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6 Best Cheap Sunglasses That Only Look Expensive

Looking glamorous needn't cost a fortune. For proof, check out the best cheap sunglasses, all under $50.

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6 Best Cheap Sunglasses That Only Look ExpensiveRD.COM, VIA MERCHANT (3)

Like your everyday eyeglasses, sunglasses can reveal a lot about your personality and add spice to an outfit. They’re also necessary for UV protection. The sun’s harsh rays can damage eyes, increasing your risk of developing vision problems and even cancer, as well as harm the delicate skin around them, causing wrinkles.

Unfortunately, sunglasses are also really easy to lose! We’ve all misplaced or accidentally left behind our favorite pair at some point. Luckily, you don’t have to drop a pretty penny on designer or polarized sunglasses to get adequate protection. The best cheap sunglasses make you look like a million bucks—without blowing your budget.

Best cheap sunglasses

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Sojos Classic Square Sunglasses
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Best overall cheap sunglasses

Sojos Classic Square Sunglasses

When it comes to the very best cheap sunglasses, go for these Sojos Classics. With over 27,000 ratings on Amazon and an average 4.5-star rating, they offer great quality at a can’t-be-beat price. The dark lenses block harsh light and harmful UV rays, and the polarization reduces glare during any outdoor activity. The plastic frames, which come in a dozen colors, feature metal end pieces that make them look more expensive, too.

“I’m weird and very picky about sunglasses shape because there are styles that look really terrible with my face shape, but I think these look great on everyone,” raves Lynnae Anne in her 5-star review. “Love that the piece that sits on the ears is thinner, makes it so much more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Will be purchasing again and again.”


  • Classic design with protective benefits
  • Metal legs lend a luxury appearance
  • Polarized lenses
  • Come with a box, microfiber pouch and lens cloth
  • A dozen colors to choose from


  • Only available in one size that may run large

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Kuguoak Retro Sunglasses
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Best value sunglasses

Kuguoak Retro Sunglasses

With all of the sunglasses on our list being so affordable, this two-pack of fashion sunglasses is an extra-good deal. For less than $10, you get two trendy pairs that each offer 100% UV protection on lenses coated to resist scratches. Choose among 17 color combinations, with options for a single pair and four-pack. They’re great for traveling on a budget or everyday use.

Five-star reviewer Samantha Leigh writes, “The frame is not flimsy at all, and they are super comfortable to wear (sometimes sunnies can be heavy or uncomfortable on the ears, not these).”


  • Two pairs of sunglasses for an affordable price
  • Anti-scratch lenses
  • Durable plastic frame
  • Lots of color combinations


  • Heavy frame may block peripheral vision
  • No case or cleaning cloth included

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Zenni Browline Sunglasses
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Best cheap prescription sunglasses

Zenni Browline Sunglasses

Popular online glasses retailer Zenni comes through with a fashionable and functional choice for those who like to stretch a dollar. These mixed-material glasses have a retro browline shape that you can customize according to your prescription—even bifocals—for far less than you’d pay at the local optical shop. The frames come in six color variations, all with the option to choose from 20 tints, mirror finishes and polarized lenses. You can even buy the glasses using an FSA.


  • Inexpensive prescription sunglasses
  • Bifocal option available
  • Anti-scratch coating
  • Numerous color and customizing options
  • Virtual try-on feature


  • Sizing and prescription can be tricky when ordering online
  • Some reviewers say the finish rubs off after a few wears

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J+s Premium Classic Aviators
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Best cheap aviator sunglasses

J+S Premium Classic Aviators

Everybody needs a classic pair of aviators, and these J+S Premium Classic sunglasses might just be what your wardrobe is missing, for far less cash than that designer pair. They offer full UV protection, are polarized to block glare and look amazing on any face shape. Choose from three sizes and more than a dozen frame and lens colors to customize your look. Go ahead, have a Top Gun moment.

With more than 15,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, reviewers say they can’t be beat. “From the time I opened the package, the presentation, protection and packaging were immediately impressive,” writes Eric Walters. “The sunglasses are very well designed, comfortable and fit my face perfectly. I will definitely be buying a spare pair. Highly, highly recommended!”


  • Classic aviator style for a budget price
  • Polarized lenses block glare
  • Lightweight frame
  • Available in three sizes
  • Comes with a case and lens cloth


  • Reviewers report they aren’t the most durable

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Knockaround Campeones Sunglasses
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Best cheap sunglasses for athletes

Knockaround Campeones Sunglasses

During outdoor activities, athletes need a pair of sunnies that will stay put no matter how much they move. The budget-friendly Knockaround Campeones sunglasses feature a wraparound frame, adjustable nose pads and nonslip arms for ultimate security. Their anti-fog lenses minimize visual distortion, so you can keep your eyes on the ball. The sunglasses are also treated with a water- and oil-resistant coating, so sweat, rain and fingerprints won’t affect their performance. Take them to the beach for a friendly game of volleyball or to the courts for pickleball—they might just be your secret weapon.


  • Full coverage, wraparound frames and lenses
  • Adjustable rubber nose pads and nonslip arms
  • Anti-fog lenses
  • Frame and lenses are water- and oil-resistant
  • Six colors to choose from


  • Purposely non-polarized lenses

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Huckberry Weekenders Polarized Sunglasses
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Best cheap polarized sunglasses

Huckberry Weekenders Polarized Sunglasses

For an everyday, no-fuss pair of polarized sunnies, try the Huckberry Weekenders. They offer a fresh take on the classic Wayfarer style made with lightweight, durable frames in seven color options. The polarized lenses offer 100% UV protection and reduce glare during the brightest of sunny days at the beach or on the water.


  • Polarized lenses reduce eye strain and glare
  • Classic Wayfarer style
  • Seven frame and lens colors
  • Comes with a carrying case and lens cloth


  • Only come in one size

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What to look for when buying cheap sunglasses

“Cheap” shouldn’t mean low quality. Affordable sunglasses can be just as effective at protecting your eyes than those that cost hundreds of dollars. All quality sunglasses will block the sun’s harsh rays, just look for a label that points out UVA/UVB protection. But when looking for the best cheap sunglasses, consider their UV protection capabilities, the quality of the lenses and your face shape and personal style. The construction shouldn’t feel flimsy, and although trendy frames elevate an outfit and even make you look younger, you want to make sure they can withstand everyday wear.

How we found the best cheap sunglasses

As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.  


Is it good to buy cheap sunglasses?

Absolutely! As long as the label touts 100% UV protection, the sunglasses will do their job. Features like polarization, anti-scratch or oil-resistant coatings may increase the price, but often its the designer label that causes costs to really rise. But the more cheap sunglasses you stock up on, the more likely you’ll have a pair on hand in a bag or in the car to wear any time you head outdoors.

How much do good quality sunglasses cost?

High-end designers and add-ons may ratchet up the price, but that doesn’t always mean they’re any better quality than pairs that cost much less. You can easily find a solid pair of sunglasses that protects your eyes and your wallet. All of the cheap sunglasses on this list are under $50!

How long should sunglasses last?

It’s a little known fact that sunglasses eventually expirethe UV protection weakens the more you wear them. If you wear a pair outdoors for two hours everyday, the two-year mark is usually a good time to swap out for a new pair.

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Andrea Carrillo
As Associate Shopping Editor at Reader's Digest, Andrea is a lifestyle writer covering all things e-commerce. She has covered streetwear, sustainability and culture for a variety of publications. When she's not on deadline, you can find her reading, collecting vintage fashion and furthering her goal of visiting every country in South America.