Eyeglasses are too expensive!
Let me start with a disclosure: I’m not in any way affiliated with Zenni Optical; I just think they have a good product at a reasonable price and wanted to share my family’s experience.
My husband and I have an individual health insurance plan that does not include vision. When we need new glasses or contacts, we have to pay the full price.
I think it’s important to get an eye exam at least every two years, but because of the expense I only get new glasses every four or five years. And shopping for new frames and lenses is not something I look forward to!
Frames can easily cost upwards of $200. The lenses are even more expensive, especially since I have a strong prescription and need a super high-tech, light-weight plastic.
The last three pairs of eyeglasses I’ve had have cost between $279 and $750, depending on where I’ve had them made. From experience, I know that spending more money does not always give you a better pair of glasses.
Zenni Optical’s online store is easy and inexpensive
My husband needed a new pair of glasses this year and discovered Zenni Optical.
He’s even more frugal than me, and he was drawn to the price tag—a pair of single-vision eyeglasses for under $50.
He also doesn’t like wasting time shopping, so he loved that he could do it all online.
Zenni has a huge frame selection and it’s easy to search based on style, size and other options. If you upload a picture of your face, you can virtually “try on” any pair. (You should know your pupillary distance or PD first; look on an old prescription or measure it yourself using Zenni’s instructions).
I know there are many online eyeglasses retailers. I’ve tried one. But they are still expensive.
The most expensive pair of frames I’ve been able to find on Zenni is $39.95. Most are under $25. Some cost less than $10!
You don’t pay extra for designer labels, but fashion and trends are highlighted. The website has a blog, as well, with more information about choosing the right glasses for your face and style. I was really impressed with the selection—over 1,000 frames just for women.
Zenni also offers prescription and non-prescription sunglasses 😎
My husband’s new glasses arrived promptly and he was very happy with the quality, fit and accuracy of the prescription. He liked the first pair so much, he ordered a second a week later as a back-up pair.
Know your frame size, prescription and lens options
I would love to find a complete pair of glasses for less than $50. However, because my vision is worse than his and I am at that age when I need multifocal lenses (bifocal or progressive), my pair will be a little bit more (about $110).
I haven’t bought a new pair yet, because my latest pair is only about 6 months old. And I’m still browsing Zenni’s “New Arrivals” on a regular basis to find a frame I like in my size. I need a more petite frame, and the selection of small frames is always a bit thin unless you want to shop in the children’s section.
Which brings me to my three tips on shopping Zenni Optical:
- Know your frame size. Do you have an old pair of glasses you love that fit really well? Look on the stem and bridge to find the eye size, bridge size and stem length. For example, mine are 50-17-135 (measured in millimeters). Another good measurement to have handy is the frame width, which is measured temple to temple.
- Know your prescription. You will be asked to enter your prescription. It’s pretty simple if you only need single vision lenses. If you need bifocals, computer glasses or progressive lenses, it can be more tricky. If you don’t understand what information is needed and can’t find it on Zenni’s Help page, contact the prescribing doctor for clarification.
- Consider which lens options you need/want? If you have a strong prescription like me, you will want the thinnest lenses possible so the glasses aren’t too heavy on your poor nose. Zenni will recommend the best choice for you. All lenses come with an anti-scratch coating. Other options include tinting, blue light and UV blocking, and glare reduction.
I consider $100-150 a reasonable price for a well-made pair of glasses, and for once I’m actually looking forward to buying a new pair!