<< Not quite what I'm looking for - take me back to the start!

Complex prescriptions and high prescriptions go with low cost like: oil mixes with water. Lukily this site is the soap that lets that happen.

Optical4less (possibly definitely?)

This is going to sound a little crazy. Ok maybe a lot crazy.

Optical4less is located in Hong Kong which most westerners consider to mean "China" which some people assume means low quality goods. And I'm about to tell you how this place has been historically known for superb lens quality at high/complex prescriptions.

Take a deep breath:

If you manage to find old reviews on forums and usenet (getting harder to do with Google each day unfortunately), you'll find a surprising trend. People with glasses that cost upwards of $1000 locally (due to the complexity: they weren't fancy frames or anything) used to have a lot of luck with Optical4less. It was astounding. This wasn't just "my glasses from O4L are as good as...": this was "the local store tried remaking my glasses 3 times and still couldn't get it right. O4L got it right on the first try. I can't believe it.". Add to that: the indexes they offered went up to 1.9, which if you follow lens indexes, is crazy high.

Why do I say "possibly definitely?" then? Well up to date information is really tough to find. Optical4less always started their glasses at around $29 (just under 40 after shipping), and when the online eyeglass boom came and the low-end was flooded with cut-throat compeition: O4L just seemed to fade away. I suppose people weren't as willing to send $30-40 to Hong Kong for glasses when they could spend $20 closer to home.

The site looks similar to the way it did many years ago but if you're having trouble finding someone who can make your lenses: they may be worth a try. Make sure you post your experience online if you do so that others can benefit from your story though!

Optical4less website

Zenni Optical (definitely!)

Shopping for online glasses must be demoralizing for people with high indexes. Usually they find a retailer with frames and lenses at a good price: say $20 for example. Then they enter their high prescription. Then they see the price in the cart jump up by $100 or so. And if it doesn't jump up: they place their order and wait for the email that says "oh sorry we have to charge more for that; do you want us to proceed or should we cancel your order?".

One of the strengths Zenni has is that they don't pull the bait-and-switch and don't gouge. If you enter something crazy for a prescription like a sphere of -20, you do get a popup that says they have to charge more. $9.00 more. In total (not per lens). Which if you are not one of these people and do not understand if that is a good or bad price: it is VERY low.

You have to get them credit: they don't even gouge the people who are used to being gouged. They do recommend thinner lenses at that point (more expensive), but there's nothing stopping you from staying with the free ones if you're determined.

As for the final quality: opinions vary. Zenni has the advantage of making so darned many glasses that you'd think they should be really good at making the complex stuff by now. And if you search the web for complaints in previous years vs complaints today: I think you'll find that to be the case. Sure you might find better quality someplace else; but you'll never get anything better for *less* than what Zenni charged. And for most people that's good enough.

Zenni Optical website

Sorry but only 2 listed this time around. One known for the quality and one known for the low price. Everyone else seems to fit somewhere in between.

If 2 wasn't enough of a selection (I said I'm sorry!), click the button below to pop back and see some of the other retailers. You will probably have to check each one yourself to see if they will even handle your prescription though.

<< These aren't the cheap glasses you're looking for *hand-wave* (take me back to other cheap glasses options)

Some data might be wrong on this site. Do not take it at face value. Do your own research to verify the claims here.