The Best Online Eyeglasses On A Budget: Zenni
Zennis pricing has always been hard to beat, but as the company has expanded its range of styles and options, itd be hard to recommend that online glasses shoppers looking to save money go anywhere else. Zenni also has the best shopping tools and prescription management of any of the online glasses retailers we looked at, and its prescription entry tool was the most flexible of the bunch, even letting you manage multiple orders for different members of a family. If Zennis styles work for you, you really cant lose.
What We Didnt Like About Roka
Roka is relatively expensive compared to many of the other brands we checked out, with a fully decked-out pair of photochromic progressives costing around $750. While this is probably offset for most potential buyers by the fact its actually pretty hard to find good performance eyewear even at most brick-and-mortars, especially if you dont like the sci-fi look of Oakelys offerings, keep in mind that you wont save a ton of money over the in-store experience.
As of this writing it appears that Roka has discontinued its in-home try-out option, which we appreciated during the shopping process.
Best For A Budget: Payne Glasses
- Price: starting from $5.95
- Shipping: up to 3 weeks
- Returns: 30-day returns policy
Payne Glasses offer several styles of frames and glasses for adults and children.
The company sells multifocal, progressive, single lens, blue light, and high-index lenses. It also provides a large variety of colors, materials, and shapes, including nautical, steampunk, and helmet frames.
The company has an A+ rating and receives an average rating of 4.73 out of 5 stars on the BBB website.
Pros and cons
Payne features guides that teach customers how to read their prescription and pupillary distance.
Unlike other competitors, Payne does not provide free shipping. The standard package offers a conditional 30-day return policy that excludes shipping costs. Alternatively, people can upgrade to a risk-free warranty package that offers up to two exchanges within 30 days and one exchange within 6 months of delivery.
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What Is The Best Place To Buy Glasses Online
It really depends on what you’re looking for in terms of frame style and pricing. Every store on this list is a good place to shop for glasses online, but the types of frames vary by store, with some stores offering more premium frames, which tend to cost more. Lens quality also can vary, and some stores offer faster delivery.
Do You Need A Valid Prescription To Buy Glasses Online
You can buy fashion eyeglasses and regular sunglasses without a prescription. But yes, youll need a current prescription to buy eyeglasses that correct your vision. If you dont have a copy or are confused about which numbers mean what, many of the best eyeglasses online companies can contact your eye doctors office to get that information.
Reputable online glasses stores strongly encourage customers to get regular eye exams. Some will even help you find a local eye doctor.
If you have excellent vision or wear contacts but like glasses for their stylish flair, you can buy non-prescription glasses online too. Youll typically still have to pay for the lenses, but non-prescription lenses cost much less than the corrective kind.
Some online glasses stores include basic non-prescription lenses for free when you purchase frames. Almost all eyeglasses retailers will let you upgrade non-prescription lenses with anti-reflective coating, anti-scratch coating or even UV protection. Obviously these cost more.
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What We Liked About Zenni
Zenni has been a consistently popular choice because it sells a full-featured pair of glasses for significantly less on average than its competitors. Its possible to get a pair with all the fixings premium, high-index progressive lenses, with the latest Transitions XtraActives photochromic treatment and a full suite of protective coatings for under $300, even before coupons or discounts. Plus, the company has made the shopping and ordering process among the simplest and most straightforward of all the retailers we looked at for this review.
The companys offerings have expanded over time, and while styles tend toward bright, fun colors and fashion-forward looks, you can get anything from classic wire rims to wraparound nylon activewear models at this point. Everything is well made, with quality fittings like spring hinges employed across the line. That said, Zennis glasses dont have the fine-tuned, substantial feel youd get from a luxury frame Zennis acetate finishing is not always up to the level of a Moscot or Salt frame, for instance but at the price is a whole lot of bang for the buck. The pairs we received were all solidly built, with no creaking or looseness, and adjustments were easy to make where needed. Nothing feels cheap here.
Zenni offers a limited selection of frames with single-vision prescriptions with a Fast Frame three-day delivery guarantee. But even outside of the models covered by the two-day offer, shipping is very fast .
Other Good Online Glasses Retailers
Long beloved for its alternative fit glasses for people with low nose bridges, Jins recently made its virtual try-on tool available for nearly all of the 500+ frames it carries. The virtual try-on tool is finicky, though, and the site navigation isnt intuitive, making it difficult to ensure that youve actually gotten to see all of the frame styles offered. But the frames we ordered were of high quality, and Jins shoppers in San Francisco and Los Angeles have the added benefit of visiting a few brick-and-mortar stores as well. Jins offers a 30-day free returns policy.
If you want to try on up to five frames at home, for free, consider Liingo Eyewear. Year after year, weve been consistently impressed by the companys in-home try-on service and the prescription pairs weve ordered. And Liingo has a 60-day return policy. However, we think most people will find more frame options and better values at Eyebuydirect and Zenni, where we found the virtual try-on tools more than sufficient.
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Best Places To Buy Glasses
There are a number of things to consider before you decide where to buy glasses, such as the quality of frames, accuracy of lenses, customer service, total price including shipping, the return and refund policies, and accessibility. Using these criteria and my research, here are eight of the best places to order eyeglasses.
As you will 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 details on each retailer including details about the selection, how to shop for the best deals, and how to place an order online.
Eye Exam Cost: $79 on averageEyeglasses start at: $120Best for: Customer service and quality
If youre a Costco member, youll find great prices on frames, lenses, and accessories at Costco Optical compared to other eyeglass shops and optometrists offices. Plus, the warehouse earns exceptional marks on price, follow-up service, quality of frames and lenses, and more from untold numbers of satisfied members. You join Costco online, however, you should know that you will need to activate your new membership in a Costco store. And youll get a Costco Shop Card as a welcome gift.
Costco Optical employs independent doctors of optometry whose offices are located within the store or next to it in most states. Anyone can get an eye exam at Costco and visit the eye doctor. And Costco accepts most health insurance plans.
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.
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What Do I Need Before I Buy Prescription Glasses Online
You’ll need to know your prescription and pupillary distance from your optometrist before you use an online glasses retailer — so make sure you get a hard copy the next time you get your vision checked. Be aware that sometimes optometrists won’t give your pupillary distance because they’ll say they want to measure you for a specific set of glasses. But insist on getting one. You can also measure PD yourself using an app on your smartphone or download a PD ruler that most online stores have with instructions on how to use it. Pupillary distance is key because when lenses are made it’s important to know where your eye is in relation to the center of the lens.
Once you have all that, most of these sites will let you input your numbers or upload a picture of the prescription from your phone the first time you buy something.
You can also pick up a device like the $99 EyeQue Vision Check to use your smartphone to check your vision and create a prescription that many online glasses stores will accept .
Best Shopping Experience: Felix + Iris
Price: $119 and up lenses included
Shipping: Free. Delivery takes 3 to 5 business days.
Returns: 30 days
Felix + Iris goes above and beyond to ensure that everything goes smoothly when youre shopping for new glasses. They allow you to select four pairs of glasses to try at home risk-free, provide free frame adjustments to make sure you have the perfect fit, and include free anti-reflective, scratch-resistant, and UV lens protection on all lenses. They also have consistent pricing, so you know exactly how much youre going to spend. Felix + Iris doesnt work directly with insurance providersmeaning youll have to pay in full and then file for reimbursement from your insurance companybut they do accept FSA and HSA payments.
Price: $69 and up single-vision lenses included
Shipping: Free. Delivery takes 14 days.
Returns: 60 days
If theres a company out there that really wants to be sure you love your new glasses, Liingo is it. Its website features both virtual try-on and Find My Fit tools to help you select the ideal frames, but if thats not enough, theyll send you up to five pairs to try at home completely risk-free. What really sets apart this site, however, is its 60-Day Delight Guarantee. You have a full 60 days to try out your new glasses, and if you dont love them, Liingo offers free returns, providing the most generous return policy out there. Here are another 14 stores with the absolute best return policies.
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Is There A Difference Between Cheap And Expensive Glasses
There most certainly isactually, there are quite a few differences between cheap and expensive glasses. First of all, cheap frames are usually made with lower-quality materials and they may not be as comfortable to wear.
Furthermore, cheap lenses wont come with additional protective coatings, so you may notice they dont last as long as your last expensive pair.
Heres the bottom line: even though its super convenient to buy cheap glassesand I appreciate that online companies are making glasses more accessibleyou may be better off with a more expensive pair if you can afford them.
After all, the more you spend on your glasses, the higher in quality theyll be and the longer they should last you . Fortunately, online glasses companies can offer the same types of treatments, coatings, frames, and lenses as your optometrist would, and getting help online is quick and easy.
Basically, you can get cheap and expensive glasses from the majority of online glasses retailers, its all about the frames you choose and the add-ons you pick.
Can I Return Prescription Glasses I Buy Online
Yes, sometimes prescription glasses don’t end up being perfect and may end up bothering your eyes. I once had a certain online store screw up the prescription in the left lens while the right one was correct. In many cases, you can return the glasses if you’re not satisfied, but make sure to read the fine print on the store’s return policy. Often, the store will remake the glasses for you or give you a full refund. However, certain sites only offer partial refunds.
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Other Online Glasses We Tested
Firmoo carries prescription glass frames, sunglasses, and blue-light glasses at low price points. The glasses I received from Firmoo were, style-wise, my favorite glasses of the bunch, but ultimately we found their try-on options and interface to be middle of the road.
Firmoos website offers a lot of search criteria so you can refine your search, which helps narrow down their stock, and they also carry a wide assortment of sunglasses that you can add your prescription lenses to.
Ultimately, we were pretty pleased with Firmoo, and would recommend checking them out if you want a similar ordering experience and web matrix to EyeBuyDirect.
Choosing the right pair of eyeglasses when you’re shopping online takes a few extra steps than picking one up at your eye doctor’s office.
The Best Places To Buy Glasses Online
After additional testing, including ordering glasses with single-vision and photochromic prescription lenses, we still think Eyebuydirect and Zenni Optical are the best online glasses retailers for most people.
People who want to use certain vision insurance benefits without having to file a claim after purchase, or folks who want the option to buy or get frames fitted in a store, may prefer ordering from Lenscrafters or Target Optical, which also offer online-only ordering.
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 120 hours of research over four years, talking to eight eye-care professionals, and testing dozens of comparable frame-and-lens pairings from 12 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.
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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.
Of The Best Places To Buy Glasses Online For Cheap
If you wear glasses, you know first-hand just how frustrating it can be to buy a new pair of frames. Chances are your doctors office has a slim selection of styles, and what they do have is overpriced and not always in style.
Before you purchase new glasses online, youll need a copy of your most recent glasses prescription. .
Youll also want to learn how to measure your PD, or pupillary distance. Its the distance in millimeters between the center of one pupil to the center of the other. This measurement ensures that youre looking through the ideal spot in your lenses.
Lastly, just remember to check with your insurance provider first in order to know what type of frames, lenses, and costs are covered by your health insurance plan.
If youre in the market for a new pair of frames, but dont want to lighten your wallet, weve pulled together a list of reliable easy-to-use sites to buy glasses. Weve also got a guide to the best places to buy contacts online for cheap, in case youve retired your old frames.
Below, 7 of the best places to buy glasses online for cheap:
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Can You Find Glasses Of Good Quality Online
Glasses of all qualities are sold online. Designer frames with top of the line lenses and scratch-resistant coatings are as easy to find as bargain frames with glass lenses. While price doesnt always reflect quality, $6 frames arent likely to last for five years. Retailers with at-home try-on policies let you get your hands on the frames, so you can really see and feel how well the frames are made.