We understand that when it comes to eyes, everyone has different need and requirements. That’s why in today’s post we’re exploring two types of lenses: bifocals and varifocals.

To bifocal or to varifocal? That is the question. If you have two prescriptions for seeing far and near, and often find yourself switching between two pairs of glasses, then this post is for you. Did you know that you could make your life a whole lot easier with just ONE pair of glasses? Enter bifocal and varifocal lenses. Specially designed to help you see things near and far, these lenses have sections ready to hold two prescriptions. So now you don’t need to always have two pairs of glasses handy.

Scout Henri

What is the difference between the two?

While bifocal and varifocal lenses help you see both distances with ease, there is a subtle difference between the two.

Bifocals have a visible line separating the parts of the lens for distance and reading. The upper part is used for seeing things at a distance, and the lower part is for seeing things up close. This said, can you have both parts for reading. For example, someone might use the top part of the lens for reading, but then have the bottom part for computer use. Your eyes can adjust to bifocal lenses pretty much straight away.

FUN FACT: Did you know that Founding Father and the 6th Governor of Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin invented bifocal lenses?

Varifocal lenses offer a smooth progression from long distance (at the top of the lens), to intermediate distance (in the middle), to up close (at the bottom of the lens). Your eyes may struggle to adjust to varifocal lenses, you’re advised to take it slow and give yourself a few weeks (anywhere between two to four weeks) to get comfortable.

Benefits of bifocal lenses

  • Only use one pair of glasses
  • You can see two distances

Benefits of varifocal lenses

  • Only use one pair of glasses
  • You can see three distances
  • No distinct lines allow for a clearer image, but takes more getting used to
  • A wider field of vision
Scout Marilyn

How do I choose between bifocals and varifocals?

If you find yourself constantly having to switch between long, intermediate and short distances, then varifocal lenses are your best bet. If you only switch between long and short distance, then why not give bifocal lenses a try? If you’re not sure about which would work best for you, contact our opticians for advice via phone (01793 746601) or email (ask@glassesdirect.co.uk).

What does Glasses Direct offer?

We offer bifocal and two varifocal lenses, designed using the latest technologies such as Freeform lenses. Our lenses are of the same high quality as those you’d find on the high street but at a fraction of the price.

Bifocal: As well as supplying the traditional bifocal lens (with distance and reading prescriptions), we also offer bifocals for intermediate and reading distances – like the one we discussed earlier. These have different reading areas, and we recommend you speak to one of our opticians for advice.

Varifocal Advanced: This varifocal lens is crafted from modern Freeform lens technology, and offers a wider field of vision at all distances, compared to standard varifocal lenses.

Varifocal Elite HD: Consider this an upgraded varifocal lens. Developed with High-Definition Digital Ray Path technology, Varifocal Elite HD takes Freeform lens design to the next level by offering superior visual comfort and a larger field of vision. Did we also mention that it’s a favourite among our varifocal customers?

Don’t worry if you’re not ready to make the switch to any of these, you can still make use of our single vision lenses. Did you know that new customers can get two pairs of glasses from £19?

Prolong the life and enhance the benefits of your glasses. Upgrade your lenses with one of our great value lens packages. Find out more information on our bifocal and varifocal options onsite, or speak to one of our qualified opticians.

All our frames can be fitted with bifocal or varifocal lenses, so the only thing you need to think about is which style you want to wear! Take a look at our edit of stylish frames.

Top image: Agence Olloweb