Difference between Sunglasses and Goggles

Key Difference: Sunglasses are eyewear glasses that are used for the protection of the eyes from the bright light and harmful rays of sun, whereas goggles are close fitting eyeglasses that are equipped with side shields. Goggles are used to guard against wind, snow, dust and other potentially blinding objects.

Many people are aware with the word sunglasses and consider the goggles to be the same thing. Regardless of the fact, that both are used for the protection of eyes they differ in many ways. Let us find out the differences in this article.

Sunglasses are preferred by everyone, they protect our precious eyes form the harmful rays of sun and are also considered to be trend setters. Sunglasses have been highly popular because of their versatile designs. There are numerous designs, numerous colours of lens and even some crazy designs, but in nutshell they are something that one must definitely have in his or her personal collection. These sunglasses are also used to enhance the style, apart from being used as an eye protection gadget.

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Ultra violet rays emitted by the sun are not good for the eyes and thus eyes need to be protected from these rays. Thus, sunglasses provide the protection from these dangerous rays. These rays can also damage vision by clouding eye lens and burning through the delicate film and cells of our retina. Sunglasses have been devised to protect the eyes from the ultra violet rays.  The intense lights can be blocked from reaching to the eyes. It is believed that good sunglasses can block light entering the eyes by as much as 97 percent.

Sunglasses can be polarized or non-polarized. Polarized lenses contain a special filter that helps in reducing the glares and thus improve the comfort and visibility. The light that is reflected back from the flat surface is horizontally polarized and the lens of glares are vertically polarized and thus they are able to block the glare.

Goggles are similar to sunglasses in many ways:-

  1. Both are used for the protection of eyes.
  2. Both needs to be fitted.
  3. They both have similar basic components (lens and frame).

Sometimes sunglasses are also considered as goggles, as they also shield the eyes from the sunlight, but formally the goggles represent tight fitting safety glasses that are used to protect the eyes from various potential blinding sources. Goggles are used in chemical laboratories where the chemicals can be dangerous to eyes and thus, it is necessary to guard the eyes. Goggles are also used in sports like swimming, where the tight proof design of goggles prevents the water to enter the eyes.

People working with power tools may be dealing with lot of chunks and these chunks can be dangerous to eyes. Thus, they are used in various fields where protection of the eyes needs to be taken seriously. The surroundings pertaining to a job or event might contain particles or any other objects that may affect the eyes adversely. The first patent utilizing the modern goggle design was registered in the year 1916, by C.P.Troppman.  Some of the differences are listed in the table below:-





Eye wear for protection from bright light and sun rays

Eye wear for protection from wind, snow, dust or other potentially blinding objects.





Comparatively light weight

Comparatively heavy (usually as ski goggles)

Protection Area


Some are designed to cover a larger area of face including eyes


Easy to wear

Not very comfortable (usually comes with a strap that is fasten to the head)

Side shields

Generally not found



Comparatively delicate

Comparatively robust


Casual wear

Sport gear

Image Courtesy: recomparison.com, en.wikipedia.org

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