Zenni, How I Love Zee: My Review of My Zenni Optical Eyeglasses

December 9, 2011


Well, I did it. I got a pair of cheap eyeglasses from Zenni Optical!!! I’ve been wearing them for quite a few weeks now. I’ve blogged and blogged about them countless times, and I finally got the guts (and the cash, lol) to order the glasses. I wondered if they’d really be up to snuff with the “store bought” kind, because I require a very strong prescription. I am very, very fussy about my glasses. They have to be JUST RIGHT or my vision is blurry and it drives me nuts!

First, a little background:

Last year, I got a pair of the store-bought eyeglasses from a local retailer. The glasses cost $250 (*faint*), some of which was paid by my health insurance (a measly $40). But the new glasses started to corrode after NINE MONTHS of use. The finish was peeling off and the metal was turning green! The frames themselves had cost me $80 there, on SALE! When I went in to get replacement glasses, the eye doctor place told me I would have to fork out another $100, to replace the frames with the exact replica of the old (so that I could keep the existing lenses without having to pay in full for them again). I was flabbergasted. It hadn’t even been a year! There’s no guarantee? And why were such expensive glasses starting to fail?! And if I had to ordered the exact same frames, they’d just fail again! The eye doctor shrugged me off and told me that these frames were not made with stainless steel but some other “cheaper” metal (stainless steel doesn’t corrode). I asked why the eye doc never told me that when I ordered them?! She didn’t know what to say.

The Old Glasses. You can see the corrosion and tinges of green on the rims. They looked even worse on my face!

So I went to Zenni. I found that I could get brand new eyeglasses and lenses for under $75. I did a little fact-checking and sifted through Zenni’s frames. I ordered totally new glasses– lenses and frames– from Zenni.

Here’s my experience:

I got my prescription and my pupillary distance from my eye doctor (from an exam from last year. I scrupulously saved the tiny paper!). You have to have both measurements to order glasses– the pupillary distance is the measurement of the space between your two pupils. Zenni has some information on how to measure yours by yourself (and I received a small ruler when I got my glasses in the mail). I guess I am glad I got it from the “expert” doctor, because like I said, I am sensitive to the tiniest alteration in my glasses.

So after sifting through tons and tons of frames, I settled on a pair of plastic frames (I’ve had the metal frames for about 10 years now, and wanted a change). They were large, very wide circles. I wondered what Zenni would do. I guess I was testing them. You see, all my eye doctors had told me that I cannot buy large frames, because my lenses are so thick that my vision would be distorted. But I actually hate those teeny-tiny frames. I want big ones. So I ordered them, seeing what Zenni would do.

Zenni emailed me the next day. They said that because of my prescription, I could not have such large frames. They gave me some suggestions for smaller frames. 🙁 I was very sad but I was pleased with Zenni for taking the time to inspect my order closely and give me advice. So…. I sifted through the frames again and ordered a smaller size. I waited three weeks for the glasses (I think they come from Hong Kong!). My total cost was $71 and some change. The frames were only $25 but the lenses were pricey and I had to get the “high index” feature or the glasses would be so heavy they’d squash my nose.

When I got them, they were in a simple bubble-wrap mailer envelope. Not a box. Hm. Well, I opened the envelope and the glasses were inside a super-thick plastic shell case. They were fine and survived the shipping. Zenni does allow you to return glasses if they are broken or are not the right prescription. But it would have been awful to wait another 3 weeks for glasses if they’d been broken….

The Zenni Optical Glasses.

Anyway, I unpacked them. When I first saw them, I thought …. OK, these are funky…. It’s difficult to tell what the frames look like online versus what you eventually get. The Zenni website has an “online” facial thing where you can virtually try on glasses. You can even upload your own photo, but I had a lot of trouble getting my profile picture the right size. The glasses looked either too large or too small on my photo.

Inspecting the new glasses, I thought the color would be lighter and the frames a little less thick. It was a radical change from the lightweight, gold-rimmed metal glasses I’d been wearing. Remember me ranting about the glasses fad toward Drew Carey goggles a while back? Yeah, these are Drew-Carey-ish. I put them on and immediately I thought “geek.” Which isn’t too bad… I AM a geek. (See my tech blog, TheOlderGeek.com about that). My husband liked them and thought they looked good. I was unsure, but I will say that I am ALWAYS unsure when I get a new pair of glasses. So I decided to just WEAR them and look radically different and see how they were for me.

Geeks R Us. lol

I am very pleasantly surprised with these glasses!!! Yeah, I look like a geek. But I can see clearly with them and I think I see better with these than the store-bought eyeglasses that cost me THREE TIMES more. I have been wearing these glasses for weeks (maybe months, by now) and I love the glasses. I think the quality is superior to the store-bought kind.

So there you have it. I am very impressed with Zenni and I will definitely be ordering from them when I need a new set. I was floored that Zenni so adeptly handled my high prescription.

Now, yeah, I’m getting small compensation to mention Zenni in this post. They did not ask me to write a review, just to mention them. They did not pay for my glasses nor did I get any discount. I paid full Zenni price for my glasses, just like you would. So know that my review and my opinions are completely mine and I am not influenced by any compensation. It was kind of scary at first, spending so much on a pair of VERY important glasses and not knowing what I’d get. I had read up on Zenni, reading some of the reviews and seeing what some people liked and disliked about their experience. You can imagine my delight that the glasses are great. I am just amazed that Zenni was able to do such a high prescription so well without ever seeing me. I am impressed. But next time, I’m not going with the Drew Carey geek glasses… I hope to choose something a bit more feminine, if I can.

Thanks for reading!

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3 Responses to “Zenni, How I Love Zee: My Review of My Zenni Optical Eyeglasses”

  1. Lin Says:

    “Geek Chic” is in this year, so you will be HOT in those new glasses. Joe just got a pair of what I call “50’s grandpa” glasses and they look great.

    I love the new thicker look of the plastic frames. It’s too bad we can’t afford more pairs to go with every look we want. Gees, glasses are expensive, aren’t they?

    • Rebecca Says:

      Thanks for the encouraging words, Lin. 🙂 Wow, Joe got some 50s grandpa glasses and looks great?! I am definitely encouraged, LOL.

  2. jake Says:

    Those are some serious lenses!!! Have you ever looked at Alex Frauenfeld’s site for reducing your myopia? Google Alex Frauenfeld, brilliant guy, great blog and forum for improving your eyeballs.

    I’m down from an original -4.00 to only -1.75 right now. I also order from Zenni (a lot actually, considering how many times I had to reduce my prescription now) and mostly had good experiences.