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Both prescription and nonprescription glasses are available online, often providing more cost-effective and convenient buying options.

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Prescription glasses are available at many online and traditional retailers. To purchase them online, a person needs a current prescription from a licensed doctor.

This article discusses how to purchase glasses from an online retailer and the factors to consider.

Prescription glasses are available at many online and traditional retailers, but not all retailers operate in the same way.

To purchase prescription glasses online, a person needs a current prescription from a licensed eye doctor. This is the only information necessary to place an order in some cases.

If a person wishes to change their glasses but does not need to change their prescription, some companies, such as Liingo Eyewear, can read an individual’s current pair of glasses with an app to determine their prescription.

However, in most cases, people will need a copy of their current prescription, or they should ask their optometrist to provide one. Many companies will allow a person to purchase their glasses first and send a copy of their prescription later.

Online retailers often feature a large selection of frames and lenses. These frames come in several different styles and color options, with lens choices that include:

  • extra scratch resistance and durability
  • blue light filtering
  • the option to convert them into sunglasses
  • lighter weight options

Payment options and costs

Once a person selects their frames and lenses, they can often pay the full cost upfront or split repayments over several months. Companies will offer varying payment options and terms and conditions.

Some insurance plans will cover some or all of the costs of frames and lenses. A person may wish to check their policy or contact their insurer to confirm their coverage.

If an individual’s insurance does not cover costs, a health savings account (HSA) may. An HSA is a tax-free savings account from banks and insurers that allows people to pay for eligible medical expenses, such as lenses and contacts, with its funds.

Meeting needs

Companies offering glasses can typically fill most prescriptions.

If a person needs special lenses, they should check with various companies to make sure they can accommodate their needs.

Additionally, a doctor may be able to recommend companies that offer them.

Other considerations

Glasses are often a combination of both function and style. When selecting eyewear, a person may wish to consider:

  • frame styles, patterns, and colors
  • frame materials
  • comfort and fit
  • lense tinting
  • trial periods, returns, and warranties

We considered several factors when buying glasses online. We list some of them below.

Company reputation

Reviews on a company website can often favor the most positive.

To get a good sense of a brand’s reputation, we looked to third-party reviews on other websites, where usually at least one independent reviewer has tried the company’s products.

We also checked independent reviews, such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which lists a brand’s relevant reviews, recent complaints, business rating, and accreditation.

Insurance

Some companies suggest that a person can use their insurance to purchase their glasses. If an individual has an optical benefit through their insurer, they must usually pay upfront and submit a reimbursement claim.

However, an insurer may classify an eyewear company as an out-of-network provider, which could lead to higher costs.

Liingo Eyewear, for example, states they are an out-of-network healthcare provider on many insurance plans, but not all companies are clear on their insurance status.

With this in mind, individuals can contact their insurance company to confirm coverage.

Several retailers offer prescription glasses online. Some brands include:

Best for fast delivery turnaround

Overnight Glasses

Overnight Glasses offers a wide range of prescription glasses from major retailers and claims to deliver within 24 hours.

The company offers a large supply of glasses for adults and children and allows customers to use flexible spending accounts and HSA plans to pay for their prescriptions.

Overnight Glasses also offers lens replacement for any pair of glasses that a person already owns from any retailer.

The company has accreditation from the BBB, has a B+ rating, and is also favorable among customers with a 4.7-star review rating.

Learn more about Overnight Glasses.

Best for athletes

ROKA Eyewear

The idea for Roka Eyewear came from two American swimmers who wanted to market their eyewear for athletes requiring efficiency during sports.

The company offers a wide range of prescription glasses, sunglasses, and other athletic gear. Customers can try on up to four pairs of glasses at a time for a 7-day trial period.

It is important to note that the company does have limited prescription ranges for each pair of glasses on its site.

Prices for a pair of eyeglasses can range between $175 and $320. The company also accepts some major insurance providers.

While Roka does not have accreditation with the BBB, it does have an A+ rating on the site.

Learn more about ROKA Eyewear.

Best for contact lenses

Warby Parker

Warby Parker offers a selection of glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses. The company is not BBB-accredited, but the brand has an A+ rating on the review platform.

The company also offers at-home trial services, where a person can request free delivery of up to five pairs of glasses for a 5-day trial period.

Warby Parker also offers customers the option to complete an eye exam if they live near one of the company’s stores.

Its prescription eyewear starts from $95, and it accepts some major insurance providers.

Learn more about Warby Parker.

Best for prescription sunglasses

Liingo Eyewear

Liingo Eyewear offers a large selection of glasses, sunglasses, and accessories. The company sells prescription lenses ranging from -14.00 to +6.00 sphere and cylinder ranges between -3.75 and 3.75.

It also offers a virtual try-on option, free in-home trials, an option to assist in finding the right frame for customers, and an in-app prescription reader that can scan a person’s glasses to find their prescription.

Reviews on its website are mostly positive, and the company has an A rating with the BBB.

Learn more about Liingo Eyewear.

Best to purchase name-brand eyewear

EyeBuyDirect

EyeBuyDirect offers several custom pairs of glasses and sunglasses. In addition to its own brand of products, the company also provides some brand-name options.

It also offers services, such as a glasses search guide, a guide to reading prescriptions, and an eye doctor finder to help customers find doctors to obtain a prescription.

EyeBuyDirect has an A+ rating with the BBB and generally receives positive reviews on its website.

Learn more about EyeBuyDirect.

Best for multifocal lenses

GlassesUSA

GlassesUSA offers a selection of brand-name glasses and sunglasses from various manufacturers.

The company sells single and multifocal lenses and also offers services, such as a virtual try-on and an in-app scanner to read a person’s subscription in their current glasses.

GlassesUSA has a B rating with the BBB, but it does not have accreditation with the platform.

Learn more about GlassesUSA.

Best for budget

Payne Glasses

Payne Glasses offer several styles of frames and glasses for adults and children.

The company sells multifocal, progressive, single lens, blue light, and high-index lenses.

Its website also features guides that teach customers how to read their prescription and pupillary distance.

And while Payne does not accept insurance plans, its glasses start at $5.95.

The company has an A+ rating and receives an average rating of 4.6 out of five stars for customer reviews on the BBB website.

Most versatile style inventory

Zenni Optical

Zenni Optical offers both designer frames and its own brand of frames.

It also sells Blokz lenses, blue light lenses that help protect the eyes from digital screens.

Additionally, Zenni Optical has a virtual try-on service and provides guidance on measuring pupillary distance.

While the company does not accept insurance providers, its glasses start from $5.95.

It has an A+ rating and an average of 3 out of five stars from customer reviews on the BBB site.

Learn more about Zenni Optical.

About 11 million people over the age of 12 years in the United States need vision correction, such as prescription lenses.

As prescription lenses help a person see more clearly, it can appear as if their eyesight has become worse when they remove them. The result is a common misconception that an individual’s eyes may become dependent on corrective lenses.

However, according to the National Eye Institute, a person’s eyes will not worsen or become dependent on glasses.

Preventing vision loss

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest a person may prevent vision loss by:

  • maintaining a moderate weight
  • cleaning the hands and contact lenses before touching the eyes
  • wearing sunglasses when outdoors
  • resting the eyes from using electronic devices
  • getting regular eye exams
  • using protective eyewear when necessary
  • eating a nutritious diet
  • maintaining healthy blood sugar levels
  • sharing family eye history with a doctor

About blue light

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), small amounts of blue light from computers or other digital screens do not correlate with the eye health concerns that online retailers often warn about when selling blue light glasses.

The AAO adds that blue light from these devices does not cause:

  • sleep issues
  • eye damage or disease
  • eye strain

The AAO also notes that digital eye strain occurs due to not blinking as frequently during screen use. To prevent eye strain or discomfort, the organization recommends:

  • reducing glare from screens
  • sitting at an arm’s length from the screen
  • using artificial tears or eye drops as necessary to lubricate the eyes
  • looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds for every 20 minutes of screentime
  • wearing glasses when working on a computer

A person who needs prescription glasses can find a wealth of options online. Many companies offer custom frames, styles, colors, and lenses.

When choosing a company to purchase prescription glasses from, individuals may consider the brand’s reputation, the comfort and fit of the glasses, and whether a person’s health insurer accepts claims from the company.