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Pair Eyewear’s big claim to fame is that their products are highly customizable, allowing you to switch up your eyewear without really having to buy multiple pairs of glasses.
Let’s take a look at what Pair Eyewear has to offer, as well as what customers have to say about their products.
Pair Eyewear is an online eyeglass retailer that specializes in frames for kids and adults. The brand is relatively new to the eyewear scene. It was launched in 2017 by a pair of Stanford University grads.
They have received significant media attention since the founders appeared on an episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2020. They landed a deal with some of the show’s investors.
Pair Eyewear pros
- Pair Eyewear lets you customize your glasses with a wide selection of top frames that you can switch out. This is unique to Pair Eyewear, and you can’t really find it anywhere else.
- This is especially great for kids who want to switch up their style or sport their favorite superhero or team logo on their glasses once in a while, but not every day.
- Each pair of glasses comes with a case that holds the base frames and up to two top frames.
- At $60 for a pair of prescription glasses, the baseline price is reasonable for no-frills prescription glasses.
Pair Eyewear cons
- There aren’t a lot of base frame styles for kids and adults.
- Lens upgrades like blue-light-blocking and progressive lenses are pretty pricey compared with the competition.
- Reviewers complain about slow shipping speed and poor communication from the customer service team. So, if you’re in a hurry, this might not be a good option.
- Pair Eyewear doesn’t seem to offer a lot of coupons, manufacturer rebates, or discounts — 10% off your first purchase may be the best deal you’re going to get.
Pair Eyewear offers a twist in the way you buy glasses — one that aims to make the experience of wearing glasses more fashionable and fun.
First, you can choose a base frame that comes in one of a few select shapes. These shapes are currently quite limited, with about 10 available for adults and five for kids.
Next, you can choose a top frame, or a magnetic front piece that attaches to the base frame. These top frames can correspond to your favorite superhero, an upcoming holiday, your professional hockey team of choice, or a host of other options. New styles are being added to their inventory.
By ordering several top frames along with your base frame of choice, the idea is that you can switch up your look whenever you want and without spending a lot of money on multiple pairs of prescription glasses. You can even buy sun tops, or top frames that come with thin, nonprescription sunglass lenses.
In addition to providing traditional prescription eyeglasses, Pair Eyewear can also fulfill orders for progressive lenses, lenses for people with astigmatism, nonprescription readers, sunglasses, and blue-light-blocking glasses.
All of Pair Eyewear’s base frames for kids and adults start at $60. This price includes their basic prescription lenses, equipped with a scratch-resistant and anti-glare coating.
Of course, you probably won’t want to order their eyeglasses without also getting a top frame or two. Top frames start at $25 each and cost up to $30 for one of their special collaborations, like the NHL or Marvel selections.
If you want anything other than the basic, single-vision correction lenses that come standard with the base frames, you’ll have to pay extra. For example, adding a blue-light filter to your glasses will cost $49. Swapping the basic lenses for sunglass lenses will cost an additional $99, and opting for progressive prescription lenses will tack on $199.
The bottom line on pricing: While the basic, no-frills base frames are reasonably priced compared with the competition, you’re probably going to end up paying close to $100 for a pair of glasses with one top-frame option.
Do they accept insurance?
Pair Eyewear doesn’t work directly with insurance companies, but you can still use your vision benefits to buy glasses. You can also apply for reimbursement from your insurance provider once you have the receipt from your completed order. Be sure to follow your insurance provider’s protocols for getting reimbursed.
You can also choose to pay with a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) debit card when checking out.
Pair Eyewear does offer returns if your glasses don’t fit or if you simply don’t like them. You have 30 days to try the glasses, as well as any top-frame options, and decide what you want to keep.
Returns, including shipping, are free. Contact Pair Eyewear’s customer service team for a return label to send back the glasses.
Pair Eyewear’s warranty policy costs extra if you want it to extend past the 30-day trial window.
If the glasses break after the trial window ends, you won’t be able to get a refund, and Pair won’t pay to have the glasses repaired.
You can pay $40 to enroll in PairCARE, a warranty program that covers scratched lenses and broken frames. PairCARE covers your glasses for 1 year.
Currently, the only way to buy Pair Eyewear glasses is through their website or at one of five retail locations: two in New York City, one in California, and two in Midwest Hy-Vee stores. The online shopping process is pretty straightforward and very similar to other online eyewear retailers.
Choose a base frame
First, you’ll need to select a base frame. These base frames come in several different colors, and you can also decide on a narrow- or wider-set frame.
Pick a top frame
Once you’ve chosen your base frame’s size and color, you’ll be asked to select a top frame. You can choose one if you’d like. You can also opt out of this step and purchase a top frame later. The base frames don’t need the top frame to be a complete set of glasses.
Make lens selections
Next, you’ll need to choose any add-ons or extras for your glasses. That includes lens upgrades like blue-light-blocking or ultra-thin lenses.
Have your prescription ready
If you’re ordering prescription lenses, you’ll need to submit a photo of your prescription or provide your doctor’s contact information so that Pair Eyewear can get a copy of your prescription.
You can also place your order and have them remind you to update your prescription later if it’s not handy at the moment. Pair Eyewear won’t get started on your prescription eyeglasses until they receive your prescription information.
Add any discounts, then pay
Lastly, you’ll enter your payment information and any HSA or FSA benefits that you want to use, as well as any coupon codes, to complete your order.
Pair Eyewear isn’t currently accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
There are currently several reviews on the BBB site, and they’re not favorable toward the company’s customer service. Common complaints include slow shipping and a lack of communication from the Pair Eyewear customer service team.
Social media pages show that some people who order from Pair Eyewear are extremely happy with the quality of the products, as well as the idea of swapping out top frames to get different looks. The brand definitely has some happy customers and a good following.
Pair Eyewear offers free shipping on all orders. Shipping is also free on any returns within 30 days of your order.
The company estimates that it will take 5 to 7 days from when you place your order to when it’s ready to be shipped to you. If you ordered add-ons, like blue-light-blocking or ultra-thin lenses, it may take a few extra days to get the order ready for shipment.
However, customer reviews say that production speed can be slower than Pair Eyewear anticipates, and shipping your order can take longer than most of their online competitors.
If Pair Eyewear isn’t for you, or if you’re still on the fence, you may want to consider some of their competitors. None of these online retailers offer top frames that you can switch out, but they may still have what you’re looking for.
How much does Pair Eyewear cost?
Pair Eyewear costs less than some competitors who make glasses for kids. This is because of their direct-to-consumer business model.
Each pair of glasses sold by Pair can be modified with a different design thanks to their swappable tops. For some people, this means the product may replace having multiple pairs of glasses.
A prescription base frame starts at about $60 for children and adults. Most top frames cost $25, with tops from licensed collections (such as Harry Potter) costing a bit more.
Does Pair Eyewear have a warranty?
Pair Eyewear’s warranty policy allows you to modify or correct your product within 30 days from the day your order was delivered, according to their website. That includes adding transition lenses or swapping out for lenses without blue-light filtering, or correcting a mistake made during ordering.
Beyond the 30-day window, Pair Eyewear doesn’t appear to warranty their products against breakage or natural wear-and-tear.
You can also purchase an extended warranty by adding PairCARE to your cart at checkout. You’ll pay $40 to extend your warranty to 1 year.
Who owns Pair Eyewear?
Pair Eyewear was founded by Nathan Kondamuri and Sophia Edelstein, who met at Stanford University. Kondamuri and Edelstein appeared together on an episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank.” This led to increased attention for the optical retailer. Kondamuri and Edelstein are the owners and co-CEOs of Pair Eyewear.
Where is Pair Eyewear located?
Pair Eyewear is headquartered in New York City. They also have two brick-and-mortar locations in New York City as well as one in California. Pair Eyewear’s products are also sold in select Hy-Vee locations in the Midwest.
Can Pair Eyewear do bifocals?
Pair Eyewear doesn’t offer bifocal lenses.
They do offer progressive lenses, which aren’t included in the $60 price for base frames. They cost $199 extra.
If you’re looking for glasses that allow you to switch up your look easily and often, you won’t find what Pair Eyewear offers anywhere else.
The product is a unique concept: It allows you to buy a variety of top-frame styles without having to stow a giant inventory of prescription eyeglasses. If you love this idea, it’s probably worth giving Pair Eyewear a try.
On the flip side, if you’re not very invested in being able to switch out your top frames, you can probably find glasses you’ll be happy with at another retailer.
Kathryn Watson is a freelance writer covering everything from sleep hygiene to moral philosophy. Her recent bylines include Healthline, Christianity Today, LitHub, and Curbed. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children, and her website is kathrynswatson.com.