Best Eyeglasses

Updated March 2021
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
14 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
129 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best eyeglasses

We can't all have 20/20 vision, but eyeglasses can correct simple sight problems to let you see clearly. Not only are glasses essential for nearsighted and farsighted individuals, but they can also look great and become part of your personal style. Some people buy eyeglasses with clear, non-prescription lenses, which is a testament to the fact that glasses are just plain cool.

If you're buying eyeglasses to correct your vision, the first factor to concern yourself with is your prescription. Make sure your current prescription is up-to-date — otherwise you'll need a vision test to have your prescription renewed or updated. Frame style is important because it can make a huge difference in your appearance — there's no right or wrong here, though, just what you like best.

We'll cover all this and much more in this guide to the best eyeglasses. When you're ready to buy, check out some of our favorite online glasses retailers where you can find your perfect specs.

I1 
All eyeglass prescriptions have an expiration date. This is usually one year from your vision test, but the optometrist writing the prescription can choose a nearer or further expiration depending on your circumstances.

Key considerations

Prescription

To find the right strength of eyeglasses to correct your vision, you'll need to have your vision tested by an optometrist, who will give you a prescription. Some internet eyeglass sellers offer online vision tests, but these are only suitable for people who have an existing, out-of-date prescription that needs renewing. If the online vision test shows your vision is unchanged from the time of your last test, the optometrist who reviews it can renew your prescription, but you can't get a whole new prescription online.

A glasses prescription is divided into a few different categories, each of which relates to a different part of your vision and tells the professional reading the prescription how to make glasses that will perfectly correct your vision.

  • Sphere (SPH) shows how strong your correction must be and whether you're nearsighted or farsighted. A minus sign before the number indicates that you're nearsighted (can see close objects clearly but distant objects are blurred), while a plus sign before the number indicates that you're farsighted (can see distant objects clearly but struggle with close-up reading). The higher the SPH number, the stronger the correction.
  • Cylinder (CYL) indicates whether you have an astigmatism, which is an irregularly shaped cornea. If you have no astigmatism, this box on your prescription will be blank. If it contains a number, a small number indicates a slight astigmatism, while a large number indicates a more serious astigmatism.
  • AXIS will only be filled out if you have an astigmatism. It's the measurement of the direction of the astigmatism in degrees, which helps the technician correctly position your lenses.
  • Pupillary distance (PD) is the distance between your pupils. This isn't always filled out because it doesn't matter all that much for average prescriptions, but it can be extremely helpful if you have a strong prescription.
  • Prism and base aren't usually filled out on an eyeglass prescription unless your eyes don't work well as a pair. The prism measurement shows the degree of correction you need. The base reading shows the direction of the prism required in your lenses.

Frame style

Some people will tell you to choose a frame style based on your face shape, but we believe that anyone can rock whichever glasses they like best, regardless of whether they have a square or heart-shaped face. If you already have a favorite frame style, you're ahead of the pack. If not, you'll need to decide what appeals to you.

Rounded frames can range from truly circular to irregular oval shapes that are pleasantly rounded but not as dramatic as completely round frames. You also have more angular square and rectangular frames, which some people prefer over rounded options. The wayfarer shape is a timeless classic, as is the aviator, which is a bolder choice for eyeglasses than sunglasses but has a cool retro look. Horn-rimmed glasses have a thick top half to the frame, while the bottom of the frame, below the arms, is either rimless or has a discreet wire rim.

Lenses

Most eyeglasses are sold with a basic lens package. These lenses will be of a standard thickness and uncoated. This might be fine for occasional use, but folks who wear their glasses all day will soon tire of such basic options. Standard-thickness lenses are fine for slight to moderate prescriptions, but with strong prescriptions, it will result in extremely thick lenses that distort the eye. In this case, upgrading to thinner lenses is ideal.

At the very least, most glasses wearers want an anti-glare coating on their lenses to eliminate reflections on the front and rear of each lens. Scratch-resistant coating decreases the chance that you'll scratch and damage your lenses. Anti-fog coating is highly beneficial if you live in a cool climate and find your glasses often steam up when you step from the cold outdoors into a warm environment. You'll also find UV-protective coatings, hydrophobic coatings that repel water, and oleophobic coatings that repel dirt and grease.

Dyk1
Did You Know?
Some online retailers accept vision insurance, so you might end up paying even less for your glasses.
Staff
BestReviews

Features

Frame materials

Plastic is a popular material for eyeglass frames because it's easy to mold into a range of shapes and is conducive to making the thick-framed glasses that have enjoyed popularity for the last decade or so. If you prefer a thinner frame, you can choose from a range of metal options.

Frame color

It's up to you whether you want to go for subtle black, brown, tortoiseshell, or a bold hue like red or yellow. Most people opt for the former, but this is where you can let your personality shine.

Check the frame dimensions of any glasses you buy online to make sure they're the right size for your face.

Staff
BestReviews

Eyeglasses prices

You can find eyeglasses to suit a wide range of budgets, with some great value options available online. Bear in mind, however, that you'll need to pay more for extras, such as anti-glare lenses or transitions tints.

Inexpensive: You can find some basic glasses for $20 to $50. You should get a range of frame styles to choose from at this price point, but the frames can feel somewhat flimsy.

Mid-priced: For $50 to $100, you can find a huge variety of eyeglasses with any frame shape you can think of. They should feel sturdy and look good.

Expensive: High-end frames cost between $100 and $400. Most options in this price range come from well-known or designer brands.

Dyk2 
Did You Know?
If you're both nearsighted and farsighted, bifocal and varifocal lenses let you see near and far in one pair of glasses, but they can take a bit of getting used to.
Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • Some online services allow you to try glasses frames before you buy. They send you a test pair of eyeglasses in a style of your choice so you can decide if you like the way they look before committing to buying.
  • Don't just follow the latest trends; choose a pair of glasses that you genuinely like and think suit you. It can get expensive to replace your glasses every season when a new style comes into fashion. For many people, it's best to stick to timeless styles.
  • Choose an online glasses retailer with a comprehensive returns policy. That way, if you don't like your glasses when they arrive or they're uncomfortable to wear, you will not have wasted your money.
  • You can often find retailers offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal. It's useful to have a backup pair of glasses in case something goes wrong with the first or to simply change up your style.
I2 
Even if you usually wear contact lenses, you may wish to own a pair of glasses as a backup in case you run out of contacts or are unable to wear them for a day or two due to eye irritation.

FAQ

Q. Will I need a prescription to buy eyeglasses?

A. Yes. To buy glasses from a dedicated retailer or online optometrist, you'll need a prescription. You can buy basic reading glasses without a prescription if you know what strength you need, but these are only good for occasional use. If you don't already have a prescription, you'll need to visit an optometrist. Not only do optometrists test your vision, they also check your eye health, so it's worth getting checked regularly to find problems early.

Q. How long will it take for my new glasses to arrive?

A. This depends on a range of factors, such as the company you buy from, the complexity of your prescription, and where the glasses are shipping from. If you choose a reputable manufacturer that makes its glasses in-country, you could receive your new pair within five working days. If you buy from an overseas company, it could take four or more weeks to ship your glasses to you.

Q. Do kids need different eyeglasses from adults?

A. Yes. Children have smaller faces, so if you're buying for a child, make sure to choose frames designed specifically for children. Some kids' eyeglasses feature whimsical designs, such as superhero or Disney character prints. They should also have UV protective coating since people under 16 years of age are more susceptible to eye damage from UV rays. Once kids reach their teenage years, they'll eventually need to transition to adult glasses.

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey

Our Top Picks