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3 Key areas of a Frame

Some people don't have a hard time finding a frame that they like but they do have difficulty finding a frame that they like and that fits well.  Here are the 3 areas of a frame you need to pay attention to for proper fit.

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The bridge, aka DBL (Distance Between Lenses), is the first thing you should look at because this is the part of the frame most responsible for supporting the frame and keeping it in place.

If the frame has adjustable nosepads then the immediate fit isn't critical since they can always be made narrower or wider.


If there are no adjustable nosepads then it becomes really important to get the fit right from the beginning.  Use this as a guide:

  • Look for a "saddle" fit: An even distribution of the frames bridge across the bridge of your nose.  (See Ex.1 Picture)

  • Gaps/spaces on the sides mean too much weight is being placed at the top of the nose.  This can be uncomfortable since all the weight will be concentrated there.  There is also a good chance the frames will slip down your nose.

  • A small amount of space at the top of the bridge is ok.

Ex.1: A proper fit for a frame with no nosepads.

Frame Width

Frame width

The frame width is almost just as important as the bridge fit but there is a little more room to work with here.  The key is to minimize the amount of space between your temple and the arms of the frame.  (The technical name for the "arms" is actually also Temples)

Too much space in this area and the frames may be too wide to fit securely and too little space may place undesired pressure that can lead to discomfort.  If you can fit your index finger between the frame and your temples the glasses are most likely too wide.

There are exceptions to this rule since there are some people, in particular young children, that have a diamond shaped head which means the head is quite a bit wider above the ear then the temple area.  In these situations you'll want to go with a frame that has spring hinge or flexible temples; this will allow a slightly smaller frame to fit without putting too much pressure on the wearers temples.

The ideal frame width places the wearers eyes near the center of the lenses.  See Ex.2

Ex.2: Notice how the wearers eyes are located in the center of the lenses.

Temple Length

Temple Length/Type

The temple length is often overlooked but it actually is pretty important.  If the temple is too short then it can't be bent down behind the ears properly in order to keep the frames from slipping down and moving around.

Most adult frames should have a temple length between 140-150mm.  When bent, the end of the temple should reach about half way down the back of the ear.

There are some temple styles that are not bendable, rather, they are straight and bowed (See Ex.3).  Instead of hooking behind the ear, this style will feel like it hugs your head.  This is a common temple style for sports brands (especially their sunglasses).

One isn't really "better" than the other, it comes down to personal preference.  Though it is more common for people to prefer the type you can bend behind the ear (aka skull temples; see Ex.4) for glasses that they wear all day; It tends to have less constant pressure.

Ex.3: Straight Temple

Ex.4: Bendable Skull Temples

All Done!

Hopefully you found this guide helpful.  We are a non-profit working to teach people all around the world about the importance of eye care.  Please consider signing up for our newsletter, and if you like, click here to find ways to support our non-profit efforts.  Thank you.

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