Every prescription specs wearer has probably endured the rite of passage of trying dozens of glasses on for size at their local optometrist before eventually finding a frame that fits. That can be a hassle if you can’t get to your local eyewear shop, or you wear contact lenses and want to restock on a quick back-up option. If that’s the case, you can thank the digital age for making it even more convenient to shop for a new pair of glasses.
Some of the best places to buy glasses online stock a vast selection of cool frames, and they’ll even help you find the right silhouette and fit for your head size, face shape, and style. Add to that convenient services like virtual and home try-ons and online vision exams, plus the ability to buy prescription glasses with blue light filtering and UV protection (to name a few protective coatings), and well, being four-eyed has never been easier.
How Do You Buy Glasses Online?
Before you start shopping for glasses online, there are a few things you’ll need to have.
Prescription: Unless you’re shopping for a pair of non-Rx frames (I.e. just to wear for style), it goes without saying that you’ll need a current prescription to fill your frames’ lenses. The American Optometric Association suggests that adults get an eye exam at least every one or two years. Many online retailers offer online exams to renew an expired Rx if you meet specific criteria (say, you’re within a certain age or vision range). Just note that you’ll need to pay an IRL visit to an optometrist if you have issues like astigmatism or glaucoma that require a comprehensive eye exam.
Pupillary Distance: You’ll also need to know your pupillary distance, which is the measurement in millimeters between your pupils. You can use a measuring tape at home to assess your number, and there are also some online services that can easily do it for you (you may need a credit card handy as a sizing reference).
Glasses Measurements: If you’ve already found a perfectly-fitted pair, you’ll want to take note of your glasses’ lens width (usually between 31 to 64 millimeters), bridge width (nine to 24 millimeters), and arm length (115 to 155 millimeters). Those measurements are usually on the inner arm of your glasses.
What Are the Best Places to Buy Glasses Online?
Buying glasses online doesn’t have to be overwhelming, so we’ve rounded up the best places to shop for new prescription glasses or refill existing frames. On top of stocking hundreds to thousands of different optical and sun frames, many of these eyewear e-tailers make it easy to sort by shape, color, and width (from narrow to wide).
The great thing about shopping online is you don’t need to have insurance (if you do, make sure to check if you can get reimbursed), and some companies accept payments from flexible spending (FSA) and health savings (HSA) accounts. Read on for our top picks.
Find thousands of optical and sun frames (including brands like Ray-Ban) in a variety of fits and styles (many in the $6 to $70 range) for the entire family, including prescription and non-prescription lenses as well as blue light and anti-glare coatings, to name a few. Other convenient services include virtual try-ons and two-day delivery, and EyeBuyDirect will also help you find a local LensCrafters (its retail partner) optometrist if you need a new prescription.
The online eyewear retailer has a 14-day “Fit & Style” guarantee that covers a one-time replacement or refund, and a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. FSA and HSA payments are accepted.
2. Zenni Optical
Convenience-minded four-eyes can stock up on frames start at just $7 at the San Francisco-based online eyewear website, which delivers women’s, men’s, and kids optical and sun glasses in a range of prescription lens options (including several single vision options, polarized, chromatic, and progressive). The brand’s 180-degree virtual try-on makes it easy to shop for new glasses online, and you can also browse by face shape, frame style, fit, and color.
Also on offer are prescription blue light blockers, protective goggles, and safety glasses. The eyewear maker regularly collaborates with celebrities and fashion designers; Rashida Jones recently curated a collection of specs, and designer Cynthia Rowley dreamed up a range in her signature vibrant and vintage-inspired aesthetic.
Zenni allows returns for a 50% refund or exchanges for 100% store credit within 30 days. There’s a 30-day manufacturer’s warranty for broken frames, and a one-year “remake” and lens coating defects policy.
In addition to offering contact lenses, GlassesUSA stocks a range of styles from designer brands, including Coach, Gucci, Oakley, Persol, Prada, Ray-Ban, Tory Burch, and many others. You can shop for readers, non-prescription, and prescription opticals and sunglasses for women and men, as well as multifocals, progressive lenses, and blue light glasses.
The company’s handy online tools include virtual try-ons and a free prescription scanner app that assesses your glasses’ optical details. Free returns are available within 14 days, and FSA and HSA payments are accepted.
If you’re looking for a curated selection of stylish spectacles, LensDirect stocks prescription glasses starting at $74 and sunglasses for $94 and up. Its latest lineup includes a three-frame range of JFK-inspired sunglasses, and the brand also recently launched virtual try-ons.
If you’d prefer to update an existing pair, the company’s lens replacement service can swap your outdated lenses with new ones featuring your choice of coating (UV protection, anti-glare, or scratch-resistant) for $69 and up. LensDirect also offers online vision tests for eligible customers. Most types of glasses can be returned for a full refund within 30 days, and there’s a 90-day anti-scratch guarantee.
5. Liingo Eyewear
Liingo’s convenient services make it easy to shop for prescription glasses, which start at $79. Glasses come with free single-vision premium polycarbonate lenses with anti-glare coating, and other upgrades (including progressive lenses and blue light blocking) are available. The company makes it easy to shop from home, too: Try five frames for five days at home for free, or use the virtual try-on and online fit finder to find the best silhouette for your face size and shape.
If you don’t have your current Rx handy, the company’s prescription reader can pull your numbers directly from your glasses. And if you need help measuring your pupillary distance (which is needed to make your lenses right), Liingo’s tool can help you do that, too. We’re also fans of the brand’s 60-day satisfaction policy. FSA and HSA are also accepted.
The one-stop vision shop offers prescription optical, sun, and night-friendly frames starting at $97. Lenses include free UV protection and anti-reflective and scratch-resistant coatings, and Lensabl will also replace existing frames with new lenses for $77 and up.
We like that the company offers online vision tests for eligible customers, which makes it easier for those who want to save a trip to the optometrist or can’t wait for their next appointment. Lensabl also has a 30-day “re-make” policy in the event there’s an issue with your lenses, as well as a three-month guarantee against lens scratches. FSA and HSA cards are accepted.
7. Warby Parker
The brand that pioneered the direct-to-consumer, buy-one-give-one business model is known for its modern and vintage-inspired optical and sun frames with prescription lenses for $95. Warby Parker offers convenient at-home try-on for up to five frames, and its Prescription Check telehealth app allows customers to quickly renew an eligible Rx. The company also has a handy pupillary distance measuring tool. If you need to get an in-person eye exam, you can make an appointment at select Warby Parker retail locations.
We like that the brand has a helpful information page for those looking to apply their insurance towards their prescription glasses or eye exam, even if they’re not in-network with a particular provider. There’s also a 30-day return or exchange policy and a one-year no-scratch lens guarantee. FSA and HSA payments are accepted.
8. Pair Eyewear
Though Pair Eyewear is known for its kids frames, the brand also offers glasses for adults. What makes the company unique is its interchangeable designs, which feature a base frame and magnetic covers in different colors and patterns, making it easy to “change” your glasses with your style.
You can get them as single vision prescription glasses or with non-prescription lenses, and you can choose blue light filtering, sun, or light response lens styles, among many other custom options. The brand offers free shipping and returns, and a 30-day trial. FSA and HSA payments are accepted.
Shop Coastal’s line of optical and sun glasses starting at $9, or opt for designer frames from Coach, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ray-Ban, Tory Burch, Versace, Vogue, and other brands. The buy-one, give-one company offers women’s, men’s, and kids options in a range of modern and retro styles, and convenient tools like virtual try-on and online fitting make it a cinch to find the right specs without leaving the house.
We’re fans of the generous 60-day return or exchange policy. FSA and HSA payments are also accepted.
10. Proof Eyewear
Idaho-based Proof is known for its handmade eco-friendly eyewear — think women’s and men’s prescription optical and sun glasses crafted from acetate made of biodegradable cotton, recycled aluminum, and sustainably-sourced wood. The company offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Globally-conscious four-eyes will also dig Proof’s charitable initiatives (the company has built eye clinics in India and donated to child soldier rehabilitation efforts in Africa, to name a few). The brand will also give you 40% off your next pair if you turn your used Proof frames under its recycling program.
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