

The first pair I tried out was their Sheadog frame with Amber lenses. When I put them on, I immediately noticed the yellow tint the Amber lenses provide. However, after a minute or two, my eyes quickly adapted and it was not an issue.

To test them out, I decided to use these glasses for a few days while working 8+ hours on the computer. I was doing article editing and routine website work so the slight change in color perception did not impact my work. To be honest, when wearing these glasses, I really did feel less tired at the end of the day. Also, the Sheadog frame was extremely light and I didn’t experience any visual discomfort!

GUNNAR's Publish frame with Amber lenses
Source: Gunnar.com

Publish frame with Amber lenses

I also tried their Publish frame with Amber lenses and had a similar experience. While more my style, the Publish frame was just a little heavier than the Sheadog. Personally, I’d recommend these lenses to anyone that puts in long hours in front of the computer and is looking for some extra eye protection and energy at the end of the day.

GUNNAR's Intercept frame with Amber lenses
Source: Gunnar.com

Intercept frame with Crystalline lenses

On the other hand, since I do a lot of video editing, I also decided to try out was their Intercept frame with Crystalline lenses. From a true color perspective, I could not tell a difference with the glasses on or off. Unlike the Amber lenses, I could easily see myself doing a lot of visual design work with these lenses! They were very comfortable and something I would recommend to anyone who is a visual artist.

Gunnar Computer Eyewear

My recommendation

Overall, I find GUNNAR Glasses to be a great product for the price! They have a number of frame and lens combinations to choose from and will certainly keep your eyes comfortable and protected. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below!


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Ryan Corte, OD
Dr. Ryan Corte was born and raised in Novi, MI where he attended Novi High School. He graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science in 2008. He also attended The Ohio State University College of Optometry where he graduated with a Doctor of Optometry degree in 2012. Dr. Corte completed an Optometric Residency in Primary Care and Ocular Disease at the Illinois College of Optometry in 2013. During his residency, he obtained advanced clinical competency to practice optometry at the highest level as well as provided educational assistance and supervision of third and fourth year students as a clinical faculty member. He now practices just north of Charlotte, NC at Northlake Eye. In addition to his clinical expertise, Dr. Corte has contributed to optometry through multiple leadership roles. He is a former Executive President of the American Optometric Student Association and is currently serving on the Young ODs and Membership committee of the North Carolina Optometric Society Optometric. He also was a senior journalist for NewGradOptometry.com and is a co-founder of CovalentCareers.com. Dr. Corte thrives on involvement and looks forward to remaining very active throughout his professional career. Outside of work, he loves spending time with his wife, family and friends as well as continuing to stay active in his community and in life.