What’s the point of using tanning eye protection? Isn’t closing your eyes good enough to protect them?
Think about the skin of your eyelids, how thin it is, and how easy it is to see light through it. If you can sense daylight that easily with your eyes closed, imagine how much UV radiation gets through. If you keep tanning without protecting your eyes, you raise your risk of going blind. Repeated exposure to UV rays can cause cataracts or macular degeneration which lead to blindness (1).
We know, you’re worried about raccoon eyes when tanning. Thankfully, the best tanning goggles for eye protection are designed to prevent that problem. The slim fit covers just the eyeball while the nose bridge avoids tanning lines.
Can you see through tanning goggles? It depends on the style. Some have dark-colored lenses so you can at least see the tanning bed controls while others are completely opaque. Let’s go over what eye protection is good for tanning so you can pick the best tanning goggles for your needs.
How to pick the right eye protection for tanning
There are two kinds of eye protection commonly seen in tanning salons. How do you know which one to get?
The first type is disposable eye protection. It’s a pair of paper discs that have an adhesive edge. You roll them into a cone and stick the edges together to maintain the shape. Once you’re laying down in the bed, you’ll place the cones over your eyes to shade them during the tanning session.
If you tan infrequently, disposable eye protection may be more convenient and less expensive.
But how do you protect your eyes from a stand-up tanning bed? The paper cones won’t stay in place if you’re standing in a tanning booth so you need tanning goggles. Most of the eye protection we reviewed below comes with a removable elastic band to secure the goggles in place.
Reusable eye protection like tanning goggles is a smart investment if you tan regularly. A pair can last for months if they have lenses and years if they don’t. All you need to do is clean them every once in a while and keep them handy so you won’t forget to use them when you tan indoors or outside.
Consider these features when shopping for tanning goggles:
- Size and shape
Did you know that the FDA has rules about products that promise UV ray protection? The best tanning goggles meet the 21 CFR 1040.20 standards so look for that on the label.
As for size and shape, it will help you avoid raccoon eyes and ensure you get adequate protection if you know the measurements of the goggles. Just like being fitted for glasses, one size does not fit all.
However, don’t neglect your comfort. Be sure to choose goggles made of a flexible material that conforms to the face. Hopefully, you can find the perfect match for size, comfort, and color.
FYI, tanning goggles aren’t very expensive. You might want to purchase multiple pairs in case one gets lost. And weirdly, the ones with lenses might need to be replaced once a year because their ability to protect against UV rays breaks down over time.
Now, here are the best eye protectors for tanning:
|The best tanning goggles||Why we love them|
|EVO FLEX by Super Sunnies UV Eye Protection||
|Super Sunnies Evo Flexible Tanning Bed Goggles||
|Podz Soft Tanning Goggles||
|Walmeck Flexible Tanning Bed Goggles||
|See-Through Tanning and UV Protective Eye Goggles||
|Heestar Disposable Sun Bed Tanning Eye Protection Cones||
Best Tanning Goggles in 2023
EVO FLEX by Super Sunnies UV Eye Protection
Let’s start with FDA-approved tanning goggles. Super Sunnies are a popular, inexpensive brand of goggles that come in various colors. They have dark lenses that filter out 99% of UVA and 99.9% of UVB rays. (It’s UVB that causes sunburn and UVA that causes wrinkles, but both types are bad for the eyes).
At this price, don’t go in thinking that they will be as crystal-clear as a pair of Ray-Bans. The lenses are blurry. But these are not replacements for sunglasses – they are tanning eye protectors. No, you won’t be able to read a novel while wearing them and laying out by the pool. But you should be able to manage basic tasks while tanning in a bed or booth.
Moreover, they are compact and have a high-rise nose bridge to prevent tan lines across the face. Most of the reviewers we consulted had no complaints about tan lines.
They come with an elastic string so that you can wear them standing up, but you don’t have to attach and use the headband if you don’t want to.
So what’s the downside? Well, we have two criticisms. First, most sellers send random colors which means you can’t choose black, hot pink, or whatever. It’s the luck of the draw and that’s where our second complaint happens. Strangely, the light-colored goggles feel like they let in more light than the dark ones.
- Inexpensive and effective FDA-compliant sun goggles
- Block 99.9% of UVB and 99% of UVA rays
- Flexible material conforms to the face
- Dark lenses allow the user to see
- Come with a removable elastic headband
- Can’t choose the color – it’s random
- Lenses are blurry
Super Sunnies Evo Flexible Tanning Bed Goggles
Wait a minute, aren’t these the same tanning bed goggles as the ones above? Sort of – both pairs are FDA-compliant with UV protection standards. The dark green lenses block 99% of UVA and 99.9% of UVB radiation yet still allow you to see the world around you.
Both feature a flexible nose bridge that rises high above the skin to prevent tan lines and both come with removable elastic headbands to secure them to your face.
What’s more, these particular tanning goggles come in a single color which is black. That alone makes them a more popular choice. They are made in the USA by the Lucas Products Corporation.
Enjoy them while tanning outdoors or indoors, in either high pressure or standard tanning beds. They also protect your eyes during red light treatments.
- Black-colored tanning goggles with dark green lenses
- Block 99.9% of UVB and 99% of UVA rays
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor tanning as well as red light treatments
- Come with a removable elastic headband
- Made in the USA
- The headband is an elastic string and it’s easy to lose if you detach it from the goggles
Podz Soft Tanning Goggles
These colorful tanning goggles come in different shades as well as decorative designs. Instead of using small round lenses set into an opaque eye cup, the entire eye cup is semi-transparent. Although blurry, they give you a wider field of view. Furthermore, the goggles still meet the FDA standards for UV protection (specifically 21 CFR 1040.20).
The cups are joined by a clear flexible nose piece and come with an elastic string to secure them to the head. All the material is soft plastic so that the two sides can be folded up into an egg shape, then inserted into the carrying case. The case keeps them protected from dust, plus you can hang it on your keychain.
The main con is that you can’t choose the color ahead of time – you get whatever they send you. Also, some reviewers were dissatisfied with the amount of light that the goggles allowed to pass through. If you prefer to completely shade your eyes while tanning, this pair won’t fit the bill.
- FDA-compliant UV-protective tanning goggles
- Available in a variety of colors
- Come with a carrying case and elastic headband
- Transparent nose piece prevents tan lines
- Flexible material
- Offer a wide field of vision
- No ability to choose the color
- Although FDA-compliant regarding UV protection, the goggles allow a significant amount of visible light to pass through – they don’t shade the eyes very well
Walmeck Flexible Tanning Bed Goggles
If you like to lay in complete darkness while tanning, try these opaque black tanning goggles. They are lightweight, flexible, and about the right size for most adult faces.
They measure 12 cm across, which is about 4.7 inches wide, and weigh less than half an ounce. The soft TPU plastic prevents 99% of UVA and 99.9% of UVB from reaching your eyes, but you won’t be able to see anything while wearing them.
However, blackout goggles like these can be used for red light treatments, tanning outdoors, and tanning indoors. They come with an adjustable and detachable elastic band for standup tanning booths, too.
The only concern we had was the opaque nose piece. We were concerned that it would leave a tan line but as long as it arches high enough above the nose, it doesn’t seem to cause any problems.
- Lightweight, flexible TPU plastic tanning goggles with a detachable, adjustable headband
- Black opaque material blocks 99% of UVA and 99.9% of UVB rays
- Sized for most adult faces – measure approximate 4.7 inches across
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor tanning and red light treatments
- Completely opaque including the nose piece, so be sure that it doesn’t touch the skin and create a tan line
See-Through Tanning and UV Protective Eye Goggles
This pair looks like swim goggles made of dark green plastic with black gaskets around the edges. The plastic has a UV protective coating that doesn’t block visible light so you can still see while wearing them. Keep in mind that they won’t be as crisp and clear as eyeglasses but at least you’ll be able to find your tanning lotion.
What’s more, they are appropriate for protecting the eyes when indoor tanning, outdoor tanning, laser treatments, and light therapy. The plastic is flexible and easy to manipulate into place for a tight fit. Just be sure there’s room underneath the bridge so you won’t get a white line across your nose.
They come with a detachable and adjustable elastic headband.
- Dark green plastic goggles with a UV protective coating
- Give the user the ability to see while protecting the eyes
- Appropriate for tanning, laser treatments, and light therapy
- Come with an adjustable, detachable elastic string headband
- Be sure to adjust them so that the nose piece isn’t flush against the skin or it will leave a tan line
Heestar Disposable Sun Bed Tanning Eye Protection Cones
Because of the pandemic, many tanning salons asked clients to bring their own eye protection or provided them with something like these disposable tanning goggles. They are paper discs that have an adhesive edge to hold them together after you roll them into a cone shape.
You can get them in various quantities like 50, 100, or 200 pairs, and they are very cheap. Admittedly, it looks a little silly to have shiny gold cones on your eyes in the tanning bed, but they get the job done. Plus, you can carry a few in your bag without taking up hardly any space at all.
The biggest con is that some people will have to trim them to fit their eyes. Also, they won’t work for tanning booths where you stand up.
- Cheap and disposable, easy to pack
- Provide shade for the eyes while tanning to block UV rays
- Not good for tanning standing up
- Some users may have to trim them to fit
We hope you found the best eye protection for tanning here today. It’s crucial to defend your eyes against UV exposure. You’ll thank yourself in the years to come.
1. https://preventblindness.org/choosing-uv-protection/ Prevent Blindness