After I started a post here a year ago on how much the eye exam cost at Lenscrafters
, and now that my insurance isn't covering new eyeglasses this year, I decided to do some research on how to find cheap eyeglasses this year while waiting for my benefit to kick in again next year.
At Lenscrafters the frames vary in cost quite a bit, but I'd say most frames seemed to be around $100. My insurance covers frames up to $130, so I'm guessing up to that price is pretty standard. Obviously you can find frames much cheaper on-line.
The lenses are a bit more interesting. My insurance covers basic lenses and says I have to pay for any optional lens "enhancements". When I spoke to Lenscrafters about their regular prices, here's the breakdown:
Plastic - $125
Featherwates - $190
Featherwates plus - $220
Featherwates complete - $325
These prices were all for single focal lenses (not bifocals, trifocals, or Lenscrafters' "Advanced View Progressive" - which is their lineless bifocals).
Here's the comparison and differences between their lenses:
Plastic ($125) - is basic plastic, and what I have now and works fine.
Featherwates ($190) - polycarbonate which (according to Lenscrafters) makes them 20% thinner and 30% lighter than standard plastic. They claim they are the most impact resistant lens material available. They have a standard scratch-resistant coating. They offer full UV protection
Featherwates Plus ($220) - same as Featherwates above but with a special scratch-resistant coating making them "super scratch resistant".
Featherwates complete ($325) - These are not as scratch resistant as the plus, but moreso than the regular Featherwates. They have a special anti-reflective coating which makes them dirt resistant and easy to clean, reduces reflections, reduces reflected light during night driving, and reduces eye strain when using computer.
Of course the Featherwates Complete is what was recommended when I had my last eye exam, with the optometrist saying that the anti-reflective coating will significantly reduce my eyestrain when using the computer. It was the high quoted cost for new lenses that has gotten me here - trying to figure out what other options exist. And it seems like there are better options!
Of course, the biggest advantage of Lenscrafters is their 1 hour turnaround time. For me, as I have functioning plastic glasses, I'm not in any big hurry.
Here's the thread which will include my findings on all of the options for eyeglasses and lenses