Anti fatigue vs progressive lenses

You’ve worn single vision lenses for a while, but your prescription may now include close-vision correction (in your near/ADD box.)

“I’m not ready for progressive lenses yet though?!” I hear you say.

No worries. Anti fatigue lenses are a great in-between option if you want to take the strain off close-vision tasks.

Let’s compare these lenses so you can decide which type is right for you.


Anti fatigue lenses vs progressive

Anti fatigue lenses provide two corrective focal powers, whilst varifocal lenses provide three. This is their main difference and what separates them as lens types.


Illustration of how anti fatigue lenses work

What are anti fatigue lenses?

Anti fatigue lenses primarily aid your distance/intermediate sight in the main upper portion of each lens. However, in the lower portion they also have a close-vision ‘zone’ which eases visual tasks within 30cm such as close reading.

Hence their name, anti fatigue lenses reduce eye strain by providing additional close-vision correction. They relieve the muscular strain in your eyes used to see up close.

For more details, click here.



Illustration of how varifocal lenses work

What are progressive lenses?

Progressives (varifocals) provide visual correction for close, intermediate and distance vision in one pair of lenses. They give a gradual spectrum of focal power which you can ‘visually select’ to focus near or far away.

The upper portion of a varifocal is used for distance, the middle is used for intermediate distance and the lower portion is used for close reading.

Acclimatising to progressives takes practise, which is why they’re more complex than anti fatigue lenses


Side view of man wearing grey anti fatigue glasses

What are relax lenses?

Relax lenses are another name used for anti fatigue lenses. They provide close-vision correction in the lower lens portion for close-vision tasks within 30cm. The upper lens portion is for distance tasks beyond arm’s length.


Are anti fatigue lenses worth it?

Anti fatigue lenses are good option if you’re 18–40 years old, require near-ADD correction and expereince eye strain from close-vision tasks. They can be worn all day and can reduce digitally induced eye strain from computer work, reading and writing.


How much do anti fatigue lenses cost?

In 2022, standard (1.50) index CR39 anti-fatigue lenses cost approximately £120 including anti-glare and and-scratch coatings (HMC). 


Three quarter view of young male wearing grey anti fatigue eyeglasses


Anti fatigue lenses reviews


"Previously, I used two pairs of glasses. One for reading, drawing and computer work, the other for everything else.

Carrying two pairs around and interchanging them, was inconvenient and tedious. Which is why I opted for anti-fatigue lenses when my prescription recently changed.

They took me a few days to get used to, but now I no longer think about 'looking up or down', the movement and transition feels natural. Plus, I don’t have to change between pairs of spec's anymore." 

Jonny Gardner, Colchester


For further conversation about these lenses, check out this feed on Reddit.


Hopefully this article will help you weigh up anti fatigue lenses vs progressive lenses for your next pair of glasses.

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