Fake Glasses (Non-Prescription Glasses)

6 sources cited
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What are Fake Glasses?

Fake glasses are also called non-prescription glasses or clear lens glasses. People wear them as a fashion statement to add style to their wardrobe. They can also upgrade these lenses into blue light blocking lenses.

Throughout the years, many celebrities have worn fake glasses to improve their look. In movies, actors and actresses often wear fake glasses to achieve a certain look for their characters.

The fake glasses trend traces its origins to Taiwan and Japan. It has been popular since at least 2010. 

Popular Types of Fake Glasses Frames

There are various types of fake glasses frames available. They come in different materials and styles. to suit different face shapes.

Here are some of the most popular types of fake glasses frames, which are all available without a prescription.

Cat-Eye Frames

Geek/Nerd Glasses

Horn Rimmed Glasses

Vintage Style Glasses

Rose Gold Glasses

Fake Glasses as Reading Glasses

Off-the-rack non-prescription glasses are also popular for people who need reading glasses. These non-prescription reading glasses consist of two magnifying lenses mounted into an eyeglass frame.

Like prescription glasses, these frames offer varying degrees of magnification or refraction. This usually ranges from +1.00 to +3.50 diopters.

These non-prescription fake glasses may work for some people who require the same refraction in both eyes or can see in just one eye. However, most people are better off investing in a professional eye exam instead especially if they require reading glasses.

The Advantages of Non-Prescription Glasses

Many people select non-prescription glasses for the following reasons:

  • They are inexpensive
  • They are widely available in a selection of styles and shapes
  • They can be easily replaced as fashion changes 

The Disadvantages of Non-Prescription Glasses

Non-prescription glasses have their advantages. But by wearing them, they can cause people to delay or even avoid undergoing regular eye exams. Even if you’re a good candidate for non-prescription glasses, professional advice is recommended.

Some states ban the sale of eye lenses with refraction over +3.50 diopters, but it’s possible to purchase them online. Doctors don’t recommend buying these glasses with higher values without medical advice. 

When Should You Get Prescription Glasses?

Prescription lenses are more suitable if you require a different correction for each eye or have astigmatism. This is because the wrong prescription can cause eye strain in adults. For children, it can make their eye condition worse.

Over-the-counter eyeglasses offer the same prescription in both lenses, even though most people have one eye stronger than the other. On the other hand, eyeglasses bought through an eye doctor are customized to suit your eye prescription.

Fake glasses with magnifying lenses also cannot correct nearsightedness or astigmatism. In such cases, bifocal or progressive eyeglasses are a more suitable choice.

Where to Buy Glasses + Contacts

Best Overall: Warby Parker

Fastest Delivery: EyeBuyDirect

Also Great: Liingo

Best Place to Buy Contacts: 1800 Contacts

Why Is Fake Eyewear Trending?

The fake eyeglasses trend reached the United States in 2010, but it was only popularized by athletes in 2012. Sports stars like Lebron James and Russell Westbrook began wearing thick-rimmed non-prescription eyeglasses.

The fake eyeglasses these stars wore added to a ‘nerdy-chic’ look supported by backpacks, cardigans, and plaid socks. Since 2012, teens, “tweens,” college students, and adults have kept up with the trend.

Are Fake Eyeglasses Harmful?

Fake eyeglasses with non-magnifying glass, plastic, or nothing at all won’t harm your vision.

However, non-prescription glasses with magnifying lenses may have quality issues. Polycarbonate and other materials used to produce prescription lenses are usually defect-free or close to it. 

Over-the-counter fake glasses with magnifying lenses may have small bubbles or imperfections in the lenses. While you may not notice these markings, they can affect your eyesight. Imperfections can make it more difficult to see. 

Costs of Fake Glasses & Where To Buy Them

If you want to experiment with fake eyeglasses, there are plenty of places to buy them. Depending on the retailer, prices differ vastly. Some options are as cheap as $5 or less, and some can cost up to $500 or more.

For affordable fake glasses, discount stores like Walmart and Dollar Tree often have best sellers available. GlassesUSA is another good option for a range of styles.

For high-quality options, designer brand Warby Parker has a great selection.

When ordering fake eyeglasses online, many retailers, including GlassesUSA, offer the option to select ‘non-prescription lenses’ during the checkout part of the shopping process.

Fake Glasses FAQs

Is it OK to wear non-prescription glasses?

Yes, wearing non-prescription glasses with no magnification is safe. There are no harmful effects of wearing non-prescription clear glasses.

Do fake glasses hurt your eyes?

No, fake glasses are safe to wear. If you add blue-light blocking lenses, there may even be a slight added benefit of non-prescription glasses.

What are fake glasses called?

Fake glasses are commonly called non-prescription glasses. They may also be referred to as clear lens glasses, clear lens sunglasses, or clear glasses.

Where can I buy non-prescription glasses?

GlassesUSA is a great option that offers free shipping & returns in the U.S. and a 100% money-back guarantee.

Can you tell if someone is wearing fake glasses?

It's very difficult to tell whether someone is wearing fake glasses or not. Strong prescriptions may change the appearance of someone's eyes when viewed through their lenses. 

However, weak prescriptions won't produce a visible change. Non-prescription lenses will not produce a visible change either.

Best Places to Buy Glasses

Best Overall

Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.

Also Great

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

Best Overall

1-800 Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.

Also Great
glasses usa logo

GlassesUSA has a huge selection of contacts, glasses, & sunglasses.

6 Cited Research Articles
  1. Cheap reading glasses: Helpful or harmful?” Harvard Health Publishing, 2015.
  2. Betik, Caroline. “Social spectacle: A look at the fake eyewear trend.” The Daily Texan, 2018.
  3. Paulas, Rick. “The Hidden Psychology of Wearing Glasses.” Pacific Standard, 2017.
  4. Over-the-Counter vs. Prescription Reading Glasses.” Readers.com
  5. Is it alright for young kids to wear fashion glasses without prescription lenses?” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2021.
  6. Can Glasses Actually Make Your Vision Worse?” Nvision, 2021.
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