Difference between Lined Bifocal & No Line Bifocal

August 4th,2023

In this article, we will talk about the difference between lined bifocal & no line bifocal lenses and which ones are for whom.


In eye medical terms, Presbyopia is a term that a lot of us are unfamiliar with. But it is very common in people and its number is increasing with time, especially among the elderly ages. So, in this condition, the lens of the eye goes through aging and loses its natural flexibility resulting in a lower capacity of the eye to focus on things in front of them. This happens at various distances and is eventually inhibited by this loss of pliability. Complications like blurriness and general difficulty seeing also prevail. For such individuals, bi-bifocals or progressive lenses are used. now, let us go through their details and the difference between lined bifocal & no line bifocal:

Lined Bifocal Lenses:

As the name suggests, these lenses are designed to give their users lens correction for different vision problems combined in a single pair of glasses. Primarily designed for people suffering from presbyopia, these lenses are also termed flat-top bifocals or FT-28 bifocals lenses. These lenses give a smooth transition between distance and near vision, with a line visible on the lens which some find annoying. This doesn't mean that they are not effective. They do a great job of providing different focal lengths to the people wearing them but they can be distracting in the vision. Let's be honest, no one wants to have lines in their front vision. 

Bifocal Glasses without Lines:

Again, as the name suggests, these lenses have no visible line on them for different focal lengths for one's eye. They essentially have a gradient of optical power in front of them rather than a line separating different optical powers. This provides the person wearing it three different prescriptions in one lens without being visible it is doing so. First, the top of the lens has the distance prescription which is used to help you see clearly at lengths of almost 20 feet. Second is the middle portion which is meant to provide a clear vision at almost an arms-length. And third one is the bottom portion of the lens which contains the traditional reading prescription. This portion of the lens is used for up-close tasks like reading or texting. 

Difference between Lined Bifocal & No Line Bifocal

First, they differ in terms of the design of lined and non-lined focal lenses. that is obvious but there are many other differences. Lined ones have a large visible horizontal line that aggressively separates the entire lens into two distinct portions of optical powers. These two parts are: an upper part for a longer distant vision and the second one is the lower part which has an added segment designed for near vision purposes. When a person is wearing lined bifocals, you can switch between distance and near vision by looking through the specific parts of the lens, leading to a noticeable jump in prescription. This is different from no Line bifocal lenses where one gets a smooth transition between the optical points. 

Another main difference between lined bifocal & no line bifocal is the significant price difference between the two. Lined ones are much cheaper s compared to progressive or no-lined bifocal lenses. Moreover, with lined lenses, you get a much larger viewing area in each area of the lenses which can be preferred by many people. This also means that you will be able to see people at long distances with more clarity as well with lined lenses which won't be possible with no lined lenses. But the biggest problem is aesthetics which can be turned off for many. 

But it doesn't mean that progressive lenses are a bad choice. They also do a pretty good job of providing a more natural correction of presbyopia than lined bifocals or trifocals lenses. These lenses are sometimes considered multifocal because there is a seamless progression between different optical powers of the lens. Also, the transition is much more stable and smoother providing a much more natural view and correcting the inflexible issues of the entire eye's lens. 

Which one is for me?

You just learned the difference between lined bifocal & no line bifocal and now the final decision of which one to get should be made with several factors, including your visual needs, lifestyle, and personal preferences. there are some other considerations as well like your prescription which will heavily affect the decision. Depending on your prescription from the health expert and the extent of your near and distance vision, it is likely that your local optometrist will recommend you a single type of lens over the other. You are not advised to select yourself for just aesthetic reasons. 

Another big factor is the budget as bifocal glasses without lines tend to be more expensive than lined lenses. Another consideration is your lifestyle as no-lined lenses are more suitable for a dynamic lifestyle that involves a wide range of tasks at different distances while the no-lined ones are made for people who are not into a busy lifestyle. and just okay with reading and daily normal activities, especially elderly people. And lastly, it's also about the adaptability of these lenses as well. some can adapt very quickly and some take time. and some can adjust to lined ones. If you are patient and willing to adapt, progressive lenses can be a great long-term solution.


This article talked about the basics and differences between lined bifocal & no line bifocal lenses. Both lined and unlined lenses are appealing to many people out there, but more people choose progressive lenses now. Myglassesmart provides one of the best collections for progressive glasses. Moreover, it is recommended to never skip the prescription from a professional optometrist regarding your vision needs.

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