Finding cheap glasses online is a quick, easy way to get new glasses at discount prices from the convenience of your home. Many online glasses stores offer a wide variety of glasses that are stylish but won't break the bank.
In my research, I looked at online glasses stores that offer the best combination of inventory selection, try-on features, and customer support at low prices. Cheap glasses, however, are determined by your personal preference and what you define 'cheap' to be. I have reviewed websites that sell quality eyeglasses at the lowest possible prices.
Cheap Glasses Online – What to Consider
The Best Cheap Online Glasses
Buying cheap prescription glasses online has become the most convenient and inexpensive way to buy for many Americans. When you're looking to find the cheapest glasses online, though, you're going to need to consider certain things.
1. What kind of frames do you prefer?
There are various types of cheap eyeglass frames to choose from. Before you buy anything online, you should know a bit about these different types.
Frame types usually include plastic, metal, or both, according to the American Optometric Association.
2. What kind of lenses do you need?
The shape of the eyeglass lens you need depends on your eyesight. Are you nearsighted or farsighted and to what degree? If you know your prescription, determining your lens shape should be simple. Then you'll need to figure out what material you'd like your lenses to be made of.
Similar to frames, lenses are made with various materials. Such materials include plastic, glass, polycarbonate, trivex, and high-index plastic. Read on for an in-depth explanation of each lens material.
Some other things to consider when determining your lens type are:
- Abbe Value: Abbe Value measures "how widely the lens disperses different wavelengths of light." Ultimately, it determines the optical clarity of the lens material. The higher the abbe value, the better the clarity of the lens.
- Specific Gravity: Specific gravity measures the weight of the material used to make your lenses. A low specific gravity means the material is light and vice versa.
- Refractive Index: Reflective index "measures the bending of light from one medium to another." Essentially, this means that it is a measurement of how well and fast the material allows light to travel through it.
- Aspheric Designs: Aspheric designs are lenses designed with less of a curve than traditional lenses. They are built to be more flat and thin. Ultimately, aspheric lens designs provide better style without affecting the quality of the lens on your discount eyeglasses.
3. What are your measurements?
Pupillary distance measures where the center of your lenses should be. It can be tough to figure this out on your own. Luckily, there are online tools to assist you with this and other measurements necessary to buy discount glasses online.
You can click here to explore one of these tools and how it works. Usually, they'll use webcam photos to come up with your measurement.
4. How do you make sure your discount eyeglasses will look good?
The shape of your face and how accurate your measurements turn out to be will determine if your cheap eyeglasses look good. To look good, your discount eyeglasses must fit your face. Similar to measuring you PD, many discount eyeglass websites provide either a virtual or home try-on option.
This means you can either go online and use your webcam to determine how the glasses will look on you, or you can get glasses sent straight to your home and keep the ones you like.
5. What's the return policy?
Return policies are key to consider when searching for cheap prescription glasses online. Can you return or exchange them for a new pair if they don't work for you? If so, how long do you have to make the exchange or return? Most discount glasses online offer a flexible return policy so you don't get stuck with the wrong discount glasses.
"Buying cheap prescription glasses online has become the most convenient and inexpensive way to buy for many Americans."
Types of Frames for Cheap Eyeglasses Online
Cheap eyeglass frames can be made from various materials. Such materials include plastics and metals, or a combination.
1. Metal Frames
Metal frames are the most reliable, impact resistant discount eyeglass frames. The four types of metal frames are aluminum, steel, flexon, and titanium.
- Aluminum Frames: Aluminum is solid and durable. Aluminum discount eyeglass frames are sleek, strong, lightweight and hypoallergenic. They come in mostly neutral colors like black, silver, brown, etc. and are resistant to corrosion, heat, and abrasion.
- Stainless Steel Frames: Stainless steel frames are also resistant to corrosion, heat, and abrasion. They are lightweight, strong and hypoallergenic as well. Stainless steel is often more expensive than other materials.
- Flexon Frames: Flexon is hypoallergenic, corrosion-resistant, and lightweight like steel and aluminum. The main difference is it is more flexible than aluminum and steel. In fact, it is 10 times more flexible than steel and 25 times lighter than traditional metals.
- Titanium Frames: Titanium is extremely durable. It is also corrosion-resistant and similar to stainless steel. One main difference between steel and titanium is the variety of colors, patterns, and textures available in each. Titanium offers more than steel in this department.
2. Plastic Frames
Plastic frames are obviously less durable than metal frames. On the contrary, they are much more popular and cheaper than metal frames.
- Zyl: Zyl is a great option for cheap eyeglasses. It is inexpensive, flexible, lightweight and durable. It is also great for fun styles, as it can be molded into various different shapes and colors.
- Nylon: Nylon is usually mixed with other materials to make discount eyeglasses. It is strong, flexible, and lightweight. It is also hypoallergenic and can be covered with a range of different colors, which allows for more styling options.
- Polycarbonate: Polycarbonate is durable and adaptable. It is often used to make sports and safety glasses because of its durability and impact resistance. Unfortunately, it can be expensive and is not very easily adjustable.
Discount Lenses for Cheap Eyeglasses Online
Lenses can be made from various materials. Each material differs in impact resistance, UV protection, thinness, and weight. Impact resistance determines how easily your lenses could break and is even regulated by the FDA. Here are the various types of cheap eyeglass lens options and how they differ.
- Crown Glass Lenses: Crown glass is what the oldest glasses were made out of. They break much easier than newer plastic lenses and are therefore not used much anymore.
- CR- 39 Plastic Lenses: CR-39 plastic is what the original plastic lens was made of. This type of plastic is the cheapest you can buy and is much more impact resistant than glass.
- Polycarbonate Lenses: Polycarbonate lenses are more impact resistant and lighter than CR-39 plastic. They also block UV rays 100 percent. With a polycarbonate lens, you can have thinner lenses than with CR-39, even with stronger prescriptions. The only downside is that the quality of polycarbonate lenses is known to be less than that of glass and CR-39 plastic.
- Trivex Lenses: Trivex lenses are much lighter than traditional lens plastics. They are also thinner and better at protecting against impact. Some even say they correct eyesight better than other plastic materials.
- High-Index Plastic Lenses: High-index plastics are known to be thinner than all other lens materials and are therefore not very impact resistant. They are lightweight and 100 percent UV resistant. This is one of the most modern types of lenses.
Cheapest Glasses Online
- 100% money back guarantee
- Sales section
- Virtual Optician
- Free Shipping
- Makes lenses in its own lab
- Limited kids selection
- No live chat option
- No children's frames
GlassesUSA.com is one of the best places to buy cheap eyeglasses online. Its website has a huge selection of discount eyeglasses with brands and frames in all shapes and sizes.
One great thing about GlassesUSA is that they employ opticians who make their own lenses in their lab. They put a lot of work in to make sure their customers get what they need. Their site also has a virtual optician to help make sure their customers order the right fit.
GlassesUSA even provides free shipping with a 100%, no questions asked money back guarantee. You get fourteen days to make sure you like your discount eyeglasses and they fit well. If you're not satisfied, you can return them for free and the company will either make you a new pair or give you store credit. Make sure to check out the clearance section of their site too. They always have excellent deals happening!
On the other hand, GlassesUSA does not have a live chat option on their site. This may make it frustrating to get in touch with them if you have a problem. They also don't have a very big selection of kids glasses. Overall, though, GlassesUSA is a great place to shop for cheap eyeglasses online.
Warby Parker Review
- At home try-on
- Free shipping
- Excellent return policy
- One year warranty
- Buy a pair give a pair
- No bifocal or trifocal prescriptions
- Small lens selection
- No children's glasses
Warby Parker is an exceptional place to buy the best cheap online glasses. Unlike many other online glasses sites, Warby Parker has a "home try-on" filter. You can shop for discount glasses that you get to actually try before you buy.
Warby Parker provides free shipping and outstanding customer service. Their buy a pair, get a pair policy gives a pair of glasses to someone in need every time you purchase a pair. Because of Warby Parker, people in need can read, write and learn better than ever before.
They also have an impressive return policy. When you buy cheap eyeglasses from Warby Parker, you have 30-days to make a return with no questions asked. They even provide a one-year, no scratch warranty for your lenses. They will replace your lenses for free if they get scratched within a year of your purchase.
Unfortunately, Warby Parker does not accept bifocal or trifocal prescriptions. They also have a somewhat small collection of lenses compared to other sites. For instance, they don't offer children's discount eyeglasses at all.
Fortunately, Warby Parker provides fantastic customer support with a live chat option on their site. Overall, they sell quality discount eyeglasses and have services in place to ensure you find the right pair for you.
- Free coatings on all lenses
- Wide variety of children's discount eyeglasses
- Free shipping and returns with no deadline
- One-year warranty
- Sale section
- No virtual or home try-on
- Limited live chat
Coastal.com offers amazing deals on quality discount eyeglasses to customers around the world. They provide free shipping within the United States. They also allow free returns within a year of your purchase with no restrictions as part of their one-year warranty. Just make sure your glasses are in unused condition.
One bad thing about Coastal.com is that they don't provide a virtual or home try-on option. This could be a problem if you're worried about ordering glasses that don't fit. They do have a MyFit option for you to type your measurements into, but it's not the same as uploading a picture or trying on at home.
They also have great customer service with a live chat option on their site; however, if you don't see the live chat icon, there is no one available for live chat at that time. In this case, you'll have to call or shoot them an email with any issues.
Coastal.com has a huge variety of cheap eyeglasses for men, women, and children. If you need discount eyeglasses for your son or daughter, Coastal.com is the place to look.
- Sale section
- Two-year warranty
- Virtual try-on
- Buy one give one
- 100-day return policy
- No bifocal or trifocal discount eyeglasses
- Slow loading on website
- No free returns
SmartBuy.com has a huge collection of over 80,000 cheap eyeglasses for men, women, and children. They have distinctive customer service with a live chat option on their site. They even have a 100-day return policy, which gives you a lot of time to decide if you like your discount eyeglasses. Just make sure to return them unused and in original packaging.
SmartBuy has some of the most affordable eyeglasses on the Internet. They even have a sale section to choose from. Their virtual try-on option allows you to view your new discount eyeglasses on your face before you buy them. Their website is known to load slowly, though, which may affect the virtual try-on process.
They also have free shipping and a two-year warranty on manufacturer defects. If you have an issue, you can get replacement parts or glasses for up to two years. Just make sure to check out their conditions. Keep in mind that they do not mention free return shipping on their site.
SmartBuy has a buy one give one program similar to Warby Parker. They donate a pair of glasses for every pair of cheap eyeglasses you purchase. On the downside, they don't offer bifocal or trifocal discount eyeglasses. If you're used to these, you may have to look elsewhere.
- Free shipping
- Free returns
- One-year return guarantee
- Range of children's eyeglasses
- No live chat
- No virtual or home try-on
DiscountGlasses.com is another great place to buy cheap eyeglasses online. They have solid customer service, providing free shipping and returns for up to a year. Their collection has men, women, and children's discount eyeglasses with hundreds of styles and brands to choose from.
Unfortunately, DiscountGlasses does not have a live chat option. They also do not offer any type of virtual or home try-on option. If your glasses aren't right, you'll just have to go through the return process. Luckily, DiscountGlasses is known to make returns as easy as possible for their customers.
DiscountGlasses' website is really simple and easy to use. You can narrow down your choices by navigating the extensive collection of filters to the left side of the page. Once you choose a pair, you'll have to specify the lens and prescription you need, choose your lens material, and choose which lens coatings you'd like.
Overall, DiscountGlasses is less advanced than most sites without a virtual or home try-on option. Fortunately, they offer amazing deals on quality eyeglasses that can be hard to pass up. Don't let their lack of a try-on feature scare you too much. You can always make a return within a year of your purchase with Discount Glasses.
Advice For Finding Cheap Prescription Glasses
Know how to read your prescription.
If you have a prescription, you need to know it before you buy cheap eyeglasses online. Knowing your prescription also involves knowing how to read it. Here are some abbreviations you may recognize from your eyeglass prescription.
- OD - This represents your right eye.
- OS - This represents your left eye.
- SPH - Sphere is the strength or lens power of the entire prescription.
- CYL and AXL - Cylinder and axis indicate how much lens power needed to correct astigmatism.
- ADD - This number is for bifocal/progressive prescriptions and measures the added magnifying power of the bottom of the lens.
Make sure you enter your prescription accurately when you type it in online. If you get it wrong, you will end up with the wrong glasses.
Types of Eyeglass Lenses
- Single-Vision lenses: Single-vision lenses are lenses that resolve only one vision issue. They are meant for people with either nearsightedness or farsightedness, not both.
- Bifocals: Bifocals are eyeglass lenses with two different viewing areas: one for far away and one for near. These are a solution for people whose vision is bad at two different distances. There are lines outlining where to look for each distance.
- Multifocals: Multifocals are eyeglasses with lenses that have more than two different viewing areas for people with bad vision at more than two different distances. Like bifocals, multifocals have lines in them to distinguish where to looks for certain distances.
- Progressive lenses: Progressive lenses are multifocal lenses with no lines. They are modern lenses that offer near, far, intermediate and distance vision correction.
Know about Lens Coatings
Most cheap eyeglass websites provide lens coatings. Lens coatings can help protect your eyes better and sometimes even make your glasses look better.
- Scratch resistant: Scratch resistant coatings will help prevent scratches on your new discount eyeglasses.
- UV: UV protective coatings will protect your eyes better from the gleaming sun.
- Anti-reflective: This coating reduces the reflection of light on your lenses. It can help with night driving with reflections from head and street lights. It can also stop your eyes from straining so much when you're on the phone or computer.
- Photochromatic: Photochromatic coating allows your lenses to switch from clear to dark. This is so you can have a clear prescription indoors and a darker prescription outdoors. Photochromatic coating can also help reduce eyestrain.
Use your old eyeglasses as a reference
If you've had eyeglasses or have tried them on before, it's going to be much easier to figure out which discount eyeglasses you need. One trick is to compare your old glasses with the glasses you find online. The measurements are usually on the glasses and will give you an idea of the size you're used to.
If you've never had glasses and don't know your measurements, you can go to a brick and mortar store or optometrist to get your measurements taken.
How I Found Cheap Glasses Online
It took a lot of effort to find the cheapest glasses online. First, I uncovered how eye glasses work and are made si I could explain what needs to be considered. I then researched cheap eyeglasses online to compare prices, try-on features, eyeglass selection, return policies, customer service and shipping policies.
Ultimately, the five websites reviewed in this article are undoubtedly the most convenient places to order cheap eyeglasses online. I am certain you will be satisfied with your order if you use one of them for your services.
Overall, purchasing cheap eyeglasses online could save you a significant amount of money. It is definitely worth a shot if you're considering it. Just make sure to review this article and know what you're buying before you put your payment information in. Also, always make sure you type in the correct prescription when you make a purchase.
Now that you know where to buy the best cheap glasses online, you may be wondering if you can find the best contact lenses online in the same place. Click to read about which marketplaces are best for contacts and how they differ.