Sunglasses for small faces

Greetings pea head.

Looks like you’re hunting for some small size sunglasses. If you’ve struggled to find the right shape and style, this guide is the one for you.

In this article, we recommend the best sunglasses for small faces so you can find a pair that looks great, feels comfortable and properly protects your eyes. Whether you're looking for something classic or modern, we've got you covered.

Let’s get started.

 

What kind of sunglasses suit a small face?

Sunglasses with a small lens and bridge widths are best suited for small faces. This looks better, is more comfortable and stops the frame from sliding down your nose. Furthermore, correctly fitting sunglasses will provide better protection from the sun.

Outside or driving your car, properly fitting sunglasses are crucial for optical performance, keeping your eyes protected from UV (ultraviolet) light. If your frame keeps sliding down, your eyes are more likely to be exposed to the sun increasing your chances of visual fatigue or even retinal damage.

 

How do I know my size in sunglasses?

To know your sunglasses size, check your current (well-fitting) sunglasses frame for a series of digits that resemble: 52 [] 20 145. These denote your lens width, bridge width and temple length in millimetres. If you don’t have sunglasses to check this, use the guide below.

 

How to measure your face for sunglasses

To measure your face for sunglasses, check your face-width, nose-bridge-width and your eye-to-ear distance in millimetres. These inform the three main size aspects of sunglasses frame size; lens width, bridge width and temple length.

Illustration of face width measurement for sunglasses

Lens width is determined by the overall width of your face, measured between each of your temples. (The soft skin located between your eyes and ears above your cheekbones.) Small facial widths need smaller lens widths, ranging from 115mm (small) to 160mm (large.) Check your ideal lens width in the table below.

Face size

Ideal lens width

Sunglasses size

115 - 130mm

49 - 54mm

Small

135 - 140mm

55 - 57mm

Medium

145 - 160mm

58 - 63mm

Large

 

Illustrations of a low and a high human nose bridge

Bridge width is determined by your facial structure. Measuring bridge width yourself is difficult, so an easier method is to observe your face side-on using a self-portrait photograph. If your nose bridge is level or below your pupils, you need a smaller bridge width around 14 to 17mm. If your bridge sits above your pupils, you need a larger bridge with of 18 to 21mm.

It’s worth mentioning that ethnicity can influence how spectacles or sunglasses fit your face. East Asian craniofacial structures often have low nose bridges and high cheekbones which can cause a poorly fitting frame, often sliding down the wearer’s nose or resting on their cheeks. Subsequently, you may need a very narrow nose bridge of less than 16mm which are found amongst Asian fit sunglasses. For a guide on this, click here.

Bridge width

Sunglasses size

14mm - 17mm

Small

18mm - 21mm

Medium

22mm - 25mm

Large

 

Illustration of how to measure temple length for sunglasses

Temple length is determined by the distance between your eye and ear. Use a ruler to carefully measure from the corner or your eye to the top of your ear. Small sunglasses have temple lengths of around 130mm, whilst larger sunglasses have temples usually 145mm or longer. Even if you have a small face, you may not need a shorter temple length.

Eye to temple

Ideal temple length

Sunglasses size

80 - 90mm

120 - 130mm

Small

90 - 100mm

130 - 140mm

Medium

100 - 110mm

140 - 150mm

Large

>110mm

>150mm

Extra Large

 

Sunglasses size guide

 

Lady with long brown hair on beach wearing large round sunglasses frame and white blouse

What sunglass shape is best for my face?

The best sunglasses are those that contrast your face shape. If your face is round, choose a square boxy frame. If your face is narrow and bony, choose a round shaped frame. Here are a list of the basic face shapes and the best frame suggestions.

Square face: Your jawline and forehead are equally wide. Choose large boxy sunglasses to make your head seem narrower.

Round face: You have wide cheeks and a soft chin. Choose rectangular or square sunglasses to add definition and structure to your face.

Triangle face: Your forehead is widest with bony cheekbones and narrow pointed chin. Choose round or oval sunglasses to balance your defined facial features.

Heart face: You have a widow’s peak hairline and high cheekbones. Rectangular or rounded-rectangular frames will suit you best.

Long face: Your forehead is tall with narrow cheekbones and a long chin. To make your face look shorter, wear sunglasses with tall lenses like Aviators or big square shades.

Oval face: Similar to a round face, you have soft cheeks and a soft chin. To sharpen your look, choose angular sunglasses with straight lines and sharp corners.

Diamond face: You have defined, high cheekbones and a strong jawline. To balance your skeletal features, wear round or oval sunglasses with softened lens corners.

 

Woman with long blonde hair outside wearing round sunglasses frame smiling

Female sunglasses for a small face

Round sunglasses

If your face is particularly defined with high cheekbones, round sunglasses are great way to bring visual balance to your face. With your narrow features and bony cheeks, circular shades are an effortless way to make your face look fuller with vintage style. Look for small size frames with lens widths of 45mm or so to get the right fit for your small face.

 

Lady with small face wearing clear cat eye sunglasses frame on sunny day

Cat eye sunglasses

Fresh out the 1960’s, cat eye sunglasses are a truly classic look. With their upward swept end pieces, the retro style of these sunglasses suit a large variety of face shapes. Cat eye sunglasses convey a sense of confidence and power, a great look behind a set of dark tinted lenses. And when worn by a woman with a small face, they make a bold style statement that is sure to turn heads.

 

 

Woman outside on sunny day wearing oval black sunglasses and checked shirt

Oval sunglasses

For female faces that are small and delicate, oval sunglasses are the perfect choice. They lend a touch of sophistication and refinement while still accentuating the wearer's natural beauty. With their gentle curves and graceful lines, oval shades have a timeless appeal that is sure to turn heads. So, if you're looking for a frame that will make your eyes stand out, look no further than oval sunglasses.

 

Blonde female wearing large tortoise shell sunglasses standing in front of white wall

Tortoiseshell sunglasses

Of all the acetate patterns, tortoiseshell imitation is one of the most classic. Designed to mimic real tortoise shell, flecks of brown, amber, honey and black bring a timeless look to any shape of sunglasses frame. No matter your skin complexion, pale or deep, tortoiseshell sunglasses are a classic colourway that’s forever fashionable.

 

Man with beard looking upwards wearing black rectangular sunglasses frame

Male sunglasses for a small face

Rectangular sunglasses

Rectangular sunglasses are the perfect frames for any man with a small face. Boxy looking shades convey strength and confidence with their sharp angles and clean lines. Look for the correct lens width for your face so your sunglasses fit you properly. Small lens widths range from 49mm to 54 mm.

 

Ginger haired man wearing clear frame sunglasses beside water on sunny day

Clear sunglasses

Known as crystal or transparent frame sunglasses, clear acetate frames are a stylish choice. Combined with dark sun lenses, see-through acetate is a fantastic way to show the finer details and highlights of your frame. Seen within, the rivets, screws and hardware will catch the sunlight beautifully for a characteristic look. In terms of colour, clear acetates can be neutral or lightly tinted in pastels of blue, green, yellow and many more. If opaque acetates seem to bold for you, try a crystal-coloured frame instead.

 

Close view of bearded man with square black sunglasses on

Square sunglasses

Small square frames are the perfect way to make a statement for men with small faces. These frames are bold and confident, and they command attention. With their clean lines and sharp angles, square frames convey authority. And their small size makes them ideal for men with smaller faces as they won't overwhelm your features. Square frames are also incredibly versatile. You can wear them with casual or formal attire, and they always look chic. So, if you're looking for a small stylish frame, square sunglasses are great choice.

 

Side view of man wearing silver and black Aviator sunglasses frame with gradient brown lenses

Aviator sunglasses

Aviators are known for their dominant size and large lens coverage. But that doesn’t make then exclusive to large heads. If you’re looking for a big frame that fits you well, look for small sized Aviators with the correct lens and bridge widths. Companies like Ray Ban and Randolph USA offer their wire Aviator frames in various sizes, so you’re bound to find a suitable frame size amongst their ranges.

 

Close view of woman wearing wire rimmed sunglasses hat and jacket

Tips for choosing sunglasses for small faces

Frame size is crucial, so it’ best to know your dimensions. Keep a note of your ideal lens width, bridge width and temple length.

Your face shape influences which style of frame suits you best. Frame shapes which contrast your facial features create visual balance for a better look. Soft, round faces generally suit boxier shades. Long, defined faces tend to suit rounded frames.

Unlike spectacles, dark lenses make sunglasses much bolder on your face. This contrast allows for stronger frame colours which you can experiment with.

Darker lenses don’t mean they provide better protection. Always check sunglasses for the UV400 rating which means they protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB frequencies. Lens darkness is purely for visual comfort and not an indicator of protection.

Your lifestyle can determine which type of sun lenses you should use. For sport or driving, polarised sunglasses reduce eye-fatigue over long durations of exposure. For recreational and fashion use, non-polarised lenses are less expensive and work well for everyday tasks.

For sport, specific lens colours can help you see in certain light conditions. But for recreational use, coloured lens tints can be a fashionable way to stylise your sunglasses frame. Be sure to choose a lens darkness that is comfortable to wear and is UV protective.

Use a protective case to store your sunglasses when you aren’t wearing them. This prevents damage to your frame and lenses.

 

Visual comparison of water glare looking through polarised sunglasses and non polarised sunglasses

What do polarised sunglasses mean?

Polarised sunglasses use lenses which block glare from reflective surfaces such as the sea, wet roads, snow or surrounding buildings. Polarised sunglasses give more consistent vision and reduce visual fatigue over long durations of exposure. This takes the strain off your eyes for a smoother and less strenuous optical experience.

Both polarised and non-polarised sun lenses are UV protective, but polarised versions have the secondary benefit of glare reduction.

For a more technical explanation, sunlight is made of waves which reflect from water or glass becoming scattered. This scattering effect is what causes glare. Polarised lenses filter-out these scattered light waves so you can see more clearly. They’re useful for activities like fishing, driving, or skiing, where reflected light can be exceptionally bothersome and taxing on your eyes.

Polarised sunglasses explained

 

Woman wearing large square sunglasses frame and head scarf in front of brick wall looking to her side

Should sunglasses cover eyebrows?

For maximum coverage and eye protection, sunglasses are better if they cover your eyebrows. Although this conceals facial expression, large sunglasses reduce unfiltered sunlight from entering your eyes from above of the sides of the frame. If sunglasses cover your eyebrows, they simply provide greater overall protection from the sun’s damaging UV rays.

Inversely, spectacle frames aren’t for UV protection, therefore it’s better to wear reading glasses which don’t cover your eyebrows. This allows for better social interaction as people can read your facial expression more clearly.

Should glasses cover your eyebrows?

 

Lady wearing large oversized tortoise sunglasses frame with brown lenses

Do oversized sunglasses look good on small faces?

Yes, oversized sunglasses can suit small faces, but only if the frame fits correctly. Be sure to choose the correct lens width, bridge width and temple length for a good fit. Oversized sunglasses can be flattering for women as they make their faces look petit and more feminine. For men, large sunglasses can look bold and confident.

 

Do aviators look good on small faces?

Yes, Aviator sunglasses look great on small faces, as long as they fit you correctly. With their tear-drop shaped lenses and straight upper brow line, Aviator sunglasses are a classic style of frame. To get a proper fit, make sure the frame rests properly on your nose without sliding down.

 

What is the best way to clean my sunglasses?

The best way to clean your sunglasses is to immerse them in lukewarm water using a mild dish-washing detergent. With your hands, gently rub the frame, pads and lenses to remove any grime or skin oil. To dry, gently use a microfibre lens cloth. Never use abrasive materials like paper towels or clothing to clean your sunglasses or spectacles. These cause micro scratches which can damage your lenses.

How to clean glasses

 

Summary

The best sunglasses for small faces are those that fit correctly, provide good UV protection, suit your face-shape and lifestyle.

Choose wisely between fashion and function and your sunglasses will serve you for years to come, especially if you take good care of them.

Eyewear is much more than an accessory. Not only do they help you you see, but can prevent damaging exposure to the sun.

Hopefully you found this article helpful.

Thanks for stopping by.

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