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The Best Places to Buy Glasses Online in 2024, Reviewed and Tested

Best Places to Buy Prescription Glasses Online
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Updated February 1, 2024

According to the Vision Council’s most recent figures (2021), some 166.5 million US adults (63.7%) wear prescription eyeglasses. Up until recently, those millions of people would have to go to an in-person retailer to select lenses and frames. Pricing was not always transparent, and styles were often limited.

Today, shopping for glasses has never been easier (or more affordable), thanks to the booming selection of online retailers specializing in vision care. The best places to buy prescription glasses are right at your fingertips: With a few clicks, you can search for fashionable frames, customize your lenses, renew outdated prescriptions, and purchase contact lenses and sunglasses simultaneously.

Looking for prescription eyeglasses that suit you? We’ve compiled a list of reputable retailers to check out. Some offer deep discounts; others specialize in trendy frames and name brands. You’re bound to find your perfect pair.

How to choose the best place to buy eyeglasses online

When you buy prescription glasses from an online source, you must have an up-to-date prescription (Rx) and a record of your pupillary distance.

If you need to renew yours, many retailers offer free or low-priced virtual eye exams, which are handy in a pinch when you need to purchase a pair of glasses asap. But, if you have concerns about changes in your eyes or vision, make an appointment with your doctor. One thing to note: Online vision tests are generally not recommended for children. Have your child’s prescription determined by a doctor before you purchase eyeglasses for them online.

How fast can you get new eyeglasses online?

If you’re ordering a new pair of prescription eyeglasses online, plan to wait anywhere from two days to three weeks depending on the vendor. If you have broken or lost your glasses and need a pair immediately, look for overnight shipping options (remember to read the fine print on order cut-off times). Sometimes even expedited shipping can take a couple of days.

Can you use insurance or an HSA or FSA to purchase glasses online?

If you have an insurance plan with vision benefits, you may be able to use a retailer that can serve as an in-network or out-of-network provider. In addition, most online stores will allow you to use your health savings account (HSA) or a flexible spending account (FSA) debit card.

Best places to buy glasses online: Our top picks

Best variety: GlassesUSA

Visit the clearance section of GlassesUSA to find an abundant selection of affordable frames. With 4.4 stars and over 54,000 reviews on TrustPilot, this online retailer claims to be the “largest online eyewear retailer” for adults and children alike.

You can virtually try on the pairs you like, and there are over 7,000 in-house and designer brands. Snag sunglasses and order your contact lenses, too, for one-stop shopping.

GlassesUSA makes it easy to use vision insurance by providing a drop-down list of insurance providers that allow you to apply for reimbursement right on the website.

Not sure what frames are best? GlassesUSA offers a quick 60-second quiz to determine the right style and fit for your face.

What you should know:

  • Turnaround time: Seven to 10 business days (standard shipping).
  • Returns: 14-day no questions asked return policy.
  • Accepts Insurance: Yes.
  • Virtual try-on: Yes.
  • Virtual Rx renewal: Yes, via the website Visibly.

Pros:

  • Offers a range of discounts for military members.
  • Allows you to submit claims for reimbursement to your insurance provider directly from its website.
  • Huge clearance and sale section with frames starting at under $40.

Cons:

  • Only offers a 14-day return window.
  • Some complaints on TrustPilot about delays in shipping times.
Best variety
GlassesUSA

GlassesUSA

Time Shopping exclusive discount:

40% off designer frames for eyeglasses and sunglasses + free shipping. Excluding: Ray-Ban, Oakley, Costa Del Mar and Persol.

Promo Code: TIME40

Expiration date: 3/31/2024

Best for budget: Eyebuydirect.com

This is a one-stop shop for consumers on a budget, with an entire section dedicated to glasses under $19. You can even find $6 frames in the virtual sales bin. Budget shopping is simple on this site, but if you need specialized lenses, like bifocals, be prepared for a price jump. However, lower-priced frames with the same customizations as a brand-name pair will still be cheaper overall.

The website, like many others, offers a virtual “try-on” feature and a 14-day return policy if you have buyer’s remorse. It doesn’t take vision insurance, but you can use the site's FSA or HSA debit cards.

What you should know:

  • Turnaround time: Seven to 14 days (standard shipping).
  • Return policy: 14 days.
  • Insurance accepted: No.
  • Virtual try-on: Yes.
  • Virtual Rx renewal: No.

Pros:

  • Affordable in-house frames.
  • Popular name brands available.
  • Takes FSA and HSA debit cards.

Cons:

  • Only a 14-day return policy.
  • Does not accept vision insurance.

Best on-trend selection: Warby Parker

Warby Parker’s stylish, custom-crafted glasses have been a popular choice for trendy eyewear since 2010, when its four founders hit it out of the park and acquired a cult following. Thirteen years later, WP is a one-stop shop for eyewear and makes a dent in the contact lens market. If you live near one, you can visit a brick-and-mortar store, but its virtual shopping experience is robust and includes offerings like a virtual eye exam to renew your prescription for $15.

Offering most lenses, from polarized sunglasses to single vision, you can take an online quiz to find suggestions on fit and style, order up to five frames to try on at home—a WP signature move—and enjoy a 30-day return policy before you commit.

The frames start at $95, but that price includes prescription lenses. (Note that specialty lenses may require additional costs.) Warby Parker also runs sales. So, if you like what you see online, keep tabs on the site to spot discounts. For example, as of May 2023, the site offered a $50 eyewear credit when you buy contact lenses.

What you should know:

  • Turnaround time: Seven to 10 business days.
  • Return policy: 30 days.
  • Insurance accepted: Yes (plus FSA/HSA payments).
  • Virtual try-on: Yes.
  • Virtual Rx renewal: Yes.

Pros:

  • Order up to five pairs to try on in the comfort of your home.
  • Long return time as compared to some competitors.
  • Free shipping and expedited shipping are available.
  • Virtual exams available for quick prescription renewals.

Cons:

  • Your prescription lenses may require additional costs.
  • Only carries Warby Parker brands, so there are limited choices.
Best on-trend selection
Warby Parker

Best customizable selection: Zenni Optical

Zenni Optical offers frames for as low as $10 and allows buyers customization options, including etchings. Like most sites, you can upgrade and add onto your prescription with features like anti-fog and impact-resistance lenses.

Zenni also partners with designers like Iris Apfel and Cynthia Rowley to offer luxe looks for modest prices. It does not accept insurance, but does take FSA/HSA for payments. You can’t renew your prescription on the website; it only offers you credit versus all cash back on returns.

What you should know:

  • Turnaround time: 14 to 21 days.
  • Return policy: Store credit or a partial (50%) reimbursement.
  • Insurance accepted: No.
  • Virtual try-on: Yes.
  • Virtual Rx renewal: No.

Pros:

  • Affordable range of customizable eyeglasses.
  • Offers unique designer collections.

Cons:

  • Does not take vision insurance.
  • Store credit or partial repayment on returns.
  • Only carries in-house brands.
Best customizable
Zenni Optical

Best for affordable name brands: Target Optical

Target Optical offers various name brands like Coach, Ray-Ban, Armani Exchange, and Ralph Lauren. In addition, it sells less expensive but still stylish in-house brands. Plus, you can get your specs in seven days. If you need them faster but don’t want to pay expedited shipping costs, it may be possible to pick your pair up at the stores, within a couple of days, depending on where you live. Most prescription glasses start at $59, and you can use in- and out-of-network insurance plans to pay for them.

Target Optical accepts all major credit cards and offers an installment plan, plus Target RedCard holders receive 5% off their purchases. It does not offer virtual eye exams, but you can sign up on the site for an in-person visit at a Target Optical location if your local Target offers one.

What you should know:

  • Turnaround time: Approximately seven days (may be shorter for in-store pick-up).
  • Return policy: 90 days.
  • Insurance accepted: Yes.
  • Virtual try-on: Yes.
  • Virtual Rx renewal: No.

Pros:

  • A wide variety of name brands.
  • Generous return policy of 90 days.
  • Accepts most major insurance, plus HSA/FSA.

Cons

  • No virtual exam available; may have to travel to visit in-person.
Best affordable brands
Target Optical

Target Optical

Best eyeglasses for workouts and outdoor adventures: Roka

You can’t play sports, kayak in rivers, or climb mountains with fragile eyewear. That’s where Roka comes into play, with its high-performance lenses. Created with Roka’s patented retention technology (called GEKO) these glasses won’t fall off your face, even when falling down.

Handcrafted in Austin, Roka’s glasses appeal to outdoor enthusiasts seeking comfortable anti-fog, scratch-resistant, and anti-reflective eyewear. Roka also sells athletic gear, like goggles and wetsuits.

Reviewers have stated they have successfully worn Roka performance frames during the sweatiest of activities without their glasses sliding down their noses. One downside: Its prices are not cheap. Roka’s stylish and lightweight frames start at $215 and go up, and it doesn’t take vision insurance.

What you should know:

  • Turnaround time: Two-to-four business days.
  • Return policy: 30 days.
  • Insurance accepted: No.
  • Virtual try-on: Yes.
  • Virtual Rx renewal: Yes.

Pros:

  • Great for performance sports and outdoor activities.
  • Known for its comfortability and non-slip technology.

Cons:

  • Limited selection of frames.
  • Basic frames start at $215.
Best for workouts
Roka

Best option for fast delivery: Overnight Glasses

It can be devastating when you break or scratch your glasses without a spare pair. But California-based Overnight Glasses has built its company with a mission: To bring you new glasses within 24 to 48 hours.

Its site is easy to navigate and offers over 20 name brands at different prices. Glasses for adults and kids start at around $40 and go up from there. Apple Pay, PayPal, Amazon Pay, and FSA/HSA debit cards are all welcome at check-out, but you can’t use your insurance.

You need a valid prescription to purchase glasses using this site because it doesn’t offer virtual eye tests. If you wear bifocals, you may have to wait a little longer than overnight, and maybe even if you don’t: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives the company an A- ranking due to customer complaints about longer-than-promised wait times.

What you should know:

  • Turnaround time: 24 hours or longer.
  • Return policy: 14 days.
  • Insurance accepted: No.
  • Virtual try-on: Yes.
  • Virtual Rx renewal: No.

Pros:

  • Accepts many forms of payment.
  • Fast access to glasses.

Cons:

  • Some complaints about lag times for deliveries.
  • Does not offer a virtual Rx renewal.
Best for fast delivery
Overnight Glasses

Overnight Glasses

Best return policy: Liingo Eyewear

A relative newcomer on the scene, Liingo Eyewear launched in 2016 and then was purchased by the behemoth 1-800-Contacts in 2018. Liingo offers high-quality eyewear and classic in-house designs. Its 60-day return policy is longer than many competitors, which is part of its appeal. Borrowing a page out of the Warby Parker playbook, Liingo customers can order five pairs to try on at home at no extra cost.

Its website provides tools, like a face shape guide, plus you can search in multiple categories (similar to other sites) to narrow down your search. Liingo doesn’t take insurance, but you can use your FSA/HSA cards when you check out, along with most major credit cards.

What you should know:

  • Turnaround time: Up to two weeks
  • Return policy: 60-day return policy.
  • Insurance accepted: No. Only HSA/FSA.
  • Virtual try-on: Yes.
  • Virtual Rx renewal: No.

Pros:

  • Receive five frames for free to try before you buy.
  • 60-day return policy on products.
  • Free app scanner to check prescriptions.

Cons:

  • Does not carry children’s eyewear.
  • Does not take vision insurance.
Best return policy
Liingo Eyewear

Liingo Eyewear

Best for customer service: FramesDirect

FramesDirect has been around for over 25 years, offering highly-rated customer service, including access to its certified opticians available online to answer questions. 81% of reviewers on TrustPilot give FramesDirect five stars, mainly for its outstanding customer service and smooth shipping and delivery experience.

Prices start at $23.99 and go up from there, so you can find affordable prescription glasses without being limited in your choices.

What you should know:

  • Turnaround time: Four to seven business days.
  • Return policy: 30-day return policy.
  • Insurance accepted: Yes. An out-of-network provider for most vision plans, plus HSA/FSA.
  • Virtual try-on: Yes.
  • Virtual Rx renewal: No.

Pros:

  • Exceptional customer service.
  • Variety of prices and brands.
  • Also sells contact lenses.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t offer Rx renewal on its site.
customer service

Best for kids: DiscountGlasses

DiscountGlasses offers excellent price points starting under $20 (or less if you check the clearance section) on kids' prescription glasses for toddlers to teens. There are hundreds of options, and if your child doesn’t like what you order, it is not a problem, thanks to its generous 365-day return policy.

Offerings include single vision, reading, prescription, or progressive lenses, plus a range of add-ons, blue light filters, and sun tinting. DiscountGlasses also has glasses for adults, so it is a one-shop stop for a family. Unfortunately, you can’t use vision insurance to pay, but if you have an HSA/FSA account, it will be accepted, along with most credit cards.

What you should know:

  • Turnaround time: Nine to 14 days for standard delivery.
  • Return policy: Kid-proof warranty; 365 days.
  • Insurance accepted: No, but you can use HSA/FSA.
  • Virtual try-on: Yes.
  • Virtual Rx renewal: Yes.

Pros:

  • Wide range of glasses for kids.
  • 365-day return policy.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t take insurance.
Best for kids
DiscountGlasses

DiscountGlasses

How we tested and selected the best place to buy glasses online

We reviewed multiple national online retailers—some with brick-and-mortar fronts and others that were solely online entities—to choose the best places to buy prescription glasses online, as if we were purchasing these glasses for our personal use. We reviewed:

  • Ease of ordering.
  • Ability to renew prescriptions online.
  • Advertised prices and sales.
  • Selection of brands and style.
  • Affordability.
  • Shipping policies and prices.
  • Customer service reviews.

How to select glasses that fit you best

Frame width, pupillary distance, and your face shape all need to be considered when fitting glasses to your face. Most online retailers, for example, Warby Parker and GlassesUSA, offer guides that can help you decide on the best shape for your face.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can you buy glasses with a prescription online?

You can order almost anywhere online that sells glasses if you have a current prescription.

Are real glass lenses better than plastic?

Whether you buy glass or plastic lenses depends on your preference and lifestyle. There are pros and cons to each material. Real glass lenses can be made scratch-resistant, which is a benefit over plastic, but they are usually heavier. Plastic tends to be more durable, which is a bonus if you wear glasses during sports.

Is it a good idea to buy glasses online?

Buying glasses online is an easy way to shop for hundreds of frames without going to a brick-and-mortar store. Because of technological advances, you can virtually try on eyeglasses, which can be useful. However, it may be easier to determine the comfort level of a particular frame by trying them on in person. Luckily, stores like Warby Parker will send you pairs to try on before you commit to buying them.

Is it convenient to shop for glasses online?

Yes. Thanks to virtual try-on technology, and relatively quick turnaround times, shopping for glasses online allows you to take your time and consider many more options than you would be able to if browsing in-store.

Should glasses cover my eyebrows?

Sunglasses that cover your eyebrows can help offer additional sun protection to this area. Otherwise, glasses that cover your eyebrows are a personal choice—some stylists will tell you that glasses should follow the curve of your brows rather than covering them.

How do I choose my glasses based on my skin tone?

At the end of the day, you should select a pair of glasses that you feel look good on you, but there are some general guidelines on color if you are overwhelmed by the number of options out there. Typically, individuals with pale and warm skin tones may look best in frames with warm colors, like medium browns and some shades of green and pink. If you have cool undertones to your skin, blues and ivory frames may be a good complement.

Medium and warm complexions may look good in tortoiseshell frames or brighter colors that skew towards orange. Medium and cool skin tones can look good in red colors with blue undertones; think a cranberry shade. Darker and warmer skin tones will often look good in bright colors. If you have darker skin with cooler undertones, navy and purple could be great colors to check out.

How do I choose my glasses based on the shape of my face?

When you purchase glasses online, you can usually “try on” different frames using your phone or other devices to view virtually what they look like on your face. Like skin tone, the shape of your face may inform how different frames may flatter you.

There are some guidelines for shape faces and frames. In general, angular or square faces may look best in rounded or oval frames with a thinner frame overall. Rectangular and angular, plus cat-eye frames look best on people with round faces, and someone with a heart-shaped face should try on winged frames (think aviators) and rectangular or oval frames. If your features are heart-shaped but angular, you can also try round lenses, too. Triangular faces are narrow up on top and widest on the bottom (chin) with browlines, aviator and cat-eye glasses. These types of frames often have wider tops and narrow bottoms to flatter triangle shape faces.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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