The Best Places To Buy Glasses Online
Coastal is now part of EssilorLuxottica-owned Eyebuydirect, which we continue to recommend as the first place to check when shopping for prescription eyeglasses online.
Depending on your needs and preferences, you can save hundreds of dollars by buying prescription eyeglasses online instead of through an optician. After performing more than 100 hours of research over three years, talking to eight eye-care professionals, and testing dozens of comparable frame-and-lens pairings from 10 retailers since 2017, we recommend that you start your online glasses search at Eyebuydirect. It offers an extensive, easy-to-search selection of quality frames, multiple lens and coating options, and affordable prices when compared with the prominent competition.
What To Know Before Buying Eyeglasses
The cheap prices from online retailers are certainly alluring. But if you plan on ordering from a site like Zenni Optical or EyeBuyDirect, youll first need to get your vision checked by an eye doctor to get an updated prescription.
Youll also need to find out your pupillary distance , which is the space between the centers of your pupils, expressed in millimeters. Certain frames will not work with certain P.D.s because the center of the lenses will either be too wide or too narrow. You need a fit thats just right.
If your P.D. is already noted on your prescription, you are good to go. If its not noted, many doctors will provide this information upon request.
Is It Okay To Buy Prescription Glasses Online
If you have a complicated prescription, skip out on buying glasses online. These types of prescriptions are better dealt with at an optometrists office.
However, if you have a standard prescription or are shopping for reading glasses, buying prescription glasses online is safe. Just know that youll need to have an up-to-date prescription unless the retailer youre shopping with offers virtual eye exams.
For those in need of affordable glasses in a pinch, buying glasses online comes with a handful of perkssuch as fast, free shipping, convenient shopping, and a wide selection of items to choose from.
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Zenni User Reviews And Ratings
Consumer Affairs has plenty of praise for Zenni with a rating that averages over 4 out of 5 stars based on nearly 900 reviews. Comments include, For the quality and the price of Zenni, they can’t be beaten. The website is great too. It’s very easy to use, and, Very accommodating. I ordered two glasses I felt were incorrect for me and I was given various options about replacing them. I was also given great suggestions and information on how to better purchase glasses in the future. Wonderful experience.
Its the same story on Trust Pilot, with an average score of 4.6 out of 5 stars across the 127,000 reviews, 83% of which are 5 out of 5 stars. Feedback includes: I was hesitant to try Zenni but decided I couldn’t lose because of their pricing. I will NEVER get glasses from anyone but Zenni Optical. Two pair of glasses cost 50% less than one pair with insurance. More importantly, I can see perfectly!
However, there were a handful of less favorable reviews, some of which were complaining about the prescription not being right, while others were not happy about the returns and refund policy. The complaints were professionally dealt with by Zenni who offered lengthy replies to the dissatisfied customers.
Payment Options And Costs
Once a person selects their frames and lenses, they can often pay the full cost upfront or split repayments over several months. Companies will offer varying payment options and terms and conditions.
Some insurance plans will cover some or all of the costs of frames and lenses. A person may wish to check their policy or contact their insurer to confirm their coverage.
If an individuals insurance does not cover costs, a health savings account may. An HSA is a tax-free savings account from banks and insurers that allows people to pay for eligible medical expenses, such as lenses and contacts, with its funds.
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How To Buy Eyeglasses Online
Eyeglasses.com has the largest selection of eyeglasses on the planet. Shopping online for a complete pair of eyeglasses from one of the top brands like Ray Ban and Gucci has never been easier. Why visit a Lenscrafters store and pay the inflated retail price for new frames when you can you can get massive selection and much lower prices at this website? Why pay full price for eyewear when you can get the perfect pair right here? We have more frames styles than any other store, and you can compare frame styles before you buy. Sure, get your comprehensive eye exam at any eye doctor We offer prescription lenses or clear lenses, frames only or as non prescription sunglasses. We also offer the largest lens selection online, including blue blocking lenses with a blue light filtering coating, anti reflective coatings, with every possible variation of high quality lenses options, lenses brands, reading glasses, lenses coatings and lenses features. In fact, we offer so many different lenses and service that customer often call us to help them decide, and then we do the checkout for them. Unlike other online glasses retailers, we provide personal service on every order to us, buying online glasses is the same as if you walked into our store.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
Eyebuydirect reported data breaches in 2015, 2018, and 2019. Following the most recent incident, reported in October 2019, the company issued a letter to customers stating that it was not sure whether any shoppers personal information had been compromised, and recommending that people monitor their credit card statements for suspected fraudulent activities. This, of course, is not ideal. But considering how common such occurrences are in e-commerce, we view these events as unfortunate but not necessarily disqualifying. In 2021, the company offered customers who reported fraudulent activity on credit cards associated with purchases at Eyebuydirect a year of free identity detection and identity-theft resolution services, a spokesperson wrote in an email. We will continue to monitor Eyebuydirects response to the situation.
The company always offers a 20% discount for students and veterans this may or may not be better than another coupon and cannot be combined with other offers.
Although Eyebuydirect generally has strong Better Business Bureau customer reviews, some customer reviewers have cited poor customer service.
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How We Review The Best Places To Buy Glasses Online
Our reviews team performs in-depth, independent research to help inform your online search for glasses. We gather data like cost and payment options, shipping and return policies, and the variety of lenses and frames offered from each retailer. We also mystery shop the services ourselves to evaluate customer features like virtual try-on, at-home try-on, overall customer service, online vision exams, and consultations with professionals. To better understand a brands reputation, we read customer experiences on trusted third-party review websites like Trustpilot and the BBB.
Finally, we have our data independently fact-checked to make sure that its accurate and up to date. We also submit all articles about online glasses or contacts purchased online for medical review by an expert in optometry or ophthalmology to make sure that our reviews are scientifically accurate.
The Best Online Eyeglasses Stores
Posted on – Last updated: March 10, 2021
Looking for a new pair of specs? Explore our compiled list of online eyeglasses stores that offer a wide range of selections. You’ll surely find the perfect pair with this extensive list.
Getting a new pair of specs has never been easier than online shopping. Keep in mind though that you need to know your prescription and pupillary distance or simply the space between your eyes. Once you have these, you are set to go through the web and discover plenty of choices. Theyre pretty cheaper too.
To help you get your next pair of eyeglasses, here are 19 sites where you can browse and compare.
How We Chose The Best Places To Buy Prescription Glasses Online
As glasses-wearers ourselves, the Forbes Vetted team members who assembled, edited and continue to update this list know what it takes to find the right pair of glasses. We spent hours researching each companys reputation and what they offer in terms of selection, value, insurance eligibility, return policy and turnaround time. We also throughly browsed each site to test out the user-friendliness of the glasses-buying process and discover special features like virtual or at-home try-ons and prescription renewals. Finally, we enlisted the help of eye care expert Dr. Sandra Young, OD, to share expert tips on choosing and buying the right glasses for you.
Framesdirect User Reviews And Ratings
There are mixed reviews for FramesDirect online, with most of the glowing reports found at Trust Pilot. User review comments include, My Oakley Airdrop prescription glasses came in sooner than expected and at a great price. So much cheaper than my local eyecare place. I bought my last two sets of glasses through FramesDirect and will continue buying them from here going forward. The support team at FramesDirect is quick to respond to positive feedback.
Over at SiteJabber there are complaints about slow delivery times and the refund policy. However, SiteJabber only features 40 reviews, while TrustPilot holds nearly 25,000 FramesDirect user reviews, with 80% of those being 5 out of 5 stars.
If you don’t have the budget for designer eyeglasses or are just looking for a cheap pair of glasses to use as a back-up, then DiscountGlasses could be your go-to site. The online glasses brand focuses mainly on cheap frames, so you wont have any surprises at checkout, knowing from the start that youre shopping within your budget.
Even though were mainly looking at cheap frames here, during our review process we were still able to find some very stylish eyeglasses for less, which goes to show that expensive doesnt always equal the best. That said, if you do want designer glasses without the luxury price tag, there isnt a big selection at DiscountGlasses, so check out some of the others on our list such as GlassesUSA and FramesDirect.
Can You Return Prescription Glasses Bought Online
If your online prescription eyeglasses dont work for you, reputable retailers should exchange them, provide a full or partial refund, or give you store credit. Not every company offers the same length of time for you to decide, so check before you buy.
For example, Zenni Optical gives you 30 days to call for a return authorization and offers a 30-day warranty. Some firms give you a full year, but they often require that the prescription glasses must be returned in unused condition.
If youre having trouble seeing with the eyeglasses you ordered online, take them to the optometrist who initially examined your eyes. Ask them to inspect the glasses for accuracy. In rare cases, youll discover that your prescription needs adjusting or your lenses were made incorrectly.
Are Online Glasses Lower Quality
First things first: its possible to get high-quality and low-quality glasses from the same shop. Its all about the frames you choose and if you opt for add-on coatings. So, to answer it simply, no, online glasses arent necessarily lower in quality. At the end of the day, its your choice as to how much you spend.
Youll find that some of the best places to buy glasses online have frames for just $30. If you choose a pair of these frames, and standard lenses without protection, you may find that the lenses will scratch and peel quickly.
On the other hand, choosing designer glasses means your frames will likely be higher quality from the get-go. But again, its up to you to add on the protective coatings. These can range in price from $10-$40 a pop.
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What You Need To Buy Eyeglasses Online
According to advice published by the American Optometric Association, all adults aged 65 and under should have an in-person eye exam at least every two years. It also points out that eye examinations arent just about figuring out whether you need vision correction, such as prescription glasses, but to look at all aspects of your eye health.
The Association also argues that online vision tests can be misleading or inaccurate, and that a proper eye exam with a qualified optometrist is the only way to be sure of your current eye health.
Many people have an in-store eye test, then seek out the best eyeglasses online that can accommodate their new prescription, simply because prices are cheaper.
In order to buy glasses online, you will need to know your pupillary distance, also known as your PD number, and this isnt also stated on your prescription. Pupillary distance is the length in millimeters between your pupils or from your pupils to the center of the bridge of your nose .
The stronger your eyeglasses prescription, the more vital it is that the lenses are lined up accurately in front of your eye. Online glasses retailers should always ask for your PD when you place an order.
Best For Prescription Sunglasses: Liingo Eyewear
- Price: starting from $49
- Shipping: around 2 weeks
- Returns: 60-day returns policy
Liingo Eyewear offers a large selection of glasses, sunglasses, and accessories. The company sells prescription lenses ranging from -14.00 to +6.00 sphere and cylinder ranges between -3.75 and 3.75.
Reviews on its website are mostly positive, and the company has an A+ rating with the BBB.
Pros and cons
Liingo Eyewear offers a virtual try-on option, free in-home trials, an option to assist in finding the right frame for customers, and an in-app prescription reader that can scan a persons glasses to find their prescription.
Liingo offers free shipping and 60-day returns, and frame adjustment reimbursements.
However, it does not provide any long-term warranties.
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A Budget Optionsort Of
Its possible to score a great pair of prescription eyeglasses from Zenni. And judging by customer reviews, as well as our own testing, many people do. But this retailer offers only store credit or partial refunds for returns, making it a higher-risk choice.
If youre comfortable taking a risk on a retailer that offers an inferior return policy, you may be surprised at how little you need to spend at Zenni Optical for prescription glasses that are on a par with those youd receive from an optician. Despite Zennis ultra-low prices, we found that it surpassed our expectations, sometimes impressively so. A tester who ordered $19 glasses from Zenni was perfectly pleased with them. Another tester preferred the $149 progressive-prescription glasses she received from Zenni to the comparable, $295 pair from a competitor. Zennis frame selection is the largest of all the companies we tested. If the glasses you order from Zenni dont work for you, though, prepare to accept store credit or just half of your money back, excluding shipping.
The Best Places To Buy Glasses
Whether you prefer shopping online or in a store, my research shows that Costco Optical and Zenni Optical are two of the best places to buy glasses, though they arent the only retailers worth considering.
In fact, there are a lot of things to consider before you decide where to buy glasses. Some of the most important factors include the quality of frames and lenses, services, the total price, customer service and accessibility.
Based on these qualities and my research in July 2022, here are eight of the best places to order eyeglasses.
|Cheapest eye exam
As you can see, some starting costs for single-vision lenses are $0. At these retailers, the cost of single-vision plastic lenses is included in the cost of the frames.
Below, youll find additional information on each retailer including details about the selection, how to shop for the best deals and how to place an order online.
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Clarks Advice For People Who Have Never Bought Glasses Online
When you order online, you shouldnt expect much customer service after the sale. For example, theres no one you can go to wholl adjust the fit if the frames arent comfortable. So recognize that there are some trade-offs.
But again, youll usually pay a fraction of the price with online sellers versus traditional retailers.
Clark wears progressive lenses he bought online and says hes never had a problem with ordering glasses this way. But if this is the first time youre buying glasses online, you may have some reservations.
In that case, try this advice from Clark:
I recommend a safe harbor until youre comfortable. I want you to pay too much for your first pair buying them the traditional way to satisfy your fears. Then buy a second pair with a cheap online shop. Compare the two to see if the cheaper pair will work for you moving forward.
Check Out Our Blog: Discover New Ideas
We invite you to explore our blog. It includes articles covering the latest eyewear fashion trends, eye health, and much more. Eyewear fashion blogger, Clodagh Norton, keeps reading glasses up to date with the newest frames, styles, and color pallets, while optometrist Dr. Eric Buensuceso provides facts, tips, and tricks around eye care, as well as dos and donts to keep your eyes as healthy as possible. Our Promise to You Each pair of ReadingGlasses.com reading glasses comes with a complimentary case to protect your new frames, along with a free microfiber cloth to help keep them clean and scratch-free. Youll also find a selection of pamphlets with each shipment covering both general topics like adjusting & positioning your readers, caring for your new glasses, and style-specific information to help you enjoy your new reading eyeglasses to the fullest beginning day one.
Lastly, you can feel good about your purchase when you buy reading glasses from ReadingGlasses.com. We offer free shipping and returns on all orders, so its risk-free to try a new pair of reading glasses from our handpicked collection. If for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase, your eyewear is completely covered by Customer Delight Promise – just one of many reasons to choose us.
Were dedicated to giving you the best online reading glasses shopping experience on the web. Period. Give us a try and let us know how we do. The Ultimate Reading Glasses Collection
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