So you need new glasses. Once you have your prescription, what's next? If you've shopped for frames (and lenses, too, honestly) before, you know one thing: they can be expensive – especially if you shop in stores. That's why many shoppers are turning to online retailers for their glasses, and we're here to help.
Trust me, I know the idea of buying something that you'll wear every single day – and not even trying it on first – can be daunting. And doing all that without a specialist nearby can just add on the stress, which is why we put together this guide. Here, you'll find everything you need to know about buying glasses online in Canada, including tips for reading your prescription and our master list of places to buy glasses online.
What to know before you buy glasses online
If you've never shopped for glasses online before, this is for you! There are a couple things you'll need to have handy before you should even start browsing different frames, including your current and valid prescription. And if you're due for a checkup, make sure you see your eye doctor before you shell out for a new pair.
Already wear glasses? If they comfortably fit your face, check your current glasses measurements. You should find all that information on the inside of the arm. Keep those numbers handy, because many websites will let you filter your search results by them. That way, you can avoid any frames that won't fit.
When you have all those numbers written down somewhere, you can get shopping! As you look through different frames, keep a few things in mind. Certain styles are better suited for specific face shapes. There are guides out there that can help you figure out your face shape – but in general, people with rounder features should avoid rounder frames (and the same goes for more angular faces). Also, take a look at what's currently in your wardrobe and consider when you'll wear these glasses. That can help you determine if you want something multifunctional to wear every single day or a funky pair you can break out for special occasions.
And finally, once you have your frames, you can't forget to add on the lenses! Many frames are sold with "basic" or "standard" lenses (which are often a very minimal prescription or none at all). ALWAYS make sure the lenses you have in your shopping cart actually match what's on your prescription.
How to read your glasses prescription
After an eye appointment, you should receive your eyeglass prescription. If you also receive a contact lens prescription, don't lose it! However, you'll only need the glasses one for, well, buying glasses.
Your prescription contains information about your eyesight and any correction needs. Honestly, it will contain a LOT of numbers and letters, and it can all seem pretty overwhelming if you don't know exactly what to look for. Many websites that sell glasses have blogs and popups that can help guide you through this whole process, but here are some of the basics when it comes to reading your glasses prescription:
Your left and right eyes will be assigned different values (since you vision can be different in each eye). Your left eye's parameters will be indicated with OS, while OD refers to your right eye. The SPH value essentially indicates how "strong" your lens has to be, based on how farsighted (+) or nearsighted (-) you are. There are also values that can indicate whether you need bifocals or special lenses to correct astigmatism.
Clearly actually put together a pretty complete guide (complete with a couple of diagrams!) to help you out. So no matter where you ultimately buy your glasses from, I'd check that out as you shop.
Where is the best place to buy glasses online?
In the end, the "best" place to buy glasses online really depends on what you're looking for. If you're somebody who favours a quick turnaround time, Optically might be your best bet. But if you want frames that are a little more original and designed in Canada, give Bon Look a try. Whatever you're after, here's our list of the eight best places to buy glasses online. If you love any others, let us know in the comments!
1. Warby Parker
Warby Parker is one of the best-known online glasses stores out there. They design all the frames they sell, and they're all about saving you as much money as possible – without cutting corners on quality. Their site has two main departments (one for women's glasses and the other for men), and both are packed with options. If you'd rather try frames on in person, they have two brick-and-mortar stores in Toronto.
Their super-stylish eyeglasses and sunglasses are designed in-house, which means that you can buy new glasses at really low prices. Plus, they donate eyewear to people in need through the Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program. They have so many glasses that narrowing down your searches to browse for what you want can take some work and navigation skills. If you can weed through it all, though, it's well worth it!
2. EyeBuy Direct
True to their name, EyeBuyDirect designs their glasses in-house and ships them directly from the factory to you – which means they save money on the whole process and can offer some of the lowest prices on this list. Plus, they have frames for kids (as well as for adults) and digital screen protection glasses.
They almost always have some promotion happening, and you can usually find at least a few frames for up to 50% off in their sale section. EyeBuyDirect also has a coupon page right on their site, where you can find all the latest deals. But ... while they have some of the lowest prices on this list, their selection is limited. They don't have too many children's frames, and you won't be able to find designer eyeglasses on their site.
3. Zenni Optical
Zenni Optical sells pretty much every kind of glasses you could want – including goggles, active frames and wraparounds. They're a San Francisco-based company that's all about helping you look good in glasses that you can actually afford. So if you're on the sporty side, this is probably the website for you.
Zenni makes it really easy to search for exactly what you want. If you head to their Frame Finder, you can filter their selection by shape, pattern, colour and more. Just keep in mind that their prices are listed in USD (so you might want to have a conversion calculator handy), and standard shipping to Canada takes anywhere from 14 to 21 days, which is a little longer than the other sites on this list.
4. Clearly Contacts
Don't let their name fool you. Clearly Contacts is about much more than just lenses. They have an entire part of their site devoted to eyewear, and you can almost always find something on sale when you visit. They tend to have TONS of promotions happening at the same time, and their complimentary standard lenses are 22% thinner than most of the base lenses you'd find elsewhere. No more Coke bottles!
Since Clearly sells both prescription glasses and contact lenses, you can find everything you need in one place. And when it comes to eyewear, you can score frames for up to 70% off in their clearance section. They also have a blog with step-by-step guides for how to buy glasses online.
While you can flip back and forth between their contact lens and eyewear pages, some information is all jumbled together. Be careful with things like warrantees and coupon codes, because there often isn't much separation between what applies to contacts and what's for glasses. Just read ALL the details for those.
If you're looking for designer labels like Ray-Ban, Tom Ford, Prada and Versace, SmartBuyGlasses is for you. They carry gorgeous frames from some of the biggest eyewear brands in the world, they offer virtual try-on, and SmartBuyGlasses even has a best-price guarantee that will allow for price adjustments within 14 days.
SmartBuyGlasses pretty much covers all the bases. They offer free delivery with a minimum spend, refunds and free lenses – and they have a huge selection from close to 200 brands. What's not to love? And because they sell designer frames, expect prices to be a little higher than many of the sites listed here. It's also worth noting that shipping can take up to three weeks for special orders, which is a long (but worthwhile) wait.
6. Bon Look
Bon Look might be my favourite retailer on this list. They're based in Montreal and dedicated to crafting unique glasses that are fashionable and affordable. Everything they sell is designed in-house and handmade using high-quality materials. You can also choose to test frames via their Virtual Try On or book an appointment at one of their locations, which is perfect if online shopping makes you just a teeny bit nervous.
They're a Canadian company that crafts beautiful, high-quality glasses, and they have a blog full of quick tips and trend updates. Plus, you can choose whether you want to shop online or in-store. As you shop, just remember that they don't offer exchanges, and not all glasses may be accepted for returns. If you have the chance, it's probably best to try shopping in a store to know exactly what you're getting before you buy – especially since these are fairly expensive frames.
Optically Canada is home to both designer glasses and budget frames. They usually have some kind of promotion going on where you can save up to 30% off almost anything sitewide, and they'll even offer 24-hour dispatch on some orders – so if you're in a pinch, you can't beat a turnaround like that!
Optically can get you new glasses FAST, thanks to their 24-Hour Dispatch frames. Just look for specially-marked glasses, and you can order and receive them almost immediately. In general, though, their FAQ section is limited, and it can be tough to find the information you need. I had to dig around for a while to figure out their full shipping and return policies, so you might be best off if you contact Optically directly whenever you have any pressing questions about an order or a certain pair of glasses.
While they don't exactly have the most up-to-date-looking website, iLookGlasses.ca more than makes up for it with pretty incredible shipping and return policies. They offer free delivery on orders over $60 and free returns on all orders, so you don't need to worry about being stuck with frames you don't like or can't wear. iLook will even pay the return shipping if you need to send anything back!
They have a loyalty program called the iLook Rewards Program that lets you collect one point for every dollar you spend or 10 points for a successful referral. You can then redeem those points for discounts – so your next frames will be even cheaper. As a whole, though, their website is a little tough to navigate. While they do offer most of the same services as bigger online glasses stores (including a virtual try-on feature), you might need to do a little extra digging to find what you need.
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Why is Zenni so cheap? ›
Zenni glasses are made at a dedicated factory and shipped directly to the consumer. Also, because Zenni sells its glasses online, they don't pay for brick-and-mortar retail space. This means they can avoid costly markups, and they pass that savings onto their customer.Where can I buy reasonably priced glasses online? ›
- Liingo Eyewear.
- Zenni Optical.
- DIFF Eyewear.
- Discount Glasses.
Reasons Not to Buy Glasses Online
Some experts say it's like trying to cut your own hair. It may be difficult to return the glasses. A large study found about half the online glasses had the wrong prescription or other problems. An incorrect prescription may give you blurred vision or make your eyes feel uncomfortable.
Top brands like Ray-Ban, Oakley, Carrera, Lee Cooper, Vincent Chase, and John Jacobs etc. These huge arrays of eyewear are made with the best materials. Durable frames with best designs.Is Zenni better than Warby Parker? ›
Bottom line. If affordability is the most important element of your next eyeglass purchase, Zenni might be the way to go. Though it tends to have lower prices than your local eye doctor's office, Warby Parker still tends to be more expensive than Zenni.Is Zenni a Chinese company? ›
Zenni Optical is a U.S. company, but Zenni glasses are made in China. The Zenni Optical headquarters is located in San Francisco, and the one-million-square-foot Zenni Optical factory and eyewear laboratories are located in Danyang, China.Who competes with Zenni? ›
Zenni's top competitors include Warby Parker, and Lenskart. Warby Parker (NYSE: WRBY) is a brand of prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses.What is the cheapest way to get prescription glasses? ›
- GlassesUSA. Limited time offer: Save 65% off frames for eyeglasses and sunglasses with basic Rx lenses + Free shipping to your doorstep. ...
- Warby Parker. ...
- EyeBuyDirect. ...
- Zenni Optical. ...
- Eyeconic. ...
- Eyebobs. ...
- Costco Optical. ...
- Sam's Club Optical.
Costco charges $130 for high-definition progressive lenses, which, as with all Costco lenses, include an anti-reflective coating. That's about half what you'd pay at many walk-in stores. But if you need basic, plastic single-vision lenses, you can pay as little as $29 at Walmart, about half as much as at Costco.Is Costco or LensCrafters cheaper? ›
Consumer Reports surveyed more than 91,000 members, and Costco Optical topped the list of eyeglass retailers for customer satisfaction. The key factor? Price. The median cost for glasses at Costco was $186, while the median price at LensCrafters was $369.
Why is GlassesUSA so cheap? ›
In 2009, they set out to correct the vision industry and make that possible by launching GlassesUSA, an online retailer for prescription eyewear. By removing the middleman from the typical supply chain, the company says it offers more options at lower prices.Why are online glasses so cheap? ›
Online retailers that sell cheap eyeglasses and sunglasses often say they can offer low prices because they don't have the same expenses associated with a “brick-and-mortar” store, such as the high rent paid in retail shopping areas.How long to get glasses from zenni? ›
You Receive Your Glasses
Your eyeglasses are delivered around two weeks from the time we receive your order.
|Product type||Eyewear and Optometric Consumer Services|
|Related brands||Vision Center, Eyeglass World, The Optical Shoppe (inside Fred Meyer), Optical Center|
- Nike. When it comes to investing in a high quality and durable product, Nike is always the safest choice, and all those who have worn Nike prescription glasses or any eyeglass frame has always spoken highly of its durability. ...
- Carrera. ...
- Eight to Eighty. ...
- Lacoste. ...
- Smith Sunglasses. ...
- ArtCraft Eyewear.
The right pair of glasses can even make you look younger, so it's an important decision to make. Many high-street brands and non-branded glasses perform the simple task of providing better vision, but the frames on offer are typically low-quality, unstylish and prone to break.Are expensive eyeglass frames worth it? ›
For most people, hugely expensive eyeglasses are not worth the money; eyeglasses do not have to be $1000 for them to be durable enough to last a few years. The most cost-effective way to buy your eyewear is to buy moderately priced frames and replace the lenses every year using Rx-able's lens replacement services.Why is Warby Parker so popular? ›
Warby Parker is able to offer lower prices than other brands by designing its eyeglasses itself, avoiding licensing fees, cutting out the middleman and removing any unnecessary mark ups by selling directly to consumers.What are the strongest glasses frames? ›
- Titanium frames are very strong, lightweight and corrosion-resistant. ...
- Monel is a mixture of metals. ...
- Beryllium costs less than titanium, and is very lightweight and strong.
Zenni Optical has a consumer rating of 4.56 stars from 4,028 reviews indicating that most customers are generally satisfied with their purchases. Consumers satisfied with Zenni Optical most frequently mention new glasses, customer service and second pair. Zenni Optical ranks 9th among Eyeglasses sites.
Do zenni glasses scratch easily? ›
A scratch-resistant coating is also included on all Zenni lenses for no additional cost. Prevent Mask Fog With Our Anti-fog Eyeglasses!Does insurance cover zenni? ›
Do you accept insurance? We do not accept insurance. However, some insurance companies will accept an invoice copy for reimbursement. Check with your insurance company, and if they do, you can request an emailed invoice copy from our Customer Service department.Are zenni lenses glass or plastic? ›
Our lenses are all made with advanced plastics and are available in seven indexes, which will determine how thick or thin your glasses lenses will be. Those with a stronger prescription often prefer high-index for thinner lenses, while those who are active may need impact-resistant options.What state does zenni ship from? ›
“Fast Frame is one of the most impactful outputs of our new Ohio manufacturing and fulfillment facility for our customers across the country.” All Fast Frame glasses are globally sourced and finished and processed at Zenni's new manufacturing facility in Obetz, Ohio.What if you don t like your zenni glasses? ›
The customer may return an order for any reason ONLY on the following terms: Customer must return the glasses to Zenni Optical within 60 days of having received them for a 50% refund, credited back to Customer's credit card, or a one-time 100% store credit refund (excluding shipping) to be used at ZenniOptical.com.Which is better Zenni or Payne glasses? ›
Zenni's virtual try-on technology is more advanced and easier to use than Payne's. Based on our firsthand testing, Zenni's try-on feature is more reliable than Payne's and allows you to see how the glasses look on you from multiple angles.What is better than Warby Parker? ›
Warby Parker's top competitors include brillen.de, Lenskart, and Jimmy Fairly. brillen.de specializes in the production and sale of progressive and single-vision glasses. It offers online booking, eye tests, and deals on glasses.Is Zenni Optical an American company? ›
Zenni Optical (formerly 19dollareyeglasses.com) is an American online retailer of prescription glasses and sunglasses. Founded in 2003 by Tibor Laczay and Julia Zhen, it is based in Novato, California.How much should I pay for a pair of prescription glasses? ›
A pair of glasses can range anywhere from $10 for readers to several thousand dollars depending on the brand and prescription lenses. But average prescription eyewear costs between $200 and $300 in today's market. Without insurance to cover the cost, you will need to search for the best price.Is anti reflective coating worth it on glasses? ›
Anti-reflective lenses are very worth it, especially if you deal with a lot of glare from digital or LED screens, as well as glare from oncoming headlights when driving at night on a road trip. They also help you see better, look better, and feel better than going without uncoated lenses.
Is Walmart the cheapest place to get glasses? ›
Walmart offers some of the cheapest frames available and the lowest lens prices comparable to other retailers. A look at their available frames shows several options under $10. A reasonable variety of options under $30 are available as well for those unhappy with the limited extreme budget options.What is the average price for Costco glasses? ›
Glasses cost an average of $185 at Costco Optical — 54% less than other chains and retailers. Just like in most places, glasses at Costco Optical can have a wide range of pricing. To start, it depends on the frames you choose. If you go with the Kirkland brand, you will pay less than if you choose designer lenses.Which progressive lens is best? ›
Best progressive lenses brands
We have to emphasize Varilux X series, including Varilux Xclusive 4D, Varilux X track and Varilux X design.
How long does it take to get glasses from Costco? If you order glasses for in-person pickup, Costco states they will take about 7 days to process. If you order glasses delivered to your home, it'll also take 7 days to process plus an additional 7 to 14 days to ship.Which is better LensCrafters or visionworks? ›
LensCrafters vs Visionworks.
Cheaper lenses will give you the clarity of vision you require, but more expensive ones will give you a more distinctive pair of glasses, with personalized features. Customized features like lens color, anti-reflective coating, scratch-resistant, polarized, photochromic, etc. are the components of higher price.Can you trust GlassesUSA? ›
Overview. GlassesUSA has a consumer rating of 4.44 stars from 12,310 reviews indicating that most customers are generally satisfied with their purchases. Consumers satisfied with GlassesUSA most frequently mention great selection, easy process and second pair. GlassesUSA ranks 5th among Eyeglasses sites.How good is GlassesUSA? ›
GlassesUSA is a reliable site for ordering glasses, sunglasses, and contacts. Their prices are competitive, and the ordering process is convenient. Their 14-day return window is a bit short but is effective. Their 100% money-back guarantee makes them a great choice.Is GlassesUSA a Chinese? ›
GlassesUSA.com conducts business in the United States.Which website is best for eyeglasses? ›
- Warby Parker. Best shopping experience. See at Warby Parker.
- Roka Eyewear. Best frames. See at Roka.
- GlassesUSA.com. Best for style selection. See at GlassesUSA.
- Overnight Glasses. Extra fast delivery. ...
- Eyeglasses.com. Best for high-quality lenses and massive frame selection.
How is zenni so cheap? ›
Zenni glasses are made at a dedicated factory and shipped directly to the consumer. Also, because Zenni sells its glasses online, they don't pay for brick-and-mortar retail space. This means they can avoid costly markups, and they pass that savings onto their customer.How fast is Lenscrafters? ›
How long does it take to get my glasses ? Glasses can take from 3 - 7 days, depending on the prescription, special finishes, etc.Is Eyebuydirect a Chinese company? ›
It is important to note that eyeglasses prescriptions are different from contact lens prescriptions. As it has no physical stores, Zenni Optical customers must purchase the company's eyewear online. The company also requires a valid prescription from an eye doctor.What websites are similar to zenni? ›
- Warby Parker.
GlassesUSA has a B rating on the Better Business Bureau website and a 4.5 (excellent) rating on Trustpilot. Most customers give GlassesUSA favorable reviews. The complaints that have been logged tend to be about returns or exchanges for glasses that have the wrong prescriptions.Who is better LensCrafters or Visionworks? ›
LensCrafters vs Visionworks.
zennioptical.com's top 5 competitors in December 2022 are: eyebuydirect.com, glassesusa.com, framesdirect.com, glasses.com, and more.Is zenni better than Warby Parker? ›
Bottom line. If affordability is the most important element of your next eyeglass purchase, Zenni might be the way to go. Though it tends to have lower prices than your local eye doctor's office, Warby Parker still tends to be more expensive than Zenni.Is zenni a Chinese company? ›
Zenni Optical is a U.S. company, but Zenni glasses are made in China. The Zenni Optical headquarters is located in San Francisco, and the one-million-square-foot Zenni Optical factory and eyewear laboratories are located in Danyang, China.
Which is better zenni or Payne glasses? ›
Zenni's virtual try-on technology is more advanced and easier to use than Payne's. Based on our firsthand testing, Zenni's try-on feature is more reliable than Payne's and allows you to see how the glasses look on you from multiple angles.Is Costco or Lenscrafters cheaper? ›
Consumer Reports surveyed more than 91,000 members, and Costco Optical topped the list of eyeglass retailers for customer satisfaction. The key factor? Price. The median cost for glasses at Costco was $186, while the median price at LensCrafters was $369.Does Lenscrafters still make glasses in one hour? ›
Can I get my glasses in an hour? In select locations, we may be able to make your glasses same-day or in about an hour. The ability to do so depends upon your particular prescription, the frame you choose, the lenses and options you select, and whether the store you visit has an onsite lab.Which company progressive lens is best? ›
Varilux, as you probably know, has a dominant position in the progressive lens market, borne of decades of excellent lens design and thoughtful patient education.How long does it take for zenni glasses to arrive? ›
You Receive Your Glasses
Your eyeglasses are delivered around two weeks from the time we receive your order.
We do not accept insurance. However, some insurance companies will accept an invoice copy for reimbursement. Check with your insurance company, and if they do, you can request an emailed invoice copy from our Customer Service department.Can I trust zenni? ›
Zenni Optical has a consumer rating of 4.68 stars from 4,043 reviews indicating that most customers are generally satisfied with their purchases. Consumers satisfied with Zenni Optical most frequently mention new glasses, customer service and second pair. Zenni Optical ranks 9th among Eyeglasses sites.