Glasses are an inevitable, necessary part of daily life for millions of people across the world. They allow us to see clearly and overcome vision challenges such as astigmatism, far and near-sightedness, and other ocular complaints. Wearing glasses is also a fantastic way to express personal style.
If you’ve been on the fence about buying your glasses online rather than purchasing directly from options at your eye doctor, look no further. We formally tested eight of the top eyeglass retailers on the web to determine the best online glasses.
Using a set of criteria to evaluate both the purchasing experience and the products provided over the course of several weeks, we found EyeBuyDirect is the best place to buy glasses. They offered everything the other online retailers we tested had, but at a wider price point. Their website, policies, and try-on services ranked consistently high, and their glasses met our expectations based on the virtual try-on and performed well overall when we tested them.
Here are the best online glasses we tested ranked, in order:
EyeBuyDirect has all the benefits of all the glasses retailers we tested but at a huge range of prices. They have frames from recognizable luxury brands as well as their own brands available at lower price tiers, allowing users to find a designer frame they love or discover new options. We also love that they carry their own sustainable line, called 5 to See, which are glasses made from ocean plastics.
The glasses arrived extremely quickly, and their packaging, while being barebones, displays a commitment to sustainability and works well with their new product lines.
One of the best aspects of EyeBuyDirect is the sizing information provided with the product descriptions. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what size a pair of frames will be based on the image online, and EyeBuyDirect ensures that you know exactly which sizes and dimensions a pair of frames is available in. In particular, they carry extra-large frames and custom frames that can be made to size, which was a level of size inclusivity that not a lot of other retailers we tested could match.
The virtual try-on feature with EyeBuyDirect was one of the best we used, even when compared against the Warby Parker app and other similar services. You can use a camera in real-time to examine how glasses frames will appear on your face, and you can turn your head and move around to see your image from different angles. It was shockingly compatible with my basic camera on my computer, with no lag.
Overall, EyeBuyDirect knocked the ordering process part of our testing out of the park. The glasses arrived early, they looked and fit exactly as expected based on the virtual try-on, and inputting my prescription was extremely easy.
If you’re willing to pay a little extra for your glasses and you’re looking for all the bells and whistles you can possibly get from ordering online, Warby Parker is the way to go. Warby Parker tested the best out of all the brands we tried in terms of the actual glasses we received, ranking highest in terms of resemblance to the original photo, overall durability, and quality. However, it’s the online amenities like the app and the preference quizzes which make it a service worth checking out.
Warby Parker not only offers at-home try-on for up to five pairs of glasses, but their stellar app also allows you to virtually try on glasses directly on your phone. While using this feature, you can also quickly swipe through similar frame options to easily see multiple pairs (as opposed to most virtual try-on programs, where you access the try-on feature through the landing page for each individual pair of frames).
The app also allows you to order the glasses directly from it.
Warby Parker also has brick and mortar locations, which means if you decide that you need the in-person experience after all, you’ll be able to stick with the brand.
If you’re at all daunted by Warby Parker’s price points, you can also take advantage of a payment plan through their ordering process.
Hi, I’m Madison Durham. I’ve been testing glasses for Reviewed for about a year now, and I’m very familiar with the ins and outs of glasses testing (and wearing). It should also be noted that I love glasses. I love looking vaguely academic and nerdy in my day-to-day (read: in my home, in front of my computer), and glasses play a large role in my personal style, while also allowing me to actually see.
I use glasses in my personal and professional life on a daily basis, and over the years I’ve developed my own particular set of criteria, especially when it comes to tiny details like lens discoloration, materials, etc.
After researching retailers online I chose eight online glasses sites based on their breadth of selection, how easy it was to order from their websites, and what other features they offered including apps, accessories, internal try-on features, and more. Before we began testing, I spent a lot of time researching the frame options available at each retailer, combing through their selection and seeing what was available.
I worked with Reviewed’s senior scientist, Julia MacDougall, to develop a set of testing criteria and which kinds of questions to ask of glasses retailers. For example: What are the available styles and brands of glasses? How easy is it to input your prescription? Did the frames that arrived look like the images on the website? Do the glasses fit based on your understanding of their description from the website? Would you wear them again, and could you wear them every day?
When buying online, it’s important that a company provides transparency and ease of access to information, so we weighed the online features heavily alongside the actual glasses when the packages arrived. We tested our glasses over several weeks, wearing them while working, while reading, and while out and about.
How to Order Glasses Online
Before You Buy
It’s important to have some criteria in mind before you start shopping for glasses. Knowing the length of your nose bridge, your prescription, your pupillary distance (the measurement in millimeters between the center of one pupil to the center of the other), and your general face shape will prevent you from being disappointed when the glasses arrive.
If you haven’t had an eye exam in a while, certain online glasses stores will be able to verify aspects of your prescription, but we recommend going to an eye doctor and ensuring that your prescription is up-to-date before you start shopping, as some glasses retailers won’t produce your lenses until they have a prescription printout from a doctor or they verify with your doctor that your prescription information is correct.
In addition, having some idea of your own shopping habits will make the entire process much easier. If you’re willing to wait for a home try-on program and prefer to have a tactile experience before purchasing, keep that in mind as you’re checking out the sites we reviewed in this guide.
If you’re looking for trendier pieces at low price points, having realistic expectations for what you’ll receive will make narrowing down your buying options easier; likewise, if you know that you want a more durable product that lasts, spending more money on glasses from brands like Warby Parker might suit you better.
While Ordering Your Glasses
Have your prescription ready to go, and ensure that if you need glasses quickly you keep an eye on shipping rates and timelines before purchasing. We found that most retailers take about two weeks for your order to arrive.
When Your Glasses Arrive
Ensure that wearing your glasses throughout the day doesn’t trouble you, and be sure that the lenses aren’t discolored or over-magnify your eyes to the point that it’s noticeable (if you prefer).
If you find that you’re unsatisfied with your purchase, be sure to ship your glasses back to the retailer within their preferred return window so that you can access a full refund, store credit, or a replacement pair.
Other Online Glasses We Tested
Firmoo carries prescription glass frames, sunglasses, and blue-light glasses at low price points. The glasses I received from Firmoo were, style-wise, my favorite glasses of the bunch, but ultimately we found their try-on options and interface to be middle of the road.
Firmoo’s website offers a lot of search criteria so you can refine your search, which helps narrow down their stock, and they also carry a wide assortment of sunglasses that you can add your prescription lenses to.
Ultimately, we were pretty pleased with Firmoo, and would recommend checking them out if you want a similar ordering experience and web matrix to EyeBuyDirect.
GlassesUSA carries prescription glasses, frames, sunglasses, and contacts. They carry designer brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley, and similar to many of the retailers listed, you can search for glasses based on your individual search criteria by selecting from among the sorting tools on their website.
GlassesUSA also has an app with a Prescription Scanner that will allow you to assess your prescription, but since corrective lens prescriptions can be really tricky and specific, we don't recommend using it. Instead, use the prescription given by your doctor. When I tried the Prescription Scanner, it could not accurately reflect my actual prescription, and if you have a prescription in only one eye (as I do) it fails to reproduce a prescription that you can actually use to purchase your glasses.
While we enjoyed GlassesUSA when we first tested them (I wear GlassesUSA frames every day), the glasses we received for the purposes of this test were slightly discolored on the lenses. They might have ranked a bit higher if the lens hadn’t been so distinctly different than what we expected.
Liingo, much like many of the other retailers on this list, offers fixed prices for prescription glasses with various frames, add-ons, and more. They have great packaging for their frames and, like Warby Parker, offer a home try-on program that allows users to pick out five frames to try on at home.
Liingo scored right in the middle of the lineup. Essentially, compared to services like EyeBuyDirect and Warby Parker, their selection is somewhat lacking in the range of available sizes and styles. That said, they have moderate price points, and performed well throughout both rounds of testing.
Zenni Optical offers low prices for frames, prescription glasses, sunglasses, children’s glasses and sunglasses, and more. They have celebrity collections, including a large collection by Rashida Jones, and a fairly easy ordering process that allows the buyer to effectively sort out the kind of frames they want.
The retailer was my college glasses go-to, but after more formally revieweing Zenni Optical we determined that the quality of the glasses reflects their low prices. Their virtual try-on feature is skippable and their website is fairly negligible compared to other retailers we tested.
Zenni is a great option if you’re in a pinch, or if you’re looking to buy trendy glasses that you can swap out on a day-to-day basis. They’re also a good choice if you have kids who are looking for trendy frames.
Yesglasses carries prescription glasses, sunglasses, and children’s glasses. Yesglasses has a generous amount of frames to choose from, particularly if you're looking for trendy styles. The glasses we received weren’t standouts among the selection we purchased.
When we first reviewed Yesglasses, we discovered the frames didn’t reflect the image on the website when they arrived, and the same was the case to a lesser extent this time around.
Yesglasses claims that they offer “free” 1.61 lenses with your purchase, indicating that lenses are included in the price of the frames up to a certain lens index. My prescription is high enough that it was recommended I upgrade to a higher lens index, taking me out of the “free” bracket. If you have a heavy-duty prescription or prefer a high-quality lens, this feature of Yesglasses product won’t necessarily be helpful.
While Yesglasses does carry eyewear for kids, they don’t really have enough styles to make it a go-to stop for children’s eyewear.
Bonlook has a more boutique feel than any retailer on this list, which made it slightly difficult to compare with the other services. Bonlook offers its own brand of eyeglass frames at moderate to high price points. They have several celebrity collections and collaborations, as well as their own lines of glasses.
Bonlook is a great choice if you enjoy luxurious products and glasses, but ultimately we found their online features to be lacking. The physical glasses from Bonlook were well-made and durable, but we wished more attention had been paid to the challenges inherent with ordering products online.
Most notably, I received several emails from Bonlook regarding putting in prescription information again, and was eventually forced to get my prescription verified by Bonlook before they would begin creating my lenses. I also found the method for inputting and measuring your P.D. slightly clunky. If you have time to spare, they’re worth checking out, but if you’re looking for fast delivery then they wouldn’t be our first pick, as it took almost a month for the glasses to arrive after we placed our order.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.