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Buying Eyeglasses Online: 10 Secrets

10 Secrets to Buying Perfect Eyeglasses Online


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1. Know Your Frame Size

Buying Eyeglasses Online: Know Your Frame Size

Glasses that don't fit right can be just as uncomfortable and awkward-looking as ill-fitting clothing. Selecting the correct size frames will ensure that you look and feel your best. Your frame size consists of three components: eye size, bridge size, and temple size. Our frame size guide as well as the video below can show you how to find these measurements on your current pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses.

View Frame Size Guide »

2. Choose Glasses that Complement Your Face Shape

Buying Eyeglasses Online: Consider Face Shape

The right eyewear can enhance your appearance by highlighting your favorite features while minimizing any imperfections. Knowing which frames are the most flattering for your face shape will help you narrow down your choices when shopping for glasses online. Our face shape guide can help you determine your face shape and which frames work best for you.

View Face Shape Guide »

3. Pick a Frame that Fits Your Personal Style

Buying Eyeglasses Online: Pick a Frame That Suits You

Frame color, material, shape, and detailing all play an important role when it comes to eyewear styles. Brightly colored plastic frames give off a cool, youthful energy, whereas real wood finishes or neutral tones convey a sense of sophistication. With the world’s largest online eyewear collection, FramesDirect.com has frames to fit any style: classic, trendy, hipster, sporty, retro, or something in between.

While outlandish or elaborately embellished frames may be fun to try on, if your everyday style is classic, you may have trouble matching your outfit with your eyewear. So, keep your wardrobe in mind when buying glasses online.

4. Try-on Different Frames (Virtually)

Buying Eyeglasses Online: Try On Frames Virtually

While you may already have an idea of what shape and color glasses are the most flattering on you, the only way to know for sure is to try them on. Our Virtual Try-On tool allows you to upload a photo of yourself and try on glasses from any location. Compare different frames and see for yourself which one looks best on you.

Virtual Try On »

5. Know Your Prescription Type

Buying Eyeglasses Online: Prescription Type

Do you need single-vision or multi-focal (e.g. bi-focal, tri-focal, or progressive) lenses? Knowing your lens type beforehand will help ensure that you select the correct lens materials and that you enter your prescription information correctly.

  • Single-vision lenses are typically prescribed for people who are either near-sighted or far-sighted, but not both. Single-vision lenses only have one corrective power.
  • Multi-focal lenses are usually prescribed for people who have difficulty seeing things up close and far away. These lenses have two or more different corrective powers. Bi-focals and tri-focals have visible lines separating the various corrective powers. Progressive lenses do not have any visible lines.

6. Choose a Lens Material to Match Your Prescription & Lifestyle

Buying Eyeglasses Online: Lens Material

There are three basic lens materials for prescription eyewear. Each has different price points and recommended use.

  • Plastic: The most common, basic lenses. Recommended for people with light prescriptions, ranging from no correction to +/-1.75. Most economical.
  • Polycarbonate: High-impact resistant lenses. Recommended for children, athletes, and people with active lifestyles. Good for prescriptions up to +/- 4.00.
  • High Index 1.67: The thinnest and lightest of all the materials. Recommended for people with high prescriptions as well as those concerned with comfort and fashion.

Buying Eyeglasses Online: Lens Material

7. Select the Appropriate Lens Coatings

Buying Eyeglasses Online: Lens Features

There are a variety of coatings that can be added to any lens. Understanding your options will help you make the right choices for your lifestyle.

  • UV Coating: Regardless of your age or prescription, FramesDirect.com's opticians recommend only buying lenses with a protective UV coating in order to shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  • AR Coating: If you spend a lot of time on the computer or are bothered by the glare of lights when driving, then you may want to consider an anti-reflective (AR) coating. The AR coating will improve the clarity of your vision and help ease eye fatigue.

UV Information »

AR Information »

8. Know Your Pupillary Distance (PD)

Buying Eyeglasses Online: Know Your Pupillary Distance

One of the most important parts of your prescription that doctors often forget to include is your pupillary distance (PD). Pupillary distance is just what it sounds like: the distance (in mm) between the pupils of your eyes. This measurement is important because it ensures that the center of your corrective lenses is placed directly in front of your pupils.

Be sure to ask your eye doctor to write down your PD if you're going to order glasses online. Depending on whether you need single-vision or multi-focal lenses, your doctor may write your PD as one or two numbers. If you can't reach your eye doctor, we can help you determine your PD using another method. Watch the video above to learn more about PD.

Measure Your PD »

9. Understand Your Prescription Information

Buying Eyeglasses Online: Prescription Info

Entering your prescription online is probably easier than you think. It's simply a matter of entering the correct numbers in the appropriate fields. Don’t worry if you do not see any numbers listed on your prescription for some fields, like "prism" and "base." Not everyone needs this kind of correction, so you can simply leave those fields blank.

Below are a few key terms you may need to know when entering your eyeglasses prescription online:

  • OD: Stands for "oculus dexter," which is your right eye.
  • OS: Stands for "oculus sinister," which is your left eye.
  • DV: Stands for "distance vision." Used when multi-focal lenses are prescribed.
  • NV: Stands for "near vision" (sometimes referred to as "add"). Used when multi-focal lenses are prescribed.

10. Get an Itemized Receipt

Buying Eyeglasses Online: Itemized Receipt

Most vision insurance plans will reimburse you for some or all of the cost of your prescription eyewear purchase. Simply attach your itemized eyewear receipt to your provider's reimbursement form before submitting your claim. Our vision insurance page contains downloadable reimbursement forms for most major vision insurance providers.

Vision Insurance Info »


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