Where Is The Best Place To Buy Prescription Glasses
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.
where is the best place to buy prescription glasses
Zenni Optical has proved to be an industry disrupter when it comes to buying prescription glasses. The online-only retailer offers the absolute lowest prices on plastic frames and includes the cost of single-vision plastic lenses in those prices. The cost of progressive lenses is equally surprising.
EyeBuyDirect is another one of the best places to buy glasses online. As long as you already have a valid prescription from your eye doctor, you can save a ton of money by shopping at EyeBuyDirect. Plus, like Warby Parker, for every pair that you buy, another pair is donated.
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.
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.
When we ordered my glasses (metal-and-plastic frames filled with comparatively stronger Rx lenses), we found that two retailers, Eyebuydirect and GlassesUSA, required that we order more-expensive lenses based on the prescription (costing an extra $79 and $70, respectively). Firmoo and Zenni allowed us to order basic lenses, with the option to upgrade.
Wondering what happens to returned spectacles? We asked each of the retailers we tested what they did with unwanted prescription glasses. Liingo said it reuses returned frames for its in-home try-on services, as well as donates glasses to various organizations. Eyebuydirect, Firmoo, GlassesUSA, and Warby Parker all said they partner with charities to distribute glasses to those in need. Zenni donates them to Lions Clubs International.
Eyebuydirect offers two-day delivery on single-vision prescription glasses in more than 300 frame options, for an additional fee of $19 (though you can usually pay less with a coupon code). We tried this service and were pleasantly surprised to receive our order within 33 hours of placing it.
In 2020, we ordered the exact same glasses that we ordered in 2019 to evaluate consistency. We were pleasantly surprised to note that not only was the prescription perfect, but the glasses were also slightly less expensive the second time around, thanks to the recent uptick in Zenni coupon codes.
Lensabl says it can put Rx lenses in any frames for these flat rates. To test this claim, I bought an $8 pair of foldable reading glasses (currently unavailable). Within two weeks of sending the frames and prescription to Lensabl, I had a pair of perfectly prescribed folding eyeglasses for less than $100.
Most LensCrafters locations have a clinic attached to them, where eye exams can be done and ensure your glasses have an updated prescription. LensCrafters accepts insurance for purchases online and in their store.
For those wanting an inexpensive, no-fuss online option to buy glasses, 39DollarGlasses.com is right up your alley. The website offers frame and lens bundles starting at $39 for single vision and reading glasses. They have a selection of kids glasses, as well as prescription sunglasses and contact lenses.
As far as lenses go, choose single vision, no-line progressives or non-prescription readers. You can also select different lens materials, from thin polycarbonate to lower-cost plastic, as well as optional upgrades like digital light protection or scratch-resistant coating. And before your order goes through, an optician will review everything to make sure you picked the best selections for your prescription.
Frames with non-prescription lenses are $50 while the rest range from $90 to $290 with single-vision (or reader or non-prescriptive) lenses included. Progressives tack on an extra $120 and special tints and transitional lenses are also an extra $120. For those wanting blue light blocking lenses, they cost either $30 or $60, depending on the type: Screen Daily Use lenses block 25% of blue light and Screen Heavy Use block 40%. And a final heads up for ordering: Unlike some other online glasses retailers, the field to add your prescription pops up after you place your order.
We spent hours researching popular eyewear companies and what they offer in terms of selection, value, insurance eligibility, return policy and turnaround time. We also thoroughly 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 included firsthand recommendations from Forbes Vetted staffers like GlassesUSA, Zenni Optical and Warby Parker.
To help you pinpoint the best eyewear retailer for your needs, we indicated the estimated turnaround times, return policies, availability of a virtual try-on features and vision renewal tests, and whether insurance and HSA/FSA funds are accepted. We also noted key points about the eyewear options offered as well as reasons one might prefer shopping somewhere else.
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.
Stores like Zenni Optical and EyeBuyDirect advertise offers for cheap prescription glasses (that includes frames and lenses) for $6.95 or even slightly less. While that's slightly deceptive only because the price doesn't include tax and shipping and you really should add an anti-glare coating to the lens for about $4 extra, I have put together a usable pair of glasses for around $17 shipped.
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 available for download 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.
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 (some do require an Rx from an optometrist).
You can often get glasses with basic frames and lenses for less than $100 and sometimes even less than $50 during certain promotions. (I once bought a pair of prescription glasses for $9 that I can't say were all that good, but I've kept them in my car as an emergency pair.)
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.
Buying glasses online from a manufacturer like Warby Parker is not only cheaper but can be a lot less time-consuming, particularly after you've gone through the process of buying your first pair of online glasses and have your prescription and profile saved for future purchases. Since it only takes a few minutes to enter your prescription and measure your pupillary distance, the hardest part is agonizing over which frames to choose and mulling over lens options.
To help you narrow down your options and find the best prescription glasses online, I've pulled together the nine best online vendors for buying prescription glasses, vetted by me along with other CNET staff members.
Several CNET editors have bought their glasses on Warby Parker, which has a good selection of sharp-looking eyeglass frames. While glasses start at only $95 with a single-vision prescription, chances are you're going to pay a bit more -- around $150 to $200 -- based on the type of frame options you choose, your prescription and type of eyeglass lenses. Sunglasses start at $175, and progressive lenses in both eyeglasses and sunglasses start at $295. But based on my and my fellow co-workers' experience, the finished products tend to be a step up from what more budget-oriented sites offer.
Notable site features: The company's iPhone app -- sorry, there's no Android version yet -- allows you to search the site by frame size and to try on various frames virtually (it works surprisingly well) and better yet, you can try up to five frames at home for five days for free. Once your five days are up, you place your box in the mail with the prepaid return label (hopefully, you find at least one style that you like from among the five you picked for the home trial). There's also a $15 online virtual vision test to renew prescriptions that are outdated. (Based on the test, you may not be eligible, however.)
Warby also has physical optical stores in some locations around the country if you want to go in and try frames that way. Many have reopened after being closed due to the pandemic. Some of these locations also offer eye tests, and that prescription can be used at Warby or elsewhere. 041b061a72