As a wearer of glasses for the past 20+ years, I know how important it is to pick out the right set of specs. Over the years, due to our family moving, I’ve been to national carriers, specialized departments within retail stores and family-owned shops.
For years, my vision insurance covered the check-up and the bulk of the cost of my glasses. However, now that we run our own business and pay for our own insurance, I have had to become more savvy with our shopping. Thankfully, our insurance covers my check up and prescription, but it’s lacking in coverage for my frames. In my pursuit of better deals, I’ve discovered several great places.
Below, we have included some of our favorites, factoring in Consumer Reports ratings to give you the five best places to buy glasses and contacts online.
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Best Places To Order Glasses Online
1. Warby Parker
Among online providers, Warby Parker provides the best overall combination of quality, selection, fit and service. While they are also very affordable among all glasses options, about $140 on average, they are a bit more than some other providers we will look at.
What’s more amazing than the great options and deals you can pick up from Warby Parker, is their philanthropy. For each pair of glasses, they give a pair away to those in need. To date, they’ve given away an astounding 4 million pairs of glasses. Not only can you look good, but you can feel good about working with a company whose mission is truly to help those around the world.
Out of our entire list, Zenni Optical offers the lowest prices, at roughly $70 a pair, and as low as $6.95. Of course, the trade off of having slightly cheaper glasses comes in the form of quality, selection and service. If you’re okay with a few less frills and looking for a bargain, Zenni is nearly impossible to beat. In fact, users I’ve encountered swear by them.
Much like Zenni, EyeBuy Direct offers great prices, with pairs of glasses under $10. The average pair of spectacles runs around $85. If you’re looking for assistance through the process of purchasing glasses online, EyeBuy Direct’s follow up service does score slightly higher marks than Zenni.
Right now, EyeBuy Direct is running a buy-one-get-one free deal on glasses that are $15 and above with the promo code, BOGO.
As the site name suggests, 39DollarGlasses offers prescription glasses starting at $39 dollars, with the average price being around $90 after additional upgrades and fees for those who need bifocals, progressive lenses, tint and anti-glare options. Overall, 39DollarGlasses ranks #12 among consumer reports list of in-store and online providers.
BONUS: Frames Direct
One company not reviewed by Consumer Reports was Frames Direct. One reason we included them is their incredible variety. With brands like RayBan, Oakley, Gucci, Prada, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, & Coach. As you may imagine, prices run higher with these name brands, but they are still significantly less than purchasing in-store, often coming in at half the price. If you are into style, Frames Direct is a great option to consider.
In 2016, the FTC instituted the Eyeglass Rule, which simply states that your eye doctor is obligated to provide a prescription for you at the end of the exam. They can not charge additional fees, ask you to sign any waivers or make you purchase eyeglasses or contacts from them. Do keep in mind that with contact lenses, your eye doctor may need more than one appointment.
Lastly, make sure you know your pupillary distance (often referred to as P.D.). This is calculated in millimeters, by knowing the space between the center of your pupils. This is essential, as some frames are not congruent with certain pupillary distances. If all else fails, simply call up your eye doctor and most are readily willing to provide any information needed.
Have an experience with one of these providers, we’d love for you to drop us a comment.