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If you’ve been wearing glasses for a while, or your whole life, odds are you already know your prescription and have a pretty solid sense of the kinds of frames that look great on your face. In that case, you’re the perfect candidate for buying prescription glasses online. Going the virtual route has a host of advantages over the traditional brick-and mortar process, not the least of which is saving you time and an unnecessary trip to the store in your otherwise jam-packed schedule.
But did you know that shopping for eyewear online can also save you money? Yes, even if you have insurance, the in-person process of buying prescription eyewear can cost more than doing it online from the comfort of your home. Some online glasses retailers can even give you a virtual eye exam — and some are reviewed by an actual optician — so the process is more precise than it would be with self-provided information.
And the selection is more robust when you’re shopping for frames online because you’re not limited to what’s in stock at your local store. So you have more convenience, more choice, more savings — and online prescription glasses services also run promotions pretty often. Buying prescription online glasses online looks more and more appealing the more you dig into the different retailers’ offerings, so let’s bring our best options into focus.
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This mega site offers ‘eyewear for everyone’ — and they follow through on that motto by selling everything from progressives and bifocals to blue light-blocking glasses and lenses that transition from day to night. Just upload your prescription and pupillary distance, then choose from Zenni’s hundreds of frame options categorized by shape, color and even face shape. The site’s virtual try-on feature even lets you see how they’ll look on you.
You can choose a basic lens or any of the site’s next-level lens options, including anti-reflective, anti-fog and scratch-resistant. And that’s just scratching the surface: Zenni Optical’s glasses are truly customizable, so you lose absolutely none of the one-on-one care you’d get in person. They even give you a 30-day return window. Every shape, material and color glasses you can think of can be secured on this site at prices you have to see to believe.
- Prices: Start at $6.95.
- Shipping: Starts at $4.95; free for qualifying loyalty program members.
- Insurance: Not accepted.
- Unique perk: Zenni Optical has a loyalty program that provides Rewards based on the dollars you spend. Rewards kick in as soon as you spend $66 and include things like special member discounts and free shipping.
One of the most familiar names in affordable prescription glasses, Warby Parker does have brick-and-mortar stores where you can make an appointment for an in-person eye exam, but if you already know your prescription, you can facilitate the process by buying glasses from them exclusively online. They also provide a virtual vision test that you can take using your smartphone in order to renew your prescription online.
Once you choose from the brand’s myriad frames, you can even measure your pupillary distance online. They accommodate all kinds of prescriptions and offer lens features like anti-reflective coatings, scratch resistance, UV protection and a special water-resistant coating that prevents smudging.
Warby Parker often offers discounts; right now you can save 15 percent when you buy two pairs of glasses or more.
- Prices: Start at $95.
- Shipping: Free.
- Insurance: Accepted.
- Unique perk: Even better than a virtual try-on feature, Warby Parker will send you five frames of your choice to try for five days — in real life — free of charge.
GlassesUSA is your one-stop shop for thousands of frames at reasonable prices (they even offer price matching), and right now they’re offering 50 percent off many styles. If you’re a fan of designer frames, here’s where you’ll find all the top brand names, like Ray-Ban, Versace, Prada, Miu Miu and more. Shop the designer outlet and score an additional discount of up to 40 percent. GlassesUSA lets you take a one-minute quiz in order to zero in on your perfect pair.
In the lens department, they offer everything from progressive to blue light blocking, and you get a one-year warranty on any purchase. GlassesUSA offers a 100 percent money-back guarantee within 14 days of your purchase if you’re not happy with your new glasses.
- Prices: Start at $58.
- Shipping: Free for standard shipping.
- Insurance: Accepted.
- Unique perk: GlassesUSA has a cool companion app that lets you scan your current lenses to read the prescription.
This discount prescription eyeglass site hits all the high notes. Eyebuydirect has the all-important virtual try-on feature that lets you test different frame shapes and colors using your smartphone. The site also offers discounts galore — right now it’s 20% off when you sign up for their newsletter as well as 50 percent off thousands of frames — and a 14-day money back guarantee. Eyebuydirect is able to keep its prices so low on high-quality glasses because they cut out the middle man and ship directly from the manufacturer.
The site lets you upload your prescription, and while they don’t offer online vision tests, they do have a directory of eye doctors in your area should you need that. They offer all the latest lens options, including anti-scratch, anti-reflection, water-repellent and UV protective coatings.
- Prices: Start at $6
- Shipping: Free for standard shipping and up to $29 for expedited shipping options.
- Insurance: Not accepted.
- Unique perk: In keeping with its budget-friendliness, Eyebuydirect offers an interest-free installment plan.
One visit to Pair Eyewear‘s cheerful virtual storefront and you’ll see that this is a brand geared toward personal expression. Choose from a huge assortment of colorful, lightweight frames that are designed in-house to keep costs down. The site offers a generous 30-day window for returns if you don’t love what you choose.
When it comes to lenses, Pair Eyewear offers all the good stuff. Progressive lenses, blue light-blocking lenses, light responsive glasses and more options are yours for the taking.
- Prices: Start at $60 (including prescription)
- Shipping: Free for orders of $45+, otherwise shipping starts at $6.
- Insurance: Not accepted, but HSA and FSA accounts are.
- Unique perk: In addition to its plentiful assortment of everyday frames, this style-oriented site sells seasonal and holiday-themed frames too. And when you choose a frame, you also choose an interchangeable topper.
One of the OGs of buying prescription glasses online, FramesDirect also has one of the biggest selections: choose from thousands of frames among more than 500 brands (at least 80 of which are designer). The savings are major, too — up to 50 percent off its vast selection.
FramesDirect prides itself on its high-quality lenses, which they claim are made by the world’s largest manufacturer. They of course have options like blue light-blocking and transitional lenses, and they offer a price match guarantee for all of it.
- Prices: Start at about $40.
- Shipping: Free.
- Insurance: Most are accepted, as are HSA and FSA accounts.
- Unique perk: FramesDirect doesn’t just rely on the prescription that you upload; they personalize the process by consulting trained opticians who will review your prescription to make sure the information is correct (they’ll even connect with the doctor who gave it to you if you’d like), the lenses you chose will work with your prescription and your frames will fit you properly.
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