How to Buy Great Eyeglasses Online

Gone are the days when glasses were considered an outfit adversary rather than accessory. These sites offer stylish prescription frames—many with reading, bifocal or progressive options—at a fraction of the in-store cost

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As a site specifically catering to the over-40 reading glasses-wearing set, the Eyebobs frames are truly a sight to behold. Each pair of the brand’s quirky, brightly colored handmade frames comes with reading lenses by default (but most can be swapped out by an optician for a regular prescription) and is meant for people who like their eyewear to really stand out. The fashion-forward frames range from $49.50 to $125, and many have polarized, bifocal and magnified options.


Shown here: Creative Director, $75

Photo courtesy of Eyebobs

With more than 500 pairs of brand-name frames to choose from and offering smart ways to narrow down your selection, is one of our favorites. You can use its new iPad app to show how the frames will look on your face from every angle, or you can try its “framematch software,” which—after you answer 14 questions about your age, skin tone, eye color, hair length and color, face shape and fashion choices—narrows the field down to the frames that will best suit you. Once you’ve “favorited” your top four, those selections will be shipped to you, free of charge, and you’ll have seven days to choose your top pick. You then return all of those frames, and will send back your top pick complete with your prescription filled. Prices range from $29 to $515, with the option to add single vision, progressive/bifocal and reading lenses for an extra $30–$75.

Shown here: Ray-Ban RX5255, $143

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This site was founded by two forty-something friends who grew tired of shopping for readers at the drugstore. The company offers a huge selection of regular readers and also reading sunglasses. How does it work? Upload a selfie to “try on” the 56 eyewear styles and nine sunglass styles ($85–$95) and simply click to buy.

Shown here: Willa, $85

Photo courtesy of Flutter Eyewear

Perhaps the best known of the sites that offer free at-home selections, Warby Parker is paving the way for high-quality trendy frames under $100. Through its “buy a pair, give a pair” program, the brand has distributed more than 500,000 glasses to people in need across 36 countries. Here’s how it works: Choose five frames (from 50+ styles) to receive at your doorstep, take up to five days to choose a pair, and ship them all back. You’ll receive your new pair—prescription filled—in about a week. Prices start at $95, with free shipping, 30-day returns and a one-year, no-scratch guarantee.

Shown here: Quincy, $145

Photo courtesy of Warby Parker

Considering that offers your first prescription pair free of charge (use code FIRSTPAIRFREE to choose from more than 500 pairs), this site is hard to beat. If you plan to order more than one pair, it also has more than 2,000 styles that are compatible with progressive or reading lenses, along with a great mix of designer brands. For every purchase, will donate eyeglasses, UV sunglasses or vitamin A tablets to underprivileged areas.


For World Sight Day, receive 50% off and free shipping on glasses through 10/15 with the code WORLDSIGHT.

Shown here: Kate Spade Susanna, $110

Photo courtesy of

Like some of the other websites, has a charity focus, but this one targets your four-legged friends. The company donates all profits to the Pixie Project, which supports animal rescue and adoption. Shop the site to choose six reading glasses, prescription glasses or sunglasses to receive at home and try out for seven days. Choose your favorite, send them back, and order your pick, all with free shipping. The hand-finished frames are $85 for optical frames, reading glasses and sunglasses (and $125 for prescription sunglasses) and come with a lifetime warranty.

Shown here: Tracy, $125

Photo courtesy of Fetch Eyewear

This brand specializes in reading glasses and sunglasses and was the first to design eco-friendly reading frames made from reclaimed plastic, recycled metal and sustainable bamboo. frames start at $23.95 and include free shipping on orders over $40.

Shown here: Two tone w/Fade, $23.95

Next: Makeup Must-Haves for Your Eye Color

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Photo courtesy of ICU Eyewear

First Published Mon, 2013-10-07 13:00

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