EYEGLASS LENS MATERIALS

Here are popular eyeglass lens materials, arranged in order of refractive index, ABBE Value and lens thickness (pretty good indicators of cost). Except for the crown glass, these are all plastic materials.

Refractive Index
Abbe Value

Key Features and Benefits

High-index plastics
1.70 to 1.74
36 (1.70)
33 (1.74)
The thinnest lenses available.
Block 100 percent UV.
Lightweight.

High-index plastics
1.60 to 1.67
36 (1.60)
32 (1.67)
Thin and lightweight.
Block 100 percent UV.
Less costly than 1.70-1.74 high-index lenses.

Tribrid
1.60
41
Thin and lightweight.
Significantly more impact-resistant than CR-39 plastic

and high-index plastic lenses (except polycarbonate and Trivex).
Higher Abbe value than polycarbonate.
Downside: Not yet available in a wide variety of lens designs.

Polycarbonate
1.586
30
Superior impact resistance.
Blocks 100 percent UV.
Lighter than high-index plastic lenses.

 Trivex
1.54
45
Superior impact resistance.
Blocks 100 percent UV.
Higher Abbe value than polycarbonate.
Lightest lens material available.

CR-39 plastic
1.498
58
Excellent optics.
Low cost.
Downside: thickness.

Crown glass
1.523
59
Excellent optics.
Downsides: heavy, breakable, expensive