Varifocal lenses explained

Whether you’re driving, shopping, reading or writing, varifocal lenses have got you covered

No more switching between reading glasses and distance glasses – varifocals lenses can help correct your vision at any distance. Hallelujah!

How do varifocals work?

Rather than having one specific strength across the whole lens (like single vision glasses), varifocal lenses work by gradually changing in strength from the top to the bottom. Fancy, right?

The top part of the lens is set for distance viewing, the middle part is set for intermediate viewing (like when using a computer), and the bottom part is set for close-up viewing. This means that you can check your text messages, use a cash machine and read a road sign all with one pair of glasses. Multitasking has never been easier!

How long does it take to get used to varifocal lenses?

For some, it’s quick and easy to adapt to varifocals. For others, it can take a little bit of practice and persistence.

Varifocal newbies may experience slight disorientation when moving quickly from one viewing zone to the next. If this happens, don’t worry, these sensations are normal and shouldn’t last long.

Our advice? Try to wear your glasses as often as possible to let your brain and eyes adjust.

What's the difference between bifocal & varifocal lenses?

Good question! Bifocals have an obvious line on the lens whereas varifocals have a smooth, unobstructed surface. Another major difference is that bifocals can only help correct two distances, whereas varifocals can help correct all distances.

Varifocals for presbyopia

Ever find yourself ‘long-arming’ while trying to read the menu? Chances are you’ve got presbyopia – an age-related long-sightedness that most of us will experience as we head into our 40s.

The most common way to deal with presbyopia is to wear varifocal frames or multifocal contact lenses. Intrigued? You can learn more about presbyopia here.


Types of varifocal lenses

There are lots of different types of varifocal lenses. Depending on your lifestyle and prescription, your optician will help you find a set that’s right for you.

Here’s what we have to offer:

Standard Varifocals

Starting from an additional £50 (compared to single vision lenses), Standard Varifocals help you see at all distances without needing a separate pair of glasses.

Gold Varifocals

Costing an additional £120 (including reflection-free and anti-scratch technology as part of Boots Protect), Gold Varifocals are designed for mixed amounts of reading and close work. Book worms, we’re looking at you!

Platinum Varifocals

Costing an additional £200 (including Boots Protect), Platinum Varifocals are designed for everyday wear, and are perfect for those who regularly use computer screens.

Varilux X Series

The first Varilux lens to dramatically reduce the need for head movement, the X Series lenses offer comfortable, sharp vision.

Varilux Physio

Varilux’s Physio lenses offer high resolution vision across the whole lens and seamless transitions between seeing zones – even when you’re on the move.

Book an eye test

Think that varifocal lenses could be your saving grace? It’s time to give them a go.

If you’re due an eye test or not sure about your lens prescription, you’ll need to pop in for a quick eye exam. Book online or call us on 0345 125 3752. (Local call rates apply. Mobile charges may vary).