The 6 best places to buy prescription sunglasses online (and save money) - CBS News

Updated on: March 25, 2024 / 6:42 PM EDT / Essentials

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The 6 best places to buy prescription sunglasses online (and save money) - CBS News

Now's a great time to update your spring wardrobe accessories, including new prescription sunglasses. Whether you're looking for the latest designer sunglass frames, a timeless look from a prestigious designer, sunglasses for a specific sport, or just prescription sunglasses that won't destroy your budget, you're in luck. Our team of in-house shopping experts have curated this roundup of the best places to shop for prescription sunglasses online and save money in the process.

If you already have a prescription, ordering is easy. And best of all, many of the companies featured here accept vision insurance and HSA/FSA payments. This roundup only features companies that offer a money-back guarantee and easy exchanges. Most either offer a virtual try-on feature, or allow you to order several sunglass frames to try on at home, before placing that final order.

Whether you need single-vision, bifocals, or progressive lenses, shopping online has serious benefits. It's easy, saves money and gives you a much larger selection than what's typically on offer at the optometrist's office. If you're looking for dedicated prescription sunglasses or eyewear with transition lenses that automatically darken in the sun, the largest selection of fashionable and durable options can be found online.

Meanwhile, when shopping for prescription eyeglasses, be sure to also check out our roundup of the best places to buy prescription glasses online .

Pro tip: When you're shopping prescription sunglasses online, be sure to see if the company offers discounts to students, teachers, active military, seniors or first responders. And most of these companies offer an extra discount if you buy more than one pair of sunglasses (or regular prescription eyeglasses) at the same time.

Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescription: No | Progressive prescription: Yes | Readers: No | Light responsive lens option: Yes | Virtual try-on: Yes | Home try-on: No | HSA/FSA accepted: Yes | Vision insurance accepted: Yes  

One of the things we absolutely love about Roka is that the company designs and manufacturers all of its frames. While all of the frames are stylish, the company does not classify itself as a fashion brand. Instead, Roka has developed a reputation for creating premium eyewear you can count on for eye protection and optical correction. 

Proprietary technologies that make Rokas a terrific option for amateur and professional athletes alike. Choose from more than 35 stunning sunglass frame styles that you won't find elsewhere. Each is made from the highest quality materials and designed to be lightweight, extremely durable and comfortable. 

Each model comes in multiple color options. You can also choose a lens color. This correlates with the percentage of light transmission the lenses offer. Roka offers either single-vision or progressive sunglass lenses. Choose between polycarbonate, Trivex or high-index lenses. All are polarized. Prescription sunglasses are custom made and shipped within 10 business days. Pricing varies dramatically based on your frame and lens selections.

Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescription: Yes | Progressive prescription: Yes | Readers: Yes | Light responsive lens option: Yes | Virtual try-on: For most frames | Home try-on: No | HSA/FSA accepted: Yes | Vision insurance accepted: Yes  

GlasesUSA is the place to shop for prescription sunglasses, especially if you're looking for designer frames (from Ray-Ban, Oakley, Prada, Coach, Versace, Gucci and 54 others) or low-cost generic frames that start at $34 (including single-vision lenses). 

When it comes to sunglasses, GlassesUSA has more than 1,100 frame styles to choose from. Each comes in multiple colors, and you can also customize your prescription lenses. In fact, this is one of the few companies that offer prescription sunglasses with your choice of reading or bi-focal lenses, in addition to single-vision or progressive lenses.

GlassesUSA is all about discounts -- from frames that are on sale to BOGO offers. Designer frames are typically sold at up to 40% off of retail, and lens upgrades are offered for up to 50% off. New customers who sign up for a newsletter get a coupon good for up to 50% off a first pair of frames.

All prescription sunglasses come with a 14-day money-back guarantee, as well as a one-year warranty. If you have vision insurance, you can submit your receipt for reimbursement, but you can also use health savings funds to make qualifying purchases. 

Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescription: Yes | Progressive prescription: Yes | Readers: Yes | Light responsive lens option: Yes | Virtual try-on: Yes, using a mobile app | Home try-on: Yes | HSA/FSA accepted: Yes | Vision insurance accepted: Yes 

Warby Parker is a one-stop shop for all of your prescription sunglass needs. Most frames, which include single-vision prescription lenses, start at just $195. Progressive lenses start at $395. 

The company sells only its own collection of high-quality and fashionable sunglass frames -- and there are more than 50 styles choose from. The website offers an easy virtual try-on feature. There's also a home try-on option that allows you to select up to five frames and have them shipped to your home for free. Choose the frames you want, order your prescription sunglasses and return the samples in a pre-paid box. 

You also get a wide range of sunglass and transition lens options, so you can pick only the add-on filters and coatings that you need. An anti-reflective and scratch-resistant coating is automatically included for free. The company uses polycarbonate lenses, but these can be upgraded to 1.67 high-index lenses for an additional fee.

In most cases, you can choose a frame color, or color combination and size. Warby Parker accepts virtually all vision insurance and HSA/FSA payments. If you order two pairs of glasses at the same time (one of which can be regular prescription glasses), you get an automatic 15% discount. And for every pair of prescription eyewear purchased, Warby Parker donates a pair to someone in need. 

Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescription: Yes | Progressive prescription: Yes | Readers: Yes | Light responsive lens option: Yes | Virtual try-on: Yes | Home try-on: No | HSA/FSA accepted: Yes | Vision insurance accepted: Yes 

If you want designer frames from Ray-Ban, Oakley, Versace, Coach, Prada, Brooks Brothers or any of more than a dozen others, the place to shop online is LensCrafters. Yes, this is the same company that's been operating more than 1,000 retail locations since 1983, but you can show shop for designer sunglasses with prescription lenses online -- and the process is super simple.

The LensCrafters website makes it easy to shop for sunglasses based on brand, style, color or shape. Once you find the frames you love, you can choose from a wide range of lens options. Once your sunglasses arrive, they come with a 30-day happiness guarantee. For an additional fee, you can upgrade to an protection plan that covers frames and lenses against damage, scratches and other issues for a full year.

Whether you're shopping for prescription eyeglasses or prescription sunglasses, you'll find a vast selection of designer frames to choose from, with new options coming in all the time. Some frame and single vision lens combos start as low as $100. You'll also discover some designer frames on sale for as much as 60% off, with additional discounts offered to AAA and AARP members.

Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescription: No | Progressive prescription: Yes | Readers: No | Light responsive lens option: No | Virtual try-on: No | Home try-on: No | HSA/FSA accepted: Yes | Vision insurance accepted: Yes 

Discover more than 450 genuine Ray-Ban sunglass frames and customize your prescription sunglasses in multiple ways. Be sure to click on the "all promos" button to discover current sales and promotions.

Most of the sunglass frames come in multiple colors and sizes. Next, click on the prescription lenses option and choose between single vision or progressive lenses, and then choose a lens color. All prescription sunglass lenses include UV protection, a scratch-resistant treatment and an anti-reflective, anti-smudge treatment. 

To further customize your prescription sunglasses, choose between solid-colored lenses, mirror and flash lenses or gradient lenses. Based on your selection, the lens color options are displayed next, along with the total sunglass price (which will vary based on your selections).

Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescription: No | Progressive prescription: Yes | Readers: No | Light responsive lens option: Yes | Virtual try-on: Yes | Home try-on: No | HSA/FSA accepted: Yes | Vision insurance accepted: No 

Improve your sports performance with the proper eyewear -- not just for style, but for eye protection and better vision. When you head over to the prescription sunglass and sports frame area of the Tifosi Rx website, you'll discover more than 15 sports frame styles, such as the company's bestselling Vero Rx frames. Most frames come in your choice of colors.

Select your favorite frames and then choose between single vision or progressive prescription lenses. Choose tinted, polarized or transitioning lenses. Lens color options depend on the choices above.

You can also select lens coatings. Your options include anti-reflective, anti-fog, or an anti-fog/antireflective combo. Based on your selections, the price of your customized prescription sunglasses will vary.

All lenses are not alike. The best prescription lenses for sunglasses offer a scratch-resistant treatment, provide 100% UVA and UVB protection (which is essential for eye health when you're outside in the sun) and polarization. Just because a lens color is darker, this does not automatically mean you're getting better protection for your eyes. 

Polarization enhances vision clarity and comfort. Polarized lenses help to eliminate glare, enhance contrast and boost color perception. The American Academy of Ophthalmology also recommends that sunglasses have the largest lenses possible to protect your eyes from sun damage. the academy also says you should consider oversized or wraparound-style sunglasses to limit UV-ray exposure.

If you'll be outside in the rain or boating, sunglass lenses with an optional hydrophobic coating will help to repel water, so the lenses stay clear when they get wet.

Another important consideration is lens material. The most common options are CR-39 (a lightweight and durable polymer), polycarbonate (which is even more impact resistant and durable), or 1.67 high-index. These are only available to people with certain prescriptions. They're much thinner than polycarbonate lenses, yet offer the same benefits.

Most prescription sunglasses can be ordered with your choice of single-vision or progressive lenses, although some companies offer sunglasses with prescription bi-focals or readers, too. Precision progressives is sometimes a lens upgrade option. While more expensive, these reduce peripheral distortion and offer a wider field of view.

Regardless of where you shop, you'll need:

Virtually all sellers, including those featured in this roundup, offer a 14- or 30-day exchange or return policy. If the frames don't fit, or you're not seeing clearly, you can return the sunglasses for a full refund or have the sunglasses remade. After the return or exchange period, many of the online sellers will offer at least a six-month to one-year "no scratch" guarantee, which means the company will repair or replace the lenses if they get accidentally scratched. 

In some cases, you can purchase an extended warranty, which will cover any damage to the frames or lenses during a predefined period. These extended warranty plans do not cover the glasses if they're lost or stolen.

Sunglass frames come in nine popular shapes -- rectangular, square, round, aviator, oval, cat-eye, browline, oversized and geometric. From Warby Parker's website, here's a basic guide for choosing a frame design based on your face shape. 

Most sunglass frames come in at least several sizes. If you look on the inner side of a frame's arm, you'll see measurements engraved on it. 

Three numbers separated by dashes or spaces indicate lens width bridge width and temple length. If you have frames that fit well, you can typically use the same measurements. 

The average person will need a lens width of between 40mm and 60mm, a bridge width between 14mm and 24mm, and a temple length between 120mm and 150mm. Two other measurements you might need to consider include the frame width and lens height. 

Whether your shopping for eyewear, a fitness tracker, a meal kit plan or other products and services that relate to your health and fitness, stay up-to-date on new products and great deals by reading our ongoing health & fitness coverage. And to quickly discover the best online shopping deals, don't miss our deals & shopping News coverage which is continuously updated to help you save money.

Jason R. Rich ( is an internationally recognized consumer technology expert with more than 30 years' writing experience. He's also an accomplished author and photographer. One of his most recently published books, The Remote Worker's Handbook: How to Effectively Work From Anywhere ($24.99, Entrepreneur Books) is now available from Amazon and wherever books are sold.

First published on March 25, 2024 / 6:43 PM EDT

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The 6 best places to buy prescription sunglasses online (and save money) - CBS News

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