More cheap online eyeglass sources for the focus-challenged among us: Optical4less and Goggles4U. Yeah, they sound like scam sites, but Kevin Kelly vouches for them. [Cool Tools]


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  1. gleam says:

    I’m wearing optical4less glasses right now. About $60 including shipping for fine looking frames and thin lenses. I’m on my third pair at this point, and I’m still happy.

  2. socialSTD says:

    My wife and I each got a pair of glasses from Googles4U and we absolutely love them. It was $60 for two pairs of prescription glasses. You can’t go wrong.

  3. Tuuurd_Ferguson says:

    I will vouch for Optical4Less. I bought 2 pairs there about a month ago (2 pairs get you free shipping). One is a pair of prescription sunglasses, the other a $15 pair of backups. Both came 100% accurate to my other more expensive optical store lenses. Two things: (1) the sunglasses’ tint is not as dark as i thought it would be. I ordered the darkest gray offered. (2) the anti-reflective coating is not as anti-reflective as Cryzal. But its much better than bare glass. Best part is the total for both pairs was $52!

  4. infopubs says:

    I’ve been really happy with Optical4Less. I’ve purchased 6 pairs from them, two at a time to get the free shipping, and spent on average about $25 each. Photos and a write up here:


  5. medalian1 says:

    I own 3 pairs from Goggles4U. I’m very happy with all of them and will be ordering more soon.

  6. Bill Bradford says:

    Another vote for Optical4Less here – I got two pair of glasses from them for less than what the local optometrist wanted for a pair *after* insurance copay.

  7. Tamar Weinberg says:

    And I absolutely love Lifehacker’s guide on how to really get the cheapest glasses: []

    I should really buy a new pair for myself someday.

  8. ryatziv says:

    Just don’t expect to get a great fit.

    • socialSTD says:


      Why Not?

      My $30 pair from Goggles4U fit just as well as my $200+ pair I got from my optometrist.

    • spanky says:

      @ryatziv: Zenni took pretty much all the same information they take at regular eyeglass places; and the glasses I got actually fit better than the ones I had before that.

      Maybe I have a really generic, cheap eyeglass shaped head or something, though.

      • SunnyLea says:

        @spanky: I bought a $400 pair of glasses from a traditional vendor and a $40 pair from Zenni within a couple of weeks of each other. I’m in a great position to compare.

        Not only do they both fit about same and perform the same, I actually got my Zenni ones faster and with less hassle.

  9. OGH!_GitEmSteveDave says:

    I still want a place that will give me glasses w/no prescription. It’s very tough to accurately show my seriousness w/o them. Nothing says serious like whipping your glasses off, and pointing at the person standing in your way of saving the Earth and/or pointing at the problem. Also, people tend to not bother you if you are holding glasses and tapping the screen w/them and/or have the temple cover in your mouth.

    • Chris Walters says:

      @OGH!_GitEmSteveDave: In the meantime, try a pipe. Or maybe a brandy snifter.

      • OGH!_GitEmSteveDave says:

        @Chris Walters: Both things that don’t work at work, while driving in the car, out at the mall, etc… Of course, when the shit hits the fan, I could finally utter the lines, “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking the pipe” and/or “Looks like I picked the wrong week to give up the Courvoisier”.

    • spanky says:

      @OGH!_GitEmSteveDave: I’m pretty sure you can order most glasses prescription-free. On the Zenni Optical site, it says to just leave your presciption information defaulted to zero.

      And here is where to get a non-prescription monocle, suitable for scandalized popping:


      They also sell pince nez and opera glasses.

      I hope you realize, though, that you can’t just buy class. You also have to practice saying shit like, “WELL, I NEVER,” and making that one face where you elongate your philtrum and do those special eyebrow moves.

      • OGH!_GitEmSteveDave says:

        @spanky: Ahh, the philtrum, aka, the divot under your nose. One of the least known body part names, even by Dr.’s. Do they have fans for when someone is overcome by “the vapors”?

  10. morganlh85 says:

    Just check out []
    The blogger has reviews and even discount codes for all the reputable online glasses shops.

  11. unobservant says:

    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned Zenni? I heard their shipping has been slow lately, but I have an $8 pair of glasses (the red ones) that are pure win, and I’m waiting for the husband to find his prescription so I get can get us some summer sunglass action.

    • thefezman says:

      I am very happy with my Zenni purchase. I bought a pair of titanium frame glasses and steel framed prescription sunglasses, both with the anti reflective coating, and spent like $50 total, shipped.

      I am going to order 2 pairs for my wife and her brother soon as well, I was very happy with them.

      My employer just offered us vision coverage, and I realized that I could get the glasses from Zenni for less than the copays, so obviously I passed :)

      • pop top says:

        @thefezman: That sounds exactly like the glasses I ordered from Zenni for my husband. His glasses cost us almost $400 out of pocket (w/ no insurance) from a regular eye place, but only $50 including shipping from Zenni. And that was with the magnetic sunglasses attachment, anti-reflective coating and high-index lenses.

  12. bluewyvern says:

    This sounds great for most, but I think I’ll stick to getting the personal service and custom fit. My eyesight is extremely bad (my contact prescription is -7.50 in one eye and -8.00 in the other), and I also go for the thinnest lenses and the expensive anti-reflective coating. It always takes a lot of tweaking to get the fit right. When I got my last pair, I had to send them back to get the lenses redone because the focus centering was just slightly off and it looked and felt terrible. Plus I always have to try a lot of pairs on to find a style I like, I could never just choose from a catalog.

    I wish it was something I could trust to mail order!

    • SunnyLea says:


      Well, I can’t speak to your concerns about fit — I’ve never had a problem, but obviously you perceive yourself to have extra issues — but I can let you know that Zenni has really good deals even with super-thin lenses and anti-glare coating.

      I have pretty bad eyes myself, got anti-glare and thin lenses, all for about $40.

      • SunnyLea says:


        Oh, and for the style, I just went with something similar to the pairs I already own. Similar shape and measured the length and height to get a pair that looks great!

  13. MitchEvious says:

    I use Zenni Optical and LBWEyewear , good quality cheap prices.

  14. cmdrsass says:

    Well, if Kevin says they’re okay ….

  15. OGH!_GitEmSteveDave says:

    On a side note, does anyone know a good place to get discount glass eyes?

  16. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I use Zenni, but I really want a pair of polarized prescription sun glasses? Anyone out there supply these for less than $200?

    I appears I am going to give up polarized or go magnetic… Not my preference.


  17. theblackdog says:

    Quick FYI on Zenni, they make the glasses in Hong Kong and ship them over here, so that’s why it takes about 2 weeks to get to your house, longer if someone from Customs needs a new pair of glasses and decides to try yours out for a few days.

    *still waiting for his order*

  18. destruktolux says:

    I have a pair of Goggles4U glasses on right now. If you have vision coverage, absolutely need a personal touch or are just incredibly needy then local brick and mortar stores are for you.

    I went to the Wal-Mart optometrist (who of course is not “officially” connected to Wal-Mart’s glasses business) and it only cost me about $60 for the checkup on my prescription, then add on $14 for my ENTIRE order. The websites do ask for you to provide the width (in millimeters) between your pupils–this is something your doctor can measure for you, but you might get some funny looks, as if he or she is upset you might not be using the in-store glasses service. I got this measurement at home using a school ruler, and it worked just fine.

  19. calstudios says:

    Bought from EyeBuyDirect, didn’t like the glasses and returned them for a full refund. Happy with the process. Bought another pair from Goggles4U today, we’ll see how it goes. Online is the way to go: $30 vs. $100 at Costco or $200-400 at an optician.

  20. tardigrade says:

    My wife bought 4 drill-mount pairs from Goggles4U. The untinted pair was excellent, one was just slightly askew and the lens broke after a few months of adjustment (most likely our fault for adjusting drill-mounts). The last pair (replacing the broken pair) was very crooked – and these were drill mounts, so they aren’t adjustable. Not only that, but the tint on these glasses was a much lighter shade than the tint on the previous pair that broke, despite both being “medium rose”.

    The pair is functionally unusable, and Goggles4U would not offer replacement or refund – just a 50% discount on the next purchase, and a recommendation to use them as a “spare pair”. How can they be used as a spare pair when they’re so off center they’re unusable?!

    It’s hit or miss whether you’ll get well made glasses from Goggles4U, and there’s effectively Zero guarantee of quality (despite their guarantee to replace if the prescriptions don’t match).