Although you might take a shine to cheap sunglasses that make you look like a rock star, their primary purpose is to protect your eyes from the sun's rays. Their second critical purpose is to keep your vision clear in the face of harsh glare. Sunglasses prices range widely. You can buy an incredibly inexpensive pair at the local gas station for about $1 or spend hundreds of dollars on designer-name models. For the best cheap sunglasses, however, expect to dole out at least $10 and up to about $60.
Best Budget Sunglasses
Published on By Raechel Conover
Most people forget about their eyes when it comes to their daily health and beauty regime. Keep those peepers sharp with quality, UV-protected sunglasses. Check out more advice for staying young here: 15 Health and Beauty Tips You'll Use the Rest of Your Life
Also see our recommendations for best cheap sunglasses for UV protection
JiMarti Sunglasses Review
From $10 Best
JiMarti sunglasses for men and women feature impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses that provide 100 percent UV protection. Select styles are polarized and some come with special coatings. Consumers say JiMarti sunglasses block the sun and fit comfortably. The lifetime breakage warranty is a stand-out feature.
These sunglasses come in for high praise in JiMarti reviews. The brand itself has attracted more than 2,500 comments at Amazon for the various models during the past 12 months, earning it an average 4.9 stars. Outdoor enthusiasts particularly like the polarized lenses on models such as the JMP8 (starting at $60, Amazon) and the mirrored coating on the JM01 (starting at $23, Amazon). JiMarti reviews assert that the lenses cut glare, shield eyes from the sun, and make it possible to track the arc of a golf ball or see fish in a lake. Users also comment positively on the fit and styling; one JiMarti review describes the JM01 as retro macho. Still others find the brand to be well-constructed. One reviewer reports using these sunglasses for more than a year while biking and participating in other outdoor activities without their having suffered any ill effect. This user asserts he's ready to invest in another pair when the time comes.
When JiMarti sunglasses do break, reviews assert that the company stands by its lifetime breakage warranty and responds to emails within hours. One example: A commenter who has owned several pairs of JiMarti JMP8 sunglasses says his dog cracked the lens on one pair after six months. He emailed the company and received a response within four hours and a free replacement pair in three days.
The lenses in all JiMarti sunglasses provide 100 percent UV protection and are made of a polycarbonate material that the company touts as shatterproof. As noted above, some budget models feature polarized lenses, mirrored lenses, reflective coating, anti-fog hydrophobic water repellent coatings, and scratch-resistant coating. Different models come in different tints and all include a 30-day money-back guarantee. A protective case and lens cleaner are included with online orders. JiMarti prices easily sit in the budget zone but rise up to $60.
JiMarti sunglasses sport all the features of the best budget sunglasses: durable lenses, complete UV protection, and a range of styles and lens coatings. In JiMarti reviews, consumers frequently mention that the value price and the lifetime breakage warranty lead them to stockpile multiple pairs.
Suncloud Polarized Optics Review
From $37 Best
Suncloud Polarized Optics sunglasses claim many fans. Both men and women praise the variety of styles and tints, and the sunglasses' ability to block the sun. The polycarbonate lenses are polarized and provide 100 percent UV protection.
Sunglasses bearing the Suncloud Polarized Optics name are a popular choice among consumers, according to reviews. Indeed, those who have tried them apparently buy them over and over again -- not because they break, reports one Suncloud review at Zappos, but simply because they are the best. The Traverse line (starting at $50, Amazon) that this user favors boasts all the features found in far pricier sunglasses, but, as he notes, they sell for much less. And when it's time to move on to a new pair, he passes the older pairs on to his son. Still another user says her husband is very picky about the tint on his sunglasses and the Traverse line suits him just fine. Posts at Amazon are just as effusive about durability and performance. One reviewer of Suncloud's Cookie model (starting at $37.50, Amazon) says she's worn the same pair for three years, and they do a terrific job blocking out the sun's bright rays. (Note: The Cookie line seems to be a wide fit, according to reviews, so if you have a broad face, these may be the style for you.)
Suncloud Polarized Optics sunglasses are, as the name implies, all polarized. Each model sports polycarbonate lens material and provides 100 percent UV protection. They come in both men's and women's styles along with tints that include various hues of brown, yellow, blue, black, and more. All models carry a lifetime warranty on manufacturing and materials.
We're convinced by users' overwhelmingly positive experience with Suncloud Polarized Optics. Reviews assert they are made to withstand numerous drops and designed to fit well and block the sun. The variety of tints -- the most we have seen -- appeals to users who may be picky. Along with the array of stylish options and the polarized lenses, Suncloud sunglasses are a very good deal.
Sunbelt Sunglasses Review
From $22 Good
Available in men's, women's, and children's styles, all Sunbelt sunglasses contain impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses and offer 100 percent UV protection; some lenses also are polarized. This brand impresses for fashion styling and practicality.
Consumers like Sunbelt sunglasses because they look good, fit well, and feel light on the face, according to reviews. Several users who posted at Amazon report that the Halo model (starting at $30, Amazon) protects their eyes from the sun's glare better than other comparably priced brands. The Halo also boasts fans who rave about comfort and style. Other Sunbelt reviews, even when offered up by users with broad faces, compliment the fit and give strong support to the brand. The Sunbelt Stomp (starting at $18, Amazon) garners favorable reviews, again at Amazon, where users praise the same set of attributes as for the Halo, and one reports that the yellow tint really helps his driving. Other reviews assert that Sunbelt sunglasses stay on and block the sun while users are engaged in outdoor activities, like marathons and fishing. Moreover, they seem to last.
Sunbelt sunglasses styles, designed for men, women, and kids, appeal to fashion-conscious and sports-minded wearers. The lenses are made of impact-resistant polycarbonate and provide 100 percent UV protection. The lenses on many models are polarized and are available in one of several tints and/or a scratch-resistant coating. Sunbelt offers a limited lifetime warranty on all its sunglasses.
The gender-specific styling and models designed for kids (which the company says are influenced by what children say they want) help this brand stand out. Despite limited reviews, we're won over by their overall value and the enthusiastic comments we did find.
Black Flys Sunglasses Review
From $40 Good
Men and women like Black Flys sunglasses for their quality and style. These cheap sunglasses feature impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses and provide 100 percent UV protection. Some models are polarized and all come with a one-year limited warranty.
Consumers who post Black Flys sunglasses reviews give this brand high ratings and suggest that buying these sunglasses can be habit-forming. Reviewers like the price, durability, comfort, and protective qualities, saying that models with polarized lenses are good for running, golfing, driving, bike riding, and fishing. The Micro Fly model (starting at $40, Amazon) can withstand snowboarding falls and the occasional drop, according to reviews. At Amazon one user writes that the style and polarized lenses of the Micro Flys are a perfect combination, while several users report buying multiple pairs because they like them so much and the price is right for the quality and durability. Various models from Black Flys win kudos in sunglasses reviews at sites like Buzzillions, and several users remark that the Micro Fly line is a good fit for smaller faces.
The Black Flys brand is known for stylish design but it also happens to incorporate features that shield the eyes. All models provide 100 percent UV protection and some are polarized. The sunglasses are available in various tints and in styles that suit both men and women. All models have durable polycarbonate lenses and come with a one-year limited warranty.
Black Flys sunglasses appear on our list because they're both fashionable and protective, and the majority of user reviews are upbeat. Many consumers indicate they would buy the sunglasses again or have bought multiple pairs already. While the price on the actual Back Fly website may be daunting to some, cheaper prices are easily found at other online vendors, so don't let sticker shock rule them out.
Body Glove Review
From $22 Think Twice
Available in sporty and fashionable styles for men and women, Body Glove sunglasses tempt with their low price, but reviewers complain about poor quality and an off fit. The lens material isn't specified although they are polarized, provide 100 percent UV protection, and come with varying tints and coatings.
Complaints about several models of Body Glove sunglasses surface in reviews posted by users. Fit is the first problem. One purchaser writes that the Palm Beach Polarized Sport sunglasses (starting at $26, Amazon) are too small and at Overstock they protest the excessively large size of the FL1 Floating sunglasses (starting at $27, Amazon). The aviator-style Maui sunglasses (starting at $30, Amazon) are slammed at Amazon for arms that aren't sufficiently contoured to hold the glasses in place. Durability is a second irritant that's often cited in Body Glove sunglasses reviews. We read reports about lenses popping out and lifespans as short as one day or two weeks.
Body Glove sunglasses come in both men's and women's styles. Posts indicate they are often bought for outdoor activities like boating, diving, and water sports, although some models are more fashionable than sporty. The models we researched are all polarized and provide 100 percent UV protection; the lens material, unfortunately, is not specified. Body Glove sunglasses are available with a variety of tints and special coatings, including one that's scratch-resistant and a hydrophobic coating to repel dirt. All models carry a one-year warranty.
Cheap prices don't compensate for problems with fit and durability. But the greatest weakness of Body Glove sunglasses is the unknown characteristics of the lenses -- polycarbonate is, by far, the preferred material for budget sunglasses. For the money, there are better options out there.