Pearle Vision Prices for Eye Exam and Lenses

Getting the best value for your money when it comes to eyeglasses, sunglasses, eye exams, and contact lenses.

Postby george » Tue May 01, 2012 10:42 pm

As part of my thread on finding the cheapest places to buy glasses, I figured this thread would be the best place for other people to post their experiences about Pearle Vision. I've collected information I've found online and from talking to people at the local stores.

As for eye exam cost, it is likely going to vary slightly from store to store. My local Pearle Vision charges $54 for a basic exam, but they charge extra if you need pupil dilation or more advanced visual field testing. I've seen at least some of the Pearle Vision stores offer "Optomap" retinal scans which I know my local Lenscrafters has. The Optomap is a way to scan the retina without having to use the dilating eye drops. It is an extra charge which insurance typically won't pay for.

Like Lenscrafters, my local Pearle Vision has their own lab in the store allowing them to make many basic eyeglasses in about an hour. I couldn't find anything definitive, but I'm guessing that Pearle and Lenscrafters have a lot of overlap in their supplies. It would only make sense having the same parent company. Pearle's prices seem to vary from store to store, and I'm guessing a lot depends on geographic location and promotions offered at any given time. Frames generally start at around $99 but may be as low as $50-60 or as high as several hundred dollars.

They carry a very wide variety of name brand and designer frames - the designer frames are likely to run between $200 and $300.

The lenses at my local store run $120 for basic plastic CR-39 single vision lenses and $199 for polycarbonate single vision lenses. They quoted me an extra $80 to add anti-reflective coating. I'm guessing that is for a medium quality anti-reflective coating, as it is not as expensive as the Lenscrafters top end anti-reflective - the Featherwates Complete, which adds around $130 to the cost of Lenscrafter's polycarbonate lenses.

Looking at Pearle Vision's website, they list three different lenses. There is the PearleTHIN, which they describe as thin, light, and impact resistant. I'm guessing that is either their polycarbonate or a high index lens. Next, they list the PearleTHIN plus, which seems to be the PearleTHIN with the addition of a basic anti-reflective coating. Finally, they lsit the PearleTHIN Complete, which seems to be the PearleTHIN lens with the addition of a premium anti-reflective coating, described as easy to clean. This makes me think that it has an oleophobic coating, probably similar to the Lenscrafters Featherwates Complete. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any information about the prices for these specific lenses.

Pearle seems to always have various promotions going on. Unfortunately, it seems the promotions aren't valid if you have vision insurance that is reducing the costs of your glasses. So, the coupons / deals you can find are really only going to help if you are paying out of pocket without insurance. The current promotions can be found on the Pearl Optical website. At the present time, the coupons are good for buy one, get one free up to $250. They also are offering complete eyeglasses (frames plus polycarbonate lenses) for children under age 14 for $129. Finally, there is a coupon to save up to $100 on an annual supply of contact lenses, with the savings depending on which contact lenses you purchase. The brands listed on the website (without prices unfortunately) include 1-day Acuvue Moist and Dailies AquaComfort Plus.

Overall, it seems the experiences people have can vary quite a bit based on the particular staff, but in general the quality and experiences seem mostly positive, but at a higher cost than can be found elsewhere.
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Postby jenni » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:03 am

I've been hearing a lot of radio commercials lately for buy one get a second pair free. While they imply it is only available for a short time it seems like it had been available for a while. I notice the promotion is also listed on their website and it does say it expires in September. On the radio they mention the second pair can be up to $250. Do you think this is a good deal if I want a new pair plus a pair of prescription sunglasses? Or am I better off looking elsewhere?

Postby george » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:16 pm


It is an interesting promotion. As best I can tell, it will only apply if you are paying out of pocket and not using any type of eye care insurance. In other words, if you have vision insurance, you would still need to pay the regular price for a second pair. Perhaps they give some other kind of discount in these circumstances, but if you have insurance, unfortunately the only way to find out how much eyeglasses will cost is to ask them to look it up, which can be a pain to do. I'm not sure how much prescription sunglasses would cost at Pearle Vision. The frames cost what they cost, regardless of tinted lenses or standard lenses. If you went with standard CR-39 plastic lenses, you probably could get a pair of prescription sunglasses for under the $250 limit. If you went with their polycarbonate lenses, though, it looks like you'd very likely go over.

The big advantage (in my mind) of places like Pearle Vision is if they can get you glasses in one hour, but that is usually only for more common prescriptions. I think this may be a reasonable option if you aren't set on getting the best price but like the service they offer. For a better price and good quality (but a much smaller selection), you would be better off with Costco. For the best price, there are a few online retailers like Zenni, but the customer support can be hit or miss.
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