If you’ve ever had to shop for glasses, you’ll know how expensive they can be. Factor in regular eye exams and contact lenses and you can be spending a fortune for the ability to see properly.

I got my first pair of glasses when I went to university. I probably could have used them earlier, but I was able to make it through high school by avoiding the back row. The trigger was actually my mom, who realized my eyes were less than stellar when we were driving, and I couldn’t read a road sign. Whoops. She dragged me into the optometrist and, sure enough, I walked out with a new pair of glasses.

Glasses vs Contacts

I like glasses. I like how I look wearing them, and I really like the fact that you don’t need to touch your eyeball to wear them. I’m weird about eyeballs. The bf wears contacts all day, every day, and has for decades but I struggled with the idea. It was less than five years ago when I tried them out for the first time. We were going to a wedding in Mexico and I wanted the option not to wear my glasses at the beach. Now I wear them, but pretty infrequently. My glasses are still my go to.

Whichever option you prefer, you’ll have to pay for them. And neither is cheap. This is especially true if you buy directly from your optometrist. My first pair of glasses cost almost $400 (thanks mom!), and that was fifteen years ago!

Even if you have benefits that cover vision care, it’s often not enough. I know my coverage is only $200 every two years and that’s for everything; exams, glasses, contacts, etc.

Buying Glasses Online

I’m always looking for a deal and so when I saw a promotion for a free pair of prescription eyeglasses I jumped at the chance. This was years ago through Clearly Contacts (now rebranded as Clearly), and it was the first time I realized there were other options out there.

You might not still be able to get your first pair free, but you can still get really reasonably priced glasses (lenses included) by shopping online instead of in store. And there are lots of options out there. Clearly has done me well but I recently ordered a pair of prescription sunglasses from Zenni Optical that I also love. It’s worth taking a look at a few options to find frames that fit your style but make sure you read some reviews and understand the return policy. Buying glasses online can save you money without sacrificing style or quality.

Huge Selection

The thing I like most about finding cheap glasses is it allows me to own more than one pair. Since I discovered Clearly, I don’t think I’ve had less than two pairs in rotation. Different frames are a fun way to change up your look, and if you can get them for $50, the price per wear is super low.

Clearly has a ton of frames to choose from that go from conservative rimless styles to super trendy cat’s eye shapes. I can waste a lot of time browsing their site when I’m in need of a new pair. If you’re not up for browsing, you can filter down the results by different features or even get matches based on the size and shape of a pair you currently own.

How’s The Quality?

One of the biggest concerns I have about ordering anything online is the quality; especially if it’s from a company, I haven’t used before. Glasses are particularly important because you don’t want to sacrifice eye health just to save a few bucks.

I’ve had nothing but good luck with the multiple frames I’ve ordered from Clearly. Do keep in mind that I have a relatively weak prescription which means I don’t need to have lenses thinned down or anything more complex. Before ordering you’ll want to make sure your prescription is up to do. If you haven’t been to the optometrist in a while, then I’d suggest making an appointment. Once that’s done you can ask for a copy of your prescription. You can also get better deals by purchasing contacts online but those have a different prescription so make sure you ask for both. If you been tested recently, then you can always call in and ask them to send your prescription.

You might not get the same high-end designers at an online discount merchant, but the frames don’t feel like cheap knockoffs. The only downfall I’ve noticed is you don’t get the custom fit service you’ll get in store. You’re on your own when it comes to adjustments and cleanings.

One thing I would recommend is to add the anti-glare option on your lenses. This used to be included for free, but now it’s an add-on. I did recently return a pair where I skipped it, and the glasses weren’t great when I was looking at the computer.

Return Policy

Probably my favourite thing about Clearly is their return policy. You can return your glasses up to 365 days after your purchase (in unworn condition of course), and they will cover the cost of shipping. The process is super easy (I’ve done it a few times). You call in, and they’ll email you a return shipping label to print and then just attach that to the box and pop it in a mail. I’ve never been hassled on the phone about a return either, the customer service reps are great.

It can be scary ordering glasses online. Even if you love the look you might not love how them on your own face. Having the ability to return for free is a huge perk.

If you wear glasses and are in need of an upgrade I highly recommend giving Clearly.ca a shot, with the low prices and free returns you really can’t go wrong. Plus, they always have amazing promotions running. Right now you can buy one pair, get one free by using the code BOGO at checkout.

Here are a few frames I’ve got my eye on:

**Disclaimer: Clearly did provide me with a free pair of glasses after my last return. But the opinions in this post are my own, and I’ve been a longtime customer.

This post was proofread by Grammarly.


  1. I bought mine online for the first time a couple years ago! I found them flimsy but good enough for the price. This time around, I got a frame in Japan for dirt cheap, and then got the lenses put in at my local optometrist. (There's also a website here now where you can send in your frame, they do the lenses and send them back to you – I thought about trying it but then I broke my glasses and needed to get lenses put into my new frame ASAP.)

  2. I've heard you can get cheap glasses overseas but have never done that myself, makes sense though!

  3. I've heard you can get cheap glasses overseas but have never done that myself, makes sense though!

  4. The truth is today buying glasses is as exciting as buying new clothes. You just have to go to any shop selling eyeglasses, and you will be shocked at the variety of fashion eye glasses available. Choosing fashion eye glasses that look good on you is very easy. Click here

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