Should I get wooden glasses?
February 25, 2021 1:57 AM   Subscribe

In the UK and considering wooden glasses frames. I have a high prescription for short sightedness and wear glasses full time. I'm concerned about durability and would like some advice from people who have owned wooden glasses themselves.

A local optician has some beautiful wooden frames that I am very attracted to. They are not cheap but it feels like a good investment as I would get a lot of pleasure from them and I wear them all the time.

My main concern is around durability. I don't do any sports other than running 3 times a week but I have a 3 year old son who loves to play fight with me. I can manage the fighting so my glasses are not at risk of a massive smash but there is always a slight chance of mild squashing!

My current, plastic frames have lasted me for around five years. They are pretty exhausted now, especially after our dog got hold of them recently and chewed them out of shape (I stupidly left them on the floor next to the bed - I don't normally do this and wouldn't do it with wooden frames!)

Does anyone have experience of wooden frames, good or bad? Does sweat affect them? Is there a higher risk of them breaking than with plastic frames?

Thank you!
posted by Captain Najork to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I’ve had wooden sunglasses frames, and I loved them, however my 3 year old did manage to pull them off my face and break them down the middle ... twice. The fact she was able to do it twice is due to it being possible to glue them back together (wood’s much more forgiving than plastic like that).

How brittle they are should vary with the type of wood. After I had the pair that got broken I got some in a denser, finer grained wood, and I got a bit more cautious around the kiddo, and they’ve been fine.
posted by threecheesetrees at 2:34 AM on February 25

My roommate had frames with metal around the lenses and wooden earpieces. The hinges warped and snapped in odd ways after a couple years. Theory was that the hinges were for metal and not wood and the pressure was wrong as the wood expanded and contracted? Regardless, I wouldn’t unless the wood was on a nonporous substrate and just used for decoration, like a veneer.

If you can afford them, there is no rule that you can only have one pair of glasses at a time. Go for your cool wooden frames and wear them for work meetings and special occasions, and get a second pair of workhorse plastic or metal frames that you can sanitize after a sweaty run or tussle with your kid while wearing them.
posted by Mizu at 2:46 AM on February 25 [11 favorites]

If the temple arms are not in too odd of shapes, it's possible to add "retainers" so they are much more difficult to take off.
posted by kschang at 4:39 AM on February 25

I still miss the no-muss, no-fuss of Flexon-style bendable metal frames. I bought something different a few years ago, but my next glasses will be something bendy. To Mizu's point, if you want something that will be mostly bulletproof, that might be a good choice. (And then lovely wood for any time that form is not strictly following function)
posted by adekllny at 6:58 AM on February 25

I would get the wooden glasses and then a second, much less expensive pair (glasses bought on the internet are quite inexpensive) for running and maybe for wearing around the house when you're likely to be wrestling with your kid.
posted by quince at 9:49 AM on February 25

I am a prescription glasses aficionado and have many pairs. I've had wooden frames and wouldn't do that again. The oil on my face discolored the frames in weird ways starting on the bridge and earpieces, and couldn't ever really be cleaned. Those glasses looked awesome for about two months and then ugly and gross.
posted by juniperesque at 10:25 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]

My oldest child snapped my non-wood frames when they were three, mostly out of curiosity. They snapped across the nose bridge. I mention this as it may be an issue that is not unique to wood frames. The subsequent frames over many years did not have that issue with subsequent siblings. Maybe I was wiser, some were high-flex, but either way kids do grow out of this.
posted by childofTethys at 5:47 AM on February 26

Thanks for the helpful responses! I can't afford two pairs of glasses currently which I would need to for my own peace of mind were I to get wooden frames. I decided to go with acetate frames instead.
posted by Captain Najork at 9:13 PM on March 9

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