Best places to buy cheap prescription glasses online

Best places to buy cheap prescription glasses online

EyeBuyDirect, Warby Parker

Need new glasses? When you combine the cost of designer frames, with high-end lenses that have special coatings and features, it’s easy to spend $500 to $1,000. But you don’t have to.

You can spend less than $100 for a quality pair of single-vision prescription eyeglasses. Online companies like GlassesUSA, Zenni Optical, Warby Parker, LensCrafters and EyeBuyDirect — that offer affordable glasses that’ll serve you well. These companies also offer prescription sunglasses and you can even upgrade your eyewear with fancy frames and premium lenses.

Our team of in-house shopping experts have found best places to shop online for inexpensive prescription glasses. And don’t worry if there’s a problem with the glasses you order online. This roundup only features companies that offer a money-back guarantee and easy exchanges. And most offer a virtual try-on feature, so you can see how your new glasses will look on your face before placing your order. 

Where to buy cheap glasses

Whether you need single vision, bi-focals, or progressive lenses, prescription sunglasses, or lenses that automatically darken in the sun, shopping online has serious benefits. It’s easy, saves money and gives you a much larger selection than what’s typically on offer at the optometrist’s office. 

  • Best overall place to find cheapest prescription glasses: GlassesUSA
  • Best place to find sales on prescription glasses: Zenni Optical
  • Best place for style selection on a budget: Warby Parker
  • Best place for lenses, contacts and beyond: LensCrafters
  • Best place for prescription glasses starting under $25: EyeBuyDirect

Pro tip: When you’re shopping prescription glasses online, be sure to see if the company offers discounts to students, teachers, active military, seniors or first responders. And most of these companies offer an extra discount if you buy more than one pair of glasses at the same time.

Best overall place to find cheapest prescription glasses: GlassesUSA

GlassesUSA Prescription Eyeglasses


Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescription: Yes | Progressive prescription: Yes | Readers: Yes | Prescription sunglasses: Yes | Light responsive lens option: Yes | Blue light filtering lens option: Yes | Virtual try-on: Yes | Home try-on: No | HSA/FSA accepted: Yes | Vision insurance accepted: Yes

You’re guaranteed to find various sales and promotions, whether it’s a BOGO deal, a 50% off frames sale, a discount up to $150 off when you buy progressive lenses, or up to 50% off prescription lenses and upgrades. Plus, GlassesUSA offers discounts to first responders, nurses, teachers, medical providers, military members, hospital workers, senior citizens, government employees and students.

From the GlassesUSA home page, we suggest clicking on the Sale page. But even without a sale, you’ll find single-vision prescription glasses costing as little as $38 (for the frames and lenses). Of course, the price increases if you opt for bi-focals, progressive lenses, choose a premium lens material. Lens options, like blue light protection and a photochromic feature (which means the lenses automatically darken when exposed to sunlight) also cost extra. is also great for designer frames (from Ray-Ban, Oakley, Prada, Coach, Versace, Gucci and 54 others). Designer frames are typically sold at up to 40% off of retail, and lens upgrades are offered for up to 50% off. New customers who sign up for a newsletter get a coupon good for up to 50% off a first pair of frames. All glasses come with a 14-day money-back guarantee, as well as a one-year warranty.

Best place to find sales on prescription glasses: Zenni Optical

Zenni Optical Prescription Glasses

Zenni Optical

Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescription: Yes | Progressive prescription: Yes | Readers: Yes | Prescription sunglasses: Yes | Light responsive lens option: YesBlue light filtering lens option: Yes | Virtual try-on: Yes | Home try-on: No | HSA/FSA accepted: Yes | Vision insurance accepted: Submit receipt for reimbursement

Zenni Optical is known for ultra-low cost frames, which range in price from a mere $6.95 to $59.95 with single-focus, basic prescription lenses included. Bi-focals, progressives, lens filters and coatings all increase prices; adding lenses that change color in sunlight will add about $160 to the cost, while a blue-light filter increases the cost by about $47.

Generally, if you’re looking for the most basic glasses at the lowest price, Zenni is the place to shop. That said, some of the ultra-cheap frame options fall into the “you get what you pay for” category in terms of quality and durability. When you start adding optional upgrades, the final cost will be similar to what you get elsewhere. 

What we like about Zenni Optical is that shopping is easy. Quickly narrow your search through filters based on price, style, prescription, color and frame material. You’re guided through lens selection, too. Most of the frames have a virtual try-on feature. An additional 10% discount is offered to students, teachers, active military, first responders and medical workers. You’ll also always discover a wide range of frames and complete glasses on sale.

Best place for style selection on a budget: Warby Parker

Warby Parker Prescription Eyeglasses

Warby Parker

Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescription: Yes | Progressive prescription: Yes | Readers: Yes | Prescription sunglasses: Yes | Light responsive lens option: Yes | Blue light filtering lens option: Yes | Virtual try-on: Yes | Home try-on: YesHSA/FSA accepted: Yes | Vision insurance accepted: Yes

Warby Parker is a one-stop shop for all of your prescription eyewear. Most frames, which include single-vision prescription lenses, start at just $95. Progressive lenses start at $295. 

The company sells only its own collection of frames (and there are many to choose from) and the website offers an easy virtual try-on feature. There’s also a home try-on option that allows you to select up to five frames and have them shipped to your home for free. Choose the frames you want, order your prescription glasses and return the samples in a pre-paid box. 

You also get a wide range of lens options, so you can pick only the add-ons you need — whether it’s a blue-light filter, anti-fatigue filter, or light responsive lenses that darken in the sun. An anti-reflective and scratch-resistant coating are automatically included for free. The company uses polycarbonate lenses, but these can be upgraded to 1.67 high-index lenses for an additional fee.

In most cases, you can select a color or color combination and size, before moving on to customizing your lenses. You’ll be asked to either upload a copy of your prescription or provide contact information for your optometrist. 

Warby Parker accepts virtually all vision insurance and HSA/FSA payments. If you order two pairs of glasses at the same time (one of which can be prescription sunglasses), you get an automatic 15% discount. And for every pair of prescription eyewear purchased, Warby Parker donates a pair to someone in need

Best place for lenses, contacts and beyond: LensCrafters

LensCrafters Prescription Glasses


Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescription: Yes | Progressive prescription: Yes | Readers: Yes | Prescription sunglasses: Yes | Light responsive lens option: YesBlue light filtering lens option: YesVirtual try-on: Yes | Home try-on: No | HSA/FSA accepted: YesVision insurance accepted: Yes

Beyond the vast selection of affordable eyeglass frame options, LensCrafts also sells designer frames (often on sale), and lots of specialized eyewear. Plus, the company offers discounts to AAA and AARP members, students, as well as ongoing sales and promotions available to everyone.

If you want designer frames from Ray-Ban, Oakley, Versace, Coach, Prada, Brooks Brothers or any of more than a dozen others, the place to shop online is LensCrafters. It’s also a one-stop online shop for prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses, as well as contacts. 

The website makes it easy to shop for glasses based on brand, style, color or shape. Once you find the frames you love, choose from a wide range of lens options. Once your eyeglasses arrive, they come with a 30-day happiness guarantee. For an additional fee, you can upgrade to a protection plan that covers frames and lenses against damage, scratches and other issues for a full year.

Whether you’re shopping for prescription eyeglasses or prescription sunglasses, you’ll find a vast selection of designer frames to choose from, with new options coming in all the time. Some frame and single vision lens combos start as low as $100. You’ll also discover some designer frames on sale for as much as 60% off.

Best place for prescription glasses starting under $25: EyeBuyDirect

EyeBuyDirect Prescription Glasses


Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescription: YesProgressive prescription: YesReaders: YesPrescription sunglasses: Yes | Light responsive lens option: YesBlue light filtering lens option: YesVirtual try-on: Yes | Home try-on: No | HSA/FSA accepted: YesVision insurance accepted: Yes

Like Zenni Optical, EyeBuyDirect offers an impressive selection of cheap prescription glasses — with some frames selling for just $19 (which includes single vision, 1.5 index prescription lenses). You’ll also discover premium brand frames from Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue Eyewear and more deeply discounted.

When shopping at EyeBuyDirect, it pays to purchase two or more pair of glasses at once, since the company offers a buy one, get one at 75% off deal (when you use code VISION75 at checkout). There are always all sorts of deals and digital discount coupons. And yes, if you’re a student, you’re also entitled to a 20% discount.

The least expensive options include EyeBuyDirect’s own frames combined with prescription lenses, but when you’re spending less than $50 for a frames and prescription lenses, the quality isn’t up to par with the designer frames offered by EyeBuyDirect and other companies (which cost more money). For people who need bi-focals or progressive lenses, you can expect to pay a bit more. However, the progressive lens upgrade on most prescription eyewear is as low as $49.

Is it cheaper to buy prescription glasses online?

Yes, in many cases, you can save a mint shopping for prescription eyewear online. The companies featured in this roundup are known for offering a wide range of single-vision prescription eyeglasses for $100 or less per pair. Plus, these companies offer ongoing discounts and sales. Most also accept HSA/FSA payments and vision insurance.

Even if you need bi-focals or progressives lenses (which adds cost to your prescription eyewear), these online companies tend to be less expensive than shopping for glasses at your optometrist’s office or a local eyeglass store. Plus, you’ll have access to a bigger selection and more upgrade options.

How to order prescription glasses online

Process couldn’t be easier. First, you’ll choose your eyeglass frames. Next, select your prescription lens options. Once you’re ready to place your order, you’ll need to upload a copy of your eyeglass prescription that’s less than one year old from an optometrist. 

One way to save money is to click on the “On Sale” or “Deal” banner or menu option found on most prescription eyewear sites.


Zenni Optical

Before paying, determine what additional discounts you’re entitled to. Discounts are often offered to active military (and their families), students, AAA members or AARP members (and people over the age of 65). Several of these companies offer an additional discount when you order two or more pairs of prescription glasses (or sunglasses) at the same time. And many of these companies  run continuous sales or promotions. 

Using your favorite web browser, seek out active promo codes that could save you even more money. Within a search engine, like Google or Yahoo!, enter the phase “[company name] promo code” or “[company name] coupon code.” If you find a valid code, be sure to enter it into the appropriate field during the checkout process when purchasing your eyewear.

Best places to buy cheap prescription glasses online

Google, RetailMeNot

Upon making your payment, your prescription glasses will be custom made and shipped directly to your door — typically within three to 14 business days.

What do I need to order prescription glasses online?

Regardless of where you shop, you’ll need:

  • A current eyeglass prescription (less than one year old) from an optometrist. If you don’t have a copy of your prescription, be prepared to share your optometrist’s contact information.
  • Your pupillary distance (PD) measurement. This something your optometrist can provide, or you can measure it yourself. The Zenni website offers a Custom Dual PD ruler that you can download and print for free.
  • Your vision insurance information.

Types of lenses include single-vision, bi-focals (sometimes called multi-focals), or progressives. These lenses can be made from optical glass, CR-39 plastic or polycarbonate. There are several types of optional lens materials that impact their thickness, weight, clarity, reflection resistance and the level of protection they offer. 

Once you pick a lens type, you’ll typically move on to optional lens coatings or treatments — think scratch resistance, an anti-reflective coating, UV blocking, a blue-light filter, tinting, polarization, or a light-responsive filter. Those options usually affect the cost.

What happens if the glasses don’t fit or the prescription is incorrect?

Virtually all sellers, including those featured in this roundup, offer a 14- or 30-day exchange or return policy. If the frames don’t fit, or you’re not seeing clearly, you can return the glasses for a full refund or have the glasses remade. After the return or exchange period, many of the online sellers will offer at least a six-month to one-year “no scratch” guarantee, which means the company will repair or replace the lenses if they get accidentally scratched. 

In some cases, you can purchase an extended warranty, which will cover any damage to the frames or lenses during a predefined period. These extended warranty plans do not cover the glasses if they’re lost or stolen.

How to choose prescription glasses that fit

Eyeglass frames come in nine popular shapes — rectangular, square, round, aviator, oval, cat-eye, browline, oversized and geometric. At Warby Parker or Vint & York, you’ll discover guides for choosing a frame design based on your face shape. Of course, these are only suggestions. As long as they fit properly, the style and color of eyeglass frames you choose is a matter of personal preference.

  • Round-shaped faces:  Rectangle glasses, square glasses, geometric glasses, cat-eye glasses, browline glasses, or full-rimmed glasses are suggested.
  • Oval-shaped faces: Just about any frame design will look good on someone with an oval-shaped face.
  • Heart-shaped shaped faces: Oval glasses, round glasses, aviator glasses or semi-rimless glasses are suggested.
  • Square-shaped faces: Round glasses, oval glasses, wire glasses, or semi-rimless glasses are suggested.
  • Triangle-shaped faces: Rectangle glasses, browline glasses or cat-eye glasses are suggested.
  • Diamond-shaped faces: Browline glasses, cat-eye glasses, round glasses, oval glasses or semi-rimless glasses are recommended.

Most eyeglass frames come in at least several sizes. If you look on the inner side of a frame’s arm, you’ll see numbers (which are measurements) engraved on it. 

When you see three numbers on the eyeglass frame’s arm, and they’re separated by dashes or spaces, the first number is the lens width, the second is the bridge width and the third is the temple length. If you have existing eyeglass frames that fit well, you can typically use the same measurements for new frames. You can also often take advantage of a company’s virtual try-on or home try-on options.

The average person will need a lens width of between 40mm and 60mm, a bridge width between 14mm and 24mm, and a temple length between 120mm and 150mm. Two other measurements you might need to consider include the frame width and lens height. Ultimately, how the frames feel while being worn and how securely fit on your face are the most important considerations.

For more help finding and buying prescription eyewear, be sure to check out our coverage of the six best places to buy prescription glasses online in 2024 and the best prescription sunglasses for 2024.

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