Getting a new eyeglasses prescription is a simple way to keep your eyes comfortable and healthy. Picking new glasses is the next step—and it can feel like the options are endless. These days, you have the option of buying glasses online (the direct-to-consumer model) or from traditional retailers.

Shopping online has been gaining popularity, but plenty of consumers are used to shopping in person. The traditional brick-and-mortar retail experience has professionals to assist with each step to prevent fit problems, prescription mistakes, and additional concerns. Does that mean you're on your own when looking for glasses online?

Not at all! The process of measuring your pupillary distance, uploading a prescription, choosing flattering frames with a comfortable fit, and picking the right lens options doesn't have to be confusing. If you've ever wondered about purchasing eyeglasses online, here's what you need to know about why so many people are shopping this way and what you can expect when you get your next pair from JINS.

Benefits of Buying Glasses Online


Think about everything else you buy online. Why should prescription glasses be any different?

Buying eyeglasses online is a convenient, time-saving process—there's no need to drive to a store, search for parking, and wait for assistance from a salesperson. You can complete an online purchase from anywhere, including the comfort of your couch at home. And you'll have access to step-by-step instructions throughout the process.

First, browse the array of frames and pick your favorites. Next, upload a selfie to the website and use the virtual try-on feature to determine which frames flatter your face shape. Look for the frame dimensions (including the eye size, bridge size, and temple length in millimeters) and nose bridge details to be sure your new eyewear won't pinch, slide down your nose, or irritate pressure points.

Found your new frames? Perfect! Next, choose your lenses:

  • High-index lenses are designed to correct myopia, astigmatism, and other refractive errors.
  • Blue light-blocking lenses minimize eye strain during screen time.
  • Tinted lenses in vivid colors will help showcase your unique fashion sense.
  • Photochromic lenses adapt to different light conditions for indoor and outdoor use.
  • Dark and polarized lenses help reduce glare and protect your eyes from UV damage.

Lastly, provide a valid prescription from your optometrist or prescription provider. There are fields to input the sphere, cylinder, and axis for the right (O.D.) eye and left (O.S.) eye, or you can choose the numbers from a drop-down menu.

The written prescription should include your pupillary distance—that's the distance between your right and left pupil, which determines where you look through your lenses most directly. Ask your eye doctor for this information, or use the tools available through your online glasses retailer to take the measurement on your own. If you can't do it through a webcam, ask a friend or family member to help with a ruler.


Beyond convenience, the selection is another advantage online glasses retailers have over their brick-and-mortar counterparts. When you shop from a traditional retailer, you are limited to the frames in the display spinners and cases inside the showroom. Unfortunately, you might not find frames that suit your fit and style preferences. Or the pair you've been eyeing might be out of stock during your visit.

You're less likely to experience these challenges when buying prescription glasses online, as online retailers offer more variety. Plus, these high-quality are ready to be fitted with your custom lenses and shipped directly to you.

Browse the inventory at your leisure to see if something special jumps out at you, or use the site filters to narrow the frames based on size, shape, color, material, or nose bridge type to find your dream pair.


Buying prescription glasses online is the more cost-effective option as well. Compared to brick-and-mortar retailers, there are fewer third-party vendors involved in the direct-to-consumer model's supply chain. These retailers develop, stock, and sell the inventory instead of paying for licensing and shipping to a store. Furthermore, direct-to-consumer retailers aren't subject to storefront rental costs, utilities, and other overhead expenses. Thanks to lower product manufacturing, warehousing, distribution costs, and overhead fees, online retailers can pass these savings on to the consumer.

How to Buy Glasses Online

What to Know About Your Prescription

The next time you have an eye exam, ask the optometrist for a copy of your prescription and to write down your pupillary distance, too. Eyecare providers are required by law to give patients their prescriptions when asked for no additional charge.

Eyeglasses prescriptions typically expire after two years from the date of the eye exam, so make sure your prescription is valid before you attempt an online purchase. The expiration date, which is written on the prescription slip, is based on state law. If there are complications with your ocular health, a new prescription each year might be necessary.

Here's a quick rundown of the components of your prescription slip:

  • O.D. (oculus dexter) refers to the right eye.
  • O.S. (oculus sinister) refers to the left eye.
  • Sphere is the second column on the prescription and indicates the lens power needed to correct refractive errors. A minus sign next to the number signifies how nearsighted you are, while a plus sign next to the number reveals how farsighted you are.
  • The Cylinder column will include positive or negative values if one or both eyes have astigmatism. The values indicate the severity of astigmatism.
  • If you do not have astigmatism, DS or SPH will appear in the Cylinder column on your prescription. This means no correction is necessary. Place a zero in the Cylinder fields when buying prescription glasses online.
  • The Axis column refers to the direction of astigmatism on the cornea in degrees.
  • The Prism column on the right side of the prescription will include values if you need correction for double vision, eye muscle problems, or additional concerns.
  • When you need progressive or bifocal lenses, a prescription provider will fill out the ADD column. The values refer to magnifying power.

The prescription might not include the pupillary distance, or horizontal distance between your pupils. Without the correct pupillary distance value, the frames could be off-center over your eyes. This means your eye won't look through the correct parts of the lens to treat vision problems. To take the measurement, print out JINS' scale and follow the detailed directions.

Types of Glasses Available Online

JINS has a comprehensive inventory that features hundreds of frame styles for men and women, including aviator, cat eye, round, and rectangular frames available in acetate, titanium, and other long-lasting materials.

Lenses include complimentary UV-cut and anti-glare coatings. JINS Screen lenses can block 25% or 40% of the blue light your eyes are exposed to from looking at digital devices, so they're perfect for everything from casual device usage to full days of work or gaming. Tinted lenses are available in gray, pink, yellow, green, and brown hues, while polarized lenses for sunglasses are available in dark gray and dark brown.

Designed in Tokyo, JINS' eyewear spans numerous collections. Our Made in Japan Sabae Series, for instance, pays homage to the celebrated, innovative eyewear manufacturing technologies used by artisans in Sabae, Japan.

JINS SABAE 191 Brown Tortoise Acetate glasses

To ensure the highest quality, the frames in the Made in Japan collection are put through a rigorous production process that includes over 200 steps, such as laser-cutting decorative accents, applying paints and resins by hand, and visually examining the frames for defects.

JINS Ultralight Airframe 066 oversized glasses

The products in our Airframe collection are bestsellers, and for a good reason. These durable, flexible frames weigh 20 grams on average for all-day comfort.

The Switch clip-on sunglasses are a lifesaver on sunny days. The attachable, anti-reflective-coated sunglass plate effortlessly slips onto the frame (which includes prescription lenses).

The Oversized frame styles increase the surface area of lenses, so you can see clearly and amp up your style. Because JINS uses lightweight materials, the frames will still provide a comfortable wearing experience.