I need new glasses. The last couple times I got glasses I went to independent optometrists, but that was before I moved here. Are any of the mall-based national brands any good? Some of them seem to have good offers. Are they Too Good To Be True? Or are the major retailers a decent place to get glasses?
Check Consumer Reports for ratings. Keep in mind that the stores in places like Mal-Mart are independent chains and can be different from store to store even in the same region. (Also, CR says they’re crap.)
The last time we needed a new glasses place, we went to “For Eyes” based on CR. We’ve kept going there since.
I was very happy with Target’s optometrists.
I’ve used LensCrafters for years.
I used For Eyes once, because they were cheaper and more convenient, but I wasn’t happy with the way they made the lenses so I went back to LensCrafters.
My husband gets his at Lenscrafters. They have a decent selection. The best part of their chain is that they store your perscription in their computer so when we were travelling we were able to get a pair of perscription sunglasses and eyeglasses in another state in a couple of hours. Nothing sucks more is when your travelling and you have broken your eyeglasses and can’t see.
Re: Lenscrafters - I don’t know if this is still the case, but the last time I needed glasses I noticed a teeny weeny little bitty sign about “if you want your Kroger’s Plus Card discount you have to show your actual card.” “Discount?” I inquired? It was 30% (no small amount!) but they’d never have mentioned it or pointed it out in any way if I hadn’t noticed it. They do seem to be a little more expensive but I am very happy with the selection, service, and time. They’re also garaunteed for I think a month? Three months? Anyway, if anything’s wrong with it (and I had some coating issues) they’ll fix it, remake it, whatever.
A lot of Costcos have optometrists on site and pretty good prices on “designer” frames. They also honored my insurance, if that’s a factor.
I am a LensCrafters associate.
Be sure to bring your AAA, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Medicare, etc. card with you. My store accepts Mamsi, but that’s only applicable to Maryland. If you go to the LensCrafters website, you can print a $75 coupon that’s good for any complete order (lenses and frames). It’s the best deal available if you don’t have any insurance. But hurry, because the coupon expires October 8.
In general, if you just want regular glasses, I’d suggest polycarbonate lenses. They’re more durable than plastic, and scratch-restant and UV protective. A basic pair of polycarbonate lenses will run you about $180, as opposed to plastic, which is about $120 but doesn’t last near as long. There’s all sorts of fou-fou add-ons, like anti-glare and tints, but don’t let anyone bully you into fancy lenses if you don’t want them. If you plan on playing lots of sports or otherwise engaging in high-impact activities, pick up polycaronate plus, which is the lens we put on all children 12 and under. Oh! and kids 12 and under get a 50% discount, at least at my store.