If you wear glasses or contacts, you know how frustrating it can be to find affordable lenses and stylish frames. Too many visits to the eye doctor take a lot of time and may not save you any money, then you still have to wait for your new glasses to arrive and go back to the eye doctor to pick them up.
And even though many insurance plans cover vision exams, the options they leave you with for frames or lenses aren’t always great.
Fortunately, there are better ways to get affordable high-fashion frames with the most high-tech lenses and the best contact lens deals. You can still go to the mall and get your glasses made in about an hour. But wouldn’t you rather save money and shop for glasses from the comfort of your own home?
You will need to see an eye doctor to get a prescription — most sites ask you to scan a hard copy of it. Make sure you have your pupillary distance, or PD, ready, too, although some sites can help you measure this at home. Then pull out your phone or your laptop and start shopping at the best places to buy discount eyewear.
Warby Parker delivers unique designer frames without the designer prices. They keep costs down by doing everything in-house, from designing and manufacturing the frames to making the lenses. Warby Parker uses premium materials for style and durability and glasses are custom made for you when your order is received.
The majority of Warby Parker’s inventory is online for easy shopping from anywhere — and you can choose up to five pairs of lens-free frames to try on at home for free. They have some brick-and-mortar locations, too, where you can try on the frames and make a decision right away. Some locations provide eye exams as well, and that prescription can be used at other eyewear outlets.
Help those in need of vision correction, too, thanks to Warby Parker’s Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. With every pair of glasses purchased they provide free or low-cost glasses to organizations that help people who can’t afford them.
Warby Parker offers single-vision, progressive, prism correction, and simple magnification reading lenses for glasses and has some great deals on contact lenses. They have free shipping and free returns. Warby Parker accepts most vision insurance plans and flexible spending accounts.
Shopping for your glasses at Target Optical is convenient because you can browse for your favorite new frames at dozens of Target stores throughout the United States to see how they look before you order. Target Optical has an extensive online shop, too, featuring the most popular brands of frames for clear lenses and sunglasses as well as all the popular contact lens brands.
If there’s a store near you, be sure to check it out before you buy your glasses online — sometimes they offer better deals for in-store purchases.
With a 90-day return guarantee, Target Optical gives you more time than other eyewear retailers to decide if your new glasses really work for you. They sell single-vision and progressive lenses. Target Optical locations do not provide eye exams but can recommend a local eye doctor. They accept most vision insurance plans and flexible spending accounts.
With one of the most comprehensive online collections of popular designer eyeglass and sunglass frames, GlassesUSA is a great option for discount eyewear. They keep costs low by buying frames directly from the manufacturers and they have a stylish collection of in-house designed and manufactured frames as well.
Frames start at less than $20 and some are paired with free lens offers. Coupon codes for first-time shoppers, seasonal deals, and clearance sales bring down the prices of some of the more popular, high-end frames. GlassesUSA offers a price-match guarantee for contact lenses, too, so you know you’re always getting the most competitive deal.
The GlassesUSA website features a Virtual Mirror that lets you see how the frames look on your face with the help of your laptop or smartphone. Reviewers say it is surprisingly accurate, but just in case it’s not accurate enough for you they offer a 14-day return policy with a money-back guarantee. All glasses come with a one-year warranty as well.
Along with single-vision lenses, GlassesUSA offers progressive and bifocal lenses, too. They are considered an out-of-network provider for most insurance plans but they provide assistance on filling out the forms for insurance reimbursement and flexible spending account payments.