How to Buy Glasses Online

Ask the Optician

By Claire Capuano
Reviewed by Beck Jinnette
Beck Jinnette

Reviewed by

Beck Jinnette
Beck has over 17 years of experience in eye care, holding her Certificate IV in Dispensing in Australia.
Buying glasses online shouldn’t be daunting, in just a few easy steps you can find the perfect pair that suit you and your vision needs.
three pairs of eyeglasses on a table

We buy many things online, from groceries to clothes, and while these things seem “normal,” some products are considered a bit more complex. Purchasing eyewear online may seem exciting, but with questions like frame fit and prescription accuracy, it can be daunting to some. 

At SmartBuyGlasses we guarantee that with a few easy steps and access to our online opticians, buying prescription glasses online is simple and easy. Our customer service team is also available to help you along the way.

What do I need to buy glasses online?

When purchasing prescription eyeglasses from online glasses retailers, you will usually need three things:

  • Your up-to-date eye prescription
  • Your pupillary distance
  • Your vision insurance information (if you have coverage)

An updated eye prescription is necessary for purchasing prescription glasses. It’s important to always schedule your yearly eye exam with your eye doctor to identify vision problems, write your prescription, and address your eye care needs.

You don’t need a prescription if you’re purchasing blue light glasses, sunglasses, or other non-prescription eyewear. However, even if you don’t require prescription eyewear, having an eye exam at least every two years is still important to maintain eye health.

instructions on how to measure your pupillary distance

Can I order glasses online without a prescription?

If you require prescription lenses, you will need an up-to-date eye prescription during the ordering process. Your glasses prescription is essential to ensure you get the proper vision correction. If you’ve misplaced your prescription, you can use our Lens Scanner app to retrieve your prescription information from your current pair of single vision lenses.

two pairs of eyeglasses on a table next to an eye prescription

Advantages of buying glasses online

There are many advantages to buying glasses online, convenience being one of the biggest. From the comfort of your home, you can shop for new eyewear on your own time. Shopping at your leisure removes the pressure many people face in-store.

Shopping online for glasses also gives you access to a more extensive selection of frames, making it easier to find a new pair. Online you can browse various brands, styles, and colours. Prices online tend to be more affordable, and with the opportunity to compare prices, you are guaranteed to find the perfect pair at the best price.

Ordering prescription glasses online

Buying a pair of glasses shouldn’t cause any stress or for you to pay too much money. If it’s your first time purchasing eyeglasses online, follow these simple steps.

1. See an eye doctor to get an updated prescription

As mentioned, seeing an Optometrist for an eye exam and receiving an updated prescription is the first step in buying glasses online and ensuring clear vision. At SmartBuyGlasses, you have the option to upload, manually enter, or send in your prescription after the check-out process.

eye exam machine

2. Choose your frame width

Purchasing glasses that fit properly is essential. Glasses should fit your face correctly in order to provide the best correction. Our ‘medium’ frame width works well for most people, but we carry glasses with frame measurements from 38mm-69mm. We also offer a low bridge fit, ideal for those with higher cheekbones and a flatter nose bridge.

Your pupillary distance (PD) and frame measurement from your current glasses can help determine the best size for you. PD reveals how far your pupils are from one another and is helpful in centring your frames on your face.

Check the inside arm of your current glasses frame for the lens width, nose bridge size, and temple arm length. Whether you’re happy with the fit of your existing frames or want to change something, these numbers can aid you in the selection process.


Buying glasses online is not only easy and convenient but can also be fun. With virtual try-on technology, you can now see how glasses will look on you before purchasing.

How can I get my pupillary distance?

Your PD will usually be measured as part of an eye exam and then written on your prescription. If you misplace your prescription, there are two simple ways to get your PD; use our Pupillary Distance app to retrieve the details or measure it yourself.

The Pupillary Distance app enables you to get your PD quickly and easily with only your phone or computer, and a card with a magnetic strip. If you don’t have access to the tools required to use our app, you can easily measure your PD yourself. All you need is a ruler and a mirror. To measure your PD at home:

  1. Stand in front of a mirror and hold a ruler to the bridge of your nose or against the line of your eyebrows.
  2. Close your right eye and align the ruler’s zero with your left pupil.
  3. Keep the ruler still, then close your left eye and open your right eye.
  4. The number aligned with your right pupil’s center is your PD measurement.
instructions on how to measure your pupillary distance

3. Find frames that suit your face shape

While you can wear any glasses frames you want, certain frame styles suit particular face shapes. If you’re unsure of your face shape, follow these easy steps.

  1. Look in the mirror and outline your reflection on the mirror with a bar of soap or lipstick.
  2. Consider the shape you’ve just drawn; compare and match it to a standard face shape below.

After you’ve understood your face shape, it’s time to choose a complimenting frame.

different face shapes: oval face, square face, round face, heart face, diamond face, rectangle face

How do I know what style of glasses to get?

If you have an oval face, you can wear almost any style, including oversized glasses, rectangular, square, round, or cat-eyed frames. For those with a square face, you should opt for oval or round glasses to soften your features. You can use rectangular, square, or cat-eye glasses to add sharp angles and definition if you have a round face shape.

People with heart-shaped faces tend to have wider foreheads and a narrow chin. This shape works well with various styles, including rectangle, oval, and cat-eye. The least common face shape is diamond; a geometric, rectangular, or oval frame would work well for this shape.

eyeglasses frames shapes

4. Find a frame that suits your style

Of course, it’s important to understand what frames may look best on you, but it’s also important to consider your style and what may make you feel the best. Everyone has a certain sense of style, whether subtle or bold, neutral or bright, or anything in between; finding eyewear to match your aesthetic is essential.

Consider the type of glasses frames you want. Do you prefer rimless or full-rim frames? Be sure to consider the frame material as well. Metal or titanium frames are minimalistic and sleek. Plastic frames are generally lightweight and comfortable for everyday wear.

Don’t forget about colour. These days, frames are available in all colour blocks, gradients, and patterns. Think about how and where you’ll wear your glasses or sunglasses, then select the frames that best fit your lifestyle and complete your wardrobe.

5. Choose your lenses and coatings

Now that you’ve chosen frames, it’s time to select your lenses. With a wide range of lenses available, it may be hard to know which to select. Most frames can be fitted with prescription lenses, including single vision and progressive, and coatings like blue light block. Every lens has its benefits, so it’s essential to understand what you need from your new eyeglasses.

Your prescription for eyeglasses will guide you in choosing your lenses for vision correction. If you want to reduce eye strain caused by too much screen time, an anti-glare coating can be added to your lenses.

SmartBuyGlasses has many different lens options and will recommend lenses based on the frames you choose to ensure they’re not too thick or thin. Lenses are available at different widths, with anti-reflective coatings, UV protection, and other features. To learn more about different lenses, head to our Lens Hub to read more.

different types of lenses for glasses

6. Place your order

Now that you’ve found your perfect frames and added lenses, it’s time to place your order. Before purchasing, check with your insurance provider to see if they will cover  all or some of your frame or lens costs.

At check out, enter your payment details, and if you have vision insurance, be sure to download an invoice and claim a reimbursement directly with your provider. It’s important to note that SmartBuyGlasses offers 100-day returns and a 2-year warranty so you can feel confident when you shop online.

Can I try on glasses when ordering online?

With advances in virtual AI technology, you can now try on over 10,000 glasses before purchasing your new pair using our Virtual Try-On tool. With so many frame styles, a virtual try-on is helpful as you begin your search.

To get started, all you need is your phone or computer. You’ll take a short video of yourself and then are free to try on frame after frame for as long as you want, eliminating any pressure or embarrassment you may experience in a retail store.

Is it a good idea to buy glasses online?

Buying glasses online has many benefits. Finding quality glasses online doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. Besides taking advantage of online savings, you can avoid shopping in-store, where you may only be able to try on up to five frames.

Shopping online for eyewear opens the door to an endless amount of frames and lenses. It allows you to experiment and find a frame style that may not be available in-store.

Buying glasses online

Hopefully, how to buy glasses online is a bit clearer, and you’re ready to try it. SmartBuyGlasses carries one of the largest eyewear selections for men, women, and kids. We know buying eyeglasses can be stressful, but with high-quality frames and lenses, we make the search and purchase process as seamless as possible.

After your purchase, your new eyeglasses will arrive right to your doorsteps in just a few business days. After you’ve received your glasses, try them on to ensure the frames fit properly. It’s important to note that getting used to new glasses, especially those with new lenses, may take a few days to get used to.

Be sure to take proper care of your eyeglasses, clean the lenses properly and keep them in their case when they’re not being worn. If you still have questions or need help, head to our Optical Centre and speak with one of our in-house Opticians. They’re here to answer any of your eyeglasses, lenses, and lens materials questions.

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