With more options, faster shipping and (often) lower prices, online providers of eyeglasses and contact lenses have changed the shopping landscape for consumers who need these vision correction products. New York-based Warby Parker and California-based Zenni Optical are two of the most recognisable names in this market.
You have come to the right place if you need to decide which of these two stores to buy your next pair of glasses or contact lenses from. In this article, we will compare Warby Parker and Zenni Optical so you can make an informed decision.
Warby Parker Vs Zenni: Overview
The business approach taken by Warby Parker is in some ways unique. Unlike Zenni, a pure D2C company, Warby Parker sells its products both online and in physical stores. In the United States alone, Warby Parker has more than 70 retail stores.
There’s not much to say about Warby Parker. It is one of the most popular options for eyeglasses and contact lenses. Moreover, they can take the test in any store.
However, there are significant price differences between Warby Parker and Zenni, although Warby Parker is still cheaper than some of the more unreasonable brands on the market.
They use acetate, metal, or a combination of both for their frames. You get durability and customizability, and that’s what most popular companies use for their frames. Try on these five different glasses, and you should be able to find the best pair for your face.
I doubt many people buy glasses online and then want to send them back, so a virtual fitting would have been helpful. It’s a plus either way, but a virtual fitting is even more helpful.
There are many types of eyeglass lenses available today, including single vision lenses, progressive lenses, reading lenses, non-prescription lenses, light sensitive lenses, blue light lenses and others. The lenses are made of polycarbonate, and feedback from a small group of buyers indicates that they are generally satisfied with the quality, clarity, and durability of the lenses.
The best part, however, is that you can renew your subscription with a Warby Parker virtual eye exam from the comfort of your own home. Even without a prescription, you can go to one of the stores and get a test done.
Zenni is one of my favorite bands. For some of us, glasses are a necessity, so they should always be inexpensive. It seems that Zenni is of that opinion.
They are probably one of the cheapest places to buy glasses online. Even if there are no contact lenses yet, this is a good choice for eyeglass buyers.
Steel, titanium, acetate and other materials are used to make the frames. The eyeglass frames are made in a less expensive way, but they are still excellent for the price.
Single vision lenses, sunglasses, progressive lenses, bifocal lenses and high refractive index lenses (1.61, 1.67 and 1.74) are all available. For people who spend too much time in front of screens, there is an additional blue light filter that can be purchased, although the lenses are not light sensitive.
Zenni, unlike Warby Parker, does not operate brick-and-mortar retail stores. In addition, neither prescription nor renewal lenses are available for vision correction. So if you choose Zenni, you’ll have to sacrifice some conveniences.
Still, the company has earned a 5-star rating in thousands of customer reviews, which can be challenging for brands that sell directly to consumers.
The virtual fitting room, while helpful, could be improved a bit. An at- home fitting service would be the icing on the cake for online eyewear purchases. Both the at-home fitting service offered by Warby Parker and the virtual fitting service offered by Zenni are great, but it would be ideal if customers had a choice between the two offerings.
Warby Parker Vs Zenni: The basics
Founded in 2010, Warby Parker has quickly become known for its wide selection of high-quality and affordable eyewear.
In addition, the company is known for its at-home try-on program, which allows customers to choose up to five frames to try on for five days in the comfort of their own homes. Once you have made your decision, you can return all of the frames and then choose the ones you want to have filled with your prescription.
Warby Parker has several brick-and-mortar stores in the United States in addition to its online store. You can find a store locator on Warby Parker’s website to help you find the store that is best for you.
In 2003, Zenni Optical caused a stir with its novel direct-to-consumer business model, which bypasses traditional retail middlemen and instead sells low-cost eyewear directly to consumers.
Zenni Optical keeps costs low, does not own stores and keeps ancillary services to a minimum. That excludes the possibility of free or discounted shipping. And depending on your prescription, that could mean getting a new pair of glasses for as little as $7.
You can use your device’s camera and the fitting option offered by Zenni Optical. You can even use your own footage for the 3D virtual try-on.
Warby Parker Vs Zenni: Products
Warby Parker offers more than a hundred different types of frames, all made of acetate, metal, or a combination of both. You can get sunglasses or even prescription glasses in many of these frames.
Polycarbonate, bifocal and high index lenses in 1.67 and 1.74 powers are also available. Blue light filtering lenses and photochromic lenses are among the extras available. No, they do not sell progressive lenses.
The contact lens line includes popular brands like Acuvue, as well as their own Scout line of daily, monthly and bi-weekly lenses. The diameter of daily lenses is 14.2 millimeters and the base curve is 8.4 millimeters.
Among the nearly 6,000 frames available at Zenni Optical, metals such as acetate, steel and titanium stand out. In addition to single-vision, bifocal, progressive and high index lenses, most frames are also available as sunglasses.
Free UV protection and anti-scratch coating are included. Blue light protection is available for only $16.95 per purchase. You cannot purchase contact lenses at Zenni Optical.
Warby Parker Vs Zenni: Pricing and shipping
Warby Parker is not the cheapest provider of eyeglasses, but their prices are lower than what you would pay at an optometrist. Prescription glasses typically cost around $95, with additional features like high index lenses adding a $30 to $130 premium.
For extras like blue light blockers or light-sensitive lenses, expect to pay an extra $200 or more. Warby Parker stands out from the crowd, however, because it’s a provider approved for vision insurance by UnitedHealthcare and several other major insurers.
Priced at $110 for a 90-day supply of two lenses, you can also get Scout daily disposable lenses in a $5 trial pack of six lenses for testing purposes. Warby Parker not only offers a free fitting service, but also free shipping on all orders.
The cheapest option costs $6.95, but if you prefer more expensive frames (which can cost up to $50) or extras like blue light protection or high refractive index lenses, expect to pay more.
For those who have a prescription greater than +/- 4.25, Zenni Optical offers three options for high-index lenses. Prices for high-index lenses start at $19.95 for the 1.61 lenses, $34.95 for the 1.67 lenses and $74.95 for the 1.74 lenses.
Certain insurance companies will reimburse you for your visit to Zenni. Zenni Optical’s frames are usually less expensive than those available at other stores.
Warby Parker Vs Zenni: Company Reputations
Warby Parker is known for its stylish, affordable eyewear. On Trustpilot, they receive only 2.7 reviews, due in part to poor customer service and a complicated ordering process.
Despite her enthusiasm for fitting, Healthline editor Chelsea Logan complains that not all sizes and colors are accessible for at-home fitting.
She praised the site’s measurement information, saying, “I also appreciated that their site includes the measurements for each pair, so if you already have a pair of like, you can attempt to locate another that’s a comparable size.” However, “I do get the impression that many of the frames have similar types.”
Reviews agree that customer service is excellent. Ruby Thompson, editor at Healthline, said she had an “extremely straightforward” return experience with Warby Parker.
Zenni Optical is known as a reliable source for inexpensive, no-fuss eyewear on the Internet. On Trustpilot, Zenni Optical receives 4.6 out of 5 stars. Many customers praise the company for its honesty, fair price, and excellent support. The few dissatisfied Trustpilot reviewers complain about the no-questions-asked return policy and lame customer support.
Zenni Optical was recommended to Healthline’s editor, Roman Gokhman, who was pleased with the site’s ease of use and prompt fulfilment of his order.
Since the jars are made in China, he expected them to arrive late. “Although they informed us that they would probably be late, they still arrived on time,” he added.
Warby Parker vs. Zenni Optical: Benefits
Warby Parker Pros
- Warby Parker saves money by making all of its own eyewear.
- The Home Try-On feature allows you to try on eyeglass frames in the comfort of your own home.
- Warby Parker offers excellent customer service, such as a 30-day return policy and free shipping.
- Their scratched lens warranty program replaces lenses that are scratched within the first year.
- You can place your order online or at one of their stores.
- Some insurance companies consider the company an in-network provider.
Zenni Optical Pros
- Zenni Optical has a much lower price range for people looking for inexpensive eyeglass frames.
- Since Zenni Optical is only available online, it is very convenient to navigate and offers features like a digital ruler and fitting tools.
- They have a wide selection of frames and materials.
- Each pair of glasses comes with a free anti-scratch coating and UV protection.
Warby Parker vs. Zenni Optical: Drawbacks
Warby Parker Cons
- They are not the cheapest online eyewear retailer.
- You can only use the virtual fitting feature if you download the app.
- They only sell their own brand of glasses and do not carry other brands.
- Those who need heavier lenses may not be satisfied with the quality of their high index lenses.
- Scout contact lenses are less breathable than other types of contact lenses.
Zenni Optical Cons
- Zenni’s 30-day return policy only allows for store credit or a 50% refund (or 100% refund for manufacturing defects).
- Major brand names are not included in their collection.
- Product quality, especially high index glasses, may fall short of expectations.
- Shipping is $4.95, and the glasses should arrive within 7 to 14 business days.
- They do not accept insurance.
Warby Parker Vs Zenni: Final Verdict
You should consider Zenni for your next pair of glasses if price is your main concern. Warby Parker tends to be more expensive than Zenni, although the prices are cheaper than your local eye doctor.
However, Warby Parker may be a better option if you value things like the ability to try them on at home, in-shop care, and insurance coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do Warby Parker and Zenni take to ship?
Express shipping from Zenni takes 5-10 business days, while regular shipping takes 7-14 business days. Warby Parker, on the other hand, takes between 5 and 7 days for regular shipping and only 3 to 4 days for expedited shipping.
How do you measure your pupillary distance?
The PD measures the distance between the optical centers of your pupils. Measuring at home is as simple as following these instructions:
- Stand about 8 inches away from a mirror.
- Close your right eye and align the 0 mm dot on the ruler with the center of your left pupil.
- Look straight ahead, then close one eye and open the other.
- Your PD is determined by the millimeter line in the center of your right pupil.
Do Warby Parker and Zenni provide glasses cases?
When you buy a pair of glasses from Warby Parker or Zenni, you get a free plain case. You can also choose from a range of elegant and sturdy cases.