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Everything You Need to Know

Glasses come in a million different types. What are you looking for? This article will tell you everything you need to know, and if you can't read it here, follow the links to many more detailed eyewear articles. The only thing you won't find is cheap glasses, because they are a terrible investment. But you will find information on the most popular eyeglasses themes, like blue light glasses, reading glasses, computer glasses, kids glasses, and of course, sunglasses. Almost all of these come under the heading of "prescription glasses".

We have divided this article into the six groups of information that most people search for online, whether you are just getting informed here, or looking for online glasses, this is a great place to start.

  • How to Buy Prescription Glasses Online
  • How To Buy Prescription Glasses Lenses
  • Types of Glasses
  • Most Popular Glasses Categories
  • Most Popular Glasses Brands
  • All About Glasses Frames

How To Buy Glasses

Buying glasses can be easy, difficult, expensive, cheap, or overpriced - it all depends on how much time you want to spend learning. Follow this link to read an entire article about how to buy glasses online. In this article, we will just hit the high points.  Or, read about the 5 tips for buying glasses.

  1. Get a prescription from your doctor
  2. Find a frame you like
  3. Choose the right prescription lenses
  4. Buy glasses online

Sound easy, right? Well some people find it easy, and others find it difficult.

Get A Prescription From An Eye Doctor Near Me

This part is easy. Just make an appointment with an eye doctor. If you don't already have an eye doctor, read our blog article, Eye Doctor Near Me? How To Find The Right One. When you are there, be sure to ask for your pupil distance measurement. With that, you can order at any store or buy glasses online.

Find A Frame You Like

There are a million different eyeglasses frames out there. They can be divided into several groups, like frame type, frame shape, frame material, frame quality, and frame brand. Once you have narrowed down your search, you can focus on frame size and frame fit.

Don't Buy Cheap Glasses

Cheap Glasses Break

Buying prescription glasses online does require some extra effort. For that effort, you get the benefit of a massive selection (we have almost 200,000 pairs at Eyeglasses.com). There are two types of eyeglasses frames that you can buy online: 1) low quality, cheap glasses, and 2) high quality glasses that you could buy in a typical optical store, but at 50% lower prices. If you thinking to buy cheap glasses (Warby Parker, Zennioptical, etc), we strongly recommend that you first read our article, The 10 Reasons Not To Buy Cheap Glasses.

Try On Glasses Online

The biggest complaint we hear is, "But I want to try on eyeglasses first". At Eyeglasses.com, we have a home try on program with an easy return policy so you can order three pairs of eyeglasses frames, and return them all for a full refund. We also have a virtual try on application. Just look for the VTO icon VTO Virtual Try On Glasses Online and follow the instructions on the product detail page.

Glasses For Face Shape

Did you know that faces have shapes, and most faces fall into one of six groupings? Based on the shape of your face, you can pick out a specific frame shape to either minimize the shape of your head, or emphasize it. Read our article about glasses for face shape, to learn all about it.

Varilux Progressive Lenses

How To Buy Prescription Lenses

Traditionally, people let the eye doctor or optician choose prescription lenses for them. Would you let a salesman choose a car for you? A television set? A pair of shoes? No! So don't let someone else choose your prescription eyeglasses lenses. Choosing lenses is not rocket science, you just need to learn a few things. The more you learn, the less you will pay. Here are the steps:

  1. Read Your Prescription
  2. Determine your needs, then pick a type
  3. Choose material
  4. Choose model
  5. Choose options
  6. Checkout

Glasses Prescriptions

Read Your Prescription

Your prescription is not hard to understand. First, does your prescription you have a correction for distance, for reading, or both? If it is distance or reading, then you need single vision lenses. If you have a distance AND reading correction, then you should consider progressive lenses (no-line) or bifocals (with line). These are called multifocals.

Second, look at the sphere number in the prescription, which largely determines the frame material you need. the higher the number, the more you will need a thinner (and more expensive) high index material. More on that below.

Your Needs Determine Your Lens Type

Single vision lenses are less expensive than multifocals. If you have a distance and reading correction in your prescription, you can consider multifocals for their convenience. For example, let's say you drive to the grocery store or drugstore. You need distance vision for driving, and reading vision to read the labels. With multifocals, one pair will do both. Otherwise, you would need two pairs, and then need to switch between them.

Multifocals are more convenient, but they do come with some limitations. Read this article to learn more about the problems with progressive lenses. Most people love their progressives, but it takes time to adapt to them, and some people never adapt.

Choose A Lens Material

Prescription Lenses Material

Plastic Lenses

Nowadays, almost all lenses are made of plastic. There are four basic material groupings, which correspond to the "Index of Refraction". The higher your prescription, the higher the index is recommended:

  1. Plastic/CR39, Index 1.56
  2. Polycarbonate High Index 1.59
  3. High Index 1.67
  4. Ultra High Index 1.74
  5. Glass

Best Prescription Lenses BrandsIf your sphere is less than 4.00, you can use plastic/CR39. If it is 4.00 to 6.00, then polycarbonate is a good choice; 6.00 to 8.00 means high index 1.67, and over that, the ultra high index 1.74. The higher the index, the lens becomes thinner and more expensive. But you are able to make your own high index lens choice, based on your needs, preferences, and wallet.

Glass Lenses

Historically glass was the only game in town. Nowadays, most people choose some kind of plastic lens for its lower price and lightness. Although heavier and more expensive than plastic, glass lenses have the advantage of exception optical clarity. Glass lenses also resist scratching must more than plastic lenses.

However, the biggest concern about glass is its ability to shatter or break more easily than plastic, which can cause extreme harm to the eye or result in loss of vision. Glass lenses should never be used for active lifestyles or sports; you will commonly see fishermen wearing bifocal and trifocal glass lenses while quietly reading, fishing, or fly-tying.

Choose Lens Model

In any given category of type and material, there is a range of choices representing good, better, and best lenses. A "good" lens will get the job done at a lower price point. A better one may have a known brand name, or it may bundle some additional features. A best lens choice is the best lens available on the market today. We offer a Perfect Lenses Guarantee on everything that we sell, regardless of which model you choose.

Choose Lens Options

Once you have chosen a lens model, you can then add certain options. Options could include stronger coatings with a warrantee, and/or tinting to make custom sunglasses. The most popular option is anti glare glasses, which have an anti reflective coating on the lenses.  You could also choose Transitions, a photochromic treatment, which makes the lenses darken outside and become clear again when indoors.  

Lenses With Glare Are Cloudy

Anti-Reflective Lenses | No Glare Lenses | No Glare Glasses


This process may seem difficult, but it becomes very easy with our prescription lenses wizard. Just follow along and at the end of the process you drop your lenses into the shopping cart, and then check out. Most people find a frame on our website, and then add lenses to the frame. However, we also have a replacement lenses service: you can mail a frame to us, and we will install them for you.

How To Use Vision Insurance Benefits

Some people have vision insurance benefits and try very hard to use the benefits. The problem is that the optical stores inflate their prices in order to discount them when you try to use your in-network benefits. The best way to save money is to order glasses online and then use your out-of-network benefits.

Categories Of Glasses

There are many categories of eyeglasses frames. Most people like to begin their search by gender, and look for mens or womens glasses.  If you have more specific tastes, you may be looking for the most popular glasses.   Many people prefer flexible glasses that have a change of withstanding an attack of buttocks.  Or, something more trendy like round glasses, or retro glasses.  If you are looking for computer glasses, you should read our article on computer glasses first.

For a lighter pair, you may want to shop for rimless glasses, some of which are made of titanium.  But there are some special considerations regarding the lenses, so check out our article about rimless glasses first. 

Rimless Glasses | Rimless Eyeglasses

Or either big or small glasses, depending on your size.

Shopping for kids glasses? There are some special considerations, so check out are article to learn more about kids glasses.

Shopping for reading glasses?  There are many different kinds, so you should check out this article to learn more about reading glasses.  Any glasses on our website can be made into reading glasses just by adding your customer prescription, and they will work much better than drugstore readers.

We have a huge collection of prescription safety glasses for people that need them on the job. 

Most Popular Brands

The most popular brands vary, but the two most popular brand, Oakley and Ray Ban, have been at the top since their eyeglasses lines were launched. Following them come Silhouette, which is known for its hingeless, rimless titanium frames - super light and comfortable to wear. Next comes the iconic brand Gucci, closely followed by Tom Ford which has been rising steadily since the brand was born. People often ask for "John Lennon ", "Harry Potter", or "Circle" glasses, and what they are really looking for is perfectly round frames. The top tier is rounded out by Dolomiti Eyewear, which offers a classic design, handmade in Italy, without the designer price point.

After these, come the long-standing favorites of Versace (bold and stylized), Nike (sporty, light, and durable) , and Kate Spade (colorful and trendy). Burberry, Prada, Coach, and Michael Kors round out the top 15 brands that people are always buying.

How To Clean Glasses

How To Clean Glasses | Cleaning Glasses | How To Clean Eyeglasses

Learning how to clean glasses has recently taken on a new importance, since the arrival of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Research has shown that the virus can stay active on hard and shiny surface (like glasses frames) for up to 72 hours. Glasses are a good barrier for the virus, as it will stick to your glasses as well as your face. But cleaning your glasses has now become important in the fight against the spread of the virus. The CDC, the World Health Organization and others health authorities, have emphasized that both washing your hands and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily are key in preventing Covid-19's spread.  However, you can ruin your glasses if you use the wrong disinfectant on them.

Vision Insurance Benefits

If you have vision insurance benefits, call your vision insurance company and find out what your benefits are.  Beware of network providers, optical stores that inflate their prices and then show you a big discount.  You are usually better off using your "out-of-network" benefit and then buying glasses online.  Read more in our article about Vision Insurance Benefits.

Vision Insurance Benefits Eyeglasses Buying Guide | Glasses Buying Guide