What to Consider When Buying Kids Glasses
Glasses for kids, both prescription and non-prescription, are available at your family optician, online stores, and other physical stores.
When buying glasses for kids, consider the following:
Kids need to wear glasses for various reasons, including to improve vision or protect against harmful sun rays.1 Sometimes, it may just be for cosmetic purposes. Buying with intention will ensure your kids get the full benefits of your purchase.
There are many brands selling kids' eyeglasses, and the quality varies. For this reason, it's essential to purchase from a trusted brand. Before buying, research each brand by checking online reviews or seeking third-party opinions.
Online sites such as TrustPilot, ConsumerReports, and Better Business Bureau come in handy when you want trustworthy ratings, including ratings by real customers.
Kids' glasses come in small, medium, or large. Some retailers categorize them according to different age ranges, such as toddlers, juniors, and teenagers.
To choose the correct size of glasses for your child, read through the fitting instructions and size charts. Some retailers have incorporated a Frame Size Finder tool on their websites.This recommends the best fit once you enter your kid's current frame size.
The best children's glasses are made of polycarbonate or trivex. These are higher-index lenses designed for greater safety and lighter weightmore comfort than regular plastic lenses.2 Experts recommend against glass lenses for kids because they're more prone to cracking or shattering.
Kids' glasses from online stores are less costly because online retailers eliminate middlemen like physical stores and third-party manufacturers. However, this may vary depending on factors like brand quality, availability, and accompanying accessories.
Designer glasses are also highly-priced compared to generic ones. In some cases, retailers allow add-ons, such as custom cases or colored lenses, at an extra cost. It's a good idea to compare different options before deciding to purchase.
Many vision insurance companies offer coverage for vision treatment. Although not all online stores accept vision insurance or funds from flexible spending or health savings accounts (FSA or HSA), most do.3
Check with your insurance company and eye care provider to confirm eligibility or availability of out-of-network benefits.
Each brand has its policies on purchases, shipping, and returns. For example, some stores don't allow free returns, while others do within a given time. Similarly, some retailers allow for free adjustments, while others will do it for a fee.
It's essential to read through the purchase policy to know what you're signing up for. Also, check if the glasses come with a warranty to cover you in case of loss or damage.
Based on personal preference, secondary considerations include frame color, tint color, frame shape, and lens type. These provisions also vary from one retailer to another.
Everything We Recommend
1. Best overall – Zenni Optical
2. Best blue-light blocking – Felix Gray
3. Best for sports – A Sight for Sport Eyes
4. Best for toddlers – GlassesUSA.com
5. Best on a budget – DiscountGlasses.com
6. Best for all face shapes – Jonas Paul
7. Best for designer glasses – Framesdirect.com
7 Best Places to Buy Kids Glasses Online
Below are the seven best places to purchase your kid's glasses online.
1. Best Overall: Zenni Optical
Zenni Optical is top of this list because it offers a full home-based buying experience for toddlers and pre-teens. It has a 4.6 rating on TrustPilot.
Using the website's 3D Try-On tool, Zenni Frame Fit ®, you can take a video of your child's face and get a recommendation of what to buy. They also have a guide for measuring pupillary distance (PD), which is essential for determining lens measurements.
Zenni Optical stands out for its award-winning customer service and a wide array of frame styles, colors, and prices. The frames are kid-tested and have a high style, comfort, and durability score. For as low as $16.95, you can add Blokz® lenses to protect young eyes against blue light.
Regarding affordability, Zenni Optical glasses are pocket friendly, retailing at about one-tenth of the price of optical retail.
- Wide range of affordable glasses
- Suitable for all age groups, including toddlers (0 to 3 years old)
- Available in various sizes and colors
- Free 30-day return policy
- The website is easy to navigate, enabling shopping by category
- Great deals, including glasses under $10
- HSA and FSA eligible
- Zenni Optical does not accept insurance
- There's a shipping fee
2. Best for Blue-Light Blocking: Felix Gray
Felix Gray comes in at two on the list because of their popularity for "computer glasses," lenses that block blue light. This prevents eye fatigue and other negative effects of LED lighting.4 Also, the lenses contain some anti-glare coating to protect your child's eyes from glare.
The kids' glasses are available in small sizes (for ages 4 to 8) and large sizes (for ages 9 to 13). They come in various colors (green, amber, tortoise, and black), and include both prescription and non-prescription.
The Felix Gray Nash Kids Sleep Glasses are slightly more expensive and are designed to improve sleep.
According to the company, the lenses specifically target the blue light that affects melatonin secretion. Melatonin is a hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle between night and day.5
- The website allows for order tracking
- A 30-day return policy
- A 1-year warranty on lenses
- Accessories such as cleaning kits are available
- UV and blue light glasses are available
- Accepts vision insurance
- Accepts FSA/HSA payments
- Expensive lenses
- Limited frame options
3. Best for Sports: A Sight for Sport Eyes
Serving since 1996, Sight for Sport Eyes has grown to be a reliable online platform for ASTM safety-rated kids' glasses and prescription goggles.
The website allows shopping by brand and activity—shoppers can navigate the website based on their specific sport. Available sports glasses for kids include:
- Motorcycle glasses
- Basketball glasses
- Running glasses
- Soccer glasses
- Cycling and biking glasses
- Prescription swimming glasses
Most A Sight for Sport Eyes products come with at least a 1-year or 2-year warranty. However, some brands, such as Gargoyles, Zeal, Smith, Rec-Specs, and LX Polarized, have a lifetime warranty. It's a good idea to check the warranty information for each product before purchasing.
- Free shipping on orders over $60 (USA buyers only)
- Discounted prices for international purchases
- 45 days for an exchange on non-prescription glasses
- 45-day return and refund policy on non-prescription products
- Fast shipping (2 to 7 days)
- A buy, try, and return option
- Accepts vision insurance and FSA/HSA funding
- Only partial refunds on prescriptions
- No visual try-on system
4. Best for Toddlers: GlassesUSA.com
GlassesUSA is also a leading online eyewear retailer, offering the best eyeglasses and sunglasses for toddlers, juniors, teens, and adults. The website has a 4.5 (excellent) rating on Trustpilot.
Parents of toddlers can shop based on gender, shape, size, color, and desired brand. Like Zenni Optical, GlassessUSA's website has a virtual try-on tool to allow 3D visualization before purchase.
The glasses are made from polycarbonateCR-39, a lightweight and durable material suited for the rough and tumble world that toddlers live in.
With more than 200 varieties of frames starting from as low as $29, there's something for every toddler. You'll also enjoy discounts on clearance sales, deals, coupons, and 50% off all lens upgrades.
- They offer a 365-day warranty
- 100% money-back guarantee on all products
- Free shipping on prescription lenses, coatings, and upgrades
- Online order tracking is possible
- Includes sporting glasses for toddlers
- Accepts vision insurance and FSA/HSA funding
- 24/7 customer support
- Short return policy (less than 14 days)
- No in-store purchases for kids' glasses
5. Best on a Budget: DiscountGlasses.com
Starting with their free shipping and free return policy, DiscountGlasses.com stands out as the best place to purchase toddler, junior, and pre-teen glasses at a discounted price of about $35 to $40 per pair.
DiscountGlasses.com's website offers a great shopping experience. Like our top four stores, shoppers can filter through different products based on gender, price, shape, color, size, and type, enabling quicker checkouts.
DiscountedGlasses.com includes an array of named brands, such as Disney, Converse, and even Picklez, popular for its Kid-Proof Warranty. You can select from prescription lenses to non-prescription, single vision, reading, or progressive.
You can also choose your lens material. Standard lenses are free. You'll pay for add-ons like transition coatings, tints, and blue light filters and films.
- Quick turnaround (9 to 14 days)
- 365-day return policy
- Order tracking available
- Kid-proof warranty
- Offer an online vision test
- Free delivery and return shipping
- Accepts HSA/FSA funding
- Insurance not accepted
6. Best For All Face Shapes: Jonas Paul
Jonas Paul exclusively sells kids' glasses designed for durability and comfort. The website is easy to navigate as all kid's glasses are organized by age and gender, enabling shoppers to narrow their search to a specific category.
Jonas Paul stands out for its variety of styles and colors (as many as 11 colors), providing plenty of options for children of all face shapes and tastes.
Once you buy the frame, the basic prescription or non-prescription lens will be added free of charge. However, you may have to pay some amount if you go for upgrades like polarized, light-responsive, and blue-light filtering lenses.
One thing that stands out about Jonas Paul is their at-home try-on kit, which allows you to do a week-long test with seven frames at only $1. A virtual try-on system is also available, although the kit is most recommended.
- 1-year normal-use warranty on lenses
- 6-month warranty on frames
- 50% off when you buy a second pair
- Fast turnaround time (8 to 12 business days with expedited shipping options available)
- 30-day warranty for non-prescription glasses or frames
- HSA and FSA eligible
- All prescription eyewear is non-returnable
7. Best for Designer Glasses: Framesdirect.com
FramesDirect.com has an excellent score (4.5) on Trustpilot and was the first company to sell progressive lenses online. For kids who like to rock designer brands, FramesDirect.com sells glasses by brands like:
- Michael Kors
The glasses come in different types, colors, frame shapes, materials, and prices. Luckily, the website has a filter function to select your desired features. This saves time and creates a great customer experience. The "Find My Size" tool allows you to filter through the inventory using accurate pupillary distance measurements.
FramesDirect.com makes shopping easy because they accept all major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover). They also accept Flex Spending/HSA debit cards, PayPal, and Klarna (pay in 4).
- A wide variety of kids' glasses
- 60% off all lenses
- Free shipping available
- Order tracking available
- Quick turnaround time (3 to 11 days)
- A 30-day return and exchange policy
- 1-year warranty
- Accepts vision insurance
- Free shipping excludes Alaska, Hawaii, and US territories and international orders
- No virtual try-on feature
Why are Glasses Essential for a Child’s Eye Health?
Below are reasons why glasses have a positive impact on a child's eye health.
Glasses Improve Vision
Glasses improve and strengthen vision in children with conditions such as:
- Myopia (nearsightedness)
- Hyperopia (farsightedness)
- Amblyopia (lazy eye)
- Anisometropia (refractive error differs between the two eyes)
They can also improve the position of their eyes if they're crossed or misaligned. These conditions can worsen over time and, if not rectified through eyeglasses, contact lenses, or eye surgery, may affect a child's quality of life. If high myopia is not treated, associated complications can cause blindness.6
Glasses Protect Against Harmful Rays
Ultraviolet rays (UV) from the sun can cause significant damage to the eye and can lead to blindness.
Kids are particularly at risk because their eyes are not fully developed. They're also unlikely to know the potential danger of looking directly at the sun. Similarly, high energy visible (HEV) blue light radiation from computer monitors, smartphones, TV, and fluorescent bulbs can hurt kids' eyes.7
To protect kids' eyes outdoors, choose glasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Blue light-blocking glasses will protect their eyes during screen time.
Glasses Protect Eyes from Eye Trauma
Kids can be rough during play, increasing the potential for eye trauma. Some sports are also dangerous if played without eye protection. However, basic glasses cannot offer effective protection against eye trauma. In fact, they can shatter and endanger your child's eyes.
Glasses with sturdier and more durable sports lenses can protect the child's eyes during dangerous physical activity, enable them to see better, and enhance their performance.
Glasses Prevent Eye Infections
Kids' eyes encounter dust, water, allergens, and other debris that can cause or worsen allergic, bacterial, or viral infections (conjunctivitis).
Fortunately, prescription glasses with side protection and anti-fog coatings can keep these elements off children’s eyes.8 However, ensure the glasses are clean as they can act as a reservoir for infection-causing agents.
How to Know If a Child Needs Glasses
Regular eye exams should be enough to monitor and detect any issue with a child's eyes. However, consult your eye doctor if you notice the following signs:9
- Squinting to see clearly
- Covering one eye or tilting their head to see better
- Sitting too close to the television
- Excessive rubbing of the eyes
- Eye pain accompanied by headaches
- Difficulty concentrating at school
- When buying glasses for kids, you must consider the purpose, brand reputation, size, price, and company policy.
- There are many sellers of kids' glasses, with online sellers among the best in terms of service and product quality.
- The best place to buy glasses for kids is Zenni Optical, which has a 4.6 rating on TrustPilot for its excellent buying experience that includes a 3D Try-On tool and search by relevance feature.
- Other notable sellers include DiscountGlasses.com, GlassesUSA.com, A Sight for Sport Eyes, Felix Gray, Jonas Paul, and DiscountGlasses.com.
- It’s important to buy kids glasses as soon as they’re necessary; glasses improve vision and protect the eyes against trauma, harmful sun rays, and infection-causing bacteria and viruses.
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.