Can I get cheap, small glasses with near-sighted lenses? What about reading glasses?
December 15, 2011 8:39 PM   Subscribe

Can I have a glasses store put near-sighted lenses in cheap reading glasses? Is there another way to get cheap glasses for my small face?

Here are my problems:

1. Don't want to spend a lot of money
2. Do want new glasses
3. Have a small head -- most glasses from the eyeglass place make me look like a bug. Kids' glasses are a little too small.

I like trying on those narrower reading glasses in Barnes & Noble because they actually look good on me! However, I have only ever seen those in a "+" subscription. Is there some way to get those glasses in a "-" (-1.50 and -3.25, to be specific -- but I would settle for a solid -2 or -3)? Alternately, can I have them re-fitted with those lenses?

I will ask at an eyeglass shop, but wonder if someone else has found a good solution for this. Online and in-person vendor recommendations welcome.
posted by ramenopres to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I am in Minnesota.
posted by ramenopres at 8:40 PM on December 15, 2011

I highly recommend online glasses buying. Large selection, can't beat the price. Check out glasseyes for more information on purchasing online.

The place I end up ordering from more often than not is Goggles4U. They are not only very reasonably priced and have a huge selection, but they have very specific data on the size of each of their frames. And, you can search based on frame size. What I have done in the past is go to a glasses store, find frames I like, remember their general shape and measure them: along the arm, the nose bridge and from temple to temple (there's more information on their website showing you what each measurement represents). Then you can go online and find something that you can be pretty confident will work for you. Enter your prescription and your PD (distance between your pupils - you can measure this yourself) and in two to three weeks you'll receive a perfect pair of prescription glasses - all for around $20 to $30. Not too bad.
posted by mosessis at 8:55 PM on December 15, 2011

I've also bought many pairs of glasses from Goggles4U. A++, would buy again.
posted by emeiji at 8:58 PM on December 15, 2011

They should be able to put lenses in any frame.
posted by J. Wilson at 9:04 PM on December 15, 2011

I pretty much only buy my glasses online these days, too. I've gone through Zenni Optical so far and could not be happier. I've yet to pay over $35 for a pair (even sunglasses) and for the first time in my life I've actually gotten compliments on my glasses.

The one caveat, as mentioned, is that you want to know what your PD is. As mosessis says, you can measure this yourself. However, I just asked for my PD the last time I got my eyes examined and they gave me the measurement then.

Seriously, this is the way to go. You might want to order two pairs though because there's definitely a chance that you won't like one pair as much as you thought you might (can't try 'em on) and you can then relegate that to backup duty.

Still though, it's great to be able to afford different glasses for different outfits/moods and to be able to have glasses that I really like the way I look in for the first time in my life.
posted by Scientist at 9:10 PM on December 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

Seconding Zenni Optical. I measured my old pair of glasses to get an idea of what dimensions the new glasses should have... The quality on my $8 Zenni glasses seems to be as good as the $200 glasses from LensCrafters.
posted by gregr at 9:20 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've had good experiences with Zenni Optical and Check glassyeyes for info about specials they and other companies may be running.
posted by usonian at 9:33 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Everyone in my office uses Zenni Optical, so does my wife. To call their experiences life changing would not be unreasonable given how they all own at least a half dozen glasses and all own prescription sunglasses now when previously they mostly just had one or two pairs. A choice of faces, imagine that!
posted by furtive at 10:08 PM on December 15, 2011

I have also bought glasses online from Zenni Optical, I bought a normal pair and a tinted pair to use as sunglasses.

I had my eye doctor measure my PD (pupilary distance), and both pairs fit perfectly. They are both very comfortable and I love them.

My eye doctor charged $10 to measure my PD, I came in to have her (well, her assistant) do it - it wasn't at a normal appointment.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:42 PM on December 15, 2011

There are a couple of different kids's sizes. I don't fit the very small ones, but I fit the ones for 8-12 year olds. And I have bought these in the past when I wanted small lenses.

Unfortunately, the reading glasses that are small will not be set at the right place for distance - they sit lower.
posted by jb at 11:22 PM on December 15, 2011

If you let me know what kind of frames you are into, I have a few old pairs that I just won't throw out that I'd be glad to send you if you are into the style. I don't have them here (I am at work) but I can share the manufacturer and model # etc when I get home tonight. I have the same issue as you - a little peanuthead so most glasses look goofy on me.
posted by 8dot3 at 5:27 AM on December 16, 2011

I got my current glasses from and am very happy with them. They frequently do a free glasses promotion on their website & Facebook page. I ordered during one of those promotions & got mine for a total of $10 for shipping and they're nearly identical to the pair I paid $300 a couple years ago. I'll memail you a code for a free pair. (They stuck a "share with a friend" card in the box they sent me.)
posted by belladonna at 5:49 AM on December 16, 2011

Nothing fits my head right. I go to the department store, look at what is on sale in the sunglasses section and then I take it to the eye doctor and have them put my prescription in. The frames usually cost me anywhere from $20 to $40 and the lenses are usually no more than $40. Hope that helps your budget!!
posted by Yellow at 5:59 AM on December 16, 2011

I asked a similar question once (many years ago). The answer that I got was that if the lens cage (the part of the frame that actually holds the lens) is held closed by a screw (so that if unscrewed the cage would look a bit like Pac-Man), instead of being a single oval of plastic, then you can have prescription lenses installed with no problem.
posted by oddman at 6:22 AM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Have ordered from Zenni and Goggles4U and have had good experiences with both.

Prices are way better than traditional means, and no need to worry trying to fit lenses into a pair of glasses not made for them.
posted by rich at 6:40 AM on December 16, 2011

I've had Lens Crafters add lenses to glasses for me. My insurance covered it with a $25 copay. I needed them for historic reenacting, so I couldn't just order them online.

I'm also a big fan of Zenni. I too have a skinny face (childrens glasses are just a teeny bit too small) and I love my glasses from Zenni. They have a way for you to upload a picture of yourself so you can try the glasses on and see how they'll look. I went back and tried on the three frames I already owned and found that it was very accurate. If you don't look like a bug on their site you won't look like a bug IRL.
posted by TooFewShoes at 6:52 AM on December 16, 2011

Vintage frames might be worth looking at - the surviving pairs tend to be very very small. Check your size (it should be printed on the inside of your frames and will look like eg. 48-20) and have a look on etsy.
posted by mippy at 6:53 AM on December 16, 2011

Check out Warby Parker. You can get a home try-on of five frames for free with no obligation, and glasses with lenses are $95. They're all plastic-framed and quite stylish, and they do make several styles for smaller faces. My wife and I both have a pair from them and have been quite happy with both the glasses themselves and the customer service experience.
posted by The Michael The at 7:58 AM on December 16, 2011

Nthing Goggles4u. Also, the resources cited in my previous, complementary question may be of interest.
posted by tellumo at 9:09 AM on December 16, 2011

I'll also nth Goggles4U. I've ordered 8 pairs of glasses from them, including a pair of sunglasses, all without issue.
posted by namewithoutwords at 10:16 AM on December 16, 2011

« Older What should I do about the cat outside my door?   |   The Hamster in my hard drive is back Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.