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Pupillary distance is the distance, in millimeters, between the centers of the pupils in both eyes. When you put on your glasses, the lenses need to be centered on your pupils, so if this measurement is off, you may not get the perfect vision you're hoping for. Your PD should be listed on your prescription — if you don't see it listed after you've had your eyes examined, ask for it — but it may not be.
If it isn't, you can measure it at home. Warby Parker has a tool to measure your PD by snapping a photo of your face , and you can also measure on your own with just a mirror and a ruler. You're likely to see some extremely low prices quoted when you're shopping around — you probably won't pay the lowest price, though.
Like frames themselves, these can vary greatly in price. While you probably won't need every upsell, some will be useful.
Frequently Bought Together
Here are the options you're likely to find. Blocking reflections makes your eyes more visible and can reduce glare. This makes lenses more resistant to oil or fingerprints, which helps keep them clean. This makes lenses more resistant — though not immune — to scratches.
It's often included in the price of the lens. Many lenses will block UV light without any extra cost, but less expensive lenses may not. Computer screens emit blue light, which can make our eyes tired and interrupt our sleep cycles. Lenses with a slight amber tint can help block blue light. Whether this is worth it is a matter of opinion — some people dislike the tint color, while others consider it a must-have. These lightweight, durable lenses are ideal for glasses that will see hard wear.
Lenses with an index of 1. These are bifocal or trifocal lenses that don't have the typical line through the lens. These lenses darken in the sun, so you don't need a separate pair of sunglasses. While most online retailers brag about low prices, I was curious about what you'd really pay for a pair of lenses. I wear glasses all the time, so I usually spring for fairly nice ones.
For the retailers below, I've listed both the lowest possible price of glasses as well as the price for the glasses I'm wearing now. In most cases, the cheapest glasses are significantly cheaper than what you'd pay at a brick-and-mortar store — but higher-end lenses can cost the same or more online. To find the best deal, you'll want to check both options. If you only need no-frills glasses, Zenni is the cheapest place to get them. However, these basic lenses are very basic and there are a lot of upcharges — many of which are poorly explained, making it hard to decide what you really need to buy.
Returns : Within 30 days. If there's a manufacturing error, they'll send you a new pair. Warranty : 30 days for frames, one year for for anti-reflective coating and photochromic film. The prices listed on EyeBuyDirect are a little deceptive because unlike many retailers, the frame cost does not include the cost of lenses. However, the cost of basic lenses isn't bad, so you won't find yourself paying particularly more. EBD also has a decent return policy that lets you send your glasses back for any reason at all within 14 days. With an easy-to-use website, decent prices, and reasonable return policy, EyeBuyDirect is a good choice.
While several retailers will send you frames to try on at home, GlassesUSA actually lets you try glasses on at home with your prescription in them. Try them out for 14 days and then return the pair you don't want. The catch is you can't try out their pricier frames, and you can only get two pairs of single-vision glasses or one pair of multifocal glasses at a time.
That's not quite as good as having a whole optician's shop to try on, but it gives you a great chance to check out your glasses in person before you buy. Frame prices are a little high for the basic lens options included, but sales and coupons are common — so you could find very good deals. Warranty : One year against manufacturer defects. If your glasses break within the first year, you can get half off a new pair. Cons : The base price of frames is high considering the low-end options they come with. Warby Parker eliminates the biggest pain point of buying glasses online by letting you try on frames before you buy — and that alone could be worth the higher price tag.
Just pick five frames and Warby Parker will mail them to you shipping's free. You have five days to try them on, then just send them back and order your favorites. Warby Parker even has retail locations where you can go to browse or get adjustments. The retailer also offers a fantastic return policy, letting you return your glasses for any reason within 30 days. The warranty is great, too: if your lenses get scratched within the first year, they'll replace them for free. Includes : Single-vision polycarbonate lenses with scratch-resistant and anti-reflective coating, plus UV protection.
And like Warby Parker, they'll send frames to your home for a test run — you can try out four pairs for five days, with free shipping both ways. That should help you get perfect lenses. Return for an exchange or a full refund, with free shipping. Though these are some of best options for buying glasses online, they're hardly the only ones. If you're looking for a wider range of styles, check out 39DollarGlasses , Coastal , DiscountGlasses.
Even traditional brick-and-mortar retailers like LensCrafters sell glasses online, so you aren't at a loss for options. When your glasses arrive, the fit may be a little off. And while an in-person optician would adjust them when you've picked them up, it's harder when you're buying online. Some online retailers — like Warby Parker — have brick-and-mortar locations you can visit for adjustments.
If that isn't an option, though, you can usually go see an optician for an adjustment. Many opticians will do this for free regardless of where you purchased your glasses, but there could be a small fee. Readers, have you ever bought glasses online? If so, how was your experience?
Let us know in the comments below! Create an account or log in to get started. Create an Account Log In. Create Account. Thanks for selecting your interests! Published January 29, If you don't see your pupillary distance on your prescription after you've had your eyes examined, ask for it.
If you only need no-frills glasses, Zenni Optical is the cheapest place to get them. Warby Parker eliminates the biggest pain point of buying glasses online by letting you try on frames before you buy. Elizabeth Harper. She has been one of DealNews' most regular contributors since , researching everything from vacuums to renters insurance to help consumers.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication unless otherwise specified. Leave a comment! Sign In or Register. I've gone through your blog content above , and all I can say is that it gives great Knowledge about the blog.
June 10, They always mail coupons and have good service. March 17, My son loves Goggles4U but also feels that paying more for better lenses and coatings makes a huge difference in his sight. I have not tried online ordering yet for eyeglasses but am willing to give it a try for progressive lenses. Coating on a pair from a local optical chain is wearing off a pair I purchased with progressive lenses, antireflective coating and transition.
I cannot rub off the rest of the coating.
Of all the retailers we tested, this company sells frames to fit the largest variety of faces, and although its styles are pretty classic they do land on the trendier side. We also appreciate that it carries frames to fit people with a low nose bridge. Warby Parker carries progressives too, though not bifocals.
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Its glasses also tend to be a bit more expensive. Its glasses are a tad more expensive than those from our top pick, on average. According to our test panelists, this company had the best selection of stylish frames, offering both trendy and traditional options. And like our runner-up, this retailer does not cover the cost of any adjustments a perk that only our top pick offers. To learn more about buying prescription glasses online, we spoke to American Optometric Association president Dr.
We also interviewed seven optometrists, ophthalmologists, and opticians in person, by phone, and by email: Dr. Camille Cohen , an optometrist in private practice in New York; Dr. James Salz , an ophthalmologist in private practice; and Dr. Abdhish Bhavsar , an ophthalmologist in private practice. To test lenses and frames, we formed a six-person test panel , involving people with a diverse array of prescription-glasses needs.
Three of us on the panel, including myself, had the glasses we'd ordered online checked by eye-care professionals to see if the prescriptions were right. About six months ago I had to get my first pair of glasses. It was an eye-opening experience that pretty much sucked. I had to go back a second time and try again.
After that I became interested in buying glasses online. Prescription glasses can be expensive. But many people need them to, you know, see, so they can be necessary. Some people want to have a cheaper, backup pair of glasses around in case something happens to their primary pair. Some people like to have several different pairs and treat them like accessories. And some people just want to spend less money on glasses.
If you belong in any of these groups, buying glasses online could save you some scratch. If you have a hard time finding frames that fit, buying glasses online may broaden your options. Many retailers offer tools to help you find the perfect-fitting pair of glasses for your face. If you have frames that already fit you well, you can get the measurements off the inside arm see How to fit glasses and search for the same dimensions in a new set of frames. Many sites also have style-searching tools, so you can quickly find glasses you like the look of as well as those that fit.
Keep in mind, though, that at-home try-on and search tools have their limits. Several of our panelists found it more helpful to visit a Warby Parker store to find frames they liked. Buying prescription glasses online is not for everyone. The collective advice from the eight eye-care professionals we talked to was that buying online is generally okay if you have a low or uncomplicated prescription.
But if you have a very strong prescription or if, say, you have an astigmatism or require prism lenses, you may need to go to an optometrist to get glasses. According to Dr. Neil Pence of the Indiana University optometry school, the stronger your prescription that is, the bigger the numbers—positive or negative—in your prescription , the more important it is that the lenses are lined up correctly in front of your eye. One critical piece of information that glasses companies require is your PD, or pupillary distance.
This is the distance between the pupils of your eyes in a single PD or from your pupils to the center of your nose bridge in a dual PD. It tells the person making the glasses where to place the horizontal center of vision in the lenses, so you can see clearly. I had all the glasses I ordered online checked by Pence to see if the prescription was correct; they all were. However, on all of the pairs, the vertical center of vision was exactly in the center of the lens. One member of our test panel had a very strong prescription greater than According to Pence, people with prescriptions that strong should consider ordering glasses in person , through an optician, as making such lenses seems to require somewhat more care or expertise.
Her eye doctor strongly suggested that she have her glasses checked in an office, so she did. An in-store Warby Parker optician also cautioned her that she should be fitted in the store, though for the purposes of our testing she ordered online using the measurements that the in-store optician took for pupillary distance and vertical center of vision , and the company did attempt to fill the order. This panelist returned the incorrect glasses to the Warby Parker store and then reordered new glasses in the store.
When she received the second pair, the prescription was again incorrect. Warby Parker offered to remake the glasses once more, but the panelist declined. This case in particular is helpful as we further examine how we process high-index lens orders, which require additional attention to prescription, frame size, fit, and lens type. We are now reconsidering how we approach processing all high-index lens orders and are exploring improvements that can be made.
The eye-care experts we spoke with advised against getting an eye exam online. Optometrist Dr. Camille Cohen pointed out that only in-person eye exams can reveal early signs of glaucoma, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Thus, the American Optometric Association recommends that all adults have their eyes examined in person at least once every two years. Among the sites that carried their own brands of glasses, we looked at more than 30, compared 18, and ultimately decided to test six.
One of the first things we looked at was the pricing. For this guide, we considered only glasses for adults. We did not test any meant for children though we did note whether a retailer carried kids frames and lenses, which can suit some adults with smaller faces. Once we narrowed the field down to six online glasses retailers, we formed a six-person panel of testers comprising a variety of gender identities, face shapes, nose shapes, face widths, and prescription-need combinations. Then we went forth and shopped.
Each panelist ordered from as many of the six companies we tested that suited their needs. Four of us were able to order from all six. We all wore each pair of ordered glasses for at least two days, noting how well they fit and how comfortable they were. We made notes on how sturdy the frames were, which ones had metal hinges and which had plastic, how heavy the frames were, and, if the glasses had coatings, whether those treatments produced weird reflections or began peeling off.
Three panelists took their glasses to a local optometrist to see if the prescriptions were accurate. For buying glasses online, we like Warby Parker. This company offered the best combination of at-home try-on, frame selection, price, return policy, and customer support compared with all the other online glasses retailers we tested. Warby Parker lets you try on five frames at a time at home to help you decide which one fits best and you like the look of most, a service that very few companies offer.
You then have five days to send them back. Our panelists much preferred this option, some even stating that not trying on the frames first became a dealbreaker. Of all the retailers we tested, Warby Parker had the most variety in frame sizes. Its frames come in narrow, medium, and wide.
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The company also has frames that will fit if you have a low nose bridge see How to fit glasses , one of only two among the retailers we tested. Warby Parker can fill progressive lens prescriptions which is an option for bifocal wearers , and it offers free shipping on all orders. One panelist commented that overall his glasses and the try-on pairs fit fine, although some were a little narrow. For example, the retailer has a one-year, no-scratch guarantee for lenses, and will replace your scratched lenses for free within that timeline. Most retailers we considered offer only a one-year manufacturing-defect warranty.
Anti-reflective and scratch-resistant coatings—two things the eye-care professionals we consulted recommend—come standard on all Warby Parker lenses. In addition, the company has brick-and-mortar stores , so if you live near one, you can duck in to try frames on in person something that two other panel members and I preferred or to have yours adjusted for a perfect fit.
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To be reimbursed for the cost of adjusting Warby Parker glasses outside of Warby Parker, just email the company a copy of your receipt. Warby Parker carries narrow frames but does not have any frames with temple arms shorter than mm. So if you have a smaller build and you need to wear child-size glasses, these arms may be too long for you. It was a dealbreaker for me. The company also does not offer bifocal lenses, but it does offer progressives if you need a multifocal lens. I asked the company if this check-in issue was common.