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Zenni Optical Review

Updated on September 24, 2014

What you need to know before ordering your prescription glasses from Zenni

I recently made my first purchase from Zenni Optical, an online eyewear store specializing in discount frames. I am mainly a contact lens wearer, and I only wear glasses occasionally at home or when I'm reading a book before bed. Since I'm only looking for part time glasses, it seems like Zenni's cheap prices and selection fit the bill.

This lens is a review of my ordering experience. I've also included some tips I've learned through the process. I hope this will help you when ordering prescription glasses online.

My glasses order - This is frame #718221, which costs $19.00

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My glasses comes in a clear, hard plastic case, with a wiping cloth and a plastic PD measuring ruler. Be sure to save the plastic zip bag with your order number on it. You will need it if you decide to return the glasses. (Unless the thirty days periI picked a higher index lens (1.61) because my prescription is pretty high. This costs an additional $19.95, which I think is reasonable. I don't think the lens will be any more thinner if I pick the highest index lens. Plus I figure that the wide teOne of the screw socket that holds the lens is a bit crooked. The lens is firmly in place and everything works fine. I suppose I can't expect much from a pair of $50 glasses. We'll see how long this will last.This is my order. With the frame, the higher index lens, the anti reflection coating and shipping, the total comes just a little under $50 dollars. The shipment is timely, I ordered it on 05/17 and received it on 05/26, which is pretty good turnaroun
My glasses comes in a clear, hard plastic case, with a wiping cloth and a plastic PD measuring ruler. Be sure to save the plastic zip bag with your order number on it. You will need it if you decide to return the glasses. (Unless the thirty days peri
My glasses comes in a clear, hard plastic case, with a wiping cloth and a plastic PD measuring ruler. Be sure to save the plastic zip bag with your order number on it. You will need it if you decide to return the glasses. (Unless the thirty days peri
I picked a higher index lens (1.61) because my prescription is pretty high. This costs an additional $19.95, which I think is reasonable. I don't think the lens will be any more thinner if I pick the highest index lens. Plus I figure that the wide te
I picked a higher index lens (1.61) because my prescription is pretty high. This costs an additional $19.95, which I think is reasonable. I don't think the lens will be any more thinner if I pick the highest index lens. Plus I figure that the wide te
One of the screw socket that holds the lens is a bit crooked. The lens is firmly in place and everything works fine. I suppose I can't expect much from a pair of $50 glasses. We'll see how long this will last.
One of the screw socket that holds the lens is a bit crooked. The lens is firmly in place and everything works fine. I suppose I can't expect much from a pair of $50 glasses. We'll see how long this will last.
This is my order. With the frame, the higher index lens, the anti reflection coating and shipping, the total comes just a little under $50 dollars. The shipment is timely, I ordered it on 05/17 and received it on 05/26, which is pretty good turnaroun
This is my order. With the frame, the higher index lens, the anti reflection coating and shipping, the total comes just a little under $50 dollars. The shipment is timely, I ordered it on 05/17 and received it on 05/26, which is pretty good turnaroun

To ensure a successful prescription glasses purchase, I would strongly suggest the following:

  • Have your optometrist measure your PD. You can also do it at home yourself. When my optometrist measured me he used a ruler just like everyone describes online. Do it at least 3 times to make sure your measurement is consistent.
  • Narrow down your choices by using Zenni selection sliders on the left hand side. Select your prescription type first, then PD number, gender, size, then shape. This process will eliminate choices that don't fit you. Don't fall in love with a wrong size. Extra tip: if you are a woman that needs a wider frame (like I do), select unisex frames as they usually have wider choices than just women's.
  • Get to know the your frame measurements. Measure your old frames that fits you well and compare them to the ones you are considering. One to two millimeters might be negligible, but any more than that the frames might not fit properly.
  • Upload your photo and try on the favorite styles virtually. This is to ensure that the frame you select will flatter your face shape.
  • Make sure you understand the frame's description. Knowing the type of materials and terminology will help you make a informed shopping decision.

Everything seems perfect, but not without a minor hiccup

I tried the glasses on and the prescription is fine. I even covered each eye individually and made sure each lens works. However, everything I see has a warping or fish eye like effect. It made me a bit dizzy and I took it off before it gives me a headache.

I stood in front of my mirror and begin to twist and turn my glasses. My prescription is correct. My PD is correct (my optometrist measured me and I confirmed the measurement with the provided PD ruler. Later I figured that the fish eye effect is due to the curve of the frame. (I drew a red line to illustrate.) If you can make the frame just a little more straight then the fish eye effect will disappear.

Use a jeweler plier

to reshape your frame

I grabbed a plier and gently bent the bridge of the frame. MAKE SURE YOUR FRAME IS METAL BEFORE DOING SO. Get some tissue to cushion the frame (and to prevent scratches). I used this concave jeweler plier to straighten my frame. I put it smack in the middle, with the concave shape working to my advantage. Actually, any pliers will do, but then you'd have to hold one side of the frame while apply pressure to the other. I also adjusted the nose pads positions so that they sit better on my nose. For that you will want a regular round nose pliers.

If you have an all-plastic frame, I'd suggest you visit your local frame shop and have the technician heat and reshape the plastic frame for you.

In conclusion....

Overall I think I got my money's worth. I've read a lot of positive and negative reviews of Zenni before committing my purchase. I feel that if you spend some time on research, you'd have better chance of getting a great fit.

Feel free to comment if this lens was helpful to you.

Did you order your glasses from Zenni? - If so share your experience here.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      The same thing happened to me where it looks all fish eyed, I went for a cheaper (not the recommended lens) and I think that also made it slightly worse.. Great advise about bending the frames its helped heaps, cheers :)

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      Bartukas 4 years ago

      Great lens

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      Heard_Zazzle 6 years ago

      No, but it is an interesting alternative.