Prescription sunglasses online retailer recommendations
May 9, 2007 3:43 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone bought prescription sunglasses online before? Any recommendations? Things I should look out for?
posted by bytewrite to Shopping (13 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
This blog is all about buying glasses online. They have a Google group for discussion, too.
posted by IndigoRain at 3:55 PM on May 9, 2007

Seconding using Glassy Eyes. I found the site I used through them (Optical 4 Less). The glasses arrived with a scratch, but after consulting with them for a bit, they sent back a new pair. Glassy Eyes also has a discussion board and flickr photo group where you can get a lot of tips.
posted by artifarce at 4:16 PM on May 9, 2007

As an alternative to prescription sunglasses (I would like some sunglasses of perception, myself), you might check out clip on sunglasses. After using prescription sunglasses for some years, I switched to clip ons and found them to be much more convienent. Clip ons are easier to carry with you and quicker to put on than swapping glasses, and can be replaced cheaply if they get damaged. The one disadvantage I found is that they do add some weight to the glasses, but I have only found this to be a problem on one or two occasions.
posted by yohko at 4:44 PM on May 9, 2007

related question from two days ago. Some online vendor recommendations there.
posted by jourman2 at 4:47 PM on May 9, 2007

I've bought from before and am very happy with the results - they specialize in doing prescription lenses in high-curvature (e.g., wraparound) sunglasses - I have such a pair from them, and I don't have any of the blurring problems that people in the previous thread talk about.

(I didn't recommend in the previous thread, though, because the OP there was looking for inexpensive sunglasses, which decidedly is not.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:00 PM on May 9, 2007

Recently there was an ad in the lost and found of our local paper asking for the return of a pair of subscription glasses. I don't know why they even bothered--these things are delivered, what--once a week?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:09 PM on May 9, 2007

Wow, I completely missed that last thread from a couple of days ago.
posted by IndigoRain at 5:16 PM on May 9, 2007

Oh, and for general advice, get either your optometrist or a brick-and-mortar glasses store to measure your pupillary distance (PD) - it may not otherwise be on your prescription, and you'll need it for the best possible match to your eyes. Best is to get a separate PD for each eye; less good, but still useful, is an overall PD.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:25 PM on May 9, 2007

FWIW, I've had excellent results with polarized shades ordered through Action Optics (link will take you to their Smith Optics retail store/RX sub-page). Prices were fair (~$200/pr), and they did require the pupillary distance measurement DevilsAdvocate mentioned above. I can't say enough good things about polarized lenses -- absolutely worth the extra money, IMO, especially if you spend any time near water. And Action Optics staff was very friendly and helpful.
posted by mosk at 5:40 PM on May 9, 2007

As an alternative to prescription sunglasses (I would like some sunglasses of perception, myself), you might check out clip on sunglasses.

Or yet another alternative -- pay a little extras to get a photochromic tint on your regular glasses, so there's no need to carry about a clip-on or a separate pair of sunglasses. They may not be as good for serious sports use as separate sunglasses, but for everyday wear I love them, there's no fumbling with clip-ons and nothing extra to lug about.

(I'm currently using nice custom clip-ons with a new pair of glasses picked up earlier this month...but after having photochromics in most of my previous pairs, I'm pretty thoroughly spoiled and the clip-ons are just not making me happy; I'm seriously considering getting a second pair with my usual photochromes and relegating the current ones to strictly indoor wear.)
posted by Smilla's Sense of Snark at 7:24 PM on May 9, 2007

If you have very little prescription change, you can get an existing pair tinted. My local shop did this for me for free when I got my new pair.
posted by nita at 8:49 PM on May 9, 2007

I got mine from It took no time at all for them to ship -- like 24 hours? But it took almost 3 weeks to get to me in Canada; it turned out they came from Hong Kong.

The prescription is spot-on and the tint is excellent. You have to email them for the chart of tints -- mine is the darkest grey and it's pretty damn dark.

They come with a hard case and a cleaning cloth. Very well packaged, so there's no chance of breakage.

I also have two regular prescription pairs from them that I'm perfectly happy with. I'll probably never go get ripped off at an optometrist again.

The only down side is that they don't come adjusted, so you'll have to con a shop to adjust them for you if they don't fit your head right out of the box.

I agree it feels sketchy, ordering glasses without submitting the prescription and paying by Paypal, but my experience was entirely positive.
posted by loiseau at 11:12 AM on May 10, 2007

Oh -- also, I got the default lens thickness/index and they're totally fine. I have a -5.5 in both eyes and they are not too heavy. Don't bother forking over more for the super-high-index lenses unless you're way more blind than me.
posted by loiseau at 11:13 AM on May 10, 2007

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