Glasses Without Insurance: A Comprehensive Guide

Wearing glasses is an essential part of many people’s daily routines. Whether it’s for reading, working on the computer, or driving, glasses play a crucial role in ensuring clear vision. However, the cost of glasses can be prohibitive for those without insurance. In this article, we’ll explore the various options available for purchasing glasses without insurance, including online retailers, discount stores, and independent optometrists.

Online Retailers

One of the most popular options for purchasing glasses without insurance is through online retailers. These retailers offer a wide variety of frames and lenses at affordable prices. Some popular online retailers include:

Price Range
Zenni Optical
$6.95 – $67.95
Low prices, wide variety of frames and lenses
No in-person try-on, limited customer service
Warby Parker
$95 – $145
Stylish frames, in-home try-on, excellent customer service
Higher prices compared to other online retailers
$38 – $200+
Wide range of designer frames, virtual try-on, free shipping and returns
Higher prices compared to other online retailers, limited customer service

When purchasing glasses online, it’s essential to have an up-to-date prescription from your eye doctor. You’ll also need your pupillary distance (PD) measurement, which is the distance between your eyes. This measurement can be obtained from your eye doctor or measured at home using a ruler.

Another tip when ordering glasses online is to check the retailer’s return policy. Some retailers offer free returns and exchanges, while others may charge a restocking fee. Additionally, be prepared for a longer wait time for your glasses to arrive compared to in-person purchases.

Discount Stores

If you prefer to try on glasses in person, discount stores such as Walmart, Target, and Costco offer affordable options. These stores typically have optometrists on staff who can perform a basic eye exam and prescribe glasses if needed. Prices for glasses at these stores start at around $60 for basic frames and lenses.

However, keep in mind that these stores may have a limited selection of frames and lenses compared to online retailers or independent optometrists. Additionally, customer service at these stores may not be as personalized as other options.

Independent Optometrists

If you’re looking for a more personalized experience, independent optometrists may be the way to go. These optometrists typically have a wider selection of frames and lenses and offer more personalized customer service. Prices for glasses at independent optometrists vary depending on the frames and lenses selected.

Another advantage of using an independent optometrist is that they can perform a more comprehensive eye exam compared to discount stores. They can also diagnose and treat various eye conditions or refer you to a specialist if needed.


Can I still get glasses without insurance?

Yes, you can still purchase glasses without insurance. Online retailers, discount stores, and independent optometrists all offer glasses at various prices.

How much do glasses cost without insurance?

The cost of glasses without insurance varies depending on the frames and lenses selected. Online retailers such as Zenni Optical offer glasses starting at $6.95, while independent optometrists may offer designer frames starting at $200 or more.

How often should I get new glasses?

Most eye doctors recommend getting new glasses every 1-2 years, depending on your prescription and any changes in your vision.

Do I need a prescription to purchase glasses?

Yes, you need an up-to-date prescription to purchase glasses. Your prescription can be obtained from your eye doctor during an eye exam.

Can I use my FSA or HSA to purchase glasses?

Yes, you can use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) to purchase glasses. However, be sure to check your account balance and any restrictions before making your purchase.


While the cost of glasses without insurance can be daunting, there are various options available for those in need of new glasses. Online retailers offer affordable options with a wide selection of frames and lenses, discount stores such as Walmart and Costco offer inexpensive in-person options, and independent optometrists offer a personalized experience with a wider selection of frames and lenses. By exploring these options and doing your research, you can find the perfect pair of glasses without breaking the bank.