I recently got a new eyeglasses prescription. Since my town doesn't really have many options for eyeglasses right now, I decided to head online to see where I could get the best eyeglasses for the best price. I love wearing a variety of any accessories I get, so I was excited to try out a few different brands. I decided to try out Zenni Optical vs. EyeBuyDirect. Let's see who had the best glasses and who had the best prices.
1) Zenni Optical (Zenni)
The first company I shopped with was Zenni Optical. I'd heard about Zenni a lot over the years, and I was excited to give them a try as soon as I got my new prescription.
Ordering glasses with Zenni was easy! It's as simple as picking a frame you like, inputting your prescription, and picking your lenses and add-ons. You can make your glasses really expensive or keep the basics in mind. You can indeed get glasses for super cheap and get the basic lenses. Rest easy knowing that Zenni includes a ton of the 1.50 standard index and 1.57 mid-index lenses in the cheap cost you see.
Just so your glasses are a little better quality, I do suggest adding a few of the lens add-ons. I ended up purchasing:
- Browline Glasses in Black with blue light blocking lenses (anti-reflective coating included.)
- Rectangle Glasses in Clear with blue light blocking lenses (anti-reflective coating included.)
- Browline Glasses in Clear with an 80% sunglass tent in grey and anti-reflective coating.
If I'm comparing Zenni Optical to EyeBuyDirect, Zenni by far had the best pricing. I spent $91.04 on two pairs of eyeglasses (with blue light blocking lenses) and a pair of prescription sunglasses. I did have a 10% off coupon, but my order still would have been slightly over $100 without the discount. The Zenni frames I got were generally just cheaper.
Zenni has a pretty great selection, but you won't find anything designer here. Zenni has a wide range of beautiful frames that are all made by the Zenni team. That's why the pricing is so great on these. Most frames are under $30, and you can get some great basic frames for $10-$20. Overall, it's a great site for finding basic prescription glasses.
Zenni took a while to get to me. I ordered my Zenni lenses on September 30th. They shipped on October 15th, and I got them on October 17th. My Zenni order was more complex than my EyeBuyDirect order, though. Overall, though, it appears that Zenni's shipping timeline is longer than EyeBuyDirect's. I paid for standard shipping at each company, and shipping with Zenni meant waiting 14-21 days.
Overall, you get a good quality product with Zenni. Each of my glasses were around $30 each, so I wasn't expecting AMAZING quality levels. Overall, I'm impressed with the glasses. I know if I treat them right, they'll last for a long time to come. Each pair of glasses comes in a basic case with a Zenni branded cloth to wipe them down. They definitely help my vision, and I've received multiple compliments on them over the few weeks I've had them.
I got these glasses in October and all the way in February 2021, and I have no problems with any of my Zenni glasses. I definitely wear my Zennis more because of the blue light blocking capabilities, so I am very impressed by them.
I also ended up purchasing from EyeBuyDirect. I'd heard of EyeBuyDirect a ton over the years. I was excited to see what they could offer in terms of eyeglasses and the purchasing experience.
The purchasing process at EyeBuyDirect was pretty similar to my experience at Zenni Optical. There was nothing out of the ordinary when it came to this experience. As you can see, the screenshots are almost identical. I do feel like EyeBuyDirect did a better job of explaining what I was picking. They gave extra information to ensure that I was making the best decision for the glasses I ordered.
I ended up purchasing:
- Sebastian frames in Purple with standard lenses (anti-glare coating included.)
- Nala frames in Clear Blue with standard lenses (anti-glare coating included.)
EyeBuyDirect prices were lower than traditional glasses companies like LensCrafters, but it was more expensive than Zenni. I even got a coupon that took $32 off my order, but I still spent $64.34 for glasses that didn't even have any blue light blocking capabilities.
If you are looking for a nice selection, look no further than EyeBuyDirect. I love that EyeBuyDirect includes so many different types of lenses, from cheap ones to designer lenses. If you are looking for a site that can offer you a wide array of eyeglass choices in one convenient website, you'll love EyeBuyDirect!
Here are just a few of the cheaper lenses you might find on the website. You'll notice that a lot of cheap and quality eyeglasses sites keep the cheap lenses pretty basic.
EyeBuyDirect offered a much faster shipping time than Zenni. I ordered my glasses on October 17th. They were shipped by October 22nd. Then, I got them at my doorstep on October 26th. I couldn't be more excited by the shipping time on my EyeBuyDirect glasses. I will say that I didn't end up getting anything fancy. Just regular 1.5 index glasses with anti-glare coating. These don't have blue light blockers in them because that was expensive from EyeBuyDirect.
Now, let's talk about the quality of my EyeBuyDirect glasses. Overall, I was impressed with the quality of my glasses. They were very sturdy, and the colors were beautiful. The glasses also fit my face well, which is always something you'll question when getting glasses without trying them on.
I was a little unimpressed with the case that arrived with my glasses. With my Zenni lenses, I got a basic hard plastic case with each pair of glasses. With EyeBuyDirect, my glasses came in a cardboard box and inside of a cloth bag. I wish that it came with a better quality case. One of the cool things about the cardboard case was that it's made of 100% recycled materials, though.
Overall, I've been impressed with the quality of my EyeBuyDirect glasses over time. I will say that I don't reach for them as often because they don't include blue light blocking. I want to return to this review in the future after I purchase a pair of EyeBuyDirect glasses with blue light blockers.
Zenni Optical Vs. EyeBuyDirect Review: What They Both Get Right
Before I talk about who wins the debate, let's take a step back and talk about what they both get right. At their core, Zenni and EyeBuyDirect both serve a similar purpose. They helped me get access to eyeglasses at an affordable rate. I didn't have to go broke trying to afford a pair of glasses! I love that for me.
Offering Tons Of Options
If you are looking for a new pair of eyeglasses, you can easily get lost scrolling the endless pages of options on both Zenni and EyeBuyDirect. There is no doubt in my mind that you'll find a frame or two you like on both of these sites. I love that these sites give me way more options, at different price points, than a traditional optometry office would.
As someone who works from home, having anti-reflective/glare lenses was critical. I'm on hours of Zoom calls every week, and I didn't want my new glasses to be a distraction. I usually light myself with a clip-on ring light, so the glare opportunities were endless. I am glad that all of my eyeglasses had an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare and let me Zoom in peace.
Saving Your Prescriptions
Everyone knows that reading your doctor's prescriptions is like rocket science. My eye doctor wrote my prescription pretty neat this time, but I don't want to find it every time I want some new frames. I love that both of these sites save your prescription for later. I can easily pull my perfect lens prescription into my order in the blink of an eye on these sites now.
Eyeglasses are historically not cheap. Optometry visits are relatively tame, but you historically had to shell out a lot of money if you need glasses. I love that sites like Zenni and EyeBuyDirect are making it easier to purchase glasses. I feel like I can buy glasses that match my style and cycle between pairs instead of being stuck with one pair of glasses for a year. Even if your insurance covers a pair of glasses in the store, I encourage you to check out these sites for different options.
Zenni Optical Vs. EyeBuyDirect: Who Wins?
So, let's address the elephant in the room. Who wins when it comes to the cheap and quality eyeglasses debate? Well, it depends on a few factors:
- What kind of glasses you want access to.
- How fast you need your glasses.
- If you're willing to pay a bit more for some add-ons.
Zenni is a clear winner in price and add-ons. While there are some great deals on EyeBuyDirect, Zenni has the market cornered on cheap, quality eyeglasses. While Zenni wins the cheap and quality debate, it lacks SEVERELY in the shipping debate. Zenni touts two week delivery times, and I don't think it's an underpromise, over-delivering experience. Shipping is important in this Amazon 2-Day shipping world. EyeBuyDirect has the ability to scale, create, and ship their glasses way quicker than Zenni does.
Both companies have their merits, but if you need glasses quickly, I wouldn't depend on Zenni. Who wins falls back to how much money you have to spend and how long you are willing to wait on shipping.