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GlassesUSA Review: How to Order Glasses and Contacts Online
Jun 07, 2023
We mystery shopped GlassesUSA to provide a comprehensive review of the ordering process, costs, customer service, and more.
PhD, Senior Director of Healthy Aging Innovations at NCOA
Thousands of frames, starting at $39
Free shipping and returns
24/7 customer service
GlassesUSA sells online prescription glasses, contact lenses, readers, and sunglasses, with a wide variety of affordable frames, as well as pricier designer options.
Shipping and returns are free, and there are discounts for first responders, nurses, teachers, adults 65 and older, veterans, and active duty military.
We found it easy to order from GlassesUSA and appreciated their 24/7 customer service.
GlassesUSA is a popular retailer of online glasses and contacts, offering thousands of frames for reading glasses, prescription glasses, and sunglasses. The retailer also sells 19 brands of contact lenses, including its own in-house brand called Vista, which you can try for $1. Our Reviews Team named GlassesUSA our “Editor’s Pick” in our review of the top online glasses retailers. We also named the brand “Best Selection” in our review of the best online contact lens retailers. This review goes into detail on the website’s frame-selection process, how to upload your prescription, the cost of glasses, whether you can use vision insurance, and more.
Why you can trust our Reviews Team’s expert review
Our Reviews Team recommends products and services we believe provide value in the lives of our readers. We have performed hours of in-depth, independent research to help inform your online search for glasses. To make our selections, we:
Engaged in independent research
Mystery shopped eight retailers and more than 16 models of online glasses to evaluate customer features like try-on options, online vision exams, and overall customer service
ProsLarge selection of framesOffers a variety of discountsLive virtual try-on featureAccepts insuranceFree shipping and returns
ConsShort (14-day) return window for refundsCustomer complaints about shipping delays
GlassesUSA ordering process
Whether you are ordering prescription glasses, reading glasses, or contacts, the GlassesUSA process is simple.
For prescription glasses, you’ll need to:
Obtain a prescription. All orders of prescription lenses need a current, valid prescription. Yearly medical eye exams are important for older adults, who are at higher risk for medical eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic eye disease.1 Your prescription must include your pupillary distance (PD), which is the distance between the center of your pupils (the black circles in the center of your eyes). If your prescription does not include this information, you can use the GlassesUSA how-to guide to measuring PD.
Select frames. When choosing your frames, you need to consider the style, material, color, and price, as well as the size of your face and the type of lenses you require. Not every frame will be available in every size or lens type. For instance, glasses with very small frames are not suitable for multifocal lenses. GlassesUSA allows you to shop, sort, and filter by brand, color, material, frame shape, frame type (full versus rimless), lens type, and size.
If you don’t know where to start, you can use the “Find Your Frame” quiz to narrow down your options. GlassesUSA has a live-mirror virtual try-on feature that records a video of your face in real time as you move your head around to see how the glasses will look on you from different angles.
We tried the live mirror on the GlassesUSA website to see how our glasses would look from all angles.
You may also upload a photo of yourself and view images of your face in different frames.
We also used the virtual try-on option that involves uploading a photo to see how various pairs of glasses look.
Select the type of glasses. Choose from single-vision glasses (for reading or distance) and multifocal glasses (bifocal, trifocal, or progressive ⓘUnlike bifocals and trifocals, progressives lack the visible line separating the different magnification levels. Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology). Single-vision lenses do not add to the price. Selecting bifocal lenses adds $99, and selecting progressive lenses adds $169. If your prescription requires prism lenses ⓘEye doctors sometimes prescribe prism lenses to correct double vision from eye misalignment. Source: AAO, that costs an additional $30. Not all frames can accommodate prism lenses.
After you choose your frames, GlassesUSA will ask you what you plan on using your glasses for, such as for reading or for distance.
Provide your prescription. There are various ways to upload your prescription. One is to use the GlassesUSA free prescription scanner app that’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration.2 It uses your mobile phone’s camera to scan the lens of your current pair of glasses. This should not be used for multifocal prescriptions or high-powered single-vision prescriptions. Alternatively, you may choose to add your prescription details manually, upload a photo of it, or send it to GlassesUSA later. If you choose to send it later, you will receive an email with instructions after you place your order.
GlassesUSA will ask how you want to provide your prescription.
If you choose to add your prescription manually, you’ll need to know the exact number for several eye measurements, including pupillary distance.
Choose a lens package. There are four lens packages to choose from:
Value (1.5-index basic lenses) is included for free
Standard (scratch-resistant, UV-protective, and anti-reflective coatings) for $39
Polycarbonate (thinner, high-impact resistant lenses with coatings) for $69
Premium (super thin lens with all coatings) for $129
The value lens package comes free with your frames, but you can also choose standard, polycarbonate, or premium lenses.
Choose a customization option. GlassesUSA frames include clear lenses for free, while all other lens types include an additional charge, depending on the frames and type of lenses.
After choosing your lens package, you can further customize your lenses by selecting blue-light-blocking, light-adaptive, or sunglasses lenses for an additional charge.
Select available lens coatings. GlasseUSA offers multiple lens coatings, like a super-hydrophobic coating that prevents liquids from smearing and repels grease and fingerprints to keep your glasses cleaner for $14.
After customizing your lenses, GlassesUSA asks whether you want to pay for a super-hydrophobic coating that helps keep lenses clean.
Decide whether you want extended coverage. All GlassesUSA glasses have a limited one-year warranty on manufacturer defects, but you can add one or two years of enhanced coverage against damage, breaks, loss, or a change in your prescription. One year of enhanced coverage is $12, and two years is $24.
You can choose one or two years of extended coverage for your GlassesUSA glasses.
Choose a shipping option. Standard shipping is free and takes seven to 10 days. Expedited shipping is $9.95 and takes five to seven days. Express shipping is $12.95 and takes three to five days.
Standard shipping is free, but you can also choose expedited or express shipping.
If you are ordering reading glasses, a prescription is not necessary, although you can use one if you have it. Without a prescription, you just need to know your lens magnification power. You can get this by visiting an eye doctor or by using the GlassesUSA diopter chart. This is a printable chart that you hold 14 inches away from your face and read top to bottom. The first line that you can read clearly corresponds to the magnification strength you need for reading glasses.
If you are ordering contact lenses, your prescription will tell you what brand and type of contacts to select. GlassesUSA offers 19 brands of contacts, including its own brand, Vista Plus, which is a daily disposable lens that costs $32 for a 30-day supply and includes free shipping. You can try them using a one-time offer of $1 for 10 pairs.
If you want personalized assistance with the ordering process, you can order by phone or the GlassesUSA live chat feature.
Prices on GlassesUSA vary, with frames starting at $39, including basic lenses, and going up to $1,230 for high-end designer brands. Add-ons like special lens types and coatings increase the price. When starting with the $64 Amelia E. Laura frame, we found that, with no add-ons, the total price came out to $44.80 (with the current 30% discount applied). The same frame with the addition of bifocal, premium, blue-light, and super-hydrophobic lenses cost $261.80 after applying the current promotion of 30% off.
GlassesUSA accepts vision insurance from 13 popular providers, including UnitedHealthcare, Anthem, and Humana. It accepts health savings account (HSA) and flexible spending account (FSA) cards, all major credit cards, PayPal, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay. You can also choose to pay for your glasses in four installments over six weeks with no interest through Klarna.
Medicare covers some vision care services, such as a yearly eye exam, but generally does not cover the cost of eyeglasses. If you need help with the cost of glasses or eye exams:
EyeCare America® provides free eye exams and up to one year of care for low-income individuals who qualify.
GlassesUSA has a 14-day free return policy for a full refund, exchange, or store credit if you are not happy with your purchase for any reason. All frames have a one-year warranty, and all lenses have a 90-day warranty. Extended coverage plans against damage, loss, or change in prescription are available for an additional cost of one year for $14 or two years for $25.
GlassesUSA customer service
Around-the-clock assistance is available through live chat on the GlassesUSA website. Phone assistance is available by calling (844-244-1186) between 7 a.m. and 12 a.m. ET daily. There is also an email support option. For questions related to your order, you can email email@example.com. For questions related to a return, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. When we contacted customer service via live chat, we connected with a helpful agent within one minute who answered all of our questions.
Table 1 Comparison of GlassesUSA vs. Eyebuydirect, as of March 2023
Single vision, readers, bifocal, progressive, sunglasses, contacts
Single vision, readers, bifocal, progressive, sunglasses
At the time this article was written, GlassesUSA had 1.31 out of 5 stars from the BBB out of 299 customer reviews. On Trustpilot, it had 4.5 out of 5 stars from more than 52,000 reviews. The vast majority of customers are happy with their purchases and shopping experience. Most complaints are about customer service, issues when processing returns, and delays in shipping.
GlassesUSA is a large online retailer of prescription glasses, reading glasses, and contacts, offering a vast selection of frames with free shipping and returns. Frames range in price, starting at $39, including basic lenses, and go up to $1,230 for luxury name-brand designer frames. The retailer carries popular brands like Ray-Ban, Oakley, Burberry, and Persol. Its virtual live try-on feature makes it easy to see how the frames will look on your face before you order. GlassesUSA accepts vision insurance from over 13 carriers and offers frequent promotions and discounts for first responders, nurses, teachers, adults 65 and older, veterans, and active duty military. Our Reviews Team selected GlassesUSA as the “Editor’s Pick” in our review of the best online glasses companies thanks to the company’s selection of frames, discounts and promotions, live try-on feature, and the fact that it accepts vision insurance.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, GlassesUSA has been in business for over 10 years, providing affordable vision correction products through an easy-to-navigate website with 24/7 customer support. The company mission is to “Help everyone see better by offering quality glasses at affordable prices.”
Yes, GlassesUSA accepts vision insurance from 13 popular providers. The full list includes UnitedHealthcare, Spectra, VSP, EyeMed, Cigna, Davis Vision, Anthem, Aetna, NVA, Humana, Lincoln, MediGold, and Solstice.
It depends on your prescription needs and chosen shipping method. Standard single-vision glasses require three business days for production before GlassesUSA can ship them. Glasses with strong prescriptions, multifocal glasses, and prescription sunglasses take six business days for production. After production, standard shipping takes 10–14 business days, expedited shipping takes seven to 10 business days, and express shipping takes three to five business days.
Have questions about this review? Email us at email@example.com.
Joshua Erlich, MD. Vision and Eye Care in Older Adults. National Poll on Healthy Aging. Aug. 30, 2018. Found on the internet at https://www.healthyagingpoll.org/reports-more/report/vision-and-eye-care-older-adults
Food and Drug Administration. Device Software Functions Including Mobile Medical Applications. Sept. 29, 2022. Found on the internet at https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/digital-health-center-excellence/device-software-functions-including-mobile-medical-applications