The 13 Best Sunglasses for Kids of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

These child-approved shades pack sturdiness and style.

Rena Behar is a freelance journalist and editor focusing on tech, travel, and gender. She has contributed to Travel + Leisure, TripSavvy, and more. Kids Anti Blue Light Glasses

The 13 Best Sunglasses for Kids of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

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Sun protection is essential for children, but sometimes getting a pair of sunglasses onto your kid’s head can feel like more of a challenge than it’s worth. And once they’re on, who knows how long they’ll stay on. The easiest way to keep sunglasses on your child’s head? Buy a pair they’ll love wearing.

There are a few things to look for in the best kids’ sunglasses, but the most important is UVA/UVB protection. “Cost is not indicative of the quality, color is not indicative of UVA/UVB protection. Don’t conflate polarization with UVA/UVB, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have both,” says Dr. Darius M. Moshfeghi, MD, ophthalmologist and Chief of Retina Division at the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford Medicine. “And finally, make sure they’re wrap-around and impact-resistant.” Fun colors or patterns may also make sunglasses more appealing to kids, and thus more likely to get worn.

We tested 19 pairs of sunglasses for kids, and will continue to test them over an ongoing period of six months. We looked at fit, comfort, design, durability, and value to find the best sunglasses for any child.

These bright frames are sturdy, durable, and adorable.

They don’t fully wrap.

If you’re looking for a pair of children’s sunglasses that’s both cute and durable, these pleased both children and parents in our testing. Our 2-and-a-half-year-old tester enjoyed these much more than his last summer’s sunglasses, and put them on in the car of his own volition when his parent put on theirs. He keeps them in the car seat holder so they’re easily within reach, even if they do sometimes get put on upside-down (though they do still stay on in that case). They fit well and don’t require any adjustment. There are some gaps along the side since they don’t fully wrap, but the lenses are quite dark. Kids won’t have any trouble moving around in them or have any complaints about comfort. We didn’t notice any indentations on the head after wearing, and these look super cute paired with a baseball cap.

They’re also as fun to look at as they are to wear. The soft matte rubber comes in eight colors, with fun brights as well as two neutrals if they want to look like the grownups. They also unfold easily, without any small pieces that need to be adjusted, and have plenty of flex. We tried to pull them apart, tie them in knots, and even threw, twisted, and stepped on these sunglasses, but the arms stood up against it all. They also held up well against regularly being played with in the car, and still look as good as they did when we first pulled them out of the box. These are so durable that your child is more likely to grow out of them than break them. You’ll also get a microfiber case for storage and cleaning, and you can opt to purchase a matching hat or fabric strap as well.

Price at time of publish: $28

The Details: 0 to 2, 3 to 5, 6+ | Not Polarized | UV Protected

Minishades’ classic design stood up to all environments and plenty of bendy stress-testing.

They don’t include any accessories (though you may not need any).

For going from the park to the bike to the car, opt for the polarized Minishades. They work for playtime in the park, riding a bike, sitting in the car, and even hunting for Easter eggs — your child may even forget they have them on. In fact, our 5-year-old tester kept these shades on for nearly an hour while playing (which was quite a long time for her). The frames didn’t require any adjustment and stayed on effortlessly, without any light leakage or significant gaps between glasses and face. Their classic sunglasses style will make kids feel cool while also staying intact, even when bent and twisted well beyond normal conditions. There’s a whole slew of frame and lens color combinations to choose from to make identifying everyone’s pair easy, and if they do get lost, the company includes a loss and damage warranty that will replace a pair for just an $8 processing fee.

Price at time of publish: $20

The Details: 0 to 3, 3 to 7, 8 to 12 | Polarized | UV Protected

These Wayfarer-style shades are simple, classic, and cute.

Color options are a bit limited.

Kids’ sunglasses need to be able to take a beating, and the WeeFarers excelled in that area. Our 4-and-a-half-year-old tester was already a fan of sunglasses in general due to spending a lot of time on the water, and liked these much better than cheaper pairs since they didn’t require constant adjusting while on. While they fit well out of the box, they also include an adjustable strap just in case they’re too loose (we didn’t find it necessary, but everyone’s face is different). There’s a subtle wrap to the Wayfarer style (though not as much as some sportier options), and no light got in around the edges. The frames stayed comfortable even when worn with a stocking cap or bike helmet. Screws are adjustable in case the arms loosen up with time, which is a nice bonus, and both the frames and lenses still look as good as new after our tests.

Price at time of publish: $35

The Details: 0 to 1, 2 to 3, 4 to 6, 7 to 12 | Polarized | UV Protected

Young athletes will love the wraparound design, comfortable fit, and adult-athlete look.

They seem to run on the small side and may not have much room for growth.

If you want to splurge on the sportiest kids’ sunglasses out there, opt for this Under Armour pair. Our 8-and-a-half-year-old tester just started playing baseball so was excited to try these out, and now wears them to all of his practices and games, and has no problem keeping them on. Though they seem small when removed from the packaging, they fit well, but our tester is on the younger end of his age range so we’re concerned that there may not be much room for growth. They’ve got a thorough wraparound design that blocks any sunlight that may sneak in on the side, and stayed put while running around. The bright, reflective orange or blue lenses make them look like grown-up athlete glasses, which was exciting for our tester, and they held up against both sports and other general activity. They are designed specifically for baseball and softball, with contrast enhancement to bring out details, so are best suited for young athletes who will be excited to look like their favorite players.

Price at time of publish: $85

The Details: XS/S | Not Polarized | UV Protected

These glasses are extremely sturdy and fit perfectly.

The style may feel a little too mature for younger children.

If your children are hitting the soccer field or baseball diamond hard this summer, the Vatter Sports Sunglasses are your best option. Our 11-year-old test subject is working on his dreams of becoming the next Babe Ruth and found these sunglasses (which conveniently also match his uniform) an exciting new addition to his sports bag, now that he’ll never miss a ball due to the sun being in his eyes again. They fit so well that they feel almost custom-made, with an easy-to-use adjustable head wrap, and stayed in place through running, sliding for a ball, and pitching without falling. The glasses don’t feel flimsy at all and look like a pair that even adults might want to own. After five baseball games, they’re still in great condition and the lenses have never popped out.

Choose from 16 colors in the soft silicon frame; the glasses also come with both soft and hard cases, as well as glasses cleaner wipe, strap, and tiny screwdriver. Kids also get a bonus cartoon that only they can see while wearing the glasses to up the fun factor.

Price at time of publish: $14

The Details: One size | Polarized | UV Protected

These basic but well-designed frames offer plenty of room for adjustment and growth.

They’re a bit expensive to purchase for a baby.

Get a matching set for the whole family with these adorable sunglasses. Our 16-month-old tester makes a habit of tearing his sunglasses off, so we could only keep these on for a few minutes at a time. But while they were on, they fit well, with the slightly oversized proportions of the Wayfarer style. The strap fits snugly (which slightly impedes their removal), and the lenses sit close to the face to avoid any sun from sneaking in. There’s plenty of bend in the arms to adapt to different head sizes, and the style means that kids can match their parents’ accessories if you so choose. They also held up to getting regularly thrown, with durable lenses and super-bendy arms that will also make them easy to grow with your child. The straps also help keep them on, even during riotous activity, and there are more than 20 styles available for every wardrobe.

Price at time of publish: $37

The Details: 0 to 2, 2 to 6, 4 to 10 | Not Polarized | UV Protected

These are ideal for a baby on the move, with fun prints and a Velcro strap keeping them comfortably in place.

The strap is a little short and feels easy to outgrow.

If your kid simply will not sit still, these Baby Banz are the best choice for them. Our 11-month-old tester is “mostly chill” with sunglasses in general, and these fit snugly around the head. A Velcro in the back allows you to adjust the strap to find a secure fit while the lenses fit close to the face and don’t impede any of your child’s movement. The strap did feel a little short, and we’re concerned about potentially outgrowing it quickly. But our tester seemed to forget she was even wearing them, and they easily paired with her usual sun hat. The shatter-resistant polycarbonate has held up, and the lenses remain scratch-free. The eight available styles are also fun, especially with patterns like confetti, cherries, and butterflies.

Price at time of publish: $20

The Details: One size (baby) | Polarized | UV Protected

These provide a high level of UV protection and a good mix of styles and colors.

They aren’t the most comfortable pair, especially for long-term wear.

Sometimes it simply doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on sunglasses (for adults or children). If you want a low price without sacrificing quality, go for the Rivbos. Our 3-year-old tester had never worn sunglasses before and wasn’t impressed by the idea, but once they were on, they stayed in place very well through both outdoor and even indoor environments. They had a perfect fit, with no gaps between the frames and face. While our tester didn’t think they were comfortable, we suspect that was because he had never worn any kind of glasses before, and they were a bit hot underneath when outside. They got dropped and even thrown a few times and still look brand-new, without the lenses popping out or getting scratched. There are 19 different lens/frame color combinations to choose from which are sure to appease even the pickiest little ones.

Price at time of publish: $11

The Details: One size (3+) | Polarized | UV Protected

This versatile style stays put and comes in a slew of fun colors and patterns.

Some light does get in on the sides due to the flat fit.

Give your kid a little vintage style with the Knockaround sunglasses that put the brand’s expertise in making adult glasses into littler hands. Our 6-year-old tester was excited to put on these frames any time he was outside, even just for a trip to the supermarket. The snug fit was perfect and barely moved even under rapid back-and-forth head shaking. The design doesn’t wrap completely and is fairly flat, so there is a gap in the profile, but they never felt loose. In fact, they were so comfortable that our tester only took these off when he really had to. They did still get tossed around the car, but the thick plastic construction didn’t take any damage in the process, and once the fingerprints and lens smudges were wiped off, they still looked as good as new. We also love the design options; there are 19 styles available, from a skater-style checker to Care Bears to Rocket Pops and more.

Price at time of publish: $25

The Details: 1 to 5 | Polarized | UV Protected

These are both durable and adorably designed.

The Velcro may not be entirely comfortable, and fussy babies may be able to detach the Velcro and take them off.

Babies’ extra-sensitive eyes need sunglasses, too. Our 11-month-old tester didn’t necessarily agree, as he constantly tried to take them off his face. Despite his preferences, the glasses fit well and were easy to adjust, connecting to a soft, breathable band that’s comfortable to the touch. The band is also adjustable, with a Velcro strap on one side that you can loosen to put on and then tighten to fit snugly onto your baby’s head once the glasses are over their eyes. Our tester got more comfortable with them with repeated wears, and while the Velcro made them difficult to remove, ultimately he was able to get them off. Luckily, the frames themselves are quite sturdy; the Velcro straps had some pilling, so we were slightly concerned the quality of the straps may degrade over time. Choose from 14 different playful colors and patterns.

Price at time of publish: $20

The Details: 0 to 3 | Not Polarized | UV Protected

These are great playground glasses, with a good fit, lightweight, and comfortable silicone build.

The style is a little mature, so it may not be ideal for kids who need to be enticed by colors.

It’s hard to go wrong with a simple, classic style like this one. Our 4-year-old tester is used to wearing sunglasses thanks to a sunny California upbringing and even enjoys them. They’re light and easy for kids to handle and will stay on while riding in a stroller or climbing and swinging at the playground. Because they don’t wrap, you will get some ambient edge light, but not too much. They’ll also be comfortable under a bike or scooter helmet, and don’t fit overly snugly. The frames are silicone, so they feel softer than a typical harder plastic frame, and held up to both playtime and being carried around in an overstuffed bag inside their included cloth pouch. The design is on the mature side (our tester wasn’t a fan at first, but then decided that “black glasses are cool”), with black, navy, teal, and pink frames available.

Price at time of publish: $12

The Details: 4 to 7 | Polarized | UV Protected

When you’re ready to upgrade your kid to something a little more mature, these stylish frames are perfect.

They’re more expensive than most other kids’ pairs.

When you’re ready to get a high-quality pair of sunglasses for your child, step them up to the Larkin. Our 12-year-old tester was a big fan after upgrading from free souvenir sunglasses. They’re super comfortable, with just the right amount of give in the arms, and sit snugly enough that they don’t bounce around or fall off during activities, including dancing, running, and scootering. There are some gaps on the side due to the frame style, but they don’t let in any more light than a standard pair of sunglasses. They also feel high-quality, with sturdy acetate frames that feel on-par with prescription glasses. The two-tone leather carrying case with a magnetic button is extremely cute and easy to use, and there are plenty of ways to customize the glasses, with six frame colors and seven lens colors to mix and match.

Price at time of publish: $60

The Details: 9-adult | Polarized | UV Protected

The color, design, and durability of these shades are a winning combination.

Children who are on the larger side for their age may need to size up in the petite frames, and they’re very easy for kids to take off.

Our 16-month-old tester (who also tried the Cocosands) is not a sunglasses fan in general, but these still fit well. The frames are on the petite side, so bigger kids may need to size up, but the bendy arms help compensate, splaying out slightly if necessary. They have a small enough profile to pair easily with a hat, and the five available colors include fun shades of teal, pink, and purple (as well as black and white). Despite being thrown to the ground multiple times, they held up against damage, and the arms are flexible enough that they don’t snap even when being ripped off by a cranky toddler, or show any damage from being chewed on. They’re also easy to put back on afterward.

Price at time of publish: $20

The Details: 0 to 2, 2 to 4, 4 to 12 | Polarized | UV Protected

A few of the other sunglasses we tested didn’t quite make our list of the very best, but were still worth an honorable mention.

X LOOP Kids Sports Sunglasses: We put these on a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old and couldn’t dial in a good fit on either, with the glasses not touching the bridge of the nose. The grippers on the ears kept them in place, but the thicker ear bands may be uncomfortable for smaller ears. Neither of our test subjects seemed especially bothered by this, though, and they stayed in place well. The lenses made it through our tests, but we were worried that they would be prone to scratches since they are large and not fully framed, and they smudged easily.

Tuga Baby/Toddler UV 400 Sunglasses: Our 2-and-a-half-year-old tester loved these, and the band held them in place well. But we don’t think they would have stayed on without the band, and they seemed a bit small for our tester’s face, leaving a small indent behind at the bridge of the nose. They may still work for a child under two, but otherwise seem too small for toddlers.

We put 19 pairs of sunglasses into the hands of the children of T+L editors to find the best sunglasses for kids. First, we checked the labeling on the boxes, noting whether the sunglasses offered 99 or 100 percent UVA/UVB protection, polarization, and any accessories. Then we had the kids try on the glasses, looking for a snug fit around the ears and across the nose, without any marks left behind. We asked them to describe the glasses and how they felt (for those testers old enough to answer), and had them move their heads from side to side to see if the glasses stayed in place. In addition, we looked at the edges of the frames to see if light could get in around the sides.

We then asked our children to wear the glasses at least four times during the week in different settings, from car rides to park play sessions to baseball games. We paired the glasses with hats and helmets, and paid attention to the wear and tear on the glasses as they stood up to everyday life.

Even on overcast days, you’re still exposed to UVA and UVB rays. Dr. Moshfeghi recommends nothing short of 100 percent UVA/UVB protection. “If it just says UVA/UVB resistant, I would stay away from that. You don’t know what that claim is making. Without the full benefit of 99/100 percent, you’re still allowing these light wavelengths to come into the eye and cause potential harm,” he says. Polarization is nice to have, as it reduces glare, but it’s less important.

Kids’ sunglasses should be both comfortable and snug. According to Dr. Moshfeghi, a wraparound style that fits close to the face is the best choice in order to limit light coming in through the sides of the frames. And the more comfortable they are, the more likely your kids are to keep them on.

These are worn by children, after all. Kids’ sunglasses are going to get dropped, thrown, and worn through all kinds of spills. Make sure the lenses are within ANSI standard both for UV protection and lens impact protection so they don’t shatter if something hits them.

It’s nice to have, but ultimately less important than UV protection. “What you first want to do is make sure you have the UVA/UVB protection, then the secondary thing you want is polarization if applicable in situations where you’re going to be in high glare, which is not harmful but irritating to the eyes,” Dr. Moshfeghi says.

The earlier you can get your children to wear sunglasses, the better. (Dr. Moshfeghi started his own children around age one). Essentially, as early as they can tolerate them; even the best kids’ sunglasses won’t do any good if your baby is constantly pulling them off.

For this story, T+L editors and their families tested 19 different pairs of sunglasses. Rena Behar used her years of experience as a professional gear reviewer to analyze and compile their results. We also interviewed Dr. Darius M. Moshfeghi, MD, chief of the Retina Division and professor at the Horngren Family Vitreoretinal Center, Byers Eye Institute, at Stanford University.

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The 13 Best Sunglasses for Kids of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

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