Buying brand-new prescription glasses can get expensive quickly and the only assistance typically comes from insurance for those who have it.

Impaired vision will affect nearly everyone at some point in their lives. The American Academy for Ophthalmology published a study conducted on 2.1 million participants globally in 2000, whose research suggests that half of the population could have a vision impairment by 2050.

In 2021 the CDC posted the results of their survey on the vision impairment levels among adolescents between the ages of 2 and 17. Their results stated that in 2019 about 25% of qualifying adolescents wore glasses and that this rate grew as these children got older.

Despite the growing population of wearers, the price of eyeglasses remains unaffordable to many, especially those who do not have vision insurance. Online options have become a solid alternative to save money.

How can people take advantage of these discounted prices with summer coming to a close?

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What do I need to get prescription glasses?

In order to buy from the following sites, consumers need to know their vision prescription ahead of time.

Buying prescription eyeglasses from these places requires you to schedule an eye exam with your optometrist and take home the results of your exams in order to share them with the vendor. Entering your prescription can get a bit complicated when trying to understand the numbers, but Zenni has a guide on how to read and understand the numbers of your prescription.

Here are some lower-priced online glasses options:

Zenni Optical

Founded in Northern California as one of the first online-only shops selling affordable prescription glasses in 2003, Zenni is still living up to its original goal two decades later. Zenni sells eyeglasses for women, men and children. Their products start as low as $7 and provide a variety of customization choices like frame colors and type of lens.

Last year Zenni hit 50 million in sold pairs of eyeglasses, partnering with professional teams across multiple sports leagues like the Chicago Bulls, San Francisco 49ers and the Colombus Crew along the journey. They have also collaborated with celebrities like Keke Palmer, who have their own collections on the site.


EyeBuyDirect says they’re “reframing the eyewear game one pair at a time,” as they try to make quality eyewear available to everyone. They have eyeglasses starting as low as $6 that allow you to modify the color, shape and more on pairs.

EyeBuyDirect also sells frames from premium eyeglass brands like Rayban, Oakley and Vogue eyewear for those seeking a lower price on luxury glasses.


Firmoo says that they sell “professional, stylish,” glasses at an affordable price because they believe that glasses shouldn’t be expensive. They sell a variety of glasses including their blue-light blocking pairs, made for binge watching, gaming or any other activity requiring extensive time staring at a screen.

Firmoo’s frames start as low as $3. They are currently running a BOGO + 20% off lenses sale for the end of summer, which could save parents and students money before heading back to school. New customers can get an exclusive deal to get their first pair of glasses for $4.95 plus a 20% discount on the lenses.