Grey or brown lenses?
The most popular sunglass lens colour is grey and the majority of sunglasses sold, especially designer and fashion sunglasses have grey lenses or grey-green lenses (as popularised by Ray-Ban). It is surprising how many people have only ever worn sunglasses with grey lenses. The other obvious choice is a brown lens.
Brown vs grey lenses
Both grey and brown lenses are usually Category 3 and suitable for use in strong sun; they provide the same high protection against sunlight. But there is a difference in what you will see – a grey lens will dull the light, and a brown lens will add contrast.
A grey sunglass lens will dull the light – it doesn't change the colour of objects. It reduces all light equally and does not increase contrast.
A brown sunglass lens will add contrast and give a warm appearance. Everything in the field of view will appear 'sharper'.
What colour polarized lens is best?
When it comes to which lens colour is best, often it will come down to personal preference. If you are not familiar with brown lenses why not give them a try – you might be surprised at how the contrast can help with vision. It is worth remembering, the level of tint or the darkness of the lens has nothing to do with UV protection. The UV filter applied to lenses is actually clear so even a clear lens can be UV400 rated (the maximum protection from UVR). To find out more about UV protection read our guide to UV protection in sunglasses.
Sunglasses and eyewear can have many other lens colours - in our Eyewear Information page we describe what different lens colours are for.