Like most things, buying prescription eyeglasses online has become the new norm.
In addition to the sheer convenience of being able to try frames on at home, there’s also the fact that shopping online for prescription glasses usually means more choice — and a lot more savings.
In a recent survey from Consumer Reports, people buying glasses online paid a median of $91, while those shopping in-store spent $234.
Since you can expect to replace your eyeglasses every one to three years, it’s worthwhile to find affordable glasses by buying online, especially if you’re the kind of person who likes to switch up your style every few years.
Plus, you might need a pair of prescription sunglasses for driving and reading at the beach.
Buying Cheap Eyeglasses Online
Eyecare in general has become a lot more affordable in recent years. There’s even a website offering online eye exams that take 10 minutes or less and only cost $20.
But whether you like pinching tiny plastic orbs into your eyes or not— chances are you’ll still want an attractive pair of frames that you actually enjoy wearing. The idea of discount glasses might imply that you’ll be wearing tacky, cheap frames. Not so, and the beauty of affordable glasses is that you can buy multiple pairs when you shop online.
Once you decide to find that stylish set of frames, get ready for a lot of options as you shop online.
If you’re new to online shopping for eyeglasses, keep in mind that most prices you’ll see are for both frames and lenses (assuming you have a relatively low prescription that doesn’t require thicker lenses). But you might be charged extra for special coatings, progressive lenses (those that function as both reading and distance glasses), or other add-ons for your lenses.
Here are 10 affordable places to buy your next pair of cheap prescription glasses online.
1. Warby Parker
If you’re looking for a lot of choice (and the modern convenience of trying on eyeglass frames at home), you might just want to start your search at Warby Parker. With prescription eyeglasses starting at just $95, and a variety of insurance providers accepted (including Cigna, Aetna, and Anthem, among others), Warby makes it easy to find great frames at any budget.
Basic Warby lenses include a scratch-resistant treatment, a moisture-repelling coating, and UV protection. Progressive lenses (those that function as both reading and distance glasses) start at $295, while tinted prescription lenses cost an additional $100 from the base model.
Warby usually takes five to 10 business days to ship your order, with home try-ons arriving in about five days.
2. Zenni Optical
Probably one of the cheapest online eyewear stores out there, Zenni sells single-prescription glasses starting at just $6.95.
Looking for more options? They also sell affordable prescription sunglasses (starting at $12), blue-light-blocking glasses (starting at $24) and tinted glasses (starting at $29).
You can even buy your frames using your HSA or FSA account.
Despite the crazy-low affordable prices, Zenni lenses are actually still good quality according to customer reviews, and all come with UV protection and an initial 30-day protection plan that replaces broken frames for free.
Zenni also offers a virtual try-on tool to help you pick which frames best fit your face.
3. Glasses USA
Glasses USA is another online eyewear retailer offering a huge selection (as in over 7,000 frames) of cheap glasses. Unlike some of the competition, Glasses USA also offers free shipping and returns, as well as a 365-day warranty.
While many of the glasses here start at around $80 (including progressive lenses), you can find clearance pairs for as low as $29.
You can make purchases using an FSA or HSA account, and the company also partners directly with a number of popular vision insurance providers. The company was running some pretty sweet promos recently, including a 30% off student discount and a $10 Amazon gift card when you refer a friend.
This online vendor offers a little bit of everything when you’re ready to buy glasses online, including its own ultra-affordable, in-house-designed prescription lenses and some of your favorite brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley.
With virtual try-ons, a huge selection, and frames starting at $32, EyeBuyDirect makes it easy to find stylish and affordable lenses.
The company also offers fast delivery (two-day delivery for $19) and a one-year warranty, which will replace your lenses for free if they break. They also allow you to purchase any of their prescription glasses using an FSA or HSA account.
When you sign up with your email, you’ll automatically get 15% off. The company had a fall promo for 50% off your second pair of glasses.
By combining the best of both in-person and online shopping experiences, Lenscrafters is changing the way people shop for eyewear. This even if they don’t have the corner on cheap prescription eyeglasses on the market.
In addition to accepting most major insurance plans, the company offers a hybrid shopping experience that allows you to order your lenses online, then get them fitted and adjusted at one of their 1,000+ locations.
The company offers a variety of popular brands including Ray-Ban, Versace, Michael Kors and Coach, among others. Because many of their glasses tend to be high-end brands, the prices are also higher — often running anywhere between $100 and $300 a pair.
The good news is that buying online eyeglasses from Lenscrafters might just save you money on contacts if you catch one of their promotions, such as a recent promo for 40% off contact lenses with any frame order.
If you lead a super active lifestyle, you might be tempted to try Roka.
This company is taking the at-home trial to the next level by encouraging would-be customers to pick four frames and actually wear them while exercising — before ordering their favorite pair.
This certainly makes shopping for online glasses worth it.
Some highlights of Roka frames include a lightweight frame with no pressure points and a design that won’t fall off during all your favorite activities.
Roka accepts most major insurance plans including Aetna, BCBS, Humana, and United Healthcare, among others.
These specialized frames start at a slightly higher price point ($175 per pair), but with their comprehensive at-home trial, it’s also way more likely you walk away with something you really love.
Coming in hot with gorgeous lenses handcrafted in Ireland, Ambr is a company focused on creating affordable prescription (and non-prescription) blue-light glasses. Meant to protect your eyes from extensive screen time, these frames start at $67 for non-prescription lenses and $142 for prescriptions within the +4.00/-4.00 range.
Glasses from Ambr typically take three days to dispatch. The company offers free worldwide shipping and returns and 24/7 customer support.
Ambr also has a small line of blue-light, non-prescription kids’ glasses starting at $59.
While the company doesn’t partner with any insurance providers directly, their lenses are accepted by most FSA and HSA accounts.
8. Discount Glasses
Discount Glasses is pretty much everything it sounds like — affordable eyewear.
Prices start at $39 and purchases are backed by a one-year warranty. There are hundreds of styles for you (or your kiddos) to choose from.
The company is considered an “out-of-network” provider by several major vision insurance plans, including Davis Vision, EyeMed, Spectra/United Healthcare, and VSP, meaning you can collect reimbursement for your frames if working with one of these insurance companies.
In addition to a great selection of affordable frames, the company also offers free shipping and returns and an extensive line of reading glasses and sunglasses.
They also have a huge inventory of clearance frames starting at just $15.95.
9. Glasses Shop
If you’re looking for cheap lenses with a pop of color, you’re going to like the selection at Glasses Shop.
Many of their fashionable lenses start at just $24.94, and you can find frames for even less in the “Under $20” category.
This company offers prescription glasses and sunglasses as well as blue light and progressive frames, with free shipping on orders over $79.
Besides being crazy-affordable from the get-go, we spotted some amazing promo codes when we visited, such as a buy-one, get-one deal and a 50% off (plus free shipping) code for first-time customers.
Glasses Shop accepts payment from HSA and FSA accounts.
10. Liingo Eyewear
Another eyeglass company offering an at-home try-on program, Liingo Eyewear features stylish prescription and blue light glasses (and sunglasses), starting at just $79.
Don’t want to try on frames with their at-home program? Not to worry, as the company also has a virtual try-on program.
You can use your FSA or HSA card to purchase your next pair of glasses with Liingo, and if you like them — don’t forget to tell a friend. You’ll get $20 off every successful referral and your friends will get $20 off their first order of $79 or more.
Contributor Larissa Runkle specializes in finance, real estate and lifestyle topics. She is a regular contributor to Codetic.