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Quick notes:

  • In the middle of the discount price range, with the bulk of glasses coming to $37 (shipped worldwide) with free 1.56 index single-vision lenses, free AR and free UV coatings.
  • Historically known for lens quality when it came to high prescriptions.
  • High Indexes offered – with indexes up to 1.8 and 1.9, they offer some of the thinnest glasses for those with high prescriptions
  • Located in HK.
  • Pricing for lens upgrades tends to be on the higher side.
  • Site has not changed in years – because other retailers have made improvements over time, Optical4less has become one of the least new-user-friendly sites by current standards.



Optical4less is located in Hong Kong. Pricing in USD. They sell single-vision, bi-focal, and progressive glasses, as well as a minor selection of contact lenses. Their only methods of contact are via on-line forms for which you have to register. They accept Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, and Paypal. Being located outside of the US, they are not listed with the BBB.



Optical4less has historically had a focus on lens quality. Their prices have never been the absolute lowest, but they maintained a competitive level at $29.00, complete with AR, anti-scratch, and UV coatings plus $8 for worldwide shipping. A large number of their frames are continuously listed as “overstock specials” at $15. They offer some of the highest index (thinnest) lens’s available, at a higher price – all the way up to an index of 1.9 which is a plus for people with strong prescriptions who don’t like thick glasses. Their website is full of information, but lacks polish in a number of areas.

All that said, the availability of current information about them has dwindled over time. If anything, I’d say they’ve probably become less popular, which is a bit of a shame. Chances are that I’ll have to order from them again myself to get a current look at things.

The majority of their metal and plastic frames are $29.00 which includes single-vision lenses. They offer a variety of other frames (rimless, titanium, bendable, hingeless etc) but they generally cost between $10-30 more depending on what your’re looking for. The majority of their frames are offered in 2-6 different colors which vary depending on the frame selected.

Single-vision lenses come free with the frame. There are 4 different index’s for single-vision plastic lenses from 1.56-1.74 (one of which is polycarbonate), and 2 very-high-indexes for single-vision glass lenses (1.8 and 1.9). Photochromic lenses are offered in 7 different colors for single-vision lenses, and 2 colors for progressives. They have a massive tint selection including a mirror coating option. Lens brands listed include AS Hi-Max®, GIA®, DAGAS®, PRECISION®, Appolosoft®, and GN®.


Website and Ordering:

The Optical4less website is fairly easy to navigate though the design is clearly dated. Some things are likely to cause unnecessary confusion for first-time buyers though at first glance. The information’s great – it’s the presentation that could use work. Aside from that, the browsing experience is quite good. It’s easy to narrow down what you’re looking for, there’s plenty of information about each frame

Going through the order process is fairly easy, though quite bland.. Choosing a frame color automatically changes it in the display. Measurements are shown as well. When choosing a lens type, clicking on the link brings up excellent information about what prescriptions each lens is suited for, where your prescriptions strength “fits in”, and in some cases, pros and cons about the particular lens.

While good solid technical information is available, the information on taking your own PD is easy-to-miss and lacks any sort of picture to help in that area. No information is given about reading your prescription either. The result is that anyone new to buying glasses online will have to figure things out on their own, as the site does not help you along in that area. On the other hand, those who have bought glasses online before will probably be satisfied with the information provided.


Pricing and Value:

Optical4less is very middle-road when it comes to pricing. Their largest strength is in the ultra-high indexes offered – 1.8 and 1.9 are virtually impossible to find elsewhere.

Because shipping is a flat $8 worldwide and AR/UV are included free on all lenses (simplicity at it’s finest), gauging your total price beforehand is a little easier than with some other retailers.

Prices below based on $29 frames – because Optical4less has not changed their prices in years, I’ve re-used the old chart and simply removed the lenses they no longer offer.

Single-Vision Frames & Lenses $29.00 (free lenses)
1.56 Standard included
1.6 Polycarbonate +35.00
1.67 Aspheric Ultrathin +35.00
1.74 Aspheric Universe +198.00
1.8 Super High index glass +88.00
1.9 Extreme High index glass +178.00
1.56 Photochromic (grey/brown) +59.00
1.56 Photochromic (blue/purple/green/red/orange) +99.00
Bifocal/Progressive Frames & Lenses $92.00 ($29 + $63 lenses)
1.56 Bifocal included
1.6 Polycarbonate progressive +115.00
1.50 PRECISION progressive +155.00
1.53 PRECISION SAFEWEAR (unbreakable) progressive +205.00
1.67 PRECISION Super High index progressive +265.00
Customized Polarize progressive (grey/brown/hunter-green) +175.00
1.56 PRECISION Photochromic progressive (grey/brown) +135.00
1.67 PRECISION Photochromic progressive (grey/brown) +335.00
Tint (optional) +8.00
hunter-green, orange, brown, red, grey, purple, royal-blue, yellow, green
Grandient Tint (optional) +12.00
hunter-green, orange, brown, red, grey, purple, royal-blue, yellow, green
Mirror-coating (optional) +39.00
Anti-Radiation coating (optional) +29.00
Multi-coating – AR (anti-reflective), anti-scratch, UV, water proof FREE
Worldwide Shipping $8.00
Woldwide Shipping (2 pairs or more) FREE

Charts are maintained by hand – if you notice any errors, please contact me.


Optical4less is very upfront about additional costs for certain prescriptions.

  • $59 is added if cylinder is lower than -2.75 or higher than +2.75.
  • $3 is added for each degree of prism correction on each lens.
  • Photochromic coatings increase by $99 if lens power is lower than -5.00 or higher than +2.00.
  • Tint on 1.67 index lens is $30 more.

All-in-all, they really seem to cater both to those looking for quality glasss on the low end of the price spectrum, those looking for special tint/lens colors, and those who want/need high index’s that have trouble finding them elsewhere.


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Curious as to how things have changed since 2006?
Here is my original writeup from many years ago…

“$29 USD Eyeglasses”



Taken from the FAQ on their site:

All the lens from Optical4less are multi-functional: Thinner and lighter than polycarbonate lens, Anti-reflective coating, Prevent from harmful rays, 100 % UV Protection, Water proof and Scratch Resistant.

Optical4less is located in Hong Kong. Pricing in USD. They carry single-vision and bifocal/multifocal (including progressive) lenses. E-mail and fax are the only methods of communication listed on their website. They accept Visa, Mastercard, and Paypal.



Optical4less is a fairly popular retailer. I was surprised at how many posts I found in forums and on Usenet about the high quality of the glasses people had ordered. I can’t personally vouch for them one way or the other, but it was good to read the positive comments nonetheless.

Single-Vision glasses in most of their Alloy and Plastic frames comes to $29.00. This includes free Scratch resistance, AR-coating, UV protection, and a water proof coating of the lens. Other options such as Rimless, Semi-Rimless, Titanium, Hinge-less, and Rhinestone are available for more (generally $39-59). It’s nice to see Transitions lenses being offered, as well as the option of mirror coating on tinted lenses. Unfortunately, as options are selected, the price quickly begins to rise.

If the quality rumors are true, it would suggest that Optical4less is the place to go for those looking for high-quality glasses, and I would imagine those looking for high-index lenses as well. They also are one of the few who offer mirror-tint and an anti-radiation coating. They are definitely not the cheapest, but a good selection of lens options as well as a high standard of quality could easily make up for that.

For those interested, they also have a “bendable frame demonstration” video available, called bendhigh.wmv.


Frames from $29.00
Single Vision Lenses
Plastic Hi-Index 1.56 AS Hi-Max included
Plastic Ultra thin 1.67 Aspheric Lens DAGAS +$35
Plastic Universe super high index 1.74 Aspheric Lens GN +$198
Plastic Appolo Lenticular / Myodisc Lens (far sight only) +$268
Glass Extrem Rx High index 1.8 +$88
Glass Extrem Rx High index 1.9 +$178
Glass Myothin Lenticular (Myodisc) Lens (short sight only) +$168
Hi-index 1.56 Transitions Lenses +$59
Multi-focal Lenses
Flat top Bifocal +$63
Standard Multi-focal Progressive Lens Appolosoft +$63
Premium Multi-focal Progressive Lens 1.56 GN @ SWISSCOAT +$98
Super high index 1.67 Multi-focal progressive Lens GN +$178
Appolosoft Transitions Lenses +$152
GN 1.56 high index Transitions Lenses +$187
Premium Multi-coating (AR, scratch, waterproof) included
Premium Anti Radiation Multi-coating (recommended for computer use) +$29
Tint +$8
Gradient Tint +$12
Mirror Coating +$39
Standard Clip-on Sunlens +$25
Ultimate Clip-on Sunlens +$49
Global Priority Shipping +$8
Global Priority Shipping (2 pairs or more) FREE

A pair of single vision lenses without any add-ons (although free AR, scratch, waterproofing) is $37.00 after shipping worldwide. Basic Bifocals/Multi-focals are $100 after shipping worldwide.


Website Ratings

Category Rating Details
Website Great While at times it lacks a ‘polished’ feel, the site is easy to navigate. They offer good lens information, and most of their information pages are set up fairly well. When browsing through the frames, they have mini icons for things like “Hi-Rx” “Reader” and “Kids”. Clicking on a frame brings up the information page for the particular model with measurements that are very easy to interpret. You can view the frames in the available colors, and view it from a few different angles. While going through the order process, it takes you through one step at a time. Fairly easy to follow, and helps to keep things from looking cluttered (which it might if they presented all the options at once).
Selection Good There is a nice selection and variety of frames. Unfortunately there are a couple categories that only have 4 frames or so offered, but most people will probably be able to find something suitable.
Frame Info Great Dimensions, material and color were given. The fact that they have different frame angles viewable, and that the dimensions are nicely laid out goes favorably for the site.
Lens Options Great Optical4less carries a selection which seems to focus on high-index lenses. They carry Transitions lenses, have a nice selection of tinted lenses, and even sell a mirror-tint. Scratch, UV and AR coatings are all free, and you can opt to pay extra for an anti-radiation coating.
Value Good $37 after shipping for a plain pair of lenses with coatings is a pretty decent price. Not as great as some other sites, but still not bad. As soon as you start adding options though, the price starts to fly. In fact, stepping up to the next lens option almost doubles the price. That being said, I have read quite a few times that the quality of their glasses is quite high, which if true, could make it entirely worth the price.


Click here to go to the Optical4less purchase review



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