We mystery shopped GlassesUSA to provide a comprehensive review of the ordering process, costs, customer service, and more.
Apr 07, 2023
By Lauren Sherman, MS
- 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 its 24/7 customer service.
GlassesUSA is a popular retailer of online glasses and contacts. It offers 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
- Read real reviews from verified customers on trusted third-party websites, such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot
GlassesUSA pros and cons
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.
GlassesUSA cost and payment options
GlassesUSA frequently runs promotions and sales. At the time this article was written, it was offering 30% off all orders. It also has a refer-a-friend program that gives an extra 10% off to anyone you refer, plus you receive a $10 Amazon gift card. All first responders, nurses, teachers, adults 65 and older, veterans, and active duty military who verify their identity through ID.me get a $10 coupon. Although the coupon can be used alongside any other active promotions, it is only for orders of $150 or more.
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.
If you need help with the cost of glasses or eye exams, consult BenefitsCheckUp to see if you can get financial assistance where you live.
GlassesUSA warranty and returns
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
|Free shipping||Yes||Yes, for orders over $119|
|Return policy||14 days||14 days|
|Accepts vision insurance||✅||❌|
|Frame price includes standard lenses||✅||✅|
|Lens types||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. It offers 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. It 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
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. August 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. September 29, 2022. Found on the internet at https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/digital-health-center-excellence/device-software-functions-including-mobile-medical-applications
GlassesUSA is a large online optical retailer with more than 46,000 reviews on the third-party review website Trustpilot, and it is accredited by the BBB. Our reviews team found it to be the best pick for designer brands among online glasses retailers, and we named GlassesUSA as the best online contacts retailer.Is GlassesUSA a good place to get glasses? ›
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.How long does it take to get glasses from GlassesUSA? ›
Shipping is 7-10 days, however, with production time included, total delivery time is about 4 weeks. Hello Ashley, Production and shipping times vary depending on your prescription and the nature of your order, as well as which shipping method you choose.How does GlassesUSA verify prescription? ›
In cases where you order contact lenses and prescriptions are typed manually instead of being uploaded, we are obligated by law to verify your prescription with your eye care provider. This is in order to ensure that we provide you with the correct contact lenses in your order.Is it safe to buy prescription contact lenses online? ›
If you buy contacts online from a non-reputable dealer, there is no ensuring that the company is FDA regulated. This can mean the contact lenses can be counterfeits or not FDA approved. This can increase the risk of eye infections that can lead to blindness.How is GlassesUSA so cheap? ›
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.What company owns GlassesUSA? ›
Established in 2008 as a subsidiary of Optimax Investments, GlassesUSA.com has been recognized by Internet Retailer as a category leader and as a “Top-500 E-Retailer” six years in a row, and has been recognized Best Online Shops 2021 by Newsweek.Can you return glasses at GlassesUSA? ›
GlassesUSA.com has a 14-day, no questions asked free returns policy. We are confident in our frames & lenses, and that you will enjoy the eyeglasses & sunglasses you purchase from us.What lenses does GlassesUSA use? ›
All of our lenses are Digital Free Form lenses, crafted in our own in-house optical labs. Standard 1.5 Lenses: Made out of CR-39 plastic. Are available for free on all of GlassesUSA.com's lens packages.What carrier does GlassesUSA use? ›
|Shipping Methods & Delivery Times|
|Shipping Method||Delivery Time|
|UPS 3-Day Select||3 Business Days|
|UPS 2nd Day||2 Business Days|
|UPS Next Day||1 Business Day|
GlassesUSA's headquarters is located at 954 Lexington Avenue, New York.Does GlassesUSA keep your picture? ›
GlassesUSA and/or Perfect will permanently destroy all such photographs within one year after the date, such photographs are initially stored. You may also delete your uploaded photographs from your account at any time.Does GlassesUSA take expired prescriptions? ›
You'll need a current prescription, of course, but retailers like GlassesUSA (one of the best places to buy glasses online, in our opinion) let you renew expired prescriptions with a virtual vision test. You can save time and money by buying prescription glasses online from brands like GlassesUSA.What does my glasses prescription say about my eyes? ›
A minus sign before the number indicates that you are nearsighted, while a plus sign means that you're farsighted. Lens power is measured in diopters. The higher the number, the stronger the prescription. For example, “-5.00” written under sphere means that you are very nearsighted and need a five diopter correction.Why not to buy contact lenses online? ›
Several websites claim to sell known brands when in fact, they are only copies. Thus, the product could have a curvature or a different material from the type of lenses that you usually buy in stores. Improper curvature can only make wearing the contacts uncomfortable and they can also damage your eyes.
While daily contacts may be more suitable for some people, they're not “better” than monthly contacts. Sometimes they're seen as a safer choice because there's no day-to-day build-up of natural deposits, but again, that doesn't necessarily make them better.Why are lenses cheaper online? ›
Online retailers that sell cheap eyeglasses and sunglasses often say they can offer low prices because they don't have the same expenses associated with a “brick-and-mortar” store, such as the high rent paid in retail shopping areas.Does GlassesUSA use Ray-Ban lenses? ›
Yes! We are certified resellers of Ray-Ban. All of our Ray-Ban frames (and all other premium brands) are authentic.Does GlassesUSA sell real Ray Bans? ›
Yes, GlassesUSA.com is a certified Ray-Ban store. This means we offer only original Ray-Ban glasses including iconic styles like Ray-Ban Aviators, Ray-Ban Clubmaster or Ray-Ban Wayfarer.Can you cancel an order from GlassesUSA? ›
GlassesUSA offers 24/7 customer service. The number for customer service is (844) 244-1186. You can also email or chat live with customer service. Customer service representatives can help with questions about your order or assist you if you want to check order status or cancel your order.
Luxottica Group S.p.A. is an Italian eyewear conglomerate and the world's largest company in the eyewear industry. It is based in Milan, Italy. Its best known brands are Costa, Ray-Ban, Persol, Oliver Peoples and Oakley.When was GlassesUSA founded? ›
Established in 2008 as a subsidiary of Optimax Investments, GlassesUSA.com has been recognized by Internet Retailer as a category leader and as a “Top-500 E-Retailer” six years in a row, and has been recognized Best Online Shops 2021 by Newsweek.What companies are like GlassesUSA com? ›
Our Reviews Team recommends GlassesUSA, Eyebuydirect, Warby Parker, Zenni Optical, and DIFF Eyewear.How do I cancel GlassesUSA? ›
You can cancel, change or pause your subscription at any time via the My Account page at GlassesUSA.com. Please make sure that you are logged in and you'll be able to update your preferences. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are having trouble cancelling your subscription.Can I return my new glasses if I dont like them? ›
Some optical stores and online sellers guarantee your satisfaction with your eyeglasses — even if you simply don't like them — by offering a refund or a store credit for the amount you paid for them. If so, you usually must return the glasses within a specified period of time (for example, within 30 days of purchase).What are the most durable eyeglass lenses? ›
Polycarbonate - Polycarbonate was the first "thinner, lighter" lens material. Polycarbonate is 10 times more impact resistant than glass and CR-39. Polycarbonate lenses are the preferred choice for safety eyeglasses and children's eyeglasses. The lens material also provides UV protection.Which is best lens for eyes? ›
Polycarbonate lenses are the most durable and impact-resistant lenses we offer, and they come with a 100% UV-protective coating. If you are looking for glasses for children, or tend to spend your time outside, we strongly recommend polycarbonate lenses.What brand are Costco lenses? ›
Costco Optical is a popular retailer of eyeglasses and contact lenses, and they use a proprietary brand of lenses known as Kirkland Signature lenses. These lenses are exclusive to Costco stores, and they are known for their exceptional performance and durability.Does GlassesUSA sell real Versace? ›
Also, GlassesUSA.com is a certified store to sell Versace eyewear.How to use GlassesUSA insurance? ›
- Please visit us at www.glassesusa.com/vision-insurance/
- Choose your provider.
- Login using your member ID and date of birth. Generally, member ID numbers should be 9 digits without dashes.
- You should see your vision benefit eligibility right away.
- Find the perfect pair!
General FAQs. What's included in the 2 for $79.95 deal? The 2 for $79.95 advertised offer includes single vision uncoated plastic (CR39) lenses, frames from our $69.95 price selection and a free eye exam.* Your exam will always be free as part of this deal, even if you choose more expensive frames or lenses.What contact lens company is being sued? ›
Alcon Vision and Johnson & Johnson have agreed to pay a total of $75 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused the companies of price fixing on disposable contact lenses. More than a third of the total settlement amount will go toward plaintiffs' attorney fees, a federal judge in Florida said Wednesday.Does GlassesUSA sell real brands? ›
All the glasses sold on GlassesUSA are the real deal, from name brands.Who is the largest contact lens seller? ›
Bausch & Lomb is the world's largest supplier of contact lenses, pharmaceuticals, intraocular lenses, and other eye surgery products. It operates through three segments, namely vision care/consumer health care, surgical, and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals.Why are contact lenses illegal? ›
Contact lenses are medical devices that are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration due to the high amount of complications and risk for permanent blindness that result from improper use.What is the leading lens company? ›
Luxottica Group S.p.A. is an Italian eyewear conglomerate and the world's largest company in the eyewear industry.