Product Review: Varilux X Design

cropped-img_9676.jpgAs always, written by Ric Peralta-The Optical Jedi

There is a constant evolution of Progressive lens technologies. While the overwhelming trend is for each advancement in lens technology to improve the patient wearing experience, there are occasional hiccups along the way which do not perform “as advertised.”

As your Optical “Jedi” I have taken it upon myself to test out as many of these new lens advancements by wearing them myself. At this stage in my optical career, I have been wearing progressive lenses for 8 years and have personally worn and tested 54 lens designs.
New Varilux X Design

Just two weeks ago, the latest lens design from Varilux hit the market. Varilux is probably the best known brand name of progressive lenses by patients. They were at the forefront of developing the “No Line” lens back in 1959 and have continued to be amongst the leaders in lens designs.
As a disclaimer, I will admit that I have worked in many practices that have had an active partnership with Varilux and it’s parent company Essilor. This has allowed me to test more of their lenses than most competitors and I know there are many designs from competitors with great reputations. In fact, I have many lenses from several manufacturers which I recommend, based on patient scenario.

Despite my higher exposure to Varilux branded progressive lenses, I do not always feel their latest lens developments are indeed the best products available to meet patients’ needs. Often, their latest developments seem to niche, helping one type of prescription better than another.

The Review

I have been wearing my new Varilux X Design for just about a week, and not to put too fine a point on it, I’m thoroughly impressed. The wearing experience has been incredibly comfortable, and it has been one of the fastest lens adaptations I’ve experience.

There is no such thing as the “perfect lens.” Every design has some zone that is out of focus, or has issue with the vision rocking, bulging, or swimming. This lens is not “perfect” either, but it’s easily the closest to perfect I’ve experienced. According to the manufacturer, the lens was developed over 5 years of research into a different way of mapping the power distribution across the lens.


The point of the research is to try and improve the wearing experience for the modern world. The advent of the digital devices, such as smart phones and tablet computers, have had a dramatic impact on how we utilize our near vision. Traditional progressive lens designs stagger your zones to take advantage of the way we used to look at the world (i.e. top is distance, middle is desktop computer distance, bottom is book distance). Of course, since the personal digital device explosion, the reality of where we need to see and at what distance we need to see has changed. The new Varilux X Design is attempting to address this change.

So far, I will say this has been an admirable attempt to address the issue of where we look. There are still spots where I have difficulty finding a crisp focus, but there are in the usual trouble zones of the bottom corners of the lenses. In the meantime, however, I can focus at full near while in the “mid-range” zone and I can find the mid-range in the “blurry periphery.”

The Varilux X Design lens will be going on the VSP formulary in just a couple of weeks and I have to say just after one week of wear, I’m ready to call this my absolute go-to lens for almost all conceivable patient scenarios.

Update 8/23/17

I have discovered that there was an issue with the anti-reflective coating on the lenses I received from the lab.  A small thing, but it was impacting my night vision.  After the replacement lenses were put in, I can say that the night vision clarity is also quite good.  I’ve previously worn a set of lenses specifically designed to help with night vision (The Zeiss DriveSafe-More here on that) and I do feel that those outperformed my new pair in that situation.  In addition, Maui Jim has created a new product specifically designed to increase contrast to help with night vision which has the best night clarity I’ve experienced.  But in all other respects, these new Varilux X Design lenses are better than previous lenses I’ve worn.

If you have any questions, comments, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to respond in the comments section below.  I look forward to addressing any questions you might have about glasses in the future.  And remember, the progressive is only the beginning of what we can do with your glasses to enhance your visual experience.  Make sure and read my other articles on the importance and value of Anti-Reflective coatings, and Transitions to find out more!


***Update:  Please see my 1 year review update here****


76 thoughts on “Product Review: Varilux X Design

  1. I would like a specific review of these for people who constantly use a desktop computer! I’ve always had to have separate computer glasses so I don’t have to tilt my head to focus on the monitor. Will these work for all day computer use? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Diane!

      This isn’t as straight forward as you may think. Monitor placement and size can have a significant impact on how well this lens might work for you.

      I personally only use my X design and they work great on the computer for me. My monitor is arms length away and the top of the screen is almost exactly level with my eyes.

      Knowing more about how strong your reading correction is can also factor in this usefulness for heavy desktop use.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t include in my general comment, but from my optometrist and my own research, these lenses were developed based on Gen X (hence the name) and younger boomers with the high computer and smart phone use jobs those people tend to have. Being a progressive lens rookie, I don’t really know the difference with these versus other progressive lenses, but I can say my experience 24 hours in is consistent with what I’ve read and heard from other X wearers. Since this is Day 1 for me, my opinion may change. I’ll come back here and comment again over the next few weeks if my opinion changes significantly or I have something new to add.


    • I have purchased the Varilux X series lenses about two weeks ago. I really do not notice that much of a difference at night are during the day. I thought there would be a noticeable difference. I will wear them a little longer in hopes to find some kind of difference from my old to new lenses.


      • I Have not noticed a difference at all from my old lens to the Varilux lens. I had to pay an extra $300.00 dollars for them. I was hoping the night vision would get better. Does anyone know of a lens specifically for night time?
        Thank you,
        Rocky Moore


      • Rocky night vision is less a product of the progressive design and more about the lens treatments (i.e. anti reflective).

        The best lens for night vision for my dollar is the Maui Jim High Contrast lens


      • Here’s what I have discovered with my Varilux X lenses, now in year 3.
        They combine with my lens implants (due to cataract correction) to display yellow hue to my brain.
        So anything I see with glasses on, give to me a yellowish tinge or acute contrast to the world around me.
        It’s rather disturbing as I want reality in that natural world (ie, plant life and artworks) ..until I take off those glasses. Then the world’s colours become muted but naturally true — not fake.


  2. This is my first time wearing progressives and my first day at work. I chose the X based on recommendations from a technician there that had just started wearing them as well. I was extremely surprised how easy they were to adjust to for the most part. I don’t have noticeable blurring on the side edges. Only the bottom. I do sit at a computer all day and I had to adjust monitor height some, but at this point, I feel comfortable with where the monitors are. Reading a book or looking at my phone was pretty natural, too. I’m assuming/hoping the distortion as I’m stepping off a curb or down stairs I will adjust. That and having a brief “whoa” moment this morning (first time progressive wearer) are the only things I’ve had issue with and I’m sure I’ll adjust.


    • Hi Lori G.
      i am surprised to hear that you felt comfortable using progressive lenses from day one, usually it takes between 1 week to 4 weeks for a persons to get used to use progressive lens. Im currently using Ziess individual and it took me two weeks to adapt to it, yesterday i ordered varilux X track progressive lenses and hoping that it is better than the Ziess I’m currently using.


  3. Hi, i just ordered my first glasses with Varilux X and need help. 52 year old recently retired military pilot with near perfect vision and presbiopia. I’m a -.25 for distance and 1.25 reading. After trying test lenses to view very distant objects I switched to -.5 and everything is clear for miles. That is where the fun stops and the pain begins and my wallet is $1100 lighter (not including frames). I visited many optical stores. The knowlege of staff concerning flying was non-existstant (e.g.tints, polarization, etc). I said I wanted to correct my distance vision and have the best glasses to scan instruments and work in the cockpit in day and night lighting. I said I may use them for driving if they worked but my concern was good glasses for flying. I was very precise in what I wanted and repeatedly stated that if they did not have the equipment or technology to direct my to another vender. I said this because my HMO optician only sold general (older model) lenses and suggested I look elseware. A vender assured me they could handle anything. I specifically asked about visioffice and iterminal for measurements and was told that they were used by competitors because of poor staff and did not affect the lens manufacturing or make a better product. I had Silhouette frames from my HMO and no lens blanks but the vendor sold the same frame. The only measurements taken to construct my lens was with a corneal reflex pupliometer and fitting height. There were no other frame specific measurements. When the lenses arrived, the owner of 30 years sat across from me with a lens blank on his hand and marked it with a felt pen while holding it over my eye. (Hello paralax). I also indicated the hight of my instrument panel and he moved the point up 1mm on the lens. He rechecked my eyes with the pupilometer and said the glasses would be ready tomorrow. THE GLASSES ARE JUNK! I am better served with contacts to correct my distance vision and my 1.25x $29 Foster Grant reading glasses. I had the same vendor perform a contact fitting when I ordered my lenses on Sunday. I tried the contacts PERFECT!! I called the vendor on Monday morning and asked them to stop the lense order. They said that they had submitted the order two hours earlier and there was no way to stop the order. The distance vision is good on the glasses but the reading channel is VERY narrow before text becomes blurry and there is heavy swimming effect. After doing more research, Esillor states they have 3 different fittings…Design, Fit, and 4D. My vendor used the least accurate method and it appears I needed a 4D fitting on the Visioffice terminal which they do noy own. How do I get this corrected!


    • Wow there’s a lot to unpack here. First thing I would say is that fitting pilots is possibly the most challenging type of patient there is. Not because you are exceptionally picky, but because the placement of instrumentation can cause havoc on progressives.

      First things first. I would honestly say that the standard X design is better than the more advanced lens versions in most cases. I have not fit a 4D or Fit lens in years from any of their lens family. The vision can be impeccable with these more advanced lenses but only if they remain optimally adjusted at all times.

      My first thought for you, if you are comfortable with contacts a multi focal solution like B&L Ultra for presbyopia. The big issue for contacts in flying is that the recirculated air can dry out the lenses terribly and deteriorate your clarity rapidly over time.

      If you are experiencing swim and a small reading area I suspect adjusting the pantoscopic tilt of the frames should help quite a bit.

      What type of flying do you do?


      • Hi,

        Having read the fellow pilot post , I feel l had gone through very similar situations.

        Dispensers in general know nothing about aviation’s very demanding environment, and never use all the very sophisticated tools available to measure prospect frames and lenses. Always done by hand, and in a very crude way.

        I am an active pilot. Hyper (+2,5 to + 3.0) add 2.0 to 2,25 and astigmatic around 0,5 to 0,75.

        Wearing an Hoyalux ID + mystyle, but never quite happy:

        Too much blur to the sides, very narrow intermediate corridor, not enough reading area..not even a book’s page wide.

        Checked prescription several times, doesn’t seem to be the reason of lack of satisfaction.

        I think the issue is the design of the lenses. And the fitting But len’s created astigmatism has to be put somewhere, always. No way. To escape. Minkwitz theorem…

        So I am evaluating trying the Varilux X. I expect to keep a decent distant view but gain corridor witdth in intermediate and reading. And also, since my pupil height is only 19mm, I am looking for some frame to give me 22mm or more.
        Seeking less power ratio and therefore less lens astigmatism/cylinder.

        Any new or recent inputs for the X?

        Many thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am still finding that on the whole the X is the most versatile solution.

        But, pilots are the most challenging fit. What type of flying are you doing? I know the instrument clusters can be placed very differently depending on the plane.

        I recently fit a commercial airline pilot in the X to success. He was in 737s and the lens suited that environment well.


  4. Pingback: Review Update on Varilux X Design | The Optical Jedi: a guide to the mysteries of glasses

  5. Is this Varilux X Lens any wider in the intermediate and reading areas than the Zeiss Premium? And, does the distance area go all the way across?


    • I have not worn the Zeiss Premium but I have done the Zeiss Individual II and Zeiss Drivesafe. I would say that The X is wider than Individual but the Drivesafe is wider in the intermediate. But the Drivesafe has a very small reading zone (intentionally so but still small).

      The distance area is partially narrowed. I have had wider distance zones but not necessarily wider in both intermediate and near


    • I would strongly recommend AGAINST ordering anything online but most especially multifocals. Lens placement in front of the eye is critical for a successful experience and online tools cannot do this accurately


  6. I’m an ABO certified optician and just got my first pair of Varilux X lenses two days ago but I’ve been wearing progressives for over 15 years. I am slightly nearsighted with astigmatism and wear a +2.50 add which is on the strong side. I have the standard Varilux X.

    Personally, I find the distance area to be excellent. It’s reasonably clear even when I look through the side areas of the top. I find the intermediate and near are widths to be similar to my other progressives but I don’t need to adjust my head quite as much. They aren’t wide but they are placed so perfectly my eyes find them very easily and comfortably.

    No progressives have near and intermediate areas that go all the way across. The stronger the add correction the narrower the areas will be.

    As for computer work- a lot of issues are because computer monitors are usually too high. Remember that when you look straight ahead you will be in the distance area. So if you are looking straight ahead at the monitor you will have to raise your chin to see the screen. This is not the fault of the lenses- it’s the fault of the monitor placement. Ideally your eyes should be no lower then the top of the screen. You should be able to look down slightly thru the intermediate channel of the lense to see the screen.

    They do make monitors that adjust up and down and these are very helpful. Otherwise have the monitor as low as possible and your seat as high as possible. Since the channel area of progressives aren’t very wide it’s extremely important that they be fit correctly. If they are off just a little in pupil distance or height they won’t work well.


  7. Hi, I have been trying to get used to my new Essilor X glasses, they make me feel sick and unsteady on my feet every time I wear them, presumably this is the swimming effect I have read above. Every review says the new X series is wonderful, yet I’m finding them yet truly awful. I purchased my new glasses from a Colchester optician that I have been using for years, they are exactly the same shape, frame style and prescription of my previous 1.67 Essilor VX Physio 2.0 stylis short Transitions that I have been wearing for 5 years, and that took no real adapting to. When I picked my new Essilor X glasses up I asked the dispenser for the guarantee card that should go with my new glasses, he said they did not have one and that Essilor glasses do not always come with one, is this correct? I asked the dispenser to write down what my new lenses were, he did this very very reluctantly, and from what he wrote it is not clear exactly which lenses I have brought, so I’m still not entirely sure what I have paid nearly £900 for. Have there been any issues with these new lenses, or am I the only one with problems with them?


    • Hi Shirley,

      Thank you for responding to my post. I wish I could speak to what guarantees may be possible in the UK, but I’m not familiar with the rules and laws that apply in your nation. I would say that anywhere in the US where you get progressive lenses, you are afforded the opportunity to switch the lens to another design if you cannot adapt.

      you mentioned that you were wearing a short progressive previously. I could see how this might possibly be the issue you are facing. Depending on the dimensions of the frame, switching to an X Design could end up moving where your reading zone is located and thus impact the nausea or swimminess you might feel. If you’d like to email me a photo or any other information about your glasses I’d be happy to take a closer look.


  8. I’ve been wearing Hoya and Nikon progressive lenses with mixed results and wanted to try a European brand. My optician introduced me to this new X series which they had just started selling. I was kinda impressed by the marketing materials and the extra testings that needed to be done but was quite disappointed with the end product.

    The view is wider but the distortion and swimming are quite bad especially in the near and middle distance parts. I reckon that you will need to sit still and just move your eyes in order to achieve the advertised results of having a clear vision on all distances! Furthermore, they don’t come in 1.74 index which I wanted as my prescriptions are rather high.

    They are quite easy to adapt and I don’t feel dizzy though with the distortion and swimming. Nonetheless, I think you can get better results with cheaper lenses,


  9. Hello! I found your blog while searching for reviews and anecdotal information on the Varilux X series.

    I researched, requested, wear, and love the Seiko Superior B progressive lens. The Seiko is amazing even compared to the pretty awesome Seiko Surmount which I wore until I could get the Superior from VSP.

    It’s getting close to my yearly appointment, so I was poking around online and saw a reference to the Varilux X series. Since technology is constantly developing, I am always interested in any potential for improvement so…

    In your personal opinion, how would the Varilux X 4D compare to the Superior B? Should I give it a try?

    For reference, my last prescription (from April 2017) is R: sph: +1.00 cyl: -0.75 axis: 096 add: +2.25
    L: sph: +1.25 cyl: -0.75 axis: 087 add: +2.25


  10. I have a very perplexing problem.

    I purchased a pair of Varilux X with Crizal Sapphire coating in December/’17.
    First off I noticed that when looking through the lenses they provide a distinctive yellow tint — it also enhances most outdoors flora. The lenses themselves are terrific for their wide field of vision, but not for the discolouration: surrounding colours are not rendered properly, which is very important to me.

    Because of the annoying yellow tinge I returned them to the optometrist for replacement.
    They agreed to remake them with a different (Crizal Alize) coating. But that produces a very similar result, that of discolouration: reflex colour is near green/yellow.
    My optometrist can’t seem to provide a proper explanation for this phenomena.

    So, what is happening here? All my previous lenses never had any yellow-tinting associated with them.
    Could it be that the Varilux X lenses themselves have inherent discolouration brought on by some embedded blue blocking and that the coatings only enhance the unwanted tinting effects?

    Appreciate your thoughts.


    • What is happening has almost nothing to do with the coating. Varilux digital lenses filter harmful blue light. Specifically the narrow bandwidth just above ultraviolet. There is a known correlation between exposure to this bandwidth and developing macular degeneration later in life (an irreversible form of blindness). This very mild yellowing is intended to protect your eyes. The only way to avoid it is to switch to a non-digital progressive from Varilux or switch to another brand of progressive.

      I hope this helps.


      • Thanks, you’ve enlightened me Masterful Jedi.
        The yellowing is quite unsettling and there was as suggestion from our Optometrist to change into Essilor Definity 3. Is this a non-digital lens? Apparently, they do not have any blue blocking. But it seems that by switching to them I will have to sacrifice the wonderful wide field of vision that the Varilux X offers — the D3 vision corridor is considerably narrower. My previous glasses were (narrower corridor) Accolade Freedom (Costco) and there was some tinting but very little compared to these Varilux X.

        Because the tint effect is built within the lens I then now suspect that the better the Crizal AR coating is (ie, Sapphire vs Alize) then the more enhanced the blue blocking effects of the X (hence more yellowing, more defined green/yellow reflex color). Am I correct in assuming this?

        As an alternative can you suggest another brand (Hoya, Zeiss, Nikon, etc) that may provide the same digital optical benefits as the X but without blue blocking?


      • Glad I could help! I am thinking a Zeiss individual 2 might be a smart alternative for you. Still get digital surfacing and wide channel. As far as I recall this does not have blue filtration built in. But you’d have to use a Zeiss coating with it


      • I find this question interesting because I see no difference between my Varilux X and my Varilux Physio( no blue light filter) as far as the color of the lenses.

        My Physio lenses have Avance AR and my X has Sapphire so the AR color is slightly different.

        I have sold dozens of X lenses and have not had any complaints or even mentions of a yellow lens color.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Optical Jedi… seems my optometry retailer does not deal in Zeiss. At this early point in time they will exchange, but not refund so that I can go elsewhere. Besides, the optics of these X lenses are terrific for their overall field of view — would the Zeiss Individual 2 provide a truly competitive solution to the X?

        Interestingly, I happen to be in Costco the other day and visited the Optical department.
        They further muddied my waters by showing me their recent rendition of the Accolade Freedom lens.
        Apparently, it is advertised as having “equally” wide fields of view (and $$ less than the X). But again the negative is that that lens also incorporates blue block and therefore may demonstrate some yellowing to me.

        Pam…. your comments add confusion here: if this is so then I would sure like to know what is causing the yellow tinge in MY lenses.
        To reiterate, it was thought to be the coating, so I switched coatings and it is still apparent. That suggests that the tint is built into the local lab’s X blanks. I have no way of proving that to myself other than cajoling my optometrist into providing yet another X lens without ANY coating, and then looking through them. How far could I carry this complaint? (I do have middle of March for any changes)

        As for your customers not complaining about color distortions, I don’t doubt your findings …my wife and some of my friends say the same thing when looking through my glasses, even though they do notice the reflex colour when reflecting ceiling lights against the front of the lens or seeing the tint through the lens when setting the glasses down on something white. So I cannot fathom how that colour distortion is not noticed by others, especially when I personally see the change in surrounding colours when wearing them !

        Gee, now I’m beginning to wonder if having optical implants (cataract correction) could have something to do with my (glasses) results??


      • I would personally suggest that the accolade is quantitatively less than an X. It’s a very early rendition of a free form design. Certainly much better than their old Ovation design but just barely a distant cousin to an X design.

        The Individual2 from Zeiss or the Shamir Autograph II would both provide similar experiences to the X. The big difference is that they are trying to maintain the largest possible distance zone while still improving the near zones. The X is attempting to focus on the increased comfort and wearability in the intermediate and near zones.

        Pam’s comments hold true. The color distortion to the X is actually very minimal but some patients can be very sensitive to it, in my experience. The blue light filtration in the X is only targeting the blue light immediately above ultraviolet (415-455 nanometer wavelengths)


  11. Hi,
    I have been using varilux s 4d lens for the past 4 years right after i had my cataracts removed at 25. I was in India when I got these glasses. They had a very elaborate personalization process with a computerized dominant eye measurement before they were made. Now i am in the US and i don’t see it anywhere. Last year i got progressive Individual 2 but i was no really happy with the intermediate vision. so i went back to using my old glasses. Now they are very old and needs replacement. I hope varilux X fits my need. Your thoughts?


    • The x has essentially replaced the S. It is being pulled from the market at some point this year. We can do those additional measurements for the X (X 4D) but it is challenging to find practices with the visioffice machine which can calculate eye rotation and dominant eye.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. HEY there Optical Jedi!!! I just entered the “old eyes club” myself and got my first pair of progressive glasses. I originally ordered a pair from a very well known online eye glass shop. I’ve never had issues with my other prescriptions so I thought I’d give it a go. What a huge dissapointment, the progressive eye glasses I got were not balanced and I could not see out of them despite paying half the $$$$. So i took the new set of eye glasses to my optometrist and had a refit. All I can say is WOWOWOWO! Essilor Varilux X progressive lenses are amazing. I can’t believe how natural the vision is and you are right, I got use to them pretty fast. They were very expensive, but I’ve learned a valuable lesson here. ALthough I saved 1/2 the cost getting them online, you need physical expertise fitting progressive lenses.


    • I’m sorry you had to learn the hard way but yes there are so many more factors to consider that an online retailer can’t really get multifocal a right.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Starting next month you will be able to get the Varilux X lens with or without the smart blue filter that is causing the slight yellow tint some people are sensitive too.

    The Physio Enhanced is a digital lens and doesn’t have the filter.

    It occurres to me that since my X lenses are Transitions the slight yellow might be less noticeable to me. I was informed that the Trivex material lens is the most yellow also.


    • Personally I don’t care for the comfort of the physio enhanced. But yes all the smart blue filters from Essilor have much less yellow than most manufacturers but it’s still there


    • How timely is your post! — my Varilux X with Sapphire coating was annoying to me. I outlined my complaint in an earlier post in this thread.

      I managed to have Essilor redo my lenses _without_ the smart blue filter. I was reassured that the yellowing I encountered would then be gone.

      Sadly, I must report that the annoying yellow tint still exists to much the same extent as before. All my perceived colours are skewed when I wear the glasses.
      Either they oops’d on the remanufacture of the lens or there is something else within the plastic blanks to produce the tint.

      Obviously, not being in the trade I could not just trial the lenses without the application of the coating, but then too Essilor said that the Sapphire coating is totally transparent without any colour tinting.
      Go figure.

      My optometrist suggested that the other brands they carry (Hoya, Nikon) produce the same tint.
      The quasi-saving grace in all this is that the actual Varilux X lens is fantastic for field of view. To me it’s as if I am not wearing any glasses at all for that annoying yellow tint.

      It is my hope that in a couple years when I go to renew my Rx, Essilor admits to the problem and then improves subsequent editions of this lens (ie, pure transparency with no colouring). Otherwise, I will be looking for a good alternative that’s also in the same realm as the X.


      • I followed up with my Varilux rep and can confirm there is supposed to be a new product coming soon, which may be addressing the blue light yellow tinge. But he could not confirm it was coming this week….I’ll keep the blog followers posted as I find out more.


  14. Hello Optical Jedi! Hi all.

    Direct from Brazil, here goes my experience with Varilux. I have been using a pair of Physio 360 Short for the last 5 years. Yes, same lenses! Durable. Now it’s time to upgrade because my prescription changed. I will use +3,5º add 2º both sides.

    I was researching for Varilux new lenses after 5 years and I decided to pick-up the so called E-Design lenses. Then comes the options within E-Desing (or other any Lenses family). There were the material options to use: acrylic, Polycarbonate or Trivex lenses. Thikness varies too, from regular lenses to 1.67, 1.74. Then comes the coating or filters. There was Crizal Optifog, Crizal Easy UV, Crizal Forte (Strong) UV, Saphire and Prevencia. I was told that the best was Prevencia so this was my choice as it added blue light filter on my old Physio.

    When I got the lenses I was so disappointed. At first moment I felt something was wrong but I decided to try it for adaptation. Who knows… But no. The lenses were badly produced and installed on the frame so that I decided to send it back and request a full refund (what I did in the end). So I couldn’t blame on e-design series lenses as the place I made them had such a bad service. I was so comfortable with my Physio that I could not believe the lens could be that bad.

    Now comes the anti-glare and anti-scratch treatment part. My wife and daughter were laughing during dinner as they found my lenses reflecting… PINK! Yes, pink. And I am not saying just a bit. It was really pink. But not only! Depending on light type or angle of incidence it could vary from dark purple, to grey and then pink. Go figure. Everybody laughing and I don’t blame them: I was ridiculous! I went to the mirror immediately!

    When I returned the lenses I drove back to the store feeling like Priscila, Queen of the Desert with my eyelids perfectly pink on the mirror under sunlight driving my car. First thing I asked was about that pink reflex that everybody could se in my face but me, and I was told it was a consequence of the Prevence coating. Saphire, would have less residual pink reflex but only Crizal Forte UV would have no colors on lenses because it has no blue light filter. They could have told me before selling… In anyway, they also said that the color of the residual reflex (glare?) on the outside of the lenses depends on the brand of the coating treatment. At least it was not interfering with my vision and colors perception (I think).

    Now I have ordered my new pair of Varilux X lenses, in acrylic material and Crizal Forte UV coating (no tint or external reflexes I hope), just like my Physio 360. This time I ordered in a place I really trust and I know for years, one of the best in town. I asked what would fit best my needs and the X series short was the choice. It was today so will take a few days before I get the frame back.

    If I may ask, could those yellow tint or colors issues experienced by others be a result of the material choice to manufacture the lenses and thikness, mixed with coating brand? Someone told me earlier today that the Polycarbonate lenses could eventually cause that tint and less chance on acrylic ones. About the external color reflexes they assured me was caused by the Prevencia treatment, Saphire coating would still have a bit and Crizal Forte UV would be zero!

    As soon as I have my new lenses I will get back here to tell my new experience with the Xes.


    • Hi there.

      Thanks for this post. There is a lot to breakdown here but I will quickly say that the color of the lens was 98% the prevencia. I’m not a fan of that coating because of the very distinct purple/pink reflection spectrum and just how yellow it makes the world look.

      I will talk more on the progressive lens issues you had tomorrow. I’m watching a movie with my daughter right now 🙂


  15. First off, great site/blog. Very informative.

    I tried a pair of progressives years ago and hated them b/c of swimming. I’m ready to try again and have been researching the Varilux X series. Does Varilux make an X series “computer” lens? I’m most interested in a lens for reading, computer/office (10 – 15′ max distance) and will continue to use prescription single vision lenses for driving (though the Zeiss Drivers sound interesting). Corridor width, clarity and comfort (least amount of “swimming effect”) are most important to me. I will also want to filter out blue light and can live with some color distortion. I’m 59, have mono vision from Lasik years ago, and presbyopia.
    Distance Rx: OD +.25 -.50 x 109 OS -.50 -.50 x 055 ADD is +2.00

    Zeiss Office, Shamir Office, Varilux offering, something else? Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    PS..From your “Lens Material” piece, CR-49 seems to fit the “high AB, low RI” rule of thumb. Is the main concern breakage and scratch resistance?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Varilux X is a regular progressive with distance, intermediate and near. I find it works well at my desktop computer as long as the monitor isn’t too high. Straight ahead vision is distance so if your monitor is straight ahead than you will need to adjust your head a little.

      I suggest you try progressives again. The X is an excellent one to try. I’ve yet to have a patient find it swimmy.

      If you find you still need a lens that offers more intermediate and near there are many excellent choices. Varilux makes one that is very good but my favorite is the Shamir. They make both a desktop version that works well with multiple monitors and is clear to about 5 ft. They also make a Workspace version that is narrower but is clear to about 10 ft.


      • Pam,

        Thank you for the reply. Why do you prefer the Shamir over the Zeiss office lenses? Is it familiarity, or does the Shamir perform better in terms of width, clarity/lack of distortion, etc.?

        Thanks again.


      • I have found the Essilor computer and the Shamir office both outperform the Zeiss. I think part of the issue is that the Zeiss tries to create specific lens options and if you are fit in the wrong type it can lead to a lot of issues.


      • I’ve never used the Zeiss lens but I’m sure it’s fine. Zeiss makes good lenses. We just don’t use them where I work now.


  16. Hi – I saw this reply to an earlier post…
    “April 30, 2018 at 5:46 am
    I am still finding that on the whole the X is the most versatile solution.
    But, pilots are the most challenging fit. What type of flying are you doing? I know the instrument clusters can be placed very differently depending on the plane.
    I recently fit a commercial airline pilot in the X to success. He was in 737s and the lens suited that environment well. ”

    I too fly 737s and having quite the time finding a solution to my vision woes…I’m almost 48 and have been nearsighted most of my adult life. My current prescription is -2.00/add +1.75 in both eyes.

    I have tried MF contacts – they are problematic at night and also don’t work so well anymore for closeup viewing. I also tried HD, digital progressive lenses from Visionworks. They are a temporary solution but the very narrow band for near and intermediate areas makes me long for something better.

    So will you explain the process necessary to fit pilots in the X? I would very much like to be able to explain to my optometrist what I need in order to see better at work in the cockpit!

    Thank You in advance….


    • Wow. You certainly have tried many avenues. I’m not surprised about your experience with the VisionWorks pair. Inexpensive multifocals are almost invariably frustrating.

      The X should be able to work with your environment. What might be necessary is adjusting the power of the reading zone to make sure your midrange power is at the right vertical placement for your panels.

      They overall key may be to have a pair exclusively for flying and the. A separate pair for everyday use.

      Your prescription actually quite close to mine. Having a slightly smaller vertical measurement on your frames would probably also help. The taller vertical from your pupil to the bottom of the frame will cause your reading and midrange zones to fall unusually low.


  17. Thx for the quick reply…I will definitely be trying the X once I find a trustworty optometrist in the area 🙂 Any chance you could explain the comment below though? I’m not sure I understand….How does changing the power of the lower reading zone have any effect on the vertical placement of the midrange? Isn’t the reading power simply your prescription?

    “What might be necessary is adjusting the power of the reading zone to make sure your midrange power is at the right vertical placement for your panels.”

    Thx again for the help!


    • This is where progressives get a little confusing to the layperson. Basically your reading correction is the power necessary for you to read at your preferred distance. For most that’s 16 inches from your nose.

      Most progressive designs have a fixed corridor length. That is to say that the full reading correction occurs “x” amount of millimeters below your pupil.

      The Varilux X design uses a variable corridor where a computer algorithm decides where to put the reading based on how much space the frames allows for.

      I hope this helps!


  18. What was the conclusion regarding the X’s yellow tint?

    I am having trouble seeing my computer monitor without putting my neck at an uncomfortable angle after switching from a Hoya ECP to an ECP IQ and raising the seg height from 23 to 23.5 (the RX change was minimal). I have raised my seat, lowered the monitor, but now the ergonomics of sitting higher than my desk are a problem. I also couldn’t see the TV screen on the back of an international flight without lifting my head because I couldn’t get far enough away from it. I was considering the X until I read about the yellow tint! I do not want my lenses to have any visible tint to them, either to me while wearing or to someone looking at me. I have worn conventional progressives for 12+ years (Hoya CD before this) and had AR coatings for even longer. I’ve had no problem with any of the tints, and am willing to stay away from blue blocking lenses. Please advise whether the X is a good choice for my vision problem and what I should do regarding tint (no yellow or any other color tint!). Thank you!


  19. What was the conclusion regarding the X’s yellow tint?

    I am having trouble seeing my computer monitor without putting my neck at an uncomfortable angle after switching from a Hoya ECP to an ECP IQ and raising the seg height from 23 to 23.5 (the RX change was minimal). I have raised my seat, lowered the monitor, but now the ergonomics of sitting higher than my desk are a problem. I also couldn’t see the TV screen on the back of an international flight without lifting my head because I couldn’t get far enough away from it. I was considering the X until I read about the yellow tint! I do not want my lenses to have any visible tint to them, either to me while wearing or to someone looking at me. I have worn conventional progressives for 12+ years (Hoya CD before this) and had AR coatings for even longer. I’ve had no problem with any of the tints, and am willing to stay away from blue blocking lenses. Please advise whether the X is a good choice for my vision problem and what I should do regarding tint (no yellow or any other color tint!). Thank you!


    • So sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner! For some reason this got spam filtered. The X design is a very versatile lens, and the way it handles the interchange between near and intermediate distances with the “pock marked” powers should help your situation.

      However, there does become a point with all prescriptions where the small power shifts in reading correction eventually has a detrimental impact on how well the intermediate zone works. I’d love to see your prescription, to gather whether this may be part of the problem you’ve been experiencing.


  20. What’s the difference in the reading, mid and distance areas between the Varilux X and the Shamir Autograph III lens? Do each of these channels extend all the way across the lens and are they the same width? Are there soft spots where seeing is not focused or as focused? I’ve worn Physio 360s for 10 years, so which progressive lens has the best peripheral vision as well? What is the correct optical distance for a laptop use? Is it arm’s length? Thanks.


  21. I am ready to get my first pair of progressives but know very little about them. My optician recommended Varilux X lenses, but after add-ons for Crizal anti-glare and high index, the cost seems very high even with insurance coverage. At Costco, a rep told me their Kirkland brand digital progressives are equivalent to Varilux (at 1/3 of the cost quoted by my optician). However, when I called back to ask a follow-up question, a different rep contradicted this, saying he wasn’t going to “upsell” and told me some prior Varilux wearers can’t tell the difference but others can. Do you have any thoughts on this? Thanks!


    • I have a lot of thoughts on this. They are playing a word game with you. Varilux is a brand with dozens of lens designs. Some of these designs are exceptionally modern and advanced, such as the X Design. Others have been made virtually unchanged for decades. The Costco product is much more akin to wearing a lens design from the 1980s or 90s than it is the X. I’ve worn 65 different lens designs so far. The Costco product is wearable but the experience in the intermediate and near are nothing at all like the X. They are narrow both from side to side and from top to bottom. And the peripheral distortion is much more noticeable with a distinct swim sensation which can make the world rock and tilt as you move your head from side to side. The X with Crizal costs more for a reason and it’s not the Costco bulk rate. It’s a quantitatively better design. And the Crizal anti-reflective coatings are far more scratch resistant and easier to keep clean.

      There is no free lunch. You get what you pay for.


    • Varilux makes several tiers of progressive lenses. They make Comfort, Physio and X. In each group there are different models. The X is the newest and best.

      I think the Costco progressive is decent but not as good as the Varilux X. It’s more compatible to the lower Varilux progressives. The X has an outstanding distance area and really shines when it comes to the intermediate area.

      I don’t know what your insurance is, but if you have VSP you can get the X for $120 to $150 a pair. I think they are worth it but if that’s too much money consider the Physio progressives. They are cheaper but still excellent. I don’t think the intermediate area is quite as good if you use a desktop though.

      As for the Crizal Non glare antireflective (AR) it is much better than the Costco AR. The main issue people have with AR is they get dirty fast and are hard to clean. Crizal AR is much easier to clean long term and stays clean longer. It’s also more scratch resistant and has a great scratch warranty.


  22. Pingback: Why do we lose vision at 40? | THE OPTICAL JEDI: A GUIDE TO THE MYSTERIES OF GLASSES

    • Hi there Helena. Are you reading physical paper? Is it in book form or 8 1/2×11? Also if you could let me know a bit more about your prescription. For example without glasses on, is your vision better up close or in the distance?


      • Hi
        I’m reading physical paper, in book form.
        My prescription is:
        Right eye: sphere +0.5 and cilinder +1,00 (100º)
        Left eye: cilinder +1,00 (85º)
        Add P.P +0,75 (on two eyes for reading)
        I have astigmatism and hipermetropy


  23. Pingback: Full Review of Varilux Comfort Max | THE OPTICAL JEDI: A GUIDE TO THE MYSTERIES OF GLASSES

  24. Hi, what are your thoughts about the varilux X for people with eye stabismus?
    I’ve had the condition since a young age, and have been wearing an executive bifocal ever since (almost 20 years). I do a lot of computer work and have the bottom part modified for intermediate distance only.
    It’s the bottom part of the glasses which controls my esotropia.
    Have you ever had eye strabismus candidates for any sort of progressive lenses ?


    • Hi Jason,

      Thanks for the question!

      I have found that patients with strabismus or any kind of prism related prescription can have problems with certain progressives. So far, I’ve found the X design is less consistently good for those patients like you. I would probably recommend a Physio W3+ for you, depending on if you are near sighted or far sighted for your distance prescription.


  25. Hi,
    I got the X about 4 weeks ago.
    prescription is
    OD: -5.25 -0.25 010
    OS: -6.25 -0.25 130
    Add +2.25
    with crizal alize and transitions active coatings.

    went from a single vision
    OD: -4.75 -0.5 010
    OS: -6.25 -0.25 130

    I have adjusted to the floating effect after about two weeks, but I do notice a few issues:
    – distance vision is good but seems to have less clarity than my SV lenses. my eyes seem to take time to focus. watching tv or driving seems to cause eye strain.
    – night vision seems not very bright. lenses contain the crizal alize coating
    – intermediate range especially viewing a computer monitor is bad. I have to switch a computer specific lenses. I am disappointed because I work on the computer for 8 to 10hrs a day.

    After wearing the X while watching TV or driving and switching to the previous SV glasses, my eyes just seem to relax .

    any suggestions ? should I go back to the earlier prescription ?? should I just give up on progressives. This is my first progressives by the way.


  26. Have had vera lux for over 15 years or more with no problems. The new ones and new prescription are sharp but the text is faded as though a filter has been added or a very thin pair of dark glasses, I have no other way to explain it any comments about this from anyone?


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