These days, eyeglasses have become a modern accessory. Comfortable contact lenses and affordable LASIK surgeries have changed eyeglasses from a purely functional piece of eyewear to a stylish fashion article.
Glasses stores now carry a wide range of products, from prescription options to clear glass fashion frames. Sunglasses, too, make up a significant portion of their inventory, as do prescription sport goggles and safety lenses. With the number of retailers carrying these and other products, choosing where to buy prescription frames and lenses can be a challenge.
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Top 10 Best Rated Eyeglasses Online
39DollarGlasses.com is an online, discount glasses store that claims the title of #1 Online Optical Store. Each pair of 39 dollar glasses includes lenses, frames, a durable case, special coatings and a worry-free guarantee.
|Read 128 Reviews|
Located in Novato, California, Zenni Optical offers discount prices on a wide selection of glasses, including progressive lenses and bifocals. The company also offers a 30-day return policy on all purchases.
|Read 349 Reviews|
Warby Parker's selection of glasses includes styles for both men and women, as well as the Colonel Monocle. Customers may take advantage of their Home Try-On program, which includes five frames for five days at no cost.
|Read 8 Reviews|
Cohens Fashion Optical includes a wide selection of designer frames such as Prada and Gucci. Their "Discover Your Look" tool helps you find the perfect set of frames to flatter your facial features, complexion and personality.
|Read 129 Reviews|
Coastal.com offers a large selection of eyewear, including designer brands such as Michael Kors and Valentino. Many of their styles are quite affordable, including their 49 dollar selections which include both frames and lenses.
|Read 7 Reviews|
America's Best Contacts and Eyeglasses offers various exams as well as eyewear and contact lenses. Members of its Eyecare Club are eligible for special deals, and the company accepts many vision and insurance plans.
|Read 648 Reviews|
Customers can schedule eye exams through the Sears Optical website and can order glasses and other items online. Sears Optical accepts a wide range of vision and insurance plans and offers customer support over the phone.
|Read 171 Reviews|
Visionworks offers an online Try-On tool so customers can pick frames that flatter their facial shape. The company accepts most insurance plans, has a 30 day money-back satisfaction guarantee and often has special discounts.
|Read 321 Reviews|
Eyeglass World offers two pairs of select glasses for 78 dollars, and they also supply contact lenses. They have over 2,000 frames, including designer brands such as 7 For All Mankind and Ray-Ban. They also offer same-day service.
|Read 101 Reviews|
All Wal-Mart Vision Centers are conveniently placed in Wal-Mart stores. Consumers can shop for groceries and browse eyeglass frames in one place. Glasses types include sunglasses, reading glasses and clip-on sunglasses.
|Read 579 Reviews|
What features matter most?
Although glasses have become more of a fashion accessory, most people still wear them with prescription lenses. With a doctor on site, buyers can get an updated prescription and order new glasses in one stop.
- Scheduling: A long wait to get a doctor's appointment may not work for everyone, so check the appointment availability before deciding on a specific store.
- Comprehensive eye exams: Not every office has the latest equipment, so they may not be able to do glaucoma tests or be able to check for cornea damage.
- Contact lens exam: Not every office has the latest equipment, so they may not be able to do glaucoma tests or be able to check for cornea damage.
Cost, particularly unexpected expenses, can play an important role in any purchasing decision.
- Lenses included: Some retailers charge extra for lenses, while others may offer a variety of different lens options. When lenses are included in the price, it typically only covers single vision options.
- Special pricing: Many retailers offer two pair pricing, where purchasers get a deal when they buy two pairs of glasses at the same time.
- Tinting: Tint levels are available for free through many stores, so check to see if there is an up charge before ordering a darker lens.
Different lenses can have dramatically different price points depending on their functionality and appearance.
- Thinner lenses: By paying more, buyers can get hi-index lenses that are up to 50 percent thinner than 1.5 index plastic. The thinner the lens, the more it costs and the lighter it is. Most retailers offer the 1.5 index plastic lenses as a standard option with a small up charge for the 1.67 index lenses and a higher fee for the hi-index 1.74 lenses.
- Transitional lenses: Lenses that go from clear to tinted and back depending on the lighting situation are available at some retailers. These lenses allow a single pair of glasses to act as both indoor glasses and sunglasses, for an additional fee.
- Progressive lenses: This special bifocal option can help those who need two prescriptions in a single lens, but who also don't want a distracting line across their visual field. Traditional bifocal lenses are less expensive, but Progressive lenses get rid of the distracting and unattractive line across the lens.
Like any product that gets daily use, glasses break. If something happens, retailers should be able to offer repairs for the most common issues.
- Lens replacement: If lenses break, is it possible to order replacement lenses and have them installed in existing frames? Some retailers offer repair and replacement services for a limited time. Others may offer the repair option, as long as the customer buys a new pair of lenses.
- Nose guard repair: One of the most common problems with glasses is a broken nose guard. This repair is difficult to accomplish at home, but with the parts available at a retailer may only take moments. A free or low cost repair can help prevent the need for an entirely new pair of glasses.
- Loose lens socket: It is not uncommon for the lens to gradually work itself loose, at which point it can fall out of one or both sides of the frame. Once this happens, it is likely to happen repeatedly without a professional repair. Some frames are more difficult to repair than others, so it is important to ensure that the retailer offers tightening services to avoid the cost of a replacement.
The length of time it takes to get in an order can be a critical factor in deciding on a retailer. When glasses break, wearers often need immediate replacement.
- One hour ordering: Due to an impressive level of inventory, there are retailers that can fill most prescriptions in a single hour. Some stores have on site fulfillment centers, so they can assemble an order quickly.
- Same day glasses: Even those stores that do not offer glasses within the hour might offer a same day option for some of the most common prescriptions. As long as the frames and lenses are in stock, buyers can pick them up later the same day.
- Less than a month: It is not uncommon for unusual prescriptions to take several weeks to come in, but it should never take longer than a month. Some retailers that sell at a big discount may take longer to ship the finished glasses.
Since glasses are an accessory that most wearers put on every day, they want to be able to find the exact right pair to go with everything.
- Brand availability: Sometimes a particular brand works best for someone, especially if they have loyalty to that brand.
- Color choices: Many people don't want to wear neutral tones, and instead look for stores with a selection of both neutral frames and ones with pops of color.
- Style choice: Shape and style options can be both fashionable and functional decisions. A smaller pair of glasses is lighter, while a larger frame does not have to be obtrusive with floating lens designs. Shapes can include square, round, oval, cat eye and more, while styles go from vintage to modern.
What are different types of glasses stores?
These stores tend to carry the more exclusive brands and offer a white glove service. Consultations never feel rushed, and they take the time to walk through all the options.
A wide selection of reasonably priced options makes these retailers some of the most popular. They often offer deals, loyalty programs and discounts.
Online glasses stores
No storefront means lower prices with these online only retailers. To get the proper fit, buyers may need more information than is typically offered in an eye exam.
Some glasses stores only offer fashion choices instead of prescriptions. These stores may be a great place to pick up frames, but those with a visual impairment will need to hit a traditional glasses store to buy lenses.
Who's it for?
These young customers need more durable options. They run, jump, play, sleep and swim in their glasses, and they need products that will withstand the activity.
These fashion conscious consumers may be more interested in the unusual. They want glasses to make a statement. They may also want to buy more pairs or look at new technologies.
These established consumers might be willing to spend more to get the look they want. Brand name frames and more expensive lenses are no problem for someone who may be wearing the same pair for several years.
Contact lenses offer similar vision correction, without the added weight of frames. Some people prefer to avoid wearing glasses in favor of contact lenses.
Founded by eye doctors, 39DollarGlasses.com offers the same high quality prescription glasses found in brick-and-mortar stores at a fraction of the price.
- Deep discounts: With glasses available for as little at $39, this online retailer has some of the least expensive pairs around.
- Free returns: If glasses are not as advertised or are damaged during shipping, buyers can send them back at no cost.
- Free shipping options: With a qualifying order, standard shipping is free, with several expedited options available for a small fee.
- Worry free warranty: 39DollarGlasses.com offers 120 days from delivery to return glasses for a 50 percent refund or exchange credit.
- Toddler glasses: Not only do they sell a wide variety of adult frames and lenses, they also have glasses designed just for toddlers.
- Best for Kids, Teens and Contacts wearers.
Founded in 2001, Coastal.com is an online glasses retailer that has built a reputation for excellence. They now sell their in-house designs in more than 150 countries. Each pair of glasses is still hand assembled at their facility to ensure top quality.
- Best for Teens, Professionals and Contacts wearers.
Founded in 2010, Warby Parker offers a unique take on vision. Designing and selling vintage inspired frames, they give away a pair of glasses to someone in need for each pair that they sell.
- Best for Teens and Professionals.
Founded in 2003, Zenni Optical is dedicated to providing high quality prescription eyewear at the lowest possible price. As a solely online business located in the San Francisco Bay area, Zenni Optical offers more than 6,000 frames, all manufactured at their 248,000 square foot facility.
- Glasses for less: With prices that are less than the average cost of lunch, Zenni Optical has a range of glasses that could almost be considered disposable.
- Reasonable delivery times: Typical orders are delivered within two weeks in the U.S., making the wait longer than same day service, but still reasonable.
- Buying guides: Get the right glasses and all the information needed to make an informed selection using the Zenni Optical buying guides.
- Lots of options: With thousands of different frames and lots of customization options available, Zenni Optical has a pair of eyewear for almost anyone.
- Sports wear: In addition to glasses and sunglasses, they also offer goggles and other prescription sports wear.
- Best for Kids, Teens and Professionals.
Founded in 1983, Lens Crafters was the pioneer of one hour glasses, and now continues to offer that core service with some of the newest lens technology.
- Best for Kids, Teens, Professionals and Contacts wearers.
Boutique online retailer Shades Daddy sells a comprehensive line of eyewear with a focus on outdoor wearables. Based in Miami, their product line is full of guaranteed authentic brand name and designer sunglasses.
- Best for Teens and Professionals.
Founded in 1988 in Duluth, GA, Eyeglass World has 70 locations nationwide to make in-store shopping convenient. In 2009, it became a subsidiary of National Vision, Inc., the owner of Vision Center brought to you by Walmart, America's Best, Vista Optical and other national chains.
- Best for Kids, Teens, Professionals and Contacts wearers.
As an industry leader in eye care services and eye wear products, Visionworks has more than 650 stores in 41 different states, including the District of Columbia.
- Best for Kids, Professionals and Contacts wearers.
Founded in 1961 in Savannah, GA, Pearle Vision is now one of the leading eye wear retailers in the U.S. With more than 1,000 branches across Europe and in the Middle East, Pearle Vision has also become an international name in eyewear.
- Best for Professionals and Contacts wearers.
Founded in 1927, while selling glasses out of a pushcart, Cohen's Fashion Optical now has more than 100 storefronts in seven different states and Puerto Rico.
- Best for Kids, Teens, Professionals and Contacts wearers.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
11 – 18 Best Rated Eyeglasses Online
Founded in 1961, Pearle Vision offers customers an extensive collection of eyewear at affordable prices. They have a 30-day return policy, and free adjustments are provided with each purchase for the life of the glasses.
|Read 303 Reviews|
Sterling Optical provides full-service eye care as well as a focus on quality and selection for families. Customers can use its website to select from a variety of coupons such as buy one pair, get another half off.
|Read 64 Reviews|
Lenscrafters has a wide selection of frames, and lenses are usually discounted with each frame purchased. The company offers a 30-day Happiness Guarantee, and unlimited free cleanings and adjustments are included with purchase.
|Read 308 Reviews|
Bausch and Lomb focuses on how different stages of life affect the eye, with many products specific for infants, senior citizens and other age groups. Customers can receive eye vitamins, eye washes, surgical products and more.
|Read 108 Reviews|
The three locations of the 20/20 Eyeglass Superstore in Florida feature optometrists and labs that enable customers to get their glasses one to two hours after they put in their orders. The stores are family owned and operated.
|Read 30 Reviews|
Ray-Ban is a leading brand from Italian eyewear company Luxottica Group. Ray-Ban offers 24/7 shopping through its website, on which customers can customize sunglasses and choose from a wide range of lenses and frame types.
|Read 173 Reviews|
EyeSave.com emphasizes brand designer sunglasses and discounts. It focuses on big selections, quick shipping and quality customer service for its sunglasses, as well as its reading glasses, eyeglasses and more.
|Read 11 Reviews|
ShadesDaddy has a huge lineup of designer eyewear, and are committed to providing the lowest price to customers. They have a 15-day return policy on most of their products, and free shipping is available to U.S. residents.