Cute Glasses for Less with Prescription Lenses: A Comprehensive Paired Eyewear Review

Getting a new pair of prescription glasses can be an exciting yet daunting experience. With so many options to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. Should you splurge on designer frames or look for budget-friendly options? Do you need all the lens coatings and features or just the basics?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to find cute, affordable prescription eyewear. We’ve researched the top places to buy glasses online, compared prices and features, and gathered pros and cons to help you make the best choice for your needs and style.

Outline of Contents


  • Overview of buying prescription glasses online
  • Factors to consider when choosing new eyewear

Where to Buy Prescription Glasses Online

  • Details on 6 top online retailers for affordable prescription eyewear
    • EyeBuyDirect
    • Zenni Optical
    • GlassesUSA
    • FramesDirect
    • Lensabl
    • Eyeconic

Evaluating the Top Online Eyewear Retailers

  • Detailed side-by-side comparisons of:
    • Pricing
    • Frame selection
    • Lens options
    • Coatings and features
    • Virtual try-on
    • Returns and warranty

Choosing Frames That Fit Your Style

  • Determine your face shape
  • Find frames to flatter your features
  • On-trend frame styles for women and men
  • Kids frames – cute and durable

Understanding Prescription Lens Options

  • Lens materials – pros and cons
    • Plastic (CR-39)
    • Polycarbonate
    • Trivex
    • High-index
  • Lens treatments and coatings
    • Anti-reflective coating
    • Scratch-resistant coating
    • UV protection
    • Blue light filtering

Getting the Right Measurements

  • Pupillary distance
  • Frame measurements
  • Using your current glasses

Placing Your Order

  • Upload prescription
  • Enter measurements
  • Pick lens options
  • Choose shipping

FAQs About Buying Glasses Online

  • Is it safe to buy glasses online?
  • How do I get my pupillary distance measurement?
  • What if my prescription glasses don’t fit properly?
  • How long does shipping and fulfillment take?
  • Can I use insurance benefits to purchase online eyewear?
  • Is there a warranty if my glasses break?

Conclusion and Final Recommendations

Introduction to Buying Prescription Eyewear Online

If you wear prescription glasses, you know finding the perfect pair can be a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. Visiting brick-and-mortar optometrists for eye exams and then combing through their limited frame selections leaves many unsatisfied and settling for whatever works.

Thankfully, there are now many reputable online retailers offering cute, trendy, and affordable prescription eyewear. From classic wayfarer and cat-eye frames to innovative new styles, you can browse thousands of options from the comfort of home.

But with so many online eyewear stores, how do you choose? What should you look for when buying glasses online? Key factors to consider include:

Pricing – Online prices are generally 30-50% less than traditional stores. Look for retailers with very low starting prices on basic frames and lenses. Some also offer frequent sales and discounts.

Frame selection – Look for a wide variety of men’s, women’s, and kids frames in different colors, shapes, and materials to suit any style. More choice means better odds of finding the perfect pair.

Lens options – Make sure the retailer can fulfill your prescription and offers lens types and coatings you may need. Know the differences between lens materials and treatments.

Accurate prescriptions – Provide your latest corrective prescription and pupillary distance measurements for the most accurate glasses. Double check all numbers entered.

Measurements for fit – Use the sizing guide to select frames that will properly fit your face measurements and alignment. Verify returns are allowed if the fit is off.

Virtual try-on – Try frames virtually with uploaded photos so you can see what they may look like on your face shape before ordering.

Customer reviews – Read customer feedback about product quality, style selection, ordering, and returns. Look for consistently positive reviews.

This guide will cover the top six online retailers for buying affordable prescription glasses and sunglasses. We’ll compare their features, prices, and benefits to help you find cute frames with prescription lenses at the best value. Let’s dive in!

Where to Buy Prescription Glasses Online

Many people are turning to the internet for their eyewear needs. The top online prescription glasses retailers include:


Founded in 2006, EyeBuyDirect is now one of the leading online sellers of prescription glasses and sunglasses. They keep prices low by avoiding middlemen and making their own frames. Lenses start at just $6.

Some key facts about EyeBuyDirect:

  • Pricing – Glasses start at $6 with single vision lenses. Photochromic and progressive lenses have an upcharge. Frequent sales and BOGO deals.
  • Selection – Over 3,000 men’s, women’s, and kids frames. All types of frame shapes and materials.
  • Lenses – Single vision, bifocal, trifocal, progressive, and readers. Name brand and HD progressive lenses available.
  • Lens coatings – Scratch-resistant coating included. Blue light filtering and anti-reflective coatings optional.
  • Virtual try-on – Upload photo to see frames virtually with Face Shape tool.
  • Returns – 365 day hassle free returns and exchanges.

Zenni Optical

Zenni Optical offers extremely affordable prescription glasses starting at just $6.95 including basic single vision lenses. They keep overhead low by manufacturing frames directly from their California and China factories.

Zenni Optical Quick Facts:

  • Pricing – Glasses start at $6.95 including basic plastic single vision lenses. Free lenses for kids.
  • Selection – Over 7,000 men’s, women’s, and children’s frame styles. New arrivals daily.
  • Lenses – Single vision, progressive no-line bifocal, photochromic, and high-index lenses. Name brands available.
  • Lens coatings – Scratch-resistant included. Anti-reflective and blue light filtering optional.
  • Virtual try-on – Mobile app lets you upload photo to try on frames.
  • Returns – Reorders, exchanges, or refunds allowed within 45 days.


GlassesUSA offers designer brand and private label frames starting at $28 including prescription lenses. They also have one of the largest selections of name brand frames like Ray-Ban, Oakley, and Gucci.

Quick GlassesUSA Overview:

  • Pricing – Frames + lenses start at $28. Designer brands at discounted prices. Frequent 65% off sales.
  • Selection – Choose from over 10,000 frames including 400+ designer brands. New arrivals daily.
  • Lenses – Single vision, progressive, bifocal, trifocal, photochromic, and high index lenses.
  • Lens coatings – Scratch protection included. Blue light filtering and anti-reflective available.
  • Virtual try-on – App allows you to upload photos or take images in real-time to try frames.
  • Returns – 100% money back guarantee on returns within 14 days. One year warranty.


FramesDirect partners directly with eyewear manufacturers to offer authentic prescription glasses and sunglasses at reduced prices. They carry over 80 designer brands at up to 70% off retail.

Key Features of FramesDirect:

  • Pricing – Prescription lenses start at $78. Huge savings on premium designer eyewear.
  • Selection – Over 50,000 glasses and sunglasses from 80+ designer brands. New arrivals daily.
  • Lenses – Single vision, progressive, photochromic, polarized, and lens treatments available.
  • Lens coatings – Scratch coating included. Blue light and anti-reflective optional.
  • Virtual try-on – Upload images to virtually try frames in real-time with PD measurement.
  • Returns – 365 day hassle-free returns and exchanges offered.


Lensabl lets you renew your prescription and order new lenses for your own frames or select new frames starting at $77 with lenses. They offer customized lenses and coatings.

Lensabl Retailer Highlights:

  • Pricing – Lenses for your frames start at $77. New frames and lenses start at $129.
  • Selection – Choose new on-trend frames or renew lens prescription for your existing frames.
  • Lenses – Custom single vision, progressive, readers, photochromic, and outdoor lenses.
  • Lens coatings – Scratch-resistant (included), anti-reflective, blue light filtering, UV protection available.
  • Virtual try-on – Try frames on with your photo upload and measurements.
  • Returns – 30 day money back guarantee and 1 year warranty on orders.


Eyeconic features a wide selection of contemporary and designer frames for men, women, and kids. As a division of Essilor, they specialize in lens manufacturing and coatings.

At a Glance – Eyeconic:

  • Pricing – Frames + lenses starting at $69 or $120 with premium Essilor lenses.
  • Selection – Over 200 brands and 5,000+ stylish, high quality frames. New styles weekly.
  • Lenses – Single vision, digital progressive, photochromic, polarized, Essilor, and Crizal lenses.
  • Lens coatings – Anti-reflective, blue light filtering, UV protection available.
  • Virtual try-on – Upload photos or use camera to see frames on your face.
  • Returns – Returns accepted within 30 days of delivery.

Now that you know a bit about the top retailers, let’s compare their features, prices, and benefits in more detail.

Evaluating the Top Online Eyewear Retailers

When comparing your options for buying affordable prescription glasses online, there are several factors that impact the overall value and experience. Here we break down how the top six retailers stack up against each other across key categories.

Pricing Comparison

Price is often the most important consideration when shopping for budget eyewear online. Here’s how the starting prices compare for single vision glasses with basic plastic CR-39 lenses:

| Retailer | Starting Frames + Lenses Price |
| EyeBuyDirect | $30 |
| Zenni Optical | $6.95 |
| GlassesUSA | $28 |
| FramesDirect | $78 |
| Lensabl | $77 (lenses only)|
| Eyeconic | $69 |

Zenni Optical has the lowest starting prices overall, with basic glasses available for under $10. EyeBuyDirect and GlassesUSA also have frames with lenses starting around $30.

FramesDirect and Lensabl are two of the more expensive options, but offer significant discounts on designer brands and specialized lenses. Eyeconic has competitive pricing for a wider selection of contemporary and name brand frames.

Beyond base pricing, be sure to factor in coatings and upgrades like high-index, photochromic, or progressive lenses, which add to the total cost. Most retailers offer discounts and BOGO sales, so time purchases around promotional offers.

Frame Selection Comparison

With online eyewear retailers, you can browse thousands of different frame styles, shapes, colors and materials. Here is how the top options stack up:

| Retailer | Number of Frames | Style Highlights |
| EyeBuyDirect | Over 3,000 | Men’s, women’s, children’s, and safety frames |
| Zenni Optical | Over 7,000 | Men’s, women’s, rimless, and geometric frames |
| GlassesUSA | Over 10,000 | Designer brands, contemporary, vintage inspired |
| FramesDirect | Over 50,000 | Designer brands, rimless, geometric, vintage |
| Lensabl | Limited selection | Mainly popular frame styles |
| Eyeconic | Over 5,000 | Designer brands, on-trend, cateye, clear |

Zenni Optical and FramesDirect have the largest frame selections overall. GlassesUSA and Eyeconic have a strong representation of designer brands and modern styled frames. EyeBuyDirect offers a core assortment of contemporary frames at each price point. Lensabl has a smaller selection, though they focus more on customizing lens prescriptions and coatings.

Consider which frame characteristics – like shape, color, material, or style trends – are most important to help narrow down retailers that align with your preferences. But having more options makes finding that perfect pair more likely!

Lens Options Comparison

The lens material, treatments, and coatings you choose impact visual clarity, scratch resistance, UV and blue light protection, and cost. Here is an overview of the lens options available at top retailers:

| Retailer | Lens Materials | Treatments/Coatings |
| EyeBuyDirect | Plastic, polycarbonate, Trivex | Scratch-resistant, anti-reflective, blue light filtering |
| Zenni Optical | Plastic, polycarbonate | Scratch-resistant, anti-reflective, photochromatic |
| GlassesUSA | Plastic, polycarbonate, high index | Scratch-resistant, anti-reflective, blue light filtering |
| FramesDirect | Plastic, polycarbonate, high index | Scratch-resistant, anti-reflective, blue light filtering |
| Lensabl | Plastic, polycarbonate, Trivex | Custom coating packages |
| Eyeconic | Plastic, polycarbonate, high index | Crizal coatings, UV protection, blue light |

Lens options are fairly comparable across retailers, though Lensabl specializes in custom packages, and Eyeconic features premium Essilor and Crizal lenses. Be sure your retailer has your preferred lens material and required coatings like blue light filtering or transitions.

Virtual Try-On Comparison

Trying frames virtually makes it easier to see what different styles look like on your face shape before ordering. Here are the try-on tools available:

| Retailer | Virtual Try-on Features |
| EyeBuyDirect | Face shape with photo upload |
| Zenni Optical | Photo overlay mobile app |
| GlassesUSA | Photo upload, real-time camera |
| FramesDirect | Photo upload with PD measure |
| Lensabl | Photo upload with measurements |
| Eyeconic | Photo upload, real-time camera |

All retailers offer virtual try-on through photo uploads. GlassesUSA, Zenni Optical, and Eyeconic also have real-time face cameras for live frame previews. Uploading multiple photos from different angles provides the most realistic preview.

Return and Warranty Comparison

If your glasses don’t fit right or you’re unhappy with them, a good return policy with warranty protection provides peace of mind. Here are the highlights:

| Retailer | Return Policy | Warranty |
| EyeBuyDirect | 365 day returns | 1 year manufacturer defects |
| Zenni Optical | 45 day returns | 1 year manufacturer defects |
| GlassesUSA | 14 days money back guarantee | 1 year manufacturer defects |
| FramesDirect | 365 day returns | 1 year manufacturer defects |
| Lensabl | 30 days money back | 1 year manufacturer defects |
| Eyeconic | 30 day returns | Not specified |

EyeBuyDirect and FramesDirect offer the most generous return windows at one year. All provide at least 30 days for returns and exchanges. Normal manufacturer defects are covered under 1 year warranties, with 2 years available from some retailers.

Choosing Frames That Fit Your Style

Finding frames that not only fit your prescription needs but also complement your appearance can make picking the perfect pair feel overwhelming. Follow these tips to select frames to flatter your facial features:

Determine Your Face Shape

Your face shape will guide you to styles and frame silhouettes that look most proportional and balanced. Assess whether your face is:

  • Oval – Face is longer than it is wide with a rounded hairline and chin.
  • Round – Face has consistent width and length with rounded features.
  • Square – Face has sharp, angular features with a strong jawline.
  • Heart – Face is wide at cheekbones with narrower forehead and chin.
  • Diamond – Face is widest at cheekbones with narrow chin and forehead.

You can also take a quick selfie and use an online face shape detector to analyze your shape.

Choose Frames to Flatter Your Face

Once you know your shape, you can start selecting frames that complement and balance your features:

  • Oval face – Square, angular frames add balance. Cat-eyes also flattering.
  • Round face – Angular narrow frames help elongate roundness. Avoid round shapes.
  • Square face – Rounded edges soften square angles. Avoid boxy shapes.
  • Heart face – Wider frames add width at cheekbones. Bottom-heavy cat-eyes balance.
  • Diamond face – Oval frames add width but avoid width at cheeks. Rimless also nice.

Go for frames that are opposite your shape. The GlassesUSA frame guide has recommendations for all face types.

On-Trend Frame Styles

Once you know which silhouettes work for your face, you can choose a style you love from

On-Trend Frame Styles

Once you know which silhouettes work for your face, you can choose a style you love from the latest fashion trends:

Women’s Frame Trends

  • Cat-eye – Flattering on many face shapes with a vintage vibe
  • Geometric shapes – Hexagons, triangles, or rectangles for a modern look
  • Clear frames – Show off eye makeup while still correcting vision
  • Oversized and retro – Channel 70s vibes with big stylish frames
  • Rimless – Minimal and sleek with transparent arms and nosebridge

Men’s Frame Trends

  • Browline – Classic upper frame with transparent lower half
  • Geometric – Strong lines and angles for contemporary cool
  • Aviators – Timeless teardrop shape works on most faces
  • Translucent – See through frame materials are on-trend
  • Rectangular – Clean and sharp lines in a flat top style

Kids Frames

  • Bold colors – Let their personality shine through with bright hues
  • Patterned – Prints and textures make glasses fun for kids
  • Flexible – Bendable frames that can take a beating
  • Adjustable – Customizable sizes to grow with them
  • Character-themed – Disney, superheroes, TV shows they love

Consider on-trend shapes and styles but choose what looks best for your facial features, prescription needs, and personal taste.

Frame Materials for All Ages

Along with shape and style, frame materials impact comfort, durability, and wearability:

Plastic/Acetate – Budget-friendly, durable, and stylish. Some acetate is hypoallergenic. Available in many colors and patterns.

Metal – Strong, lightweight, and thin. Easy to adjust. May be prone to bending. Some find uncomfortable.

Titanium – Extremely durable, corrosion-resistant lightweight metal. Flexible and non-allergenic.

Stainless Steel – Strong, corrosion resistant, but heavier than titanium. Silver tone.

Combination – Mix of metal and plastic for sleek look with acetate comfort.

Rimless – Very lightweight with transparent frame border. Showcases lenses.

Consider your prescription needs, lifestyle, and facial features when deciding on frame materials. Kids may fare better with flexible plastic frames. Those with sensitivities could opt for hypoallergenic plastic or titanium. Rimless can be ideal for strong prescriptions that require thick lenses.

Understanding Prescription Lens Options

The lenses in your prescription eyewear play just as crucial a role as frame style for visual clarity, comfort, and protection. With so many materials and coatings to choose from, it can get confusing. Here we break down the key lens choices:

Lens Materials

The material your lenses are produced from impacts thickness, weight, scratch resistance, UV protection, and transparency for your prescription.

Plastic (CR-39)

  • Most affordable option
  • Available in thinnest options for strong prescriptions
  • Prone to scratching without coatings
  • Slight yellow tint


  • Shatter and impact resistant
  • Naturally blocks 100% UV rays
  • Thin, lightweight option
  • Lower scratch resistance than plastic
  • Slight color tint


  • Lightweight impact resistance like polycarbonate
  • Crisper optics than plastic or polycarbonate
  • Naturally 100% UV blocking
  • Thinner than plastic lenses


  • Thinner and lighter lens
  • Crisp, clear vision
  • Wider fields of view
  • More glare than plastic
  • Higher cost than other materials

Weigh your visual needs with lifestyle factors like sports or risky activities to help determine the best lens material for you. Kids should stick with impact-resistant polycarbonate or Trivex.

Lens Treatments and Coatings

Additional lens treatments can enhance visual clarity, comfort, and eye protection:

Anti-Reflective Coating (ARC)

  • Reduces glare and reflections
  • Improves night vision
  • Enhances contrast
  • Recommended for computer use

Scratch-Resistant Coating

  • Protects lenses from scratches
  • Makes cleaning easier
  • Preserves longevity

UV Protection Coating

  • Blocks 100% of UVA/UVB rays
  • Reduces UV damage risk
  • Often included standard

Blue Light Filtering

  • Reduces exposure to blue light from screens
  • Minimizes digital eye strain
  • Improves sleep quality

Determine if you need additional coatings beyond basic scratch resistance based on your prescription, activities, and eye issues like photophobia.

Getting the Right Measurements

To ensure your glasses fit correctly and give you optimal vision, providing accurate measurements is crucial when ordering online. You will need:

Your Prescription

Get your latest prescription from your eye doctor, making sure to get your spherical, cylindrical, axis, and add amounts for each eye. Enter these numbers exactly into your order.

Pupillary Distance (PD)

This measures the space between your pupils in millimeters to position the lenses correctly. If your prescription doesn’t include PD (some don’t), you can:

  • Have your optometrist measure your PD
  • Use a ruler and mirror to measure it yourself
  • Use an app to photograph your face and measure PD

Frame Measurements

Use a ruler to measure your current frame’s lens width, bridge width, and temple length. This helps select same-sized frames online.

Your Photo

Upload a straight-on headshot to use the virtual try-on tools and see how frames fit your face shape.

Double check you’ve entered all measurements accurately when ordering glasses online for proper vision and fit.

Placing Your Online Order

Once you’ve selected the ideal frames and lenses for your needs, follow these steps to complete your prescription eyewear order:

1. Upload Your Prescription

Have your prescription numbers handy and enter your spherical, cylindrical axis, and add measurements for each eye exactly as written.

2. Enter Your PD Measurement

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Input your pupillary distance measurement precisely in millimeters to position the lenses correctly.

3. Pick Lens Options

Select lens material like plastic, polycarbonate, or high index and any treatments like anti-reflective coatings.

4. Confirm Frame Size

Use the size guide to ensure chosen frames match your lens size and bridge width.

5. Select Shipping

Choose regular or expedited delivery based on your fulfillment time frame.

6. Submit Payment

Complete checkout with credit card or Paypal. Some retailers accept insurance and FSA accounts.

Follow up with retailers directly about any prescription or order concerns. Once your eyewear arrives, get any final fit adjustments made by a local optician. Then flaunt your new look in your perfectly fitted glasses!

FAQs About Buying Glasses Online

Is it safe to buy prescription glasses online?

Yes, ordering eyewear online from legitimate retailers is generally very safe. Reputable sites verify your prescription with licensed optometrists before fulfilling orders. As long as your prescription is current and you provide proper pupillary distance and frame measurements, you can get quality prescription lenses safely online similar to an optician.

How do I get my pupillary distance measurement?

If your prescription doesn’t include PD measurement, you have a few options to get it:

  • Make an appointment with your optometrist to have them measure your PD
  • Use a ruler and mirror at home to measure PD yourself
  • Download a pupillary distance app to calculate it from a photo
  • Have someone take a photo of you from the retailer’s website for automatic measurement

Measuring PD yourself can be tricky, so confirm numbers or get help obtaining an accurate pupillary distance.

What if my prescription glasses don’t fit properly?

If your glasses don’t fit right upon arrival, first double check all of the measurements you entered including the prescription, pupil distance, and frame sizes against your records to ensure no data entry errors. If the numbers are all correct, contact the retailer to see if a remake or exchange may be needed if the fit is off. Most offer free remakes or exchanges if issues are manufacturing related versus user error.

How long does ordering and shipping prescription glasses online take?

Fulfillment and shipping times when buying glasses online can vary across retailers. Here are general timelines:

  • Lens cutting and manufacturing: 7-10 days
  • Coating and quality inspection: 1-3 days
  • Order processing: 1-2 days
  • Shipping time: 2-5 days

Some retailers like Zenni Optical offer 1 week turnaround. Others estimate 2-3 weeks for delivery. Upgrades like expedited shipping or rush fees can speed up fulfillment.

Can I use insurance or FSA for online eyewear?

Some online retailers accept vision insurance or Flexible Spending and Health Savings accounts for all or part of your order cost. You typically need to submit your FSA/HSA account information or insurance details when checking out. Coverage depends on your specific plan allowances. Check with the retailer beforehand about accepted payment types.

Is there a warranty if my prescription glasses break?

Most major online glasses retailers offer a 1 year manufacturing warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. This covers normal breaks that aren’t due to excessive damage and abuse. Added drop and scratch protection plans are also available from some sellers for further coverage of replacements and repairs.

Conclusion and Final Recommendations

We hope this comprehensive guide has helped you feel informed and confident to find the perfect pair of prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses online. Focus on reputable retailers that offer robust frame selections, lens options, try-on tools, and solid return policies to get stylish eyewear customized to your needs.

Based on our in-depth assessment of pricing, selection, features, and quality, we recommend:

  • EyeBuyDirect and Zenni Optical for the lowest cost basic prescription eyewear
  • GlassesUSA for mid-range everyday prescription glasses with good mix of styles
  • FramesDirect for high-end designer frames and sunglasses at discounted prices
  • Lensabl if you want to renew lenses for your existing frames
  • Eyeconic for contemporary frames with premium lens brands

Doing your homework, accurately providing your measurements, and realistically previewing frames on your face shape will ensure you finally get cute glasses online with prescription lenses that fit your style, vision needs, and budget. Never settle for limited in-store selections again and finally find frames you love!

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