These Are the Best Sunglasses for Women, Tested and Reviewed

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These are the most stylish, sporty, and versatile sunglasses for women.

<p>Travel + Leisure / Morgan Ashley Parker</p>

Travel + Leisure / Morgan Ashley Parker

While everyone has style preferences when it comes to choosing a pair of sunglasses, there are several key factors to consider when shopping for sunnies. Of course, sizing and fit are important for both comfort and style, but one of the most important standards to look for are lenses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection to keep your eyes safe from harmful sun rays.

With activities like hiking, fishing, walking, or everyday accessorizing in mind, we thoroughly researched and tested 21 pairs of shades to test in the real world. We analyzed the fit, appearance, performance, value, and quality of each pair during the two-week testing period to determine the best of the best for both everyday life and outdoor activities. Although it comes down to style preference and intended use for choosing the right pair of sunglasses, we’re certain you won’t want to leave the house without a selection from our list below.

Best Overall: Eleventh Hour Essential Polarized Sunglasses

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Why We Love It

  • The slight cat-eye lenses are sharp and the acetate frames have the perfect balance of flexibility and sturdiness.

What to Consider

  • The frames might be a little large on some face shapes.

When it comes to comfort, these stylish sunglasses from Eleventh Hour are made with handmade acetate frames that are thick and sturdy, but are also extremely lightweight and feel nearly weightless, especially while wearing them for long periods of time. The arms have just the right amount of give so they won’t press against your temples but they still feel secure on your head. After regularly wearing these for three months (and sliding them up onto our heads), we did need to slightly tighten the stems, but not an extreme amount. Although the bridge doesn’t have any padding, the sunglasses comfortably sit on the nose without causing any pinching or sliding down.

We tried the white frames with brown lenses and black frames with gray lenses, and both colors offered excellent clarity in both bright and dim weather conditions. Plus, the lenses are polarized to reduce glare in bright settings and have 100 percent protection against UVA and UVB rays. With a subtle cat-eye shape in the lenses and slightly oversized frames, these shades offer the best of two trendy styles without leaning too heavily toward one or the other. And with polarized and UV-protected lenses, these sunnies can be worn for activities ranging from having brunch on a patio to lounging lakeside.

Price at time of publish: $85

The Details: Polarized | 52 millimeter lens | 19 millimeter bridge | 143 millimeter temple | 100 percent UVA/UVB protection | Acetate frame

Best Cat-eye: Indy Nolita Polarized Sunglasses

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Why We Love It

  • These statement sunglasses have a sleek and flattering 1950s cat-eye frame.

What to Consider

  • We found a small scratch on the lens after the initial two-week testing period.

Cat-eye sunglasses will never go out of style, and we highly recommend this sleek pair from Brooklyn-based eyewear brand, Indy. Slightly different from the typical sharp-cornered cat-eye lens, these have a softer oval shape that gives them a more modern edge. The dark gray and brown lenses boast polarization and 100 percent UV protection, and while they’re quite fashionable, they’re also practical for all sorts of activities when you travel.

These sunnies come in one size but the acetate frames have enough flexibility and sturdiness that they didn’t feel too tight or too loose on either of our testers. They aren’t the most lightweight sunglasses, but the dense material feels extremely durable and we didn’t experience any discomfort or sliding while wearing them. In fact, after three months of frequent use, these sunglasses have held their shape well; the frames haven't stretched at all. There was a tiny scratch on one of the lenses at the end of the testing period, but if you’re cautious with the glasses and keep them in the case when not in use they’ll be less likely to get damaged.

Price at time of publish: $79

The Details: Polarized | 52.6 millimeter lens | 20.6 millimeter bridge | 144.7 millimeter temple | 100 percent UV protection| Acetate frame

Best Circular: Randolph Elinor Fusion Polarized Sunglasses

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Buy at

Why We Love It

  • The 23-karat gold metal frame is delicate but sturdy.

What to Consider

  • The lenses aren't extremely dark, so may not be best for direct sun.

Made with 23-karat gold and metal frames, these luxe round glasses from Randolph are polarized and have 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. There are seven different colored frames and lenses to choose from, and each lens is made with the brand’s ultra-lightweight Skyforce nylon material which boasts blue light-blocking filters and anti-glare coating. The sunglasses passed our polarization test with flying colors and proved to be excellent shades for all-day wear.

To match the extremely lightweight lenses, the metal frames feel delicate and light while remaining sturdy and secure on your head. After three months of use, the arms are still rigid and secure. The bridge has adjustable pads that rest comfortably on top of your nose and prevent the glasses from sliding down or pinching. Plus, these sunglasses come with both an embossed hardshell case and a soft case for protection against damage, and they also include a generous lifetime warranty. Although the price point is a little steep, these U.S.-made sunglasses have a premium feel that matches the cost.

Price at time of publish: $329

The Details: Polarized | 57-millimeter lens | 100 percent UVA/UVB protection

Related: The 13 Best Places to Buy Sunglasses of 2023

Best Retro: Le Specs Unreal! Sunglasses

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Why We Love It

  • The oval frame is flattering on a range of face shapes.

What to Consider

  • The arms felt a bit stiff behind the ears at first.

Celebrity-loved eyewear brand Le Specs has a slew of timeless sunglasses styles, including these retro shades that are Lizzo- and Gigi Hadid-approved. Size-wise, these glasses are on the smaller end but they proved to be plenty comfortable after an initial break-in period where the arms felt slightly tight behind the ears. After three months of wear, the shades still feel secure without any discomfort around the ears or on the bridge of the nose. These dark-tinted glasses aren’t polarized and have category three UV protection, which are intended more for everyday sun protection rather than outdoor activities like hiking or swimming. However, if you’re looking for that ‘90s supermodel style for strutting around the city, these sturdy and comfy sunglasses are your best bet.

Price at time of publish: $79

The Details: Not polarized | 52 millimeter lens | 16 millimeter bridge | 140 millimeter temple | Polycarbonate plastic frame

Best Rectangular: Illesteva Wilson Sunglasses

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Why We Love It

  • The oversized rectangular frames come in 17 different colors and patterns.

What to Consider

  • The arms are a little uncomfortable resting behind the ears.

If you’re looking to level up your accessory game, these rectangular sunglasses from Illesteva are as stylish as they are durable and comfortable. There are 17 colors to choose from so you can opt for a sleek pair of black shades or branch out with a pair of pink frames with matching pink lenses. No matter which color you get, the slightly oversized frames feel sturdy and thick so they won’t snap or break easily if you leave them out of the case. After wearing these shades regularly for three months, we love them as a fun statement option that still protects your eyes from the sun. The glasses only come in one size so you may feel a bit of tightness behind the ears, but the discomfort is so minimal that it’s not a deal breaker by any means. Although the lenses aren’t polarized, they have 100 percent UV protection so they’ll still protect your eyes and they do a solid job of reducing the glare on both bright and overcast days.

Price at time of publish: $250

The Details: Not polarized | 51 millimeter lens | 22 millimeter bridge | 145 millimeter temple | 100 percent UVA/UVB protection | Acetate frame

Related: The 5 Best Smart Glasses for Travel in 2023

Best Splurge: Maui Jim Capri Polarized Cat Eye Sunglasses

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Why We Love It

  • The gray-tinted lenses are impeccably clear and sharp.

What to Consider

  • The frames are intended to have a snug fit.

From hiking in the morning to brunching at a restaurant in the afternoon, these versatile Maui Jim sunglasses are both protective and stylish. The cat-eye frames and polarized lenses both look and feel premium thanks to the sleek black acetate material and thin glass frames that offer superior clarity compared to other sunglasses we tried. Throughout three months of wearing, the tinted lenses offered impressively clear vision on both sunny and cloudy days despite the darker gray and purple-ish hue from the glass. The lenses are also designed to be shatter- and scratch-resistant, and after lots of use in and out of the hardshell case provided, we didn’t notice any damage to the durable lenses or frame. One thing to note is that these sunglasses are designed for smaller heads, so the fit is on the tighter end.

Price at time of publish: $349

The Details: Polarized | 51 millimeter lens | 21 millimeter bridge | 145 millimeter temple | Acetate frame

Best for Outdoor Activities: Smith Caper Sunglasses with Chromapop

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Why We Love It

  • The frames don’t slip off when your face gets sweaty, and the lenses boast excellent clarity and a helpful anti-glare coating.

What to Consider

  • The arms may be a little tight for wider heads.

Smith’s Caper Sunglasses feature the brand’s ChromaPop lenses for boosting natural colors, protecting the eyes from UV rays, and reducing the glare from the sun. The sharp color contrast and sun protection from the lenses make these ideal for outdoor activities, especially hiking, kayaking, or boating where you may be exposed to harmful sun rays or experience more glare. The hearty frames are equally as impressive as the lenses and they feel exceptionally durable, so after three months of tossing them in a backpack, they didn't suffer any breaks or scratches. Best of all, they still have a chic look to them with a circular shape and four color options to choose from, so you can wear these versatile shades both on a camping trip and for everyday wear.

Price at time of publish: $189

The Details: Polarized | 53 millimeter lens | 19 millimeter bridge | 145 millimeter temple | 100 percent UV protection

Related: From Spacious Towels to Sturdy Umbrellas, These Are the Best Beach Accessories

Best Budget: Quay Australia After Hours 50mm Square Sunglasses

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Why We Love It

  • The large square lenses do an excellent job of blocking out the sun and wind.

What to Consider

  • The nose bridge can become uncomfortable when wearing for long periods of time.

Despite the oversized fit of these square-shaped sunglasses, they are extremely lightweight and comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The gray-tinted lenses aren’t polarized but they do offer 100 percent UV protection, so these fashion-forward glasses are plenty protective for most outdoor activities. Whether you’re running errands or hiking, the sunglasses will rest securely behind your ears. The arms aren’t too tight and the frames are impressively lightweight without feeling flimsy. After wearing these for three months, we loved that these statement sunglasses were equally functional for a variety of adventures, and protected us from both sun and wind.

Price at time of publish: $65

The Details: Not polarized | 50 millimeter lens | 24 millimeter bridge | 150 millimeter temple | 100 percent UV protection

Best Oversized: Vincero Collective The Quinn Sunglasses

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Why We Love It

  • They are very lightweight and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

What to Consider

  • The arms are on the wider side so the sunglasses didn’t always feel secure.

You'll want to wear these classic tortoise shell print or black sunglasses for every occasion from brunch to jetting off on your next vacation. Not only are they stylish, but they're extremely comfortable as well – we even wore them hiking and they were sturdy and protective all day. While the lenses aren't as dark as other options we tested, they offer the perfect amount of coverage for daily use. The sunglasses have a comfortable, slightly high nose bridge that doesn't leave marks even after all-day wear, and the arms are sturdy and tough. After regularly wearing these sunglasses for three months, they don't have any scratches on them and that's even after tossing them straight into purses without a case and dropping them on the ground quite a few times (they tend to slip off your head if you place them up top for storage, so beware of dropping them).

Price at time of publish: $145

The Details: Polarized | 22 millimeter bridge | 140 millimeter temple | 100 percent UVA/UVB protection | Acetate frame

Other Sunglasses for Women We Liked

We tested plenty of women’s sunglasses that scored highly, but there were a few that fell short due to some issues with comfort and fit. Here are some of the glasses that didn’t quite make our list of the top picks, but are still worth an honorable mention.

Féroce Heather: These uniquely shaped sunglasses are meant to be worn as more of a statement piece so they aren’t as versatile as other pairs we tested, but the frames feel sturdy and the lenses are clear. They’d still make an excellent fashion accessory for sunny days.

<p>Travel + Leisure / Elise Wojczyk Wang</p>

Travel + Leisure / Elise Wojczyk Wang

Chimi Tom Greyhound: Sleek, sturdy, and stylish, these cat-eye glasses scored highly for comfort, fit, and durability thanks to the lightweight frame and tinted lenses, but the price point was a little steep compared to other cat-eye glasses we tried.

<p>Travel + Leisure / Jessica Vadillo</p>

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Vadillo

Our Testing Process

We sent 21 pairs of sunglasses out into the real world to be worn for activities like driving, walking dogs, skiing, and everyday accessorizing for a period of three months. We each tested two sets of shades and used two testers per pair to thoroughly compare fit, appearance, performance, value, and quality over a two-week period. All of the sunglasses are currently being tested for six more months so we can continue to provide up-to-date insights on the longevity and functionality of each pair.

The sunglasses earning the highest praise for sizing and fit had comfortable and flattering positioning on the face and didn’t press too hard on the sides of the head or pinch the bridge of the nose. Our favorite sunglasses had some flexibility when we bent the arms but proved to be made with a durable frame and lens materials that didn’t damage or scratch easily. To make sure the lenses were polarized, we rotated the sunglasses vertically about 90 degrees to check if the lenses darkened. Whether it was bright and sunny or slightly cloudy outside, we noted if the lenses (regardless of color) were sharp without compromising clarity.

Tips for Buying Sunglasses for Women

Think about your intended use

Whether you’re using sunglasses for rigorous outdoor activities or as a fashion accessory, you’ll want to choose the right style for your intended use. Cat-eye and circular-shaped sunglasses might be better suited for leisurely activities, and wayfarer or sport sunglasses work well for hiking or biking. And if you plan on being outdoors, opt for a pair of polarized sunglasses to reduce the glare from bright light.

Look for polarization and UV protection features

Contrary to popular belief, polarized sunglasses don’t necessarily mean they’re better than non-polarized glasses. Polarized lenses reduce glare from the sun while UV protection stops harmful rays from damaging your eyes, so the two features are very different. If you’re planning on using sunglasses for outdoor activities, polarized lenses (paired with UV protection, too) are better and in general, you want all of your sunnies to have UV protection.

Check the sizing

Everyone has a different face shape and size so it’s important to double-check lens, bridge, and temple sizing to make sure the fit of the glasses won’t be too small or too big. Oftentimes, the sizes will be listed in millimeters, and the brand may also indicate which face or head shape the glasses could be best suited for.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I know if a pair of sunglasses will fit properly?

If you already have a pair of sunglasses or eyeglasses you love, measure the lenses, bridge, and temple length to have an idea of the measurements that are comfortable for you. Most brands will list the measurements of the sunglasses in the specifications section along with other information like the type of face shape or size the glasses could work well with.

How do I clean sunglasses?

It’s crucial to follow the instructions provided when you purchase the glasses to make sure you don’t accidentally scratch or damage the lenses. Most sunglasses will come with a microfiber fabric swatch to use to gently clean fingerprints or dust off of the lenses.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure Commerce Writer Anna Popp reviews travel products and writes almost all of the team’s tested content. She participated in this test by trying out three pairs of sunglasses while traveling, hiking, and running around New York City. Anna worked with our editors and sifted through thorough testing insights to compile this list of the best sunglasses for women.

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