Where to buy glasses online in Canada

Plus what you need to know before you start shopping

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Having worn glasses every day for most of my life, I’m happy to report that a lot has changed in the twenty-plus years since I was fitted for my first pair of glasses by my optometrist. Thanks to online retailers, buying new glasses is much more convenient and also cheaper.

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Depending on your prescription, it is possible to purchase new prescription lenses for as little as $9. But since you’re getting a deal, you still want to be sure that your new glasses will actually help improve your vision.

Read our guide to buying glasses online.

Overview of where you can buy glasses online

Most affordable: Zenni
Most variation: Clearly
Best home pass: Warby Parker
Best for Basics: Dresden
Best Return and Exchange Policy: KITS
Most stylish: Bailey Nelson
Best collaborations: Bonkijk
Best for reading glasses: Amazon

What you need to know before buying glasses online

While it’s possible to buy your next pair of prescription lenses without leaving your home, there are a few things you should know before you start shopping:

  1. Your recipe: In Canada, prescriptions are only valid for a period of up to two years. Before shopping online, visit your optometrist for an eye exam and an updated prescription.
  2. Facial measurements: In each pair of glasses you will find a three-digit code (de pair I’m currently wearing is 49-20-140) which represents the eye, bridge and temple dimensions of the glasses. Before you start shopping online, I recommend going to your nearest optical store to try on a pair of glasses in person. This way you can note the fit online and compare the dimensions with glasses that you like.
  3. Pupillary Distance: Your interpupillary distance, or PD, is the distance between the centers of your right and left pupils. It is important that you have the correct PD as it ensures that your glasses focus at the correct point on each eye. There are manuals for it how to measure the interpupillary distance yourselfbut I’ve tried it in the past and found that the best way to get an accurate number is to have it measured personally by a professional.

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Best places to buy glasses online in Canada

Once you’re armed with all the above information, comes the fun part: buying frames. I’ve included some of my favorite retailers where to buy glasses online, as well as some that are new to me but are a top choice among Canadian shoppers.

The prices for the frames below are correct at the time of publication and include the cost of standard lenses. Higher prescriptions or bifocals may incur additional charges.

KITS

KITS is a Canadian company, with all lenses manufactured in their Vancouver laboratory. The brand’s virtual try-on makes shopping for frames easy as it gives you accurate measurements of your interpupillary distance and your facial dimensions, ensuring a perfect fit. Shop exclusive KITS frames and glasses from brands like Prada, Oakley and more.

Laptop with KITS glasses
You can easily buy glasses online. Photo by KITS

Price range: $28 – $446
Trial policy and returns: KITS offers a free 30-day return policy and free exchange for 365 days. Glasses have a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

Clearly

It’s clearly your one-stop shop for ordering glasses and contact lenses online. Glasses start at just $9, although you’ll also find more expensive brands like Versace and Ray-Ban among the hundreds of styles available.

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man and woman clearly wearing glasses
Find glasses and contact lenses for men, women and children. Photo by Clear

Price range: $9 – $534
Trial policy and returns: The Clear accepts returns on glasses and sunglasses within 30 days of the delivery date, while their warranty covers manufacturer defects on frames and lenses within one year.

Read our full Clear review.

Zenni

Just like obviously, Zenni has thousands of styles to choose from, with some of the most affordable prices around. With prices starting at $10 per pair, Zenni is a great choice for those who are accident-prone or want to build a full wardrobe of fun eyewear.

Colorful Zenni glasses
Zenni offers affordable glasses. Photo by Zenni

Price range: $10 – $80
Trial policy and returns: You have 14 days to receive a full refund for Zenni glasses or 30 days to exchange them for store credit. Glasses also have a 30-day warranty.

Warby Parker

Warby Parker has simplified the process of buying glasses since its launch in 2010. The brand also has a one-for-one program and has distributed more than 15 million pairs of glasses to date through its Buy a pair, give a pair program.

woman wearing green Warby Parker Carlton glasses
Carlton glasses. Photo by Warby Parker

Price range: $150 – $295
Trial policy and returns: Warby Parkers Home Trial Program you can choose five frames to try for free before making a purchase. It also offers a 30-day free exchange or return policy and a six-month scratch-free warranty for prescription glasses and sunglass lenses.

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Read our full Warby Parker review.

Bonkijk

Bonlook’s in-house design team in Montreal creates all of the brand’s trendy and timeless eyewear styles. That’s why Bonlook often collaborates with Canadian style stars, including previous collections with Tessa Virtue and Sarah-Maude Beauchesne.

The man is wearing Bonlook Manu glasses
Manu glasses. Photo by Bonlook

Price range: $99 – $249
Trial policy and returns: Bonlook offers a 30-day return or exchange policy on all products and a one-year warranty against any manufacturing defects and lens inaccuracies.

Bailey Nelson

Those who aren’t afraid of bold styles or colorful frames will enjoy Bailey Nelson’s eclectic mix of eyewear for women, men and children. And if you’re not sure which style to choose, there is one Virtual trial feature to experiment with frames from the comfort of your home.

Man and woman wearing Bailey Nelson glasses
Buy fun and funky frames. Photo by Bailey Nelson

Price range: $189 – $299
Trial policy and returns: At Bailey Nelson, all custom prescription products are permanently sold. However, for any problems with lenses, you can remake them up to 30 days after purchase. Glasses are covered by a one-year warranty.

Learn more about Toronto’s newest Bailey Nelson location.

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Dresden

Dresden offers a single frame style in a rainbow of colors, so you can easily customize your look by swapping out the interchangeable arms. The frames are made from 100 percent recyclable or recycled materials and are available in sizes XS to L to fit a variety of face shapes.

The man is wearing blue Dresden glasses
Prescription glasses – Midnight blue. Photo by Dresden

Price range: $75 – $130
Trial policy and returns: Dresden offers a 10-year warranty on their glasses. You also get 30 days to return or exchange if you are not satisfied with your new glasses.

Amazon

If you’re just looking for some cheap and cheerful reading glasses, then it’s worth taking a look at Amazon’s range. There you will find bulk packaging of glasses – perfect for the forgetful reader.

5-pack reading glasses
5-pack reading glasses. Photo by Amazon

Price range: From $20
Trial policy and returns: Like most Amazon products, glasses purchased are eligible for return or exchange within 30 days of delivery.

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kmendonca@postmedia.com

instagram.com/kate.mendonca

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