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Many online retailers and some optometrists offer online glasses lens replacement. This is an alternative to visiting an optometrist when a person loses or damages a lens or wants to keep their current frames with a new prescription.
While some people regularly replace their eyeglass frames, others prefer to just replace the lenses. Individuals might do this because they favor the style or when the frames they currently use are no longer available.
It can also be cheaper to only replace the lenses instead of getting new frames.
In some cases, frames outlive the lenses. This can happen when:
- a person’s prescription changes
- lenses become damaged after a fall or scratch
- lenses break or no longer fit securely into the frame
If a person’s eyeglass frame is still in good condition, lens replacements can be useful.
Some companies specialize in fitting new lenses into existing frames. They may require a recent or new prescription, or they may use a person’s current prescription to create and fit the lenses.
It is best to replace eyeglass lenses in the following situations:
- Damaged lenses: When the lenses are visibly scratched or damaged, the damage can make it more difficult to see clearly.
- Vision changes: Some people notice their vision becomes less sharp as they age, even after years of a stable prescription. In this case, they will need to have an eye exam.
- Time since last eye exam: Health experts recommend getting the eyes checked every 1–2 years, depending on a person’s age and risk factors.
Additionally, if lenses break or pop out of eyeglass frames due to damage, this creates a safety hazard. Years of wear and tear may prevent a person from seeing clearly.
While a person may get their lenses replaced online without an appointment, vision checks are not the only part of eye health.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends annual eye exams to check for various medical conditions that can affect sight, such as glaucoma. An eye exam may also detect early signs of diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.
The AOA also advises that online apps to assess vision may not reveal a complete picture of a person’s vision. They may provide less accurate results than a comprehensive eye exam.
After an eye exam, federal law requires prescribers to provide a copy of lens prescriptions. However, state laws that govern how long prescriptions are valid vary.
As a result, while a person can obtain their prescription to use with an online lens provider, it might not be valid if it is very old.
To receive replacement prescription lenses online, a person may consider the options below.
Apps and websites
Several apps can test a person’s eyesight at home. An optometrist or ophthalmologist reviews the test and then creates a prescription an individual can use at most online glasses retailers.
According to the AAO, it is only safe to use these apps for glasses, not contact lenses.
- Eye Patient: This app offers various vision testing tools. It also lists information about eye disorders and allows users to connect to eye doctors.
- EyeQue: This company offers an app to assess vision while a person uses a handheld device they need to buy separately. People can then order glasses or lenses from its online store or receive a prescription to use with another retailer.
- Lens.com: People can use this website to obtain new prescriptions they can use on most retailer websites.
Optometrists or ophthalmologists
In some cases, if a person’s prescription has expired, their eye doctor may be able to perform a telehealth eye exam if they prefer not to visit the office.
Below are some of the top eyeglass lens replacement companies an individual can consider.
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 a wide range of lens options: Lensabl
- List price: from $77
- Add-ons: water-repellent, scratch- and smudge-resistant, UV protection, antifog coating
Lensabl offers a wide range of options for people who wish to replace their lenses but not their frames.
Prescription choices include single-vision, progressive, and bifocal.
Lens types include:
- blue light blocking
- Transitions Light Intelligent
Available lens materials to choose from include:
- standard CR39 plastic
- shatter-resistant polycarbonate
- trivex, the lighter version of polycarbonate
- thinner lenses for higher prescriptions
Additionally, a person can order water-repellent, scratch- and smudge-resistant, UV protection, and antifog coatings.
Individuals send their frames directly to Lensabl, and the company installs the new lenses into the frames and sends them back in a few days.
A person must already have a valid prescription to use Lensabl. However, they can submit a prescription after completing their order. The company states it will email and request this information. Lensabl also provides printable labels and its own packaging.
Those looking for a convenient way to customize and order their lenses may find Lensabl suitable.
- payment plans available
- wide range of lens colors
- lenses for people who are sensitive to light or spend extended time outside, such as drivers
- very thin lenses for those with strong prescriptions
- free shipping
- some options, especially thinner lenses, cost over $400
- an average rating of 2.7 on TrustPilot, with negative reviews noting quality issues and slow turnaround
- the company does not promise to return the old lenses
Best guarantee: 39DollarGlasses.com
- List price: from $39
- Add-ons: anti-glare and Crizal Prevencia enhanced anti-glare coatings
39DollarGlasses offers a wide range of lens-only products.
The company sells a choice of prescription types, including single-vision, bifocal, and progressive options. Single-vision lenses do not cost extra. However, there are additional charges for bifocal and progressive lenses.
A person may also select clear, sun, or Transitions Light Intelligent lenses, each with varying options, such as:
- UltimateView light and thin
- Tinted UltimateView super-thin
- NuPolar polarized
- Transitions Signature GEN8
Add-on options include anti-glare and Crizal Prevencia enhanced anti-glare coatings.
A person must either input their prescription while ordering or have a valid prescription already on file with the service. Alternatively, they can complete their order without a prescription but must send it to the company within 21 days of ordering.
They can then send their frames to the company for lens fitting.
This company is a viable option for those seeking a service with a good product guarantee.
- free return shipping
- a warranty on most lenses
- offers clear, sun, and Transitions Light Intelligent lenses
- a nonrefundable $14.95 handling fee applies to all orders
- limited selection of colors and options
- ultra-thin option is not available with a progressive darkening lens
Best for fitting to designer frames: Eyeglasses.com
- List price: from $49
- Add-ons: antireflective, anti-glare, smudge-resistant, and dust-repelling coatings
Eyeglasses.com offers replacement lenses for a person’s current frames.
Available lens options include:
Lens material includes:
- standard plastic CR39
A person can also order antireflective, anti-glare, smudge-resistant, and dust-repelling coating options. Some lenses come with an anti-scratch warranty of 1–2 years.
Additionally, Eyeglasses.com offers official and certified Ray-Ban lenses if a person has Ray-Ban frames.
Individuals can send their frames and current prescription to the company. Alternatively, Eyeglasses.com can read and duplicate a person’s current lenses. It will then install the lenses and ship them back for free.
This company may be a suitable choice for those who have designer frames, as it stocks lenses from official designer brands.
- a wide variety of lens options
- some lenses come with a manufacturer’s claims guarantee, such as antireflective protection
- delivery upgrade available
- limited range of lens colors
- some Trustpilot reviews report unresponsive customer service and incorrect lenses
Best for quick service: Overnight Glasses
- List price: from $60.80
- Add-ons: anti-glare, UV protection, anti-smudge, easy clean, scratch-resistant, water-repellent
Overnight Glasses offers to change people’s lenses in their current frames. It can provide these lenses within 1–3 days of receiving the frames.
It provides the following lenses:
- bifocal, with or without line
- high-definition clear
- Transitions Light Intelligent
- blue light blocking
- polarized sun protective
- FL-41 tint for migraine relief
- polarized mirror
People can also select anti-glare, UV protection, anti-smudge, easy clean, scratch-resistant, and water-repellent coatings for no extra charge.
A person orders their lenses before sending the frames to the company to replace them. Overnight Glasses says it can re-lens any frame shape and style.
This company may be a suitable choice for individuals needing a quick service.
- free shipping and returns
- provides lenses for migraine relief
- emergency 24-hour rush service available for an additional cost
- does not accept insurance
- 24-hour service does not apply to progressive or bifocal lenses
- limited lens color choices available
Best for all frame types: ReplaceRxLenses
- List price: from $55
- Add-ons: UV, anti-scratch, anti-glare, and super hydrophobic coatings
This company says it can handle most frame types. It offers replacement lenses in a person’s current frames.
ReplaceRxLenses can replace the following prescription lens types:
- digital progressive
It can also manufacture lenses with the following features:
- blue light blocking
- polarized mirror
It provides UV, anti-scratch, anti-glare, and super hydrophobic coatings.
Other features include free shipping, 1–2 weeks turnaround time, and a 30-day guarantee.
This company may be most suitable for people with any frame type.
- free shipping
- a Trustpilot score of 4.6
- quick turnaround time
- insurance not accepted
- limited lens colors available
- does not appear to offer thin lenses for strong prescriptions
The following table provides an overview of the above companies.
|Best for||Free shipping||Free returns||Prices start from|
|Lensabl||a wide range of lens and color options||yes||no||$77|
|39DollarGlasses.com||lower budget options and those with a warranty||• $4.95–24.95 in the U.S.|
• $12.95–29 international
• free for orders over $99
|Eyeglasses.com||official lenses suitable for designer frames||yes||yes||$49|
|Overnight Glasses||a quick service||yes||yes||$60.80|
|ReplaceRXLenses||any frame type||yes||yes||$55|
Replacing eyeglass lenses can be important to maintain eye health, especially for those who regularly wear glasses.
Factors a person can consider before making a purchase include:
- Existing frames: If a person has a new lens prescription, they will need to consider whether their new lenses will fit into their current frames. People will have to change their frames if a company cannot shape their new lenses to fit them.
- Lens options: Some brands offer a wide range of lenses, including single-vision, bifocal, trifocal, computer, and reading lenses. Others have more limited ranges.
- Delivery time: People can research shipping times and customer reviews before making a purchase.
- Guarantee and refunds: Choosing a company with a guarantee and a clear refund policy can help alleviate potential risks and unnecessary costs.
- Cost: People can research features they need in their lenses, such as scratch-resistant coating or a protective UV tint, and consider how these affect the price. Some companies offer low initial costs that may increase depending on the prescription. People will need to consider their budget and choose a company that offers the features they need and the option to return unsuitable lenses.
Below are answers to some common questions about replacement eyeglass lenses.
Can people put new prescription lenses in old frames?
Some companies offer to make and cut new prescription lenses and fit them into an old frame. However, if the frame has lost its structural integrity with age, it may not be possible to fit new lenses into an old frame.
Can a person replace the lenses in their glasses?
People do not always need to buy new frames along with their lenses. This can be a cheaper way to update glasses.
If someone has damaged their lenses and does not need a new prescription, they can order new lenses from online retailers. In most cases, both lenses will need replacing even if only one is damaged due to the curvature of the lens having to be identical in both. This is to avoid visual distortions.
If a person has a new prescription, there may be a chance that these lenses will not fit their current frames.
How much does it cost to replace lenses in glasses?
This depends on the type of lens a person requires. For example, nonprescription options will be cheaper than prescription lenses. Additionally, anybody requiring an add-on coating will likely pay extra.
Based on the above list, prices for lens replacements may start from $39.
Glasses lens replacement services can be much more affordable than replacing frames, and many websites offer options for buying new lenses without needing to visit a doctor or optometrist.
However, it is essential to undergo regular eye exams. People need to regularly consult an eye doctor to help ensure optimal vision and eye health.
Medical News Today does not imply a warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or endorse any of these applications. These apps have not been evaluated for medical accuracy by Medical News Today. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them unless otherwise indicated.