When it's time for new eyeglasses, you'll likely turn to the internet to find the perfect pair. There are seemingly endless options available out there, from brands and retailers you've never heard of to those that have been around for a long time. As one of the earliest internet retailers of eyeglasses (starting in 1996), and the first to offer prescription glasses online, we've learned the ins and outs of how best to help customers buy eyeglasses online. We are also committed to selling authentic designer eyeglasses from the best brands, so that when you begin your search for new eyeglasses online, you can rest assured you're getting the best product from FramesDirect.com. But how do you begin that search? Let us help you through the easy steps of buying eyeglasses on the internet.
If you're used to buying eyeglasses in a brick and mortar store (in a mall, for example) then the process of buying eyeglasses online should be familiar. But if this is your first pair of glasses, then we understand it can seem a little intimidating and complicated. Fortunately, it's simple. Shopping for eyeglasses online gives you many choices, but in the same way you would shop in a store, the best place to buy glasses online is from a retailer you trust and one known for delivering a great product.
Before you start your search for new eyeglasses, consider your budget, prescription, style preferences, and any add-ons or specific features you want in your prescription glasses. Knowing what you want and need will help you more quickly and easily narrow your search for new glasses.
The best place to buy eyeglasses online is from a retailer you trust that has a wide selection of brands. Also consider the quality of lens materials, as prescription lenses are usually manufactured by the retailer or their partner, and not by the brand or design house that makes the frame. For instance, FramesDirect.com uses Essilor lenses, an industry-leading lens manufacturer trusted by the top eyewear manufacturers in the world. When in doubt, read customer reviews to determine whether the retailer or brand is worthwhile. Most of the eyeglasses at FramesDirect.com include dozens of reviews from shoppers like you who give good guidance on what they like and don't like about a pair of prescription glasses. Use those reviews to guide your shopping.
In your search for eyeglasses, there are many options to consider, including frame materials, lens materials, lens coatings, and more. But not all clear-lens glasses are the same. For example, most eyeglasses are not safety glasses, even though conventional glasses may look similar to safety glasses. If you're shopping for safety glasses or shooting glasses, you should choose a style specifically rated for protection.
Buying glasses at FramesDirect.com is easy. Start by browsing the eyeglasses category and using the filters available to narrow down the choices by brand, color, and other variables.
After narrowing down your search for new eyeglasses, select your favorite frames. There are thousands of combinations of frame shapes and colors, so even if you know you want a specific shape and color (like black cat-eye glasses), you'll still have many choices between brands and even multiple choices within a single brand's collection. Pay attention to the details in each frame and the materials used to make them, as some glasses come in metal and others come in acetate (a type of performance plastic), or in a combination of both. Also, pay attention to additional design features you may prefer, such as temple design, or even how prominently or subtly the brand's logo appears.
Did you know that some frame shapes look better on specific face shapes? Each of us has a face that falls into a certain category, like round, square, diamond, or heart-shaped. Using a face-shape guide can help you narrow down the frame silhouettes that flatter your natural face shape.
When shopping for new frames, also consider that some are ideal for a masculine face, some are better for a feminine face, and others look great on either. By browsing the best men's eyeglasses or the best women's eyeglasses, you'll get a better sense of which frames to explore.
Once you've selected a frame and clicked to its product page, you'll need to choose your desired color if the style is offered in more than one.
Note that not all frame colors are offered in all frame sizes (the next step) so you'll need to choose another color if the frame size is not available in your first color choice.
The frame you choose may be offered in multiple frame sizes. If you need a less-common frame size, you may want to include frame size in your filter criteria when narrowing down frames, as fewer frames are available in the largest and smallest frame sizes. Select your frame size on the product page to continue the buying process.
Not sure of your frame size? Use our Frame Size Guide to find it.
Next, you'll need to choose a lens type. FramesDirect.com offers the following lens vision types for eyeglasses:
If you choose one of the prescription lens types, you'll be prompted to enter your prescription. Assuming you have one, you can choose to enter your prescription in the form provided, send FramesDirect.com your prescription later, or if you've already shopped with us and we have your prescription on file, simply choose the “You Already Have It" option.
If you're entering your prescription for the first time, note the three main measurements for your left and right eyes—sphere, cylinder, and axis— as well as your pupillary distance. To better understand your prescription and for more details on what each measurement means, consult our Guide to Vision Prescriptions.
Next in the buying process, you'll have the opportunity to choose your lens materials and thickness. Opt for one of the following:
After selecting a lens material and thickness, you'll have the option to choose add-ons like lens coatings. These include:
Prescription eyeglasses from designer brands fall between $80 and $1300, depending on the brand, lens type, and any add-ons you choose with your order. The most expensive eyewear usually includes the most technologically advanced materials. Less expensive eyewear may be just as lightweight, sturdy, and stylish, but is made from more conventional materials. Don't lock yourself into a single brand of eyewear, as each maker typically offers similar style choices, but at different price points. And the retail price of eyeglasses isn't always the price you'll pay.
The cheapest way to buy prescription glasses is using your insurance or Flex Spending Account (FSA). While FramesDirect.com is out of network for all eye insurance plans, you can still file a claim with your insurance company for reimbursement for a FramesDirect purchase. Simply follow the steps in our vision insurance claim guide and fill out the linked forms to start your claim. Prescription glasses are FSA eligible, and FSA/HSA debit cards make the buying process even easier. So if your insurance includes an FSA or HSA debit card, make sure to use it at checkout to pay for your prescription glasses.
Unfortunately, it's not common for Medicare or Medicaid to cover eyeglasses. Medicare covers eyeglasses only under special circumstances like corrective lenses following cataract surgery. With Medicaid, coverage for eyeglasses depends on your state, plan, or supplementary coverage. Check with your state's Medicaid office to see whether your prescription glasses will be covered.
Prescription glasses with custom lenses (lenses made in your prescription) are both returnable and exchangeable. The FramesDirect.com policy for returning eyeglasses with custom lenses states that they must be returned within 30 days in the original packaging, that the customer pays shipping, and that FramesDirect.com will deduct 50% of the cost of the lenses from the return.
If you need more help or advice on which eyeglasses would be best for you, our team of trained opticians would be happy to help you. Give us a call at 1-800-248-9427.