New to Online Eyeglasses? Click Here!
Ongoing: Click here for 15%-off EVERY ORDER at EyeBuyDirect This is the best ongoing deal on the internet for EyeBuyDirect!
Goggles4U drops prices, drops additional discount codes. People are concerned, but this is still one of the best places to buy online. Link!

I recall the beginning of my search for online eyeglasses, and the confusion I had. How would I know that they'd look good on me? How do I read my prescription? There were so many questions and less information.

Things have gotten better in just the last year. The retailer websites have some better information, and now there is a wealth of information in the forums of this site. Have a question? Someone WILL answer it if you post it.

Follow these crucial steps and I think you'll be thrilled with the results:

  1. Get your eyes checked. This is important from a prescription strength and a eye health perspective. Keep a schedule and get this done annually -- yes, I've changed my tune a bit on this.
  2. Get your full prescription. You paid for it. Make sure you leave with it. If you didn't bring it with you, give them a call. The law says they need to provide you with it.
  3. Get your Pupillary Distance (PD). This isn't a part of your prescription by default. See here for some ideas on getting this measurement. It's important and it's not that difficult to get for a single vision prescription (bi-focal or multi-focals require a bit more expertise).
  4. Get your frame measurements. There are a couple of good ways to do this. I liked my old frame style, so I knew that frames with similar measurements would likely end up being decent looking. If you're looking for something new, find a pair you like at the store and write down the measurements from the frame. In either case, the measurements are typically stamped inside the temple and/or on the bridge.
  5. Find a frame. Hit the websites listed to the left and start browsing. You're looking for sizes as well as style here -- don't forget that! If the site offers a way to drill down to a temple size, for instance, use it! It will save you a ton of time. There is no reason to look at all of the 130mm temple-lengths when you need a 140mm.
  6. Choose your lens options. I was oversold on "featherwates" and hi-index lenses for years. Depending on your prescription strength and the lens size for the frames you're looking at, you may be fine with the standard thickness lenses. I like anti-reflective lenses and I'm amazed at how much I like the photochromic lenses. With the low cost of these glasses, pick up a pair with sunglasses lenses. I don't buy lenses that don't include UV protection -- neither should you.
  7. Order up! Use a credit card (not a debit card) to aid in unlikely event of problematic resolution issues. Pay a couple dollars extra for faster shipping from a number of the retailers.
  8. Wait. This was the hardest part for me -- mostly because I was without a spare pair. It gets easier when you're not in that pinch.
Good luck and PLEASE let us know how it goes in the forums. They're a valuable resource because of your input.

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At October 30, 2007 at 6:30 PM Anonymous said...

Most opticians will, by default, put the Optical Centre at the geometric centre of the lens. HOWEVER, despite my relatively weak RX (-2.00 and -1.75 with small astigmatism in both eyes), I prefer to have the OC a couple of millimetres above the geometric centre. Do you know if most online stores you can specify what OC you want (given knowing the height in millimetres of the lenses in the frames you want are?). Years ago when my RX was stronger, I got a prism effect from having the OC too low in the frame because glasses tend to sit lower on my face. So I like to stick with an OC slightly higher.

At November 14, 2007 at 1:09 PM Dan said...

Re: Zenni - ordered a bi-focal set a month ago - there were mistakes in the form (my fault) & they emailed me to double check. Glasses are great equivalent of a $250 after insurance payment that I looked at the day before. Decided to get some computer glasses - single vision but at my reading glass perscription. Sent an email asking how to order and the respond (by email) quickly and said call them. Called and was put on hold for 2.7 hours - yep, almost three hours. Their machine said there were four people ahead of me and it was on their nickle so I figured it would be fun. Went to the post office, made dinner, etc. At 2.7 hours their machine disconnected me. Sent email, they respond quickly (next day) and we got it under control. Lesson learned: don't call.

At November 26, 2007 at 1:59 PM Anonymous said...

I'm going to begin the quest for new glasses. Thanks for the tips and I will let you know how it works out. Really appreciate all the work you put into this.
Belmont, MA

At November 29, 2007 at 2:07 PM Anonymous said...

Hello, I found this site through Lifehacker and 43 Folders. It sounds just like what I've been looking for since I don't have an up to date pair of glasses and my contacts are starting to show signs of aging.

Does anyone have any tips for the first timer? I called my local Costco and Walmart and it seems like exams cost about $55 and from reading the site I know to ask for my pupillary distance. My plan was to go get my exam, shop around for frames and write down the measurements then find something comparable on one of the sites on the sidebar here.

Thanks again for making a good source of information, I've been wondering if I should get glasses online for a long time.

At December 5, 2007 at 5:19 PM Anonymous said...

I am an optician, but I completely agree with all of you. My good friend and I opened our own optical store about a year ago for the exact reasons you all are stating. I was literally embarassed to price out glasses for people at some offices I worked at. When people would ask why it cost so much, I really wouldn't know what to say. We are less than half the price of most doctors offices, while still giving people great service. You guys keep up the good work.

At December 15, 2007 at 9:20 PM Anonymous said...

I ordered 2 pair of glasses from Zenni optical. I could wear them because the rx on the lenses was WRONG later confirmed by a local optician. I will never buy from Zenni . If they actually have opticians working there the state should take their licenses away

At January 11, 2008 at 9:55 AM lisa said...

i've spent hours trying to find trifocals (w/ lines) on line. Zenni said they don't do it. EyeBuyDirect said they don't do it. Nothing at 39 Dollar Glasses say they do trifocals. i've emailed them. i did find Eye Glass Liquidators. They do them. Anyone know if they are an ok place to biz? thanks for help! lisa

At January 21, 2008 at 8:30 AM Anonymous said...

I ordered a pair of glasses from Zenni Optical In July 2007 and really like them. I need higher index lenses as well as progressive bi-focals. I ordered the UV protection and scratch coating. Also, I got the lenses which darken in sun. The frames are perfect. They are the memory titanium. Cost...$98.

The only complaint I have is that the lenses will no return to clear when out of the sun. They stay a light yellow color. Zenni says that is because of "oxygenation" and all lenses do it. That can't be true as I have never had it happen before.

As noted, I wear thick glasses because of my severe near-sightedness. Zeiss has a super high index lens which makes even extreme prescriptions thin lenses. We in the good old USA can't get them because the FDA doesn't like the shatter tests. I guess we are too dumb to know what we want. You can get the lenses in Canada and I did buy a pair while I was in Windsor. The cost was nearly $1,000 Anyway, I am writing my government to complain about two things:

1. We want the Ziess lenses here and the safety issue is one I will decide on...not some government twit.

2. Is there price collusion in the eyeglass industry. With nearly 100 million Americans buying eyeglasses every couple of years, why does it cost more than twice that of a full featured computer with CPU, flat screen monitor, optical mouse, speakers, keyboard and software?

At February 19, 2008 at 6:38 PM Anonymous said...

Hi I love your site and the whole concept. Do you have RSS set up? I looked but didn't see anything to subscribe with.


At February 19, 2008 at 10:42 PM Ira said...

The feed can be found here:

At March 6, 2008 at 5:54 PM Anonymous said...

Thanks to this great site, I have my first pair of new glasses in five years. I got my new prescription, went online to 39dollarglasses, picked out the frames, figured out how to get my prescription in (I didn't call for help because I wanted to see if it worked intuitively). That was last Thursday, late. Today I received my new progressive-lens glasses. They fit, look good, and best of all, I can see out of them. Even got the 10% discount because I went through your link. I'm thrilled, and I'll be telling all my glasses-cursed friends about you and the stores you link to. Thanks!

At June 2, 2008 at 2:59 PM Anonymous said...

I'm absolutely new at this. I got a prescription from my doc, but the numbers are out of range from those you select from on the web order forms. For example, for my right eye my mumbers are Sphere -50, Cylinder +75, Axis 140, and ADD +250. Other than the axis number, these are all well out of range of the "pop ups" on the order form. Any Suggestions why this might be?

At June 2, 2008 at 4:07 PM Ira said...

@Anonymous (I could've emailed you directly if you'd registered),

Eyedocs tend to drop the periods from these -- it's a very common and annoying practice (and one that I'm sure exists to make all of this seem so much more mysterious than it is). -50 is actually -0.50. +75 is +0.75. ADD is +2.50.

Good luck!

At June 10, 2008 at 11:50 AM Anonymous said...

I just received my glasses from Zenni Optical: 4103 Full-Rim Stainless Steel Light Weight, 10 days after I ordered them. I bought $8 glasses with the clip on sun shade; the total with shipping was $16.90. I had a full prescription with PD so I didn't have to measure anything myself.

My lenses are very thin. At first I thought that they forgot the lenses as they were wrapped in cloth with the sun shades on top and the glasses were so light when I took them out of the case. I love my new glasses!

At July 3, 2008 at 10:38 PM lngndvs said...

Other measurements?

When I have been measured for eyeglasses, I was aware that PD was being taken. However, are there not other measurements that need to be taken into account? IT seems that when fitting for a frame, the technician measured the distance from my eye? Is this wrong?

ALso, measuring for progressive trifocals involved more measurements. Can we do some of this ourselves, without the frames?

How can I deal with this?

Thank you for this site. If I can order online, I will pay less than 20% of what I am now paying. I reused my old frames the last time around. Trying, now, to check all parameters.

At September 6, 2008 at 11:43 PM Anonymous said...

I'm looking for a place that carries the specialty glasses / goggles for motorcycle riding such as the Wiley-X line or an equivalent; these have a face seal to them which keeps wind & dust from getting in around the lenses.

Any information, recommendations, etc. will be quite welcomed!

At October 24, 2008 at 2:40 PM Anonymous said...

I recently had my eyes checked, bought glasses and contacts at a very high price. Why should this PD measurement be such a secret? I paid for the service and this info should be inclusive. They're not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. After all, I walked out with my prescription.

At November 22, 2008 at 7:29 AM Anonymous said...

Do not buy from My frames broke within the 6 month warranty and I still have not received the replacement frames after 3 weeks. You will get your glasses on time but if you have a problem GOOD LUCK because they don't want to hear it. BEWARE the frames are second rate at best.

At December 4, 2008 at 5:50 PM AndieJ said...

I found a link to your site yesterday & ordered two pair from Zenni (one as a back up to my expensive new pair & one as a pair of sunglasses - I've never had prescription sunglasses before).

All in all, I went with their cheapest frame options & spent $35.80 including shipping. I'm hopeful that I did a good job w/ the PD measurement & am just waiting to see what I get.

If these turn out well, I will probably never buy a pair from an optician again.

Thanks so much!

At December 8, 2008 at 7:54 AM Anonymous said...

I've been buying from 39DollarGlasses for the last year; 2 regular pairs, 1 pair prescription sunglasses. I've recommended them to 5 other people as well, no problems all around.

I noticed that my first pair (Amalfi) gets scratched easier than some of the $300 pairs I've had to buy in the past but for $40 I can deal with that. ^_^

At January 13, 2009 at 9:42 AM Anonymous said...

I was very hesitant to order glasses online until I found your website and decided to order some from EyeBuyDirect with the 15% savings. I am very pleased with the quality and speediness of my order. I ordered progressive bifocals with transition lenses that would have cost at least $300 elsewhere, but mine only cost $108 and that was with shipping. Thanks for all the tips. I am telling all my friends to check out your blog.

At February 13, 2009 at 7:25 PM Anonymous said...

I ordered from goggles4U in January, 2009. The glasses arrived but are made correctly. The optometrist says that both lenses are blocked for the right eye, so the PD is 77 not 61 as ordered. I have sent emails to goggles4U and faxed them. No response. Should I just give up and start the unhappy consumer dance with BBB and this blog? Any help or advice?

At February 13, 2009 at 7:41 PM Ira said...


Please forward me your order number and contact info at GlassyEyes [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll get it sent to the right people to get it worked out.

- ira

At February 18, 2009 at 4:44 PM Unknown said...

This sounds to be a very useful website to get good eyeglasses. I have a question regarding the frame that I already have. I bought a metal frame ordinary sunglasses at Kohls for 25 $ or so. Can I use that frame to have prescription sunglasses fitted in them. Do they last longer? If any of you have used your old regular frames to have prescription lenses fitted in, could you suggest me if I should go for it or not?

At March 17, 2009 at 2:18 PM Anonymous said...

Helpful site and support!

Re PD: The optometrist measured mine at 64, by machine I think, and told me that my current progressive lenses have individual PDs of Right=30.5 and Left=32.0. I assume the individual ones are more important the the overall, but shouldn't the two add up to 64?

At March 29, 2009 at 6:54 AM Unknown said...

Bought a pair of glasses from with progressive lenses. When I got them, I found that I couldn't see out of them very well. Went to local Sam's Club, and the optician checked them. Said they sat too high on my nose. I sent the glasses back. They say they'll only refund minus 30% restocking fee, even though there was no mention of vertical measurements on their site that I can recall. After an online chat, I found that they say there is no need for vertical measurements. Sending them back to see what they say officially.

At March 29, 2009 at 6:59 AM Duane said...

Bought a pair of glasses from with progressive lenses. I Took them to an optician at Sam's Club, as I couldn't see out of them very well. The optician said that the glasses sat too high on my nose. 39dollarglasses say that there is no need to take vertical measurements and that the best I can hope for is 70% refund. I'm sending them back to see what their offical verdict is.

At April 17, 2009 at 3:42 PM Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if you can get a -11.00 prescription from ?

You can only select up to a - 10.00 or + 10.00.

Could not contact them by phone or "Live Chat" .


At June 15, 2009 at 12:58 PM Anonymous said...

I am looking for executive trifocals (lines go all the way across the lens) but none of your top four pics make them. Any suggestions? I tried trifocal progressives was wasn't that happy.

At June 15, 2009 at 1:17 PM Ira said...


I know of no one who does tri-focals online. I looked for my father-in-law a couple of years ago unsuccessfully.

At July 10, 2009 at 10:45 AM Unknown said...

I bought a pair of rimless glasses from Zenni. They're thicker than the rimless ones that I have now. Next time I think I'll opt to pay extra for the 1.67 High Index lens.

Has anyone ever ordered these types of lens from Zenni before and would they be worth the extra cost of $37? Are they thinner than the 1.57?

At August 6, 2009 at 7:56 AM Sam said...

I got my new glasses at Google4u in late May/early June and the prescription was correct. It's been a couple months & the frames are holding up great!
Since this worked so well I'm planning on getting some more frames online by Christmas as spares & for different looks. At these web prices I can actually have fun with my frames!

At November 29, 2009 at 5:14 PM Unknown said...

I am following your link to $12 off $39 Eyeglasses, but see nothing indicating that there is any special for ANY amount off, let alone $12. What am I doing wrong?

At November 29, 2009 at 6:00 PM Alice_M said...

I would like to buy my next pair of glasses online. My current pair of glasses has a temple length of 140 (it is printed on my frames). The pair I like online has a temple length of 136. Is this too much of a difference to be a good fit? Thank you

At November 29, 2009 at 9:17 PM Ira said...


That's a tough one. I wear 140's, but depending on the type of temple have been able to get 135's to work from time to time. The straighter the temple for me the shorter I can go.

At November 29, 2009 at 9:19 PM Ira said...


The discounts for 39$ always appear in the latter steps of the checkout process. It's confusing a bit, but they always work. You'll see this one at the bottom of the 5th step.

At December 3, 2009 at 2:35 PM alice_m said...

Thanks to Ira for answering my question on temple length.

Another question regarding lens material. I am leaning towards getting my glasses from Goggles4U. They offer 1.67 high index plastic and 1.71 super high index glass. The only polcarbonate lens they offer is 1.59. I have a strong prescription (-8.50, -1.00, 180 and -9.25, -1.00, 170) and I want to get the thinnest lenses possible so the 1.59 polycarbonate is out. I have researched plastic versus glass and it seems as if the high index plastic is the way to go because they would be thinner. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience regarding high index plastic versus high index glass? Thank you

At December 11, 2009 at 8:18 AM Tej said...

A lot of people have a problem with glass because of safety reasons. With your prescription you will do pretty good with the 1.74 index. It is the thinnest lens on the market and they are very reasonably priced on the internet. Also you might want to stay with a small plastic frame because most the thickness on the edges will get cut off.

At December 21, 2009 at 1:37 PM maleficent said...

I quit paying crazy prices for glasses a few years ago. I just couldn't fathom spending over $1000 a year for glasses for both me and my husband. He found the on-line places and we have been using them ever since. His progressive lenses cost a fortune, on-line purchases we can afford to buy spare pairs. I went from spending $300 on single vision polarized sunglasses to just under $100 dollars, less if you find the coupons. I have had few issues with on-line glasses purchases. Even with the few problems I have encountered, they were ALWAYS corrected by the seller, and the money saved was worth any "hassel". My last Zenni purchase was one of their $8 FAVORITE glasses ever. If my Rx hadn't changed I would still be in them. I got three pair from, the two regular glasses PERFECT. The sunglasses had a flaw in the left lens in my field of vision so they got sent back and replaced. Again, $98 with a small problem and easily corrected compared to $ comparison. I just purchased a second pair of polarized sunglasses from with the $20 coupon, $79! The cheapest EVER. Well worth it. As for the local and chain optical despensing, sorry, but you have lost my business...if I can get it cheaper elsewhere, I will.

At December 30, 2009 at 3:29 PM Anonymous said...

I keep a copy of my prescription on a note card, but it's a few years old and I can't remember the eye doc's name. If I order online, will they ask for the eye doctor's name and contact info? Yes, I know I should get an eye exam, but I also know that my prescription hasn't changed. And I'd like to try ordering online. Thanks.

At January 1, 2010 at 11:22 PM Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the great info. I ordered from in Canada and had an excellent result. Delivery in about a week and cost for progressive lens was $72 US including shipping compared to $200 to $400 for conventional sources. I am like many aging adults, I need reading glasses for most things but minimal correction for distance (i.e. I don't require glasses). I couldn't justify $400 for glasses I don't really need but $72 for progressive glasses I can wear all the time if I want was the perfect solution. Thanks!

At January 11, 2010 at 10:42 AM Unknown said...

I cannot find the height for any glasses on the coastal contacts site. Am I missing something? I prefer lenses that are around 35 mm high. Most of the other sites let search by height

At January 13, 2010 at 8:17 PM Anonymous said...

I purchased my first glasses online in December. I ordered a pair of progressives, semi-rimless from Coastal Contacts and a single vision correction from Goggles4u. I am very pleased with the product and the service from Coastal Contacts. I will not order again from Goggles4u, enough said.

At January 16, 2010 at 2:03 PM Jamy S. Salina, KS said...

WOW....First I've gotta say I am ESTATIC at what GOGGLES4U can do. I purchased a half rim, rimless, and a half rim sunglasses. For $92!!! I rarelly buy online, due to the scams, unless it's ebay,and so I took a look at ebuydirct-they were outrageous and didn't allow an easy option to chage measurements.
Goggles4u was priced very "cheap" and I thought I was gonna get cheap. It took about 2 weeks to recieve my glasses, but man o man was it well worth it. These days you can barely get into the eyedocs without dropping at lease $200 on a pair of frames from the cheap section! I was a little dissatisfied about the lack of communitcation (they got rejected in the production line-so that told me they checked em before they sent out a bad pair), but once I talked to steve, well it was all taken care of, and quick...I think he did em himself!
I'm serious though, it was well worth it. And now I'm ordering a pair of bi-focals for my mom...they have a buy one get one coupon today...can we say "heck yeah"!!! I saw an earlier post about them being they are based out of California, they have a warehouse there! And no their not Pakistani's, they are Indian, from India. And they are very nice to deal with!
If you are needing a pair of glasses, and can wait a couple of weeks for your new pair. is the place to get them! Gauranteed! Great job!
Jamy S.

At February 24, 2010 at 3:14 PM Anonymous said...

Just bought my very first pair of glasses from Coastalcontacts. Progressive lenses. I'm age 56, with a fairly weak prescription: +0.75 both eyes for distance and Add +2.00 both eyes for reading.
I had been using +1.75 reading glasses for reading and computer work.

I was very happy with the friendly service over the phone, and am happy with the style and light weight of the rimless glasses. I know that progressive lenses are a compromise and will have some narrow fields of vision, and that I need to point my nose to find best focus. I've very happy with the distance view, but the intermediate and reading views have a very narrow focus, less than desirable.

The progressive lenses are 1.60 Free Form Progressive with PD of 63.0. I had the PD measured by a local shop. Coastal had recommended the free form progressives for a wider field of view. I just brought the glasses to a local shop and he confirmed that they are made well and accurate.

a. Is it normal to have such a narrow field of vision for reading to intermediate?

b. the lenses are 31mm high and 50 mm wide.

c. a friend who is an eye doctor says she wears Varilux progressives, very small lenses, and they are fine.

d. What should I ask Coastalcontacts to help me get a wider field of view in focus? So far, they've just recommended getting larger frames.

e. Are Zeiss or Varilux lenses known to have wider fields of view? Do online retailers offer these?

f. should I accept the compromise and use separate reading glasses for computer/desk work?
I'm spoiled by my single distance reading glasses and very wide field of view.


At May 3, 2010 at 9:28 AM tommy uk said...

I use a company called www for my new specs online .They have a good selection of frames and at fantastic prices.Use Code 'NEW10' and you will also get 10% discount off your purchase. Hope this helps

At May 11, 2010 at 8:32 PM alice_m said...

I ordered my first pair of internet glasses in January and have been wearing them since and LOVE them!!! I needed 1.74 high index lenses and discovered not many sites offer them. I used GlassesUSA and was extremely pleased with the entire process. There was a delay but before I could contact the company they sent an email and put a rush on the order and even sent them priority - free of cost. The specialty lenses are made in Israel - I found that fascinating!

Before ordering, I had to educate myself extensively. As a result I got better fitting glasses than I ever did from a brick & mortar store in the USA. I have bought glasses from 5 different offices from private practice to chain stores in 3 states. After educating myself, I realized that I have never received properly fitted frames. The only assistance I ever received was being handed frames and then being asked how I liked them. I always just assumed part of wearing glasses was having them slide down your nose. Turns out I was always placed in glasses with an improper temple length. My glasses from GlassesUSA don't slip down my nose because I ordered the proper temple length. Why couldn't a brick & mortar store properly fit me for glasses? Esp since they charge over three times what I paid online? really helped me with the process of educating myself and selecting the best pair of frames and lenses. The only suggestions I have for the website are a search feature (the questions I asked may have already been asked and answered) and a page on specialty lenses. As I mentioned, I had a difficult time finding sites offering the 1.74 so finding a site first then finding a frame is the best sequence and return policies are not as generous. I have been recommending Glassyeyes to many people!

At May 24, 2010 at 1:00 PM Windsurf said...

I'm glad I found GlassyEyes!

I finally chose to order from Zenni.

There is one catch however, that borders on fraudulent:
Shipping is 9.95$ -- not the advertised 4.95$.
4.95$ is only for the US; all other countries are 9.95$.

This is not mentioned anywhere on their web site and you end up wondering why you were charged an extra 5$ shipping.

I contacted them about it and there was no refund, no excuse.
Awful service.

At June 19, 2010 at 8:32 PM Anonymous said...

I saw on a UK glasses site that the PD can also be obtained by measuring from the outer edge of one iris to the inner edge of the other. They recommended this for people like me who have very dark eyes(Greek heritage).

Here it is:

Has anyone done this succesfully? I am curious because I need new glasses and don't want to pay through the nose for a nice looking pair.

At June 28, 2010 at 9:06 AM Anonymous said...

My present glasses are 140-53-18 as stamped on the frame. I'm looking at a pair of 140-52-17 frames. Is that too much of a difference? My present glasses are a little loose and I sometimes have to adjust them when I'm wearing them. My prescription isn't very strong, so lens thickness isn't an issue for me. Let me know what you think.

At June 28, 2010 at 10:19 AM Ira said...


Those are pretty close. That is certainly in the ballpark I used when I first started doing this.

That's nearly a direct hit.

At June 29, 2010 at 8:28 AM Anonymous said...

In your post, you mention the 3 measurements, lens, bridge, temple, printed on the frame, but there isn't much said about the total width of the glasses. Is that also important?

At July 3, 2010 at 4:41 PM Anonymous said...

I ordered a pair of glasses from on June 25 and received them July 3. Although the glasses are well made and the lenses are right, they need the temples adjusted because they sit crooked on my face. I found a video on Ehow explaining how to do it, but not sure if I'm going to try it or just pay an optician to do it. After a discount on your site, the price came to $48.90, which is less than I've ever paid for frames alone. I guess my first online glasses buying experience was OK, but it could have been better.

At July 16, 2010 at 9:08 AM J.J. RedStick said...

Would you believe I got accused of paying $600 for my glasses, the Visalia frame from One of my coworkers was complimenting me on them a couple of days ago and when I told her how much I paid(under $50), she was shocked! Another coworker overheard our conversation and decided to order from herself. I told her to check out this blog as well. Maybe I've started a trend.

At July 18, 2010 at 5:20 PM Anonymous said...

I've been looking at some of the glasses sites mentioned here(and others) and am finding many have limits on how strong of a prescription is available on their online order forms. My wife has a prescription higher than -12 yet one site only goes to -10 and other to -12, etc. Does anyone know of a site that can produce a pair of glasses with a hi index lens with a prescription stronger than -12? Any help would be appreciated.

At July 19, 2010 at 10:03 PM Ira said...


There aren't any that I can recommend that do prescriptions of that magnitude.


At July 20, 2010 at 9:03 PM Anonymous said...

I went for an eye exam today and asked for my PD. My sphere on my right lens increased, but the cylinder and axis decreased. I also asked for my PD and believe it or not, all of their PD readers had dead batteries! They measured the PD with a ruler and found 59. Yet when they had me on the machine that does the puff of air, they said it showed a 62 and even had a printout tape from it! Not sure what to go with as the lady behind the counter said that isn't unusual. I measured my own PD and got a 63, which is what I used on Not sure what number I should use for my glasses now.

At July 21, 2010 at 11:51 AM AE7RS said...

Remember that your PD changes depending on what distance you are focusing at. My 'FAR' PD is 72 and my 'NEAR' PD for reading is 68. Here's a quick way to confirm your PD. Take a piece of cardboard and pierce two holes with a large darning needle that are 63mm apart. Now look through the holes at a distant object. If your PD for distance is 63mm you should see a single hole. Now focus on something close. You should see two holes.

At July 23, 2010 at 8:50 AM RedStickHam said...


First of all, good to see a fellow ham here. Hams are known for being notorious cheapskates.

Since now I have a Google ID, it's easier to post here. I did know that about PD, and I'm having make me a pair using the 62 since it was measured by machine and I got a 63 when I measured myself with a ruler, and will have them relens the pair I bought in June using that same PD.

My wife thinks I'm becoming hooked to buying fashionable glasses now since I've bought 2 pairs but at these prices, I can afford it.


At July 27, 2010 at 8:23 AM RedStickHam said...

I just bought another pair from I ordered them on the evening of July 21 and they were shipped out the next day, arriving on July 26. I got the glasses in 5 days as opposed to my last order that took 8. The lenses are right and unlike my last order, these didn't need any adjusting to the temple arms and fit just fine.

I bought the Amalfi frame in brown at the suggestion of my wife and I've gotten several compliments on them. I actually like wearing glasses now and at these prices, i can actually afford nice looking frames. Thank you

At August 4, 2010 at 9:05 PM Anonymous said...

I just got a new prescription from WalMart. They are now selling $38 glasses, and they had some nice $9 frames. Not sure what they are offering for that price though. The optical staff however, refused to give me my PD, saying they are not allowed to do that. I know someone who went to another WalMart and they were given it. I guess it varies store to store. I measured mine myself and the number I used worked fine, so I'm sticking with it.

At August 31, 2010 at 12:02 PM Anonymous said...


Here's a bit of information that may be helpful. Don't know how to integrate it into the site and will leave that up to your good judgment.

Nikon frameless glasses are light and attractive, but the delicate arms are very fragile and prone to breakage where they attach to the lens. What usually fails are the tiny pins that go through the lens and are retained by a plastic retainer piece that holds the lens and arm together. Turns out that Grocery Outlet in my town (Carson City, NV) has a rack with Foster Grant frameless reading glasses (marked @ $17.00 retail, but for sale there @ $2.99) that can be disassembled and use to repair the Nikon's. The dimensions of the two attachment points are slightly different and judicious use of a tiny drill bit is necessary to ensure a proper fit. The great part of the FG arms is that one of the attachment pins is actually a small, threaded bolt with a retaining nut for a secure joint. Also, the arms are of the spring loaded type. Another issue is that it's unlikely to find a match for a broken arm and removing the unbroken arm from the original glasses (to treplace both) can be a challenge.

Best wishes for the continued success of the site...came here via Alternet.

Steve Waclo

At November 16, 2010 at 1:20 AM Unknown said...

Can I get some advice? I recently got my prescription but have no glasses to measure in order to gauge what size will fit me online.

Obviously I can go to a store and write down the measurements of a frame I like, but is there a way I can accurately measure my head or do something besides necessarily going into an optometrist's store?

At November 16, 2010 at 7:47 AM Ira said...


Your head being roughly spherical, it'd be a tough call. I don't know of any formula to measure how long your temples should be. Short of knowing you have a big head so you should get frames with big measurements, your beat bet is trying on a pair or 6 of actual frames.

At December 3, 2010 at 4:25 PM Unknown said...

Thanks for putting up this site, I appreciate it. Does anyone know of a good cheap place to get sports-specific glasses and Rx lenses? I need them for soccer. Most of the ones I have found are about $200 for the Rx and the lenses. Thanks.

At January 23, 2011 at 2:54 PM Cassius said...

I bought a new eye frame from Ebay, and have my latest eye prescription as well. But I cant seem to find a single online vendor that can fit prescription lenses on an existing frame! Any help appreciated.

At February 16, 2011 at 8:09 PM RedStickHam said... and will put lenses in an existing frame for you. You'll have to send them the frame of course, but they will do it.

At February 23, 2011 at 4:57 AM Anonymous said...

I am looking at Eyeglass Lens Direct. They only do lenses and cover most of the ground including prisms but do know that you have to do all of the work yourself by going in and out of manufacturers' websites to really understand what is going on.

I ended up using Varilux DriveWear (very new and not in many stores) polarized polycarbonate lenses with Crizal's Avana coating. The lenses with Transitions Dream Wear and Crizal's newest coating is called Sapphire and if you want to check it out you have to go to Crizal to nail the thing down so you can tell you optician just what you want. I also am getting Transistions lenses so those three websites which aren't the best in the world, are where you have to go for clarification.

EyeglassLensDirect while pleasant the first go round of questions, then become too busy to provide any help at all for over 3 days.

That is making me worry a bit as is the 3 out of 5 star rating I have seen attached to them. So I am going to keep looking and will post if I find a company that is ranked higher that a mediocre 3.

I want a great optician and they aren't to be found in any retail or mall stores. Those folks don't even tell you about all the new technology that is coming out all the time. Depending on your eye situation you can find lenses today that will greatly improve your world of vision. But that education you need isn't given because those are commissioned sales people who want to smile but get on with things rapidly so they can take care of the next customer.

There is no pride in the workmanship involved really and that puts the onus on you to do the reading I am not convinced they do.

It is horrendously high mark up and most of these sellers in stores thin down manufacturers as well as elimate entire lines to keep things simple for them while not informing their customers of so many great bells and whistles. Their income is really made on the frames and then the lens they think you want but in fact too often I have found they don't begin to understand with these many new choices that because we would if we could buy the best we an afford

Take you time as I am and don't use a debit card because you don't get the protection from the card companies that you do if you use a credit card.

At May 28, 2011 at 11:00 PM Anonymous said...

I too am having trouble getting my PD given to me. This is for my 2 children's PD. They both just had their eye exams and I didn't know to ask for PD during the eye exam. Called the eye doctor's office 2 days later, and they said to bring my kids back in, they will do the PD measurement, and charge me $25 per child! How hard is it to take a PD measurement of a child at home? How can I be sure I'm accurate? Can a regular person purchase one of the PD measurement machines? like the ones used at Walmart Vision center or at LensCrafters? My kids are 10 and 12 and I'll be buying glasses for them for a long time and wonder if I should just buy one of those machines. What are those machines called anyway. Thanks!

At May 28, 2011 at 11:20 PM Anonymous said...

Can a PD measuring device be purchased? If so, where? I have 2 children (ages 10 & 12) in glasses and would like to begin purchasing their glasses onine. The eye doctor's office will charge me $25 extra to take the PD measurement and give it to me. They will have to have glasses each year, so maybe it will be worth it to purchase such a PD measuring device? Thanks, DJ

At May 30, 2011 at 12:17 AM Anonymous said...

I have purchased a number of glasses from 39Dollar Glasses and have always been very happy
BUT everything has changed I do not know if they have been sold, new management or what but the service is now terrible, after a lony delivery time in which no one could help me on where the glasses were they arrived with the wron case and one of the arms was broken so now have to go through the drama of getting it replaced and still waiting to hear from them
Naturally I would not recomend them try elsewhere

At May 30, 2011 at 12:18 AM Anonymous said...

I have purchased a number of glasses from 39Dollar Glasses and have always been very happy
BUT everything has changed I do not know if they have been sold, new management or what but the service is now terrible, after a lony delivery time in which no one could help me on where the glasses were they arrived with the wron case and one of the arms was broken so now have to go through the drama of getting it replaced and still waiting to hear from them
Naturally I would not recomend them try elsewhere

At August 8, 2011 at 2:26 PM RedStickHam said...


My last experience with 39dollarglasses wasn't good either. They literally fell apart minutes after I got them and looked like they weren't assembled properly. I don't plan to buy from them again. I ordered a pair of bifocals from GlassesUSA and they just shipped today. I'll post a review once I get them and try them out.

At October 11, 2011 at 4:26 PM MorganHD said...

Donna, I'd find a new doctor. That's ridiculous for them to charge. They do this because they know their game is up on inflated glasses prices.

At November 7, 2011 at 1:02 PM Anonymous said...

Optician here :)

About the quality of vision with glasses in general:

For the lenses to work well and give you good vision they have to be centred correctly.

You already know about the pupillary (horizontal) distance. But it is half of the measurements needed.

The lenses have to be centred properly vertically as well:

Meaning the height of the optical centre from the frame's bottom rim.

All faces are different so the pupil will be at different height for everybody even with the same frame.

Don't take my word for it :) here is an optical textbook with the technical explanations and the math:

Since it's not possible to measure the fitting height online, the resulting eyeglasses can never give as good a vision.

The day correct measurements are possible online i will be posting the url of our store :).

At November 7, 2013 at 4:14 PM Peter G Werner said...

My biggest issue with buying online - what about if (and more likely when) eyeglasses need adjustment or repair. Often an adjustment will help the fit of even brand new frames. Typically opticians are good about working on frames you've bought from them. Maybe they'll even work on other frames you own if they might pick up or continue with your business. But if you have no buying relationship with an optician, who's going to adjust/repair your frames when they need it?

On the other hand, the price difference between opticians vs online is just *so* great (even with insurance), I really feel like I'm throwing away money buying from an optician.

I think the future trend in the industry might be opticians charging to work on third-party lenses, maybe even having an ongoing maintenance option charged annually. That seems to make more sense as a business model as the online optical market grows at the expense of buying frames through local opticians.

At November 8, 2013 at 1:52 PM Unknown said...


Your "On the other hand..." Comment says it all.

When I sat on my frameless, $300, bricks and mortar glasses last year, and got $100+ repair estimates from two shops! I was bummed. While cruising the isles at my local Grocery Outlet, I discovered Nikon frameless reading glasses (with spring loaded arms) for $3.00 (!!). A bit of work with a small screwdriver and I was back in business. That's when I realized there must be considerable profit in the eyeglass frame industry.

Regarding fitment, when my current, progressive, frameless glasses arrived from Zenni, my first wear was brief, because of dizziness. They sat in the box, while I fumed for a day or so, but after a retry, I adapted and all is well.

The $$$ differences are laughable, and my wife and I will be buying on line from here on. In fact, since my Rx has stabilized, I may just buy a spare, and still be way ahead.

Best wishes.

At December 2, 2014 at 12:58 PM test said...

I tried the methods described on this site. Then I came across AE7ES's comment on here, with a method to confirm one's measurements. And boy, was I off! I tried his method, and ended up having a 2mm narrower PD than I measured initially. Do this:
"Here's a quick way to confirm your PD. Take a piece of cardboard and pierce two holes with a large darning needle that are 63mm apart. Now look through the holes at a distant object. If your PD for distance is 63mm you should see a single hole. Now focus on something close. You should see two holes."
What's amazed me is that, after the third try, when I finally saw ONE hole, I had SHARP vision in the long distance. I couldn't believe it! Maybe I should just wear cardboard with holes instead of expensive glasses :-)


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