by Nic Sells

Where to Buy Safety Glasses - Your Ultimate Guide

Where to Buy Safety Glasses - Your Ultimate Guide

Whether you’re an avid DIYer or work in environments where eye safety is a must, finding comfortable, stylish and protective eyewear can be the difference between putting your sight at risk and not. According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), roughly 2,000 workers in the United States sustain a job-related eye injury each day. But, 90% of the daily eye injuries are preventable with the use of appropriate safety eyewear, according to Prevent Blindness.      

But buying reliable, protective and stylish safety eyewear may not be as easy as it sounds. First (as anyone who has been given company-provided safety glasses can attest to), typical protective eyewear isn’t always stylish. Most safety glasses are designed with one thing in mind: to protect your eyes. Style takes a back seat to the purely functional design of many safety glasses on the market.

And if it sounds like we’re suggesting that you’re less likely to wear safety glasses if they don’t look stylish, you’re right! In fact, “I don’t like how they look on me” is a common excuse many workers who are required to wear safety glasses give for not wearing their eye protection. And, hey, it’s hard to blame them. Nobody wants to look silly, even at work (or maybe especially at work)!

Where can you find stylish safety glasses that you’ll want to wear to protect your eyes? Fortunately, developments have been rapid in safety eyewear technology, design and style during the last 10 years. In short, it’s not as hard to find stylish glasses that claim to be safety rated as it once was (note: “claim” to be safety rated). Even some traditional “fashion” eyewear brands now offer some variation of protective eyewear.

But this trend of non-safety brands designing protective eyewear comes with some pitfalls . . .

Not all “safety glasses” are actually safe.  

See, just because a brand claims its eyewear is “ANSI approved” or “Z87+” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. This is because brands can request the manufacturers of their frames to simply stamp “Z87+” on the temples (like all safety eyewear is required to have). But carrying this “Z87+” stamp on the temples doesn’t necessarily mean the glasses are safety approved.

In the United States, compliance with ANSI’s Z87.1+ safety standard is self-certified. This means that initial certification is based on tests by the manufacturer. No independent, non-biased testing is (currently) required for eyewear to be labeled as “ANSI Z87+”.

But testing by the eyewear manufacturer can lack the high impact forces, eye coverage and optical testing required of ANSI Z87+ approved eyewear. We’re not claiming manufacturer testing is dishonest, it just may not be as thorough as an independent, third-party labs.

Buying safety glasses that are independently tested for ANSI's impact, coverage and optical standards is the best way ensure your eyes will be protected when faced with the unexpected.    

But not all sport, fashion and, even, safety eyewear brands take the time or invest into having their Z87+ frame styles third-party tested for ANSI compliance.

When you’re looking at where to buy safety glasses, make sure to buy directly from brands who third-party test their glasses for ANSI requirements—or purchase from reputable resellers who sell these trustworthy brands. 

This third-party testing is obviously important to ensure you have glasses with the proper strength and coverage to protect your eyes when things don’t go as planned.  

Consider these reputable online retailers and brick and mortar locations for purchasing your next pair of truly ANSI-approved safety glasses:
Big surprise here, huh? But we always third-party test our safety glasses for ANSI’s requirements. And we pioneered stylish, functional and technology-packed safety glasses. Plus, with bulk pricing and fast, free shipping on qualifying orders, buying safety glasses has never been easier or more economical.
With a huge selection of safety glasses from various reputable brands (including Edge), Safety Glasses USA is a fantastic online resource. It also offers a selection of high-vis clothing, ear pro, gloves and other personal protective products. 

Simple enough . . . Amazon’s a top choice for many online shoppers. And, with careful browsing, it’s not difficult to find quality, stylish and functional safety eyewear (that’s truly ANSI approved). Indeed, even Edge safety glasses are offered on Amazon.

Ace Hardware
The helpful place indeed! Your local Ace Hardware is a fantastic place to find quality safety glasses for your next DIY project or a better pair of protective eyewear for work. And you can even order online and have them shipped directly to your door.

Your local home improvement center
From the big orange box store to the big blue one and all the little hardware stores in-between, there’s bound to be a local retailer who offers safety eyewear. Just make sure to only buy protective eyewear from trusted brands who third-party test their safety glasses for ANSI’s Z87+ compliance.