Nose Pad Buyers Guide for Glasses, Designer Eyewear, & Sunglasses
Glasses and Sunglass Nosepads often degrade with time and need to be replaced with a fresh pair in order to maintain the comfort and proper adjustment of an eyeglass frame.  Quite often, a nose pad or nose pads also get dislodged from an eyewear frame and need replacing.

Replacement nose pads used in basic eyeglass repair are available at modest cost and keep your glasses hygienic and comfortable regardless  if your glasses or sunglass frame employs screw-on, push-on, or slide-on nose pads; or the very common stick on nose pads styles such as adhesive nose pads or multicolored stick on nose pads.

This article describes the four main attributes of glasses nose pads that need to be considered when selecting replacement nosepads for your glasses.  Additional selection tips are also provided.

When selecting replacement nose pads for glasses, try to select nosepads that are as close as a match as possible to your existing nosepads.  This will ensure the same comfort level and alignment of your eyeglass frame whether you are wearing reading glasses, sunglasses, computer glasses, the fanciest optical designer frames, cheap glasses, or plain spectacles for daily eyewear use.

Some glasses and sunglasses manufacturers such as Ray Ban, Bolle,  and Oakley sell "name brand" or "branded" nosepads that often have their logo imprinted on each nose pad.  These nosepads are often referred to as Original Equipment Manufacturer or "OEM"  nosepads and are often available in a distinctive color and composed of one type of material.

Replacement nosepads are usually available as an alternative to manufacturer branded nose pads.  Although the replacement nosepads are generally less expensive and are available in a variety of materials, they do not contain any custom markings or original custom colors that the branded nose pads may contain.    
Regarding the suitability of or the replacement of nose pads, please consult with your eye care professional.

STEP #1 - Mounting

The first consideration is the nose pad mount.

The four (4) primary methods of mounting nose pads to eyeglass frames use screw-in, push-in, and slide-in nose pad mounting arms, in addition to nose pads stick on mounting which is common for nose pads for plastic glasses.  All of these these methods are fully detailed below:

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Screw-in (or Screw-on)

As the name implies, screw-in nosepads are held in place on an eyeglass frame by use of an ultra-small nose pad screw.  If possible, use the same screws that came with your existing nosepads as there are many different types available of similarly looking nosepad  screws that are not interchangeable.

If you lost one of your nose pad screws, you can use the existing one to help locate a replacement, although due to their very small size, two screws that may look alike may easily differ in the type of threading or diameter.  If one or both nosepad screws are missing, your best solution may be to obtain a variety of screws from your nose pad vendor. 

You will also need a low cost jeweler's screwdriver, but fortunately, many commonly found "eyeglass repair kits" include both a jeweler's screwdriver as well as a variety of common nose pad screws.

Push-on (or Push-in, or Snap-in)
or Slide-on ( or Slide-in)

Push-on, Snap-in, and slide-on glasses nose pads and eyeglass nose pieces are the easiest to work with as a slight finger pressure usually dislodges an existing nosepad from an eyeglass frame mount, and a similar slight pressure usually secures the replacement nose pad into the "nose pad mounting arm".

STEP #2 - Shape

Nose pads for plastic frames and nose pads for metal frames come in a variety shapes ranging from oval, teardrop, round or "button", "D-shaped" that resemble the letter "D",  strap-bridge and saddle bridge nose pads, as well as unifit softwing (soft-wing) nose pad shapes.

Basically, eyeglass manufacturers select the shape of a glasses nose piece or nosepad to provide adequate weight distribution of an eyewear frame over your nasal area so that the weight of a frame won't concentrate too much pressure on your face resulting in pain. 

Manufacturers also choose a shape that compliments the look and contours of an eyeglass frame so that your glasses have an overall appealing look.

STEP #3 - Size

Nosepad sizes are measured in the metric system in millimeters (mm), where 1mm is roughly 1/32".   Most nose pads are also measured along their long vertical dimension from top to bottom.    Common nosepad sizes are 9mm, 11mm, 13mm, 15mm, etc.  

Try to match the same nose pad size of your existing nosepads to your replacement nose pads.  If you select a nosepad that is smaller than your existing nose pads, then your eyeglass frame may be misaligned on your face and the spectacle frame weight will be more concentrated into a smaller nosepad area possibly resulting in higher pressure and pain in the area of contact. 

Smaller glasses nose pads may also cause glasses to sit lower on your face than previously.  This new position may adversely affect your vision as your eyes will not see through the optical lenses through the same place as before.  Not only may your vision quality appear different, but the important positioning of your bifocal, trifocal, or progressive (multi-focal) lenses may also be adversely affected.

Conversely, nosepads that are larger than the original nose pads may push the eyeglass frame higher than normal as well as farther away from your face. This altered position may also adversely change the quality of your vision.

Selecting nose pads for glasses larger than your existing nosepads may also negatively affect the physical appearance of your glasses on your face whereby your eyewear may simply not look right.  Nose pads that are too large may also not fit in the space between the eyeglass frame and your face!

For a more in-depth description of nose pad sizes, please click here on nose pad sizes.

STEP #4 - Material

Nose pads for eyeglass frames and nose pads for sunglasses are available in a variety of materials, each with their own characteristics.  The most common nose pad materials are silicone, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and polycarbonate (PC), while other less common materials are titanium, ceramic, rubber, and glass.


Silicone nose pads are comprised of soft silicone material that makes contact with the nasal area and conforms to the shape of the face.  This pliable fit  provides an even weight distribution where the eyeglass frame makes contact with the facial skin.  

Although some silicone nosepads are completely comprised of silicone, some silicone nose pads are constructed with an internal firm plastic or metal flange that is covered with a silicone covering that makes contact with the skin.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

The majority of polyvinyl chloride PVC nose pads are made of a soft firm plastic material that provides comfortable support of eyeglass frames over the facial nasal area.  As with all nose pads fabricated from any material, nose pads need to be properly adjusted so that the nosepads fit flush against the skin, otherwise the weight of the eyeglass frame may leave pressure indentations on the skin.

Polycarbonate (PC)

Polycarbonate nose pads are a type of hard plastic material that are often manufactured in an "ultra-thin" design.

For a more in-depth description of available nose pad materials, please click on nose pad materials.

If you are uncertain as to the proper replacement nosepads to use or your ability to remove the existing nose pads or insert the replacement nose pads, please consult your eyecare professional.

Regardless if you are buying cheap nose pads for glasses or expensive nose pads for eyeglasses, the proper selection of the nose pad size, mounting type, material, and shape must be considered.

And the rest ....

For some eyeglasses without nose pads, nose pad mounting arms may be added by an experienced optical technician or eyeglass repair shop.
Another alternative may be to use adhesive nose pads such as stick on nose pads.  There is a variety of adhesive nose pads for glasses such as black nose pads, dark brown nose pads, pink foam nosepads, and clear nose pads such as silicone adhesive nose pads which are also called silicone self adhesive nose pads.

Nose pads for plastic glasses use nose pads stick on style materials to comfort the eyeglass frame wearer.

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Adhesive nose pads
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Nose pads for plastic glasses
A stick on nose pad option that does not require eyeglass frame mounting hardware uses nose pads that adhere to a glasses frame by means of an adhesive.

As seen in the above image, adhesive nose pads simply peel off from a waxy material whereby they may be applied to the surface on an eyeglass frame.

Adhesive nose pads for glasses are predominately available in silicone and foam materials.  The website www.AdhesiveNosePads.Org is an excellent buyer's resource for stick on nose pads for plastic frames and for glasses without nose pads.  Descriptions of black stick on nose pads, clear, foam, and other popular self adhesive press on nosepads are detailed at this site.
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