Mysafetytools is audience-supported. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission that we use for site maintenance. Learn more

Blogs

Safety Goggles vs Safety Glasses: What’s Best for You?

Safety Goggles vs Safety Glasses
Written by Willie F Brodson

Both safety goggles and safety glasses protect your eyes but in different ways. The goggles give you absolute protection around your eyes while the glasses usually give you front and side protection only.

But which one will work better for you? Let’s take a closer look at the two so you can make an informed decision.

Safety goggles

Features to look for

  • Impact protection
  • Face fitting seal
  • Protection filters

Pros

  • Entire protection around your eyes
  • Can have high impact ratings
  • Different lens properties available (like anti-mist)
  • Protect from chemical or liquid splash

Cons

  • Don’t always fit over regular glasses
  • Ventilation issues (too hot, fogs up)
  • Eye strain and headaches sometimes occur
  • Can be uncomfortable

Safety glasses

Features (to look for)

  • Lens size
  • Lens shape
  • Optical Clarity
  • Protective properties
  • Mechanical strength
  • Side-arm style
  • Over regular glasses options (if needed)

Pros

  • Protect against many different hazards
  • Variety of lens options
  • Many styles to choose from
  • Better ventilation than goggles
  • Suitable for the long-term health of your eyes

Cons

  • Obstruction or blind spots
  • Can’t protect the eyes completely
  • Can’t guard completely from all hazards

Safety Goggles vs Safety Glasses: How Do They Differ?

 

1. Lens size and shape

Safety Goggles

It’s essential to look at the shape and size of the lenses to make sure they won’t impair your vision while wearing them. The place you will be wearing them will determine what size you require. It’s a tight fit when you wear goggles, minimizing the hazards you encounter with your eyes.

Safety Glasses

The more significant the lens, the more area your eye is protected from. The shape of the lens and how it fits your face is a massive factor in protecting you from different dangers.

Most will be concave or wraparound to the shape of your face. More progressive glasses will have the edges of the lenses be angled back towards your face, limiting the space between your face and eyewear.

Winner

Safety glasses will work for most of your protection needs, but depending on your environment, you might have to use goggles for the utmost protection for your eyes. The winner depends on what you need them for.

2. Optical clarity of lens

Safety Goggles

You should use an Optical Clarity Class 1 rating for your safety goggles. This is the top-quality rating, and it’s safe to wear your eye protection regularly without harming your eyes.

Safety Glasses

Class 1 is also advised for your safety glasses since it’s the highest quality you can get. Class 2 is okay to use your safety glasses intermittently, and Class 3, which is at the bottom of the tier, should only be worn occasionally and not for an extended period.

Winner

Although you have more options for Optical Clarity with the safety glasses, both the glasses and goggles come in the highest quality Class 1 (which is favored if you will be wearing them for a long time).

3. Lens protective properties

Safety Goggles

There are not as many options for this category as for safety glasses. However, some of the choices you have are anti-mist and ventilation.

Safety Glasses

There are various lens protective properties available in safety glasses. They include:

  • Anti-scratch
  • Anti-mist/Anti-fog
  • Anti-glare
  • UV filters
  • Welding filters

Winner

The safety glasses take the win in this category because there are many options of lens protective properties to choose from.

4. Mechanical strength

Safety Goggles

They are available in medium energy, impact rating B. For example, this will resist a 6mm, 0.86g ball traveling at a speed of 120m/s.

Safety Glasses

The topmost protection is low energy, impact rating F. This will resist a 6mm, 0.86g ball traveling at a speed of 45m/s. The side-arms and lens are both tested, and the safety glasses will be classified regarding the lowest protection level they get.

Winner

The safety goggles are the winner because the impact protection can be higher than safety glasses. If you need anything higher, a face shield is advised.

5. Style

Safety Goggles

There are cover goggles and eyecup goggles. You can choose from Direct Vent, Indirect Vent, and Non-Vented goggles.

Safety Glasses

It’s all about protecting your eyes, but if you grab a style that has wider side arms, it can save your temple as well.

Winner

The winner will depend on the environment where you are using your protective eyewear.

6. Over-spectacles

Safety Goggles

If you purchase safety goggles with your eye prescription, there will be no need to wear two pairs of glasses. The goggles will suffice because their lenses will have your prescription strength.

Safety Glasses

You simply can’t use your prescription eyewear as protection. You will need to purchase the style of over spectacles safety glasses. However, 2 in 1, prescription safety glasses are becoming more readily available.

Winner

It’s a draw for this one. You need to do your due diligence and research what works best for you.

7. Comfort

Safety Goggles

People tend to complain that safety goggles can be uncomfortable because there is less ventilation and it gets too hot with continuous use.

Safety Glasses

Because the glasses are not sealed to your face like goggles, you will get more airflow and a more comfortable fit.

Winner

Safety glasses win this war. Most users will agree that they are more comfortable than the safety goggles.

8. Price

Safety Goggles

The price will depend on the type of safety goggles you require and whether you are using a prescription.

Safety Glasses

Again, the price is dependent on what type of safety glasses you are buying. They can range from just a few dollars to what prescription lenses will cost.

Winner

Safety glasses tend to be cheaper than goggles; however, you need to research your work (or play) environment for the proper eyewear protection.

FAQs

1. When to wear safety glasses?

Ans. Many people wear safety glasses in industrial settings to protect their eyes, but they should be worn around things that might cause eye injuries.

2. When to wear safety goggles?

Ans. Safety goggles offer more protection from airborne, splash, flying debris, and chemical dangers. They provide a form-fitting seal against the face and 360-degree protection that safety glasses can’t offer.

About the author

Willie F Brodson

Certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and a master of Science in Occupational Safety Management from Indiana State University, Willie F Brodson is an occupational safety expert who believes in the age-old saying – “It is better to be safe than sorry.”

Willie’s areas of expertise include legal guidelines for health and safety, coding and construction safety, fire prevention and theft, and environmental technology. Over a span of four decades, he has provided safety training and consultation and developed safety manuals for a number of state-owned and private organizations.

Leave a Comment