Best Places to Buy Glasses Online for 2023 – CNET

What are the best prescription glasses overall?

It’s hard to declare one online retailer as the best place to buy glasses online, particularly if you’re looking for a certain style of frames. That said, we have Warby Parker at the top of our list because it offers an impressive combination of stylish frames with good site features, decent prices and the option to go into one of Warby’s brick-and-mortar stores should you live in an area where there is one.

While Warby Parker is popular and CNET editors have had good experiences shopping with Warby, there are plenty of other great options — and you may be able to save a lot of money by shopping online instead of at a local eyeglass store. Alas, with so many online options to choose from, it is hard to decide where to buy. To help you narrow your options and find the best prescription glasses online, I’ve pulled together the 11 best online vendors for buying prescription glasses, vetted by me along with other CNET staff members. 

Best prescription glasses online of 2023

Three pairs of glasses on display

Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Shipping Info Free, takes 7-10 business daysReturn Policy 30-day hassle-free returns or exchanges on unopened productsInsurance Accepted YesVirtual Try-On Yes

Several CNET editors have bought their glasses on Warby Parker, which has a good selection of sharp-looking eyeglass frames. While glasses start at only $95 with a single-vision prescription, chances are you’re going to pay a bit more — around $150 to $200 — based on the type of frame options you choose, your prescription and type of eyeglass lenses. Prescription sunglasses start at $195, and progressive lenses in both eyeglasses and sunglasses start at $295. But based on my and my fellow co-workers’ experience, the finished products tend to be a step up from what more budget-oriented sites offer.


David Carnoy/CNET

Shipping Info Cost varies, takes 2-7 business daysReturn Policy 30-day returns or exchanges ($20 restocking fee for prescription orders).Insurance Accepted No (reimbursement available depending on insurance company)Virtual Try-On No

Austin, Texas-based Roka branched out into the online prescription eyewear business a few years ago. The retailer’s marketing slogan is “The most technically advanced eyewear that doesn’t look technical,” and its glasses are impressively light, durable and stylish looking. Like Warby Parker, these are at the higher-end of the online prescription eyeglasses spectrum, with prices of around $200 for a completed pair of prescription glasses, depending on some of the lens upgrades you might add. But Roka has some of the best glasses frames out there.


","size":1032158,"width":1512,"height":850,"dateCreated":{"date":"2021-08-17 11:24:52","timezone":"UTC","timezone_type":3},"dateUpdated":{"date":"2021-08-17 11:26:07","timezone":"UTC","timezone_type":3},"needsModeration":false,"mimeType":"image/png","deleted":false,"credits":null,"alt":"frame-1.png","restricted":false,"startDate":null,"endDate":null,"preferred":false,"watermark":false,"doNotCrop":false,"doNotResize":false,"primaryCollection":null,"vanityUrl":null,"notes":null,"crop":null,"cropGravity":0,"preservedRegion":null,"isNew":false,"keywords":[],"primeColor":null,"hasWarning":false,"typeName":"content_image"},"uuid":"e804224d-2319-4c45-9380-ad06fc258097","imageAltText":"glassesusa-model","imageCaption":"

","imageCredit":"GlassesUSA","imageDoNotCrop":false,"imageDoNotResize":false,"imageWatermark":false,"imageFilename":"frame-1.png","imageDateCreated":"2021/08/17","imageWidth":1512,"imageHeight":850,"imageParallax":"","imageCrop":"","imageEnlarge":false}” overridecaption=”

” overridecredit=”GlassesUSA” offer=”{"id":"6ee219c2-511f-4ff5-a70a-79c21fa2eb52","slug":"glassesusa-com","label":"","edition":["US","ES"],"imageId":"","imgWidth":null,"imgHeight":null,"objectType":"content_product","typeLabel":"Tech Product","imgUrl":null,"icon":"type-icon ct-cmg-tech-product ct-small"}” techobjectinfo=”{"uuid":"6ee219c2-511f-4ff5-a70a-79c21fa2eb52","name":"","slug":"glassesusa-com","productType":"PRODUCT","updateType":"PRISM","mod":1693500701686,"displayDate":"Thu Aug 31 2023 12:51:41 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)"}” usepricing=”true” data-key=”cnetlisticle__43193238-ea66-4faf-a33a-2108df1c5401″ position=”3″ contenttype=”Best List – Precap” pagelayout=”FAQ Markup + BL Precap” showdetails=”true” suppressautoplay=”true” class=”c-shortcodeListicle c-shortcodeListicle-smallImage g-outer-spacing-bottom-large g-border-thin-light-top g-border-thin-light-bottom g-border-thin-light-right g-border-thin-light-left” readability=”6.2931276297335″>



Shipping Info Free, takes 7-10 business daysReturn Policy 30-day free returns or exchanges on unopened productsInsurance Accepted YesVirtual Try-On Yes

Founded in 2008, offers more affordable options for buying prescription eyeglasses and designer eyeglasses online than sites like Warby Parker and Roka, with full prescription glasses starting at $19. But it also features premium designer frames from high quality eyeglasses brands, including Ray-Ban and Persol. The designer eyewear lists for more — frames start at $89 for basic completed Rx glasses — but discounts can bring them down in price.


Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Shipping Info Free, takes 1-2 daysReturn Policy 7-day free returns or exchangesInsurance Accepted No (reimbursement available depending on insurance company)Virtual Try-On No

As its name implies, Overnight Glasses can make you a new set of prescription glasses quickly — and really quickly if you’re willing to pay extra for it. If you buy a frame/lens package, fast three- to four-day service is available for $9. (It takes slightly longer for progressive and bifocal lens types.) The quality of the lenses I got was as good as that from other replacement-lens sites, so there’s no sacrifice on prescription eyewear quality for speed. Lenses and a new frame will cost you from $42 to $285, while lens replacement orders start at $87.


Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Shipping Info Free, 1-6 business daysReturn Policy 30-day free returns or exchangesInsurance Accepted No (reimbursement available depending on insurance company)Virtual Try-On Yes’s huge selection of both frames and lenses is a big selling point, but it also has the downside of offering so many options that it can be a little daunting to figure out exactly what to buy. You can get budget options — lens prices start at $48 — but the site skews toward more premium options. The idea is to get a significant discount (upwards of $200) on a high-quality frame-and-lens combo that you’d spend big bucks for in a brick-and-mortar shop. “Our business targets the main part of the eyewear industry, to supply the same products that customers would get at the eye doctor, but at 50% lower prices,” CEO and Founder Mark Agnew told me.


Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Shipping Info $6, takes 7-14 business daysReturn Policy 14-day free returns or exchangesInsurance Accepted No (reimbursement available depending on insurance company)Virtual Try-On Yes

EyeBuyDirect is similar in many ways to a lot of its competitors. Along with an in-house frame brand (Rflkt Eyewear) it has some Ray-Ban and Oakley frames. I went with a more affordable Rflkt frame and paired it with a higher-end lens. The price came out to around $150 — you can go cheaper or more expensive. The most budget-friendly pairs are under 20 bucks. The frame quality was decent though not on par with, say, Roka’s frames. Lens quality was good and the ordering process was smooth, with a standard virtual try-on feature where you upload a photo of yourself to help you find the perfect frame.


Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Shipping Info $19, takes 5-10 business daysReturn Policy 30-day free return or exchanges (100% store-credit or 50% refund)Insurance Accepted No (reimbursement available depending on insurance company)Virtual Try-On Yes

Zenni has been around for awhile, and it’s the first site I used to buy cheap prescription glasses and sunglasses online. It’s more of a budget-minded site, and over the years, I got some nice deals on cheap glasses, particularly when Zenni was running its occasional three-for-two glasses sales. I’ve had both standard eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses made here and so has fellow editor David Katzmaier, who has since graduated to Warby Parker (he said, however, he would still buy prescription sunglasses at Zenni because they’re cheap and decent enough).


Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Shipping Info Free, takes 2-5 business daysReturn Policy No returns/refunds. All sales final. If lens were incorrectly made, customers have 30-days to request a remake.Insurance Accepted No (reimbursement available depending on insurance company)Virtual Try-On Yes

What do you do if you’ve already got a pair of eyeglasses frames you like but your prescription is old (or the lenses on your frames are scratched) and you just want to replace the lenses? Lensabl is one of the few sites that allows you to send in your own pair of frames and get a new prescription lens for them. Its motto is, “Your frames, our lenses,” with prices starting at $77 for buying a basic pair of single-vision lenses. A pair of tinted sunglasses lenses start at $97.


Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Shipping Info Free, takes 4-7 days for non-prescription or 11-14 for prescriptionReturn Policy 30-day returns or exchangesInsurance Accepted No (reimbursement available depending on insurance company)Virtual Try-On No

FramesDirect is similar to a lot of the other online glasses retailers out there, but it focuses more on offering decent discounts on premium brand frames, claiming to have the largest selection of designer glasses online. This eyewear retailer is also one of the few places that offers prescription lens inserts for the Quest 2 and other VR headsets.


Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Shipping Info Free, takes up to 7 days after manufacturingReturn Policy 60-day free returns or exchangesInsurance Accepted YesVirtual Try-On Yes

One of our editors recently used and reported a good experience. She said that accepts a lot of vision insurance plans and automatically handles payment if your insurance provider is in their network (you can usually get one pair of glasses free). If your vision insurance plan is out of network, like VSP and Spectera, the site automatically generates a bill (via email) that you need to submit to get reimbursed.


Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

As you’d expect, SportRx caters to people looking for sports-oriented prescription glasses, with a wide variety of options from big eyewear brands such as Smith, Oakley, Ray-Ban, Costa and Nike. Not all the frames it sells have an Rx option, but most do.

How we chose the best places to buy glasses online

For this roundup of the best online retailers for prescription glasses, we considered factors like affordability, variety of selections, notable site features, shipping time and quality. These online retailers were independently chosen by our editors.

Read more: How to Use Your Smartphone to Check Your Vision

How to buy prescription glasses online

The first thing you need to buy prescription glasses online is a prescription. The best way to get an accurate prescription is to visit an optometrist and have an eye exam, which tends to cost around $100. After the test is complete, you need to make sure you get a hard copy of your prescription so you can retain it for your records. Alternatively, you can pick up a device like the $99 EyeQue Vision Check to use your smartphone to check your vision and create a prescription that many online glasses stores will accept, though some do require an Rx from an optometrist. 

Get your pupillary distance number from your optometrist or measure it yourself. Be aware that sometimes optometrists won’t give your pupillary distance because they’ll say they want to measure you for a specific set of glasses. But insist on getting one because it’s required to order glasses online. Note that you can also measure PD yourself using an app on your smartphone or download a PD ruler that most online stores have available for download with instructions on how to use it. Pupillary distance is key, because when lenses are made it’s important to know where your eye is in relation to the center of the lens.

Make sure your prescription isn’t out of date. If you haven’t had a vision test in a while, it might be a good idea to get another one. Some sites like Warby Parker offer an inexpensive virtual vision test if your prescription is out of date but you feel you’re seeing well out of your current glasses (but still want to replace them). You take a five-minute vision test, looking at an eye chart from home. An eye doctor then reviews the results and responds within 48 hours to let you know if you’ve qualified for a prescription renewal.

Some but not all stores accept dollars from Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts. If you have money you want to use from an FSA or HSA, or have vision insurance, you need to check on the store’s insurance, FSA and HSA policies before making a purchase. Many do accept them.

Go to an online retailer and select a pair of frames that you like. This can be the hardest part of the process, because it’s tricky to know exactly what you’ll look like in the glasses unless you try the frames on in person and look at yourself in a mirror. Some online retailers have virtual try-on applications or, even better, they’ll ship you a few frames to try on at home before you select one of more to buy. 

Provide your prescription. With some online retailers, you can simply take a picture of your prescription with your smartphone and upload the image to the site. And most prescription glasses sites also allow you to manually input your prescription numbers, which is typically what I do. When a site asks for your prescription, it will also ask for your PD number. 

Select the type of lenses you want. You can buy complete basic single-vision prescription glasses for less than $20 online. And in most cases, they’ll work fine. But you will certainly notice a difference when upgrading to higher quality lenses in terms of clarity and weight (thinner, lighter lenses tend to cost more). I personally have a few cheap sets of prescription glasses that I keep in my car or in a backpack as backup glasses in case something should happen to my main pair. However, what I’ve found is that often the best thing to do is spend a little more for a higher-grade lens and not go for the cheapest option. 

Before making your final purchase, read the fine print on the site’s return policy. Many sites are good about letting you return glasses if the lenses you ordered (based on your correct prescription numbers) aren’t good for some reason or the frames just don’t fit right. But read the fine print on the return policy. In some cases you can get a full refund and in others a store credit. However, sometimes stores will only offer a partial store credit. You don’t want to be surprised if something goes wrong. I’ve only had one company screw up my order with a wrong prescription in one lens.

Input any discount codes at checkout. Glasses sites constantly have promos running with discount codes that you input at checkout, though they sometimes exclude premium frames from name-brand companies. And sometimes you’ll see slightly sweeter deals around a holiday, with online glasses stores using almost any holiday as an excuse to offer a new discount code.

Online glasses FAQs

Is it a good idea to buy glasses online?

Yes, particularly if you’re looking to save money — often a significant amount. That said, before purchasing glasses online, most people initially go to an optometrist for a proper eye exam to get their prescription. 

What is the best place to buy glasses online?

It really depends on what you’re looking for in terms of frame style and pricing. Every store on this list is a good place to shop for glasses online, but the types of frames vary by store, with some stores offering more premium frames, which tend to cost more. Lens quality also can vary, and some stores offer faster delivery.

Who has the best prices for prescription glasses?

Stores like Zenni Optical and EyeBuyDirect advertise offers for cheap prescription glasses (that includes frames and lenses) for $7 or even slightly less. While that’s slightly deceptive — only because the price doesn’t include tax and shipping, and you really should add an anti-glare coating to the lens for about $4 extra — I have put together a usable pair of glasses for around $17 shipped.

What can I expect to pay for a pair of prescription glasses online?

You can often get glasses with basic frames and lenses for less than $100 and sometimes even less than $50 during certain promotions. (I once bought a pair of prescription glasses for $9 that I can’t say were all that good, but I’ve kept them in my car as an emergency pair.)

Can I return prescription glasses I buy online?

Yes, sometimes prescription glasses don’t end up being perfect and may end up bothering your eyes. I once had a certain online store screw up the prescription in the left lens while the right one was correct. In many cases, you can return the glasses if you’re not satisfied, but make sure to read the fine print on the store’s return policy. Often, the store will remake the glasses for you or give you a full refund. However, certain sites only offer partial refunds.

What kind of deals can I find for prescription glasses online?

Most sites offer 15-20% off your first purchase if you provide an email address. Many sites also offer additional deals with certain codes at checkout, whether it’s discounts on frames, lenses, lens upgrades and sometimes you’ll see a buy-one-get-one-free deal. However, typically restrictions apply, which can mean you can only use the code for certain frames and less complicated prescriptions (single lens as opposed to progressive lenses). Look for sales and new codes to crop up around various holidays.

What type of eyeglass lens is best?

For pure clarity, a glass or mineral glass lens is the best. But most people prefer polycarbonate lenses, which are lighter and more durable. High-index lenses are good for those who have strong prescriptions that would normally require thicker lenses. These high-tech plastic lenses end up being the same thinness as standard plastic or polycarbonate lenses that have a lighter prescription. However, you do have to pay more for high-index lenses. Arguably the best lenses are Trivex lenses, which are lightweight and durable and offer slightly better clarity than polycarbonate lenses. But they are more expensive than plastic (CR-39) and polycarbonate lenses.