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Best places to buy cheap prescription sunglasses and Transitions lenses online

LensCrafters, Warby Parker

Warm weather is here, so it's the perfect time to refresh your wardrobe accessory collection with new prescription sunglasses or traditional eyeglasses with lenses that darken in the sun. Sure, you can spend $500 or more for prescription sunglasses with designer frames, but you don't have to.

By shopping online, you can save a fortune and get the sunglass frames you want, with handcrafted and customized lenses that perfectly adhere your prescription. Best of all, it's super easy to order your prescription sunglasses online -- and it's risk-free.

When you shop online, you can spend less than $100 for a quality pair of single-vision prescription sunglasses. Online companies like GlassesUSA, Zenni Optical, Warby Parker, LensCrafters and EyeBuyDirect offer affordable prescription sunglasses that'll serve you well. 

Our team of in-house shopping experts have found the best places to shop online for inexpensive prescription sunglasses. And don't worry if there's a problem with the sunglasses you order. This roundup only features companies that offer a money-back guarantee and easy exchanges. And most offer a virtual try-on feature, so you can see how your new sunglasses will look on your face before placing your order. 

Where to buy cheap prescription sunglasses

Whether you need single-vision, bi-focals, progressive sunglasses, or lenses that darken in the sun, shopping online has serious benefits. It's easy, saves money and gives you a much larger selection than what's typically on offer at the optometrist's office. 

  • Best overall place to find the cheapest prescription sunglasses or Transitions lenses: GlassesUSA
  • Best place to find sales on prescription sunglasses or Transitions lenses: Zenni Optical
  • Best place for style selection on a budget: Warby Parker
  • Best place for prescription sunglasses and beyond: LensCrafters
  • Best place for prescription sunglasses starting under $40: EyeBuyDirect

Pro tip: When you're shopping prescription sunglasses online, be sure to see if the company offers discounts to students, teachers, active military, seniors or first responders. And most of these companies offer an extra discount if you buy more than one pair of glasses at the same time.

Best place to find the cheapest prescription sunglasses or Transition lenses: GlassesUSA

GlassesUSA Prescription Sunglasses

Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescription: Yes | Progressive prescription: Yes | Readers: Yes | Prescription sunglasses: Yes | Light responsive lens option: Yes | Blue light filtering lens option: Yes | Virtual try-onYes | Home try-on: No | HSA/FSA acceptedYes | Vision insurance acceptedYes

At GlassesUSA, you're guaranteed to find sales and promotions, whether it's a BOGO deal, a 50% off frames sale, a discount up to $150 off when you buy progressive lenses, or up to 50% off prescription lenses and upgrades. Plus, GlassesUSA offers discounts to first responders, nurses, teachers, medical providers, military members, hospital workers, senior citizens, government employees and students.

Click on the Sale page. After browsing the extensive selection of sunglass frames, choose between single-vision, near vision (readers), progressive or bi-focal lenses. In addition to the cost of the frames, the the lenses range from $30 to $99.

Choose basic lenses, or upgrade to a lighter and thinner option for an additional $39, or pick or a super thin option for $69 extra. Lens upgrades include a personalized darkness level or gradient, a polarization filter and a mirrored coating. Each offers a variety of color or tints. You can even upgrade to a hydrophobic filter (for $19 extra) which makes the lenses easier to clean, while reducing fingerprint smudging. Don't be surprised if you score a complete pair of sunglasses for less than $60. is also great for designer frames (from Ray-Ban, Oakley, Prada, Coach, Versace, Gucci and 54 others). Designer frames are typically sold at up to 40% off of retail, and lens upgrades are offered for up to 50% off. New customers who sign up for a newsletter get a coupon good for up to 50% off a first pair of frames. All sunglasses come with a 14-day money-back guarantee, as well as a one-year warranty.

Best place to find sales on prescription sunglasses or Transition lenses: Zenni Optical

Zenni Optical Prescription Sunglasses
Zenni Optical

Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescription: Yes | Progressive prescription: Yes | Readers: Yes | Prescription sunglasses: Yes | Light responsive lens optionYes | Blue light filtering lens option: Yes | Virtual try-onYes | Home try-on: No | HSA/FSA acceptedYes | Vision insurance accepted: Submit receipt for reimbursement

Zenni Optical is known for ultra-low-cost frames, which range from a mere $6.95 to $59.95 with single-focus, basic prescription sunglass lenses. Bi-focals, progressives, lens filters and coatings all increase prices; adding lenses that change color in sunlight will add about $160 to the cost, while a blue-light filter increases the cost by about $47. 

Complete pairs of prescription sunglasses with Zenni frames and basic, single-vision lenses can be found for under $30 if you're on a tight budget. Keep in mind, some of the ultra-cheap frame options fall into the "you get what you pay for" category in terms of quality and durability. When you start adding optional upgrades, the final cost could be similar to what you'll pay elsewhere. 

You can typically choose the tint color, or add a gradient or mirror tint, so you can customize each pair of sunglasses. Zenni Optical also offers traditional eyewear with six options for Transitions or EyeQlenz lenses that darken in sunlight. Depending on the option you choose, the lenses will offer 100% UV protection and polarization. 

What we like about Zenni Optical is that shopping is easy. Quickly narrow your search using filters based on price, style, prescription, color and frame material. You're guided through lens selection, too. Most of the frames have a virtual try-on feature. An additional 10% discount is offered to students, teachers, active military, first responders and medical workers. You'll also always discover a wide range of frames and complete sunglasses on sale.

Best place for style selection on a budget: Warby Parker

Warby Parker Prescription Sunglasses
Warby Parker

Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescription: Yes | Progressive prescription: Yes | Readers: Yes | Prescription sunglasses: Yes | Light responsive lens option: Yes | Blue light filtering lens option: Yes | Virtual try-on: Yes | Home try-onYes | HSA/FSA accepted: Yes | Vision insurance acceptedYes

Warby Parker offers its own frames that come in hundreds of colors and styles. You'll pay as little as $195 for a complete pair of single-vision prescription sunglasses. Framed progressive lenses start at $395, and framed readers start at $195. The basic lenses are high-quality polycarbonate, but you can upgrade to 1.67 high-index for an additional fee. 

Select from nine polarized sunglass lens colors and three non-polarized color options at no additional charge. 

Warby Parker accepts virtually all vision insurance and HSA/FSA payments. If you order two pairs of glasses at the same time (one of which can be regular prescription eyeglasses), you get an automatic 15% discount. And for every pair of prescription eyewear purchased, Warby Parker donates a pair to someone in need

Best place for prescription sunglasses and beyond: LensCrafters

LensCrafters Prescription Sunglasses

Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescription: Yes | Progressive prescription: Yes | Readers: Yes | Prescription sunglasses: Yes | Light responsive lens optionYes | Blue light filtering lens optionYes | Virtual try-on: Yes | Home try-on: No | HSA/FSA acceptedYes | Vision insurance acceptedYes

If you want designer frames from Ray-Ban, Oakley, Versace, Coach, Prada, Brooks Brothers or any of more than a dozen others, the place to shop online for prescription sunglasses or traditional eyewear with light-responsive lenses is LensCrafters. It's also a one-stop online shop for traditional eyeglasses, specialty frames for athletes, contact lenses and more. 

The website makes it easy to shop for sunglasses based on brand, style, color or shape. Once you find the frames you love, choose from a wide range of sunglass lens options. All prescription eyewear comes with a 30-day happiness guarantee. For an additional $35 fee, you can upgrade to a protection plan that covers frames and lenses against damage, scratches and other issues for a full year.

When shopping for budget friendly prescription sunglasses, LensCrafts has you covered with value packages as low as $99 for the frames with single-vision prescription sunglass lenses. There's an upgrade fee for polarized lenses, although all of the sunglass lens options offer UV protection and a scratch-resistant treatment. 

You'll also discover a vast selection of designer frames, with new options coming in all the time. It's common to find some designer frames on sale for as much as 60% off.

Best place for prescription sunglasses starting under $40: EyeBuyDirect

EyeBuyDirect Prescription Sunglasses

Single-vision prescription: Yes | Bi-focals prescriptionYes | Progressive prescriptionYes | ReadersYes | Prescription sunglassesYes | Light responsive lens optionYes | Blue light filtering lens optionYes | Virtual try-onYes | Home try-on: No | HSA/FSA acceptedYes | Vision insurance acceptedYes

EyeBuyDirect offers an impressive selection of cheap prescription sunglasses -- with some frames selling for just $35 (which includes single vision, 1.5 index prescription lenses). Select the tint strength (80%, 50% or 20%) and then choose from 10 lens colors. Polarized lenses cost an additional $40. Reflective mirrored lenses cost an additional $29. If you want gradient lenses (in the color of your choice), there's an extra $4 fee.

You'll also discover premium brand frames from Ray-BanOakleyVogue Eyewear and more deeply discounted. When shopping at EyeBuyDirect, it pays to purchase two or more pair of glasses at once, since the company offers a buy one, get one at 75% off deal (when you use code VISION75 at checkout). There are always all sorts of deals and digital discount coupons. And yes, if you're a student, you're also entitled to a 20% discount.

The least expensive options include EyeBuyDirect's own frames combined with prescription lenses, but when you're spending less than $50, the quality isn't up to par with the designer competitors. For people who need bi-focals or progressive sunglass lenses, you can expect to pay a bit more. However, the bi-focal or progressive lens upgrade on most prescription eyewear is as low as $109. 

How to order prescription sunglasses online

The process couldn't be easier. First, choose your sunglass frames. Next, select your prescription lens options. Once you're ready to place your order, you'll need to upload a copy of your eyeglass prescription that's less than one year old from an optometrist. 

One way to save money is to click on the "sale" or "deals" banner or menu option found on most prescription sunglass sites.


Before paying, determine what additional discounts you're entitled to. Discounts are often offered to active military (and their families), students, AAA members or AARP members (and people over the age of 65). Several of these companies offer an additional discount when you order two or more pairs of prescription glasses (or sunglasses) at the same time. And many of these companies run continuous sales or promotions. 

Using your favorite web browser, seek out active promo codes that could save you even more money. Within a search engine, like Google or Yahoo!, enter the phase "[company name] promo code," "[company name] discount code," or "[company name] coupon code." If you find a valid code, be sure to enter it into the appropriate field during the checkout process when purchasing your prescription sunglasses.

Best places to buy cheap prescription sunglasses and Transition lenses online

Upon making your payment, your prescription sunglasses will be custom made and shipped directly to your door -- typically within three to 14 business days.

What do I need to order prescription sunglasses online?

Regardless of where you shop, you'll need:

  • A current eyeglass prescription (less than one year old) from an optometrist. If you don't have a copy of your prescription, be prepared to share your optometrist's contact information.
  • Your pupillary distance (PD) measurement. This something your optometrist can provide, or you can measure it yourself. The Zenni website offers a Custom Dual PD ruler that you can download and print for free.
  • Your vision insurance information.

Types of lenses include single-vision, bi-focals (sometimes called multi-focals), or progressives. These lenses can be made from optical glass, CR-39 plastic or polycarbonate. There are several types of optional lens materials that impact their thickness, weight, clarity, reflection resistance and the level of protection they offer. 

Once you pick a lens type, you'll typically move on to optional lens coatings or treatments -- think scratch resistance, an anti-reflective coating, UV blocking, a blue-light filter or polarization. These options usually affect the cost.

What happens if the sunglasses don't fit or the prescription is incorrect?

Virtually all sellers, including those featured in this roundup, offer a 14- or 30-day exchange or return policy. If the frames don't fit, or you're not seeing clearly, you can return the sunglasses for a full refund or have the prescription sunglasses remade. After the return or exchange period, many of the online sellers will offer at least a six-month to one-year "no scratch" guarantee, which means the company will repair or replace the lenses if they get accidentally scratched. 

In some cases, you can purchase an extended warranty, which will cover any damage to the frames or lenses during a predefined period. These extended warranty plans do not cover the sunglasses if they're lost or stolen.

How much are prescription sunglasses?

No matter where you shop, prescription sunglasses will cost a bit more than traditional prescription eyewear. You can also expect to pay more if you opt for traditional eyewear with Transitions (photochromic, light-responsive, light adaptive or variable tint) lenses that start off clear but automatically darken when exposed to sunlight. 

For prescription sunglasses with basic, single-vision lenses, you can expect to pay as little as $35. However, for everyday wear prescription sunglasses that are well made and that offer a higher level of overall quality, expect to pay at least $100. Prescription sunglasses with polarized lenses will cost a bit more, as will customized sunglasses with designer frames.

Almost all of the companies featured in this roundup accept vision insurance or HSA/FSA payments. This can lower or eliminate your out-of-pocket expense when ordering prescription sunglasses.

What are Transitions lenses?

Transitions are a patented lens type that starts off clear, but then darken in sunlight. There are several different types of Transitions lenses -- all of which are designed to reduce glare, eye fatigue and eye strain. These lenses block 100% of UV rays and filter blue-violet light from the sun. The price for adding Transitions lenses to prescription sunglasses varies greatly, based on where you're ordering your glasses from and the type of Transitions lenses you select.

There are versions of Transitions lenses that are suitable for everyday wear, while some darken more and are better for people who spend a lot of time outdoors. There are also specialized Transitions lenses for driving. 

What are photochromic lenses?

Photochromic lenses (also known as light-responsive, light adaptive or variable tint lenses) start off clear, but change color and darken when exposed to UV light from the sun. Indoors, they remain clear. This is an option that can be added to most traditional prescription lenses. 

While you're pay a bit more for this lens upgrade, it's typically much less expensive than buying a separate pair of prescription sunglasses. Plan on spending anywhere from $100 to $400 extra for this feature, though some of the prescription eyewear companies in this roundup offer it for less.

For more help finding and buying prescription eyewear, be sure to check out our coverage of the six best places to buy prescription glasses online in 2024, the best places to buy cheap prescription glasses online, and the best prescription sunglasses for 2024.

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