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Looking to buy a new pair of fashionable prescription glasses? We all know the impact of a great pair – you feel good, you look good, and your confidence soars among the eagles. Thanks to the power of the Internet, shopping for prescription glasses is more convenient than ever. Say ‘adiós’ to the cringe-worthy eyewear at your doctor’s office that shows zero regards for style. Online shops are arguably your best bet for functionality and style – well, as long as you take all the necessary preliminary measures.
Buying eyewear online is not just about adding the best looking pair to your virtual cart, providing your shipping address, and impatiently waiting for the delivery. You have to remember that your eye health and social status is on the line. With this in mind, there are few considerations to deliberate prior to purchase. What is your pupillary distance (distance between pupils)? Is your prescription updated? What is your budget? And last but not least, do you prefer a conservative or fashion-forward style?
As you already know, there are tons of online shops – but they’re not all created equal. To ease your troubles, we took it upon ourselves to trot around the internet in search of the best online shops to buy eyewear. The research criteria are based on customer reviews, site experience, prices, and of course, style.
1. Warby Parker
When you think e-commerce, you think Amazon. When you think resale of used items, you think eBay. Similarly, Warby Parker is synonymous with online eyewear. The New York-based retailer offers a wide selection of eyewear in an easy-to-use website. You can narrow down on the colors, frame shape, material, and size of your glasses with the help of an eight-question quiz.
Wondering what sets Warby Parker apart from the competition? Aside from their diverse selection, the online eyewear shop has an innovative ‘try-on-at-home’ program that allows you test out your choice of glasses at home. Basically, you pick a maximum of five frames – and Warby Parker ships them to you for a trial period of five days. If you find a pair that matches your lifestyle, simply send over your prescription information and get ready to step out in style. P.S. Although you’re not expected to pay for the ‘try-on-at-home’ frames, damaging or failing to return them leaves you liable to all associated costs.
Their glasses are all high-quality, with UV protection, anti-glare, and anti-scratch coatings. The pricing is reasonable, starting at around $95 – depending on the lens and frame specifications. Don’t like your purchase? Not biggie – Warby Parker has an excellent return policy that grants you a full refund within 30 days.
Looking to splash your cash on designer eyewear? Sorry to lead you on, but this is not the site for you. We like to refer to EyeBuyDirect as the Walmart of online eye shops. Why so? Well, they have one of the most extensive selections of glasses on this list – all available at an affordable price. They offer progressive, single-vision, and bifocal lenses in a range of different materials, shapes, and colors.
You can literary find a frame for as low as $6 (excluding the prescription lenses) in addition to tons of discounts and special offers. But there is a caveat to their affordability: Features such as anti-glare and UV protection lenses will force you to dig deeper into your wallet. EyeBuyDirect also offers free shipping for orders above $99. To cap it off, the online eyewear shop allows an equal exchange or full refund within 14 days if you’re unsatisfied with your purchase.
3. Zenni Optical
High-quality eyewear for every Tom, Dick, and Harry (and the female versions that no one seems to know). This is the mission of Zenni Optical – but not in those exact words. Since they operate an online-only sales framework that allows them to focus on one sales point, it’s not hard to see why they are one of the best online shops to buy eyewear.
As a website designed for the everyday Joe, Zenni Optical offers user-friendly prices – starting at $6.95 for frames. Every purchase comes with a cleaning cloth, UV protection, and an anti-scratch coating – all free extras!
Due to the vast selection of glasses, it’s advisable to visit the site when you have a rough idea of what you want. Their varied filters and search tools allow you to sort through the hoard of options fairly easily – based on the size, material, shape, and color of the frames. If you don’t have your eye locked on a specific design, you can make use of their quiz. Still not sure if the frames are right for you? Maybe the virtual ‘Try On’ option will help. You simply upload your latest photo (preferably a passport), and Zenni superimposes the frames on your face.
Here comes the new kid on the block – fresh and ready to conquer the competition. Unlike most of the online shops in this list, Coastal was established after the turn of the century. Age aside, the company has a pretty active blog that provides a wealth of information you’d only expect from a veteran.
Why does Coastal deserve a spot in this list of the best online shops to buy eyewear, you ask? They are socially conscious – and consumers love a brand that cares! The company partners with the Essilor Vision Foundation to offer a free pair to a needy individual with every purchase you make. Let’s be honest: There’s a warm feeling that comes with knowing that you just helped someone live a better life.
Regarding their pricing, Coastal falls in-between – not expensive, but not the cheapest either. Frame start from $19 in addition to regular discounts. They also offer free shipping and a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Do you prefer to play it safe? Or are you after the upmarket shopping experience? Why don’t you try a classic retailer with a dependable track record? In addition to over 1000 brick-and-motor outlets, Lenscrafters runs an extensive online shop. They offer a curated selection of frames from established brands such as Dolce and Gabbana, Armani, Oakley, and Ray-Ban.
Lenscrafters is one of the top online shops to buy glasses due to their undoubtful quality. And if you need after-sale services such as adjusting your frames, just pop into one of the nearest Lenscrafters stores. Simply put, this is what you call a no-fuss option.
As you’d expect from a high-end chain owned by the Luxottica (the largest eyewear company), their prices range on the higher side. Most frames start at $70 (excluding lenses). They offer free shipping, insurance options, and a 30-day return policy to facilitate a seamless and classy shopping experience.
6. DIFF Eyewear
Have you heard of DIFF Eyewear? Let’s rephrase that question: Are you active on social media with the slightest interest in celeb gossip? DIFF Eyewear is sending waves through the online eyeglasses industry – thanks to their ingenious marketing tactics.
You might have noticed celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin spotting brightly-colored eyewear. Well, this is DIFF Eyewear’s strategy to leverage celeb and influencer marketing – and they live up to their advertisements. Aside from their flashy appearance, DIFF Eyewear has a big heart by giving back to the needy through medicine, surgery, eye exams, or glasses for every purchase you make.
The company claims to blend affordability, quality, and uniqueness to create statement eyeglasses that make you stand out. Although their main selling point is designer sunglasses, they also offer tons of fashion-forward options, blue-light-blocking, and prescription glasses. Shipping is free for orders above $70 with a 14-day return policy (including a $6 return fee).
Eyeconic is like the ‘people’s person’ of the bunch – i.e., cool name and friendly to all users. This is an online shop for both veterans and first-timers, conservative and fashion-forward consumers, and those with big or small budgets. They deservedly earn a place as one of the best online shops to buy eyewear due to their remarkably though-out site that facilitates one of the best online experiences.
Whether you’re looking for contact lenses or frames, the vast selection at Eyeconic guarantees to meet your taste – or at least come close. You can find eyewear from some of your favorite brands such as Ray-Ban, Anne Klein, Air Optix, and Acuvue. They also have a handy and effective virtual ‘Try On’ tool to ensure you look great.
Fancy some discounts and special offers? You can take advantage of a 10% discount by signing up for their newsletter – from which you’ll get first pick on the latest offers. According to Eyeconic you can save as much as $220 with them if you play your cards right. Did we mention that Eyeconic’s lenses and glasses come with a 1-year warranty and a 30-day return policy?
Half eyewear influencer, half digital strategist… Glassesrating is my passion and my special world of fun, beauty and style!