What are Adjustable Glasses?
Adjustable glasses are a versatile and affordable solution to correcting minor vision problems. They won’t replace regular glasses, but they work great in a pinch and make some activities much easier.
Also known as variable focus glasses and adjustable focus reading glasses, self-adjustable glasses allow wearers to see near and far. They're similar to other multifocal lenses (bifocals and trifocals) but less expensive and available without a prescription.
Glasses with adjustable focus lenses are especially convenient for people with presbyopia (age-related farsightedness). They can correct other refractive errors, including:
How are Adjustable Glasses Different from Regular Eyeglasses?
With traditional lenses such as bifocals and progressives, small portions of each lens offer different types of vision correction. You'll look through the top to see far away and down for objects near you. While convenient, this leads to a limited field of view.
With adjustable focus glasses, you have one focal length that varies depending on where you are looking.
These non-prescription glasses feature adjustment dials for far- and nearsighted correction. Adjustable glasses provide improved vision at all distances without requiring you to switch pairs of glasses or limit your field of view.
Where to Buy Glasses + Contacts
Best Overall: Warby Parker
Fastest Delivery: EyeBuyDirect
Also Great: Liingo
Best Place to Buy Contacts: 1800 Contacts
How Do Adjustable Glasses Work?
Adjustable focus glasses feature fluid-filled lens technology that lets you adjust the lens power based on your vision needs. You twist the dial until you achieve optimal visual acuity. This is why they are sometimes called dial vision glasses.
Each lens on adjustable glasses has a membrane that moves outward or inward based on how much fluid the lens contains. The fluid comes from a small syringe in each arm of the glasses. Pumping fluid in or out of the lens changes its refractive power:
- Correcting hyperopia (farsightedness). Pumping fluid into the lens increases its power, allowing you to see up close.
- Correcting myopia (nearsightedness). Pumping fluid out decreases the lens power, providing clear distance vision.
Pros and Cons of Adjustable Eyeglasses
Adjustable eyeglasses offer a variety of benefits, but they aren’t right for everyone. They offer convenience, but they tend not to work as well as prescription-strength glasses.
These glasses can be found at many retail stores and online from Amazon. Many of the benefits and drawbacks of adjustable glasses vary based on the brand, so research your options before choosing which is best for you.
The pros of adjustable glasses include:
- No need for a prescription or eye exam
- Individual lens adjustment
- Many brands offer both magnification and blue light filtering capabilities to protect your eyes from screen damage
The cons of adjustable glasses include:
- Usually not as attractive as traditional lenses
- Quality doesn’t match most prescription glasses
- Can be difficult to adjust
- Easily scratched
- Some users struggle with distance lens use
Where to Buy Adjustable Glasses
Several brands offer adjustable eyeglasses. Our favorites include:
Dial Vision offers adjustable glasses for nearsightedness and farsightedness.
- Dials on both arms for individual lens adjustment
- Available without a prescription
- More affordable than traditional prescription lenses
Eyejusters replace traditional reading glasses. The company has offered adjustable reading glasses since 2016 and claims to replace all your over-the-counter reading glasses.
- Glasses change focus with the simple twist of a dial
- Dial on each side provides individualized focusing power
- Dials are discreetly hidden
- Vision correction ranges from +0.50 to +4.00
- Durable, scratch-resistant lenses
- Unisex glasses are available in a variety of colors, designs, and materials
Global Vision offers a wide range of affordable adjustable eyewear. You can find Global Vision adjustable glasses for as little as $5 to $10 online. Most pairs cost less than $20.
These glasses are more functional than stylish. These are great if you’re looking for a convenient option that allows you to see close and far away.
Adlens offers adjustable glasses that feature a compound lens system. The technology features two thin, wave-shaped plates that slide across each other when you turn the knob. The position of the two plates adjusts the overall power of the lens.
Other features include:
- Anti-reflective coating
- Vision correction ranging from -4.00 to +5.00
- Allows you to focus at any distance with one pair of glasses
How Much Do Adjustable Eyeglasses Cost?
Adjustable eyeglasses cost much less than traditional prescription vision correction. The average cost of adjustable glasses is about $25. Some brands offer adjustable eyewear for less than $5 a pair.
Adjustable glasses correct a variety of refractive errors, including presbyopia. They provide variable focusing, so you can use them to see at all distances.
Unlike multifocal lenses such as bifocals or progressives, adjustable glasses are available without a prescription. Many brands sell adjustable glasses for $25 or less, making them an affordable and convenient option. However, they don’t replace regular prescription glasses.
In this article
Best Places to Buy Glasses
Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.
Liingo Eyewear is another great option to buy glasses online.
Best on a Budget
EyeBuyDirect has a wide variety of budget frames starting at $6.
Best Places to Buy Contacts
1-800 Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.
GlassesUSA has a huge selection of contacts, glasses, & sunglasses.