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What are the best varifocal lenses in 2020?

In this blog we take a look at Zeiss SmartLife Varifocal lenses, and why they are probably the best varifocals for you. You can learn more about Zeiss here.

2020 certainly has been a bizarre year. But despite the circumstances there is one societal trend that is not going away (if anything the recent pandemic has only accelerated it) – digital device usage.

According to Leftronic:

  1. 2.71 billion people in the world own a smartphone in 2019.

  2. More than 5 billion people in the world own mobile devices.

  3. 79% of adults have their smartphones with them 22 hours a day.

  4. 194 billion mobile phone apps were downloaded in 2019.

  5. Internet users grow at a rate of 1 million new users a day.

  6. Mobile owners worldwide will increase to 7.33 billion by 2023.

But here’s an alarming fact: varifocals were not originally designed for smart phone usage. The way we used our close-up vision when varifocals were invented over 50 years ago was radically different than it is today.

I attended the Zeiss ‘Seeing Beyond’ conference in Berlin last year (back when travelling was a thing) for the launch of SmartLife lenses. I was privy to all the research Zeiss had done to create a new generation of varifocal lenses.

Zeiss discussed 2 main differences in how our habits have significantly changed thanks to smartphones and other digital devices.

Firstly, they analysed the angle and distance we tend to hold a smartphone compared to a book. Unsurprisingly, how we look at these two kinds of media is completely different. We tend to not only hold a smartphone a bit closer to our eyes, but we also hold them at a different angle! Therefore, we look through a different part of our glasses (than we would if we were reading a book), and so the area of close-up focus needed to be adjusted for that.

Secondly, Zeiss researched how people’s lives have changed. The answer: multitasking is something we are doing like never-before. We are on the move more often, and of course we tend to look at our smartphone whilst on the go (while trying not to walk into traffic). This means we not only switch focus from near to far more than ever (and much more than you realise) but we also use our peripheral vision an incredible amount throughout the day.

SmartLife lenses help you with this by having a clearer peripheral zone, and a smoother transition between different parts of the lens, so your eyes have to do less work.

The result of all this is that SmartLife varifocals were completely redesigned to make sure you are less distracted by your eyes than ever before when using digital devices. You can focus on what you need to do, whether that is being productive or relaxing at home, with strain-free, crystal clear vision.

But SmartLife lenses aren’t just great for viewing a smartphone. Here are 4 more reasons why Zeiss SmartLife varifocals are probably the best varifocals in 2020:

Wider Field of View.

Many varifocals restrict your field of view, meaning you have to turn your head a lot when wearing them. This isn’t only annoying, it can put strain on your eyes and even your neck. In my experience, this is one of the main reasons why people often don’t adapt to wearing varifocals. With Zeiss SmartLife varifocals, you get an extremely wide field of view, so they feel natural to wear.

i.Scription Compatible.

SmartLife lenses are so precisely made, they can be manufactured to a prescription 25 times more accurate than usual. We call this your ‘i.Scription’. This allows you to get superior colour vision, night vision, and contrast. If you have your eye test with us, we include your i.Scription in your Zeiss Smartlife varifocals at no extra charge.

Sunglass-level UV Protection.

As of right now, Zeiss are the only lens manufacturer producing lenses which proved full UV protection with no visible tint whatsoever. Since UV damage plays a role in some of the most common eye diseases, specifically cataracts and macular degeneration, wearing these lenses plays a big role in keeping your eyes healthy.

Scratches? Nope.

You never know when your glasses might get scratched. That’s why, when you order SmartLife varifocals from us, you get DuraVision Platinum included as standard. This coating provides excellent scratch resistant, reflection free vision, anti-static and waterproof properties and makes them very easy to keep clean.

Customise your SmartLife lenses.

Not only can you combine your new SmartLife varifocals with technologies like PhotoFusion (this makes them go darker if you’re in bright light outdoors), there are 3 variations of SmartLife varifocals:

Zeiss SmarLife Plus – the most affordable, standardised Smartlife Lenses. Despite being the least expensive SmartLife option, you still get all the benefits listed above.

Zeiss SmartLife Superb – an even wider field of view, especially for stronger prescriptions, plus these lenses are adapted to the exact frame you choose.

Zeiss SmartLife Individual – completely bespoke lenses with the widest field of view and specially adapted to your personal near vision habits – for example if you tend to use a desktop PC or a laptop more often.

VR Technology allows you to try before you buy.

We have already had many clients who have switched to SmartLife lenses and reported seeing better than ever before (a big part of this is the integrated i.Scription technology). What is even better is that quite a lot of people who haven’t found varifocals suitable in the past are now able to wear them very happily for the first time ever, meaning no more hassle having to constantly switch between distance and reading glasses. We offer a Virtual Reality try on of Zeiss SmartLife varifocal lenses before you buy, so you can see the difference for yourself and decide if they are worth it to you. It is at least worth seeing the difference that the best varifocals available in 2020 can make to your vision before you choose your next pair of glasses.


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