Decent Cheap Rx Eyeglasses!

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Decent Cheap Rx Eyeglasses!

Postby Leesbro63 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:33 pm

No, this is not spam and I have NOTHING AT ALL to do with ZENNIOPTICAL.COM. But I just wanted to report that I got a GREAT pair of glasses from them based on the recommendation of (syndicated radio consumer talk show host) Clark Howard. Mine were $19. I don't wear Rx glasses, so I just had them make me in a reading (1.50x) Rx. I've previously been buying from READINGGLASSES.com for much more and find these to be of better quality for much less.

Just passin' along a way to save a few tuppence!
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Postby thesofine » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:16 pm

Lee's Brother 63,

I want to second you blatant advert. I have used the Zenni Optical and it really is great.
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Postby tuckeverlasting » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:19 pm

I also have purchased glasses from ZenniOptical, as has a family member. We were quite satisfied with the quality. There are a number of other similar DIY eyeglasses websites--detailed in a couple of NYT articles (with lots of reader comments). Some sites will even lend you a selection of trial frames to help you make your decision. It may not be for everyone but the price is right.
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Postby LadyGeek » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:42 pm

Zenni optical is also mentioned in this thread: Reading Glasses
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Postby Frobie » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:43 pm

Never ordered from Zenni because my prescription contains prisms, which they don't do.

So let me put in a plug for EyeBuyDirect. I can get 2 pairs of progressive lenses with prisms for 1/3 of the cost of a single pair bought locally. And vision-wise I can't tell the difference between them.
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Postby fredflinstone » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:00 am

I get my Rx glasses at Wal-Mart. I've been very pleased.
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Postby DSchrute » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:28 am

I got glasses at Zenni last month. Very good for $17.00, but when you take a close look, you can see they're not the same quality as other glasses.
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Postby Leesbro63 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:18 am

DSchrute wrote:I got glasses at Zenni last month. Very good for $17.00, but when you take a close look, you can see they're not the same quality as other glasses.


Yeah but mine appear to be BETTER quality than glasses priced 5 to 10 times as much.
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Postby ramsfan » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:44 am

Have had good success for contacts and glasses with Sam's Club, but have recently moved to Costco, we'll see. All depends on the Optometrist in my opinion. thank for link of these other sites, might be good for second pair, sports glasses, etc...
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Postby poundwise » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:38 am

Funny that this topic should come up. My life changed when I discovered Zenni optical. You know, in the way it does when you realize you can stop wasting money on something (like on mutual funds with high expense ratios, for example).

Pre-Zenni, I once was on a trip in India and was so excited to buy some cheap glasses there: $20 including optometrist visit gets you a decent pair. But two consecutive places generated duds. I came home empty handed. Then I read some piece in the NYT about 5 years ago that online glasses vendors were the real deal. I went to two local optometrists to get my prescription and took the average (though these were already almost identical). I figured, if you are going to go online, your prescription had better be dead on.

I tried Zenni as opposed to the others just because it was the cheapest. There were almost no reviews available at the time. I took a leap of faith and used a one-time use credit card since I didn't trust the site. Lo and behold, a perfect pair of eyeglasses came back. I never looked back. As a true cheapskate, I always bought the $8 or $9 pairs, which were always perfect for me. I had no hesitation stashing a pair in the office, one in the car, buying a few more pairs just to mix things up, etc. Once I bought a $15 pair and it was the life of luxury. I recommended Zenni to all my bespectacled friends, who all saw the light.

Then I got laser eye surgery and the fun was over.
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Inexpensive eyeglasses

Postby shawcroft » Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:35 pm

This is a very timely suggestion- thanks. I'm going to my ophthalmologist next week and suspect I will need new glasses. I was considering Costco- they are nearby and I have heard good things about their services.
Perhaps I should at least price-out Zenni. Anyone have thoughts about Zenni as compared to Costco?
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Re: Inexpensive eyeglasses

Postby thesofine » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:46 pm

shawcroft wrote:This is a very timely suggestion- thanks. I'm going to my ophthalmologist next week and suspect I will need new glasses. I was considering Costco- they are nearby and I have heard good things about their services.
Perhaps I should at least price-out Zenni. Anyone have thoughts about Zenni as compared to Costco?
Shawcroft


Shawcroft, when you do a cost comparison you will find that Zenni will be a fraction of the cost of any local American place. My wife's glasses were over $200 dollars at sears or costco but were $50 on zenni.
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Postby tibbitts » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:13 pm

I'm going to try 39dollarglasses, but haven't yet. With the particular options I wanted/didn't, the cost was pretty similar to Zenni, but overall the cost would probably be somewhat higher for typical glasses.

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Thanks for your thoughts

Postby shawcroft » Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:34 pm

Thesofine:
Thanks- I will do the comparison before I commit to a purchase (probably a suggestion/ sales talk that I will more likely encounter with Costco).
Thanks again. I will let you folks know how things turn out.
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Postby magellan » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:21 pm

tibbitts wrote:I'm going to try 39dollarglasses, but haven't yet. With the particular options I wanted/didn't, the cost was pretty similar to Zenni, but overall the cost would probably be somewhat higher for typical glasses

I've used 39DollarGlasses.com a bunch of times and in fact I just got a new pair the other day. I recently had cataract surgery in one eye and I'm going with a mini-monovision solution using contacts, with glasses for backup. These cheapo glasses are great for this because I can try different lens strengths without breaking the bank.

You can usually find an online coupon for $10-$15 off.

Jim
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Postby tibbitts » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:36 pm

magellan wrote:
tibbitts wrote:I'm going to try 39dollarglasses, but haven't yet. With the particular options I wanted/didn't, the cost was pretty similar to Zenni, but overall the cost would probably be somewhat higher for typical glasses

I've used 39DollarGlasses.com a bunch of times and in fact I just got a new pair the other day. I recently had cataract surgery in one eye and I'm going with a mini-monovision solution using contacts, with glasses for backup. These cheapo glasses are great for this because I can try different lens strengths without breaking the bank.

You can usually find an online coupon for $10-$15 off.

Jim

Thanks, I had found a coupon and that plus the options I wanted made the price similar.

Paul
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Postby evack » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:45 am

Another vote for Zenni, where you can find the most affordable eyeglasses at very reasonable price, but the quality is just about the same as those from B&M malls, and more importantly they have a much wider range of selection.
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Postby HardKnocker » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:00 pm

I've bought several pairs from Zenni. They are good. Really inexpensive. They blow any retailer out of the water on price.

When you get your eyes examined make sure to get your pupillary distance measured and noted on your prescription. You will need that number.
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Postby manuvns » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:22 pm

i have used 39dollarglasses last year and the glasses are pretty good . I got the transitions lenses as well all for around $100 including frame .
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Postby Sam I Am » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:46 pm

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Last edited by Sam I Am on Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby isaidit » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:21 pm

Zenni is the only place my family gets glasses. I'm wearing my daily use pair now, they were only $12.95. The fit and finish were second to none.
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Postby DRiP Guy » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:38 pm

Zenni rocks.

As others point out, it is definitely no frills stuff, focused on getting you functional eyewear at the lowest possible price.

So be prepared to wait a bit for the order... and for a clunky website... and a step less than the coolest hot new frames... and be careful with your ordering to avoid needing customer service (i.e. include your own home-measured or rx-provided P.D.) ... but after all that is said, if you just need single vision or bifocals, then Zenni is *the* Boglehead choice for eyewear, IMHO.
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Postby HardKnocker » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:00 pm

I bought no-line bifocal lenses (Zenni's cheapest no-line) and half-rim frames. Two pairs were about $75 total for both.

These glasses would be $300+ each pair!

Just make sure your prescription has the pupillary distance on it. Doctors usually leave that to the technician to measure when you get frames.

You can't measure it accurately yourself. They have a special device to measure it.

Order a couple pairs so you have a backup in case you break one. It takes about two to three weeks to get them.

Also you can get custom sunshades that fit your frames really cheap there.

You can go to a store like WalMart and try on frames and get the measurements of the frames you like so you can find similar size frames at Zenni. (Boy that's sneaky.)
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Postby Hondo » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:44 pm

I was going to buy mail order progressive bifocals a couple of years ago. My optometrist (who does not sell glasses and is not affiliated with anyone that does) gladly gave me the PD but said that other measurements were needed for the glasses to properly fit my eyes. He recommended against buying these by mail, but said single vision lens should be OK.

HardKnocker wrote:I bought no-line bifocal lenses (Zenni's cheapest no-line) and half-rim frames. Two pairs were about $75 total for both.
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Postby DRiP Guy » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:53 pm

Hondo wrote:I was going to buy mail order progressive bifocals a couple of years ago. My optometrist (who does not sell glasses and is not affiliated with anyone that does) gladly gave me the PD but said that other measurements were needed for the glasses to properly fit my eyes. He recommended against buying these by mail, but said single vision lens should be OK.

HardKnocker wrote:I bought no-line bifocal lenses (Zenni's cheapest no-line) and half-rim frames. Two pairs were about $75 total for both.


Over the last several years, I've been wearing my own Zenni "mail order" progressive bifocals, re-ordered twice with slightly different script when my eye checkup changed, and have had no issues whatsoever. In fact, I think my first set of bifocals I ever needed came through them.

So, while one would be foolish to disregard their own doctor's specific advice, I think unless something is unique in your own needs, that mail order seems to work fine for just about everyone. One thing I think might be a possible issue is heavy astigmatism. My own is slight.
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Postby HardKnocker » Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:42 pm

Hondo wrote:I was going to buy mail order progressive bifocals a couple of years ago. My optometrist (who does not sell glasses and is not affiliated with anyone that does) gladly gave me the PD but said that other measurements were needed for the glasses to properly fit my eyes. He recommended against buying these by mail, but said single vision lens should be OK.

HardKnocker wrote:I bought no-line bifocal lenses (Zenni's cheapest no-line) and half-rim frames. Two pairs were about $75 total for both.


You need a prescription for progressive lenses which has the numbers you need on it.

Tell the Doc you to give you the necessary measurements.

It's the same as if you took the Doc's prescription to WalMart for example. They use the numbers on the prescription to make the lenses.

Glasses are so overpriced it's ridiculous. They must be marked up 5 times over.
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Re: Decent Cheap Rx Eyeglasses!

Postby SteveNet » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:41 pm

I hope bumping an old topic isn't out of line, I just didn't see a need to make more of the same topics.

Upon viewing the info here at Bogleheads I stumbled across this topic mentioning Zenni Optical.
My Son 28 just had his eye exam and his first pair of glasses for distance.
Eye dr office cheapest package deal came to $95 using an old pair of my frames (expensive).
Single vision, scratch coat, NO AR, NO Tint, no transitions.
I went with him and got his prescription including his PD.

I went to the Zenni site and ordered a Pair of aviator style frames in single vision with scratch coat (comparable).... $6.95 + $4.95 for shipping. no tax. $11.90 total vs $95 with my old frames!
I also then added The premium AR(Oleophobic oil and fingerprint resistant premium anti-reflective coating) for another $14.95, Gradient tint dark gray for $7.95.

Total price for frames lenses and the other stuff came to $34.80 including shipping! Took one and 1/2 weeks to be delivered, came in today.

I gotta say...my wife and I are impressed with the 'same as' quality for the frames as the ones 'We' get and have from the optician.
Our son loves them.

Thanks to this site my wife and I are very much considering switching to this vendor rather than paying 4X more (even with ins) in comparison for our glasses.

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Re: Decent Cheap Rx Eyeglasses!

Postby mike143 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:54 pm

Just got my second pair under $20 from coastal.com this week.
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Re: Decent Cheap Rx Eyeglasses!

Postby lightheir » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:05 am

I've still wearing my Zenni glasses as my main pair for the past 5 years. Not a scratch or defect on them.

I was shocked, actually. I bought them at first for an emergency backup to my $350+ wire-rimmed glasses, which HAD scratched quite extensively depsite having an anti-scratch coatng (they must have forgotten it) and I was anticipating that the Zennis would fail very quickly.

5 years later, they're still perfect. It's the real deal. My Zennis costed $30 each. One of the best $30 purchases I've made, ever. I was so impressed I bought 3 more pairs in styles that I was interested in trying - I rarely wear those now as I prefer the style of my main pair, but they're just as good as well.
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Re: Decent Cheap Rx Eyeglasses!

Postby tibbitts » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:49 am

I've ordered eyeglasses from online providers, but I haven't found a relatively inexpensive provider offering either cable temples or just decently long conventional temples. So you're left with good quality glasses at a good price - but also glasses that fall off.

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Re: Decent Cheap Rx Eyeglasses!

Postby Teetlebaum » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:40 pm

Usually after I get glasses I find I need to return to the optometrist because it turns out they don't fit comfortably. (I wear my glasses during almost all my waking hours.) So if these mail order frames aren't comfortable, what will I do?
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Re: Decent Cheap Rx Eyeglasses!

Postby tibbitts » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:11 pm

Teetlebaum wrote:Usually after I get glasses I find I need to return to the optometrist because it turns out they don't fit comfortably. (I wear my glasses during almost all my waking hours.) So if these mail order frames aren't comfortable, what will I do?

Most frames are metal or plastic, and both can be bent. The plastic especially needs to be heated first - but not to the melting point, obviously. The problem I have is that there just isn't enough raw material - you can't bend what isn't there. Even the larger frames usually have temples in the upper 140mm range, where they need to be maybe 20mm longer, or be (much longer) cables. The frames fit comfortably enough; they just don't stay on. Back when I could get longer temples, I could adjust them to really suck the frame into my face. When I had both sides of my nose and ears hurting equally at the end of the day, I figured they were adjusted just right.

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Re: Decent Cheap Rx Eyeglasses!

Postby Bill Bernstein » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:22 pm

I'll third or 4th the Zenni recommendation.

Yes, the site is clunky, it takes 2-3 weeks to get your glasses, and be prepared to make a modestly costly mistake or two.

But at the end of the day, you simply can't beat the prices that the online sellers offer.

Yes, you do need to measure, but really, it is pathetically easy to do. OK, I'm a retired doc, but the key is to have someone else do it. The first time, I had my wife measure it with a paper edge and a pen; I had her repeat it twice just to be sure. If you're really paranoid, Zenni will mail you a cardboard tool that is easier and even more accurate. (And just remember, you're measuring the distance between the *centers* of both pupils, not the edges.)

One minor inconvenience: the plastic nosepieces are cheap and tend to break. But if you call they will send you a free repair kit, and after that, an unending supply of the nosepieces.

All in all, I'm a believer.

Bill
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Re: Decent Cheap Rx Eyeglasses!

Postby mike143 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:30 pm

Teetlebaum wrote:Usually after I get glasses I find I need to return to the optometrist because it turns out they don't fit comfortably. (I wear my glasses during almost all my waking hours.) So if these mail order frames aren't comfortable, what will I do?

I wear mine from the moment I get out of bed until I return to bed, I sleep 8 hours or less.

Both my glasses from coastal.com fit perfect with no adjustment, makes me feel that Len's Crafters gets them in stock with poor adjustment so you feel you are getting a value from them when they adjust them.

1st pair $11.90 shipped: http://www.coastal.com/frames/ltede-1004/prod21004.html

2nd pair $18.92 shipped: http://www.coastal.com/lacoste-2108-033 ... 1&ga=F|M|K

Len's Crafters probably got $1k out of me between three sets of glasses plus two lens replacements. Walmart got $200 out of me for my replacement lenses in my original Versace from Lens Crafters and I don't even wear them anymore since I like my Coast glasses better.
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Re: Decent Cheap Rx Eyeglasses!

Postby SteveNet » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:45 pm

wbern wrote: If you're really paranoid, Zenni will mail you a cardboard tool that is easier and even more accurate. (And just remember, you're measuring the distance between the *centers* of both pupils, not the edges.)

One minor inconvenience: the plastic nosepieces are cheap and tend to break. But if you call they will send you a free repair kit, and after that, an unending supply of the nosepieces.

All in all, I'm a believer.

Bill


I had forgotten to mention that with my son's first pair of glasses Zenni did also include the measuring tool to do the PD with.
He had the PD done by the office, and my results checking him myself were the same as the office with that tool.
Simple type ruler in mm is what it is, but made for checking yourself with peep holes in it, with a mirror.
But I agree, it IS better to have someone do it for you that to try to do it yourself, even with the tool.
If I take my glasses off, I can't see the markings :oops:
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Re: Decent Cheap Rx Eyeglasses!

Postby tibbitts » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:54 pm

wbern wrote:I'll third or 4th the Zenni recommendation.

Yes, the site is clunky, it takes 2-3 weeks to get your glasses, and be prepared to make a modestly costly mistake or two.

But at the end of the day, you simply can't beat the prices that the online sellers offer.

Yes, you do need to measure, but really, it is pathetically easy to do. OK, I'm a retired doc, but the key is to have someone else do it. The first time, I had my wife measure it with a paper edge and a pen; I had her repeat it twice just to be sure. If you're really paranoid, Zenni will mail you a cardboard tool that is easier and even more accurate. (And just remember, you're measuring the distance between the *centers* of both pupils, not the edges.)

One minor inconvenience: the plastic nosepieces are cheap and tend to break. But if you call they will send you a free repair kit, and after that, an unending supply of the nosepieces.

All in all, I'm a believer.

Bill

I'm not sure the pupil measurement needs to be all that accurate. I did my own, but the flaw in doing that is that your eyes are focusing on getting the jaws of the dial caliper or whatever tool you use (careful - those dial caliper jaws are extremely sharp and can damage your eye) pointing directly at the middle of your eyes. At least what I observed was that the closer I focused (or tried to - I can't really focus up close any longer), the smaller the measurement became. My measurements have been up to 1mm off from a prescription measurement. Sometimes you get the measurement with a prescription; sometimes not.

Paul
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Re: Decent Cheap Rx Eyeglasses!

Postby SteveNet » Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:43 pm

I have just found a web site that you can upload a picture of yourself wearing your glasses.
You then place spinning targets over each eye center and then input an actual measurement of the width of the glasses you were wearing in the picture.

I did my Son's Picture like this and I was only off by 1/2 of a mm from what the dr.'s office got with their machine.

http://www.finestglasses.com/TryOn/PDSelfTest.aspx
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Re:

Postby jeffyscott » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:29 pm

HardKnocker wrote:
Hondo wrote:I was going to buy mail order progressive bifocals a couple of years ago. My optometrist (who does not sell glasses and is not affiliated with anyone that does) gladly gave me the PD but said that other measurements were needed for the glasses to properly fit my eyes. He recommended against buying these by mail, but said single vision lens should be OK.

HardKnocker wrote:I bought no-line bifocal lenses (Zenni's cheapest no-line) and half-rim frames. Two pairs were about $75 total for both.


You need a prescription for progressive lenses which has the numbers you need on it.


For the best results the height of the pupil is important for progressives or bifocals. This needs to be measured for the actual frames, with them being on your head at the time. The optometrist can not determine this, it is measured by the optician after you have selected frames. I suppose if the frames have adjustable nose pads, the height can probably usually be adjusted so that they will work okay. I only like plastic frames myself and these do not have that adjustability.

The best progressives would be free-form, which I am pretty sure you can not get via mail order. In addition, if you are particular about lens material, as I am due to being sensitive to chromatic aberration, mail order may not work.

So for someone who is very fussy, like myself, mail order is just not going to work. I am not going to get a free-form progressives in Trivex with a plastic frame that fits my nose just right by mail order (or I think even at Walmart or Costco for that matter).

Shopko has worked for us as has getting a deal though certain independent optometrists, who choose to offer reasonable prices unlike most.
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Re: Decent Cheap Rx Eyeglasses!

Postby protagonist » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:11 pm

I'm a big Zenni fan. This is a copy of a previous post of mine that may be relevant to getting what you want:

Tell your eye doc before you go for an exam that you want the prescription including the pupillary distance (PD). This is a critical part they often leave out so that you can't shop elsewhere. You can measure it yourself (go online and google it for method), but they should do it for you.

Once I have my scrip, I usu. go to a major chain seller (such as Lens Crafters) and try on frames....find a frame that fits and looks good. Somewhere on that frame (often the inside of the arms) there are numbers which represent the dimensions of the frame....height, width, and also arm length (you don't want to buy glasses that fall off or don't reach your ears). If you have a pair you like, you can use that as your model and skip this step. Write down the figures. You can google how to decode them if you have not figured it out.

That way when you shop online for the pair you want, you can look for ones that you are pretty sure will fit and that you like.

I have had very good luck with Zenni...I have bought 4 pairs of titanium prescription reading glasses from them over the last 4 or 5 years and every one has had excellent optics, looked good, and was very reasonably priced. They have good customer service as well....if any of this is confusing to you, you can call them and they can explain it.
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