Best Online Eyeglasses Stores 2018

Whether you wear eyeglasses as a necessity or as a fashion statement, choosing the right pair is just getting easier.  Since the first online eyeglass store appeared in 2011, the playing field has grown, offering cool features and amazing prices, like virtual try-ons, $7 glasses (oh yeah!), and measuring pupillary distance (PD – you need this).  

Some statistics point out that 75% of all adult Americans use some form of vision correction, whether it’s prescription-based, reading only, contacts or sunglasses.  We’ve done some legwork on the best online glasses stores for you. So read on and make sure your prescription is current!

CompanyRankingRatingPriceDescription
Ottica1st9.8 out of 10Varies

Ottica Review

Ottica's elegant website and fantastic customer support take all the hassle out of picking out your next pair of top-quality designer glasses.Full Ottica Review »
Zenni Optical2nd9.7 out of 10Varies

Zenni Optical Review

A highly recommended online glasses store that offers high quality eyewear for men, women and kids, at prices that won't break the bank.Full Zenni Optical Review »

Sunglass Hut

3rd9.7 out of 10Varies

Sunglass Hut Review

A great online glasses store where you can get sunglasses from some of the top brands and offers free shipping, plus two try-on programs.Full Sunglass Hut Review »

FramesDirect

4th9.7 out of 10Varies

FramesDirect Review

A fantastic online store where you can browse through a large catalog of eyeglasses from the top brands, and even enjoy various shipping options.Full FramesDirect Review »

Warby Parker

5th9.5 out of 10Varies

Warby Parker Review

Warby Parker is a champion when it comes to innovating the eyeglass purchase process, but they still have some misses here and there.Full Warby Parker Review »

Glasses.com

6th9.4 out of 10Varies

Glasses.com Review

A great online glasses store that allows you to try glasses at home or via their app, and even gives free lenses, frame adjustments, and shipping.Full Glasses.com Review »

EZContacts

7th9.4 out of 10Varies

EZContacts Review

EZContacts is a winner when it comes to choices, as they carry dozens of brands. Too bad they are only available in the US and Canada.Full EZContacts Review »

39dollarglasses

8th9.3 out of 10Varies

39dollarglasses Review

A great online glasses store that offers an easy-to-use website, relatively affordable eyeglasses, fast shipping, reasonable returns and more.Full 39dollarglasses Review »

Solstice Sunglasses

9th9.3 out of 10Varies

Solstice Sunglasses Review

A solid online glasses store that offers a wide range of eyewear from top brands (with affordable ones, to boot), free shipping, and more.Full Solstice Sunglasses Review »

SmartBuyGlasses

10th9.3 out of 10Varies

SmartBuyGlasses Review

A fantastic online store that carries over 80,000 eyewear products from 180 brands, and gives a 2 year warranty, 100 day returns, and more.Full SmartBuyGlasses Review »

BestBuyEyeglasses

11th9.0 out of 10Varies

BestBuyEyeglasses Review

A decent online glasses store that carries 100% authentic products and offers them at relatively pocket-friendly prices.Full BestBuyEyeglasses Review »

GlassesUSA

12th9.0 out of 10Varies

GlassesUSA Review

A compelling online store where you can choose from over 2,000 glasses from brand designers, enjoy 1 year warranty on all frames and lenses, and more.Full GlassesUSA Review »
Eyeglasses.com13th8.9 out of 10Varies

Eyeglasses.com Review

A great online glasses store that carries a large selection of glasses from designer brands and is one of the few that is graded A+ by the BBB.Full Eyeglasses.com Review »
Also, here are some important things we looked at for our rankings.

Features

Buying eyeglasses online today is almost as easy as walking into a brick and mortar store, although you still need a prescription for both. The major difference is trying on the glasses. Just like clothing, this is one issue that most customers have when it comes to buying online. But no worries! Virtual try-ons are actually a thing now, and are part of every e-commerce eyeglass store!

Some eyeglass features are necessary (bifocals, for example) and others (like anti-scratching properties) are optional. Here are some features that online eyeglass stores offer:  

  • Wide selection of frames, colors, shapes, sizes, styles (trendy, classic, retro, and hipster, to name a few)
  • Virtual try-ons
  • Variety of materials the frames are made from (titanium, plastic, wood, metal)
  • Variety of lenses - photochromic (changes with the sunlight), polycarbonate and trivex (impact resistant), aspheric (curves more), anti-reflective, polarized (reduced glare), anti-scratching, UV protected, bifocal, trifocal, progressives, tinted, mirror-coated, and bluelight blocking for computer users
  • Adjustment policy, if any
  • Physical stores to visit

Most of the online glasses stores provide the opportunity to virtually try-on a pair of glasses.  The process is pretty easy - upload your photo or use your webcam, then answer a few questions, and the software will then select frames for you.  This can be done sitting in front of your laptop or from your smartphone.

Of course, the best way to see how the glasses look on you is to physically try them on.  Some websites will allow you to choose frames, and they'll send them to you and you can either make a purchase or send them back - free of charge!  Just check how long you can keep them. Each company has a deadline and if you keep them too long, your credit card will be charged for each pair.

Eyeglass prescriptions involve a lot of numbers, optical terms and abbreviations - OD, OS, OU, sphere, cylinder, pupillary distance, axis, and many others. Your eye doctor can explain them to you, but it’s best to get a copy of the actual prescription.  They are required by the federal law to do so, after all. You are not required to buy eyeglasses from them nor can they charge you money for the prescription.

 

[caption id="attachment_27309" align="aligncenter" width="395"]Sample of generic eyeglass prescription Generic sample of a prescription minus pupillary distance (PD)[/caption]

Some online eyeglasses stores require you to fill in the medical terms on their blank online order form.  This may be a less accurate way to inform them of your prescription- one wrong + or - sign and you can potentially get a pair of nearsighted specs when you’re farsighted! Others allow you to upload an image of your prescription and email it to them- a far better method, in our opinion.

For some people, eyeglasses are just eyeglasses. They stick to one frame style and color forever.  For others, eyeglasses are an important part of their identify. Creative types will most likely have a “wardrobe” of specs to make a fashion statement.  Online eyelasses stores need to stay on top of fashion and design trends to compete for customers. So if having a designer logo on your glasses is important, look for stores that stock them - not all do.  

Lifestyle also dictates our choice of eyeglasses.  Do you sit in front of a computer all day? You might be a candidate for blue-light blocking glasses to combat digital eye strain.  Are you a weekend warrior that hikes or bikes with friends? Maybe wrap-around prescription sunglasses with polarization and shatter-resistance are needed.  Do you have young kids and teens that outgrow their glasses every year? Just be aware that not all online glasses stores offer these options.

Pricing and Insurance

Let’s deal with dollars first. The online prices range from $6 to $99+ for a pair of eyeglasses. That’s a huge difference. Obviously, the quality and choice of frames and lenses come into play. However, there are many tempting deals and bargains that online eyeglasses stores offer- BOGO (buy one, get one), coupon discounts, refer-a-friend and loyalty programs, and don’t forget sale items!   

It’s also best to check with your insurance carrier about your vision coverage.  Purchases from the online eyeglass store might not be covered, plus, insurance coverage changes all the time. In the end, it’s always good practice to get a detailed invoice if you have to submit your own claim.

Returns, Warranty and Shipping

What happens if the eyeglasses shipped to you are not right  They don’t fit. The lenses are off. You just plain don’t like them. Some online glasses stores offer 100% refund, no questions asked.  Others will give you a discount if there is a manufacturing problem, issue store credit for the full amount you paid and even offer a one year, no-scratch guarantee.

Accidents, negligence or improper care, as expected, would not be part of any warranty program. In my opinion, warranty equals replacement of defective merchandise only. Most online eyeglass stores have this policy in place- if it's broken straight from the box, then they'll replace it without any question. But if it's a user-caused damaged, then you may not have any other choice but to have it repaired or replaced out-of-pocket.

Shipping charges vary from free ground shipping (longer wait) to paid UPS or USPS expedited service.  Although expedited shipping costs more, it'll be worth it if you need the pair ASAP.

Customer Service

Support options are usually by phone, email and live chat.  FAQ and help sections should address most issues. Some websites even have an active social media presence, and one site prefers using WhatsApp to provide the quickest answers!

If you have a medical question that’s not adequately addressed by online support, please make an appointment with your optometrist or ophthalmologist. They are better equipped to handle your concern, after all.

 

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