As counterintuitive as it seems, you can purchase kids’ glasses online (yes, including prescription ones), and thanks to hours of daily screen time, they’re more in-demand than ever. From kids’ blue light blocking glasses to teeny-tiny toddler specs (glasses strap and all), online retailers make it easy to choose frames, upload prescriptions and pick and choose lens features. But when making a decision that’s so specific to the individual—both in terms of fit and functionality—there are some extra factors to consider before making your final purchase.
With Pair Eyewear, you can order a set of base frames then pick and choose different toppers to ... [+] change the look of your specs.Pair Eyewear Facebook
Galo Andrade, Optician and Myopia Control Specialist at GC Optics, explains that having the right prescription information on hand is key, especially when it comes to the pupillary distance (PD) measurement. “[PD] marks exactly where the center of the eye is in the lenses,” he says. “Vision won't be perfect without this number. You can ask your ophthalmologist/optometrist when writing the prescription if they can share the PD with you. There may be a fee, but it's important to have this very exact measurement for the most precise lens design.”
Of course cost is another thing to keep in mind, but it’s important to look beyond the initial price tag. Make note of the retailer’s return policy, any warranties and whether or not they accept insurance or HSA or FSA. And while some glasses retailers don’t work directly with insurance companies, many plans offer a stipend to reimburse vision purchases as out-of-network expenses, so it’s worth taking a closer look at your benefits (pun intended).
Finally, it’s crucial to choose a set of frames that your child will actually wear. “Emotionally, it's critical to ensure your child plays an active part of the journey,” points out Doug Zarkin, CMO of Pearle Vision. “To help ease the emotional transition that many kids face, encourage your child to find a pair that they feel good about,” he advises.
The Best Places To Buy Kids’ Glasses Online
As you’ve probably gathered, finding the right pair of kids’ glasses online takes some research and attention to detail. To simplify your search and save you some digging, we’ve gathered eight great online glasses brands and highlighted their general turnaround times, return policies and whether they accept insurance, HSA or FSA.
If you’re new to buying kids’ glasses online, Zenni Optical’s easy-to-navigate website is a great place to start. You can shop by age range—specifically, toddler, little kid, pre-teen and teen categories—to find the size, style and features that’ll suit your kid. (For instance, you might want flexible frames with a kids glasses strap for tots or affordable but trendy specs for tweens). After finding frames your kiddo likes, give the site’s virtual try-on button a go. Then once you pick a pair, they’re easy to customize; choose from prescription lenses, blue-light blockers, sunglasses or transitional lenses, then select add-ons like specialty coatings and extra accessories.
But, Zenni offers more than a seamless shopping experience. The glasses are affordable with prices starting between $10 to $46 before upgrades (most are in the $16 to $25 range). The icing on the cake is the company’s 30-day return policy that offers a 100% store credit or a 50% cash refund via Paypal (excluding shipping). Certain aspects of the glasses are also covered under warranty, like free replacements for damaged frames within the first 30 days and replacement of defective anti-reflective coatings or photochromatic films within one year.
Pair EyewearTurnaround Time: 10-14 business days. Expedited shipping options are available. Return Policy: 30 days Insurance Accepted: No, but you can use an HSA or FSA
Do you have a child who can’t make up their mind? You might want to consider Pair Eyewear. Created especially for kids, the brand name is actually a play on words—you can order clip-on covers to change the look of the frames, effectively getting multiple pairs in one. While glasses start at $60 including prescription or non-prescription lenses (with the exception of progressives), specialty add-ons like blue light filtering and light responsiveness are an upcharge and toppers range from $25 to $30 a pop.
The base styles come in five flattering shapes and your choice of six neutral(ish) colors, from modern clear to classic tortoiseshell. But youngsters can really express themselves with the tops, which offer everything from funky patterns to Sesame Street characters to sports team logos and beyond. They can also choose tinted sun tops which will transform their glasses to sunnies in a snap.
If variety is what you’re after (or a specific brand, style or set of features) Glasses USA won’t disappoint. Although the thought of sifting through hundreds of kids frames may sound overwhelming, easy-to-use filters in which you can sort by age, frame shape, brand, color, price and more will make your search more manageable. Even better, most come with free single-vision prescription or no-prescription lenses, with optional add-ons like blue light blocking and light transitioning.
You can also score deep discounts at the massive optical retailer, with clearance sales, deals, coupons and a designer outlet offering up to 60% off name brand styles. For added reassurance, Glasses USA offers a 14-day hassle-free full money back guarantee return policy plus free shipping and returns. (Note: The return policy excludes items purchased through an exchange or store credit).
Offering over 400 kids’ styles in brands like Ray-Ban, Coach and Vogue, it turns out that Target is a designer eyewear destination. That said, you might be surprised to find that the majority of options, which range from $80 to $250 or more, aren’t as cheap as you’d expect. There’s also a $25 upcharge for single-vision prescription lenses, and upgrades like blue light filtering aren’t available online.
All that said, Target Optical accepts insurance and HSA or FSA, which can offset or cancel the out-of-pocket cost. But the truly redeeming factor is the generous return policy, a 90-day Unconditional Guarantee that promises your complete happiness or your money back, no questions asked. In short, if your child just wants fashion-forward frames and you’re not looking for any extra features, Target Optical is your spot, especially if you have insurance.
EyeBuyDirect’s selection of kids’ frames features over 40 classic styles in kid-friendly materials. They’re affordable, too, with prices ranging from $12 to $42 plus $7 for standard lenses (prescription or non). Of course, there are more upgrades you can pick and choose from including blue light blocking, sun tinting and transitional lenses.
Another easy-to-use site, you can shop by age (juniors ages 6-8, tweens and teens) and use the size guide to find the right fit for your kid. A virtual try-on feature also offers a glimpse of their new look. And if their new specs still aren’t perfect, the company’s 14-day Fit & Style guarantee ensures you can get a replacement or refund. You’ll also appreciate the 365-Day Product Guarantee, in which customers are eligible for a one-time replacement pair if the glasses aren’t holding up as they should.
DiscountGlasses.com offers glasses in age ranges from toddlers to little kids to pre-teens to teens. With an array of brands including Disney, Converse and Picklez (the latter of which comes with a Kid-Proof Warranty), frame prices range from $10 clearance to higher-end $130 options. Choose from non-prescription, single vision, reading and progressive lenses, pick the lens material (standard is free), then decide on add-ons like blue light filtering, sun tinting and light transitioning coatings and films.
And even the wariest of online glasses-buyers will be at ease with the incredible 365-day return policy. That’s right, you have a full year to return your kids’ glasses for any reason and you’ll get free return shipping, to boot.
If keeping your budget in check is your priority—they’re destined to get scratched, broken, or misplaced, after all—you’ll love Payne Glasses’ ultra-low prices. Starting at just $6 and capping at about $27, you certainly won’t break the bank. That said, the cost of prescription and coated lenses will add to the total, but with upgrades starting at just $9 for standard single-vision lenses (progressives, bifocals and more are also available), you can still get a pair for well under $50, depending what you choose.
You can browse specs in the toddler, child and pre-teen categories, which offer styles specific to each age range, like flexible frames for toddlers, and anti-scratch lenses for all ages. There’s also a “Try-On Available” toggle that’ll narrow down designs with a virtual try-on feature. Just note that if you wish to return the glasses, you can make a one-time even exchange or receive a 50% cash refund, excluding shipping. For more return options, you can purchase the Risk Free Warranty (the price will vary per order), which entitles you to a 100% cash refund or two even exchanges within a 30-day period.
Jonas Paul Eyewear
Jonas Paul is exclusively a kids’ glasses brand and all its specs are made with quality materials designed for durability and comfort. The online retailer offers a streamlined shopping experience with frames organized by age range and gender so you can narrow your search from the get-go. From there, you’ll have a handful of styles to choose from (and some available in as many as 11 colors), giving you and your child plenty of options without being overwhelming. While the cost of frames range from $55 to $89, basic prescription or non-prescription lenses can be added for free. You can also choose pricier upgrades like polarized sunglasses, blue light filtering and light responsiveness.
But where this brand really shines is its at-home try-on kit, which lets you “borrow” a set of seven frames to test out for a week at the cost of $1. While virtual try-ons are also an option, you’ll probably want to opt for the kit, since glasses are non-returnable once prescription lenses are put in. However, Jonas Paul offers a one-year normal use warranty on lenses and a six-month warranty on frames; if they break, you’ll receive 50% off a second pair. Or, you can plan ahead: While making your initial order, grab a second pair at half price just in case with code SECONDPAIR50, slashing your overall cost per pair.
How To Check The Fit Of Kids’ Glasses
Andrade says that fit is the number one most important aspect of choosing glasses for your kid. “Parents need to be a fit detective and check all aspects of the fit,” he says, and points out key areas to watch out for:Temple: The arms should fit comfortably along the sides of the head, as tightness “will cause discomfort and headaches,” he says. Bridge: The bridge, which rests across the top of the nose, should also sit securely without pinching or falling down. Frame: “If the frame is slipping constantly, the frame is too loose,” he explains. “Some kids, depending on the shape of their nose, need glasses with nose pads to keep the frame in place.” Arm length: The arms of the glasses “should contour just behind the ear. If they’re extending further, the arm is not the right fit,” he says.
Shopping for kids’ glasses online isn’t as easy as picking up the rest of their school supplies, but it can save you a trip to the eye doctor, and in many cases, a good chunk of money. The best advice: Stick to a retailer that has a return policy or warranty you’re comfortable with, and take advantage of onsite live chat features or customer service phone numbers to ask questions along the way.