Frame materials

Metal and plastic are the main materials used for eyeglass frames.

But within those two categories come a multitude of choices to help ensure that the material you select for your eyeglass frames complements your lifestyle.

Metal surges in popularity

Metal has become a popular choice in eyeglass frame materials. Everything from stainless steel to aluminum is used and these materials lend a contemporary look to eyeglass frames.

Starting with aluminum, it's lightweight and moldable making it a perfect material for custom eyeglass frame styles. . Another benefit of this abundant material is its resistance to corrosion.

Sharing many characteristics as aluminum is titanium,. Titanium is strong yet lightweight and flexible. Pure titanium is expensive which is why when it comes to eyeglass frames and this material is generally combined with nickel and copper.

As popular as it is in the kitchen, stainless steel is a popular material for eyeglass frames. Its chromium content makes stainless steel eyeglass frames better at resisting abrasions, heat and corrosion. It’s affordable and light-weight and when it doesn't contain any nickel, it's also hypoallergenic.

Another alloy containing titanium is called Flexon. And as its name implies, this proprietary eyeglass frame material is so flexible and frames can be twisted, crushed and otherwise mishandled without breaking or losing their original shape. If you're one who often falls asleep on the couch with your eyeglasses on, you've got to check out this material. Flexon has it all - it's lightweight, hypoallergenic and corrosion resistant.

What about Plastic?

Advancements in the manufacture and blending of different materials have created several new and improved plastics that are perfect for making eyeglass frames.

And although it breaks more easily and can weaken when exposed to sun and heat, it's still a popular eyeglass frame material.

For example, blended nylon eyeglass frames are more durable and more lightweight than earlier styles that were made solely with nylon. And since nylon is malleable, it's perfect for the popular wrap-around styles.

If hypoallergenic materials are important to you, look for eyeglass frames made from lightweight propionate.

If you're into colour, interesting layered coloured effects are achieved using zyl. Also known as cellulose acetate or xylonite, this eyeglass frame material is lightweight and inexpensive.

Are you allergic to your eyeglass frame?

Do certain frame or nose pad materials irritate your skin? Tell your eye doctor or our qualified optician, who can help you find eyeglasses you can wear comfortably. Here's the lowdown on materials:

If metal frames cause a reaction, nickel is usually the culprit because most metal frames are made of a nickel alloy. Other metals used include aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, zinc, copper, beryllium, gold and silver. Stainless, titanium, gold and silver are usually hypoallergenic.

Some people are allergic to the nose pads on metal frames. Most are made of silicone or acetate, but they also can be made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), nickel, titanium or rubber. Silicone is tricky: certain silicones are hypoallergenic (such as medical silicone), but others can trigger allergic reactions. Both PVC and titanium are usually hypoallergenic.

Most plastic glasses are made of zyl (also called xylonite, acetate and cellulose acetate) or propionate. Other materials used in plastic frames include polyamide, nylon, polycarbonate, carbon and Optyl. Propionate. polyamide, nylon and Optyl frames are all considered hypoallergenic.

How to choose the right type of eyeglasses frame for your particular face

It is our ultimate goal to find the right frame shape for your face. We know that your face is unique. Choosing the frame that's right for you doesn't have to be difficult and of course we cannot choose it for you, because it is all about what you like, and what looks good on you.

George Gooneratne Optometrists believe consumers should be well informed when purchasing eyeglasses,

so we have put together very detailed explanations to help you, on how to choose the right type of frame for your particular face. Take your time to discover what colour, style of frame and construction will suit you the best. It will be well worth the effort.

Our range of frames has been chosen from the top manufactures in the world and will satisfy the most demanding customer, but it's up to you, to choose the ultimate fashion statement in your choice of frames.

The information here will assist you in choosing the most flattering frames.
  • The top of the frames should not be higher than the line of your eyebrows.
  • The lower edge of the frames should not sit on your cheeks, so make sure that when you smile they don’t touch and irritate.
  • Choose a size of frame that is in proportion to your face - if you have a small face, don't choose large glasses.
  • The frames should not be wider than the overall width of your face at the temples.
Seven basic shapes

Every face is one of seven basic shapes: diamond, heart, pyramid, oval, rectangular, round or square . See the descriptions of these face shapes and which types of frames will work for your particular face.

There are three keys to choosing the correct eyeglass frame for your face shape:
  • The frame shape should contrast with the face shape.
  • The frame size should be in scale with the face size.
  • Eyeglasses should repeat your personal best feature (such as a brown frame to match brown eyes)

Picking out eyeglass frames can be overwhelming, but read on - help is at hand five tips to help you look fabulous
  • Eyeglass frames should complement your face shape, features and colouring.
  • Frames must fit you properly to work right and look good.
  • They should match your lifestyle.
  • Certain prescriptions work better with certain frames.
  • Frames vary with different materials, so make sure it's the frame that suits your face.