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Believe it or not, you can purchase a great pair of kids’ glasses online (and thanks to hours of daily screen time, they’re more in-demand than ever). Whether you’re searching for prescription lenses, teeny toddler specs or blue light glasses for older kids, online retailers make it easy to choose frames, upload prescriptions and pick the best 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.
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 brands and highlighted the most useful information, from general turnaround times to return policies—and whether they accept insurance, HSA or FSA.
Best Kids’ Glasses Overall
A Simple Shopping Experience That Won’t Break The Bank
Best Customizable Kids’ Glasses
Snap-On Covers Let Kids Switch Up Their Style
Best Variety Of Kids’ Glasses
A Ton Of Options Means Finding The Exact Pair They Want
Best Designer Kids’ Glasses
Designer Brands Where You Already Shop
Best Kids’ Glasses In Classic Styles
Classic Styles In Child-Friendly Materials
Best Affordable Kids’ Glasses
Budget-Friendly Prices And A Generous Return Policy
Best Try-Before-You-Buy Kids’ Glasses
Try Out Up To Seven Frames Before Making A Purchase
How To Shop For Kids Glasses Online
Have The Correct Prescription On Hand
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.”
Look For Lens Features
Nicole Lord, vice president of merchandising and supply chain for My Eyelab, notes some features to look for, like a selection of lenses to suit your kid’s comfort level and lifestyle. For instance, “polycarbonate lenses are scratch-resistant and have UV protection built in,” she says. “ And the option to upgrade to blue light-blocking lenses is great for kids who spend a lot of time in front of screens.”
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).
Note The Return And Warranty Policies
As with any online purchase, it’s important to note the brand’s return and warranty policies. With glasses, this is especially important because a pair that feels uncomfortable (whether it’s the prescription or frame style) becomes a waste of money. Since glasses orders are customized, most return policies have limited terms; for instance, some retailers only allow exchanges, some are only for the first order and you usually have to make any return or exchange decisions within a certain timeframe. If your child is accident-prone, also look at warranty information, as some retailers will replace lenses or frames that get broken or scratched. We’ve briefly outlined each retailer’s policy above, but be sure to double-check it before clicking “buy.”
Involve Your Kid
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,” says 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 says.
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 fit detectives and check all aspects of it,” 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, it is too loose,” he says. “Depending on the shape of their nose, some kids 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 numbers to ask questions along the way.