Like other industries, the internet has completely changed how we shop for glasses. A variety of online retailers now exist, which allow you to buy glasses from the comfort of home.
Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a retailer:
- Try-on policy — It can be difficult to get an exact fit for your glasses the first time. Some retailers offer At Home Try-On, allowing you to try on up to five different pairs, free of charge. Other stores allow you to try on glasses virtually.
- Price — Glasses can vary widely in price, sometimes being quite expensive. Does the retailer offer competitive prices? Can you purchase through your vision insurance or with an FSA or HSA card?
- Selection — Some retailers have a wide variety of types, models, and brands of glasses. Build quality can also vary between brands.
- Return Policy — If you are unsatisfied with your glasses, how long do you have to return them? Do you receive your full money back or store credit?
- User Experience — Is the site well-designed and easy to navigate? What features and tools does it offer to assist customers?
6 Best Places to Order Glasses Online
Warby Parker is an established and respected name in the online glasses space. Their glasses are affordably priced, well-constructed, and stylish, with options for men and women.
What distinguishes Warby Parker is its focus on providing a smooth customer experience from prescription to purchase. Eye exams are available on their site.
You can also schedule an appointment at one of their over 150 brick-and-mortar locations.
Their influential At Home Try-On policy, which allows customers five days to try up to five different pairs of glasses, is risk-free. This can be good for first-timers who may not know their frame size.
Other retailers only permit virtual try-ons (though Warby Parker does offer this option as well).
Warby Parker eyeglasses start at around $95, with payment plans available.
Given shipping and returns are covered and the ability to pay with various insurance plans, as well as HSAs and FSAs, this is relatively affordable.
Single-vision polycarbonate lenses are also included in the price, with free UV and anti-scratch coating.
Other Warby Parker pros include:
- User-friendly website
- Sunglasses, blue light-filtering, non-prescriptions, and other accessories are also available
- Strong customer service
- App available to measure pupillary distance
- One-year guarantee to replace scratched lenses
- Reimbursements up to $50 for frame adjustments
- Selection on the limited side — no higher-end brands here
- 30-day return policy is less than that of other brands
- Bifocals not available (but progressive lenses are)
Liingo might be called the “new Warby Parker” because, in many ways, they either match or exceed them.
Here are some things the two sites have in common:
- An identical At Home Try-On policy (“Five Pairs, Five Days”)
- High-quality and stylish glasses at affordable prices
- Intuitive and attractive website
- Insurance, HSA’s, and FSA’s accepted
- Free shipping and returns
- Single-vision polycarbonate lenses included
- Free AR and UV coatings
- Prescription-reader app
Here are some ways Liingo beats Warby Parker:
- 60-day free return policy
- Prices start at $79 (rather than $95)
- 4-days processing (Warby’s is 7 days)
- Ability to search by Lens, Bridge, and Arm measurements
One way Warby Parker does beat out Liingo is in offering eye exams online and in-person.
Currently, Liingo doesn’t do this. Liingo also only reimburses $25 for frame adjustments, whereas Warby Parker reimburses $50.
For those interested in glasses that are both affordably priced and stylish, and don’t need a prescription, check out Liingo.
Zenni is a popular and well-reviewed outlet that offers a wide variety of budget-friendly glasses. Billing themselves as “trendy, not spendy,” some Zenni pairs can be had for as little as $12.
Aside from price, Zenni’s site offers greater search abilities. Unlike Warby Parker, Zenni provides the ability to sort by price, prescription, and measurements.
You can even shop by face shape. The site also has useful educational material on topics such as pupillary distance and how to choose the right lens.
Some other highlights of Zenni include free single-vision lenses, as well as free UV and AR coatings. Scratch repairs are also free. In contrast to Warby Parker, they also offer bifocals.
One drawback to Zenni only offers Virtual Try-Ons, making them less than ideal for new glasses-wearers.
Here are some other drawbacks:
- Zenni will fully refund you if you return a pair within thirty days — but only for store credit; cash refunds are 50%
- Insurance plans, HSA’s, and FSA’s are not accepted
- No designer frames
- No free shipping and longer turnaround time (shipping costs $4.95 and delivery takes 2 to 3 weeks)
Zenni is not the best option for beginners. For experienced buyers looking for a cheap second pair, however, they’re worth a look.
With over 7,000 different frames and various brands for sale, this site has something for everyone.
Many well-known sunglasses brands are available here, such as Ray-Ban, Gucci, and Oakley, among others.
Like Zenni, GlassesUSA lets you filter by price. The prices on here go anywhere from $6 all the way to $353.
Eyeglasses can also be purchased with vision insurance, FSA, and HSA, further helping with affordability.
One interesting feature about this site is that it features a Prescription Scanner, allowing you to match the right glasses to your prescription.
It also has a free Home Try-On option with some pairs, making it a possible option for new eyewear consumers. However, unlike Warby Parker, you are limited to only one or two pairs. A virtual try-on option is also available.
Prominent on their site is a 365-day warranty with free shipping and returns.
One drawback to the return policy is returns are accepted within only fourteen days for a full refund. It also only applies to first-time returns.
Additional disadvantages are that UV and anti-scratch coatings cost extra, and average turnaround times are longer.
If choice is important to you, check out GlassesUSA.
This is another budget-friendly outlet, with over 1,000 frames and men, women, and kids options available.
Except for their Ray-Ban and Oakley offerings, EyeBuyDirect does all their own design and manufacturing, allowing them to save on price. Filtering by price, frames can be had for as low as $6.
One area EyeBuyDirect distinguishes itself is turnaround times. For a $19 fee, they promise a two-day delivery window. This could be useful for someone who needs a replacement pair quickly.
EyeBuyDirect offers both bifocal and progressive lenses in both their eye and sunglasses.
Limitations to EyeBuyDirect are the following:
- 14-day return window
- Virtual try-on only
- No app or webcam measuring tool for measuring PD
- Free shipping only for orders of $99 or more
For those who need a replacement pair of glasses as soon as possible, EyeBuyDirect is a good option.
LookOptic designs its glasses with uniquely bendable arms called “wire-core temples.” This allows you to adjust them without ever taking them into a shop.
Two other selling points for LookOptic are their generous 90-day risk-free trial period, with free shipping and returns, as well as available 2-day shipping ($10.20).
They offer a variety of chic-looking readers, blue light-blockers, and reader-sunglasses, costing $68, $78, and $88, respectively. They are available in a variety of colors and magnification options.
A portion of the proceeds from each purchase is donated to Charity: Water.
A drawback to their site is the relative lack of filter options, as well as a lack of useful tools like a prescription analyzer app, eye exam, or PD checker.
If you’re interested in something a bit different, check out LookOptic.
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The Vision Center team spends several hours researching and writing every review page. We scour the internet and base all of our recommendations on:
- Customer reviews
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- Contemporary scholarly articles
Every review is then edited for medical accuracy by our medical reviewer, Dr. Melody Huang, O.D..
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.