March 4, 2021
Best places to buy replacement prescription lenses online in 2021

Best places to buy replacement prescription lenses online in 2021


After months of lockdown and social distancing, more people are now aware that purchasing prescription glasses online from a manufacturer such as Warby Parker or one of its many rivals in the eyeglasses industry is not only cheaper, but it’s also a lot easier than going somewhere in person for new glasses. But while Warby will replace lenses for its frames, it won’t replace lenses for any other brand of frames, and only a smaller subset of online RX glasses outfits do lens replacements.  

To help you narrow down your lens replacement options, I’ve pulled together a list of top replacement-lens vendors that I’ve tried. All of these companies also sell frames and full prescription eyeglass and sunglasses packages. However, one of the things that differentiates them is the option for you to send your glasses in and have their lenses replaced.

Read more: Best places to buy prescription glasses online

All of these companies will either send you a little box with a return shipping label inside to mail your glasses to them, or, if you already have a box for your glasses, they can send just the return shipping label. It’s an easy process.

If you’re wondering whether these eyewear retailers make RX lenses for audio glasses like Bose Frames and Amazon Echo Frames, most do, although only a few, like Lensabl, have officially partnered with Bose (Lensabl sells the Bose Tempo sports model, but you can also get RX lenses separately).

We’ll update this list as we get the opportunity to try more. But before we dive in, note the following prerequisites, caveats and tips: 

  • Most of the prescription eyewear sites highlighted here offer some sort of discount for first-time customers.
  • In most cases, you’ll need to know your prescription and pupillary distance from your optometrist before you use an online glasses retailer — so make sure you get a hard copy the next time you get your vision checked. Once you have your current prescription, most of these sites will let you upload a picture of the prescription from your phone the first time you buy prescription eyewear.
  • If you don’t know your RX, certain lens-replacement outfits in this roundup can simply duplicate the lenses you have in your existing frames. (If a lens is cracked or scratched, you may simply want to replace it if your RX is current.)
  • Some sites will ask you to send a description or photo of your frame (and perhaps ask for a model number if you have one), so they can prep your order and process it faster.
  • Most but not all existing frames can accept new prescription lenses.
  • See how to buy glasses online and save hundreds of dollars for more tips.

Read more: Use your phone to check your vision

Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

As its name implies, Overnight Glasses can make you a new set of prescription glasses quickly — and really quickly if you’re willing to pay extra for it. If you buy a frame/lens package, fast 3- to 4-day service is available for $9 (it takes slightly longer for progressive and bifocal types). The quality of the lenses I got was as good as that from other replacement-lens sites, so there’s no sacrifice on prescription eyewear quality for speed.

As for new lenses, you ship your frames to Overnight Glasses and they’ll replace your lenses with new ones in 48 hours (they can do polarized, Blue light, Transitions and many other types, though progressive take an additional 2 days, so 72 hours total from the time your frames are received). 

If you’re looking for a truly overnight option, its emergency, 24-hour rush service costs an additional $59 for single vision. As noted, a progressive lens order can take an additional 2 days, so the fastest you can get new progressive lenses in is 3 days.

Overnight makes lenses for Bose Frames and Amazon Echo Frames audio glasses.

Notable site features: The site has a clean look and is easy to use. Shipping options are one of the key focuses. 

Current deals and coupons: 30% off the first eyeglass order with code 30FIRST or for 30% on lenses with code LENS30 when you order any frame on sale. 25% off your order or 25% off the lenses if the frame is on sale (coupon automatically applies at the cart).

Shipping times: As fast as 48 hours from the time your eyeglass frame is received, while 24-hour rush service costs an additional $59 for single vision (progressives take an additional 2 days)

Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Although it offers full frame/lens packages, Lensabl puts its lens-replacement service front and center and comes up high in search results when Googling “lens- replacement.”  Its motto is “Your frames, our lenses,” with prices starting at $77 for buying a basic pair of single-vision lenses. A pair of tinted sunglasses lenses starts at $97. The budget new lens options are decent enough, but it does make a difference (in terms of sharpness and clarity) to step up to lenses more in the $150-plus range. 

You upload your prescription online, pick the type of lens you want, and then Lensabl sends you a box with a prepaid return shipping label. You simply mail them your glasses in the box (shipping is free). First-time prescription lens customers get 15% off. 

Lensabl does make RX lenses for Bose Frames audio sunglasses.

Notable site features: For $40, you can renew your prescription online. Not everybody qualifies to take the online eye exam — you have to answer some questions to see if you qualify — but if you do, Lensabl says, “All you need is your computer, smartphone and about 15 minutes of time.” Your results will be reviewed by an eye doctor or optometrist licensed in your state who will then issue you a new prescription via email.

Current deals and coupons: 20% off all clear lenses with code SEECLEAR. 15% off replacement lenses and Everyday Eyewear frames with code SEE15.

Shipping times: Lensabl pledges “about two weeks” turnaround time from when you ship your frames to when you’ll receive your prescription eyewear back.  

Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

While it’s had retail shops in the New York area for a while, ReplacementRxLenses is somewhat new to the online replacement-lens arena. My experience using this retailer was smooth, with a relatively quick turnaround time (about a week, but I was in New York). Its prices are competitive and slightly cheaper with some lens types.

What the site says differentiates it from competitors in that is doesn’t have an assembly-line format to fulfill orders, where one worker is responsible for manufacturing the lenses, another is responsible for tracing the frame and edging the lenses to fit the frame, and another might handle the final eyeglass inspection. “With us, one technician works on a customer’s order from start to finish,” a rep told me. “We believe this format results in a better end product because there is almost no chance of information being lost or mistakes being made along the way.”

ReplacementRxLenses says it can do a replacement for prescription eyewear or replace nonprescription lenses for Bose, Amazon Echo, Snapchat Spectacles and many other audio/smart frames.

Notable site features: The site says it has experience working with frame types and lenses that some other places can’t handle. “We have plenty of experience working with sports frames, wraparound frames, vintage frames and extended range prescriptions,” a rep told me. “Many other online replacement services can only work with certain frame types and up to certain prescriptions.”

The site tries to get as much information about a customer’s frame beforehand so it can begin working on the order even before receiving the frame, which helps expedite the order. (I submitted a photo of my frame).

Current deals and coupons: 15% off for new customers in exchange for your email address.

Shipping times: 7-14 days.

Eyeglasses.com

Eyeglasses.com has a huge selection of both frames and lenses and is also one of a small number of sites that offer a lens-replacement service for existing frames, with prices starting at $49. As with all the other sites here, you simply choose the lens you want (that can be a little daunting because there are so many options) and you’ll get sent a prelabeled box with which to return your frames, with free shipping both ways. If you don’t know your RX — and don’t want to change your current prescription — you can opt to have Eyeglasses.com’s technicians “read your lenses and duplicate them.” 

The service isn’t superspeedy (in terms of turnaround time), but the lenses are high-quality and the eyewear site has good online help options, including a Replacement Lenses Wizard and an online chat feature. Unlike Lensabl, which highlights its lens-replacement service, Eyeglasses.com doesn’t market the option front and center. 

Eyeglasses.com makes lenses for Bose Frames and Amazon Echo Frames audio glasses.

Notable site features: Eyeglasses.com says it only sells “high quality, individually made lenses made in the USA,” and the sample glasses I tried had excellent lenses that gave me a very sharp image. As I said, there’s a huge selection of lens options, and you get a “Perfect Lenses Guarantee” that allows you to send your glasses back if they don’t work for you — you can get a redo or a full refund, your choice.

Current deals and coupons: 15% off for new customers in exchange for your email address.

Shipping times: For replacement lenses, you can expect it to be a 10- to 14-day process from the time you place your order. You can cut down the time a bit with a one-day shipping option for an extra $12 fee. 

Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

LensDirect says it can make quality lenses for a wide array of frames — “practically any frame unless it just absolutely doesn’t make any fundamental sense like putting a +7.5 prescription on a semi rimless frame” — and has its own machine in-house that can cut the lenses at any time (other retailers have this as well, but just pointing it out). “We make lens replacement more affordable than our competitors without sacrificing quality,” a rep told me.

However, LensDirect does not make replacement lenses for Bose and Amazon audio glasses.

My lens replacement took about week, and the lens quality was high. After using discount codes, the cost for lenses I got was a bit less than at some competing sites like Lensabl.

Notable site features: The site has a virtual try-on feature if you’re buying a frame/lens package. When it comes to an older audience (people who wear progressive or bifocal lenses), lens options tend be more affordable (with discount codes applied), specifically when it comes to the 1.67 high-index lens (40% thinner and lighter than a standard CR39 lens). “Even to a younger audience who wants to take a cheap eyeglass frame and get exactly the lens they need, our CR39 and Polycarbonate lenses start off more affordably even for them,” a rep said.  

Current deals and coupons: 15% off lens replacement with code SAVE15. Up to 30% for new customers in exchange for email address (see link in bottom left corner of screen).

Shipping times: 10-14 days.


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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.



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