The Best Places To Buy Glasses for Kids

Zenni Optical offers tons of styles, low prices, and special lenses for any age

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Verywell Family / Amelia Manley

Whether you just found out your child needs glasses or you’re on the hunt for another pair, shopping for kids' frames is exciting. From blue light blocking glasses to prescription lenses, there’s a lot to consider with kids' frames, like whether the fit is right, what the lenses are made from, and whether or not the frames will be durable enough to last a year (or longer).

Reviewed & Approved

Zenni Optical offers frames designed to fit kids as young as one year old and up to 19 years old, and all at budget-friendly prices. If you want to splurge, we recommend Warby Parker.

In addition to ensuring your child's glasses fit properly, you also want to ask your child for their opinion on style. Two experts we spoke to, ophthalmologist Catherine Jordan, MD, and optician Heather Heil, agree: children will be more willing to wear their glasses if they're involved and get to have a say in which pair you buy for them. We carefully considered styles, frames, lenses, age recommendations, value, design, and fit when reviewing products.

Here are the best places to find kids' frames, no matter your kid’s style or your budget.

Best Overall: Zenni Optical

5
Zenni Optical

Source: Zenni Optical

Pros
  • Huge style selection

  • Low prices

  • Standard and specialized lenses

Cons
  • Nowhere to shop in-person

Zenni Optical earns our top spot because of the endless style options that won't cost you a lot of money. They offer frames designed to fit kids as young as one year old and up to 19 years old, and the list price of a lot of the frames includes the cost of a basic prescription lens with anti-scratch coating and UV protection.

Specialized lenses are also an option, however, they may come at an additional cost. While you won’t find a brick and mortar store to try these glasses on in person, Zenni Optical does have a try-on feature on the website, guides for measuring the face to ensure a good fit, and an option to return the glasses (for store credit or 50 percent refund).

Best Budget: Eye Buy Direct

Eye Buy Direct

Source: Eye Buy Direct

Pros
  • 14-Day refund window

  • 365-Day guarantee 

  • Several types of lenses (both prescription and non-prescription)

Cons
  • Cost of prescription lenses not included in list price

  • Online only

For inexpensive frames, Eye Buy Direct has a huge selection of options for under $20 (some as little as $12) in sizes for kids as young as 6 years old and up to the teenage years. There aren’t any physical locations to try the frames on, but you can use the website’s virtual try-on feature and their tools to help you measure your child’s face for the right fit.

If the glasses don’t work, they have a 14-day return window where you can either switch out the glasses or ask for a full refund. These glasses are available with a variety of different types of lenses (prescription, non-prescription, standard, specialty, blue-light-blocking, etc.) and they offer a 365-day guarantee, meaning they will replace the frames if they are damaged or broken within the first year. 

Best Splurge: Warby Parker for Kids

Warby Parker for Kids

Source: Warby Parker

Pros
  • List price includes standard prescription lenses

  • Stylish frames with an adult design (Con for some)

  • 30-Day return for full refund

Cons
  • Have to order by phone or in-store

  • Sized for kids between 4-8 years old only

You can either purchase Warby Parker glasses for kids in-store or over the phone, and they offer a variety of stylish grown-up looking frames. Prices for these glasses start at $95, but that includes the cost of standard prescription lenses (specialized lenses are also available at an additional cost).

Once the glasses come in, kids have 30-days to try them out, and if they don’t like them for any reason, they can be returned for a full refund. At this time, the kid's line is relatively new, so they only offer one size (fits kids between 4 and 8 years old), but the company does plan to expand the line at some point.

Best Style Selection: LensCrafters Kids

LensCrafters Kids

Source: LensCrafters

Pros
  • Large selection of styles and brands

  • Online and in-store options

  • Work with insurance

Cons
  • List price does not include cost of prescription lenses

  • Some frames are on the pricier side

You can shop for your kid's frames and prescription lenses either online or in-store at LensCrafters, and they have a big selection of options to choose from, including budget-friendly styles and big-name brands. They are also equipped to work with your insurance provider to help you pay for the glasses and they offer a variety of lens types including non-prescription and specialty.

Additionally, while the list price of the glasses doesn’t include the cost of lenses, you can usually get a discount on the frames with the purchase of prescription lenses, and the store also frequently has sales and promotions.

What Experts Say

“Regardless of where a patient chooses to purchase glasses, the foundation for having the proper eyewear is really to ensure that patient receives an in-person, comprehensive eye examination," —Robert C. Layman, O.D., President of the American Optometric Association.

Best for Toddlers: Kids Bright Eyes

Kids Bright Eyes

Source: Kids Bright Eyes

Pros
  • List price includes frames and prescription lenses

  • Some retailers carry the brand in-store for easy try-on

Cons
  • No virtual try on feature online

You can find frames for kids of all ages here, but this is one of the few retailers that has stylish options for toddlers. Many of their frames are available in a wide range of sizes (unlike a lot of other kids’ frames that come in standard S/M/L options), and there is a one-year warranty on all of the frames, so you can get a replacement at no charge if they break.

Additionally, these frames are specifically designed for kids, so they’re durable and bendable. Unlike many other retailers, the list price of the glasses online includes the cost of standard prescription lenses, but they also offer specialized lenses at an additional cost.

Best for Big Kids: Pair Eyewear Kids

Pair Eyewear Kids

Source: Pair Eyewear

Pros
  • Several color and “top” options

  • Sizing ranges from 5Y to adult

  • List price includes prescription lenses

Cons
  • Limited style selection

  • Will not file a claim with your insurance company

Pair Eyewear offers a handful of frame styles for kids as young as 5 years old and up to adulthood. While the number of frame styles is somewhat limited, each one has a variety of color options to choose from, so there is still a decent selection for kids to shop.

Kids also have the option to purchase extra frame tops that they can switch out to change up the look of their glasses (at an additional cost). They offer a variety of lens options, both prescription and non-prescription, and a 30-day return window where they will refund you for any reason if you don’t like the glasses.

Best for Blue Light Blockers: Jonas Paul Kids

Jonas Paul Kids

Source: Jonas Paul

Pros
  • Stylish frames with several color options

  • In-person before committing to a pair

  • List price includes cost of prescription glasses

Cons
  • On the pricier end

  • Limited non-prescription style selection

If you’re looking for quality blue-light-blocking glasses to protect your eyes during screentime, either non-prescription or the option to add them on to prescription glasses, check out Jonas Paul. They offer a wide selection of quality-made frames that are available in several fun colors. While this retailer is only online, they are unique in that they let shoppers do a home try-on before committing to purchasing frames.

Each home try-on kit costs $1 and includes up to seven pairs of glasses that kids can try out for seven days before returning and putting in an order. The list price of frames includes the cost of standard prescription lenses, but there is an additional cost to add blue light blocking coating for non-prescription blue light blocking glasses. There is no change to the list price. 

Best for Durability: Tomato Glasses

Tomato Glasses

Source: Tomato Glasses

Pros
  • Made from high-quality, very durable materials

  • Comes with a strap for younger kids and for sports

  • Designed for comfort

Cons
  • Pricey

  • Cannot buy prescription lenses online

Tomato Glasses make durable, flexible frames for babies, toddlers, and kids that are designed to withstand all that kids put them through. They are extremely flexible, so they don’t break easily, are lightweight and comfortable for tiny faces. These glasses feature adjustable earpieces and nose pads for a secure fit and come with an optional strap that will help the glasses stay in place (which is great for younger kids and for playing sports).

The downside to these frames is that you cannot purchase them with prescription lenses, so you’ll have to take them to an eyeglasses store to have them fitted with special lenses, however, a lot of retailers carry this brand in their stores, so it may be easier to shop for them in person.

Final Verdict

All of these retailers carry glasses that are designed to fit children comfortably while still being functional, so you really can’t go wrong. Still, Zenni Optical (view at Zenni Optical) ranks highest on our list for its price range, its large selection of different style frames, and the website’s ease of use.

What to Look for When Buying Kids Eyeglasses 

Prescription Lens Options & Lens Type

You might be surprised to find out that not every retailer that offers kids frames also offers prescription lenses, or you may find that the price of the glasses increases significantly when you add prescription lenses to your order. Because of this, it’s important to either speak to someone in the store or do some research online on what types of lenses they offer before you start shopping. 

In addition to ensuring an accurate prescription, it’s also important to consider the lens type for children. Robert C. Layman, O.D., President of the American Optometric Association (AOA), tells Verywell family, “The AOA recommends polycarbonate or Trivex material which [both] provide the most impact resistance.” He also explains these lenses “are typically the standard of care in terms of safety eyewear for minors, as the liability of breakage and injury is a concern with non-impact resistant products.” Both Catherine Jordan, MD, a Pediatric Ophthalmologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Heather Heil, an Optician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital agree with Dr. Layman, and also note that polycarbonate lenses for children are usually covered by insurance plans. 

Frame Type & Design

It’s very important that your child likes the style of their eyeglasses since if they don’t like them, they won’t wear them, but it’s just as important that they are made from quality materials that will hold up to kid-level wear and tear. Dr. Layman explains, “some materials, such as titanium alloys, may have more ability to recover from being bent” than plastic frames. 

Additionally, he, Dr. Jordan, and all Heil note that it’s also important to look at the glasses’ hinges, as they make a big difference between flimsy glasses and durable ones. Heil explains, “A spring hinge gives a little extra durability compared to a straight hinge, [and] some manufacturers are using a 180-degree hinge, which means the legs will spread out flat to the front of the frame.” 

Dr. Layman also encourages parents to take a look at the frames’ instructions for use as well as the warranty. Looking at the instructions may seem silly, but in doing so, you’re familiarizing yourself with what the glasses can and can’t do. As for the warranty, a manufacturer that offers a good warranty (such as free replacements) more than likely “stands behind their quality kids frames,” explains Dr. Layman.

Finally, it’s very important to ensure the frames your child has picked out are compatible with their specific prescription lens. If your child has a special need for a very strong prescription lens, Dr. Layman suggests talking to the doctor or optician about “thinner, lighter lenses to improve comfort and the look” of the frames. 

Fit

It probably comes as no surprise that how the glasses fit on your child’s face is very important. In fact, Dr. Layman says it is “critically” important because a poor or incorrect fit can result in the patient “experiencing discomfort, such as pinching and headaches” and can even lead to “additional vision problems.”

According to Heil and Dr. Jordan, for the glasses to be a good fit “the child’s eyes should be near the center of the lenses, the bridge should fit well across the nose, and care should be taken that the temples do not squeeze the sides of the head.” If the frames are pretty close to fitting but just need a minor adjustment, they recommend investing in temple tips, nose pieces, and other tools that will help the glasses sit properly on the face.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are online glasses for kids durable?

    Whether or not the glasses are durable depends a lot on the material of the frames, the style of the hinges, the types of lenses in the glasses, and how careful your child is with their frames. Dr. Layman, Dr. Jordan, and Heil all note that it’s standard practice to use shatter-proof lenses in kids glasses, but not all frames are equal in durability.

    Heil says, “the most durable material is a soft, molded rubber frame, but those are traditionally designed for young toddlers and infants or for older children with special needs.” If your child has aged out of these types of frames, pay attention to the material the frames are made from and whether or not the hinges offer a wide range of motion (the more bendable the glasses, the better).

  • Can I use my insurance to buy glasses online?

    There are several factors that go into whether or not you can use your insurance to buy glasses online. First, you’ll need to look at your specific plan to determine if there are any parameters for where you purchase the lenses and frames.

    If not, then you’ll most likely have to pay for the frames and lenses out of pocket and then submit the receipt for reimbursement from the insurance company. There are some online retailers that will work directly with insurance providers as well as retailers that allow you to pay for out-of-pocket costs with FSA or HSA plans.

Why Trust Verywell Family

This article was written by Ashley Ziegler, a full-time parenting writer and mom to a two-year-old and a five-year-old. Her oldest daughter has been wearing prescription glasses daily for more than a year, which allowed Ashley to consider her personal experience when selecting these retailers. She also considered suggestions from fellow parents of kids with glasses and consulted with experts Robert C. Layman, O.D., President of the American Optometric Association, Catherine Jordan, MD, Pediatric Opthamologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Heather Heil, Optician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.