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Bifocal glasses contain two corrective prescriptions within each lens: one for seeing far away and one for seeing close up. A person can easily switch their focus between the two parts of the lens.

Many online retailers offer bifocals. These might be designer or brand-name, or the retailer may make them. This article lists some of the best brands for bifocal glasses, discusses eye health, and answers some frequently asked questions.

A quick look at the best places to buy bifocal glasses

Bifocals have lenses with two segments. The top segment enables a person to see far away, while the bottom enables them to see close up. Most bifocals have a horizontal line that divides the two segments.

Doctors recommend bifocals when a person has presbyopia. They may also recommend them for children who have trouble focusing their eyes, particularly for reading.

Before presbyopia develops, the lenses in the eyes can shift their focus between distant and nearby objects. As people age, their eyes lose this flexibility.

Presbyopia is typical of the aging process and usually begins around age 40. It makes it harder to focus on nearby objects, such as a smartphone screen.

All bifocal glasses work in the same way but differ in appearance. Bifocals may have:

  • a round segment
  • a half-moon segment also called a flat-top, straight-top, or “D” segment
  • an executive segment, also called a “Franklin,” in which the entire bottom half of the lens is for seeing close up

A person might also consider trifocals. These have three segments for distant, intermediate, and close-up vision. The intermediate segment helps a person see objects at about arm’s length, such as a car dashboard. However, because of the added segmenting line, doctors do not prescribe them often.

Another option is progressive addition lenses (PAL) — often shortened to progressive lenses. These provide clearer distant, intermediate, and nearby vision and have no segmenting lines.

How we chose

Medical News Today chooses eyewear brands based on the following criteria where possible:

  • Features: MNT chooses products that come with different features, such as lightweight glasses and glasses that are durable for sports.
  • Lens coatings: A range of lens coatings, such as anti-scratch and UV-resistant.
  • Price: MNT chooses products that brands that sell products suitable for a range of budgets.
  • Returns: MNT chooses companies that offer returns.

The companies below offer complete lines of corrective lenses, including bifocals.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for kids’ frames: Frames Direct

  • Price range: from $40–913
  • Virtual try-on available: no
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty, 30-day lens guarantee

Frames Direct offers a very wide range of bifocal glasses for adults and children. The company exclusively offers designer frames. There is no virtual try-on feature on the website. The company offers over 11,000 bifocal frames.

This brand is best for those looking for kids’ frames.

Frames Direct offers free shipping, and orders typically arrive within 11–14 days.

Customers can return their glasses for any reason within 30 days of receiving them. The company also offers a 1-year warranty, and if a person’s prescription changes within 30 days of receiving their glasses, Frames Direct will make new lenses for free. Within 31 and 90 days, the company will make new lenses for 50% of the retail price.

The company has Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation. At the time of publishing, the company has a rating of A+ and an average customer review rating of 4.74 out of 5 stars.

Positive reviews mention that the frames and lenses are good quality, and customers appreciated follow-up calls from the Frames Direct team.

Negative reviews mention issues with replacements and shipping delays.

Pros

  • free shipping available
  • a very wide range of choices
  • positive brand reputation online
  • 12-month guarantee
  • 30-day returns
  • 30-day lens guarantee
  • offers adult and kids’ frames

Cons

  • customers mention problems with shipping and replacements

Best for affordable frames: EyeBuyDirect

  • Price range: from $5–359
  • Virtual try-on available: yes
  • Warranty: 12 months

There are over 1,400 frame styles that EyeBuyDirect classifies as suitable for bifocal lenses. With some frames costing $5, this brand is suitable for people working with a small budget.

EyeBuyDirect offers virtual try-on technology. To try on glasses on the website, a person must take a photo of their face, and the website will show them how they may look in different glasses.

EyeBuyDirect donates one pair of prescription eyewear for every pair a customer buys.

The company has a 12-month product guarantee and provides a one-time replacement. If a customer is unhappy with their purchase, the company provides a one-time refund or replacement within 14 days.

There is a range of shipping options, including free options.

EyeBuyDirect has accreditation from the BBB. At the time of publishing, the BBB gives the company an A+ rating, and customer reviews give the company an average of 4.29 out of 5 stars.

Positive reviews mention the wide range of styles, affordable lenses, and fast delivery.

Negative reviews mention problems with shipping and getting refunds.

Pros

  • some very affordable frames
  • a very wide range of choices
  • 12-month guarantee
  • 14-day returns
  • the company donates one pair of glasses for every pair purchased
  • free shipping available

Cons

  • guarantee applies to manufacturing defects
  • a person can only replace their glasses once in the guarantee period
  • customers mention problems with shipping and refunds

Best for designer frames: GlassesUSA

  • Price range: from $78–990
  • Virtual try-on available: yes
  • Warranty: 365 days

GlassesUSA also has virtual try-on technology, and the company states its customer service team is available 24/7 online and between 7 a.m. and midnight over the phone.

There are over 1,300 frames suitable for bifocal lenses, including a range of designer frames. This makes GlassesUSA suitable for people looking specifically for designer frames suitable for bifocal lenses.

The company offers free shipping and returns, with full store credit or a full refund within 14 days of purchase. It also offers a 365-day warranty on all eyewear.

GlassesUSA currently does not have accreditation from the BBB. At the time of publishing, the BBB gives it a B grade and an average customer review rating of 1.68 out of 5.

Positive reviews write that the lenses and frames are of high quality, and customers praised the quick order turnaround.

Negative reviews mention problems with customer service, delivery, and unexpected charges.

Pros

  • a very wide range of choices
  • offers designer frames
  • 12-month guarantee
  • 14-day returns
  • 24/7 online customer service
  • free shipping available

Cons

  • some frames are expensive
  • reports of problems with customer service, delivery, and unexpected charges
  • warranty does not cover wear and tear or accidental damage

Best for lifetime parts replacement: Zenni Optical

  • Price range: from $6.95–49.95
  • Virtual try-on available: yes
  • Warranty: 30 days

Zenni Optical offers virtual try-on technology. There are over 1,300 bifocal frames to choose from in various styles.

The company offers a lifetime replacement of nose pads and screws. The company also replaces broken frames within the first 30 days. Customers who return their eyewear within 60 days will receive a 50% refund or a one-time 100% store credit.

This brand is best suited to people who would like to save money on the upkeep of their glasses.

Zenni Optical currently has accreditation from the BBB. At the time of publishing, the BBB gives it an A+ rating and an average customer review rating of 3.58 out of 5 stars.

Positive reviews show that the frames are affordable and the customer service team is helpful. Many buyers report they bought three or more pairs of glasses from GlassesUSA.

More critical reviews mention problems with product quality and returns.

Pros

  • a very wide range of choices
  • offers designer frames
  • offers replacement parts
  • 30-day returns
  • 24/7 online customer service

Cons

  • no free shipping
  • reports of problems with returns and product quality

Best for an at-home try-on service: GlassesShop

  • Price range: from $29.95–59.95 for frames, from $44.90 for lenses
  • Virtual try-on available: yes
  • Warranty: 365-day frame guarantee

GlassesShop has a virtual try-on feature. A person can also use the company’s free at-home try-on service. This makes Glasses Shop suitable for people who want to physically try on their chosen frames before making a purchase.

There are around 600 frames suitable for bifocals on the GlassesShop website.

If a customer is unhappy with a purchase and returns it within 30 days, the company gives a 50% refund or 100% store credit. GlassesShop also offers a 365-day frame guarantee.

GlassesShop ships to the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere for a fee. Free shipping applies to orders over $69.

At the time of publishing, Trustpilot gives the company 4.5 out of 5 stars based on over 1,500 customer reviews.

Positive reviews write that the frames and lenses are of excellent quality and fit well. Other customers appreciate the wide range of frames on offer.

More negative reviews mention issues with replacements and prescriptions, and some customers report their glasses broke soon after purchase.

Pros

  • a wide range of choices
  • offers at-home try-on service
  • 365-day frame guarantee
  • highly rated on Trustpilot
  • 30-day returns

Cons

  • free shipping applies to orders over $69
  • reports of problems with returns and product quality

The table below compares each of the eyeglasses brands in this article.

Number of bifocal framesWarrantyReturnsPrice range
Frames Directover 11,0001-year warranty

30-day lens guarantee
30 daysfrom $40–913
EyeBuy Directover 1,40012 months14 daysfrom $5–359
Glasses USAover 1,300365 days14 daysfrom $78–990
Zenni Opticalover 1,30030 days60 daysfrom $6.95–49.95
GlassesShoparound 600365 days30 daysfrom $29.95–59.95 for frames

from $44.90 for lenses

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, factors a person should consider when choosing bifocal glasses include:

  • the material used to make the lenses
  • use of coatings to reduce glare or protect against UV rays
  • anti-reflective coating to allow more visible light into the eye
  • price, keeping in mind that more expensive is not necessarily better
  • the design of the near vision correction lens; half-moon, round, ribbon, or full bottom half (also called the executive or Franklin)
  • where the line separating the different corrective lenses sits on the individual
  • make sure glasses fit properly and will not slip down the nose

Anyone who may have presbyopia should make an appointment with an eye doctor. Symptoms of presbyopia include:

  • difficulty seeing nearby objects clearly
  • having to hold things farther away to see them better
  • headaches
  • eyestrain

Learn more about eye pain.

The National Eye Institute observes that simple changes may help, such as increasing the font size on screened devices or using brighter reading lights. But as this issue progresses, a person may need bifocals.

Bifocals may also help some people with the progression of myopia or nearsightedness. Research has shown that bifocals may help slow the development of myopia in children, particularly in the first year of use.

Below, we answer some frequently asked questions about bifocal glasses.

Are progressive or bifocal lenses better?

Bifocal lenses have a visible dividing line between the distance correction lens and the near-vision portion. Some people do not like the appearance of the line.

Progressive lenses offer distance and near-vision prescriptions in one lens without the dividing line. This makes them a preferable option to some people.

However, some people find it more difficult to get used to progressive lenses, and bifocal glasses are cheaper than progressive glasses.

Can you wear bifocal lenses all the time?

Yes, people can wear bifocal lenses all the time. However, they will need to adjust how they look at things to use the right part of the lens for distance and close-up objects.

It can take a while to get used to bifocal lenses, and people can wear them all the time to get used to them at first. Or, they can gradually build up.

Some people dislike bifocal lenses even after trying them for an extended period.

Can you drive with bifocals?

Yes. The upper section of a bifocal lens improves distance vision, while the lower section corrects near vision.

How much do bifocals cost?

People will need to pay a separate price for frames and bifocal lenses. This cost varies considerably.

Some companies offer frames for $5, but prices can be as high as $900 for the frames alone.

A person should factor in the cost of their lens prescription on top of the frames, which can start at around $20-40.

People usually wear bifocal glasses if they have presbyopia, a typical part of aging that makes focusing on nearby objects difficult.

Many online retailers sell bifocals, and several offer virtual try-on technology that allows a person to see how they might look in various pairs without leaving the house.

If someone needs to hold objects away from the body to see them clearly, they should contact an eye doctor.