My Completely Honest Zenni Optical Review + Tips for Ordering from Zenni

Need new glasses? I tried Zenni Optical for my newest pairs and I’m sharing my completely honest review of ordering from Zenni Optical along with some tips for ordering your first pair.

zenni optical review
(Note: This post may contain affiliate links. I will earn a small commission if you use my links to purchase a product but your purchase price does not change. Check out the disclosure policy to find out more.)

I got my first pair of glasses in 10th or 11th grade. I picked the pair I did because a cute boy at school had tortoise shell glasses so clearly I needed tortoise shell glasses. Goodness. Thankfully I’ve grown up a bit since then!

The next pair of glasses I got was in college and they were a much better style. Cute block style in a dark purple. I loved these glasses! I also wore them from about 2004 or 2005 all the way until 2019. Yes. I made a pair of glasses last for 15 years before finally visiting the optometrist to get an updated prescription. 

When people tell you that moms put themselves on the back burner, this is what they are talking about! My glasses still worked for me. I could see and there was nothing functionally or stylistically wrong with them, but ignoring my eye health for 15 years probably wasn’t the smartest choice – especially because we were paying for eye insurance! 

Then one random day in early 2019 I picked up my glasses from the dining room table to discover that they were snapped in half. I could no longer ignore the issue. Off to the optometrist I went. 

Why did I choose to order from Zenni Optical?

Part of the reason I put off getting new glasses for so long was that the cost can be incredibly high. I remember browsing racks of glasses with my mom in high school and trying to find a pair that would be mostly covered by our frame allowance under insurance. There aren’t many even if you have decent coverage!

I had heard about Zenni Optical from a few friends and took a look at their website. I liked lots of the styles and the prices (starting at $6.95) couldn’t really be beaten. I knew I’d need to pay a bit more for extra perks but I figured it was worth a try since I no longer had glasses. If it was a bust at least I’d only be out about $15 rather than ten times that. 

How does ordering glasses from Zenni Optical work?

  • To get started on Zenni, first you need to create an account. You can use my referral link to get $5 off your first order. 
  • Enter your current prescription information including your pupil distance. I highly recommend having help with this part but it’s possible to do yourself in the mirror. 
  • Browse the frames and choose a pair you like. You can filter frames by style, size, color, material, and more. I filtered by plastic and then sorted by price from low to high because I knew I wanted to stay budget friendly. 
  • You can play with the virtual try-on feature to see how the glasses will look on your face. 
  • Once you choose a pair you can customize other features such as lens index and lens tint, blue light blocker, polarized sunglasses, photochromic lenses, anti-reflective coating, clip-on sunglasses, and more. The only add-on I chose was the standard anti-reflective coating because I mainly use my glasses for driving at night. 

Do you need a prescription to order from Zenni Optical?

No! You can order glasses just for fun as a super cute accessory or as sunglasses from Zenni. After you click the “Order Glasses” button you can select the “non-prescription” option from the drop-down menu. I totally get wanting glasses as a statement piece because mine often are!

What are the best tips for ordering from Zenni Optical? 

  • Get an updated prescription
    • Get your eyes checked out regularly. Not just for glasses, but for your own health. My prescription didn’t change too drastically, but both my husband and son’s prescriptions changed between yearly visits. 
  • Your prescription strength will change the price of the glasses
    • Because my prescription is so low, I am able to pay the base price for lenses and get my complete pair of glasses for less than $12 before tax. A friend of mine still needed to pay well over $100 because her prescription is significantly stronger. She said it was still far cheaper than buying them through insurance at the eye doctor but this is something to be aware of when you are pricing out your glasses. 
  • Don’t take the virtual try-on too seriously. 
    • If I had gone by the virtual try-on I’m not sure I would have bought a single pair of glasses. Most of the pairs were pictured as clown-style huge even though I followed the directions perfectly during the set-up. 
  • Measure your current pair of glasses
    • Every pair of glasses on Zenni lists the frame size as well as the appropriate prescription range and pupillary distance. This will give you a much better idea of how the glasses will fit your head than the virtual try-on.
  • Sign up for their mailing list
    • Zenni often sends out emails with new styles but more importantly, sale announcements! They frequently time sales around holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Black Friday. If you can wait for a sale you can score more pairs for the same price. 
  • Save on shipping
    • Zenni only charges shipping on the first pair of glasses! If you need (or want, in my case) multiple pairs of glasses, order them all together at once and only pay one shipping charge.
  • Use your FSA/HSA to pay for your glasses at Zenni Optical
    • Zenni accepts your FSA/HSA card just like a credit card during checkout. If you don’t have a card, they provide easy to print receipts for you to submit for reimbursement.
  • Know the return policy
    • You have 30 days to return your glasses for any reason. You can choose a 50% refund (minus shipping) to your credit card or PayPal or a 100% refund (minus shipping) in one time use store credit. 
    • Zenni will also repair broken frames at any point during the 30-day return period. 

Pros & Cons of ordering from Zenni Optical

I have been nothing but pleased with my glasses from Zenni Optical. I get complimented frequently on the colors and styles I chose. After I had such a good experience ordering from Zenni we decided to purchase my husband and son’s glasses from Zenni as well. We figured we’d rather have my son chance losing or breaking a $15 pair of glasses at school rather than the $100+ pair from the optometrist.

Pros of ordering from Zenni Optical

  • Low prices! Frames start at just $6.95 and these are super cute! In fact, all three pairs of glasses I own are a pair of $6.95 frames. Two (the black and teal) are the same frame and the pink is a different frame.
  • Quick shipping. The first pair of glasses I ordered on 4/21/19 and was told 14-21 days from ordering to arrival because of the manufacturing time. They shipped on 4/24 and they arrived at my house on 4/26 – just in time to go see Avengers Endgame!
  • So many styles! It doesn’t matter your face shape, coloring, or personality, you are sure to find a pair of glasses that you will love. I really like that so many frames come in multiple colors. I found a frame I liked and ordered it in two different colors because I love them so much.
  • Every pair comes with a cute case (in turquoise!) and cleaning cloth.

Cons of ordering from Zenni Optical

  • My only negative experience with Zenni is with the virtual try-on. It would have been nice for it to work well but I’ver heard from many people that they have had the same experience with the virtual try-on. It’s a great idea, but I guess the software needs some tweaking for it to work better for everyone.
  • The price can be slightly misleading because they really push the $6.95 deal. Because this is only the price of the frame and not the price of the lenses you are not going to pay that low of a price when all is said and done. Just be aware that your prescription and additional features can greatly change your final price.

Glasses no longer need to be drab and boring. Have some fun with your new accessories and try something new! Pick a color or style that excites you and go for it. I’m up to three pairs and have so much fun mixing and matching with various outfits. Plus I’m already planning out the additional colors and styles I want to try the next time I decide to order.

Remember, you can create an account using my referral link and save $5 on your first order.

Have you ever ordered from Zenni Optical? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

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honest zenni optical review

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