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- Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
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- Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
- Most ways to try eyewear: Warby Parker
- Biggest eyeglasses selection: GlassesUSA
- Great for the family: EyeBuyDirect
- Best return policy: Liingo
- Has more services: LensDirect
- Coolest out of Canada: Bonlook
- Best on a budget: Zenni Optical
- Best for athletes: Roka Eyewear
- Best charitable brand: DIFF Eyewear
New eyewear can modernize your look and give your confidence a boost. But glasses can be expensive, and it can be time-consuming to find the right ones to buy.
Using an online eyewear retailer can often solve both issues. But it’s important to choose a reputable website that stands behind their merchandise.
To choose the sites on this list, we looked at ratings and customer reviews on multiple sites, including Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau.
We selected sites that provide top-notch customer service based on user comments and reviews. We also looked at features such as money-back guarantees, price match guarantees, and free or low shipping costs.
We avoided including sellers that get low marks for poor communication, hidden fees, and high service charges.
We also tried to find those that have the widest selections, including some that feature eyeglasses for children.
We took ease of use into account too. Some retailers can fill prescriptions for more complicated prescriptions, such as multifocal lenses and strong prescriptions. Others are better used for trendy eyewear and frame styles.
Most ways to try eyewear
Warby Parker has an online store and brick-and-mortar retail shops nationwide that sell their in-house designs.
A free home try-on service combines the best of both shopping experiences. Pick up to 5 frames with demo lenses for home delivery, and keep them for 5 days. As with all purchases and returns, shipping the demos back is free.
The Warby Parker quiz is a good place to begin choosing frames. It helps you zero in on the best eyewear for your face shape and personal style preferences.
Frames with a shorter lens height that work well for progressives are also called out online, so you can find the best options for bifocals and trifocals.
The Warby Parker app for iPhone X and newer models have an easy-to-use virtual try-on feature.
If you’re staring at screens too much these days (and who isn’t?), you can add blue light filtering to your lenses for $50. This service is available for prescription and nonprescription lenses.
Once you order your glasses from Warby Parker, you can expect them to be delivered in 7 to 10 days, and the company offers a 30-day return policy if you aren’t happy with your purchase.
Biggest eyeglasses selection
Glasses USA carries over 7,000 eyeglass frames, many of which are discounted. All the top names are here, including:
- Muse x Hilary Duff
You can use their virtual try-on feature to see how you’ll look in any pair. Over 2,000 frames are earmarked as good options for multifocal, bifocal, and progressive lenses.
Glasses USA carries frames that work with high index lenses. There’s also a nice selection of frames for children and for sports.
Glasses USA has an app that lets you use your current eyewear to identify your prescription. It only works for single prescriptions and can’t be used for strong or progressive prescriptions. While convenient, it shouldn’t be used in place of an annual eye exam.
Once you order a pair of glasses from Glasses USA, you can expect them to be delivered in 3 to 10 days depending on your chosen delivery method. The company allows returns for glasses for up 14 days, for either store credit, an exchange, or a refund.
Great for the family
EyeBuyDirect has an almost unending variety of eyeglass frames to choose from for men, women, and children. They’re not specifically known for budget pricing or discounts, but they do have a large selection of affordable frames to choose from.
You can shop by specific features, such as:
- frame shape
- facial shape
- progressive lenses
- spring hinge
- 2-day delivery
EyeBuyDirect spotlights novelty frames for a specific holiday or season, as well as features eyewear made from recycled materials.
The company can fill strong prescriptions, and they carry frames that accommodate high index lenses.
If you’re looking to buy children’s eyeglasses, EyeBuyDirect is a particularly easy site to use. Frames are broken down by age group:
- juniors (6–8 years)
- tweens (9–12 years)
- teens (13–19 years)
You can also find single vision or progressive reader sunglasses, as well as polarized sunglasses.
EyeBuyDirect also has an easy checkout and returns process. You can expect a 7- to 14-day turnaround time for your purchase, and the company has a 14-day return policy where they offer a one-time replacement or a refund.
Best return policy
Liingo’s selection of moderately priced frames isn’t the largest around, but this online retailer has lots of features that make eyeglass shopping easy.
Their virtual try-on service provides realistic results. Liingo also has an in-home try-on service that lets you choose between five frame styles at a time. The find-my-fit feature is easy to use and provides accurate information.
Liingo’s prescription reader app works well for single vision lenses, but you’ll need a computer screen and phone camera to use it.
Note that while Liingo’s prescription reader app can’t read stronger prescriptions, the retailer can fill those that require thin and light, high index lenses.
Shipping times vary depending on your chosen delivery time, but there’s a 4-day processing period. Liingo has a customer-friendly return policy that offers a full refund on any purchase you’re not enjoying, for up to 60 days. They will even replace frames that become completely destroyed during that time.
Has more services
LensDirect’s claim to fame is contact lenses, but they also have a small, inexpensively priced line of eyewear for adults.
Gamers will also find a collection of blue light blocking glasses.
If you love your current frames, you can shop for replacement lenses, including progressives, on any brand you own. Scratch resistance, 100 percent ultraviolet (UV) protection, and antireflection are included with replacement lenses at no additional cost.
When you order glasses, the company will verify your prescription, and once verified, glasses ship within 1 business day. The company offers a generous 90-day return policy if you aren’t happy with your frames.
Coolest out of Canada
A Canadian company, Bonlook features in-house frames that include exclusive designs created with Canadian celebrities. You can purchase frames online or in Bonlook retail shops throughout Canada.
You’ll need an up-to-date prescription before choosing your frames. Bonlook can accommodate strong prescriptions, single vision lenses, and multifocal lenses.
If you don’t know your pupillary distance (PD), Bonlook can take a measurement based on an uploaded photo of your face.
Delivery to the United States takes around 10 to 12 business days and there’s a 60-day return policy.
Best on a budget
Zenni is a good place to bargain shop for men’s, women’s, and children’s eyewear.
Their 3D try-on service lets you shop at home with ease. If you’re less than pleased with your choice, Zenni will only offer store credit or a 50 percent refund, excluding shipping costs.
You can shop here by features, such as:
- frame material
- frame color
- high Rx
- single vision, bifocal, or progressives
Zenni also has a range of fun styles and designer shops that can help you zero in on individualized looks, such as:
- Cynthia Rowley
- Timo x Zenni by Timo Weiland
Zenni carries fun eyewear accessories that help round out your looks, such as eyeglass chains and cases.
There’s a 7- to 10-day turnaround time for most purchases, and the company offers a 30-day return policy.
Best for athletes
Roka was founded by athletes, for athletes. The company’s two founders were both All-American swimmers who were looking to make eyewear that’s efficient to wear while playing sports.
The company makes glasses for men and women and allows customers to shop for progressive lenses, readers, single vision lenses, and blue light lenses.
You’ll need to know your prescription information before ordering, and it’s important to note that Roka does have limited prescription ranges.
Roka ships to all 50 states within the US, and offers free shipping to the 48 continental states, and orders usually have a 1- to 7-day turnaround time.
Roka does offer returns and exchanges on some of their products, but unfortunately, not their prescription eyewear.
Best charitable brand
DIFF Eyewear offers designer brand-inspired eyewear for lower prices. The company offers blue-light-blocking glasses, readers, and other prescription eyewear for both men and women.
The company offers hundreds of styles of glasses, including cat-eye frames, round frames, aviator frames, oversized frames, and more.
DIFF also partners with the brand Sightsavers, which is an international organization that focuses on helping people with vision issues all over the world.
For every pair of glasses purchased from DIFF, the company offers exams, glasses, surgeries, and more to someone who needs the care.
After you order from DIFF, your glasses will arrive in a 1- to 9-day timeframe, depending on the shipping method you chose, and the company offers a 14-day return policy for store credit.
Not every online eyewear retailer can fill strong or complicated prescriptions. Before you scroll through their styles, check to see if your prescription is within the company’s parameters.
Cost can vary considerably among online retailers. When comparison shopping, keep in mind that the cost of frames is only one piece of the entire price. Check out the cost associated with your lens type, any filters you add, shipping, and service fees to get the full picture.
Check out consumer reviews. Lots of negative reviews can be a red flag, especially if they’re about poor return policies, slow delivery, damaged merchandise, or poor customer service.
The eyeglasses you love during a virtual try-on may not look as good once you have them in hand. The eyewear you buy online should always be returnable within an ample amount of time. Look for return policies of at least 30 days.
Online prescription checks are great for convenience and saving time, but don’t make them a permanent go-to. Having your eyes checked once a year by an optometrist or ophthalmologist is the only way to stay ahead with your eye health and common vision disorders.
Not everyone loves an unending selection. If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of trying on dozens or even hundreds of frame styles, stick with a retailer that sells a smaller, distinctive selection of styles you can see yourself in.
If you’re manually entering your prescription, double-check that you’ve entered it correctly.
A note about online eyewear
Opticians and those with strong prescriptions often cite a lack of good frame fit and wanting better quality lenses from eyewear available through online-only retailers.
The same features that make online glasses more affordable tend to leave out more personalized touches, like adjusting for other face measurements and where your natural gaze lands through a given set of frames.
Note that you can still have an optician help you with the fit of your glasses and reshape your frames if they get loose down the line.
Purchasing eyeglasses online can be a convenient, cost-effective solution to getting new frames.
There are many online retailers to choose from. Some also have brick-and-mortar stores you can visit, while others rely solely on virtual try-ons and at-home trials.
When buying eyewear online, only purchase glasses from sellers that have customer-friendly return policies.
It’s also important to check out the company’s reputation through online reviews and on business rating sites.