You probably don’t have a pair of solar eclipse glasses. Unless you travel specifically for this reason, there’s a good chance that you’ll only ever see a couple of total solar eclipses (or totalities) during your lifetime. As such, when you do find yourself staring at the moon-covered sun in pitch darkness, the event can be a fantastic experience. But only if you have some solar eclipse glasses.
In all the excitement, you mustn’t forget to protect your eyes. Solar eclipse glasses are a convenient way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe while enjoying the magnificent sights of a totality. Of course, not all eclipse glasses are created equal. To help you choose the best eyewear, we’ve put together a list of reviews, followed by additional useful information on where to buy eclipse glasses and how to assess them.
Solar Eclipse Glasses: The Best of 2020
Solar eclipse glasses are designed to keep you safe, so the single most important thing to consider when buying yours is how good they are at protecting your eyes during a totality. If you’re wondering where to buy the best solar eclipse glasses that are safe, look no further. And if you’re trying to find out how to protect your camera lenses, click that link.
Below, we have reviewed only eclipse glasses that are certified by NASA and that are guaranteed to work. For your safety, if you opt for something that is not on our list, make sure that the glasses of your choice are produced by a NASA-approved, ISO-certified manufacturer.
American Paper Optics Eclipse Glasses
These eclipse glasses by American Paper Optics take the top spot on our list because they offer excellent quality for an affordable price. Each set comes with 10 pairs for an overall low cost and in order to ensure that everyone gets a front-row seat during the eclipse. Even after you equip the entire family or group of friends, you’ll still likely have a few pieces to spare in case any of them are damaged before the big event.
Like with most such eyewear, the frames for these glasses are made of paperboard with a nose cut for comfort. The glasses come in up to five different models, including one model featuring the flag of the United States and several others depicting various stages of a solar eclipse. Colors generally range from black to red and yellow.
Unlike most welding goggles, these lenses are CE- and ISO-certified, which means that, so long as they are intact, they are safe for eclipse viewing. The manufacturer, American Paper Optics, is approved by NASA. To ensure that the glasses you receive are authentic, however, consult the text written on the inside face. There, you should be able to find an ISO code that you can verify online as pertaining to American Paper Optics.
In addition to authentication information, you’ll also find instructions on the back side of these eclipse viewing glasses. By reading the text and advising everyone else to do so as well, you can ensure a safe experience with minimal effort. You’ll be sure to enjoy the best solar eclipse glasses the market has to offer.
- CE- and ISO-certified, manufacturer approved by NASA
- Each set comes with 10 pairs of glasses at an advantageous overall cost
- The pictures on the paperboard frames vary according to five different models
- Handy instructions for safe eclipse viewing are included on the back side of each pair
- Like most solar eclipse glasses, they can easily be damaged if not handled or stored properly
Celestron Certified Deluxe Solar Observing & Imaging Kit
This eclipse viewing kit by Celestron, a NASA-approved manufacturer, is definitely more expensive than other, simpler options, but it comes with significant advantages. Each set includes a pair of solar eclipse glasses, which are much safer than welding goggles for an eclipse, a photo filter, and an information brochure.
The wrap-around eclipse viewing glasses feature a premium hard frame that is comfortable and convenient, as well as lenses using the ISO-certified “Solar Safe” filter technology. Also approved by NASA, these glasses are guaranteed to work during a totality, provided that the lenses are not damaged in any way prior to the event.
The compliant photo filter included in the set can be used for both still images and videos when applied to a point-and-shoot camera, a DSLR camera, but also a smartphone. Simply tape the filter onto the desired recording device following instructions and your camera will safely capture the big event without being damaged by the bright light.
The kit is completed with a 32-page booklet on safety precautions and tips for viewing the eclipse, as well as specific information about the latter. Currently, it focuses on the 2017 eclipse as observed in the United States, but it will likely be updated for the upcoming 2024 totality in due time.
- With this kit, you no longer have to worry about where to buy eclipse glasses or filters, since it includes everything you need to observe and record the event
- Hard frame, premium glasses that are comfortable to wear and less prone to accidental damage
- ISO-certified and NASA-approved lenses and photo filter
- Handy booklet on safety precautions during a total solar eclipse, as well as tips for observation and recording
- More expensive than most other options
- The booklet is designed for US viewers of the 2017 eclipse and has not yet been updated for the upcoming 2024 event
Eclipser HD Safe Solar Plastic Viewer
If you’re not a fan of paperboard eyewear and you’re wondering where to buy eclipse glasses with a hard frame, this model by American Paper Optics might be the right choice for you. Although more expensive than other options, these glasses are much safer than welding goggles for eclipse viewing, as well as more durable thanks to their plastic frames.
The plastic frame for the Eclipser HD guarantees that the glasses are more durable than paperboard alternatives, while the lenses are manufactured with black polymer material that is resistant to scratches for an optical density of 5 or more. The glasses can, as such, filter out all of the harmful UV and infrared light, together with 99.99% of the bright visible light of the sun during the eclipse.
Manufactured by the NASA-approved American Paper Optics, these eclipse viewing glasses are ISO-certified and guaranteed to work during the totality if intact. What you see through them is filtered in a natural, orange hue, while the images themselves remain sharp throughout the event, even as you look directly at the sun.
Finally, the solar eclipse glasses come with a simple pouch that you can use in order to store them safely. If you’re buying a pair for the upcoming eclipse in 2024, the pouch will definitely come in handy up to the big event.
- Hard frame and lenses made of scratch resistant polymer ensures that the glasses are more durable than paperboard alternatives
- NASA-approved manufacturer of ISO-certified lenses with an optical density of 5 and greater
- Will filter out all harmful UV and infrared light during an eclipse, while protecting your eyes from the bright visible light emitted by the sun
- Handy storage pouch included
- More expensive than paperboard eclipse viewing glasses
Thousand Oaks Optical Solar Filter Sheet
For those of you who want to record the events of a total solar eclipse or observe them through binoculars or a telescope, neither glasses nor welding goggles for eclipse viewing are enough. Instead, you’ll need a solar filter that you can use to cover the lens on your device to protect both your eyes and your equipment. The solar filter sheet by Thousand Oaks Optical is ideal for such uses.
The sheet comes in 8×8 inches (or approximately 20x20cm) and consists largely of black polymer, a material commonly used to filter UV, infrared, and bright visible light. Thousand Oaks Optical is a NASA-approved manufacturer of ISO-certified solar filters. With more than 30 years of experience in making and selling these products, they guarantee only the highest industry standards.
To use one of their filters, you must cut it (with generous margins for taping) to fit your specific device. The material can be used to cover cameras, binoculars, and telescopes, while its cost is only a fraction of what you would otherwise pay for a factory-made filter. Just be careful to maintain its integrity and to tape it appropriately so that it does not fall off during the eclipse.
Once you’ve equipped your device with this solar filter, you’re ready to observe and record the big event. The image will appear in the orange hue that is specific to this type of black polymer. Finally, you can use this sheet to safely observe the sky using your telescope during the day, even outside of a solar eclipse.
- NASA-approved manufacturer of ISO-certified solar filter sheets
- Can be taped to the lens of most devices, including cameras, binoculars, and telescopes in order to safely observe and record a solar eclipse
- Can be used in the making of the very best solar eclipse glasses
- Much more affordable than factory-made filters
- The solar filter sheet is made for specific purposes and, as such, it is not as useful as glasses for you if you only want to observe the eclipse (as opposed to recording or using a telescope)
Soluna Solar Eclipse Glasses
A set of Soluna eclipse glasses by American Paper Optics is perhaps the best deal you can get on protective eyewear if you’re on a tight budget. The glasses come in sets of 10 pairs for a very affordable price, so you can equip everyone in the family with a pair and still have some to spare, in case of any unforeseen accident just before the event.
American Paper Optics is a NASA-approved manufacturer, while the lenses used in the making of Soluna glasses are, unlike most welding goggles for eclipse viewing, CE- and ISO-certified. Each pair is subjected to individual tests to ensure the highest industry standards of quality. In other words, the glasses are guaranteed to work during the eclipse and keep your eyes safe.
Soluna glasses are manufactured in the USA and optimized for viewing pleasure. The lenses are made entirely of anti-scratch black polymer material, which means that even though the frame is made of paperboard, the glasses can survive for long periods of time – in case you already want to buy your pair for the 2024 eclipse. These glasses are fairly simple, with a black-and-white, eclipse-themed picture on the front side and instructions for optimal use on the back.
- Very affordable for a set of 10 pairs of eclipse viewing glasses
- Although inexpensive, these glasses observe the highest industry standards: the manufacturer is NASA-approved and the lenses are CE- and ISO-certified
- Lenses made of black polymer material for increased durability
- Instructions for safe use inscribed on the back
- The frames for these glasses are made of paperboard, which can be easily damaged or ripped if not handled and stored carefully
- The glasses come in only one pattern for the entire set