Warby Parker pioneered the try-at-home optical industry, but the well-known startup’s frames are increasingly common. If you’re looking for the best alternatives to Warby Parker, try these 13 entrepreneurial companies who also offer try-at-home programs for their eyeglass offerings.
This post was last updated on March 19, 2019.
Indiana-based Felix and Iris offers a straightforward try-at-home “Fit Kit” to show off their understated frames. Modern Fellows fell in love with one of the frames we received during our Felix and Iris trial.
Founded in 2016, startup Liingo Eyewear began out of Draper, Utah as the brainchild of Founders Brandon Adams, Douglas Harris, Amy Larson and Peder Singleton. In January 2018, the founders sold the company to fellow Utah-based business 1-800-Contacts, the largest U.S. retailer of contact lenses. Liingo Eyewear’s free home-try on program isn’t obvious, but it’s one of the only programs that delivers glasses with your very own prescription lenses. Here’s how to do it: First, select 2 pairs of glasses and enter your prescription. Second, during checkout, select the option for “free in-home try-on.” Third, try them for 10 days to see if you like them. The company also has a virtual try on option, and maintains a 100% “60 day delight” guarantee to return glasses you ordered but which don’t work for you. Liingo Eyewear offers a nice variety of frames to choose from, though the colors rely heavily on shades of black and tortoise brown.
Seattle-founded startup Leotony has an under-the-radar Free Home Try-On program buried in their FAQs. If you follow the instructions (“Find the frame you like and place an unpaid order online with all the information needed, including prescription, lens, shipping address etc. Then tell us the unpaid order number via email or online chat. We will send the glasses out as soon as possible”) they will send the glasses out for a 7 day trial.
New York and New Jersey-based Cooper Crwn produces classy frames from $89. The company offers a Pick n’ Match service, which enables customers to select 3 frames for five days. They will add 2 additional pairs to the box – “one that matches your style + one that is having its fashion moment” – and ship it out. You have 5 days to return the glasses.
London-based Archibald isn’t just about eye wear. They sell everything from Goodyear-welted men’s shoes to selvedge denim. They also offer a try-at-home option for their gorgeous made-in-Japan eyeglass frames. Arichbald’s luxury frames cost $225.
Here’s what differentiates Covry: High school friends Athina Wang & Florence Shin created an exclusive “Elevated Fit®” feature that includes longer nose pads, a reduced frame curvature and a narrowed nose bridge for a more flattering fit for those with low nose bridges and high cheekbones. Their unique eyeglasses design raises the frame so that it sits higher on the face. Try 5 frames for 5 days for $10, which is credited towards your purchase.
San Francisco-based See Saw Seen Eyewear offers a home try on program for up to 5 pairs of glasses (many of which hover around $100). If you live in the San Francisco area, they also offer a unique “in person try on program.” Select up to 10 pairs of frames and the company will come to you to try them on.
David Kind charges “a nominal” $20 fee in exchange for the chance to try six frames at home for six days and a consultation with a “personal optician” to help you find the right pair of specs. The $20 can be applied to a purchase within 3 months. Most glasses run $295 and up.
Canada-based Loch Eyewear crafts prescription eyewear and sunglasses from 500-year-old North American timber recovered by scuba divers. The glasses, which retail for over $400 but were on sale as of this writing for between US$224-299, sport high-clarity, durable, anti-glare polycarbonate lenses made in Japan. The company offers a home-try-on-program that allows customers to try 3 frames at home for 10 days with free shipping both ways. If you like a pair, they will fit the lenses into the glasses and ship them back to you.
Founded out of a garage in Austin, Texas, Roka began with a mission to perfect the wetsuit and appeal to ensurance sport enthusiasts. The brand has expanded since then and now offers eyewear and sunglasses that cost about $200 as of this writing. You’ll pay a $15 handling fee to try four frames for seven days, though the fee can be put towards a future purchase.
Milan, Italy-based Quattrocento Eyewear offers an, err, unique try-at-home method. Choose up to 5 pairs of frames you want to try, and the startup will send you paper versions of the frames to try at home. The actual glasses go for around 125 Euros. (We have to try this.)
Hmmm: Based in the Netherlands, the website for Forsta (which means “the first” in Swedish) features unique patterns and colors and gorgeous frames designed to compete with Warby Parker. Their home try-on program seemingly permits customers to select three frames to try for five days. But when we went to check out, our order never processed over one browser. We received a confirmation via a second browser, but Forsta never gathered our credit card information or sent a confirmation email as promised. We will update this post as events warrant.
Home try-on eyeglass kits for kids
Jonas Paul Eyewear specializes in eyeglasses for children. Jonas Paul offers a home try on kit for kids’ eyeglasses that sends (an extremely generous) 7 child-sized framed to your door to try on at home. The company charges a nominal $1 fee to make sure you’re human (and to grab a credit card number from you in case you don’t return the frames), but otherwise shipping is free both ways. When you find a pair you like, the company will send a pair of new glasses to your door, which retail for $79-85 as of this writing (subject to additional lens upgrades). Check out their cute video on their website about ordering eyeglasses for kids.
Alternatives to Home-Try-On Programs: These Eyeglass Companies offer Virtual Mirrors
Ambr Eyewear offers prescription, reading and non-prescription glasses that they claim help improve sleep and help wearers see and work better by filtering out 55% of blue light wavelengths as well as 90% of UV rays, all with minimal tint. While Ambr Eyewear doesn’t maintain a home-try on program similar to Warby Parker, they offer a “virtual mirror” on their website that utilizes your desktop or laptop web cam to help place glasses on your face virtually. The company also offers free shipping and free returns on up to 2 pairs of glasses, including return shipping for customers from the United States, Canada and select other countries. Get a coupon for 10% off your Ambr Eyewear purchase by following this link.
With glasses that begin at $6, EyeBuyDirect is one of the cheapest options to buy prescription eyeglasses online. (We’ve ordered multiple pairs from them ourselves.) While EyeBuyDirect doesn’t offer a home try-on option, they have a unique virtual try on program that uses your computer’s camera to fit glasses to your face virtually (tip: sit in a well-lit place where the light is behind the computer). They also offer a“14-Day Fit & Style guarantee.”
Zenni Optical, which began out of a garage in in 2003 out of a garage in California, is one of our favorite affordable options for prescription eyeglasses.They are super-affordable and offer over 1,600 of frame style and color combinations, which start at just $6.95 including single-vision lenses. While the company does not maintain a try-at-home option, they have a virtual mirror that you can try. And with prices this affordable, if one pair of glasses doesn’t work out, it’s not a huge deal.
Even more affordable alternatives to Warby Parker
Need more options? See Modern Fellows’ ultimate guide to buying prescription eyeglasses online for additional ideas.
Another option: Warby Parker
Of course, you can also try Warby Parker’s home try-on program, which is constantly adding to its line of attractive eyeglasses and sunglasses, including with limited-edition offerings, which start at $95 including single-vision lenses. Their home try-on program lets you choose 5 frames for 5 days with free shipping. You can also try on as many as you wish at their growing network of physical stores.
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