Updated on  May 17, 2024
5 min read

What Are Fake Glasses?

6 sources cited
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Key Takeaways

  • Fake or non-prescription glasses are often worn as a fashion statement and don’t provide any vision correction
  • Off-the-rack non-prescription glasses are also popular for people who need reading glasses
  • Various frames are available for fake glasses
  • If your vision needs correction, consult your doctor for prescription glasses
  • Fake glasses are not harmful and glasses with blue-light blocking coating may help reduce eye strain

Fake or non-prescription glasses are often worn as a fashion statement to add style to your wardrobe. Non-prescription eyeglasses don’t offer vision correction, but they can be upgraded with blue light-blocking lenses.

Throughout the years, many celebrities have worn fake glasses to improve their look. In movies, actors and actresses often use them when they fit their characters’ style.

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

Can You Use Fake Glasses as Reading Glasses?

Off-the-rack non-prescription glasses are popular for people who need reading glasses. These non-prescription reading glasses have 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.

Non-prescription 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.

Where to Buy Glasses + Contacts

Best Overall: Warby Parker

Fastest Delivery: EyeBuyDirect

Also Great: Liingo

Best Place to Buy Contacts: Discount Contacts

Pros and Cons 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 

While non-prescription eyeglasses have their advantages, wearing them can cause people to delay or even avoid undergoing regular eye exams. Professional advice is recommended even if you wear non-prescription glasses.

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

Cost of Fake Glasses & Where To Buy Them

Some fake glasses are as cheap as $5 or less, and some can cost up to $300 or more. However, the prices can be different depending on the retailer.

If you want to experiment with fake eyeglasses, there are plenty of places to buy them. 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. Meanwhile, the designer Warby Parker has a great selection if you want high-quality options.

Popular Types of Fake Glasses Frames

Various types of frames are available for fake glasses. They’re affordable accessories with different materials and styles for different face shapes.

Here are some of the most popular fake glasses frames available without a prescription:

Cat-Eye Frames

Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe

Shea has a subtle cat-eye shape with a bowed browline and upturned lenses, all balanced by the Low Bridge Fit construction.

Geek/Nerd Glasses

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The statement-making Ainsley eyewear features a bold acetate frame. These non-prescription eyeglasses have a distinct keyhole bridge and a striking Graduated Rivet design.

Horn Rimmed Glasses

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Warby Parker Ames

Ames horn rimmed glasses feature a bold browline and a wide design. These clear lens glasses are suitable for both casual daytime use and evenings out on the town.

Vintage Style Glasses

Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe

Warby Parker Corwin

The features of Corwin frames include round lenses, a brow bar, and a unique design with no bridge. The ultra-thin acetate coil within the eyewire adds a stylish touch and is made in Italy.

Rose Gold Glasses

Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe

Warby Parker Jane

Jane frames are a circular shape with a subtle cat-eye hint. Made from hand-polished cellulose acetate, each pair comes with anti-reflective, scratch-resistant lenses with 100% of UV ray blocking.

Are Fake Eyeglasses Harmful?

We spoke to Cameron McCrodan, who has a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree and is a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (FCOVD). According to him, non-prescription glasses are often used for fashion or blocking blue light, which is generally safe for people without specific vision issues. For some people, it can help reduce eye strain caused by prolonged screen time.

However, the polycarbonate material found in most non-prescription glasses has a low ABBE value. This means it doesn’t have good optical qualities. For some people this can result in the following:

  • Visual strain
  • Fatigue
  • Worse visual quality

Although non-prescription glasses don’t cause long-term harm, they won’t address refractive errors or eye-related problems you may have. Over-the-counter clear lenses with magnifying properties may also have small bubbles or imperfections, affecting your vision.

Concerns about Blue Light-Blocking Coatings

McCrodan mentioned that there have been concerns about the safety and effectiveness of blue light-blocking coatings. Some coatings may not be of high-quality and may lead to some unintended consequences.

Blue light plays an important role in our circadian rhythm, and more research is necessary to determine the potential negative side effects of wearing blue light-blocking lenses during normal waking hours. Always consult an eye care professional to ensure your non-prescription glasses are appropriate for your needs.

Picking the Right Pair of Fake Glasses for You

There are various non-prescription glasses available on the market besides the popular ones we recommend. However, it can be difficult to find the right frames for you. 

Here are some tips on how to pick the perfect frames:

  • Determine your face shape and find frames that accentuate your features
  • Find colors that match your skin tone
  • Consider the durability and material of the frame

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

Discount Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.

glasses usa logo
Also Great

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

Updated on  May 17, 2024
6 sources cited
Updated on  May 17, 2024
  1. Cheap reading glasses: Helpful or harmful?” Harvard Health Publishing, 2015.
  2. Betik, C. “Social spectacle: A look at the fake eyewear trend.” The Daily Texan, 2018.
  3. Paulas, R. “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.
The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.