We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
Zenni Optical and Warby Parker are two eyewear retailers that operate within the United States.
This article compares the two brands and provides alternatives and information about vision products and eye health.
Warby Parker started its business in 2010 and aims to provide designer eyewear at an affordable price. It has both online and brick-and-mortar stores.
Zenni Optical began operating in 2003. Its vision is to offer reasonably priced, fashionable eyewear. However, this company only sells its products online.
Reputation and reviews
Warby Parker has an average customer rating of 3.6 stars out of 5 on Trustpilot. Positive reviews frequently mention good customer service, while negative reviews stated its glasses featured poor frame quality.
In contrast, Zenni Optical’s Trustpilot page has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. The company’s positive reviews mostly mention the quality of glasses and affordable prices. However, 3% of the reviews award the company 1 star, with customers reporting that they received poor or incorrect orders.
Warby Parker sells sunglasses, regular eyeglasses, and contact lenses. Its eyeglasses and sunglasses are available either with or without a prescription. The company also sells blue light-filtering lenses.
Additionally, Warby Parker operates a home try-on scheme, where a person can have up to five frames sent to their home. This means they can try the products on physically and return any they do not wish to keep.
In addition, the company operates some physical stores that conduct eye exams.
Zenni Optical has various lenses and frames available, such as regular glasses for adults and children, sunglasses, sports glasses, goggles, clip-on lenses, nonprescription lenses, and protective glasses.
The company also stocks Blokz glasses, which are blue light-filtering lenses for gamers.
Additionally, Zenni Optical has a virtual try-on feature, where a person can upload their photo to the website to see what they would look like in any of their frames.
How to buy
An individual can purchase Warby Parker products online or in the company’s physical stores.
To purchase prescription products, Warby Parker requires a valid prescription from an eye doctor. It is important to note that eyeglasses prescriptions are different from contact lens prescriptions.
As it has no physical stores, Zenni Optical customers must purchase the company’s eyewear online. The company also requires a valid prescription from an eye doctor. However, it features an instructional video to help individuals with online purchases.
To avoid any discomfort and potential eye damage, a person should regularly visit their optician or ophthalmologist to obtain the correct visual prescription.
The two brands share several similarities. For example, both companies:
- stock regular and sunglasses with either prescription or nonprescription lenses
- sell acetate and metal frames
- offer blue light-blocking lenses
- have similar aims of selling fashionable frames for an affordable price
- only stock own-brand eyeglasses and sunglasses
Below are some advantages and disadvantages of each brand.
|Warby Parker||The company has a “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” scheme, which donates glasses to those in need.|
It has a home try-on feature and a virtual try-on feature.
It has some physical stores that conduct eye exams.
Warby makes its eyeglasses in-house.
It stocks contact lenses.
The company accepts Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Saving Account (HSA) payments.
|Warby does not stock children’s glasses.|
It has physical stores in only 28 states.
The company only sells its own brand of products.
Many insurers consider the company an out-of-network provider.
In comparison with Zenni Optical, Warby Parker’s prices may be higher.
|Zenni Optical||The company stocks glasses for children and adults.|
It has a virtual try-on feature.
Zenni has additional content online with lens information and instructional videos.
Prices start from $6.95.
The company accepts FSA/HSA payments.
Zenni Optica’s prices may be lower in comparison with Warby Parker.
|Zenni does not have physical stores and only operates online.|
All frames are Zenni Optical brand.
The company does not accept insurance.
Both Warby Parker and Zenni Optical have different policies relating to shipping, returns, and warranties.
The company says shipping can take 5–10 days.
Additionally, Warby Parker ships all over the U.S., including Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and military addresses. And while it can ship certain items to Canada, it only ships contact lenses to U.S. addresses.
The company also has a 30-day return policy and a 1-year no-scratch guarantee on their lenses. Under this guarantee, Warby Parker claims it will replace scratched lenses at no additional cost.
Zenni Optical says standard shipping within the U.S. should take 14–21 days. It also ships internationally to selected countries.
The company also offers a 30-day returns policy and will refund an item if there is a manufacturer problem or a person receives an incorrect product.
If an individual changes their mind about a purchase, they can choose between store credit or a 50% refund. However, shipping costs are nonrefundable.
Zenni Optical will also replace broken frames at no charge within the first 30 days, while nose pads and screws have a lifetime warranty. Anti-reflective coating and photochromatic films have a 1-year warranty from the date of delivery.
Before purchasing eyewear, a person might wish to consider the following factors:
- their face shape
- the lens thickness they need
- whether blue light-blocking glasses would benefit them
- the warranty and return policy
- the ability to try on glasses before purchase
- the cost
- types of lenses and coatings available, which can add scratch-resistant or anti-glare properties
The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests eye doctors may test the following in a comprehensive eye exam:
- visual accuracy
- prescription for corrective lenses
- side vision
- eye movement
- eye pressure
- the front of the eye
- the retina and optic nerve
- decreased or double vision
- eye redness or draining
- eye pain
- seeing floaters — tiny specks in front of the eyes
- seeing circles around lights
- seeing flashes of light
Additionally, a 2016 study suggests individuals could also benefit from regular comprehensive eye exams even when they do not have any new symptoms. This is because they detect not only slight prescription changes but also new eye conditions that may benefit from treatment.
There are other eyewear brands a person may consider, including:
- GlassesUSA: Sells eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses. The company stocks its own eyewear alongside designer products.
- EyeBuyDirect: This retailer aims to sell affordable eyewear. It designs its own products and sells a select number of designer labels.
- Coastal: Specializes in prescription eyewear products, including contact lenses.
Warby Parker and Zenni Optical both sell their products online. However, Warby Parker also has some brick-and-mortar stores throughout the U.S.
Both claim to sell stylish glasses at an affordable cost and only stock their own products.