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I ordered glasses online. For the first time ever.

glasses usa review

I’ve had glasses or contacts for most of my life.   In fact, I only saw clearly for 6-7 years before I had to get glasses.

womp womp

Ever since then, I’ve been utterly dependent on vision correction for my daily functioning.   My eyes are so bad, I can’t see my computer screen clearly, and it’s not because it’s sooo far away from my eyes. Ha.

(I am forever grateful that I was born after the invention of glasses.   I’d be pretty useless otherwise!)


I mostly wear contacts, but I also wear my glasses every day (in the morning before I put my contacts in, and in the evening when I take my contacts out.)

So, while contacts are my main squeeze, I do always keep a pair of up-to-date glasses around as well.

I’ve always bought mine at my eye doctor’s office, and while I keep the same frames for several years, even getting new lenses in my old frames is stupid expensive.

Somehow, though, I’d never gotten around to trying out any alternative glasses-buying services.

review of glasses usa

Glasses USA emailed me a little while back, though, and offered me the chance to try out their site, so I said I’d give it a go.

(Unfortunately, I’d just bought new lenses from my eye doctor, so I didn’t actually NEED new glasses. But I thought that blogging about the process of ordering glasses online might be helpful for you guys. You’re welcome. ;))

To buy glasses online, you need a recent prescription from an eye doctor.   Your eye doctor will of course prefer for you to buy your glasses right then and there (cha-ching!), but you are not under any obligation to do so, and your doctor will give you your prescription if you ask for it.

(I called my eye doctor’s office, they printed the prescription, and I picked it up.)

glasses usa review

You’ll also need a pair of old glasses that fit you properly so you can easily choose frames that will fit your face.

Inside each pair of glasses there are three numbers that specify the lens, bridge, and temple measurements, and you can use those to sort through the glasses by size.

size measurements inside glasses

I had nooo idea about all of this, despite having worn glasses for years.   You learn something new every day!


I uploaded a headshot to Glasses USA, plugged in my measurements, and got to work narrowing down which frames looked the best on me.

Womens Eyeglasses High Quality Discount Womens Glasses from GlassesUSA - Google Chrome 1122015 44507 PM

I was delighted to see that once I uploaded a headshot, the site automatically switched from pictures of the glasses to pictures of the glasses on me. That makes it SO much easier to narrow down frame styles.

You can also narrow by shape, color, material, and price, which helps make the choosing process less overwhelming.

The process of choosing frames based on a photo is definitely a little trickier than trying glasses on in real life, so Glasses USA offers free, no-questions-asked return shipping within 14 days.

Womens Eyeglasses High Quality Discount Womens Glasses from GlassesUSA - Google Chrome 1122015 44507 PM-001

This makes choosing less stressful, because it’s not like you’re stuck with the glasses once you order them.   If you receive them and they don’t fit right or they’re not flattering, you can always send them right on back.

I picked the Julia (which is currently out of stock) and this pair of Ray-Ban glasses with a fun blue pop of color.

rayban glasses usa

The eyeglasses that Glasses USA carries are just like the frames you’d get an expensive eyeglass shop (RayBan, Diane Von Furstenberg, Oakley, etc), but they cost so much less, due to Glasses USA’s low overhead.

rayban glasses usa

And the prices you see for the frames include basic lenses (with an upcharge for high index, progressive or bi-focal lenses.), which is quite amazing.

Vegas Black Prescription Eyeglasses - Google Chrome 1222015 115606 AM

(If you want to wear glasses just for fun, you can even get glasses with non-prescription lenses.   Although I personally cannot imagine wearing glasses for fun!)

Is online glasses buying for you?

Here’s what I think:

If you’ve never worn glasses before, and have no previous frames to get measurements off of, then you will probably be better off buying frames in person first, and then when you get your next pair, you could venture into online buying.

Or   if you have a really difficult-to-fit face, requiring lots of frame adjustments post-purchase, in-person glasses buying might be better for you.

is online glasses buying right for you?

But….if you’d like to stop paying $500 for a pair of glasses, you’ve already got a pair of frames with measurements, and your face/head isn’t super hard to fit, then I think you should give this a try.

It’s pretty risk-free, given the great return policy.   You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

(I am definitely going to pursue this when Sonia next needs a new pair of glasses.   I paid an obscene amount of money for hers and I would really prefer not to do that again.)

Get 55% off your glasses this week!

Glasses USA runs varying promotions all the time, and now thru 12/6, they’ve got a Cyber Week deal where you get 55% off.

Just click here to visit the site and when you choose your glasses, enter the code CYBER to get 55% off.

Do you all have any good tips for choosing glasses online?   I know some of you are old hands at this!


P.S. Props to Joshua for willingly taking photos of me.   Even when I’m not quite ready for a photo.   😉


Glasses USA sent me complimentary glasses to review, and this post contains affiliate links.   This post is not sponsored, though, and all words and opinions are my own.

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Connie seward

Monday 7th of December 2015

As an employee of our local eye clinic I must contribute my opinion of your online purchase. While I could discuss the issues with buying your glasses online from a vision perspective, I prefer to focus on the human perspective. I work in a busy clinic of a dozen people all of whom depend on providing service to our local community to earn their livelihoods. When a patient attends our office, has an eye exam, and orders glasses when necessary, there are at least five or six people in our office alone who are directly involved with that patient, not to mention the numerous people involved offsite in the production of the frames and lenses. I'm surprised that we can provide glasses as cheap as we do! Not to mention, our owner is very much devoted to our local community and using our local businesses to supply our clinics needs. To forgo this method and to order directly online robs these people of their ability to earn a living. Yes, your glasses may be cheaper ( and quite often of inferior quality if we can deduct this from the amount of patients we see who bring in their online purchase for repair) but who is going to keep your neighbour employed? and quite frankly, I'm surprised that you would be recommending it when you are such an avid fan of buying local and of buying quality. What gives?? Should we all take piano lessons online as well? (Infinitely cheaper). I was a piano teacher for 27 years. I depended on my community to earn my living. To sum up, yes, you may save some dollars by ordering online, but it is your neighbour you are hurting. To quote a line from Downton Abbey when young Matthew Crawley suggests that some of the staff are superfluous, Lord Grantham says something like this: 'We all have our part to play and we must be allowed to play it.' Keep it local, whenever you can for as long as you can.


Thursday 15th of September 2016

Thank you Connie! As a former piano teacher and current optician you brought up almost everything I was thinking!

My real issue with online eyewear is how many pairs come into my store and are made completely wrong. Lenses are reversed, cylinder is off axis, etc. It's a real problem. And then I feel bad because some of these people won't get their money back because they have worn them for a while 'trying to get used to them'.

I'm not sure about regulations for dispensing eyewear where everyone else lives, but in Canada I've heard of some people having their car accident insurance voided (after being in an accident) because they bought their glasses online. (Every province except BC legally requires a licensed optician to dispense glasses.)

With that being said, I would order glasses online for myself, however I have the necessary tools and skills to verify that what I ordered is what I actually recieved.


Tuesday 8th of December 2015

I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, and I'm so glad you felt comfortable offering a dissenting opinion.

I can see the point of what you're saying, but then there are issues like the horrible almost-monopoly that Luxottica has on glasses, and because of things like that, I'm awfully glad that there are online competitors who are loosening Luxottica's stranglehold on this market (like Warby Parker, for instance.)

Also, like another reader said, the price of glasses has gotten so high (Thanks, Luxottica!), people in lower income families are often having to choose between buying groceries or glasses, especially when it comes to their children, and one has difficulty imagining that we should tell them to pay more for their children's glasses, you know?

In my own personal case, I will always buy my year's supply of contacts from my eye doctor (my eyes are hard to fit with contacts!), so it's not as though I will ever just get my eye exam and walk out. But my insurance won't cover both glasses and contacts, so I end up paying out the wazoo for glasses once I get contacts. To me, it makes sense to get the contacts from the eye doctor and then get the glasses on my own.

I do believe in paying for quality, but Glasses USA offers brand name frames just like the opticians do (like Ray-Ban) in addition to more private label frames.

Anyway...this is an interesting discussion, and I'm considering writing a post about it and asking readers for their input.


Tuesday 8th of December 2015

I understand the concerns here.We have in more recent years been able to shop around for eyeglasses. Many people can choose Walmart or another similar business instead of a small local business. There will always be people who will only use local optometrists because of loyalty, transportation, inability to put in info online, convenience,etc.. TFG purchased a pair of glasses at her regular optometrist and then got a back up pair, which I suspect is what most people will do, so that doesn't hurt anyone. For many years we were all locked in to whatever prices the local eye clinics charge for glasses. I remember as a child my parents could barely afford the cost of glasses and exams. My brother and I were constantly breaking our glasses but couldn't afford to buy a back pair and would go to school practically blind until the new pair came in. We,most likely, will always have to get an in-person eye exam which can still help small businesses. They now have regular doctors office visits available online for the common cold but a certain number of people will not use these services for various reasons. I personally am glad more options are out there since our abilities and incomes vary. I am a small business owner myself so I know how these purchases affect us.


Monday 7th of December 2015

In a perfect world I would agree with you wholeheartedly. If possible buy local, support local. But, if there is a choice between you and or your child going without new glasses, then by all means order online. If the choice is to go into debt for said glasses, order online. If you have to choose groceries, utilities, or glasses, buy online. Etc., etc. I know far too many people who made such choices prior to having the option.


Friday 4th of December 2015

I'm glad I saw this. I see a new eye doctor on Monday. (Old one is no longer in business, probably retired.) I wear trifocals but have decided to try progressive lenses again. My daughter buys her glasses online all the time, but when I looked a couple of years ago no one online was doing progressive lenses. Are there other things I need to have besides the script and the PD in order to get progressives?


Friday 4th of December 2015

I'm three years in on a Zenni pair and wouldn't be in the market again except that my two-year-old borrowed them and returned them with an arm off. It's been superglued on three times, which sounds pretty redneck but doesn't actually look all that bad, and I'm too behind/busy/lazy to prioritize a trip to the eye doctor for a new prescription.


Friday 4th of December 2015

I recently found a pair of frames at my doctor's office that I loved but the lenses would have cost me around $500 which included bifocals. I found out Costco would fill my new prescription with the frames purchased from my eye doctor's shop. They charged a flat rate of $29 to do this in addition to my new lenses (it cost under $200 altogether). I was unaware Costco would do this but someone told me the frames need to be relatively new.

Live and Learn

Friday 4th of December 2015

I get my glasses at Costco and they are far cheaper than any other place I've found where you get them in person. This is true even when I use my insurance in other places that accepts it.

I've never tried online before, but I might have my son's try it because at this point, their prescriptions are not complicated.

Linda Sand

Friday 4th of December 2015

I once met a woman who had lots of glasses. She said she doesn't wear the same jewelry with every outfit so why would she wear the same glasses?

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