I’m in my mid-30s and my vision has recently been changing. In fact, it’s been improving. Because the power of my lenses are often now too strong, I find myself needing to update my prescription every 6 months to 1 year. This can be very costly, as I would need to buy new glasses each time. Fortunately, I found a site where I can get great looking, affordable prescription glasses for about S$10!
I’ve been ordering from this site for almost 6 years, and can attest to the company’s reliability, and the accuracy and quality of their products. At first I was skeptical, but each time I received my order, I would have the (local) optometrist verify it. Out of curiosity, I sometimes would ask the optometrist how much a similar pair would cost me, and he would usually show me a pair that was over S$200.
The company is called Zenni Optical. They have thousands of styles, including progressive/transitional lenses (the lenses that darken when exposed to UV light), bifocals, rimless glasses, and prescription sunglasses and even goggles. (My husband has a pair specifically for snowboarding.)
Since ordering glasses online means you can’t try them out, it is extremely important that you have the correct prescription and pupillary distance (PD). You can have someone measure the PD for you, or check your most recent prescription (PD typically doesn’t change with time). You can also go to your nearest lens store and try on different frames, while you jot down various measurements. Then, just search for something similar on Zenni’s site.
Their site also includes a virtual fitting in which you can upload your own photo. Then you choose a frame to get an idea of what it might look like on your face. It does a fairly decent job, so long as you have the correct PD.
How Much Does it Cost?
Since my prescription is constantly changing, it makes sense for me to get their cheapest lenses at US$7 (S$10). Yes, this includes the price of the frame. You do have the option of getting upgrades and add-ons, such as additional coating that may help reduce glare or fingerprints (from S$6), or clip-on sunglasses (from S$5), or better material for your lens (from S$11).
But from my experience, the only worthwhile add-on to get would be the standard anti-reflective coating at S$6. They reduce glare at night, and make it easier for people to see your eyes. They also reduce the glare in photos. My husband once got their premium coating. But after some time, the minor wear and tear on his lens was no different than my pair, which just had the standard coating.
If you want to spend more, they do have more expensive styles priced at US$25 (S$31). You’ll even find rimless glasses, in which you get to choose your lens shape, for as low as US$19 (S$24).
Their shipping is a standard flat rate at US$9.95 (S$13). So I usually will usually buy more than one pair, or do a group purchase (with friends/colleagues) to split the cost.
I’ve gotten some strange reactions from doing this though. I remember a colleague of mine (who will remain anonymous) saying, “Wow, this is great. Now I can get glasses for the entire family”. And I thought, “You mean, you’ve been putting off buying glasses because of the cost?” To my surprise, she was sharing a pair of glasses with her spouse and kids, though their prescriptions varied widely (this is what I would consider to be “cheap” and not necessarily “frugal”).
For the cost of just one pair of prescription glasses from a local shop, you can get 3 or 4 from this site (yes, enough for your whole family). And your glasses will come with its own case and cleaning cloth.