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A guide to buying prescription sunglasses online

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Need prescription sunglasses to shield your eyes from the rays while you drive, exercise or relax by the pool? Buying your next pair online can save money and give you more time for fun in the sun. 

When you buy rx sunglasses (prescription sunglasses) online, it’s smart to choose a reputable retailer that offers a wide selection and a fair return policy. As a savvy shopper, you can buy cheap prescription sunglasses online without sacrificing quality. 

What are the best online prescription sunglasses? That depends on your budget, taste and style. You can buy name brand sunglasses, such as Costa, Oakley and Ray-Ban, or save money by going with stylish-but-basic sunnies.

How can I buy prescription sunglasses online?

It’s easy to buy prescription sunglasses online if you have a current prescription for glasses from your eye doctor. Here’s how:

Step 1: Choose a glasses retailer that offers prescription sunglasses. Find a reputable retailer by reading customer reviews and checking return policies.

Step 2: Pick your sunglasses frames. Some retailers offer online tools to help you find frames that fit your face size and shape. It also helps to know your pupillary distance, which you can find on your prescription.

Step 3: Choose lenses for your sunglasses. You can get any lens prescription you need, including progressive lenses for presbyopia, which typically occurs after age 40. Most retailers offer a variety of lens colors, from blue to bronze to gray to yellow. Polarized lenses offer added protection from glare and are recommended for safety if you’ll be doing activities such as boating, driving or skiing.

Step 4: Give your eyeglasses prescription to the retailer. The retailer will need a valid prescription before the laboratory can start making your sunglasses. You can save your prescription online to make future purchases quick and easy.

Step 5: Submit your order and wait to receive your sunglasses. Depending on the retailer and the shipping speed you choose, it may take one to three weeks or longer to get your sunglasses in the mail.

How much do prescription sunglasses cost?

The cost of prescription sunglasses can vary from $100 to $1,000 or more. The total cost includes:

  • Frames – The price of prescription sunglasses frames varies from $20 for basic non-brand-name frames to over $1,000 for high-end designer frames. Name brand frames typically cost $80 to $250.

  • Lenses – The cost of the lenses can vary from less than $100 to $250 or more. Basic polycarbonate lenses tend to cost less while thinner lenses (typically used for stronger prescriptions) cost more.

  • Lens extras – Add-ons such as polarization and anti-reflective coating can add $50 or more to the cost of your sunglasses.

  • Shipping – You may need to factor in the cost of shipping, but many online glasses retailers offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount.

You can save big when buying prescription sunglasses online by scouting out coupons and deals.  

The best online stores for prescription sunglasses are...

Online glasses stores offer prescription sunglasses for every budget and style. Here’s a list of some of the best online stores for prescription sunglasses:


Selection: EyeBuyDirect is a great place to buy low-cost prescription sunglasses online. The site offers sunglasses frames for men and women starting at $19. Since frames often cost more than prescription lenses, choosing affordable frames is a good way to save.

Shipping and returns: You’ll receive your order in seven to 14 business days. You get free shipping on orders over $99 plus a 14-day fit-and-style guarantee with free exchanges and returns. 

Bottom line: EyeBuyDirect is a good choice for shoppers who want to buy stylish sunglasses without breaking the bank.

Selection: offers fashionable designer prescription sunglasses from brands such as Alexander McQueen, Costa, Oakley, Prada, Ray-Ban and Versace. Frame costs range from $30 to $2,000. offers a Price-Match Guarantee on designer frames that will be honored for two weeks after you place your order. 

Shipping and returns: You’ll get your order in 11 to 14 business days, and you can return or exchange your sunglasses within 30 days. If new lenses are required, half the cost of the old lenses will be credited toward new lenses. For returns, you’ll get back the full purchase price minus half the cost of the lenses.

Bottom line: is a good choice for sunglasses wearers who want to get a good deal on designer frames.


Selection: LensCrafters is best known for its brick-and-mortar optical stores, but the popular eyewear chain also sells a wide array of men’s, women’s and kids’ sunglasses online. The LensCrafters site offers designer shades with the cost of frames ranging from a little over $70 to just under $500, and the eyewear retailer accepts many vision insurance plans for online purchases. 

Shipping and returns: It can take three days to a week to make your sunglasses, and LensCrafters offers ground shipping for free, second-day air shipping for $7.99 and next-day air shipping for $9.99. The LensCrafters unconditional guarantee allows you to return your prescription sunglasses for a full refund for any reason within 30 days. 

Bottom line: LensCrafters is a good choice for shoppers who want quality and value from a name you know and trust.

Zenni Optical

Selection: Zenni Optical sells a range of premium prescription sunglasses, with the price of frames starting at $25.95. Not sure about buying sunglasses without trying them on first? Zenni has an online tool that lets you upload a photo of yourself and “try on” different sunglasses styles before you buy. 

Shipping and returns: If you don’t like your glasses or you made a mistake on your order, you can return the glasses within 30 days for a 50% refund or a store credit for the full purchase price.

Bottom line: Zenni may be a good choice for shoppers looking for both value and the option to virtually try glasses on before buying.

Shopping for prescription sunglasses online means you can choose from a wide range of styles without having to spend hours at the optical store trying on frames. You’ve got better ways to spend your time, including putting your new UV-blocking shades to good use!

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