The Best Website For Affordable Prescription Glasses (That Are Sustainable Too!)
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I drew the long end of the stick when it came to vision in my family. Whenever we had eye checkups as kids, I soared through the appointments, reading tiny letters backward and forward and with one eye closed. My siblings weren’t so lucky. One by one, they each got a pair of glasses, either for reading or sports or because they literally couldn’t see the hand in front of their face without a prescription (sorry, brother). Me though? My eyesight remained 20/20 well into adulthood. Even during grad school, when I began freelance writing and spent eight or more hours a day staring at computer screens, my sight was perfect. I wore blue light glasses, but that was mostly for the aesthetic.
All good things must come to an end, though, or so they say. I started noticing my eyes feeling a bit more strained early last year, a few months after turning 32. I’d wake up in the morning and struggle to adjust my vision. I began squinting while driving at night or in the harsh sun, even though I was wearing sunglasses. When I received the results of my genetic screening and discovered my increased risk for age-related macular degeneration, I figured it was time to see an eye doctor. Unsurprisingly, I left that appointment with a minor glasses prescription, but a prescription nonetheless.
“When I received the results of my genetic screening and discovered my increased risk for age-related macular degeneration, I figured it was time to see an eye doctor.”
As a newbie to the eye prescription world, I had no idea where to shop for glasses. I passed on the offer from my eye doctor to buy frames and lenses in the store, wanting to do my own research and—hopefully—find a brand that matched my values in terms of sustainability and ethics.
That’s when I discovered Zenni Optical, one of the first online-only shops for affordable prescription glasses. It started in Northern California in 2003 when the founders Tibor Láczay and Julia Zhen were concerned about how much glasses cost consumers. In response to this problem, they created Zenni. And what was once a homegrown business became one of the most successful online glasses shops, selling over 50 million frames worldwide.
The ReMakes Sustainable Glasses Frames are what specifically drew me in. The $39 price point was hard to beat, especially for quality frames made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic. I also loved that the brand offered six different frame styles for every face shape. Using the Zenni Frame Fit to “try-on” various pairs, I opted for the Oceana Sargasso in Tortoiseshell. I also ordered a pair of sunglasses with UV protection—living in Southern California, you can never have too many pairs laying around.
As for the prescription eyeglasses, I was pleased to see how easy it was to input my prescription and customize the lenses for my exact needs. I was also grateful (or rather my eyes were) for how quickly the glasses were made and shipped; it was about a week and a half total. I opted to reuse some of my old glasses/sunglasses cases, though each new pair came in a soft protective pouch. The ReMakes also came with a recycled PET fabric for smudges and cleaning, and it was shipped in a recyclable tube.
The real test was the fit, which I’m thrilled to report was perfect, like surprisingly so. Being new to all of this, I was a bit nervous that I’d get something wrong, especially with the “Pupillary Distance” or PD (a new term in my vocabulary). The website has a camera system to help you measure, and I wasn’t certain it would be able to capture my face size accurately. But I was wrong.
A few other notes about Zenni: There are so many customization and add-on options, including anti-glare, blue light, transition glasses, and more. All lenses are anti-scratch, and the brand has numerous styles and color options for men, women, and kids. Even better, the company works with HSA/FSA programs and has a loyalty and referral option for additional savings. Zenni also gives back to the Wyland Foundation, a nonprofit helping preserve the ocean and waterways.
All in all, I’m so happy with my first prescription glasses purchase, and I’m thrilled to have discovered their ReMakes by Zenni frames. The fit, styles, story, and cost make this an excellent option for anyone needing new glasses, whether prescription, blue light, or sunnies.
- Zenni Optical is one of the largest online shops for affordable glasses, offering prescriptions, transitional lenses, sunglasses, and more. The new ReMakes are sustainable frames made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic.
- The company has virtual “try-on” options on the website and customer reviews with photos to help you pick a pair that best fits your style and features.
- ReMakes by Zenni frames come in recycled packaging with a recycled PET fabric for cleaning.
- There are numerous customization options, from antiglare to bluelight to clip-ons and more.
THIS STORY IS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OUR FRIENDS AT ZENNI OPTICAL