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How long do glasses take to make?

eyeglass production

It usually takes between 7 and 14 business days to get new glasses, but they often arrive earlier than the stated time frame. There’s a good chance that expedited options are available if you need your glasses in a hurry.

Like any package you look forward to receiving, waiting for prescription glasses or sunglasses to come in can feel excruciatingly slow. Maybe you urgently need them for an upcoming event or big vacation. Maybe you’re wearing a pair with an outdated prescription and you can’t wait to see the world in crisp detail again.

The time it takes to deliver glasses varies by business, but we can offer some general guidance to ease your mind — or help you decide when it’s time to call customer service.

Vision stores*

If you order your glasses from an optical store, your typical wait time is around 1 to 2 weeks. Here are some time frames to consider:

  • LensCrafters: 3 to 14 days, depending on the complexity of the order

  • Visionworks: 14 days

  • Pearle Vision: 7 to 14 business days

  • America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses: ready for pickup 7 to 10 business days

  • Target Optical: 7 days to process, 3 to 5 days to ship

Picking your glasses up at a physical location gives your optometrist a chance to check your vision again with the new prescription, and your optician can check the fit of your new frames and make any needed minor adjustments for more comfortable wear. 

Driving back to the office again may feel a little repetitive, but it isn’t without good reason. Your trip will be rewarded with the perfect balance of frame pressure near your eyes, nose and ears. 

However, if you want to opt out of on-site pickup, some stores offer a ship-to-home option.

Online glasses retailers*

Across most online glasses buying options, the time it takes to get new glasses is about 1 to 3 weeks with the standard shipping option selected. Here are a few examples:

  • EyeBuyDirect: 7 to 14 business days, including shipping time, unless you use the 2-Day Delivery Service (available for an additional fee on select frames and lens options only)

  • Zenni Optical: 14 to 21 days, including standard shipping time

  • Coastal: 2 to 9 business days to process, 5 to 7 business days to ship

  • Liingo Eyewear: 14 days, including shipping time

  • FramesDirect.com: 10 to 12 business days to process, 3 to 11 business days to ship

Online delivery times vary based on factors like lens options, shipping location and whether glasses are produced in-house or outsourced.

With an online order, there usually isn’t any sort of pickup option — the package is delivered straight to your door. Some companies have their own physical locations or partnered locations for adjustments, or allow limited reimbursements.

Many brick-and-mortar offices and vision stores provide simple adjustments for free, even if you didn’t buy your glasses from them.

Doctor’s offices

If you get your glasses from your doctor’s office, the timing will vary by the individual office, but it will most likely run between 1 and 2 weeks, similar to a vision store.

Estimating doctor’s offices’ delivery time is tricky, since each location operates on its own individual terms. If you have an office in mind, a quick phone call can verify their delivery window.

Like many retail stores, you’ll probably be asked to return for a fitting once your glasses come in. Home shipping may also be available, but returning to the office gives your doctor a good chance to check your updated vision and fine-tune your frames.

Why do glasses take so long to arrive?

These days, delivery is about fast, fast, fast. So much of what we buy online is on our doorstep within 2 or 3 business days. So why does a simple pair of glasses take a week or more to show up?

The lens-making process starts with a large lens mold, which is then shaved down to fit your exact prescription proportions. Throw in extra lens coatings like UV-protective, anti-reflective, photochromic and scratch-resistant coatings — plus the time it takes to be delivered — and you’ve got a roughly 2-week process.

The good news is your glasses may not take that long to arrive. You’ll often be given a 7- to 10-day delivery window, only to be told your frames are ready for you 3 or 4 days later. Prescription sunglasses, progressive lenses or glasses with high-power or unusual prescriptions may take a few days longer, given the added complexity of the order.

From the fun of shopping for new frames to seeing more clearly with a new prescription — getting new glasses can be a really rewarding experience. It’s a once-every-few-years occasion for some, while others pick up a new pair once or twice every year.

The satisfaction of a pristine new pair of glasses is always worth the wait.

*Delivery windows obtained from company websites and accurate as of March 2021.

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