Content is created by CNN Underscored’s team of editors who work independently from the CNN newsroom. When you buy through links on our site, CNN and its syndication partners may earn a commission. Learn more
On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will transform the daytime sky into something eerie and magical across large swaths of the US, Canada and Mexico. The moon will pass directly between the sun and the planet we live on, briefly blocking out the sun’s rays and darkening the sky in the middle of the day.
NASA reports that some of the best places to see the solar eclipse stateside include Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Texas. Not surprisingly, the timing of the momentous event will vary widely based on where you are located.
For example, people in Evansville, Indiana, will experience the eclipse from 12:45 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. CST with maximum darkness at 2:04 p.m. Meanwhile, viewers in Burlington, Vermont, can see the eclipse from 2:14 p.m. to 4:37 p.m. EST with maximum darkness at 3:27 p.m. You can see viewing times for select US cities on NASA’s website.
The best eclipse glasses for the 2024 total solar eclipse
But regardless of where you view the eclipse, protecting your eyes is key to doing it safely.
According to NASA, you should wear a set of eclipse glasses that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard when viewing any solar eclipse. This standard is thousands of times darker than standard sunglasses.
Further, the agency notes that “viewing any part of the bright sun through a camera lens, binoculars or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.”
With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the best and most protective solar eclipse viewing glasses you can order now and receive well before the solar eclipse happens this April.
Helioclipse Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses, 12-pack
If you’re after a cheap set of solar eclipse viewing glasses for your whole family, this 12-pack of glasses from Amazon could fit the bill. You’ll get 12 pairs of protective lenses for $20, and you’ll even get free shipping with your Amazon Prime membership.
These glasses feature a specialized solar filter that blocks out harmful ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) rays from the sun. This makes it possible to view the eclipse without damaging or straining your eyes. Just remember that these are disposable glasses that you shouldn’t wear more than a few times (or keep for the long haul).
Celestron 10x25 EclipSmart Solar Binoculars
This set of binoculars is made to enhance your view as you watch the solar eclipse take place. The filters on the binoculars meet ISO international safety standards, and you can view the eclipse in neutral tones while zooming in for spectacular details you might otherwise not see. In fact, the manufacturer of this set of binoculars says they feature 10x magnification.
These binoculars are also meant to be kept and used over and over again, and they are made with weather-resistant rubber with fold-down rubber eyecups. They also weigh just 11 ounces, so they’re lightweight enough to use throughout the day.
SEIC Clip-on Frame Solar Eclipse Glasses
If you already wear glasses and want to view the solar eclipse without giving up the benefits of your prescription, consider this pair of clip-on solar eclipse glasses that latch on to your regular eyeglasses. This set of clip-on lenses meets ISO international standards for safety, and it even comes with its own handy carrying case.
You also get two disposable pairs of solar eclipse lenses when you buy, which you can share with family and friends.
Celestron 2x EclipSmart Solar Observing Kit, 2-Pack
If you want the magnification of eclipse-viewing binoculars at a lower price point, you can opt for this two-pack of disposable binoculars. This set meets ISO standards for safety with 2x magnification to help you see more details as the moon passes directly in front of the sun.
Made of heavy cardboard and foldable for storage, these solar eclipse binoculars are lightweight and easy to carry around with you all day. Most importantly, you’ll get the best protection from IR and UV light and 99.999% of intense visible light.
SEIC Plastic Frame Solar Eclipse Glasses, 5-Pack
This set of solar eclipse viewing glasses is worth considering if you want a slightly more stylish look and a set of five glasses for two adults and three kids. Available in black for adults and orange for children, these glasses feature a plastic frame and meet international safety standards set by the ISO.
SEIC plastic frame glasses were also made to fit around regular prescription glasses or be worn on their own. Customers also get five pairs of disposable solar eclipse glasses with their purchase.
Nocs Provisions Solar Eclipse Shades
These solar eclipse shades are stylish and include their own fabric carrying base. Available in a burnt-orange shade, these Nocs Provisions shades were built to meet ISO international safety standards to protect your eyes from harmful solar rays as you watch the eclipse.
REI says these shades were designed to work well with a variety of face shapes and sizes, and that they are lightweight and comfortable. At just $15 per pair, Nocs Provisions solar eclipse shades are an affordable choice for consumers who don’t want to buy disposable glasses that will end up in a landfill.
Celestron EclipSmart Deluxe Solar Observing & Imaging Kit
This solar eclipse viewing kit features premium solar eclipse viewing glasses that meet ISO international safety standards, a solar-safe photo filter that makes it easier to capture incredible images with your smartphone and a 32-page educational book. This makes the set a good option for adults, teens or children who want to learn how a solar eclipse works and take photos they can cherish forever.
The viewing glasses themselves come with a fabric pouch for storage and safekeeping, and the plastic frame construction means they can be used over and over again.
Phillips Safety Solar Eclipse Glasses Shade 14 Welding Glasses
Finally, consider these welding glass lenses from Phillips Safety Products if you want multipurpose lenses that can be used for solar eclipse viewing or welding. These glasses are made to block over 99% of UV light and 97% of IR radiation, and they are built to fit over other glasses you already wear. NASA’s website notes that shade 14 glasses like these are dark enough to protect your eyes when viewing an eclipse.
While not as stylish as other eclipse-viewing glasses on the market today, these shades will keep your eyes safe and protected and can be used for other purposes in the future.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailers' listed price at the time of publication.
For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at CNN.com