SPECIAL FROM Grandparents.com
Buying glasses can actually be a lot of fun—trying on frames is like having a mini-fashion show for your face. But it can also be incredibly expensive, with traditional glasses costing upwards of $400 depending on the kinds of frames you want, your prescription, and lenses. And, how do you know which frames are in style and which you should pass by? Here, our guide to buying stylish glasses at reasonable prices.If you want to buy in-store While your local optical shop, eye doctor or optometrist may be convenient for you to get to, prices there can be higher than at the big retailers like Costco, Target and Walmart, which now offer optical services. At Costco Optical, you'll pay around $50 for an eye exam, which is about 50% cheaper than what you'll pay at the eye doctor. In a Consumer Reports survey on buying glasses, Costco topped the list in terms of customer satisfaction.
- How much will you pay for glasses at one of these big box retailers: Frames average around60-80, with designer frames costing more. Single vision lenses cost around20, more for progressives and other kinds of lenses.
- Pros: Convenient locations, you can try on lots of frames, they accept some kinds of insurance.
- Cons: Selection may not be as big as at other glasses stores, prices may not be as low as online.
One more thing to note, If you're heading to a traditional glasses store like Lenscrafters or Pearle Vision, always check out their web sites beforehand to see if they offer any coupons or discounts.
If you want to buy online...
Buying glasses online can be 70 percent cheaper and there are many sites to choose from, which makes it an option worth considering. Glasses web sites have made the process very easy to navigate, allowing you to do things like upload your prescription as well as a photo of yourself to see how you virtually look in different frames. The downside? Most online sites don't send you multiple frames to try on, and many don't accept insurance. You'll also need to have your prescription, and you'll need to know your pupillary distance (the distance between your two pupils), which can be difficult to measure. (To get an exact measurement, ask your eye doctor to do the measuring.) Online sites are also better suited to people who have uncomplicated prescriptions.
- Cost: frames and lenses can start as low as6.95 for single-vision lenses
- Pros: Lower cost, you can shop from home, loads of styles to choose from.
- Cons: Can't try on frames, many don't take insurance, better for straight-forward prescriptions.
- Cost: Frames with single-vision lenses start at95
- Pros: Low prices, stylish choices, at-home try-on program, easy-to use site
- Cons: Don't accept insurance
- Cost: Frames with single-vision lenses start at around50
- Pros: Low-price guarantee, free shipping and returns
- Cons: Don't accept insurance, no tool for seeing how you look in frames
- Cost: Frames start at49 plus the cost of lenses, which start at39.
- Pros: Free shipping on all glasses
- Cons: You can't try on frames, they don't take insurance.
- Cost: Frames start at around60 plus the cost of lenses.
- Pros: Lots of styles to choose from, free shipping and returns, try on one pair at home, they're partnered with Lenscrafters so you can go in for a free adjustment.
- Cons: You can't see how you look in multiple pairs, don't accept insurance
- Cost: Frames with lenses start at6.95
- Pros: Great kids section, easy-to-use site
- Cons: Shipping and returns are not free, doesn't accept insurance
- Cost: Frames with lenses start at99
- Pros: Stylish frames, free returns and free shipping on orders over50, helpful customer reviews
- Cons: Don't accept insurance