Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference between Goggles and Sunglasses

Many people call goggles and sunglasses interchangeably with no understanding of the clear differences. These eyewear glasses are distinct from each other and are used for various purposes, although in a few cases the uses can overlap. In this post, we will go through the key differences worth considering between these glasses, and then end by highlighting them in a table.

Uses of Goggles and Sunglasses

You have probably came across some people wearing goggles and thought they are sunglasses intended to shield one’s eyes from the sun. Such interchangeable considerations are common in many people. Once you take into account the purposes of each gadget, you will then realize they are actually distinct products. Let’s highlight the uses below:

Difference between Goggles and Sunglasses

Swimming Goggles


Goggles are spotted with large sizes, bulkiness and a tight fitting thus enclosing the area around the eyes so that the eyes remain protected against the blinding particles. Our eyes are sensitive and any entry of debris can obstruct our views and end up costing us the optometrist’s visit if not being protected. Possible blinding particles include the dust, metal sparks, snow or debris.

There are various uses of goggles which include for swimming purposes to protect eyes against water, for woodworking jobs to shield the eyes against the dust, for snow sports to protect against snow and for manufacturing jobs when using power tools such belt or disc sanders. The other common usage is for the chemists or chemical engineers in chemical laboratories to protect their eyes against the harmful chemicals.

There are also the FPV goggles that are used as the first person immersion when operating the advanced drones to view the ground as if you were the pilot in the drone. These are mostly expensive, especially the FatShart Dominator V3 ones. They are advanced and designed to synchronize with the drones and the Android or Apples devices to view live videos from the sky.

And to wear goggles, they have to be fastened with the strap around your head to prevent them from becoming loose and falling off since they are meant to always protect your eyes. They usually feel uncomfortable around the eyes because of their bulkiness.

Difference between Goggles and Sunglasses-1

Oakley Sunglasses


Sunglasses, as the name implies, are mainly designed to shield your eyes against the harmful UV rays from the sun. Constant exposure to the sun rays can end up damaging our retina and ultimately affect our vision. Sunglasses are usually fitted with dark lenses so that they can filter the brightness of the sun and let you see conveniently and clearly.

Some sunglasses can be fitted with prescription lenses that enhance vision for the vision-blurred people. So they will be multi-functioning by enhancing vision and by acting as a shade against the sun rays. Depending on the design, others use the sunglasses as the protective glasses but not for heavy jobs with mass production of damaging particles. Nonetheless, they do not surpass the goggles with the protective function.

Not only are sunglasses used for protective functions against the ultraviolet rays, they are also used to make a fashion statement. The versatility and variety of designs of sunglasses lead the fashion savvy people to make trends with them where they match them with fashion garments based on colors. Some sunglasses of course are not fitted with prescription glasses, so they are suitable and affordable to set trends on the market.

The other use of sunglasses is for reading purposes especially if you are reading in too much sunlight. The sunlight that reflects from your books will not obstruct your vision or damage your lenses.

From these uses, it should be apparent that goggles and sunglasses are certainly different. Let’s examine the designs below.

Design of sunglasses and goggles


Sunglasses are available in many designs. Some designs are actually crazy for a mere purpose of making a fashion statement. But the normal sunglasses that are meant to shield your eyes from the sunlight are usually made of the plastic fiber frame or the metal frame that will rest on your ears and nose. It’s easy to wear them and they feel more comfortable because of their compact and lightweight designs, thus you can wear them for a long time.

They also come in various sizes and colors. These can differ from brand to brand, and also with the inclusion of the prescription lenses. The various types of sunglasses include the aviator sunglasses, yellow tinted sunglasses, shades and the corrective sunglasses. Unlike the goggles, sunglasses are not tightly fitted against your face, so they are unsuitable to be used when you are swimming.


Goggles, on the other hand, are recognizable with a large size and the strap around your head attached on the rubber or plastic frame. Because of the purpose of the goggles, they are seldom fitted with any protective lenses and their colors are just clear. You cannot set a trend or make a bold fashion statement with the goggles. They feel bulky and you will struggle to them for a long time.

The goggles are also available in many designs, but the function is the same – to tightly fit against your face so that even the finer particles are blocked with the side shields included. They are sturdy and bulky. The design of goggles can be influenced by the type of activity to be used for. For instance, swimming goggles are usually larger than the ones to be used in chemical laboratories or for sky-diving activities.


In terms of affordability, the goggles are generally more expensive than the sunglasses because of their indispensable purpose and mandatory requirements in safety regulations. The sunglasses, on the other side, are generally affordable. But this depends on the model and the brands because some can be fairly expensive, particularly those including the protective lenses that can be equated to the prescription glasses with quality. The aviator sunglasses, for example, are some of the fairly costly sunglasses available on the market.

Can I use goggles and sunglasses interchangeably?

The answer is a big resounding NO! You may be compromising the safety of your eyes especially in heavy duty activities. If you are into woodworking or metal cutting workshops, those particles can still find ways to your eyes if you are wearing sunglasses. The sunglasses, as emphasizes above, are not tightly fitted. This would affect their purposeful designs had they been made like the goggles.

Furthermore, you cannot swim with sunglasses because water will simply get into your eyes and obstruct your vision. Even in a chemical laboratory, you will be exposing your eyes to the damaging effects of strong acids such as sulfuric acid and nitric acid if you work with sunglasses.

With regard to the goggles replacing the sunglasses, it is still a big NO to use them, unless if you found the rare goggles with protective and corrective lenses. The most important thing with sunglasses is, of course, protection against the harmful UV rays. The goggles are not capable of doing that. Moreover, you cannot wear goggles as a fashion statement. That will just embarrass you in front of fashion savvy people.

Comparison table

Sunglasses Goggles
Main use To protect your eyes from sunlight and the bright light. Can also be used as a fashion trend Used as safety glasses in various workplaces and sport activities.
Side shields Not included (rare in others) Always included
Comfort They are comfortable because they are made of a lightweight frame to rest on your nose and your ears They are not comfortable. They are bulky and use strap to secure them at the back of your head. Wearing them for a long time can lead to endured pains around your face because of their bulkiness.
Frames Plastic fiber and metal frame Rubber and plastic frame
Cost Moderately expensive Relatively expensive
Lenses Protective and corrective lenses that filter the light No lenses required since the purpose is to protect against the wind, debris, dust and other particles

Wrapping Up!

Having read this comprehensive review of the difference between sunglasses and goggles, we are confident that you will be able to correct others too. It became apparent that these products have different uses as well as the designs. In a nutshell, the goggles are used as safety glasses in workplace and sport activities. They have normal glasses and thus require no lenses.

Sunglasses are used as the protective eyewear products against the harmful sun rays. They come with protective and corrective lenses. The design of sunglasses is compact and lightweight, and prompts other to use them as fashion gadgets to set a trend. In terms of prices, sunglasses are generally fairly priced lower than the goggles.

Knowing the difference between these eyewear products helps you to know that which one to use in which occasion. Your eyes are sensitive part of the body; so you wouldn’t want to jeopardize their vision by wearing sunglasses when working with the damaging particles, or by wearing goggles when looking at the sun because those UV light rays can damage your delicate cells and the retina.

Sharing is caring!

Search DifferenceBetween.net :

Email This Post Email This Post : If you like this article or our site. Please spread the word. Share it with your friends/family.

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

References :



Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.

See more about : , ,
Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Finder