Quick comparison

To try and keep things organized, I’ve moved this from the main page. Note that it is only updated periodically, so between that and any mistakes I may have made, it might not be 100% accurate!

Note: It is important to keep in mind that the table below is not a good apples-to-apples comparison. It’s been added due to requests, but here are a few reasons why you should not rely on it:

  • The total price is a little “ballpark”. It uses a price point where a healthy number of frames exist. But you might find frames for less money, or might have to spend more to find something you like.
  • Retailers all carry multiple lens “indexes” (thicknesses) at various price points. I have only listed the “bottom end” (thickest, and cheapest) indexes that each offers.
  • Shipping is based on the US-shipping. Some retailers charge the same for international shipping, and some charge more.
  • These do not take into account the ease-of-use of the site, retailer’s reputation, the quality of the lenses/coatings, etc. You’ll have to read reviews for those, though I have provided links to the reviews on the site on the right-hand columns to make it a little easier.
  • The table doesn’t list varifocal/progressives. Or total frame offerings. Or a number of other lens options. I didn’t want the table to get too massive just yet, and just wanted to provide ballpark at-a-glance figures.

Again, I urge you not to rely solely on the chart to make your purchase decisions! Read up on the retailers, check a few out, and make a well-informed decision!

If people are finding the chart helpful, I may eventually expand on it. If not, it might disappear at some point in the future, as some retailers change their offerings/prices frequently and it’s really tough for me to keep on top of things. Send me a message if you have strong feelings one way or the other.

retailerBBB ratingTotal (incl shipping) for cheapest single-vision glassesTotal (incl shipping) for cheapest bi-focal glassesUV & AR coatingsNotes:Information PageReviews
39 Dollar GlassesA+$44 (1.59 index)$94 (1.59 index)free / $25Base lenses are polycarbonate (virtually shatterproof). Most new-user friendly eyeglass retailer on the web.info pagereviews
Zenni OpticalA+$12 (1.57 index)$29 (1.50 index)free / $5Most popular discount eyeglass retailer on the web.info pagereviews
Goggles4uA+$17 (1.57 index)$35 (1.56 index)free / $5Carries over 3000 frames. A few designer brands available. Historically known for interesting “cloth bag” envelopes which were always a conversation starter.info pagereviews
Frames DirectA-approx $195approx $225$15 / $45Only carries high end name brand designer frames (largest selection of any retailer). Most popular name-brand retailer on the web. Since all designer frames vary in price, the listed total is based upon $150 frames.info page
EyeBuyDirectF$13 (1.50 index)$32 (1.50 index)$5 / $7Runs frequent 2-for-1 sales (appears to have pioneered the concept).info pagereviews
GlassesShopunavailable$20 (1.50 index)$40 (1.50 index)$5 / $5Runs frequent 2-for-1 sales.info pagereviews
CoastalB+$62 (1.59 index)$113 (1.58 index)free / freePrice includes 7% handling fee. Carries a selection of name-brand designer wear as well. Has ongoing “first pair free” promotion (appears to have pionnered the concept).info pagereviews
GlassesUSAF$48 (1.50 index)$137 (1.50 index)$29 (UV + AR)Carries medium selection of designer brandsinfo page
Global EyeglassesF$25 (1.50 index)$44 (1.50 index)$5 / $10Growing somewhat in popularity over time.info pagereviews
Great EyeglassesA$18 (1.56 index)$39 (1.56 index)free / $10Site has a retro “60′s” theme (bit of a must-see in my opinion).info pagereviews
Eyeglass DirectB+$33 (1.50 index)$74 (1.50 index)free / $28Has local storefront in Brooklyn NY and offers “pickup” as shipping option.info pagereviews
Optical4lessunavailable$37 (1.56 index)$100 (1.56 index)free / freeCarries indexes up to 1.9. Was previously known for excellent lens craftsmanship especially with complex prescriptions, though there are rumours that may have changed.info pagereviews
SelectSpecsF$24 (1.56 index)$51 (1.50 index)free / freeBased in UK, has US/Can/Germany offices. Quite popular.info pagereviews
Eyeglass Factory OutletF$40 (1.50 index)$55 (1.50 index)free / $40Used to run an eBay storefront as well.info pagereviews
Choice EyewearF$20 (1.56 index)$40 (1.56 index)free / $5Formerly known as LBW Eyewear.info page
MyGlassesunavailable$34 (1.50 index)$46 (1.50 index)free / $22info page
SpecsOnTheNetunavailable$41 (1.50 index)$79 (1.50 index)free / $16Based in UK, only 17 frames available.info pagereviews

If you notice errors, please send me a quick email via the Contact Me! page.

 

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Curious as to how things have changed since 2006?
Here is the original comparison page from many years ago. The emphasis was different back then, and the info is outdated so take it for what it’s worth…


Eyeglass Retailer Comparisons

Introduction

Now that you’ve seen information on each and every glasses retailer, it’s time to cram it all in one place. So what’s the purpose of this page? Simple, it’s designed to give you information at a quick glance, and to help you make comparisons between the retailers as well.

So without further ado… here are the comparison charts!

 

Location

United StatesUnited KingdomPakistanHong Kong
Zenni Optical1X
39DollarGlassesX
Goggles4uX2X3
Optical4lessX
EyeGlassesWorldX
MyOpticsX
SelectSpecsX
Eyeglass Factory OutletX
SpecsOnTheNetX
VALUEglassesX
Eyeglass DirectX
EyeBuyDirect.comX
1 Zenni Optical only ships to the US and Canada
2 Goggles4u has an office located in US
3 the Goggles4u production facility is located in Pakistan

Accepted Methods of Payment

PaypalVisaM/CAmExDiscoverDeltaDiner’s ClubJCBMaestroCarte BlancheSwitchSoloenRouteAustralian BankCardNoChex
Zenni OpticalXXXXXXXXXXX
39DollarGlassesXXXX
Goggles4uXXXXXXX
Optical4lessXXX
EyeGlassesWorldXXXXX
MyOptics1XXXXXX
SelectSpecs2XXXXXXXXX
Eyeglass Factory OutletXXXXX
SpecsOnTheNetXXX
VALUEglassesXXXXX
Eyeglass DirectXXXX
EyeBuyDirect.comXXXXX
1 MyOptics accepts Paypal, Cheque, and Postal order, but you must visit the Help/PaymentOptions section of their website for more details
2 UK residents may pay SelectSpecs by cheque

Single Vision Lenses Offered

PolycarbonateLenses available with Index of 1.60 or higherARTintPolarizedPhotochromic
Zenni OpticalXXXX
39DollarGlassesXXXXXX
Goggles4uXXX
Optical4lessXXX1X
EyeGlassesWorldXXXX
MyOpticsXXXX
SelectSpecsXXXX
Eyeglass Factory OutletX?XXXX
SpecsOnTheNetXXXXX
VALUEglassesXXXXX
Eyeglass DirectXXXXX
EyeBuyDirect.comXXXX
1 Optical4less also has a mirror-tint available.

Bifocal Lenses Offered

Progressive Lenses AvailableLenses available with Index of 1.60 or higherPolycarbonateARTintPolarizedPhotochromic
Zenni OpticalXXXX
39DollarGlassesXXXXXX
Goggles4uXXXX
Optical4lessXXXX1X
EyeGlassesWorldXXXXXX
MyOptics
SelectSpecsXX
Eyeglass Factory OutletX?XXXXX
SpecsOnTheNet
VALUEglassesXXXX
Eyeglass DirectXXXXX
EyeBuyDirect.comXXXXX2
1 Optical4less also has a mirror-tint available.
2 Based on what EyeBuyDirect.com’s site allows and doesn’t allow you to select, it seems that the Photochromic option is only offered on Progressives (not regular bi-focals). It would be prudent to double check with EyeBuyDirect.com before ordering though.

Price after shipping to the US (cheapest pair of glasses) 
(prices subject to error, change, and varying exchange rates)

Single VisionBifocalProgressiveNotes
Zenni Optical$23.95$42.95$62.95
39DollarGlasses$44.95$84.95$143.95
Goggles4u$25.99$47.99$61.99free AR coating
Optical4less$37.00$100.00$100.00free AR coating
EyeGlassesWorld$25.00$39.00$74.95
MyOptics1$36.00
SelectSpecs2$28.98$65.79free AR coating
Eyeglass Factory Outlet$39.50$54.50$124.50
SpecsOnTheNet$25.00
VALUEglasses$30.93$55.93$95.93
Eyeglass Direct$42.95$83.95$89.95
EyeBuyDirect.com$19.90$38.90$58.90
1 price is approximate, based on £20.00 base price
2 price is approximate, based on £15.75, £35.75 base prices

Price after shipping Internationally (cheapest pair of glasses)
(prices subject to error, change, and varying exchange rates)

Single VisionBifocalProgressiveNotes
Zenni Optical$28.00$47.00$67.00US/Canada only?
39DollarGlasses$46.95$86.95$145.95
Goggles4u$25.99$47.99$61.99free AR coating
Optical4less$37.00$100.00$100.00free AR coating
EyeGlassesWorld$25.00$39.00$74.95international shipping price may be incorrect
MyOptics1$36.00
SelectSpecs2$28.98$65.79free AR coating
Eyeglass Factory Outlet$44.45$59.45$124.50
SpecsOnTheNet$25.00
VALUEglasses$32.93$57.93$97.93
Eyeglass Direct$45.95$86.95$92.95
EyeBuyDirect.com3$29.90$48.90$68.90
1 price is approximate, based on £20.00 base price. MyOptics has free shipping to the UK, bringing the price down to £15.00 shipped in the UK.
2 price is approximate, based on £15.75, £35.75 base prices. SelectSpecs has cheaper shipping to the UK, brining the price down to £13.95, £33.95 shipped in the UK.
3 price approximate, based on shipping to France.

 

 

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