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High-index lenses are an alternative choice to standard, plastic eyeglass lenses. Although high-index lenses are more expensive than plastic lenses, they can reduce the thickness and weight of an eyeglass lens, particularly for individuals with a strong prescription.

High-index lenses are able to bend light to a stronger degree than a lens with a lower index, therefore the higher the index of the lens the less material needed to achieve a given prescription.

High index lenses are categorized according to how strongly they bend light. The higher the index, 1.53 to 1.74 for high-index lenses, the better the lens is at bending light.

High index lenses are 20 percent to 65 percent thinner than standard plastic lenses. In general, the stronger the prescription, the greater the difference in thickness between standard plastic and high-index plastic.

A reduction in lens thickness and weight will occur in high-index lenses for prescriptions stronger than +2.00 or -2.50. Weaker prescriptions are not thinner than standard lenses when made with high-index materials.

Polycarbonate lenses offer the same aesthetic benefits as high-index lenses, but polycarbonate lenses scratch easier, are difficult to coat or tint and are more likely to create distortions in colors and vision.

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Q: What is the difference between high index and polycarbonate lenses?
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What is the difference between mid index and high index lens?

High index lenses are thinner and lighter than mid index lenses, making them a better choice for stronger prescriptions. They also reduce the "bug-eye" distortion that can occur with thick lenses. However, high index lenses can be more expensive than mid index lenses.

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Common spectacle lens materials include glass, plastic (e.g. CR-39), polycarbonate, and high-index materials. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of durability, weight, clarity, and cost. Polycarbonate lenses are often recommended for impact resistance, while high-index lenses are thinner and lighter than standard plastic lenses for higher prescriptions.

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What is a 1.57 mid index single vision lens?

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