Prescription Safety Glasses with Progressive Bifocal Lenses

Progressive bifocals are the most complicated bifocals you can get, and they’re also the most popular. There are many different types and brands of progressive bifocals, and they all have their specific purpose.

The 411 on Progressive Bifocal Lenses in Prescription Safety Glasses

Prescription Safety LensesIn safety glasses, progressive bifocals tend to have a taller “corridor” than those in normal street glasses, which is to say that the bifocal is longer. So, where a progressive in a pair of street glasses may start in the center of the lens and end 12mm down at the reading circle, a progressive will start at the center and end 17mm down at the reading circle. There are also some limits to progressives in wraparound frames that have to do with your pupil distance (PD) and the size of the lens blank used.

Here are the things you need to know about prescription progressive lenses in safety glasses:

  • Safety lenses are generally taller than street glasses lenses, so progressives in them are generally taller as well. This means that the distance from your pupil down to the reading area is longer than on street glasses, giving you more space to read.
  • Progressive lenses must be centered directly on your pupil. To do this, the progressive lens blank must have the lens cut out of it in such a way that the optical center ends up right in front of your pupils. If you have a large wraparound frame and progressive lenses and your PD is narrow, we may not be able to cut your progressive lenses out to get the bifocal centered on your eye.
  • If your PD is too narrow for a wraparound progressive, sometimes we can make it at our sister lab in a digital progressive for an added fee.
  • If you have a hard time adjusting to wraparound frames, or if this is your first progressive, you may have an especially hard time adjusting to progressives in wraparound frames. If this is the case, it may be prudent to order prescription safety glasses in a flatter frame (such as our Plastic Safety Glasses). Most of our customers do not have issues with this, but there are those that the optical industry calls “progressive non-adapts,” and this is more likely when the lens is curved, like in wraparounds.
  • Progressive lenses are generally available in all lens types and colors when you’re ordering polycarbonate. Most other lens materials, on the other hand, do not have nearly as many progressive lens options. This is especially true if you’re ordering progressive lenses in a wraparound frame, because many other lens materials have smaller lens blanks, which you can’t cut a large wraparound lens out of.
  • If you’re a first-time progressive wearer and your new progressives don’t feel right, give them some time. Many people feel that way at first with progressives, and most adjust and then never notice them again.
  • If you’re ordering progressive lenses online, it’s important to get your segment height measured before you place the order. You can do this by ordering the “Frame Only” on our website, putting it on, having someone measure the millimeter distance from the bottom of the lens to the center of your pupil as you gaze straight ahead, and then sending the glasses back to be made in prescription.

Progressive lenses are the most aesthetically pleasing bifocals because they don’t have a line, but they are definitely more complicated than the classic lined bifocal. If you’re ordering progressives online, it’s good to double-check all your measurements and give us a call if you have any questions. The call before you order is a lot easier to make than the call after you’ve ordered and made a mistake.

Shopping for progressive lenses in safety glasses can be tricky. We have a lot of lens options and frames to choose from, and the task can be daunting, so please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions. We are here to help. Thanks for reading, and happy shopping!

Written by Kieran Hunt

Kieran Hunt is the staff writer and product research engineer at RxSafety. Kieran writes a majority of the company's written content while also working with the company's owners to develop new prescription safety glasses.Website:

4 Responses to Prescription Safety Glasses with Progressive Bifocal Lenses
  1. Mike Flanagan
    June 9, 2016 | 8:32 am

    Good Evening from Guam
    I am a ships Captain and an old guy. I want prescription progressive glasses that are fashionable. My favorite are the thinner black or brown ray ban (used to be known in the military as birth control glasses). Pardon the term but it usually rings a bell.
    I can get the prescription here in Guam and send that in. I will be departing from Guam for my home in Maine on July 8th
    I saw this website and the opportunity to ask

    • Ryan Phillips
      June 9, 2016 | 10:15 am


      You can send in the prescription or order from us approx. 2 weeks before you will be back home. This will ensure you receiving your glasses shortly after you get home. Call our customer service number or contact Melissa at if you would like to speak to someone directly. Thanks.

  2. James F. Vogel
    September 19, 2016 | 12:40 pm

    I have a set of Bolle’ sunglasses , there is a sight that is informing me that it may be able to make lined bifocals for these glasses, i am interested if your company can in any way achieve the same type of result , without having to go to progressives. i have tried progressives and they make me horribly sick, besides being outrageously expensive.all i need these for is to comply to osha’s stupidity . but i am looking for a wrap around with a medium range lined bifocal. please email me a response asap , thank you .

    • Ryan Phillips
      September 23, 2016 | 3:14 pm

      Hi James,

      We would have to see the frame, but I’m sure we would be able to make a lined bifocal for your frame. We would require you to send the frames into us in order to make and install the new lenses. Please call into our customer service department and they will be able to assist you with setting all this up. 732-356-1493

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