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There are many different types of eyeglasses to choose from. It’s important to find a pair of glasses that not only fits your vision needs but also fits your budget. An eye exam from your optometrist will help determine the best eyewear for your needs.
The six main types of eyeglass lenses include the following:
Once you have the correct lenses for your needs, you can choose a lens material for your eyeglasses. Some lens materials include:
Once you choose your lenses and frames, you can include an add on, like a protective coating for the lenses. Here are some of the coatings that may be available to you:
The price of your pair of glasses depends on the type of lenses and frames you choose, any add ons you buy, and whether you buy them from certain retailers or your eye doctor. Whether or not you have vision insurance that covers the cost of your new glasses also affects the price.
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Without insurance, prescription glasses can be expensive. Whether you buy them at online retailers, in stores, or from your eye doctor’s office will all affect the cost. For example, designer frames like Warby Parker and Ray-Ban will be more expensive than regular (non-brand specific) frames from Walmart or Costco.
The cost of glasses can range anywhere between $8 and $600 for a standard pair — and can climb into the thousands for name brands. The average price for new glasses is about $195. You can shop around for the best price if you don’t have insurance to help pay for them.
Warby Parker lets you select 5 frames to test out for 5 days and ships them to you—for free! Learn more about their Home Try-On Program.
Your vision insurance may or may not cover the cost of your prescription glasses. Some insurance plans will pay up to a certain amount, such as about $120 a year for prescription glasses. However, if you want a more expensive name brand, you will still have to cover the difference.
Non-prescription glasses are generally cheaper than prescription glasses. They can cost as little as a few dollars. For example, there are hundreds of non-prescription glasses available for sale on Etsy, and they cost $27.87 on average.
People buy non-Rx glasses for a few reasons, including:
It is unlikely that your vision insurance will cover non-prescription glasses. Some vision insurance providers will not even cover prescription glasses, though most will cover the cost of your eye exam to get the glasses.
Tons of factors affect the cost of your eyeglasses. These include the following:
There are many benefits of switching to contact lenses instead of glasses. They give you a fuller field of focused vision, and they don’t fog up, get wet in the rain, or distort light. Plus, they could give you a confidence boost and be more convenient if you live an active lifestyle.
However, contacts can be more expensive than glasses. Depending on the types of contacts you get (daily disposables or reusable contacts), you may end up paying less. But you’ll need to buy them more frequently, so the cost adds up over time. You’ll also need to buy a contact lens solution to keep your contacts clean.
Your prescription from your eye doctor does not mean that you have to buy your glasses from your doctor’s office (though you probably can). You can also shop for glasses at major retailers like Lenscrafters and Warby Parker, as well as at stores like Walmart and Costco. You can also order glasses online at sites like GlassesUSA.com.
Bird, Chris. “Switching from Glasses to Contacts: Pros and Cons.” Southwestern Eye Center, Southwestern Eye Center, 22 May 2019, www.sweye.com/blog/optical-care/switching-from-glasses-to-contacts-pros-and-cons/.
“Choosing the Right Lenses for Your Glasses.” Designer Eyewear, Lenses & Eye Exams, www.wisconsinvision.com/Wisconsin/Lenses.
“How Much Do Eyeglasses Cost?” CostHelper, health.costhelper.com/eyeglasses.html.
“How to Choose Eyeglasses for Vision Correction.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 27 June 2020, www.aao.org/eye-health/glasses-contacts/glasses.
“Non Prescription Glasses.” Etsy, www.etsy.com/market/non_prescription_glasses.