Trip Planning Tech & Gear The Best Sunglasses for Women of 2023, Tested and Reviewed Protect your eyes and score style points with our top picks By Jessica Macdonald Jessica Macdonald Facebook LinkedIn King's College London Jessica Macdonald lives in South Africa's Eastern Cape province and has been TripSavvy's Africa Expert since 2016. She also covers travel products and has written about everything from camping knives to climbing chalk. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Updated on 04/18/23 Share Pin Email We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. TripSavvy / David Hattan When shopping for your next pair of sunnies, there are many factors to consider. Which shape is the most flattering for your features? Do you prefer a metal or acetate frame? Do you need polarization? If you love outdoor sports, the answer to that last one is probably yes. Above all, optometrist Dr. Derek Lin of Park Slope Eye says you should seek UV protection and sufficient tinting. He warns that dark lenses do not automatically equate to UV protection—and that wearing sunglasses without that protection is essentially pointless. To help you narrow your search for the perfect pair, we tested 21 popular women’s sunglasses brands in real-life situations. We scored each one for quality, fit, appearance, performance, and value and used the results to determine our overall winner: the Keera sunglasses from Raen. This pair stood out for its quality construction, inimitable style, and affordable price tag. Our other category-winning women’s sunglasses are listed below. The Rundown Best Overall: Raen Keera Sunglasses at Raen.com Jump to Review Best Overall, Runner-Up: Indy Nolita Sunglasses at Indysunglasses.com Jump to Review Best Budget: I-Sea All Aboard Polarized Sunglasses at I-sea.com Jump to Review Best Polarized: Randolph Elinor Fusion Polarized Sunglasses at Framesdirect.com Jump to Review Best Value Polarized: Eleventh Hour Essential Polarized Sunglasses at Hsn.com Jump to Review Best Retro: Le Specs Unreal! Sunglasses at Amazon Jump to Review Best Rectangular: Illesteva Wilson Sunglasses at Illesteva.com Jump to Review Best Splurge: Maui Jim Capri Polarized Cat Eye Sunglasses at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Hiking: Smith Caper Sunglasses with Chromapop at Amazon Jump to Review Table of contents Expand Our Picks Other Sunglasses We Tested How We Tested What to Look For FAQ Why Trust TripSavvy Best Overall Raen Keera Sunglasses 5 Raen View On Raen.com Our Ratings Fit 5/5 Performance 5/5 Quality 5/5 Appearance 5/5 Value 5/5 What We Like Unique without being too niche High-quality, sturdy design Not too dark What We Don't Like Not polarized Raen’s Keera sunglasses ticked all the boxes—they’re versatile, stylish, well-made, and affordable. In particular, we love the frame’s eye-catching shape, which pairs a subtle cat eye with a unique square base. We found that the glasses looked good with almost anything and felt they would flatter most face shapes. The frame is handmade from acetate, with a wire core embedded in each temple for added strength. The arms are sturdy yet easy to unfold, and the hinges feel equally secure. The sunglasses offer 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Although they’re not polarized, we love that they block glare efficiently and are light enough to wear inside or in the shade. They offer a 4-base curve that makes them ideal for everyday wear and are supremely comfortable even after hours of use. They fit securely, with no rubbing on the bridge, at the side of the head, or behind the ears. The lenses feature CR-39 plastic, which offers the same superior clarity as glass without the expense and potential risk. There are seven different frame and lens colorways to choose from, meaning there’s likely to be a shade to suit every skin tone. Options range from Coral Tortoise with a dark smoke mirror to Marina (blue) with a teal gradient mirror. All choices come in a conveniently slim hard case. Price at time of publication: $150 Sizes: 54 millimeters, extra wide | UVA/UVB Protection: Yes | Polarized: No TripSavvy / Morgan Ashley Parker Best Overall, Runner-Up Indy Nolita Polarized Sunglasses 5 Indy View On Indysunglasses.com Our Ratings Fit 5/5 Performance 5/5 Quality 5/5 Appearance 5/5 Value 5/5 What We Like A beautiful, versatile shape Well-balanced, comfortable fit Really reasonably priced What We Don't Like Only available in two colors Our testers also loved the Indy Nolita Polarized sunglasses, receiving many compliments for their unusual, cat-eye-inspired shape. We loved their retro vibe and that they are easy to dress up or down to go with every outfit. The sturdy acetate frame is well made, with the perfect not-too-flimsy, not-too-heavy weight. We liked the different look created by the thick arms, which hold their position at any angle. The glasses are well-balanced, don’t slip or move around, and fit multiple faces perfectly. We also appreciated the lack of nose pads, which meant the glasses weren’t tangled when worn on top of our heads. One tester called these the most comfortable sunglasses she’s ever owned. They’re polarized and do a great job of reducing glare and improving clarity. There are two colors to choose from: Black or Tortoiseshell. The latter comes with warm-tone lenses for that happy, rose-tinted effect. Finally, we loved that the glasses are made in Brooklyn by a women-led company. Price at time of publication: $79 Sizes: 52.6 millimeters | UVA/UVB Protection: Yes | Polarized: Yes TripSavvy / Jessica Vadillo Best Budget I-Sea All Aboard Polarized Sunglasses 4.5 I-Sea View On I-sea.com Our Ratings Fit 5/5 Performance 4.5/5 Quality 4.5/5 Appearance 4.5/5 Value 4.8/5 What We Like Polarized lenses block glare well Lightweight yet relatively durable Seven frame and lens colors to choose from What We Don't Like The finish is a little bit cheap-looking Retailing for a fifth of the price of our overall winner, the I-SEA All Aboard Sunglasses are truly budget-friendly. We found that they performed better than expected, and although the finish is a little low-end, they are quite stylish with their retro, circular lenses. They are also decently constructed, with no obvious signs of wear and tear at the end of the test period. The hand-polished metal frames are lightweight yet reinforced with three-barrel stainless steel hinges. Although the thin arms feel flimsy, they unfold easily and stay in place. We liked that the section behind the ears has outer plastic for added comfort. The fit may be a bit variable depending on your face shape since the sunglasses fit one of our testers perfectly but were a little large for the other. They’re definitely casual fashion glasses and unsuitable for strenuous activity or sports. However, for the price, you can’t go wrong with this attractive, efficiently polarized option. Price at time of publication: $28 Sizes: Not published | UVA/UVB Protection: Yes | Polarized: Yes Best Polarized Randolph Elinor Fusion Polarized Sunglasses 4.8 Randolph View On Framesdirect.com View On Randolphusa.com Our Ratings Fit 5/5 Performance 4.8/5 Quality 4.5/5 Appearance 5/5 Value 4.8/5 What We Like Luxury, gold-plated arms Comfortable, secure fit Can be registered for a lifetime guarantee What We Don't Like Not all colorways are polarized Inspired by Jackie O’s timeless style, the Randolph Elinor Fusion Sunglasses are a luxury choice for women who want to look, in our tester’s words, like a badass. They channel classic chic with oversized square frames inlaid with premium Italian acetate in unique tortoiseshell patterns. We loved the exquisite detailing, from the etched brand name to the arms plated with 23K gold. There are seven frame and lens color combinations, some of which are polarized. The pair we tested were polarized and passed our tests with flying colors. As well as superior glare prevention, they protect against UVA and UVB rays with a subtle gradient that preserves natural colors well. We found that the sunglasses fit securely and were comfortable to wear for extended periods. The nose pieces allow for minor adjustments and only leave minimal imprints on the skin. The hinges felt sturdy, and the arms stayed in place when opened. However, their lightness made the glasses feel fragile, and we were grateful they came with a magnetic-closure hard case. Price at time of publication: $329 Sizes: 57 millimeters | UVA/UVB Protection: Yes | Polarized: Some colorways TripSavvy / Alessandra Amodio Best Value Polarized Eleventh Hour Essential Polarized Sunglasses 4.9 Eleventh Hour View On Hsn.com View On Shopeleventh.com Our Ratings Fit 5/5 Performance 5/5 Quality 5/5 Appearance 4.5/5 Value 4.8/5 What We Like Slightly heavier, sturdier feel Block glare without being too dark Classic yet fun frame shape What We Don't Like Only two lens colors to choose from If you’re looking for well-made, attractive polarized sunglasses for under $100, we love the Essential Sunglasses from Eleventh Hour. With their subtle cat-eye shape and gold metal accents, they offer just the right blend of fun and style. We appreciate the weighty feel of their handmade acetate frames, which stay secure even in high winds yet aren’t too heavy. The hinges are sturdy and keep the arms in place at any angle without feeling too stiff. And the fit was perfect for both of our testers, even without adjustable nose pads. We found the polarized lenses very efficient at blocking glare. We never had to squint even in direct sunlight and liked that we could still see our phone screens clearly outside. At the same time, the lenses were never too dark. The sunglasses also offer 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. There are six frame colors, including Black, Cocoa Brown, and Tort. All options include a magnetic box, protective case, and cleaning cloth. Finally, we liked that the case is slim enough to fit conveniently in even the most minimalist purse. Price at time of publication: $85 Sizes: 52 millimeters | UVA/UVB Protection: Yes | Polarized: Yes TripSavvy / Alessandra Amodio Best Retro Le Specs Unreal! Sunglasses 4.8 Le Specs View On Amazon View On Nordstrom View On Lespecs.com Our Ratings Fit 4.8/5 Performance 5/5 Quality 5/5 Appearance 4.8/5 Value 5/5 What We Like '90s supermodel vibe Sturdy yet lightweight Secure fit for narrow faces What We Don't Like We would prefer a hard case Designed to recreate the effortless cool of the ‘90s supermodel (and worn by the likes of Gigi Hadid and Lizzo), the Le Specs Unreal! Sunglasses boast rectangular lenses in a statement polycarbonate frame. Gold vintage hardware on each temple adds a touch of luxury that belies the very reasonable cost. We found the glasses well made, with sturdy materials and a quality feel that suggests they’ll last a long time. The arms unfold easily, stay fixed in place at any angle, and fold conveniently flat. We liked the fit, although the glasses might be more appropriate for those with fairly narrow faces since they felt snug around the side of the head. They don’t have nose pads but sit comfortably on the bridge of the nose and stay securely in place. We found that there was some give after extended use, though, so they may adjust to wider faces. The glasses aren’t polarized but provide good protection and visibility in both sun and shade. We also liked that they aren’t entirely opaque. Price at time of publication: $79 Sizes: 52 millimeters | UVA/UVB Protection: Yes | Polarized: No TripSavvy / Susan Brickell Best Rectangular Illesteva Wilson Sunglasses 4.8 Illesteva View On Illesteva.com View On Revolve Our Ratings Fit 4.7/5 Performance 5/5 Quality 5/5 Appearance 4.7/5 Value 4.7/5 What We Like Quality, Italian-made frame Just the right amount of tinting Lots of colors to choose from What We Don't Like Maybe a little snug for wide faces The Wilson Sunglasses from Illesteva offer another high-end option for those that prefer rectangular frames with the added interest of a slight cat-eye accent. The quality is outstanding, with durable acetate construction and arms that fold and unfold easily and are held in place at any angle by strong hinges. The glasses go particularly well with smart business or going-out clothes but are perhaps a little too dressy for athleisure outfits. We loved the overall look, though. One of our testers found the fit perfect; the other felt that the arms were a bit too close-fitting, especially above her ears. She said this helped keep them securely in place when worn on top of her head, though. The nose bridge is not padded, but very comfortable nonetheless. The CR-39 lenses have enough tint to block out all glare. However, we found we could still wear them on the subway. There are 17 different lens and frame color combinations, all unpolarized. Price at time of publication: $250 Sizes: 51 millimeters | UVA/UVB Protection: Yes | Polarized: No TripSavvy / Phoebe Sklansky Best Splurge Maui Jim Capri Polarized Cat Eye Sunglasses 4.9 Maui Jim View On Amazon View On Nordstrom View On Abt.com Our Ratings Fit 4.5/5 Performance 5/5 Quality 5/5 Appearance 5/5 Value 5/5 What We Like Versatile, rounded cat-eye shape Ultra-thin glass lenses for superior clarity Lightweight but durable What We Don't Like Quite snug, especially for wider faces Coming in at $200 more than our overall winner, Maui Jim’s Capri Polarized Sunglasses are the most expensive on this list. However, it’s a worthwhile investment for those wanting perfect clarity and just the right versatile style. We love how the subtle, rounded cat-eye shape frames the face without being too big or overpowering. The overall effect is chic enough to dress up but casual enough to wear at the lake or beach, too. The frame is made of acetate and is relatively narrow, with shorter temples for smaller faces. Lightweight yet sturdy enough that you wouldn’t expect them to break if accidentally dropped, the sunglasses feature polarized lenses made of SuperThin glass for unparalleled color, clarity, and detail. We found that the tint was ideal for seeing clearly in all lights while providing excellent protection from the sun. The arms are strong, with some flex for adjusting to slightly wider faces. However, we did find them a little on the snug side (though still comfortable, even after several hours). There are three chic colorways to choose from. Price at time of publication: $349 Sizes: 51 millimeters | UVA/UVB Protection: Yes | Polarized: Yes TripSavvy / Anna Popp Best for Hiking Smith Caper Sunglasses with Chromapop 4.9 Smith Optics View On Amazon View On Nordstrom View On Backcountry.com Our Ratings Fit 4.5/5 Performance 5/5 Quality 5/5 Appearance 5/5 Value 5/5 What We Like Light yet durable bio-based materials Non-marking nose pads Contrast-enhancing ChromaPop lenses What We Don't Like They may not be fashionable enough for some Inspired by vintage aesthetics with a slight butterfly shape that flatters most faces, the Smith Caper Sunglasses are our top choice for hiking. That’s because they offer high sun protection, recover well from exposure to the elements, cope well with rough treatment, and feature ingenious Megol nose pads that prevent slippage even when you’re sweaty. Best of all, the nose pads are flush with the frame and never get tangled when worn on top of your head. The bio-based frames are as durable as they are light. The arms are flexible enough to accommodate wider head shapes. We found the glasses comfortable for hours and liked the AutoLock hinges that hold the arms open for easy one-handed on and off. Our favorite feature was the ChromaPop lenses, which enhance contrast and natural color so that the world looks more beautiful. With a special anti-reflective coating, we appreciated the little strain we felt, even in direct sunlight. There are four colorways, all of which offer polarized, 100 percent UV protection. Price at time of publication: $199 Sizes: 53 millimeters | UVA/UVB Protection: Yes | Polarized: Yes TripSavvy / Lydia Price TripSavvy's Picks Raen’s Keera sunglasses (view at Raen) were our overall favorite for their high-quality performance, gorgeous shape, and reasonable price tag. We like the surprisingly well-made, retro-cool I-SEA All Aboard sunglasses (view at I-Sea) for those on a very tight budget. Other Sunglasses We Tested Other sunglasses we tested include: Rheos Faris Polarized Sunglasses, Vincero Collective The Quinn Polarized Sunglasses, Ray-Ban Erika Sunglasses, Quay Australia After Hours 50mm Square Sunglasses, Marc Jacobs 55mm Oval Sunglasses, Warby Parker Beale Sunglasses, Féroce Heather Sunglasses, Covry Merak Sunglasses, Privé Revaux The New Yorker Sunglasses, Chimi Tom Greyhound Sunglasses, Krewe St. Louis Classics Sunglasses, and Knockaround Premiums Sport Sunglasses. How We Tested Our team of travel experts evaluated all of the sunglasses included in this roundup in a real-life setting. Each pair was worn at least seven times throughout the test period for various activities ranging from running errands and driving to running and hiking. For polarized sunglasses, we performed an additional test to check. To do this, we held them out horizontally in front of our faces at a distance of 6 to 8 inches, then looked through them towards a bright screen or window. We then rotated the lenses into a vertical position. We could confirm the polarization if the window or screen appeared darker afterward. What to Look for in Sunglasses Activity Different sunglasses perform different functions, and sometimes it’s worth investing in multiple pairs to get the best of all worlds. For example, fashion sunglasses with a dramatic frame shape and chic details such as inlaid acetate or gold accents will win the most style points on the streets of the big city. The best ones can be dressed up or down for day and evening wear. But, if you’re headed to the mountains for a hiking trip (or to the coast for a sailing adventure), you will need fit-for-purpose shades with polarized lenses and wrap-around frames. Comfort The most comfortable sunglasses are the ones that eliminate eye strain in the sun–so make sure you choose ones with 100 percent UV protection and sufficient tinting. On the latter point, Dr. Lin says you shouldn’t be able to see your eyes through the lenses. Other points to consider include the fit. You shouldn’t feel any pressure at the side of your head or behind your ears. Finally, some people find nose grips add comfort because they allow for a more customized fit; others dislike them because they can tangle in your hair. Style If you’re buying sunnies for use in the city or on your next beach vacation, the best style to go for is the one that complements your face shape and dress sense. Often, that means square or rectangular frames for round faces, round frames for square or oval faces, and cat-eye or aviator styles for heart-shaped faces. However, if you need sunnies for activities that involve extended periods outside, you want a more specialist sport style—usually with polarization and a wrap-around frame that provides ultimate protection against sun and wind. Price Sunglasses vary hugely in price depending on the features and brand. Dr. Lin advises that “some people are willing to pay extra for a name brand—and there’s nothing wrong with that–but you can get comparable quality without compromising too much if you spend, let’s say, $100 on a pair of sunglasses rated for UV protection.” However, he recommends staying away from gas station sunnies in the $10 to $15 range since there’s no way to test that you’re getting the UV protection advertised other than with a professional UV spectrophotometer. Frequently Asked Questions What size and shape of sunglasses will fit my face best? Most women’s sunglasses come in similar small to regular sizes. There’s a lot more choice in shape, though, and there’s no hard and fast rule about which will look best on you (it also comes down to subjective opinion). But often, fashion experts recommend square or rectangular frames to add angles to round faces; round frames to soften square faces; cat-eye or aviator frames to mirror the tapered look of heart-shaped faces; and round, oversized frames to balance out the length of oval faces. What’s the best way to clean sunglasses? First, rinse your glasses under a light stream of lukewarm water to wash off any dust or grit that could scratch them as you clean them. You can apply a small amount of soap to both sides of the lenses and high-contact areas like the nose pads and tips of the arms, as long as it doesn’t contain any acidic ingredients that could damage the lens coatings. Then, dry carefully with a microfiber cleaning cloth. These clothes should also be washed regularly, but be sure not to use potentially damaging fabric softener. What are the benefits of polarized sunglasses? According to Dr. Lin, polarized sunglasses are ideal for high-glare environments and activities, including driving, skiing, and fishing, because they filter out horizontal rays such as those bouncing off snow or water. They prevent a potentially dangerous white-out effect when eyes are exposed to too much light and give a much clearer, better picture. Dr. Lin recommends polarized glasses for everyone, not just those involved in specialist sports, saying that they can be worn for years and will justify their higher price over and over again. Why Trust TripSavvy Jessica Macdonald is the Africa travel expert for TripSavvy. Having lived in South Africa for eight years (and working for many more before that as a scuba instructor in tropical locations around the world), she has a keen appreciation for the importance of a good pair of sunglasses. This article was informed by our travel team’s real-life testing insights and the professional input of Park Slope Eye’s Dr. Derek Lin. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit Continue to 5 of 9 below. Continue to 9 of 9 below.