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Finding the right pair of glasses can be overwhelming — especially if you’re shopping solely online. When it comes to choosing an online retailer, convenience and quality reign supreme. This means combing through product reviews, reading up on warranty policies, and utilizing virtual try-on features.
To help siphon through spectacle-shopping best practices, we asked a few experts for advice on buying glasses online. First thing’s first: Keep in mind that expensive frames are not necessarily better than their less-costly counterparts. "Don’t necessarily look for the highest- or the lowest-priced merchandise," say Jonah Berman, an ophthalmologist based in New York City. TL;DR: Just because a pair of glasses is costly doesn’t mean it’s the best on the market. On the flip side of that, inexpensive doesn't always equate to a good deal if the quality of the frames is bad. Instead of counting on the price as a factor of whether or not to buy, looks for details on materials used to make each pair, ask an eye doctor for recommendations, and check reviews from other shoppers before buying.
Before starting your online shopping, consider making an in-person visit to an optician to ensure that you're ordering the right lens prescription. Your needs may have changed since your last pair of glasses, so get things all squared away with an eye doctor before adding to cart. "If you have a more complicated prescription like a very high plus or minus — or especially a progressive prescription [which combine three different prescriptions into one pair of lenses] — it may be a good idea to go into the optician for a proper in-person fit," New York City-based ophthalmologist Yuna Rapoport tells Allure.
If your eyewear needs don't require a visit to an actual store, there are plenty of options to choose from online. We narrowed down a few online glasses retailers that our editors love shopping. They all make the process fuss-free and convenient, and there are options on the list that fit every budget.
Why we like it: Sapphire Eyewear was founded by optometrist Seamus Flynn and his wife, Dearbhaile Collins. The company sells prescription and non-prescription blue light glasses with anti-reflective coatings, as well as sunglasses and transition lenses. Sapphire Eyewear also has phone service and live chat support seven days a week, allowing customers to speak directly to an optometrist before ordering their frames. The virtual try-on tool is also helpful when it comes to selecting frames. And, as an added bonus, for every product purchased, Sapphire Eyewear donates a pair of glasses to the Mission for Vision charity.
Add to cart: The Klein, Ryder, and Elison Transitions
Sapphire Eyewear The Klein
Sapphire Eyewear Ryder
Sapphire Eyewear Elison Transitions
Why we like it: According to Berman, Kits.com is another great online glasses retailer. He recommends utilizing the company's Face Shape Guide, which has tips and tricks to help you choose the best frames for your face. The Kits brand features a range of under-$100 styles, including cat-eye frames, retro-inspired metal designs, and a handful of contemporary picks. You can also shop eyewear from Ray-Ban, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Dior, and other high-end designers. Virtual try-on features are available for a majority of the products, and there are also complimentary returns and exchanges — plus free shipping over $99.
Add to cart: Sasamat, Johansson, and Luna II
Kits Luna II Glasses
Why we like it: Warby Parker is one of the most popular online glasses retailers — and for good reason. The company's convenient (and complimentary) at-home try-on program lets you pick five frames delivered directly to your doorstep. Choose from dozens of glasses and sunglasses, many of which feature clean lines, minimalist design touches, and subtle detailing like chic, scalloped edges. The online quiz and the corresponding iPhone app — which lets users virtually try on dozens of glasses and sunglasses — are both helpful when it comes to narrowing down frames. Prescription glasses start at $95, and blue-light lenses can be added for a flat fee of $50. Warby Parker also has several store locations throughout the country, allowing shoppers to schedule in-person eye exams and browse frames IRL.
Add to cart: Whalen, Rachel, and Newcomb
Warby Parker Whalen
Warby Parker Rachel
Warby Parker Newcomb
Why we like it: See Eyewear offers prescription and non-prescription glasses and sunglasses. A majority of the frames are playful and whimsical — complete with bold colors, shapes, and sizes. The company prides itself on its thoughtful attention to detail. Each pair is handcrafted and made with high-quality materials like durable Italian plastic. Customers can also pop into one of the 20-plus store locations for styling advice, consultations, and eye exams. Prescription glasses start at $199, while non-prescription sunglasses are available as low as $120. Free U.S. shipping and returns are also available.
Add to cart: Sexy Specs, See 2952, See 0542 Core, See 0937 U
See Sexy Specs
See 0937 U
See 0542 Core
Why we like it: Felix Gray is best known for its signature light lenses (which are included in each frame at no extra cost). Each pair also has double-sided, anti-glare coating and UVA/UVB protection. When it comes to frame selection, expect a variety of contemporary picks.
In addition to standard prescription glasses, sunglasses (non-prescription only), and non-prescription glasses, the retailer also sells "sleep glasses," which you don't actually wear to sleep. Instead, these tinted glasses do the same thing that a yellow tint on a screen like a computer or phone does — it minimizes the amount of blue light that is absorbed and does not disrupt the natural circadian sleep cycle. While the brand claims that these glasses help "increase natural melatonin secretion for a better night’s sleep," Rapoport says that it's not actually increasing the amount of melatonin that you would make typically, but it minimizes how much melatonin is inhibited from being release when staring at blue light on screens.
In addition to frames starting at $95, the company offers free shipping, exchanges, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Add to cart: Franklin, Lovelace, Faraday
Felix Gray Franklin
Felix Gray Lovelace
Felix Gray Faraday
Why we like it: Beverly Hills-based ophthalmologist Alexander Knezevic recommends Zenni Optical for its low price point. The online retailer offers a wide variety of prescription glasses, many of which are under $30, with some frames priced as low as $10. The company has teamed with A-listers, including Rashida Jones and Iris Apfel — both of whom have hand-picked their favorite Zenni frames for customers to shop. While the wide variety of options can feel intimidating, customers can sort by color, face shape, new releases, and best-sellers. Narrow down your results by filtering according to size, shape, and/or material. Still need help picking the right frame? Use the virtual try-on tool or watch one of the tutorial videos to gain additional insight. Blue-light glasses and sunglasses are also available.
Add to cart: Cat-Eye Glasses, Square Glasses, Round Glasses
Zenni Optical Round Glasses
Zenni Optical Cat Eye Glasses
Zenni Optical Square Glasses
Why we like it: Utenzi Miller is a New Jersey-based master stylist and optician. Her namesake company offers eye-catching, statement-making frames and personalized virtual styling services for $250 ($100 fitting fee, with the remaining $150 to be used towards your frames). After your virtual fitting, the Utenzi Miller team will curate four frames to be shipped straight to your doorstep. Then, you’ll (virtually) regroup to go over the options and narrow down your favorite frames, which will be adjusted to your liking.
Add to cart: La Madrague, Be Val De Loire, The Grove
Utenzi Miller La Madrague
Utenzi Miller Be Val De Loire
Utenzi Miller The Grove
Why we like it: Bôhten is based in Ghana and utilizes sustainably sourced materials, such as reclaimed wood, to produce a selection of one-of-a-kind glasses and sunglasses. Antireflection, anti-scratch lenses, and UV protection all come standard, while blue light filtration is available for an additional cost. As an added bonus, the company is also committed to giving back to the local community by providing individuals with jobs, vision care, and resources to improve their daily lives. Free shipping is available throughout North America — as is a 14-day money-back guarantee and a 30-day exchange policy.
Add to cart: Aristotle Gold-Tone Rosewood Classic, Jade Sky Blue, Exstel Blanc Classic
Bôthen Aristotle "Gold Rosewood" Classic
Bôthen Jade Sky Blue
Bôthen Exstel Blanc Classic
Why we like it: Barner has honed in on a niche that we can all probably benefit from right now: blue-light protection. The brand exclusively offers blue-light glasses, which can be customized with prescription lenses. Each collection is inspired by a particular city, and while the aesthetic, overall, errs on the more artsy side, the frames have a fun yet classic appeal to suit a range of style preferences. There are also options available for kids, a virtual try-on feature, and a 15 percent discount for students.
Add to cart: Blue Havana Gracia Woman, Storeditch Crystal Women, Ginza Woman
Barner Blue Havana Gracia Woman
Barner Storeditch Crystal Women
Barner Ginza Woman
Why we like it: Sunnies Studios is an extension of the Philippine's-based makeup brand, Sunnies Face. While the color cosmetics are unfortunately not available in the United States, the glasses are. All of the cute frames start at a very reasonable $50 and can be customized with your prescription lens. What's even more helpful is that the brand offers virtual consultations with an eye doctor, try-on features through your phone, and a useful guide for shopping based on your face shape.
Add to cart: Arturo+, Gideon, Peggy
Sunnie Studios Arturo+
Sunnie Studios Gideon
Sunnie Studios Peggy
Why we like it: "This is the crème de la crème of all optical," Rapoport tells Allure. She adds, "Their personalized attention is unlike any other." The retailer offers its own collection of eyewear, including several designs made from ethically sourced buffalo horn, which run on the highest end of the price spectrum. It also sells a collection of designer frames from the likes of Oscar de la Renta and Rosie Assoulin. Morganthal Frederics also offers virtual appointments with opticians at no cost, along with at-home concierge services, the latter of which includes eyewear styling and frame adjustments.
Add to cart: Oberlin Horn, Bea, and Ando
Morgenthal Frederics Oberlin Horn
Morgenthal Frederics Bea
Morgenthal Frederics Ando
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