HomeZenni Optical Review: An Overview of the Company, Types of Glasses and Cost

Zenni Optical Review: An Overview of the Company, Types of Glasses and Cost

Woman wearing glasses on laptop shopping for eyeglasses on Zenni

You’ve set your sights on a new pair of glasses, and you want affordability, style and clear vision. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Zenni glasses so you can decide if they’re right for you.

Zenni Optical is a company that sells eyeglasses online. It was founded in 2003 in the San Francisco area with a mission: Offer affordable, stylish glasses online. Zenni Optical’s founders wanted to make it easy to order glasses online while providing high-quality optical lenses and offering excellent customer support.

Zenni sells prescription glasses, blue-light glasses and sunglasses with a variety of lens options. You can order Zenni eyeglasses by choosing frames, lenses and add-ons from the company website. Once you make your purchase, your glasses are made to order in the Zenni Optical factory. The glasses are then shipped directly from the factory to you in about two weeks. 

Our Zenni Optical review will answer your questions about this online glasses seller. We’ll cover how Zenni works, what kinds of glasses they offer, how much their glasses cost, ways to shop their website and what happens if you decide you don’t like your Zenni glasses.

SEE RELATED: Prescription eyeglasses lenses and frames

How does Zenni Optical work?

Ordering glasses from Zenni is pretty straightforward. Before you start shopping, make sure you have your:

  • Eyeglasses prescription – You’ll need to get a comprehensive eye exam and ask your eye doctor for a written prescription.

  • Pupillary distance (PD) – You can measure your pupillary distance yourself, but it’s best to get it from your eye doctor during your exam.

Once you have this information in hand, here’s how to order Zenni glasses:

  1. Choose frames – It’s a good idea to check customer reviews for frames that interest you. Be sure to use the Zenni virtual try-on tool to get an idea of how the frames may look on you.

  2. Enter your prescription information – You’ll need to type in the information from your prescription. Be sure to double-check to avoid mistakes.

  3. Pick your lenses – Zenni will recommend lenses for you, but you can also choose from various lens options, including tinted lenses, photochromic lenses and blue-light-blocking lenses.

  4. Add extras – You can add any “extras” you want, such as lens coatings or engraving.

Once you make all your choices, you’ll need to add your glasses to your cart. Check to make sure everything is right, then create an account or log in and purchase your glasses.

Are Zenni glasses right for me?

Zenni glasses may work fine for some patients and not so well for others. Whether Zenni Optical is right for you depends on your glasses prescription, lifestyle and shopping preferences.

Zenni glasses may be right for you if you:

  • Have a simple glasses prescription.

  • Don’t wear glasses very often.

  • Frequently lose or break your glasses.

  • Want a pair of cheap glasses.

Zenni glasses may not be right for you if you:

  • Have a complicated glasses prescription.

  • Prefer to try on glasses in person before you buy.

  • Want professional help choosing and fitting frames.

  • Are looking for glasses made in the United States.

Ways to shop Zenni Optical

It’s easy to shop the Zenni Optical website based on your own needs, preferences and priorities. For example, you can shop by:

  • Cost – Shop for glasses “under $10” or “under $20.”

  • Face shape – Take a face shape quiz and shop frames that flatter your face shape (heart, oval, round, diamond, square or pear).

  • Color or pattern – You can shop for frames in your favorite color (blue, pink, lilac, rose gold, rainbow, etc.) or pattern (tortoiseshell, floral, polka dot, etc.).

  • Frame shape – Browse frames by shape or style (aviator, browline, cat-eye, rectangle, rimless, round, square and more).

  • Designer – Select from collections by your favorite glasses designer (Coco + Breezy, Cynthia Rowley, Timo Weiland).

It can be overwhelming to have so many options when buying glasses online. These Zenni Optical shopping options make it easier to sift through all the available frames and make a final choice more quickly.

How much do Zenni glasses cost?

The price of Zenni glasses ranges from $6.95 to $49.95 for single-vision prescription glasses. The cost goes up to $100 or more if you have a complicated prescription or add “extras.”

Zenni sunglasses start at $12, and blue-light-blocking prescription glasses start at $24. 

Zenni doesn’t have free shipping, so you’ll need to add shipping to these prices. How much? You can choose: 

  • Standard shipping for $4.95 with delivery in 14 to 21 days. 

  • Priority shipping for $8.45 with delivery in 10 to 16 days.

  • Express shipping for $18.95 with delivery in 8 to 12 days.

The factors that affect the cost of Zenni glasses include:

  • Frames

  • Glasses prescription (for example, bifocals or progressive lenses)

  • Type of lenses (blue-light blocking, photochromic, etc.)

  • Extras (anti-scratch coating, for example)

  • Shipping (standard, priority or express)

It’s easy to get very low-cost Zenni glasses if you have a simple prescription, you choose the least expensive frames and lenses available, and select standard shipping. For designer frames, more complicated prescriptions and multiple extras, Zenni may not be much cheaper than getting glasses from a local optician.

Why are Zenni glasses so cheap?

There are various reasons why Zenni Optical is able to keep the cost of its eyeglasses low. Zenni glasses are made at a dedicated factory and shipped directly to the consumer. Also, because Zenni sells its glasses online, they don’t pay for brick-and-mortar retail space.

Zenni claims that their “factory-direct, online model” allows them to sell glasses at one-tenth of the price of buying glasses at a local optical shop.

How to save money on Zenni Optical glasses

You can save even more on Zenni glasses by looking for a deal. Here are three ways to save money on Zenni eyeglasses:

  1. Promo code – The best way to save money on Zenni glasses is to look for a Zenni Optical promo code on the website. Zenni features the latest promo codes at the top of the home page. For example, a recent Zenni promo code would get you $10 off orders of $65 and up or $20 off orders of $85 and up. 

  2. Zenni’s “hero discount” – Zenni Optical also offers 10% military, first responder and medical worker discounts. To get your discount, you click the corresponding button in the shopping cart and get your medical or military ID verified by ID.me.

  3. Refer-a-friend program – When you refer a friend to Zenni, you can give your friend $5 off and also get $5 off your own pair of glasses.

It’s definitely worth taking a few minutes to score a special deal so you can save as much as possible on your glasses.

Are Zenni glasses made in the U.S.A.?

Zenni Optical is a U.S. company, but Zenni glasses are made in China. The Zenni Optical headquarters is located in San Francisco, and the one-million-square-foot Zenni Optical factory and eyewear laboratories are located in Danyang, China.

How long does it take to get glasses from Zenni Optical?

It generally takes about two weeks from the date of your order to get your Zenni eyeglasses. But it can take as little as one to as much as three weeks, depending on the shipping speed you choose when you check out.

Making a decision: Look at Zenni Optical reviews

Still not sure if you should get Zenni eyeglasses? It’s a good idea to check out Zenni Optical reviews to see what other customers have to say.

Look at a variety of sites, including the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to get a range of perspectives on Zenni glasses. One example: The New York Times consumer reviews site Wirecutter offers a review of Zenni Optical in its article on the best places to buy glasses online. It names EyeBuyDirect the best place to buy glasses but highlights Zenni Optical as a good budget option. 

What happens if I don’t like my Zenni glasses?

You’re not stuck with Zenni eyeglasses you don’t like, but you will lose some money getting them replaced. 

You have two choices:

  • Return them for a one-time, full-store credit (minus shipping costs).

  • Return them for a 50% refund (minus shipping costs) to the form of payment you used to buy them.

You must contact Zenni for a return authorization number within 30 days to return your glasses for any reason.

If Zenni made a mistake while making your glasses, they will remake them for free. However, you will need to return the glasses for an inspection, and Zenni must determine that they were made incorrectly.

Our thoughts on Zenni Optical glasses

It is tempting to buy cheap eyeglasses online, and Zenni Optical is a convenient, budget-friendly option with a nice selection to choose from. However, there are also benefits to buying eyeglasses through your eye doctor’s office or a local optician. 

Eye doctors sell quality brand-name glasses and may offer a wider selection of designer frames. And shopping with your eye doctor may give you peace of mind. You’ll know you’re getting a quality pair of glasses with free adjustment to ensure a good fit.

You’ll need to visit your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam and glasses prescription anyway, so consider pricing glasses while you’re there. Compare glasses from your eye doctor to Zenni glasses in terms of cost, fit and quality.

About Zenni Optical. Zenni Optical. Accessed April 2021.

Zenni Optical home page. Zenni Optical. Accessed April 2021.

The Zenni Optical production story. Zenni Optical. Accessed April 2021.

Discover your face shape. Zenni Optical. Accessed April 2021.

Zenni Optical marks 15th anniversary by selling 20 millionth pair of glasses. Business Wire. April 2018.

The best places to buy glasses online. Wirecutter. March 2021.

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