Warby Parker Review: 5 Things To Know Before Buying Glasses

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If you wear eyeglasses, then you know how expensive and inconvenient it can be to buy a new pair. I’ve worn glasses for years and have gone way too long without replacing them in the past because I’ve wanted to avoid the cost. 

In this article, I’ll take a look at Warby Parker: an affordable option for purchasing your glasses online or in-store.

5 Things To Know Before Ordering from Warby Parker

Whether you’re looking for eyeglasses, sunglasses or contact lenses, Warby Parker is worth checking out. You’ll find a huge selection of styles and colors as well as competitive prices and fast, free shipping.

Warby Parker was founded by students who realized that the eyewear industry was dominated by one single company. Because of this, prices stayed high and consumers continued to pay them. The students developed Warby Parker in response to this.

If you’re shopping for a new pair of glasses, be sure to consider these five things about Warby Parker.

Table of Contents

1. What Is Warby Parker?

Warby Parker is a designer eyewear company that sells prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses and contacts. The retailer offers a large selection of frames for both men and women online. It also has dozens of stores throughout the United States and a few in Canada. At some stores, you can also get an eye exam and update your prescription.

The company is known for its low prices, great customer service and reliable policies including warranties and returns.

According to Warby Parker’s website, “By circumventing traditional channels, designing glasses in-house and engaging with customers directly, we’re able to provide higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear at a fraction of the going price.”

Thankfully, the low prices aren’t an indicator of low quality. In fact, Consumer Reports (subscription required) ranks Warby Parker as the second-best place to purchase eyeglasses right after Costco Optical.

In addition to offering great prices and reliable service, Warby Parker also partners with nonprofits to distribute glasses to people in need. You can learn more about the Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program on the company’s website.

2. How Does Warby Parker Work?

Ordering glasses from Warby Parker works in one of two ways: you can go to the store or place your order online

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If you’re interested in visiting a store, use the website to see if there’s a Warby Parker location in your area. You can visit it in-person to try on frames, discuss your prescription and order your glasses. 

If you’re planning on placing an order online, just be sure you have a valid prescription

Warby Parker website homepage advertising the try 5 frames at home for free offer.

When you first get to Warby Parker’s website, you have a couple of options. You can start shopping by clicking on eyeglasses, sunglasses or contacts at the top of the page or take a quiz to find frames.

I took the quiz to see what recommendations I would get. I was asked about my face width, frame shape preferences, favorite colors and materials, the date of last eye exam and whether I wanted sunglasses recommendations. 

You can buy the frames recommended to you (or any frames on the site, for that matter), or you can also choose up to five pairs to try on at home for free. With this feature, you can select five frames to test out for five days at no cost. Shipping and returns are free.

You’ll be asked to enter a valid credit or debit card number for the at-home trial as a security measure in case the glasses are damaged or not returned. If this happens, you will be charged the full cost of the glasses. 

You can also download the Warby Parker app (available for iPhones only) and try on frames virtually. 

Reviewing your selections before adding a pair of Warby Parker glasses to your online shopping cart

Once you’ve chosen a style of glasses, you’ll be asked to answer a few questions before adding them to your cart. You’ll need to select your frame width, prescription type (single-vision, progressives, etc.), lens type (classic, blue-light filtering, light-responsive, etc.) and lens material. 

Of course, some options are more expensive than others. You’ll be able to review your selections before you add the glasses to your cart.

You’ll also need to know your pupillary distance, which may or may not be included on your prescription. If it isn’t, you can use Warby Parker’s free online tool to measure it yourself.

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Measuring your pupillary distance with Warby Parker's free online tool

When you’re ready to check out, you can submit your doctor’s contact information, upload an image of your prescription (taking a photo or scanning it in) — or select to send your prescription to Warby Parker, via fax or email, after checking out.

Before you can place your order, you’ll need to create an account by typing in your email address and selecting a password. From there, you can enter your shipping and payment information and review your order.

Insurance, Returns and Warranties

If you’d like to use an FSA or HSA to pay for your order, you can enter the card information the same way you would place any other online order. Warby Parker also partners directly with select vision insurance carriers

Once you receive your glasses, you’ll have 30 days to return or exchange them. This is true for eyewear, accessories and unopened or defective contact lenses.

Additionally, there’s a one-year no-scratch guarantee for eyeglasses and sunglass lenses. Warby Parker will replace the scratched lenses for free within the first year.

3. How Much Do Warby Parker Glasses Cost?

Frames vary in price based on the materials from which they’re made. Lens prices also vary based on the specific features your prescription requires. 

Generally, frames and prescription lenses range from $95 to $295 in total. While these prices aren’t as low as those at Zenni Optical, they do beat the median price of frames and lenses at Costco Optical.

At Warby Parker, progressive lenses begin at $295, and progressive sunglasses are available from $375. For single-vision lenses, you can choose to add polycarbonate blue-light filtering for $50 or light-responsiveness from $195.

Again, if you have FSA or HSA dollars to spend or eye insurance that you’d like to use, select your carrier on the website for details on how to apply it. 

No matter what your total comes to, you can expect free shipping on all orders. Expedited shipping, which typically cuts the turnaround time in half, is available for $20 during checkout.

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4. What’s Available at Warby Parker?

When it comes to frame styles, there’s no shortage of selection at Warby Parker. You’ll find hundreds of options for men and women. 

“Warby Parker’s interesting because their customer base is people who are into fashion and don’t want to waste money,” says Clark Howard.

Frames are available in up to 13 different colors and five different widths. You can choose from five general shapes including cat-eye, square, round, rectangle and aviator. As far as materials, you can choose from acetate, metal or a mix of the two.

You can also customize the lenses to fit your individual prescription and preferences. The following lens types are available at Warby Parker:

  • Prescription glasses: Polycarbonate lenses, 1.67 high-index lenses, 1.74 high-index lenses, blue-light-filtering lenses or light-responsive lenses.
  • Prescription sunglasses: Polarized polycarbonate lenses or 1.67 high-index sun lenses.
  • Non-prescription sunglasses: Polarized CR-39 lenses.

In addition to single-vision lenses, Warby Parker offers progressive glasses starting at $295 and progressive sunglasses starting at $375. You can also get lenses with prism correction. Unfortunately, Warby Parker does not currently offer bifocal lenses.

You can also buy contacts from Warby Parker. The retailer carries a wide range of popular brands including Acuvue Oasys, Biofinity, Dailies and Air Optix. With a recommendation from your doctor, you can also try Scout by Warby Parker daily contacts

5. How Long Does Warby Parker Take To Ship?

If you choose free standard shipping, you can generally expect to get your order within 5-10 business days.

According to the table in Warby Parker’s help section, prescription orders have a turnaround time of 7-10 business days, while home try-ons and non-prescription orders usually arrive in about five business days. 

Accessories and gift cards also have a turnaround time of five business days. E-gift cards arrive within an hour of ordering. Contact lenses will arrive within 5-7 business days unless you’ve ordered certain specialty lenses.

Expedited shipping (available for $20 during checkout) typically cuts the turnaround time in half. For more information on shipping and turnaround times, visit Warby Parker’s FAQ page.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Warby Parker is a great place to shop online for affordable prescription glasses and sunglasses. 

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If you’re buying regular frames and lenses, you can expect to pay between $95 and $145. You can choose from progressives and other options for an additional cost. 

Be sure to take advantage of Warby Parker’s “try five frames at home for free” offer or download the app (iPhones only) to try on glasses virtually. These are great ways to make sure you’ll love the glasses you order. And if you don’t, you’ll have 30 days to return or exchange them once they arrive. 

Before you get ready to place your order, make sure that you have a valid prescription nearby and know your pupillary distance.

Have you ever ordered from Warby Parker? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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