Parenting

This app makes 3-D printed eyeglasses for kids—and it's amazing

Fitz Frames makes ordering kids eyeglasses easy and affordable

Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

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Picture this: You're stuck at home, and your stir-crazy child breaks his expensive prescription glasses. Under normal circumstances, you would just go to the local optometry shop (after muttering a few four letter words under your breath first) and pick-up a replacement pair, but these are not normal circumstances. While Optometrists may be open because they're classified as essential services, if you're nervous about leaving your house, your kid could be stuck wearing broken glasses for an indeterminate amount of time.

What's a frazzled parent to do? Thankfully, Fitz Frames offers a way to order prescription glasses for kids without leaving the house.

What is Fitz Frames?

Fitz Frames are 3-D printed glasses custom made just for your kid. It all starts with the Fitz Frames app, that measures your child's face for all the important stuff like cheek angles, nose width, and ear height. By using the measuring tool within the app, the glasses that are produced are guaranteed to fit your kid perfectly.

In addition to the measuring tool, the app also lets kids virtually try on all of the different frame styles and colors that Fitz Frames offers. My son, Noah, who is seven, loved that there were so many colors available for him to choose from, and he got a kick out of seeing how his face looked wearing each of the styles.

How Fitz Frames is different than shopping in-store

If you're the parent of a kid who needs glasses, you know how difficult it can be to find frames that really and truly fit child-sized visages. Most optometry shops have a very limited selection of children's frames, and all too often the frames they do carry are designed for older kids. Even brands made specifically for children—like Warby Parker Kids—don't carry a wide range of sizes, which often leads to ill-fitting and uncomfortable glasses that kids are more likely to complain about than actually wear.

By using the miracle of 3-D printing and digital measurement, Fitz Frames ensures a pair of glasses that's tailor made to fit your child's face.

How Fitz Frames works

Fitz Frames 2
Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

The built-in measuring tool helps ensure a correct fit.

Once you download the Fitz Frames app and select the style and color of glasses your child wants, you follow the instructions in the app to measure your child's face. The app walks you through how to measure, and even features arrows directing your child where to turn and look to get the correct measurements.

After the measurements are finished and you've completed checkout, you'll be able to upload your child's prescription via photo or scan. Your child's glasses are then 3-D printed at the Fitz Frames production facility in Ohio and shipped to you in about 7 to 10 days.

How much Fitz Frames cost

A pair of Fitz Frames glasses costs $95, and shipping is free. They also offer an annual membership option for $185, which includes two complete pairs of glasses, unlimited frames (you just pay for the lenses), and easy re-order if your child's glasses get broken, or their prescription changes. If you have a child who likes to roughhouse or is especially accident-prone, the membership is by far the best deal.

Fitz Frames is in the process of becoming a covered provider for insurance plans, but as of right now they only accept FSA/HSA plans. However, they will provide a custom receipt for reimbursement submission.

What I loved about Fitz Frames

Still life 2
Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

Fitz Frames glasses are custom made to fit your child's face.

Glasses are a hard sell for kids in general, but the fact that the whole measuring and selection process could be done right at home made it much more palatable to Noah. Once we downloaded the app and he got a chance to see all the different available styles and colors, he got excited about ordering his new glasses.

He thought it was really funny seeing how his face looked "wearing" the various styles, and even my daughter, Rose, tried on a few different pairs to get in on the fun. After testing out all the styles and colors, we finally ordered the Yesiree frames in red.

I wasn't entirely sure what 3-D printed glasses would be like, but I have to say that the Fitz Frames spectacles are fantastic and they fit Noah perfectly. They don't slide down his nose like his previous pair of glasses, and the frames are sized just right to flatter his face. Plus they're lighter weight than a more traditional pair of eyeglasses, which I think makes them more comfortable for Noah to wear.

Our Fitz Frames order arrived in an adorable cardboard box with a label inside that said "Glasses made for Noah," a nice touch that definitely made Noah feel cool. Included in the box were the custom glasses that we'd ordered, a collapsible eyeglass case, and two alternate pairs of side pieces in different longer sizes.

Unlike traditional glasses that have tiny screws that attach the sides to the frames, Fitz Frames glasses have a cool ball-and-hinge design that makes it easy to swap out the side pieces. The design also makes it harder for kids to break the sides off of their frames because they simply pop out when bent back.

Another thing we loved about our Fitz Frames glasses is the fact that you can have a custom message printed on one side of your frames. We opted for something simple—just Noah's full name—but kids can choose silly phrases or nicknames if that's preferable. Having the option to add my kid's name definitely made me less concerned about finding them the next time he (inevitably) loses them at school.

What I didn't love about Fitz Frames

My one major issue with Fitz Frames is that I found it really difficult to get the profile measuring tool to work properly. The app offers loads of helpful guidance, and it seems super simple, but I could not get Noah's face lined up properly. I even emailed the company at one point to ask if the measuring tool was working correctly, because after 15 minutes of trying it just wouldn't work.

On our second try, we managed to get one side done, but then couldn't get the other one to go. We waited a few minutes and then went back to try yet again, and it finally worked on the third try. It was definitely frustrating, especially because the rest of the app was great and super user-friendly.

Should you buy Fitz Frames?

Yes, absolutely. You should, of course, always consult with your child's eye doctor to get the go-ahead before ordering, but if you have a child who needs prescription eyeglasses, you'll be thrilled with Fitz Frames. It makes finding and selecting glasses for kids so incredibly easy, and avoids you having to subject your kids to a torturously-boring appointment at the eyeglass store. Plus, the Fitz Frames will likely fit your child's face far better than any pair you can get off the shelf.

As far as cost goes, I think that Fitz Frames are worth every penny. Sure, it would be ideal if they were covered by insurance, but the truth of the matter is that prescription eyewear is expensive—even for kids—and getting a made-just-for-them pair of glasses for less than $100 is a really amazing deal.

Get a pair of Fitz Frames glasses for $95

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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