Lens Comparisons

ZEISS vs. Varilux progressive lenses

Interested in selling independent eyewear such as ZEISS? We can help you get started by providing comparisons to common good, better, best Varilux progressive lenses.
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Published 5.31.2022

As an independent provider your goal is to offer patients the best available eye care. We believe that eyewear is eye care. It's important to ensure you're putting your patients in the absolute best lenswear for their corrective needs. We think eye care professionals should be as informed as possible in making these decisions. That’s we're comparing various progressive lenses on the market. Today we’re taking a look at ZEISS vs. Varilux progressive lenses.

Which is better: ZEISS or Varilux?

In this lens comparison we’ll stack up ZEISS progressive lenses against Varilux lenswear. Varilux, as you probably know, has a dominant position in the progressive lens market, borne of decades of excellent lens design and thoughtful patient education. Clearly, we’re not here to insult Varilux or EssilorLuxottica; they make great progressive lenses, anti-reflective coatings, and are the standard bearer in photochromic lenses with Transitions.

So why use ZEISS? After nearly 150 years of experience in crafting world class lenses they represent the state of the art of lens manufacturing, and premium eyewear. Both companies support independent eye care by making their lenswear available to independent ECPs so that patients have options to choose from; our goal is to make you a more effective eye care provider by laying those options out side by side.

ZEISS works with and owns independent labs to provide quality lenswear that holds up to other options on the market. The technology in ZEISS progressives and Varilux lenses are, for the most part, similar. However, there are certainly differences between the ways ZEISS and EssilorLuxottica use technology and educate their consumers.

Keep scrolling to learn more about how ZEISS progressive lenses compare against Varilux lenswear.

ZEISS vs. Varilux progressive lens comparison chart
How ZEISS and Varilux progressive lenses compare

ZEISS or Varilux progressive lenses?

So, many of the technologies you’ll find in both ZEISS and Varilux progressive lenses are similar. But, how do they match up in a good, better, best framework?

Let’s take a look:

Good lens: ZEISS Progressive Choice

ZEISS Choice is an entry-level, semi-finished progressive that offers patients a new level of progressive performance at an affordable price. The comparable lens from EssilorLuxottica’s line of progressives is the Varilux Comfort DRx.

ZEISS Choice offers corridor lengths with “in-between” fitting heights for patients who may not be a perfect fit for “standard-corridor” or “short-corridor” lenses. The four available fitting heights are:

  • 13 mm.
  • 15 mm.
  • 17 mm.
  • 19 mm.

Additionally, ZEISS Choice offers wearers ZEISS’s patented back-surface freeform technology that optimizes for the prescription. By optimizing for patient prescriptions and fitting heights, this lens overcomes the limitations of other semi-finished base curve designs that can lead to visual compromises. As a result, wearers enjoy larger fields of distance, intermediate and near, as well as consistent high performance across the full prescription range.

Similarly, the Varilux Comfort DRx is a more affordable premium-level progressive lens. The backside-surfaced lens includes Proprietary Essilor Digital Surface Process Control technology that offers wearers exceptional precision and accuracy. It also features Customized Near Vision Technology according to patients' prescriptions, in order to keep their heads and eyes comfortable while reading. The Varilux Comfort DRx comes in standard- and short-corridor varieties.

Better lens: ZEISS Progressive GT2

In the good, better, best framework, ZEISS GT2 is the mid-tier progressive lens option. The comparable Varilux product is the Varilux Physio W3+.

ZEISS GT2 is the lens vendor’s all-time best-selling semi-finished progressive lens. The lens offers a number of features, including ZEISS Optical Optimization and Management (ZOOM) Technology. ZOOM Technology controls lens design point by point to minimize the high- and low-order aberrations created by changing curvature. This makes for clearer viewing zones, smoother transitions and quicker adaptations.

Additionally, more than 14,000 presbyopes were evaluated for visual-behavior patterns in order to determine the physiologically optimum position for the near- and intermediate-viewing zones. This was done to facilitate more natural eye movement and greater comfort for near- and mid-range tasks. The lens also offers ZEISS’s patented Horizontal Symmetry, which improves binocular vision at nearly every viewing angle.

Other innovations include virtually distortion-free distance vision above the 180 line, total aberration control for accurate powers and smoother transitions, and corridor lengths determined by proprietary ergonomic research. Additionally, GT2 Short by ZEISS is designed for smaller frames with fitting heights as low as 13mm. This unique short-corridor lens offers uncompromised distance and reading vision at all fitting heights.

EssilorLuxottica’s comparable progressive lens product features similar technologies such as W.A.V.E. 2 Technology, designed to reduce distortions based on prescriptions and customize wavefront correction to patients’ needs. Varilux Physio W3+ also features SynchronEyes Technology. This innovation offers wearers smooth transitions from near to far.

In addition, this lens also includes Customizable Near Vision Technology. Backed by the patented Live Optics R&D process, Varilux Physio W3+ lenses are tested on real wearers in real-life conditions to ensure better functionality.

Best lens: ZEISS SmartLife Progressive Individual

The top ZEISS progressive lens in the good, better, best framework is ZEISS SmartLife Individual. These lenses are for people with presbyopia who live connected, on-the-go lifestyles. Its closest comparison among EssilorLuxottica’s line of progressives is the Varilux X Series, particularly the Varilux X Fit.

ZEISS’ top progressive lens is designed for the frequent changes in head and eye position that come with using a handheld device in everyday life. This bespoke product features innovations that match each lens to individual patients’ corrective needs. IndividualFit Technology ensures the best natural vision for patients’ daily activities and Face Fit Technology optimizes the individual position of wear parameters to maximize lens zones.

ZEISS SmartLife Individual includes a number of additional innovations such as Adaption Control Technology, a FrameFit Calculator for faster adaptation, and FrameFit Technology, for nearly unlimited choice of frame sizes and shapes. Additionally, the top-tier lens offers wearers Digital Inside Technology, which optimizes the near zone for better digital reading; Luminance Design Technology, which ensures the best vision for day and night; SmartView Technology, which is built to adapt to today’s connected, on-the-move world; and Rx Customization adapted to the patients’ prescription for wider fields of view.

The Varilux X Series is the closest comparison to ZEISS SmartLife Individual progressives, with the available Varilux X Fit as a bespoke option. The Varilux X Series are dual-surfaced lenses that feature some of EssilorLuxottica’s top progressive lens innovations.

Similar to other Varilux progessive lenses, the Varilux X Series includes W.A.V.E. 2 Technology to minimize distortion and eliminate swim. This helps to reduce any “off-balance” feeling. Additionally, like the Varilux Physio W3+, this lens offers wearers SynchronEyes Technology, which calculates the left and right lenses as a pair for higher clarity across both.

Unique to the Varilux X Series is Xtend Technology. This addition assists with reducing head movement for tasks within arms reach. Additionally, the Varilux X Fit uses personalized measurements and prescription modification for maximum lens performance.

Prospering with progressive lenses at your optical

Interested in how your patients will take to different lenses than you've been using? Or are you already offering product specific promotions and looking for a way to drum up more interest in your optical? Anagram has created the toolkit to help you build the private pay focused practice you've always wanted. Your Viewtopia.

It becomes much easier to sell multiple pairs when you’re offering patients an instant rebate on their purchases. With Anagram Prosper you can do exactly that—without compromising your profitability or standard of care.

With Prosper you can send patients instant rebates on all major lens manufactureres and designs manufactured at local labs near you. We reach exclusive pricing agreements with labs that work with vendors such as ZEISS with the goal of obtaining the best pricing available for independent ECPs and to create an industry first, instant patient rebate on independent eyewear at independent practices.

Let us know if you want to start sending patients rebates on ZEISS, Varilux, Hoya, Shamir, Nikon, IOT, or any other lenswear!

Connor McGann
Connor McGann, Content Marketing Manager
Connor McGann is Anagram's content marketing manager. He joined Anagram in February 2020. Previously he was a finance writer and animation project manager at a marketing agency, and managed content for a live chat provider that serviced various industries including health care and plastic surgery.

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