The 7 Best Reading Glasses of 2024

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Suppose you are experiencing presbyopia or age-related farsightedness (when you don't see as well close up). In that case, over-the-counter (OTC) reading glasses can help. They're designed for as-needed wear and magnify objects like the print in books or words online so you can see and read the material. They work best for people without astigmatism and those with an equal prescription in each eye, says Ronald Benner, OD, president of the American Optometric Association. According to our experts, the right pair should sit comfortably on your nose and around your ears. Choosing glasses with anti-glare coatings can help minimize glare.

To find the best reading glasses, we tested 17 pairs from Warby Parker, Caddis, Zenni, Foster Grant, and more top brands using prescriptions they received from an optometrist. We rated each pair of glasses for clarity, fit, comfort, and value while using insight and guidance from Masako Chen, MD, a board-certified, fellowship-trained ophthalmologist who practices at Mount Sinai.

The magnification you need will depend on your age and the reading distance. Before you start shopping, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to determine your correct magnification or whether you need a prescription (for example, if you need a different magnification for each eye or need bifocals or progressive lenses). David A. Eichenbaum, MD, FASRS, says if you need a pair of reading glasses before you can get to your doctor, he recommends that people in their 40s start with a +1.00, people in their 50s start with a +1.50, and people in their 60s begin with a +2.00.

In most cases, when two different powered reading glasses seem equally suitable, choose the glasses with the lower power. Picking reading glasses that are too strong typically will cause more discomfort problems than reading glasses that are a little too weak.

Three pairs for price of one

May feel bulky to some

Available in a pack of three different colors, these Zxyoo Oversized Reading Glasses are perfectly clear and offer blue-light blocking without any noticeable or distracting tint. Plus, they fit great and are made of plastic, which means despite their oversized design, they are still comfortable.

These glasses offer an oversized frame design that's stylish and suitable for any face shape. Plus, you get more options and versatility with three different styles in the pack. In fact, we received many compliments when wearing each of the three frame styles. 

The only downside is that their oversized design can sometimes make them feel a little bulky—especially after extended wear.

Magnification Range: 1.0 to 4.0 | Frame Material: PC | Frame Shape: Square | Lens Material: Not listed

Tough to measure your pupillary distance

We fell in love with these Olvera Eyeglasses, which feature a retro square frame that creates a bold and iconic profile. Plus, it’s easy to personalize these readers. For instance, high-quality lenses are available in seven indexes, determining how thick or thin your lenses will be. So, if you have a stronger prescription, you might prefer a higher index for thinner lenses. Meanwhile, you might select their impact-resistant lenses if you are more active.

Once you have your prescription in hand, it is pretty easy to order these readers—unless using technology is not your thing. It can be challenging to measure your pupillary distance on your own. But if you invest the time to learn how to order the right size for your face shape and needs (or if you can tell from another pair you already own), ordering is relatively simple.

Magnification Range: -20.00 to +12.00 | Frame Material: Acetate | Frame Shape: Square | Lens Material: Spec

Lenses are thick with higher indexes

For those who enjoy a more customized fit, you can’t go wrong with the Warby Parker Esme Glasses. Not only do they look super luxe, but they are essentially made to fit your face, which is a real plus if you need a size or width that is outside the norm. One thing we especially appreciated about these glasses was the buying process. With the free at-home try-on, we could pick five frames and keep them for five days to get a sense of which ones we liked the most. This allowed us the feel of an in-person selection with the comfort of an at-home purchase. Plus, inputting our prescription through Warby Parker’s site was super simple, and they custom-made the glasses for us. And we couldn’t be happier with the fit. 

Their lightweight design fit nicely on our face, and we didn’t experience any discomfort—even after prolonged wear.

These glasses also perform well, though we noticed the lenses are very thick and have higher indexes.

Magnification Range: Not listed | Frame Material: Hand-polished cellulose acetate | Frame Shape: Sesame tortoise | Lens Material: Impact resistant polycarbonate

They sit low on the nose

Not only are these ModFans Reading Glasses smaller with a slimmer frame, but the glass is very clear, and our eyes easily adjust at various distances from the objects we are focusing on. They also sit comfortably behind the ears, so even after wearing them for a long time, we experienced no discomfort or aches. And because these glasses do not have nose pieces, we could move them up and down without any issues. 

Like the good fit, these light glasses also sit gently on the nose. They don't slip down the nose at the most inopportune times, which we greatly appreciate since they sit a little low initially. They are also lightweight and comfortable, making them perfect for someone new to reading glasses. Wearing these glasses even helped alleviate eye strain when doing close detail work. Plus, considering you get four pairs, you can leave a pair in the house, office, car, and bag. 

They sit a little low on the nose, which some people may not prefer.

Magnification Range: 1.0 to 4.0 | Frame Material: Plastic | Frame Shape: Narrow frame | Lens Material: Not listed

Frame material can slide around and need to be adjusted

If you are a fan of aviator glasses but prefer the simplicity of clear frames, you’ll like the Zeelook Readers Chic Aviator Style readers. The clear frames complement hair color and skin tone and do not distract you from your facial features. Plus, we found that they look great on Zoom calls. But they are lightweight yet durable, discreet, and effective beyond aesthetics. And they quickly became our work-from-home readers.

We never had to squint or adjust our position to read or do our work. Overall, these readers are ideal for anyone looking for a functional pair of glasses with a minimalist design.

The thermoplastic material tends to be a bit slippery, and we had to adjust them occasionally.

Magnification Range: 1.5 to 3.0 | Frame Material: TR90 (thermoplastic) | Frame Shape: Aviator | Lens Material: Resin

Doesn’t offer any customized sizing

The Bklyn Harman reading glasses are simple, functional, and ideal for anyone hurrying to get readers without much planning. They can fill in for broken readers in a pinch and are a great introductory pair for people who need a little magnification. Plus, the plastic is both comfortable and lightweight but less durable than we might like.  

That said, these glasses are a great option for anyone who doesn’t like to shop or spend time in stores trying on glasses. Ordering is simple since these are available in a predetermined prescription, so you don’t have to upload any information. The two-pack makes it easy to leave them where needed—like on your nightstand, coffee table, or car.

The sizing isn't as customizable as other options.

Magnification Range: 1.25 to 3.00 | Frame Material: Plastic | Frame Shape: Oval, unisex | Lens Material: Not listed

After years of wearing this pair, we think the Foster Grant Donovon E-readers are the best for computer work. Not only are these reading glasses comfortable, but they also make things extremely clear when using the computer without any distortion. They even have a multi-focal option for those who need to see clearly at varying distances.

These reading glasses also fit our face well with our pupils centered and the width accommodating our face. They even have nose pads that help provide a more secure fit without causing any discomfort. Our headaches and eye strain symptoms have disappeared since using these glasses.

The metal and plastic frame is a little heavier than other pairs. You should consider other pairs if you want a lightweight pair of glasses.

Magnification Range: 1.00 to 3.25 | Frame Material: Metal and plastic | Frame Shape: Way | Lens Material: Scratch and impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses

Our editors received a prescription for reading glasses from an optometrist and ordered a pair as part of our at-home testing process. While testing and reviewing the 12 reading glasses on our list, our experts wore the glasses for one month. We also received input from Dr. Chen. While testing, we considered the following:

Dr. Hogue says progressive lenses (multifocal lenses) are ideal for individuals who require correction for both near and distant vision because they eliminate the need for multiple glasses and provide a seamless transition between distances. Progressives are especially beneficial for those with presbyopia, a common age-related vision issue. Dr. Eichenbaum says you should consider progressives if you want to buy prescription readers and do not like the cosmetics or functionality of lined bifocals.

While it’s generally a good idea to see an eye doctor about any vision problems, Richard Davidson, MD, an ophthalmologist with UC Health Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center in Colorado, says that it’s possible (and not harmful) to purchase and wear reading glasses without getting a prescription for them first. That said, getting prescription reading glasses may provide slightly better vision due to the higher lens quality and the ability to correct any astigmatism. But, he says OTC reading glasses are perfectly acceptable if you are comfortable with the image quality.

In short, adults over 40 should use reading glasses as much as needed, Benjamin B. Bert, MD, FACS, an ophthalmologist with Doheny Eye Institute, UCLA Stein Eye Institute, says. However, using reading glasses may make your eyes lazy. If you find that you need reading glasses at a younger age, or if you’re having difficulty focusing up close and you’re under 40, it may be worth seeing your optometrist or ophthalmologist to have a refraction performed and see if you need prescription glasses, Dr. Bert adds.

Some online companies, like Warby Parker and Zenni, provide instructions for customers. But overall, in-person shopping can be easier. When trying on reading glasses, Bhavin Shah, MCOptom, a behavioral optometrist at Central Vision Opticians in London, England, advises ensuring the glasses fit comfortably and not slide down your nose. Next, check to see if the glasses fit well on the sides of your head. Your glasses shouldn't press in on the sides of the glasses or stretch out too much, Shah explains.

Sherri Gordon, CLC, has been covering health and social issues for nearly two decades and has written countless articles with a health focus. She is well versed and knowledgeable about a number of health conditions that impact our everyday lives. Plus, as someone who spends multiple hours per day reading, writing, and using the computer, Sherri knows firsthand how important it is to find reading glasses that not only fit comfortably but also allow you to see clearly and focus.

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