The founders of GlassesUSA had a vision: What if people could easily buy designer and brand-name prescription glasses and sunglasses at an affordable price?
In 2009, they set out to correct the vision industry and make that possible by launching GlassesUSA, an online retailer for prescription eyewear. By removing the middleman from the typical supply chain, the company says it offers more options at lower prices.
So is GlassesUSA a sight for sore eyes or too good to be true? We took a close look at the company’s products and buying process so you can clearly see if it’s right for you.
• Tech yea. From a virtual try-on feature to the ability to scan in your prescriptions, the company uses tech to make shopping for eyewear online easy and convenient.
• Options aplenty. The brand sells prescription glasses, sunglasses, sports glasses, kid’s glasses, and contact lenses in an array of shapes, colors, and sizes. Turn any pair of eyeglasses into sunglasses or transitions or add coatings that block blue light, protect from damage, and make cleaning easier.
• Legit AF. No shady business here. GlassesUSA is a certified reseller for a large variety of brands and designers so you know your glasses are the real deal.
• Hello, eye candy. The company publishes blogs with the latest trends and videos explaining how to pick the right frames for your face shape, skin tone, hair, and eye color — helping you find a look that’s sure to turn heads.
• See good and feel good. GlassesUSA has partnerships to support LGBTQIA+ youth and the fight against childhood cancer and breast cancer. It also has a program to help those who need vision correction but can’t afford it.
• Planet-friendly. Even your eyewear can go green. The company offers frames made of hemp, coffee, wood, fishing nets found in the ocean, and recycled plastic.
• Money down. If you have vision insurance, you can use it — but only by submitting a claim for reimbursement after purchase.
• Only online. Kiss the days of perusing frame displays goodbye. GlassesUSA doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar stores where you can really get a feel for a pair of glasses before you purchase.
• Updated Rx. You can’t take an eye exam online (yet), so make sure you have an updated prescription. Using an outdated one could leave life looking a little blurry.
From what the brand sells to what reviewers say, here’s the rundown on the goods at GlassesUSA.
Whether your vision needs a boost or specs are simply part of your look, GlassesUSA’s got glasses galore. Shop brands like Ray-Ban, Gucci, Versace, Michael Kors, Muse, and Prada, just to name a few. Choose from rectangle, aviator, round, and cat-eye shaped frames that come in all kinds of colors.
All frames include single-vision lenses, but bifocal, multifocal, and progressive lenses are available too. And you can add special coatings to help your glasses last longer and protect your eyes from the sun and all that screen time.
Overall, customers love the virtual try-on feature and are happy with their new glasses. But some reviewers say the frames are more lightweight than they expected.
Customization is king when it comes to the sunglass selection at GlassesUSA. The company sells prescription and nonprescription shades — and picking your frames is only the beginning. You’ll build your perfect pair by choosing your:
• frame color
• lens thickness
• lens color
• polarized effect
• mirrored effect
Reviews are mostly positive, with customers loving the quality and fit of their sunglasses. They say their prescription is on point and many say the polarized or mirrored effects are well worth the extra money.
GlassesUSA sells daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly contacts from all the major brands, including Acuvue, Dailies, Air Optix, Proclear, and Biofinity.
Contacts are available in:
• single vision
Customers praise how easy the ordering process is and love the low price point. They’re also grateful for how quickly they got their new contacts.
On average, GlassesUSA prices run higher than other online retailers, like Zenni Optical and EyeBuyDirect. But considering the designers available, the costs are quite reasonable. And, with a range running from $39 up to $830, you can pretty much pick your price point.
Each frame comes with free, single vision lenses, but bifocal, multifocal, and progressive lenses are available for an additional fee ($99 to $169). You can upgrade your lenses even more with add-ons ($29 to $129) like:
• scratch-resistant coating
• UV protective coating
• anti-reflective coating
• impact-resistant coating
• water-resistant coating for easier cleaning
• blue-light-blocking lenses
• transition lenses
Sunglasses on GlassesUSA range from $24 to $674 depending on the designer you choose. The base price for all sunglasses is for nonprescription lenses, but you can upgrade to prescription lenses for an additional fee ($49 to $169).
Prescription sunglasses come as:
• single vision
• near vision
Two words when it comes to buying contacts on GlassesUSA: price match. If you buy your contacts with GlassesUSA and then find the same product for a lower price on another site, the company will refund 110 percent of the difference. Plus, shipping is free and there’s no order minimum.
Okay, so how does it work exactly?
1. Check your insurance. If you have vision insurance and plan to submit for reimbursement, check with your carrier first to see what products are eligible.
2. Shop till you drop. Browse through different frames and try them on virtually until you find the ones you want.
3. Choose frame color. Many frames come with several color options and combinations.
4. Select frame size. You’ll get instructions on how to find your frame size on your current pair of glasses. If you don’t already have glasses, use the virtual try-on feature to pick a frame size.
5. Pick your lens type. Do you need single vision, reading, progressive, bifocal, or are they just for blocking blue light (or fashion!)?
6. Give your prescription information. Input, upload, or scan it — just make sure it’s updated and not expired (prescriptions usually last 1 to 2 years).
7. Customize your lenses. Upgrade your lenses with protective coatings or transform them into sunglasses or transition glasses.
8. Pay. Pay in full or choose a payment plan.
9. Submit insurance claim. You’re on your own for this, but GlassesUSA does give the claim forms for some major insurance carriers and step-by-step instructions on how to submit it. The company says you should be reimbursed within 2 to 3 weeks.
That’s it! Time to sit back and wait for your new eyes to arrive.
Production times depend on the lens type, but GlassesUSA says the standard is 3 to 6 business days. Add 7 to 10 days for shipping and your glasses should be at your doorstep in less than a month. Or pay for faster shipping to get them quicker.
Ordering contacts is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Err, 4:
1. Choose your contacts.
2. Input or upload your prescription. (Make sure you have a contact lens prescription!)
3. Select your quantity.
You’ll have the option to save your order info so you can easily reorder when needed.
GlassesUSA has its eyes on the prize with its company policies:
• Free shipping. Plus, no order minimum.
• Free returns. You’ll receive a prepaid shipping label.
• 100 percent money back guaranteed. You have 14 days with eyeglasses and sunglasses and 30 days with contacts to decide if you’re happy with your new eyewear. If not, GlassesUSA will give you a full refund, store credit, or exchange your product for something else. No questions asked.
• 365-day warranty. The factory warranty covers any defect in the frame or lens that isn’t due to wear and tear or mishandling. You can up your warranty to cover damages from wear and tear or changes in prescription for $14.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives GlassesUSA a B rating. The company has racked up a lot of complaints about customer service communication, issues with replacements, and customers receiving the wrong product.
However, the brand appears to answer every complaint and make a real effort to fix the issue. And it often offers upgraded lenses or express shipping to make up for the inconvenience.
Looking for more optical options? Here are some other online eyewear brands to check out.
• EyeBuyDirect has a lot of options at every price point.
• Zenni Optical offers bargain glasses and a 3D try-on experience.
• Warby Parker lets you try five frames at home for free before you buy.
• Eyeconic has a large selection of popular designer prescription and nonprescription eyewear.
• Blenders Eyewear has a fun and colorful selection of eyeglasses, sunglasses, and even ski goggles.
GlassesUSA appears to be a prescription for an easy, enjoyable experience buying eyewear online. With a massive variety of products and customization options, it’ll be hard not to find your new favorite frames.
Our verdict: Try some specs from GlassesUSA and your future will be so bright, you’ll have to wear shades.