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Progressive Readers vs Multi-Focus and One-Power Reading Glasses

Multi-Focus vs Progressive Reading Glasses

Difficulty reading up close becomes more of a problem as time goes by. Fortunately, multiple eyeglass manufacturers have developed their own answer to solving this problem by creating different variations of multifocus glasses.

The Holy Grail of eyeglasses is the pair that takes care of all your vision needs, whether you’re trying to see better for far away or up close (or both). These special eyeglasses go by different names such as multifocus reading glasses, multifocal reading glasses, multifocus reading glasses, it’s all the same but the main thing is that you’re looking for a pair of eyeglasses that will do it all. Over the years, manufacturers of eyeglasses have strived to make eyeglasses that conform to this concept of one pair of glasses that are multi-functional lenses or multifocus glasses.

We’re going to talk about a few examples of various attempts to do just that and see if they hit the mark or not. You may have encountered these types of multifocal reading glasses in advertisements, online ads and just by word-of-mouth. So, we’re taking a look at One Power Readers, Foster Grant Progressive Reading Glasses, and progressive no-line bifocals.

One Power Readers

A pair of black one-power readers glasses As the name implies, One Power Readers are designed to cover all of your reading needs in one pair of eyeglasses. This is regardless of your age, individual magnification needs, and right and left eye difference. All of these claims are made possible by Flex Focus Optic Technology, which covers magnification powers from 0.5 to 2.50.

If the claims are valid, then it would eliminate the need for wearers to have multiple reading glasses. And, you could just carry one pair for basically the rest of your life. So, I got a couple and began to analyze them to see how these claims are possible and if it works.

The first thing I did was to examine the eyeglasses themselves. I looked for any knobs, levers, and control buttons for controlling the magnification to customize the power for your viewing needs. I didn’t find any at all. The instruction manual didn’t say how the eyeglasses worked to provide customizable up-close vision (which includes different distances from arm’s length to up to your nose).

I was curious about the lenses themselves, so I used a lensometer (an instrument that reads an eyeglass’ power) to see if the glasses had different strengths in the lens itself. What it found was a uniform power everywhere on the lens, with no power differences at all.

Lastly, I tried them out myself to see if they could “self-adjust” to different distances and found that they do have a range of focus. Still, they did not adjust everywhere that I held my reading material.

In my opinion, the One Power Readers don’t hold up to their claims on the front of the box that they came in. They only have one power which means that they can only focus on one fixed distance and are not functional for any other distance. So, depending on your own individual vision needs, they will more than likely not work for you. Furthermore, since they are only good for up close vision, it would be dangerous to use them for distance viewing like driving or operating heavy equipment. However, at a price point of $14.99, it’s on par with most single-vision reading glasses on the market. Of course, there will be those out there who will love these readers, and others will hate them. But at this reasonable price, it’s worth trying them out to see if they’re right for you but for reading purposes only.

Foster Grant Multi Focus Readers

A pair of Foster Grant Multi-Focus Reading Glasses Foster Grant eyeglasses have been around for approximately one hundred years, so you can’t deny it’s a reputable company for nonprescription eyewear. Plus, they are readily accessible since they are usually in book stores, super markets and convenience stores. I decided to get a pair of their multi-focus readers to see if they can fulfill the promise of a pair of eyeglasses that help you see everything.

The construction of Foster Grant Multi Focus lenses is different from One Power Readers in the fact that they have had three distinct zones of strengths akin to trifocal reading glasses.

  • The top part is what they designate as “interacting,” which basically means it’s used for looking straight ahead at people you are conversing with.
  • The middle of the lens is used for “computer” purposes like your laptop, tablet, or another digital device.
  • The bottom part is for “reading” materials like books, magazines, and other documents.

Upon inspection of the frame and lenses, in my opinion, I found them to be a bit flimsy and felt that I had to be very careful with them for them not to break. The hinges and temples felt of lower quality, so it was essential not to drop them or misuse them in any way.

When I put them on, when looking through the top part, I could see relatively well for short distances, so it was right for office type situations. Still, I would not feel safe driving with them.

The “computer” and “reading” parts of the lens felt like they did an adequate job. Still, the window for seeing through the right power seemed narrow, so I needed to put some effort into steadying my eyes to look through the proper area. When I lost my steady gaze at the right area, I saw distortion and blur to the point that I had to quickly change focus or risk a potential headache from staring at blur.

When it comes to Foster Grant Multi Focus readers, I can see that there is a place for them in a work/office type situation. You can get away with just leaving them on your face during a typical workday. But due to their construction, it would be prudent to have multiple pairs on hand since it’s easy to break them. Still, I would feel uncomfortable having them on while driving home, especially at night since it can potentially distort your vision. So, in my opinion, this falls short of a pair of eyeglasses that do everything.

Foster Grant Pop of Power Blue Light Readers

Pop of Power Blue Light Readers is the latest offering from Foster Grant. I got a pair to try out and found them to be sturdy and of good construction especially with the spring hinges as a nice touch to their already higher quality.

Foster Grant advertises these readers as a modern version of the classic bifocal style reading glasses. They offer blue light filtering which protects you from harmful blue light that’s emitted from electronic devices such as your computer, tablet or cell phone. Also, blue light filtering helps to relieve your eyes from strain which is important for people that spend long hours on the computer or other electronic devices.

However, as I used them throughout my day, the bottom part of the lens which is the reading part was too small for me to comfortably access all day. Furthermore, since they only have a fixed magnification (+1.25, +1.50, +1.75, +2.00, +2.50, +2.50, +2.75, +3.00), it was difficult for me to look at intermediate distances such as my monitor or anything that was arms length away for me. I could only see far away and up close but not my computer screen.

So, for me, Pop of Power Blue Light Readers seems to be just a pair of regular bifocals that’s good for distance and near vision but doesn’t cover everything I need to see. It’s nice that it comes in different styles and magnifications but the only advantage was the blue light filtering which is almost mandatory in this day and age due to so much computer use.

Progressive No-Line Bifocals

Progressive Diagram Progressive no-line bifocals have multiple magnification powers all in one lens. They allow you to see distance, intermediate, and near—or even more than one field at the same time—depending on where you point your eyes.

The lens is constructed so the top portion is transparent. As you lower your eyes, the magnification power increases, which allows you to see better at different up-close distances. The middle part of the lens is designed for you to see your computer screen, laptop, or any other digital device at arm’s length. The bottom portion is for reading up close.

When I put on the progressive eyeglasses, I could see far away just as well as when I didn’t have the glasses on. Then, as I looked downward, I was able to see my computer screen and my reading material all at the same time!

What’s more, it wasn’t hard to find the right power since I didn’t feel restricted that I had to look precisely at the right place to access the appropriate magnification. The “window” of each blended power was wide enough for me to feel comfortable as I looked through the different magnifications throughout the day to work on my laptop or look through my documents and reports.

On closer examination of the frame and lenses, they looked and felt sturdy and very high quality. The hinges were tight and didn’t feel flimsy. The temples (arms of the eyeglasses) weren’t loose and were tight as I folded and unfolded the temples.

The lenses were clear, and you can order options for your glasses like non-glare coating—with or without a blue light filter—for added comfort when viewing a digital screen. Each order came with a microfiber cleaning cloth to maintain the integrity of the lenses and a free case to protect the eyeglasses.

In my opinion, when compared to the other two offerings, the progressive no-line bifocals is the best progressive reading glasses that come closest to fulfilling the promise of one pair of eyeglasses that does everything. You can keep them on all day, even when driving, since they don’t interfere with your natural ability to see distance. And, they offer all-day comfort from eyestrain when looking at your favorite digital device.

Final Thoughts

We are always looking for things that make our life easier and more productive. To this end, eyeglasses that help us see clearly in all our activities, whether work or play, are very valuable. But not all eyewear is equal when it comes to tackling all the things we need to see throughout the day.

As long as your distance vision is clear enough to pass a DMV vision test, all the offerings discussed above can fill part of your need. But, for me, progressive no-line bifocals came closest to being the best multifocus reading glasses and to meeting all of my needs and providing clear vision during all of my day to day activities with just one pair of eyeglasses. I’d recommend you give them a try and see if they work best for you, too!


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