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Best Toddler Sunglasses
Updated on
September 14, 2023

Best Toddler Sunglasses

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Best Toddler Sunglasses.
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Best Toddler Sunglasses

A toddler splashing by the water on a sunny day wearing a pair of tiny aviators is a pretty cute image—but did you know that toddler sunglasses do a lot more than just help your little one look cool? The best toddler sunglasses offer protection from the sun, whose harmful rays can damage not only your little one’s skin but their eyes, too. Sunglasses are a must during both the summer and winter months and knowing what to look for when you’re shopping is key in ensuring the proper eye protection for your tiny outdoor adventurer.

Do Toddlers Need Sunglasses?

Yes, toddlers need sunglasses to protect their eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, the type of light emitted from the sun. Children’s eyes are more transparent than adult eyes, and exposure to UV rays can cause long-term health effects on the eyes. The rays of the sun can damage the eyelid, cornea, lens and other parts of the eye, cause retina damage and can lead to eye diseases like cataracts or macular degeneration over time. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), UV damage is cumulative over a lifetime, so it’s important to start early and protect your toddler’s still-developing eyes with sunglasses as much as possible.

Toddler sunglasses aren’t just for the summer months, either. It’s just as important that your toddler wears sunglasses in the winter when there’s snow on the ground as it is when they’re outside on a sunny summer day. That’s because snow reflects up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays—far greater than the reflection off of water, sand, cement, grass or dirt. This can cause sunburn of the eye (sometimes referred to as “snow blindness”), which is usually temporary but can be painful. Altitude also increases radiation, something to keep in mind if you’re heading to a winter destination like a ski resort at a high altitude.

What To Look for in Toddler Sunglasses

When shopping for toddler sunglasses, the most important thing to look for is sunglasses that block or offer 99% and higher UVA and UVB radiation protection. These types of ultraviolet radiation can burn or damage eyes and skin, so it’s essential that the sunglasses you choose for your toddler protect their eyes from these harmful rays.

You’ll also want to prioritize safety and comfort:

  • Choose sunglasses with shatter-resistant lenses. Toddlers are active and prone to accidents and injuries so durable, shatterproof lenses are a must. You should also prioritize frames made from flexible materials.
  • Be sure the sunglasses you choose fit your toddler properly. Look for sunglasses with adjustable straps or frames to ensure a comfortable fit and to help the glasses stay in place. According to the AAP, your toddler’s sunglasses should fit snugly, cover the entire area between the eyebrows and middle of the cheeks and wrap around toward their ears.
  • Style and design are also important factors to consider, as toddlers are more likely to wear sunglasses they find appealing and fun.

Types of Toddler Sunglasses

If you’re shopping for toddler sunglasses, you’ll find a few types and styles.

  • Polarized sunglasses have lenses designed to reduce glare and improve visual clarity. They work by blocking out horizontal light waves, which are the ones that create glare and reflections. These types of lenses can also reduce eyestrain, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Polarized sunglasses aren’t a must-have for toddlers, but they do provide some added benefits.
  • Non-polarized sunglasses don’t have the same light-filtering chemical applied to them that polarized sunglasses do. They’re also a good option for toddler sunglasses—just be sure they block 99% or more of UV rays.
  • If your toddler wears glasses, you’ll want to talk with their eye doctor about prescription sunglasses. You may even want to look into photochromatic lenses that stay transparent indoors but darken when exposed to UV sunlight.

Style-wise, some of the most common toddler sunglasses include wraparound sunglasses (maximum coverage and protection for your little one’s eyes and skin around the eyes), aviators (a classic look with larger lenses), wayfarers (trendy and retro), and sports sunglasses designed to stand up to active toddlers that feature a durable frame and scratch-resistant, breakproof lenses.

How We Chose the Best Toddler Sunglasses

  • We utilized insight from the Babylist editorial team, including Gear Editor Jen LaBracio, an expert in the baby space for over six years and a mom of two who has written hundreds of baby gear guides and personally researched and tested hundreds of baby products, including toddler sunglasses.
  • We researched information on toddler eye safety and toddler sunglasses from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
  • We reviewed customer reviews.

Best Overall Toddler Sunglasses

Roshambo baby and toddler sunglasses check every box if you’re looking for safe, stylish and comfy shades for your little one. They’re nearly indestructible—and come with a damage and replacement lens guarantee to prove it. They offer 100% UVA/B/C protection with added glare reduction to reduce eye strain and they’re shatter-resistant to stand up to whatever your toddler throws at them. (Or, when your toddler throws them, whichever happens first.) Wearing them in the water? Don’t worry about losing them, they even float!

Additional Specs
Age 0-24 mos
Lens information 100% UVA/B/C protection, polarized

Best Toddler Aviator Sunglasses

Did someone say toddler Top Gun? These aviators pack way more than just style. Each pair features UV400 protection lenses that block 100% of harmful UV light including UVA and UVB rays. They’re ultra-durable, built to withstand whatever your toddler puts them through, and are made from BPA-free materials. They also come with a guarantee for a free replacement if your shades get lost or broken within the first year on their highway to the danger zone—err, we mean nap zone.

Additional Specs
Age 0-2 yrs or 3-5 yrs
Lens information UV400, 100% UVA/UVB protection

Polarized and Super Durable

A polarized lens can help your toddler see better and reduce eye strain. These (adorable) sunglasses from Jan & Jul feature shatter-resistant polarized lenses to cut down on glare and flexible frames that are virtually unbreakable. (Don’t believe it? Watch them get run over by a car!) They also come with an adjustable strap, a big help if you’re trying to be sure your toddler’s shades stay in the right place. The Urban Xplorers provide 100% UVA and UVB sun protection.

Additional Specs
Age 2-6 yrs
Lens information UV400, 100% UVA/UVB protection, polarized

Best Sunglasses for Active Toddlers

If your toddler would prefer to do just about anything other than sit still, these are the shades for you. With a stay-put neoprene strap and silicone embedded around the nose and brow, these sunglasses won’t budge no matter what. The wraparound design offers full eye protection and the lenses help block both UVA and UVB rays.

Additional Specs
Age 0-2 yrs
Lens information UV400, 100% UVA/UVB protection

Best Affordable Toddler Sunglasses

For just about 10 dollars you can get a durable, comfortable and 99.9% UVA and UVB-blocking pair of toddler sunglasses that you won’t have to worry about leaving behind the next time you’re at the park or the beach. These flexible rubber frame shades come in 12+ fun colors and feature polarized lenses and an adjustable elastic strap to ensure a good fit. They’re made from soft, unbreakable silicone perfect for your less-than-careful toddler.

Additional Specs
Age 2-6 yrs
Lens information 99.9% UVA/UVB protection, polarized

Another Affordable Choice

Another affordable option, these aviator-style polarized frames come in 15 color combos and feature 100% UVA and UVB protection. The adjustable, removable strap is easy to take on and off and each pair of sunglasses comes with a microfiber bag and a cleaning cloth. Like all of the glasses on our list, they’re super bendy and durable to withstand toddler wear and tear.

Additional Specs
Age 0-24 mos
Lens information 100% UVA/UVB protection, polarized

Best Wayfarer Toddler Sunglasses

Wayfarers? Nope—WeeFarers! These stylish shades look just like adult sunglasses but are perfectly sized down to fit little faces. They offer 100% UVA and UVB protection and are polarized for extra eye comfort. They come with an adjustable strap and are bendable, durable and—who are we kidding—insanely adorable. They’re a bit pricey, but you can get a free replacement pair if you lose or damage the shades.

Additional Specs
Age 0-12m, 2-3 yrs, 4-6 yrs, 6-12 yrs
Lens information UV400, 100% UVA/UVB protection, polarized

Best Eco-Friendly Sunglasses

These innovative toddler sunglasses are made from a plant-plastic alternative that’s non-toxic and 100% plant-based. The frames feel and function like traditional plastic, but are much better for the environment, so they’re a great choice if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly pair of shades. The lenses block 100% of UVA and UVB rays and the bendable frames are both durable and comfy. The adjustable cord around the back helps to keep them in place.

Additional Specs
Age 0-24 mos
Lens information 100% UVA/UVB protection

Most Stylish Toddler Sunglasses

Is your toddler going to look trendier than you are wearing these sunglasses? You bet. These fun frames are just the right mix of retro style and modern whimsy. They also offer full UV protection and are made from recyclable materials and eco-friendly packaging.

Additional Specs
Age 12 mos-7 yrs
Lens information UV400, 100% UVA/UVB protection, polarized

Jen LaBracio

Senior Gear Editor

Jen LaBracio is Babylist’s Senior Gear Editor, a role that perfectly combines her love of all things baby gear with her love of (obsessive) research. When she’s not testing out a new high chair or pushing the latest stroller model around her neighborhood, she likes to run, spin, listen to podcasts, read and spend time at the beach. In her past life, she worked for over a decade in children’s publishing. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and their two boys, Will and Ben.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.