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The Shades Debate: Wood vs. Plastic Sunglasses
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The Shades Debate: Wood vs. Plastic Sunglasses

Whether perched on top of your head or protecting your eyes from the sun, a good pair of sunnies can elevate any outfit. There is a lot to consider before investing in one, like its shape, color and design. While these factors matter, some people skip on another important aspect: material. Regardless of whether you prefer off-the-rack shades that just do the job or a bold, high-end accessory, the material of sunglasses actually makes a difference. To help you choose, Treehut gives a breakdown of wood vs. plastic sunglasses below. 

Wood Sunglasses: Eco-Friendly Chic

eco-friendly wooden sunglasses

While this is rather obvious, it is definitely the most significant advantage of wooden sunglasses. They are crafted from renewable resources, such as reclaimed wood or sustainably-harvested timber. This reduces the strain on the environment, in terms of carbon footprint, chemical waste, and pollution. For instance, the process of manufacturing them involves relatively less energy and fewer chemicals, as compared to plastic sunglasses. Wooden sunglasses are also biodegradable and recyclable, which means there is less waste ending up in landfills. On the other hand, plastic sunglasses are quite the eco-offender. Not only do their production deplete fossil fuel reserves and release toxic substances into the environment, but they also take an incredibly long time to decompose — thus, cluttering landfills and polluting the ocean. Even recycling does not completely alleviate their environmental impact due to the energy-intensive process. 

Health Benefits 

As pretentious as this may sound, there are certain fashion trends that boost your health and well-being — including wood-framed sunglasses. This is because they lack the harmful chemicals typically found in plastic sunglasses. They are also treated with natural oils or waxes, which do not generally cause irritation or discomfort. More importantly though, they are hypoallergenic, which makes them ideal for those with sensitive skin. This also means that they can be worn for longer periods without any risk of allergic reaction or other health issues. In fact, research has even demonstrated the psychological health benefits linked to wearing wooden accessories, highlighting the positive associations and mindfulness they promote.

Wood vs. Plastic: Longevity & Lifespan

brown plastic sunglasses

At the end of the day, we all just want sunglasses that can hold up well to being sat on in the car. As eco-sunglasses are designed to outlast trends, they require less frequent replacements. Wood, in particular, is a highly durable material, requiring little to no maintenance. Thus, a pair of wooden sunglasses can withstand daily wear and tear, without diminishing in quality. They are especially less inclined to break or crack than plastic sunglasses. Brittle and rigid, the latter are prone to bending or discoloration in high temperatures over time. However, this also depends on the quality of the frames. Certain high-quality plastic shades are much more robust, and can last you quite a while. 

For the most durable option, consider bamboo sunglasses like Treehut’s Carlton 51, as the material has a tensile strength comparable to steel. 

A Comfortable Fit

In terms of comfort, there is (again) a clear winner between wood vs. plastic sunglasses. The former happen to be pretty lightweight, despite their bulky and sturdy design. You can wear them all day long without feeling any pressure on the bridge of your nose or around your ears. The inherent properties of wood also make it resistant to heat, so any exposure to the sun will not make the shades uncomfortably hot against your skin. They also remain warm enough to wear during extremely low temperatures. 

In contrast, plastic sunglasses can feel heavy and restrictive, creating pressure points behind the ears or on the sides of the head. They are hard to adjust and keep adjusted, plus they also retain more heat, leading to discomfort in warm weather. Hence, it may be difficult to wear them for extended periods. 

Design & Aesthetic

walnut wood sunglasses

Due to the distinct striations, grains and textures of different types of wood, there are no two wooden sunglasses that are exactly alike. Thus, they are a completely unique choice if you are looking to stand out from the crowd. Treehut has a wide selection of
sunglasses for men, featuring a variety of wood types, such as walnut, bamboo, ebony, zebrawood and maple. From the classic design of Ridge Zebrawood to the more avant-garde Hendry 44, there are several options for specific styles and occasions. Treehut also offers engraving options, allowing for a truly personalized accessory.

You can easily find a pair that complements any look, especially because the earthy and warm accents are a trusted staple in modern fashion. Hence, whether you are looking for an everyday pair or a statement piece, wooden sunglasses are some of the most versatile options out there. 

Plastic sunglasses also come in many styles, colors, and designs due to their ease of customisation. The material’s malleability also enables intricate detailing and textures, enhancing both aesthetic appeal and tactile experience. From matte finishes and glossy textures to animal prints and geometric designs, plastic frames also provide a range of choices. 

Therefore, when it comes to visual appeal, it is quite a close call between wood vs. plastic sunglasses. 

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