What’s the difference between bifocals and varifocals?

Nov 8, 2019

What’s the difference between bifocals and varifocals?

The most common lens for the standard glasses wearer is single vision, for which you can get a number of different coatings and treatments including anti-scratch, UV tinting and anti-glare. But what happens if you have a need for multiple prescriptions?


Bifocal Lenses

Bifocals and varifocals allow the wearers to only need one pair of glasses despite the varying types of lens needed for their vision.

Bifocals are the lenses you see with a distinct line across the middle, catering for two distances, with distance at the top and up close at the bottom. These are usually, but not exclusively, prescribed to wearers with the age-related condition presbyopia, whereby eyes begin to have to work harder to focus on anything up close. Due to the nature of the lens, the wearer has to make a distinct motion to focus either above the line or below it, depending on where and what they want to look at.


Varifocal Lenses

Varifocals cater for multiple prescriptions, with progressive lens zones rather than a distinct top and bottom dividing line. Distance viewing is still towards the top area of the lens, but as the item being looked at gets closer, the wearer gradually moves their eyes lower to keep the object in focus.

The finish allows for a gradual transition from distance, down into up close viewing as you move your eyes to the bottom of the lens, allowing for middle distance and quick changes of focus within one lens, as the wearer needs it. Looking through the bottom of the lens will again give the best focus for items up close.


Bifocal vs Varifocal Lenses

Wearers will find varifocals more aesthetically pleasing thanks to the single vision appearance and when they have got used to them, they will provide a more comfortable viewing experience as the lenses work with the user and what they are looking at. Bifocals tend to be more cost-effective and a good option if you are looking purely for function, with two distinct prescriptions, and a budget friendly option.

Whatever you decide on, Lensology can advise and source the correct lenses for your prescription. Our range of bifocals start from as little as £35.00 versus the high street RRP of £80.00 – £120.00, and our varifocals start from £64.00 – with the high street RRP starting from £120.00 to £170.00. A huge difference in cost, and with regular deals with as much as £20.00* discounted off the price, the savings are undeniable.

Request a pack online and contact us if you have any further questions about the right lenses for you.

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