Lenscrafter Eyeglasses and Lens Costs - how much?

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

Postby george » Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:42 am

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.
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Postby AAA » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:41 am

They do have coupons and discounts. Clearance at 50% off full pair of eye glasses. I have a pair from sams club made last year not even close in quality to my husbands who had it made at lens crafters. This year I am going to go with lenscrafters with coupon. After you put on scrch resistant coating etc. There is only little difference. It goes on your face all year round.

Postby george » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:01 pm

I'm a bit surprised that Sam's club doesn't have better quality for their glasses, but I haven't really done much research yet on their product.

That is also helpful to know that the Lenscrafter's lenses were of good quality. The Featherwate Complete lenses do seem to be a very high quality product, and if you are able to find a way to get a discount on the lenses, it seems to be an excellent option. Based on what I've seen, though, you really pay a premium relative to other options for high quality lenses.

You can find more information I've posted comparing the Featherwate Complete with Scotchgard to the Crizal Avance with Scotchgard.

Also, you can read more information about anti-glare lenses.

<added 4/25/11>:
There was a nice post in the thread about anti-glare lenses from a former Lenscrafters employee. Follow the link to go directly to that post in the thread.
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Postby B. Perry » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:21 pm

Do you know anything about pearl vision? I will never go back to Cohen's and as far as I know the Lens Crafters on Broadway in Manhattan was really good. However, I live in Queens and was looking for a place to go nearby. I just don't want to go to anyone. The optometrist in Manhattan was really good.
B. Perry

Postby george » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:33 pm

B. Perry,

There is a thread on Pearle Vision here.

I don't have any specific information about the eye stores in your area. If you do go with Pearle, please post your experiences in that thread for others.
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Postby Tim F » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:45 am

For anyone reading this post… the prices in an earlier response were still fairly accurate as of January 2013. I think they might have increased by $20 or $30. LensCrafters does regularly have a "50% off lenses with frames purchase" or "Buy one complete pair, get second pair 50% off" so wait for the sales. Target Optical and Pearl Vision seem to offer the same incentives now and again. Sears, from what I can see online, is like the bargain bin of the group. Cheaper frames and less selection, but if you're not picky, knock yourself out.

Anyone comparing the big store brands, just keep in mind that Pearle Vision, LensCrafters, Sears Optical, and Target Optical are all owned by Luxottica. That company owns Ray-Ban and Oakley, and is licensed to make most other brands (Tiffany&Co, Burberry, Perry Ellis, Per-Sol, etc.). If you shop at any of the above stores, you're probably going to get the same stuff in different packaging. The only difference, to my knowledge, is that Pearle Vision stores are franchised, so each store has a local owner and so there might be some variance with that.

Happy shopping!

Last bumped by Anonymous on Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:45 am.
Tim F

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