Internet marketers figured out years ago that certain phrases make great click bait. For example, ‘the best’ is a hot one – as in ‘the best sunglasses for 2020′. Enter that phrase into Google and see what you get. Be prepared for an onslaught of links. Also be prepared to learn that there really are no standards for what constitutes the best.

Even the word itself suggests a lack of objectivity. The criteria by which consumer products are rated, unless rooted in science and documented with test results, is entirely subjective. What you might find attractive about one pair of sunglasses could be a nonstarter for someone else.

Still, it might be helpful to understand what reviewers are looking for when they rate sunglasses. If we know the mindset, we might be able to make better sense of reviews, ratings, and recommendations.

Protection Against UV Rays

This first ranking factor is unique in that it is the only one based on science. It’s also not arbitrary. If you consider UV protection as one of the most important characteristics of a good pair of sunglasses, a pair known to block 100% of UV rays would have to be considered a candidate for being best.

UV rating is a static, standardized thing. It’s not open to interpretation. If you were to look at a pair of sunglasses from one of Olympic Eyewear’s brands, you would see a UV rating on the label. The rating is generally somewhere between 300 and 400. Those numbers mean something.

Ultraviolet rays exist in the light spectrum at wavelengths of 10 to 400 nm. Thus, a pair of sunglasses offering 100% UV protection blocks all light waves up to 400 nm. That is what those numbers mean. A pair of shades rated at UV 400 is better than one rated UV 300, at least in terms of eye protection.

Craftsmanship and Quality

Smart reviewers take a look at each pair of sunglasses in terms of its craftsmanship and quality. They look for a few key things, starting with whether or not a product is solidly built. For example, if moving the arms back and forth reveals a flimsy hinge or a loose fit, craftsmanship concerns are automatically raised.

Reviewers can sometimes discern the quality of the materials by handling them. A lightweight plastic that seems to bend easily may not demonstrate the same quality as a heavier plastic that feels more dense.

Style and Fashion

Style and fashion perceptions are where reviews can begin to break down very quickly. Why? Because fashion trends are very fluid. Likewise, not every consumer has the same taste in fashion. Just because a particular style is trendy does not mean the vast majority of consumers are into it.

Rating sunglasses in terms of their fashion appeal can also be tricky when reviewers attempt to determine what kinds of sunglasses would work best with certain kinds of outfits. So much of that is up to personal interpretation.

The Dirty Little Secret About Reviews

Reviewers look at other things to determine the best sunglasses on the market. But there is a dirty little secret you need to know: a fair number of the articles you read are not written by reviewers. They are written by professional writers who have never actually handled the products in question. They are going off of information either provided by manufacturers or found other places online.

Remember that whenever you see a ‘best of’ list, the information pertaining to that list is most likely arbitrary. The best of anything for you is whatever best meets your needs.