Nothing feels worse than breaking your prescription lenses. Not only will you have to shell out some money for new ones, but if you need your glasses to see, you're in big trouble. That's why it's always a good idea to have some new lenses for old frames on hand. Of course, you could go pick up some lenses in person, though that can be expensive. Buying prescription lenses online can take more time, but it can also be significantly cheaper. Since you're not trying on frames, there's really no benefit to picking them up in person -- unless it's an emergency. That's why you should think ahead and order your prescription lenses online.
The companies that offer prescription lens updates for your favorite frames rely on some of the latest technology. We're talking way beyond simple glass lenses: multifocal lenses, transition lenses, polarized lenses, tinted lenses, lenses with antiglare coating and so much more.
I've pulled together a list of the best lens-replacement vendors to help you narrow down your options. All of these companies also sell frames and full prescription eyeglass and sunglass packages. However, the main thing that differentiates them is the eyeglass lens replacement option to send your current frames in and get a new prescription filled.
Each company will either send you a box with a return shipping label inside to mail in your glasses, or, if you already have a box for your glasses, the company will just send you the return shipping label. It's an easy process.
If you're wondering whether these eyewear retailers make prescription lenses for audio glasses like theBose Frames,Amazon Echo FramesandRazer Anzu, most do. (Only a few have officially partnered with Bose, like Lensabl and the Bose Tempo sports model, but you can also get prescription lenses separately.)
We'll update these best replacement lenses for glasses list as we try more. Before we dive in, keep in mind the following prerequisites, caveats and tips:
- Most of the prescription eyewear sites highlighted here for eyeglass lens replacement offer a discount for first-time customers.
- In most cases, you'll need to know your prescription andpupillary distance from your optometrist before you use an online glasses retailer -- so make sure you get a hard copy the next time you get your vision checked. Once you have your current prescription, most of these websites will let you upload a picture of the prescription from your phone the first time you buy prescription eyewear.
- If you don't know your prescription, certain lens-replacement outfits in this roundup can simply duplicate the lenses you have in your existing frames. (If a lens is cracked or scratched, you may simply want to replace it if your prescription is current.)
- Some eyeglass lens replacement sites will ask you to send a description or photo of your frame (and perhaps ask for a model number if you have one), so they can prep your order and process it faster.
- Most but not all existing frames can accept new prescription lenses.
- Seehow to buy glasses online and save hundreds of dollarsfor more tips.
Read more:Use Your Phone to Check Your Vision
Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET
As its name implies, Overnight Glasses can make you a new set of prescription glasses quickly -- and really quickly if you're willing to pay extra for a new pair of glasses. If you buy a frame/lens package, fast three- to four-day service is available for $9. (It takes slightly longer for progressive lens and bifocal lens types.) The quality of the lenses I got was as good as that from other replacement lens sites, so there's no sacrifice of prescription eyewear quality for speed.
As for new lenses for your current frame, you ship your frames to Overnight Glasses and it'll replace your lenses with new ones in 48 hours. The service can do polarized, blue light, transitions and many other types, though progressives take an additional two days (so 72 hours total from the time your frames are received).
If you're looking for a truly overnight option, the emergency, 24-hour rush service costs an additional $60 for single vision. As noted, a progressive lens order can take an additional two days, so the fastest you can get new progressive lenses is three days.
Overnight makes lenses for Bose Frames and Amazon Echo Frames audio glasses.
Notable site features: The site has a clean look and is easy to navigate. There are multiple shipping options.
Shipping times:As fast as 48 hours from the time your eyeglass frame is received, while 24-hour rush service costs an additional $59 for single vision (progressives take an additional two days).
Read more: Best Bluetooth Audio Glasses and Sunglasses for 2022
Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET
Although it offers full frame/lens packages, Lensabl puts its lens replacement service front and center and comes up high in search results when Googling "lens replacement." Its motto is "Your frames, our lenses," with prices starting at $77 for buying a basic pair of single-vision lenses. A pair of tinted sunglasses lenses starts at $97. The budget new lens options are decent enough, but it does make a difference (in terms of sharpness and clarity) to step up to lenses more in the $150-plus range.
You upload your prescription online and pick the type of lens you want, and then Lensabl sends you a box with a prepaid return shipping label. You simply mail in your old frame in the box (shipping is free). First-time prescription lens customers get 15% off.
Lensabl does make prescription lenses for Bose Frames audio sunglasses.
Notable site features: For $25, you canrenew your prescription online. Not everybody qualifies to take the online eye exam -- you have to answer some questions to see if you qualify -- but if you do, Lensabl says, "All you need is your computer, [your] smartphone and about 15 minutes of time." Your results will be reviewed by an eye doctor or optometrist licensed in your state who will then issue you a new prescription via email.
Current deals and coupons: 20% off single vision lenses with promo code SV20, 15% off contacts lenses, frames and other lens types with promo codeSEE15,15% off Lensabl+ Vision Plans with promo codePLUS15.
Shipping times:Lensabl pledges "about two weeks" turnaround time from when you ship your frames to when you'll receive your prescription eyewear back.
Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET
While it's had shops in the New York area for a while, ReplaceRxLenses is somewhat new to the online replacement-lens arena. My experience using this retailer was smooth, with a relatively quick turnaround time (about a week, but I was in New York). Its prices are competitive and slightly cheaper for some lens types.
The site says what differentiates it from competitors is that it doesn't have an assembly-line format for fulfilling orders, where one worker is responsible for manufacturing the lenses, another is responsible for tracing the frame and edging the lenses to fit the frame and another might handle the final eyeglass inspection. "With us, one technician works on a customer's order from start to finish," a rep told me. "We believe this format results in a better end product because there is almost no chance of information being lost or mistakes being made along the way."
ReplaceRxLenses says it can do a replacement for prescription eyewear or replace nonprescription lenses for Bose, Amazon Echo, Snapchat Spectacles and many other audio/smart frames.
Notable site features: The site says it has experience working with frame types and lenses that some other places can't handle. "We have plenty of experience working with sports frames, wraparound frames, vintage frames and extended range prescriptions," a rep told me. "Many other online replacement services can only work with certain frame types and up to certain prescriptions."
The site tries to get as much information about a customer's frame beforehand so it can begin working on the order even before receiving the frame, which helps expedite the order. (I submitted a photo of my frame).
Current deals and coupons: 15% off for new customers in exchange for your email address (leave site to see offer).
Shipping times: 7 to 14 days.
Eyeglasses.com has a huge selection of both frames and lenses and is also one of a small number of sites that offer a lens replacement service for existing frames, with prices starting at $49. As with all the other sites here, you simply choose the lens you want (that can be a little daunting because there are so many options) and you'll get sent a prelabeled box with which to return your frames, with free shipping both ways. If you don't know your prescription -- and don't want to change your current prescription -- you can opt to have Eyeglasses.com's technicians "read your lenses and duplicate them."
The service isn't superspeedy in terms of turnaround time, but the lenses are high-quality and the eyewear site has good online help options, including a Replacement Lenses Wizard and an online chat feature. Unlike Lensabl, which highlights its lens replacement service, Eyeglasses.com doesn't market the option front and center.
Eyeglasses.com makes lenses for Bose Frames and Amazon Echo Frames audio glasses.
Notable site features: Eyeglasses.com says it only sells "high-quality, individually made lenses made in the USA," and the sample glasses I tried had excellent lenses that gave me a very sharp image. There's a huge selection of lens options, and you get a "Perfect Lenses Guarantee" that allows you to send your glasses back if they don't work for you -- you can get a redo or a full refund, your choice.
Current deals and coupons: 15% off for new customers in exchange for your email address.
Shipping times: For replacement lenses, you can expect it to be a 10-to-14-day process from the time you place your order. You can cut down the time a bit with a one-day shipping option for an extra $12 fee.
Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET
LensDirect says it can make quality lenses for a wide array of frames -- "practically any frame unless it just absolutely doesn't make any fundamental sense like putting a +7.5 prescription on a semi rimless frame" -- and has its own machine in-house that can cut the lenses anytime (other retailers have this as well). "We make lens replacement more affordable than our competitors without sacrificing quality," a rep told me.
However, LensDirect does not make replacement lenses for Bose and Amazon audio glasses.
My lens replacement took about a week, and the lens quality was high. After using discount codes, the cost for lenses I got was a bit less than from some competing sites like Lensabl.
Notable site features: The site has a virtual try-on feature if you're buying a frame and lens package. When it comes to an older audience (people who wear progressive or bifocal lenses), lens options tend to be more affordable (with discount codes applied), specifically when it comes to the 1.67 high-index lens, which is 40% thinner and lighter than a standard CR39 lens. "Even to a younger audience who wants to take a cheap eyeglass frame and get exactly the lens they need, our CR39 and Polycarbonate lenses start off more affordable even for them," a rep said.
Current deals and coupons: 15% off and free shipping on orders over $49 with promo codeSAVE15, 25% off for new customers in exchange for your email address
Shipping times:10 to 14 days.
More vision recommendations
- Best Prescription Sunglasses for 2022
- Best Place to Buy Contacts Online for 2022
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
Reasons Not to Buy Glasses Online
Some experts say it's like trying to cut your own hair. It may be difficult to return the glasses. A large study found about half the online glasses had the wrong prescription or other problems. An incorrect prescription may give you blurred vision or make your eyes feel uncomfortable.
Essilor is the largest and highest quality eyeglass lens maker in the world, with over 200 lens labs in the United States alone.Can zenni replace lenses? ›
Zenni Optical does not just stop offering glasses lens replacement to its potential customers at affordable rates; they go beyond that to provide numerous frames that give customers options to select the perfect pair of glasses that suits them.Is Zenni Optical reliable? ›
Zenni Optical has a consumer rating of 4.62 stars from 2,475 reviews indicating that most customers are generally satisfied with their purchases. Consumers satisfied with Zenni Optical most frequently mention new glasses, customer service and second pair. Zenni Optical ranks 9th among Eyeglasses sites.Which is better LensCrafters or visionworks? ›
LensCrafters vs Visionworks.
Why are Zenni Optical glasses so cheap? There are various reasons why Zenni Optical can keep the cost of its eyeglasses low. Zenni glasses are made at a dedicated factory and shipped directly to the consumer. Also, because Zenni sells its glasses online, they don't pay for brick-and-mortar retail space.Who has the best deal on eyeglasses? ›
- GlassesUSA.com. Limited time offer: Save 65% off frames for eyeglasses and sunglasses with basic Rx lenses + Free shipping to your doorstep. ...
- EyeBuyDirect. ...
- Zenni Optical. ...
- Warby Parker. ...
- Eyeconic. ...
- Eyebobs. ...
- Costco Optical. ...
- Sam's Club Optical.
Online retailers that sell cheap eyeglasses and sunglasses often say they can offer low prices because they don't have the same expenses associated with a “brick-and-mortar” store, such as the high rent paid in retail shopping areas.Does target put new lenses in old frames? ›
Can you place lenses in frames I did not purchase from Target Optical? Yes, it's possible to replace the lenses in your frames, but it depends on their condition due to: normal wear and tear, your particular prescription, your lenses, as well as the options you choose.Who owns Zenni Optical? ›
“With a 500 percent increase in year-over-year growth since 2010 and a staggering 269,000 percent increase since we launched the company 15 years ago, Zenni has enjoyed sizable and steady growth throughout the years,” said Tibor Laczay, co-founder, and CEO of Zenni Optical.
If you're updating your prescription, you can get new lenses placed in old Warby Parker frames. However, there are some important caveats: the frames need to be in really good condition. Frames age and become brittle over time, depending on the environment.
Some of the cheapest options for buying prescription glasses online include Zenni Optical, Eyebuydirect, Goggles4U, Liingo Eyewear, Diff Eyewear, Vint and York and Warby Parker. GlassesUSA.com is one of the cheapest places to buy designer prescription eyeglasses from brands like Ray-Ban, Oakley, Prada and Persol.Why are zenni glasses so cheap? ›
Why are Zenni Optical glasses so cheap? There are various reasons why Zenni Optical can keep the cost of its eyeglasses low. Zenni glasses are made at a dedicated factory and shipped directly to the consumer. Also, because Zenni sells its glasses online, they don't pay for brick-and-mortar retail space.Why are glasses so much cheaper online? ›
Online retailers that sell cheap eyeglasses and sunglasses often say they can offer low prices because they don't have the same expenses associated with a “brick-and-mortar” store, such as the high rent paid in retail shopping areas.Who makes the best quality eyeglass frames? ›
- 1 RAY-BAN.
- 2 GUCCI.
- 3 TOM FORD.
- 4 PRADA.
- 5 PERSOL.
- 6 VERSACE.
- 7 BURBERRY.
- 8 DOLCE & GABBANA.