Getting a new pair of prescription glasses can be an expensive endeavor. With eye exam costs, lens options, coatings, and frames, the total bill often reaches $300 or more. This leaves many eyeglass wearers wondering – can you really get quality prescription glasses online for an affordable price?
The short answer is yes, you can get cheap glasses online that provide 20/20 vision. But choosing the right online retailer and understanding your prescription specifics are key to getting proper vision correction without breaking the bank.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about buying budget-friendly prescription eyeglasses online that match or exceed the quality of high-street optical shops. You’ll learn how online eyeglasses work, what to look for in cheap online glasses, and the top places to buy affordable prescription frames and lenses.
How Do Prescription Glasses from Online Retailers Work?
Purchasing eyeglasses online follows a simple process:
- Enter Your Prescription Details – You provide your latest prescription including sphere, cylinder, axis, pupillary distance, and other specifics. This ensures proper vision correction.
- Pick Your Frames – Browse the site’s eyeglass frames virtually and select the style you want. Frame sizes are adjusted to fit based on measurements you provide.
- Select Lens Options – Choose lens materials, coatings like anti-reflective coating, photochromic lenses, etc. based on your needs and budget.
- Place Order – Enter payment and shipping details to complete checkout. Glasses are made to order and shipped in 7-14 days usually.
- Do At-Home Try-On – When glasses arrive, do a test drive to ensure fit, comfort, and vision accuracy. Use the retailer’s at-home try-on policies.
- Get Adjustments – If needed, get free prescription adjustments done online or at a local optics store. Enjoy your new glasses!
As long as you provide an accurate prescription and pupil measurements, ordering eyeglasses online results in the same proper vision correction as buying at optician offices. Advanced technology allows quality lenses to be crafted to your specs.
Key Factors in Choosing Cheap Prescription Glasses Online
If you want to get bargains on prescription eyeglasses online, pay attention to these key criteria:
Having an up-to-date eye prescription is vital for ordering glasses online. Prescriptions are only valid for 1-2 years usually. Glasses made using an outdated or inaccurate Rx will not correct your vision properly.
Pupillary Distance (PD)
Knowing your pupillary distance ensures online glasses center properly on your eyes. While some sites can estimate PD, get this measurement from your eye doctor for best accuracy.
Frame Quality and Fit
Look at frame materials closely since cheap frames may feel flimsy and break easily. Measure your existing glasses and use online fit tools to get frames sized right.
Prioritize quality lens materials like polycarbonate or Trivex. Resist extras like blue light blocking unless really needed. Anti-reflective coating is worth the small upcharge.
Shop sites with hassle-free return policies of 30 days or longer so you can exchange ill-fitting or inaccurate glasses for free.
Read up on other buyers’ experiences, especially regarding product quality, vision accuracy, and customer service. Avoid poorly reviewed brands.
Keeping these key points in mind will help you identify the best deals on prescription eyewear online that meets your vision needs.
Top 7 Places to Buy Cheap Prescription Glasses Online
We’ve compiled the top online retailers where you can find budget eyeglasses that don’t skimp on quality or optical performance. These sites offer prescription lenses, coatings, and a wide selection of frames starting under $50.
1. Zenni Optical
- Huge selection of frames starting at $6.95
- Prescription lenses from $19.95
- 1.67 high index lenses available
- Optional coatings and lens treatments
- Free returns within 30 days
Best for: unbeatable variety and customization on a tight budget
- Frames starting at $6 with frequent sales
- Basic prescriptions from $38 including coatings
- 1.67 high index lenses available
- Virtual try-on app shows 70,000+ frame styles
- 14 days to return for refund
Best for: those wanting enhanced digital shopping experience
- Frames starting at $19 with coatings included
- Prescriptions from $38 with premium lens upgrades
- Accurate online PD measurement tool
- Try at home for 14 days after delivery
- 365 day product warranty
Best for: combining low prices with excellent product warranties
4. Warby Parker
- Trendy, designer-style frames from $95
- Single vision lenses start at $95
- Anti-reflective and blue light coatings available
- Free at-home try-on kit
- Returns accepted within 30 days
Best for: shopping high-quality designer frames on a moderate budget
- Brand name frames like Ray-Ban from $78
- Complete glasses starting around $100
- Advanced lens materials, treatments, and coatings
- Virtual try-on shows real-life fit and style
- 30-day money back guarantee
Best for: branded frames at competitive online pricing
- Bring your own frames or buy new frames
- Prescriptions from $77 with premium lens upgrades
- Measure PD using your phone camera
- Try frames on virtually with photo upload
- 30-day fit and vision guarantee
Best for: reusing your favorite frames to save money
- Frames starting at $11.99 with coatings
- Prescriptions from $29.95
- 1.67 high index and polycarbonate available
- Virtual try-on with face and pupillary distance
- 60-day returns on all orders
Best for: maximizing savings without sacrificing quality
This list gives you an overview of the top online prescription eyewear retailers catering to all budgets and styles. Read on for more in-depth guidance on buying glasses online for less.
Expert Tips for Buying Cheap Prescription Glasses Online
Follow this advice from eye care pros to score budget prescription eyeglasses online that meet your vision needs:
Get Updated Measurements from Your Eye Doctor
Schedule an eye exam every 1-2 years to get your latest prescription details. Also request pupillary distance numbers and frame measurements like lens width, bridge size, and temple arm length.
Take Measurements at Home Too
Use a ruler to measure your current frame’s specifications. Compare these against the sizes listed for online frames to find good fits.
Know Your Lens Material Options
Look for high index lenses like 1.67 if you have a strong Rx. Polycarbonate and Trivex are best for kids’ glasses or extra impact protection.
Don’t Overdo Lens Coatings
Stick with anti-reflective coating for reduced glare and eyestrain. Other coatings like blue light blocking have minimal benefits for most.
Use Virtual Try-On Tools
Upload images to see frames on your face shape accurately. Make sure glasses don’t look too big or small on the virtual model.
Compare Total Costs
Some sites have low frame prices but high prescription lens costs. Calculate the complete price with coatings to find the best deal.
Check Return Policies
Make sure you have sufficient time to exchange ill-fitting glasses or get vision inaccuracies corrected.
Read Reviews on Frame Quality
Check what existing customers say about durability and fit issues with specific cheap frames before ordering.
Using these tips will guide you to making informed choices when buying eyeglasses online while saving big.
Answers to Common Questions About Cheap Online Glasses
Still unsure about getting glasses online? Here we answer some frequently asked questions on the quality, convenience, and overall value of ordering prescription eyewear online:
Are cheap glasses online bad for your eyes?
Glasses from budget online brands will not damage your eyes or vision provided you buy lenses made from optical-grade materials and your prescription is accurate. Avoid online retailers that seem sketchy or lack proper product guarantees.
Can cheaper lenses still correct your vision?
Yes, less expensive lenses like CR-39 plastic or 1.50 index can provide 20/20 vision if made precisely to your prescription. Those with stronger prescriptions may need high index lenses from 1.6-1.74 though for optimal correction in thinner lenses.
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Do online glasses feel cheaper?
Well-made frames from trusted online retailers feel just as sturdy and comfortable as high street store glasses. Some extra-low priced frames ($10 and under) may feel more delicate or flimsy however.
Should cost or quality be prioritized?
Look for the best blend of cost savings and product quality based on your budget. Sites like Zenni and GlassesUSA combine very affordable pricing with decent materials and construction. Prioritize fit, comfort and lens clarity over getting the absolute lowest price.
Is buying glasses online risky?
Shopping for eyeglasses online is safe when using reputable brands that have storefronts, opticians on staff, and proper ordering processes. Use at-home try-ons and flexible return policies to ensure you get great fit, vision and value.
How do I pick frame sizes accurately?
Use a ruler to measure your current glasses inside arm length, lens width, bridge width, and temple arm length. Compare these numbers against the dimensions listed in online frame specs to identify styles that match or are slightly larger/smaller.
Can I get my vision checked online?
No, you need an in-person eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist to get an accurate prescription. Once you have your new Rx, you can shop online for glasses using your updated exam results.
Ordering prescription glasses online can save you hundreds of dollars if you select one of the reputable retailers we covered. Just take care to accurately provide your latest vision prescription and pupillary distance to enjoy crisp, clear eyesight in stylish, budget-friendly frames.
Overview of Buying Prescription Glasses Online
Purchasing eyewear online offers unbeatable convenience along with savings up to 70% versus buying at optometrist offices or optical chains. As long as you use accurate prescription information, high quality materials, and proper fit guidance when ordering, you can get eyeglasses online that maximize visual clarity and comfort at an affordable price point.
We hope this comprehensive guide gives you the expertise needed to shop online optical stores with confidence. Investing in a budget-friendly pair of glasses means more money in your wallet without sacrificing healthy vision. Just be sure to get regular eye exams to keep your prescription lenses optimized as your eyes change.