Reviewed by : Dr. Matthew Miller, OD on 02 Jul, 2021

Just like frames, sunglass tints come in a variety of options. Some patients pick their lenses simply because they like the color. Others go for a specific tint according to the activity they’re doing, which makes sense because they can help in different ways.

All sunglasses are tinted, but not all are polarized. The benefit of using polarized sunglasses over non-polarized sunglasses is that glare and halos are significantly reduced. This is particularly noticeable during activities such as driving in the rain, or water activities such as fishing. That’s because polarization blocks the light that bounces off of horizontal surfaces.

What Color Polarized Lens is Best?

If you’re primarily wearing them as a fashion statement, then any color can be the ‘best’. But if you’re wearing them for a specific activity, then there are some colors that are better suited.

For computer use, if blue light blocking glasses don’t seem to be enough, you might want to consider rose tinted lenses. They’ve proved to be particularly helpful for people who suffer from migraines.

For indoor or snow sports, you might consider wearing yellow tinted sunglasses. These help to increase contrast in hazy, foggy or low-light conditions. Some people feel they help with night driving, too.

For outdoor precision sports, such as golf, you might want to go for green tinted lenses in your sunnies. They filter some blue light and reduce glare, making it easier to track golf balls.

And what about gradient tints? Which you can also get polarized, by the way. Gradient tints are helpful in situations such as working in changing light conditions. Maybe you’re working in a garden and have to go in and out of a shed for tools. The gradient tint would make it possible where you wouldn’t have to remove your sunglasses to see in the darker areas.

What's the Best Polarized Lens Color for Water Activities?

You might think it’d be blue lenses, since water often appears blue, but you’d be wrong. Most water activities do well with brown or amber tinted polarized sunglasses. These tints help make everything seem more vibrant and brighter, and the polarization makes it possible to see past the reflections coming off the water — important for reeling in your next big catch!

What’s the Best Polarized Lens Color for Driving?

This often comes down to personal preference, but the best lens color options for driving are usually gray or amber. Gray is generally better for bright, hazy, sunny conditions. Amber is often better for cloudy, overcast days and rain. As mentioned above, some people feel yellow helps them with contrast when driving at night, too.

What’s the Best Polarized Lens for Hiking?

Again, this comes down somewhat to personal preference. In general brown or amber lenses are considered best for hiking. But, gray tinted lenses also work well. If you’re hiking in full sun, you might find you prefer gray tints but if you’re hiking through the forest, you’d probably find brown or amber more appealing.

Gray and brown/amber are often good default choices for most outdoor activities and driving, depending on the lighting conditions. You’ll notice this if you check out the sunglasses section of most opticals. Just about every pair of sunglasses will be gray or

brown/amber tinted. However, if you participate in any of the activities above, consider giving the other tints a try. Who knows? Maybe it’ll improve your golf handicap the next time you’re on the fairway!