”We asked Which? members to rate opticians selling varifocals on key measures, including how well they explained different options in price and lens type, how well they fit the lenses and the explanation of any potential limitations of varifocals.

Local and independent opticians, as a category, were rated highest by Which? members by a comfortable margin.’


Over time our eye’s internal lens becomes less elasticated and more hardened meaning that we struggle to focus at different distances. Presbyopia is long-sightedness caused by this loss of elasticity of the lens, occurring typically in middle and old age.

Presbyopia - Wikipedia

Varifocal/Progressive lenses correct the effects of presbyopia with a gradual change in prescription from distance to near vision, restoring your natural vision without the unsightly segmentation lines or image jumps experienced with bifocals.

Varifocals are a bespoke product, which means that measurements need to be taken. If these measurements are not done properly, and with the wearer’s intended use in mind, then they won’t work. Its like a suit. Imagine buying a new suit, without checking the sizes. Its not likely to go well.

Difference varifocals are available to suit differing budgets and needs.

Redgate Bespoke Standard Lenses: from £70 (includes a scratch resistant coating)
Their limitations are they offer a more restricted area of near and intermediate vision, more (possibly annoying) peripheral distortions at the lens edges, and may take longer to get used to. However, they remain a good option if you do not do much computer or reading but would like the convenience of not having to change your glasses.

Redgate Bespoke Premium Lenses: from £140 (includes Redgate Deluxe coating)
These lenses are a very good all round choice for varifocal lenses. They are easy to adapt to, have wider intermediate and reading ”corridors”. They use advanced designs and manufacturing methods to maximise the width of the reading and intermediate areas, while being comfortable to use.

Redgate Tailor Made Lenses : from £300 (includes Redgate Deluxe coating)
These lenses are made for our modern lifestyles. They are designed to meet the visual demands of modern life such as computers, mobile phones and driving etc. They use digital measurements to tailor the lenses for your chosen frame, eye position and posture therefore extending the clarity of vision at all vision distances; near, far and everything in between. They are quick and easy to adapt to as they have a seamless transition between seeing zones. They have the most reduced visual distortions and maximum visual performance. The latest progressive lenses provide complete focusing freedom in all the visual zones to make your vision as simple and natural as possible.

Redgate Specialist Road Pilot Lenses: £300
These are Specialised lenses designed specifically for patients who spend a lot of hours in the car, offering a wider range of vision in the distance.

Redgate Specialist Digital Lenses: £300
These are Specialised lenses designed specifically for patients who spend a lot of hours in front of digital devices, offering a wider range of vision in the middle and close range.

Precise measurements are crucial to ensure the maximum visual benefits resulting in a faster ‘adaptation’ period. Our experienced optometrists will guide you through the most suitable lens options for your lifestyle and ensure precise measurements are taken so you have every possible chance of successful varifocal wear.