All you need to know about replacing the nose pads on your glasses, spectacles or sunglasses.
The MountThe first thing you need to work out is what sort of mount your glasses frames use. Look at your old nose pads and compare them to below. There are a very small amount of other fittings out there, but as they are so rare we don't currently stock them.
Screw on - Probably the most popular mount, they use a post with a hole in it, which slides into a closed catch on the end of the guard or pad arm. A screw is passed through the guard arm and through the hole in the pad, then screwed into the opposite side of the guard arm. When replacing these, use your thumb as a block to protect the lens from scratching, in case the screwdriver slips. The most common nosepad screws are 1.0 mm and 1.1 mm diameter.
Push on or Snap in - Between Screw in and Push in nose pads they account for about 85% of all glasses and sunglasses frames. Push on Pads use a mounting attachment shaped like a small I-beam. The mounting attachment is made of either metal or hard plastic. It slips into an indented box on the pad arm/guard arm. This style is the easiest pad to remove or replace. A tool (a pad popper) is available to help in the removal of old pads, or you may use a small screwdriver. Use your fingers to pop the new pad in place. If the new pad is not secure in the box, use a pair of pliers to gently squeeze the box together.
Primadonna - These nose pads are similar to a push on nose pad but use a T-shaped mounting attachment which hooks on the edges instead of being flat. The base that mounts into the eyeglass frame is a lot thinner than a snap-in nose pad. Almost flat.
Slide on or Rimless - Sometimes also known as Minimal Art nose pads they are designed for rimless frames, these nose pads mount onto the eyeglass frame by sliding the post of the nose pad down into the hook opening of the nose pad arm. Easy to replace.
System "3" - This nose pad looks flat and rectangular in shape. This nose pad will fit either right or left sides of the eyeglass frame. The nose pad arm associated with these nose pads will have a box(or rectangular open hole). The pad arm where the nose pad is to be mounted is a flat piece of metal that ends in an open box shape.
Clip on or RayBan - These use two metal tabs squeezed around a notched-out area of the pad arm/guard arm to hold them in place. “Clip-on” pads can be found on Ray Bans or Bausch & Lombs, but are fairly rare today (think of those old “cop” glasses, or shooting glasses). Remove the pads by spreading the tabs, using the blade of an optical screwdriver. Bend the tabs of the new pad around the pad arm/guard arm with pliers. Take care not to clamp the pad too tightly. The pads are supposed to have some rocking motion.
Bayonet or Zeiss - Although pretty rare, Zeiss or bayonet pads slide off and on the pad arm, or guard arm (a straight post with a few ridges to grab the pad). Some of the pads are designed to be specific lefts and rights with a front or a back. Look for this as you remove the old pads.
Stick on or Adhesive - These nose pads are designed to give extra comfort to plastic frames. You simply stick them on to the frame. For best use, place the adhesive nose pads on the part of the bridge that will touch your nose. You may need to inspect the placement by first reviewing the setting of your eyeglass frame as it rests upon the face without the nose pads. For users with a narrow or skinny bridge(nose), place the adhesive pads closer to the top sides. For those who have a wider bridge(nose), you may need to place the pads lower on the frame to ensure a good grip.
The Shape and SizeOnce you have worked out which mount you need, the next thing is to work out the shape and size. We recommend you refer to your original nose pads for this and aim for a similar size and shape, although this is not essential. Nose pads are made in sizes ranging from 9mm to 24mm and if your unsure go for something around the 12 to 15mm mark. The size is measured in mm along the longest length.
Symmetrical nose pads - These nose pads have a uniform shape and can be used for either left or right sides of the eyeglass frame. This takes the guess work out of trying to decide which nose pad to place on which side.
Assymetrical nose pads - These nose pads are designed for a left and a right sides of the eyeglass frame. Also known as "D" shaped nose pads. They are positioned so that the flat edge of the nose pad is facing away from the face. It would also appear that the flat edge runs in line with the edge of the eyeglass frame.
MaterialsNow that you've decided which mount, size and shape you need. It's completely up to you which material you want. We always recommend silicone as it is the most comfortable. However as you will see there are reasons for buying others.
Silicone - Flexibile and soft, Silicone nose pads also "grip" the wearers nose, they have an almost a sticky feel. They are very comfortble and mould to the countours of your nose. As they are pourous they absorb dirt and sweat, as such we recommend they are replaced about every six months to a year, depending upon the wearer. It is worth noting that about 5% of people can be allergic to silicone. If this is the case we recommend choosing another material.
Vinyl or PVC - These nose pads have a more rigid feel to them. They still have some flexibility, but it is decreased. You can imagine more like the flexibility of a semi-hard rubber. Because of the more rigid material, they tend to be a little less comfortable to the wearer. Discoloration may occur after a year or so, depending on the wearer.
Titanium - These nose pads are the most rigid there is, they are made of titanium metal. A big benefit is that they are hypoallergenic nose pads and would benefit the user, who may have an allergy to any of the other materials. These have to be adjusted right in order to have a comfortable fit on the wearers face. Unfortunately, the titanium nose pads are only available in a couple of sizes. Being titanium, the only danger of ever having to replace these nose pads would be from a lost nose pad.
Biofeel Nose Pads - These nose pads are unique in that they are constructed with an injected gel base, inside the nose pad. These are only available in snap-in and screw-in mounts. Only one material, which seems to be a type of silicone material. These are hypoallergenic nose pads. The gel pouch in the nose pad allows the wearer more comfort because this nose pad will conform to the wearer's contour of the nose.