When it’s time for new glasses, you may turn to the internet to find the perfect pair. There are seemingly endless options available. You’re bound to run into brands and retailers you’ve never heard of, as well as those that have been around for years.
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 in just a few clicks. We’re also committed to selling authentic designer eyeglasses from the best brands.
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 navigating the online glasses marketplace.
If you’re used to buying eyeglasses in a brick and mortar optical store (in a shopping mall, for example), then the process of buying eyeglasses online should be familiar.
If this is your first time buying glasses online, it can seem a little intimidating or complicated. Fortunately, it’s actually quite 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 trusted retailer that is known to deliver a great product.
Before you start your search for new prescription eyeglasses (or prescription sunglasses), consider the following:
Also consider the quality of lens materials. Prescription lenses are usually manufactured by the retailer or their partner — not by the brand or design house that makes the frame.
Of course, knowing what you want and need will help you quickly and easily narrow your search for new glasses.
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 who offer 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. (Yes, we have prescription safety glasses, too!)
Buying glasses at FramesDirect.com is easy. Start by browsing the eyeglasses category and using the filters available to narrow down the choices by eyeglass frame shape, brand, color, and other variables.
After narrowing down your search for new eyeglasses, it’s time to select your favorite frames. There are thousands of combinations of frame shapes and colors. Even if 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. Some glasses come in metal, others come in acetate (a type of performance plastic), and some come in a combination of both.
Also pay attention to additional design features you may prefer. This can include things such as temple design, or even how prominently or subtly a 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. Our face-shape guide can help you narrow down the frame silhouettes that flatter your natural face shape.
When shopping for new frames, 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. Some colors may flatter your skin tone better than others.
Note that not all frame colors are offered in all frame sizes (see 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 that specific frame size in your search criteria. This will help narrow down your options, since fewer frames are available in the largest and smallest sizes.
You’ll be able to select your frame size on the product page to continue the buying process.
Not sure what size you need? Use our Frame Size Guide to find it.
Selecting a lens option is the next step. Do you need a single vision or progressive lens? Are you in the market for a new pair of readers or bifocals?
FramesDirect.com offers the following lens types for eyeglasses:
To order prescription glasses, you need to have a current prescription. Your eye doctor can provide this after you’ve received an eye exam, so be sure to request it if you’re not given one at the end of the appointment. If your doctor’s office has an online patient portal, your prescription may be saved to your online account. Note: exams are a crucial component of eye care, so be sure to get a comprehensive eye exam every year to maintain great eye health!
When you choose one of the prescription lens types, you’ll be prompted to enter your prescription. You can choose to enter your prescription in the form provided or send FramesDirect.com your prescription later. 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 eyeglass 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 a special lens coating. Types of coating include:
Now that you’ve personalized your frames and lenses, it’s time to move on to the final step: ordering and payment.
How much is this going to cost you? Well, that depends on the style, brand, and features of your eyeglasses. The prices can greatly vary between designer and non-designer brands.
The cost of designer glasses falls 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. Each maker typically offers similar style choices at different price points. And the retail price of prescription eyeglasses isn’t always the price you’ll pay.
Looking for “cheap glasses?” 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 many insurance companies provide members with FSA or HSA debit cards to make the buying process even easier. If you have an HSA or FSA debit card, you can 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.
Shop All Eyeglasses