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The 6 Best Places To Buy Cheap Glasses Online in 2022

SPY logo SPY 5/22/2022 Jake Cappuccino

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A pair of glasses is something worth investing in, since they’re going to be sitting on your face every day. But if you’re the type to constantly lose, sit on or scratch your glasses, you might want to consider picking up a few pairs of cheap glasses. The best cheap glasses can be bought online, allowing you to skip a trip to the optical store. And with hundreds (or even thousands) of options to choose from, you can pick out the glasses that work best for you. Plus, buying cheap glasses is a great option if you’re the type who likes to mix and match your frames.

The best places to buy cheap glasses online allow you to upload your prescription, so you can quickly get the right glasses that’ll work for you. And all of the top brands for cheap glasses offer a wide range of styles, such as square-framed plastic glasses or circular metal ones. Beyond that, different optical brands offer different perks. For example, some brands allow an in-person, at-home try-on, so you can be sure they actually work for you and feel right. Others offer virtual try-ons, where you can see what the frames would look like on your face. Other factors to consider include the brand’s return policy, which varies considerably from brand to brand.

In addition to their own offerings, some of the best places to buy cheap glasses online like EyeBuyDirect and GlassesUSA offer designer glasses like Ray-Ban, Oakley and Prada. Of course, these will be more expensive, so we’ve focused on each respective retailer’s own eyewear offerings.

The catch is that there are so many different brands, frames and styles, and one mistake could mean waiting weeks for an exchange. If you’ve spent hours scrolling through endless options, you aren’t the only one. But buying cheap glasses online doesn’t have to be a hassle (so long as you already have your prescription). Though there are many online glasses options out there, SPY rounded up the best places to buy cheap glasses online. To identify the best brands, we evaluated 14 online glasses retailers on price, variety, quality of styles and customer-friendly policies such as free returns. From there, we narrowed down the list to our top six picks.

  

Where Are the Best Places To Buy Cheap Glasses Online?

If we were choosing purely in terms of style, we’d have to go with Warby Parker, which, over a decade after its founding, is one of the longest-running DTC success stories. A number of SPY writers and editors are currently wearing Warby Parker glasses, and the brand has killer style combined with famous customer service. However, if price is the top factor for you, there are a number of alternatives that come in at a fraction of the price of Warby Parker’s trendy offerings.

No matter which one you pick, all of these brands let you choose from hundreds of stylish frames with prescription lenses for under $100.

Read on for our in-depth breakdown of the best places to buy cheap glasses online. Plus, we picked out a few styles from each vendor, to give you an idea of the kinds of offerings they have.

  

1. EyeBuyDirect

BEST OVERALL

EyeBuyDirect offers customization on all aspects of lenses for any frames on sale. That includes additional coatings to repel water and lessen smudges and dust, thinner lenses for higher prescriptions, multifocal lenses, blue light filters and polarized and tinted lenses for sunglasses. You can also get photochromic treatments to automatically darken or lighten lenses for indoor and outdoor use. Also, did we mention these options are available on nearly 500 frame styles?

EyeBuyDirect bolsters its social standing through its buy one, give one policy in which a pair of glasses is given to someone in need for every pair sold. Only Warby Parker offers the same pledge among major online glasses retailers.

  • Price range: Roughly $15 – $60
  • HSA/FSA: Yes
  • Try-On: Virtual
  • Returns: 14-day free returns, with full refund or replacement

For picks, we’ve got a few great frames we think you’ll like.

First up, these circular, metal St Michel frames are simple but stylish and well-made. Available in small, medium and large and seven different metal colors, including gold, silver, rose gold and bronze, these frames will work well for all about the roundest of faces.

a necklace on a wooden surface: EyeBuyDirect St. Michel Glasses in golden; cheap places to buy glasses © Provided by SPY EyeBuyDirect St. Michel Glasses in golden; cheap places to buy glasses

Buy: St Michel frames in golden $32.00

  

The following square Sequence frames will work for almost any face shape and embody a classic, basic square design. While you can get them in a brownish charred quartz color or a more traditional-looking amber tortoise, we love the ocean tide color. The color has a sort of tortoiseshell pattern, but the colors shift from a beautiful not-too-blue dark blue to turquoise with shades of blue and light blue.

a close up of sunglasses: eye buy direct sequence frames in ocean tide © Provided by SPY eye buy direct sequence frames in ocean tide

Buy: Sequence frames in ocean tide $70.00

  

2. Zenni Optical

RUNNER UP

Zenni Optical offers the cheapest, most stylish glasses online. The most expensive frames cost less than $50, including prescription lenses. The least expensive men’s frames — and again, this includes the cost of basic prescription lenses, with anti-scratch coating & UV protection — cost just $6.95. Add in about $5 for shipping, and you’ve got a pair of prescription glasses for about the same cost as a few days of coffee.

With more than 800 men’s styles to choose from and even more customization than EyeBuyDirect, Zenni Optical would’ve been a clear winner, but it has a less generous return window and refund policy than others on this list.

Thankfully, Zenni Optical offers an excellent virtual try-on feature, so you will have some sense of how the glasses will look on your face, We’ve still picked out a few snazzy pairs of glasses for your perusal.

  • Price range: Roughly $6.95 – $20
  • HSA/FSA: Yes
  • Try-On: Virtual
  • Returns: 30-day paid returns, with full store credit or 50% refund.

For under $7, you just can’t do any better for classic aviator frames. If you’re not a fan of gold, you can pick these frames up in gray, silver or rose gold too.

  a close up of a device: zenni optical - best cheap glasses © Provided by SPY zenni optical - best cheap glasses

Buy: Aviator frames in gold $6.95

  

While we’re a sucker for that classic tortoise-shell look and the uber-trendy thin metal frames that are ubiquitous, we also love this simple taupe option. Alternatively, if you aren’t afraid of a little color, pick up these square frames in navy ombre or regular ombre for a distinctive look that sets you apart from the crowd.

a close up of a chair: Zenni Optical Taupe Square Glasses; cheap places to buy glasses © Provided by SPY Zenni Optical Taupe Square Glasses; cheap places to buy glasses

Buy: Taupe Square Glasses $15.95

  

3. Liingo Eyewear

CONTENDER

Like Warby Parker, Liingo offers a try-before-you-buy policy, so you can try five frames for five days at home. Plus, Liingo offers one of the most generous return and refund windows. That offering is also supported by an excellent virtual try-on, which combines a photo and a video to digitally apply the lenses to your face and show multiple angles of your face.

Of course, there are a few cons with Liingo. In terms of frames, it doesn’t offer nearly as many styles or varieties as its competitors, with fewer than 50 frame styles for men, if you don’t count color variations. Still, it’s one of the best places to buy cheap glasses online.

  • Price range: Roughly $79 – $129
  • HSA/FSA: Yes
  • Try-On: Virtual, as well as home try-on
  • Returns: 60-days free returns, with full refund or replacement

First up, the metal Stevie frames are sort of square and sort of not square and that’s what we love about them. You can get these sleek but strong metal frames in aqua, taupe, gatsby and rose gold, but we’re fans of the gold and black gatsby frames.

a necklace on a table: Liingo Eyewear Stevie Glasses in Gatsby; cheap places to buy glasses © Provided by SPY Liingo Eyewear Stevie Glasses in Gatsby; cheap places to buy glasses

Buy: Stevie frames in gatsby $99.00

  

Somewhere between aviators and traditional rounded glasses you’ll find the metal Newport frames. They retain the basic functionality of rounded glasses with a little throwback cool from the browline bar courtesy of aviators.

warby parker alternatives - liingo frames © Provided by SPY warby parker alternatives - liingo frames

Buy: Newport frames in copper and brown $99.00

  

4. GlassesUSA

BIGGEST SELECTION

Not only does GlassesUSA offer hundreds of its own cheaper glasses, but it also offers name brand frames from Ray-Ban, Persol, Gucci and Oakley. It also offers free shipping and free returns within 14 days and a lot of lens customization, similar to our other top picks.

Ultimately though, it’s not better than the top three at any one thing except featuring name brands. Zenni beats it on price, Liingo beats it on customer policies and EyeBuyDirect features better value for things like lens coatings and customizations. But if you want a one-stop shop for basic glasses in addition to name-brand eyewear, GlassesUSA is where you want to spend your money. In any case, check out some of our picks below for inspiration.

  • Price range: Roughly $58 – $98, except for designer.
  • HSA/FSA: Yes
  • Try-On: Virtual
  • Returns: 14-days free returns, with full refund, store credit or replacement

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, we love square glasses like the Oceana frames from GlassesUSA. They just work for so many faces, whether the lenses are big or small, and basically define effortless good-looking glasses.

text: GlassesUSA oceana acetate frames - buy cheap glasses online © Provided by SPY GlassesUSA oceana acetate frames - buy cheap glasses online

Buy: Oceana frames in tortoise shell $42.40

  

For something a little simpler, you can’t go wrong with the metal, circular Ottoto Thackeray Glasses. We like the basic black because it’ll work well for pretty much any skin tone, but the rose gold, gold and silver colorways are just as nice looking.

a close up of a mirror: GlassesUSA Ottoto Thackery Glasses in black; cheap places to buy glasses © Provided by SPY GlassesUSA Ottoto Thackery Glasses in black; cheap places to buy glasses

Buy: Ottoto Thackeray Glasses $35.20

  

5. Warby Parker

MOST STYLISH FRAMES

Despite its many competitors, Warby Parker still offers excellent frames and a customer-friendly experience. With prescription glasses for men and women starting at $95, it’s still possible to get a stylish pair of long-lasting frames for under $100. And purely in terms of style, even the best Warby Parker alternatives struggle to compete with the timeless yet trendy looks of Warby Parker.

On top of that, Warby Parker makes it easy to try out a few different frames until you find the perfect fit, and we love everything about this brand’s stylish packaging. You can choose from a ton of hip frames, and there are options for every type of style and face shape, and they’ve got some excellent sunglasses, too.

  • Price range: Starts at $95
  • HSA/FSA: Yes
  • Try-On: Virtual in the app, or free home-try-on of five pairs for five days.
  • Returns: 30-days free returns, with full refund or replacement

Currently resting on the nose of your writer, these Bensen frames are great everyday glasses. They’re simple, well-made, don’t have too thick of frames and the square shape works for just about all faces. They don’t draw too much attention and just exemplify a solid, stylish pair of glasses. We like the greystone for its low-key look, but the whiskey tortoise and translucent crystal colors are great picks too.

text: warby parker bensen acetate frames in greystone © Provided by SPY warby parker bensen acetate frames in greystone

Buy: Bensen frames in greystone $95.00

  

The Percey frames are a textbook example of solid round glasses. The acetate frames aren’t too thick or overbearing and the rounded lenses are just the right size, not too big and not too small. These are available in a range of colors, too.

logo: warby parker percey acetate frames - buy cheap glasses online © Provided by SPY warby parker percey acetate frames - buy cheap glasses online

Buy: Percey frames in striped sassafras $95.00

  

6. 39DollarGlasses

ALSO GREAT

You can’t call your brand 39DollarGlasses and not sell glasses for $39. Fortunately, the vast majority of the brand’s offerings clock in at this price, with a handful of options eking above the 50-dollar mark.

But there are some trade-offs. If you want anything beyond frames and lenses for reading or distance, you’re going to be paying extra. Anti-reflective coating will set you back about $25, tinted lenses for sunglasses cost about $10 and any kind of transition lenses start at $69.90. At the same time, the fact that the brand separates these features into add-on costs makes it possible to get very cheap glasses.

Overall, for stylish, pretty cheap glasses, 39DollarGlasses lives up to its name, but you’ll simply have to pony up for anything beyond the basics.

  • Price range: Most are $39, some go up to $59
  • HSA/FSA: Yes
  • Try-On: Virtual
  • Returns: Free 90-day for credit or exchange, or free 30-day for a full refund, minus shipping.

To start you off, consider the metal Navigator Eyeglasses. Rectangular and available in black, coffee and gunmetal, these are your textbook basic metal frames. They’re clean, lightweight and would wear well on most faces.

a close up of sunglasses: 39DollarGlasses Navigator Eyeglasses in coffee colorway; cheap places to buy glasses © Provided by SPY 39DollarGlasses Navigator Eyeglasses in coffee colorway; cheap places to buy glasses

Buy: Navigator Eyeglasses in coffee $39.00

  

For another great pair, these metal Matsumoto 4 Eyeglasses mean business. The practically straight browline and rectangular frames will fit in well in any corporate environment or any other environment for that matter. You can pick them up in black and silver or brown and black.

a close up of sunglasses: 39DollarGlasses Matsumoto 4 Eyeglasses in black and silver © Provided by SPY 39DollarGlasses Matsumoto 4 Eyeglasses in black and silver

Buy: Matsumoto 4 Eyeglasses in black and silver $53.00

  

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