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 articles. The only thing you won't find is made in USA glasses, because there is only a couple glasses USA factories (to speak of). But you will find information on the most popular eyeglasses themes, like blue light glasses, reading glasses, computer glasses, and kids glasses. 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 Glasses
- How To Buy Prescription Lenses for Glasses
- 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.
- Get a prescription from your doctor
- Find a frame you like
- Choose the right prescription lenses
- 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
Buying 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
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 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.
How To Buy Prescription Lenses
Traditionally, people let the eye doctor or optician choose 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:
- Read Your Prescription
- Determine your needs, then pick a type
- Choose material
- Choose model
- Choose options
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
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:
- Plastic/CR39, Index 1.56
- Polycarbonate High Index 1.59
- High Index 1.67
- Ultra High Index 1.74
If 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.
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. You could also choose Transitions, a photochromic treatment, which makes the lenses darken outside and become clear again when indoors.
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.
Types Of Eyeglasses
There are many types of eyeglasses frames. But we like to classify frame types by the system used by the frame to hold the lenses:
- Full Rim
- Half Rim
- Rimless Frame
- Shield Frame
Parents should consider getting their kids a pair of full-rim frames because of their durability. Although they may feel a little bit heavier, they are often a popular choice for people with an active lifestyle.
Half-rim eyewear have frames without a complete rim structure around the lens. Instead, there is a solid structure overtop of the lens, which can considerably reduce the weight of the frame.
Rimless eyewear have lenses attached at the bridge (the part across your nose) and the hinges that connect to the arms. This frame type is ideal for people who want to minimize people being distracted by bulky or colorful lenses.
Rimless frames are a popular choice for both men and women. They're also commonly considered for being stylish and worn on special occasions such as weddings and graduations. However, while rimless frames are sleek and reveal more of your face, they also are less sturdy than other frame types.
Shield frames are a unique style of frames designed to protect against unwanted debris and light in the peripheral areas. Although these frames may seem like a bold fashion statement, they offer substantial protection for your eyes. The frames are typically used for sunglasses, and cannot hold prescription lenses. The only way to use a prescription with this type of frame is to use an "optical insert", which hold prescription lenses behind the shield lens.
Most Popular Glasses Categories
Nowadays, the most popular frame types are blue light glasses, reading glasses, cheap glasses, kids glasses, and sun glasses. Other popular types related to the frame shape, like round glasses or cat eye glasses.
There are many other categories for people with special interests:
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.
Adjusting and Cleaning
To adjust eyeglasses frames, it is helpful to know all about frame parts. Glasses frames are designed to be adjusted in many different ways. You can make some adjustments at home, but take great care, and read our article beforehand.
If you want to learn how to clean glasses, check out our article on that topic. Basically, the best way to do it is with warm soapy water in the sink, but that is not the most convenient method.