How Much Do Eyeglasses Cost? Compare Popular Retailers

We are often asked, “How Much Do Eyeglasses Cost?” so we compared the pricing at several retailers.

Vision. It’s a topic as old as time itself. There are a stash of idioms dedicated to eyesight and seeing things: “a sight for sore eyes” and “I can’t stand the sight of you” as quick examples. Vision is an important part of our interpretation of the world. Therefore, the quality of your vision will impact that quality of your life.

However, with the busy lives we lead, how do we find time to visit an optometrist to do a potentially time-intensive eye-exam? And how much do eye glasses cost? Can you buy a quality pair of glasses for under $100? Just the thought of another exam after school and forking out a ton of money is enough to put most people off. Suddenly, squinting in front of the flat screen isn’t such an inconvenience.

The good news is that there are a lot of misconceptions about glasses and purchasing them. Below we’ll dispel the myths and separate fact from fiction.

Where Do I Start With Eyeglasses?
How Much Do Eye Glasses Cost?Before you go out looking for the trendiest frames to fit your face, you’re going to need some important information. This comes in the form of an eye-exam. Relax; this is no written test. In fact, all you have to do is answer simple “yes” “no” questions and look through a contraption made of steel and a dizzying collection of dials and lenses. The best part is, by the end of about 20 to 30 minutes, you’re on your way to seeing a whole lot better.

By booking an eye exam with a licensed optometrist, you ensure that you’ll have a set of readings about your eyes that are accurate. This is called your prescription and it’s yours to keep. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t walk away with it, because after you’ve paid for your eye test, that information is legally yours.

At this point, you’ve done 50% of the work. The rest lies in the choosing of frames and picking the right types of lenses. Here is where the bulk of eyeglass choices really open up for you.

How Much Do Eyeglasses Cost? Buying Eyeglasses Online vs In-Store
With your eye exam prescription in your hand, you can now decide what sort of frames you want and which ones compliment your face shape. Doing this online is going to be cheaper. Since online retailers dont have to content with expensive real storefront real estate, they are able to sell glasses at a lower profit margin. You will find the average pair of glasses found online will be cheaper than a storefront.

How Much Do Eyeglasses CostHowever, buying online comes with its own set of problems. First, you’re only seeing a photograph of frames. We all know that photos can be misleading. This means that how it looks when you receive it could be a problem. Secondly, you won’t know exactly how they look on your face. Thirdly, you’ll need to know the jargon around “coated” vs “non-coated” lenses, types of lenses and lens materials. But with a bit of research, you’ll understand all of these terms and be able to make a good decision. If you insist on purchasing online, we did a review on Warby Parker you should read.

When you buy eyeglass frames in a store you have the benefit of an optician helping you through your decisions. You also get to try the frames out in front of mirrors, changing the angles and looking at the frames from every direction. It is also beneficial should you want to return it should you change your mind. Lastly, should the glasses break or need to be adjusted, walking into a physical store for service is optimal. This is an incredibly difficult decision to make for most people. If you’re the sort of person who needs time to make decisions, instore eyeglass shopping is your safest option.

How much do eyeglasses cost?

So how much does it cost for glasses? Whichever way you look at it, you’re going to spend, on average, $150 for your eyeglasses. If you’re spendthrift you can get a new pair for about $100, but if you’re looking for designer-wear frames, the price can increase to as much as $500. Remember, this is the cost of the frame only. It can be between $40 up to $300 for the lens. Factors include no glare, a lighter polycarbonate, or progressive lenses.

The difference is that buying online will cut out sales consultant commissions and the price of running a store. So, look at paying anywhere from 10-30% less online. But remember that this saving could cost you if you don’t like your frames or have an issue with them. A store is always easy to visit. Some online stores have great exchange programs, but now you have to ship them back. So before you buy your frames and lenses, take a look at their exchange policies.

The Result
You’re going to need to ask yourself a few pertinent questions: do you want to save money or time? Do you want quality and peace of mind? If you want to save time and money, buying online could be the way to go for you. But if you want quality and peace of mind, buying in a brick-and-mortar store is probably the way to go.

Article: How Much Do Eyeglasses Cost?

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3 Comments

  1. Like clothes, it depends on several factors. A complete pair of glasses with lenses and frames can run you between $100 to $500. The factors that determine the price are the type of frame, frame brand, lens material, lens type and coatings. Coatings like no glare or Transitions which turn your glasses into sunglasses cost more. Also the lens type has a substantial impact on price. A singe vision prescription is much cheaper than bi-focals or progressives (no line)

  2. I am an Optometrist. Single vision glasses start at $100 and go up from there. There are a ton of discount retailers offering extremely low prices for 2 pairs. But you get what you pay for. Remember that glasses are not a toy, they are a medical necessity. So don’t get suckered into deal that are too good to be true.

  3. I always thought it was cheaper to order online but it’s actually not really. Warby Parker sells single vision glasses for $100 and progressive (no line bifocals) with lenses for $350. This is about what you would pay in a brick and mortar store. BUT it’s worth having a physical place for break fix support.

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