If You Want to Shop for Glasses Online, Bookmark These Reputable Retailers
Shopping for eyeglasses used to be something that you did in person at your optometrist's office or a large optical chain; these days, the process is much more streamlined—you don't even have to leave your home. It's easy to peruse hundreds of websites that will ship frames directly to consumers' doorsteps, an option that has become that much more in-demand in the context of the pandemic. As we all strive to live more healthfully during COVID-19, it's understandable that many of these companies' contact-free services (including virtual and at-home try-ons) are preferable. "Most online retailers have technology that allows for a virtual test, where they superimpose the glasses onto your face. Others send multiple pairs of glasses to your home, so you can try them on in person—paying only for the ones you choose to keep," notes Benjamin Bert, M.D., an ophthalmologist at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.
Another major benefit of buying glasses online? You can try on an infinite number of pairs, virtually, without using up your optician's time, notes Dr. Bert. You don't have to feel embarrassed about "asking to see another pair when it's all done virtually," he says, noting that reduced costs are yet another plus. "Also, because of the lack of a storefront, many online retailers are able to charge less for their glasses."
- The Online Glasses Brand with the Best Variety: Warby Parker
- The Online Glasses Brand with the Best Virtual Try-On Service: Ace & Tate
- The Online Glasses Company with the Best Sales: EyeBuyDirect
- The Most Affordable Online Glasses Brand: Zenni Optical
- The Best Blue Light Glasses You Can Buy Online: Ambr
There are downsides, however. Ultimately, the pair you choose might not be perfectly sized to your face. "For instance, in an optical shop, the frames can be molded to fit you using special equipment. Glasses you buy online are going to come as they were manufactured," says Dr. Bert, adding that re-shaping frames from the web will cost you—if you can find an optical shop willing to do it. The other issue with shopping online is more technical."In order to have the best vision with prescription glasses, the center of the lens needs to be centered with your pupil," explains Dr. Bert. "To properly do this, measurements are made both vertically and horizontally to place the center of the lens appropriately within the frames. This is difficult to do virtually."
The best thing you can do when shopping for glasses online, then, is to make sure you're buying them from a reputable company that utilizes the most advanced technology in the first place (bonus points if they include a fitting service or adjustment with your purchase). To help you weed out the good from the bad, we curated a list of the best online eyeglass brands operating on the market today.