Warby Parker Glasses Review (My Experience)

2 sources cited
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Warby Parker Overview

Warby Parker is a premium eyewear retailer that was founded in 2010. Since then, they’ve become a leading name in the eyewear industry.

They set themselves apart from competition by designing, manufacturing, selling, and distributing all of their products in-house.

They use high-quality materials, and their prices are generally lower than the competition.

What's in This Review?

I have been wearing my pair of Warby Parker Caldwell frames for over a year. I initially wrote this review in 2021, about a week after receiving my frames from Warby Parker.

I've updated my review to include my opinion after a year of heavy wear.

This review covers:

  • My Warby Parker glasses review
  • How Warby Parker works
  • Their ordering process
  • Shipping time
  • Their app

Our Warby Parker Ratings

Frame Materials: 10/10

Lens Materials: 9/10

Style: 10/10

Cost: 8/10

Selection: 9/10

Customer Service: 10/10

Shipping: 9/10

App: 9/10

In-Store Experience: 10/10

Overall: 9.5/10

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Michael Warby Parker Review
VisionCenter / Michael Bayba (9/2021)
Warby Parker Review Michael 1 Year Update
VisionCenter / Michael Bayba (9/2022)

Quick Summary

  • Overall, I was very satisfied with my Warby Parker experience from start to finish and would recommend them to anyone who needs prescription glasses
  • One year later, I'm still wearing my Caldwell frames daily, during work, exercise, and just hanging out
  • Their Virtual Try-On tool gives you a realistic idea of what frames will look like on your face
  • The Home Try-On program is excellent and lets you try five frames for free
  • Frame materials are high quality, durable, and lightweight
  • Lenses are good quality as well, with excellent scratch-resistance
  • Customer service is friendly, knowledgeable, and you can get ahold of them quickly
  • Warby Parker frames cost less than premium eyewear retailers but more than other budget options such as Zenni Optical or Walmart

Warby Parker Glasses Review

Warby Parker glasses typically get high ratings from online reviews, and I'm not surprised. This was my second pair of Warby Parkers, and I'm extremely satisfied with both pairs I've received from them.

They come with a:

  • Magnetic case
  • Pamphlet with care instructions
  • Microfiber cloth for cleaning your lenses
Warby Parker Glasses Review
VisionCenter / Michael Bayba

When I took my Warby Parker glasses out of the box, the first thing I noticed was their sturdiness. Warby Parker claims to use the highest-grade materials that they manufacture in-house.

My pair of Caldwell's are made from stainless steel and custom cellulose acetate, with akulon-coated screws in the hinges.

After one year of wearing them, I can confidently say these frames are built to last. I wear glasses every day and only put contacts in when playing competitive sports. After a year of heavy use, I still haven't even needed to tighten the screws in the hinges.

I've been wearing glasses since I was five years old, and Warby Parker tops every brand of glasses I've ever worn when it comes to durability.

Warby Parker Caldwell Glasses Review
VisionCenter / Michael Bayba (Caldwell Frames)
Warby Parker Burke Frames
VisionCenter / Michael Bayba (Burke Frames)

I've had my old pair of Burke's for over three years and never needed to tighten the screws or take them in for an adjustment.

In my opinion, Warby Parker's biggest strength is the quality of their frames.

After three years, my Burke's look exactly the same as the day I got them. My new Caldwell frames have only gotten more comfortable during this past year of wearing them.

Warby Parker Lenses Review

Warby Parker lenses are above average as well. I opted for the classic single-vision polycarbonate lenses, even though they recommended I upgrade to the 1.67 high-index lenses.

I thought they were just trying to upsell me, but now that I have my glasses, I see why they made the suggestion.

The lenses are a bit thick and stick out from the super-thin browline.

It doesn't bother me, but some people may want to take Warby's recommendation and upgrade to the thinner lenses.

My Warby Parker Lens Review
VisionCenter / Michael Bayba

All Warby Parker lenses come with free scratch-resistant treatment, anti-reflective coating, UV protection, and superhydrophobic coating, which helps prevent smudging.

Compared to my glasses from other manufacturers, these lenses do smudge less. My favorite part about these lenses is how easy they are to clean. This is partially because of the quality of Warby Parker lenses and partly due to the semi-rimless design.

After one year, I only have one tiny scratch on my Caldwell lenses. This was definitely my fault. I remember dropping my glasses on the sidewalk and being amazed that the scratch was as small as it is.

My Burke's still don't have a single scratch after three years.

Warby Parker lenses have first-class scratch resistance. This is especially important for me since I wear glasses from the minute I wake up until I get in bed. (And I'm a bit clumsy).

I can vouch for the anti-reflective and UV protection, both work great. I didn't add blue light filtering or light responsiveness, but from my personal experience with Warby Parker, and after reading hundreds of customer reviews online, I'd expect them to perform up to par.

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Warby Parker Customer Service Review

My experience with Warby Parker customer service was great. To test it, I opened the chat option and was connected quickly with a live associate.

I asked some questions about my prescription and frames, and their answers were prompt, knowledgeable, helpful, and kind.

You can access their customer service 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. E.T. via:

  • Online chat
  • Text message
  • Email
  • Phone call

You can also find one of their retail stores and make an appointment or walk in for help.

My first experience with Warby Parker was downtown in New York City four years ago. I remember the store being well-designed, clean, and filled with friendly, knowledgeable staff.

I'd give all my experiences with Warby Parker customer service a 5/5 rating.

How Does Warby Parker Work?

Warby Parker has retail locations in 37 U.S. states, one in Vancouver, three in Toronto, and one in Mississauga.

They ship their products across the U.S. and to parts of Canada.

The company offers:

Besides their polished designs, innovative incentives, and affordable prices, there are two things that set them apart from other eyewear retailers: their app that features a Virtual Try-On tool and their Home Try-On program.

Warby Parker App (Virtual Try-On)

Warby Parker’s Virtual Try-On feature is available on their mobile app. Unfortunately, the app is only available for iPhone users (X and above).

Android users will have to borrow a friend’s phone or use the website.

The app is beautifully designed in terms of both aesthetics and user experience.

While you’re browsing frames, you can swipe down to instantly “try them on.” Or, you can add several frames to your favorites, fire up the Virtual Try-On tool, and swipe from left to right to compare your top frames side-by-side.

Warby Parker Virtual Try On App
VisionCenter / Michael Bayba
Warby Parker Virtual Try-On App
VisionCenter / Michael Bayba

The Virtual Try-On tool gives you a pretty lifelike representation of how the glasses will look on your face. I loved using this tool to try on several different pairs. It was fun to screenshot my favorites and send them to my friends for their input. 

However, it doesn't tell you how the glasses will fit or feel on your face.

Luckily, Warby Parker thought of that. That's why they developed their Home Try-On program.

Home Try-On Program

Warby Parker’s Home Try-On Program is one of the pillars of their success.

This sets them apart from many other online retailers. A few others have added this option to their purchasing process because customers love it so much.

This program allows you to select up to five frames and have them shipped to your house for free. You have five days to try on the frames (they will have non-prescription lenses in them).

You can test the frames for looks, durability, and comfort level, something missing from many other online eyewear purchases.

Once you’ve tried all the frames, you can mark which pair(s) of frames you want to keep or order them online right away.

They’ll add your prescription to your order and send you your new pair of glasses. Then you simply ship the set back to Warby Parker.  

Shipping is free both ways, even if you decide you don’t want any of the frames. 

*Not all frames are available for the Home Try-On Program. However, the majority of frames on their website are. You can flip a switch while you’re browsing to add a filter, so all the frames you’re looking at are available for Home Try-On.

I recommend using their app (if possible) to shop Warby Parker. Filter frames for Home Try-On availability. Then use the Virtual Try-On tool to narrow down your selection to five frames. Add them all to your cart and have them shipped right away.

Check Out Their Home Try-On Program

Costs & Insurance

Warby Parker glasses and lenses range in price from about $95 to $295. All frames come with several free add-ons, with additional options available for an extra cost.

Here’s what you can expect to pay for a pair of Warby Parker glasses:

Frames typically cost $95, $145, $175, or $195, depending on the materials used (both glasses and sunglasses).

Scratch-resistant treatment, anti-reflective coating, UV protection, and superhydrophobic coating are included on all lenses for free.

Non-prescription polycarbonate lenses are free for both glasses and sunglasses.

Single vision polycarbonate prescription lenses are free on all prescription eyeglasses.

Single vision prescription lenses cost an additional $100 for sunglasses.

Progressive lenses cost an additional $200 for eyeglasses and $300 for sunglasses.

Reader lenses that add magnification up to +2.75 are available for no extra charge.

Anti-fatigue lenses, which add a boost of power to help eyes transition from near to far (in single vision lenses, not bifocals) are available for $100.

Blue light filtering can be added for an additional $50.

Light responsive lenses (often called transition lenses) are available in grey, brown, or green for $100 extra.

Polycarbonate lenses are standard. 1.67 high-index lenses, which are thinner and recommended for people with a strong prescription (+/- 4.0 or more), are available for $50 on eyeglasses and $100 on sunglasses.

1.74 high-index lenses are even thinner than 1.67 high index lenses and are recommended for people with very strong prescriptions (+/- 8.0). They are available for an additional $150 on eyeglasses.

Overall, Warby Parker is more affordable than many premium eyewear retailers. However, they aren't as cheap as some budget retailers, such as Zenni Optical or Walmart.

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Insurance

Warby Parker does accept insurance. They are an in-network provider for many vision plans, including:

  • UnitedHealthcare
  • Spectera
  • VSP
  • EyeMed
  • Cigna
  • Humana
  • DavisVision
  • Anthem
  • Aetna
  • NVA 

They are an out-of-network provider for more carriers. You can find your benefits using their insurance page or check directly with your insurance provider.

They also allow you to use a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to pay for prescription glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses, and eye exams.

Warby Parker Shipping Time

Warby Parker shipping times are generally very good.

You can expect anything you order from them to arrive in 10 days or less.

All shipping is free unless you choose expedited shipping for an additional $25. This generally cuts the turnaround time in half.

I ordered my glasses during Covid, while many distribution times were delayed. However, my shipping time wasn't affected. I received my glasses 10 days after the order was placed.

It took about 6 days for them to process my order (this includes cutting my lenses, making the glasses, and packaging them). Then it took another 4 days to ship via USPS.

I was able to track the entire process within my account on the Warby Parker website and app.

Here are the expected shipping times:

Prescription glasses and sunglasses: 7-10 business days (once your prescription and billing information is approved)

Home Try-On: 5 business days

Contact lenses: 5-7 business days for most lenses (Biofinity, Biotrue, and certain specialty or XR lenses often take longer to arrive)

Non-prescription sunglasses: 5 business days

Non-prescription glasses: 7-10 business days

Accessories: 5 business days

Gift cards: 5 business days

E-Gift cards: Within an hour of ordering (or you can schedule delivery for a surprise)

Expedited shipping: On average, this cuts the shipping time in half. Available for an extra $25 at checkout

​​​​​​​​​​​​Note: Orders shipping outside the continental U.S. can take a few extra days to arrive.

Warby Parker Ordering Process

Ordering from Warby Parker is easy, whether you decide to use their app or their website. The only thing you'll need beforehand is your current glasses prescription.

If you have an eye doctor, they should have this on file. It's always best to get a comprehensive eye exam to make sure your prescription is up-to-date before ordering glasses online.

You can schedule an eye exam at Warby Parker or your local eye doctor.

Once your prescription is ready to go, it's time to shop.

Picking Out Your Glasses

The first step is to create a customer account.

Then there are two ways you can try on frames from Warby Parker's online selection.

If you want a new set of frames ASAP, you can use their Virtual Try-On app and order a pair right away.

Otherwise, you can select five frames and get them sent to you via their Home Try-On Program.

Once you've made your final selections, it's time to order your frames and lenses.

Select the frame(s) you've decided upon and confirm their width. Then you'll be asked to choose your prescription type (single-vision, progressives, non-prescription, or readers).

After that, you can add any blue light filtering or light responsiveness for an additional fee if you'd like.

The final selection is your lens material. Once you've finished this, you can add your glasses to your cart.

Ordering Your Glasses

The next step is to upload or find your pupillary distance using their tool. This is as simple as taking a selfie.

Then you upload your prescription (if you haven't already) and add it to your order.

Fill out your shipping and billing info, and your order is placed.

Shipping

Over the next couple of days, Warby Parker will manually process your order. Keep an eye out for their emails, as they will contact you in case they need clarification on any part of your order.

Overall the ordering process was super easy. I got an eye exam from my local eye doctor and was able to upload the prescription quickly.

The only part that was a little frustrating was trying to use their pupillary distance calculator on my Android. It seems to work much better on iPhones than on Androids.

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Warby Parker App Review

The Warby Parker Mobile App has a 4.9 rating with over 200,000 customer ratings on the App Store. I gave it five stars myself.

The app is very well-designed, both in terms of aesthetics and user experience. I thought it was a great online shopping experience. The biggest downside: it's only available for iPhone users (X and above).

Pros

  • Well-designed and easy to use
  • The quick online quiz helps you narrow down your options
  • Easily add frames to your favorites as you browse
  • Virtual Try-On feature is fun and effective
  • Easy to order and navigate your account
  • Customer service is friendly, communicative, and helpful

Cons

  • Only available on iPhone X or above (sorry, my fellow Android users, you’ll have to borrow a friend’s phone if you want to use the app)
  • The pupillary distance measurement tool can be buggy and usually takes a few tries to get it right

Click here to read my full review of the Warby Parker app.

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.

2 Cited Research Articles
  1. “Good Eyewear with Good Outcomes.” Warby Parker, www.warbyparker.com/.
  2. “‎Warby Parker.” App Store, 26 May 2016, apps.apple.com/us/app/warby-parker/id1107693363.
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