What Should You Know Before You Order Prescription Glasses Online?

February 27, 2024
3 mins read
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Ordering prescription glasses online offers the convenience of shopping from the comfort of your home, with a wider range of frames and potentially lower prices than in-store. However, before you click ‘buy,’ there are several key factors to consider to ensure you get glasses that not only look great but also meet your vision needs. It’s essential to have a current and accurate prescription from your optometrist and to understand the specifics, such as your pupillary distance (PD), as these details are crucial for the proper fit and function of your glasses.

When choosing frames from an online retailer, pay attention to the frame size and material, as well as the return policy and customer support offered by the website. This is important because, unlike an in-person fitting, you won’t have an immediate sense of how a frame fits until it arrives. Additionally, when selecting lenses, it’s important to know the variety of lens options and coatings available, and what each offers in terms of vision correction and comfort.

Key Takeaways

  • Ensure you have an up-to-date prescription and know your pupillary distance before ordering.
  • Carefully choose frames by considering size, material, and the retailer’s return policy.
  • Understand the different lens options and coatings to customize your glasses for optimal vision.

Understanding Prescription Glasses

Before you order prescription glasses online, it’s essential to have a correct and up-to-date prescription and to choose frames that suit your face shape and lifestyle.

Determining Your Prescription

Your prescription is a unique set of numbers representing the power needed to correct your vision. To decipher these numbers, you might want to learn how to read your eyeglasses prescription. Typically, a prescription will include abbreviations such as OD (oculus dexter) for the right eye and OS (oculus sinister) for the left eye, along with values indicating the lens power, measured in diopters. Sphere (SPH) corrects nearsightedness or farsightedness; Cylinder (CYL) and Axis pertain to astigmatism, and Add is for bifocals or progressive lenses. A recent eye exam is critical; prescriptions generally are valid for one to two years. If you are not sure about your prescription, consult with an optometrist before you order prescription glasses online.

Choosing the Right Frames

Selecting the right frames involves considering your face shape, size, and personal style. Frames come in various materials, each with distinct qualities:

  • Metal: Durable and often adjustable.
  • Plastic: Lightweight and available in numerous colors.
  • Titanium: Both lightweight and very strong.

Frame size is vital for comfort and function; each frame should fit the width of your face and the size of your lens prescription. Styles range from classic to contemporary, and function is just as crucial—think about whether you need flexibility, hypoallergenic materials, or a certain type of nose pad. Pay attention to the temple length and bridge size to ensure a good fit, as well as to the lens height, to accommodate progressive or bifocal lenses if needed.

Selecting the Perfect Lenses and Accessories

Before ordering prescription glasses online, understanding the options for lens materials and enhancements ensures you get glasses that not only correct your vision but also suit your lifestyle and preferences.

Types of Lenses and Materials

Polycarbonate Lenses: These are lighter and more resistant to impacts than traditional glass lenses, making them a great choice if you’re concerned about durability. A step up in terms of thinness and weight are high-index lenses, which are ideal for strong prescriptions as they reduce the “coke bottle” effect.

  • Glass Lenses: While they offer excellent clarity, glass lenses are heavier and can break more easily, so they may not be the best option for active lifestyles or for children’s eyewear.

Enhancements and Coatings

  • Anti-Scratch Coating: To prolong the life of your lenses, an anti-scratch coating is essential, as it helps protect lenses from the wear and tear of daily use.
  • Anti-Reflective Coatings: For reduced glare, especially while driving at night or working on a computer, consider lenses with anti-reflective coatings.
  • Blue Light Filtering: To mitigate eye strain from screens, blue light filtering can be a smart addition, especially if you spend significant time in front of digital devices.
  • Progressive Lenses: If you need glasses for both distance and reading, progressive lenses provide a seamless transition between different viewing zones without the visible lines found in traditional bifocals.

When selecting frames, your choice can greatly influence the overall comfort and effectiveness of your glasses. Frames should fit well with your chosen lens type, and remember, heavier lenses might require sturdier frames. A proper selection of frames and lenses can significantly enhance your visual experience and comfort.


Ordering prescription glasses online can be a convenient and cost-effective option. It’s essential to have your current prescription and pupillary distance (PD) measurement handy. Remember to look for reputable retailers and understand their return policies. Take the time to select frames that match your style and meet your needs, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of online shopping for your eyewear.

Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning we could earn a commission if you make a purchase through these links.

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