Zenni Optical Bifocal Progressives - Cost and Review

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

Postby george » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:17 pm

It is that time of the year again and I went for my annual eye exam. I checked and it turned out my insurance won't cover a new pair of glasses this year as they only pay every other year and I got a new pair last year. I first checked with the same private optometrist I saw last year to see about squeezing in for an appointment when I had some spare time. They didn't have any appointments for at least a week and I wanted an appointment that afternoon. I went with my old reliable local Lenscrafters and they were able to get me in within 30 minutes. Exactly what I was hoping.

When I got to Lenscrafters, the guy pulled up my records and had me fill out some paperwork, with one of the questions being whether I planned on getting new glasses. I had checked 'no'. He asked me why not. I told him because my insurance only covers glasses every other year. He said his records showed I hadn't been there in two years, which was accurate. He didn't ask anything beyond that, but this is the first time I felt any pressure at all that they were more interested in selling me glasses than just providing an eye exam. I fully get it that their profits come from their glasses, but they do also provide a service of eye exams.

While I was waiting at the counter, I noticed they had a cushion on the counter advertising their LC-HD enhanced view progressive lens - more on that later. Ultimately I may want to do a separate post on the product.

I get called back and did the usual initial screening tests - looking in the box like they have for your driver's test and reading the lines, then they have the automated vision test that tries to approximate what your prescription is, and my favorite - the air puff to check for glaucoma. He said that hadn't changed since my last exam and was good.

Then I went back to the eye doctor's exam room and met a very nice eye doctor (I have yet to meet an eye doctor who wasn't nice). She went through the usual exam stuff, but didn't offer to dilate my pupils and didn't ask about their retinal imaging. I was a little surprised, but glad, that they didn't push the retinal imaging this time. I know that dilation can slow down a busy office, but this office didn't seem that busy when I was there. She did seem to do a thorough job shining that bright light in my eyes and moving it all around, so perhaps she felt she got an adequate view without the need to dilate. This is the first time Lenscrafters didn't offer to do the pupil dilation. My guess is she should have, but it is likely dependent on the particular doctor.

At the end, as we're going through the fine adjustments, she told me that my correction for near vision is getting strong enough that my far vision will start to suffer with a single vision lens. While she didn't use the name, I've come to learn that I have presbyopia as opposed to just being standard farsighted. Presbyopia is basically a loss of the flexibility of the lens making it difficult to focus on close objects, which gets worse with age. Initially, the correction I needed for reading was fairly small. With a single vision lens (one prescription throughout), the lens would assist with reading, but the prescription was weak enough that my eyes could still focus fine on distances. Now that the correction needed for reading has gotten a little stronger, a single vision lens would lead to some blurriness on my distance vision.

So, the answer I knew was going to come sooner or later - bifocals. Basically the glasses will have a weak correction for the top part of the lens and a stronger correction in the bottom section. Older bifocals have a clear line where the more powerful lens sits. Newer bifocals are progressive where there is a transition area between the weaker correction and the stronger correction. The newest progressive lenses have a wider field of vision with less distortion.

Of course they wanted to price out bifocals for me at Lenscrafters and they told me they had a sale going on for 40% off a complete pair of glasses. They priced it out assuming a $200 pair of frames (before discount) and with antiglare coatings. If I recall correctly, the basic lined bifocals would have been around $350, the older progressives around $375 and the newer LC-HD bifocals around $400 (after the 40% discount).

I asked the eye doctor about the LC-HD bifocals and she didn't seem to know much about them and said they have a wider field of vision, which is what the sales staff also said. They didn't mention anything about the accufit technology mentioned on the website. Either way, I knew I wasn't going to pay that much money for a new pair of glasses. I know there are cheaper options out there and at this time, my current single vision glasses are good enough if I don't like what I get.

I decided at this time I would go with Zenni, and next year I'll go to Costco and see what they have, when my insurance company will at least be paying some of the cost. I've already outlined prior experiences with Zenni, having ordered my last pair from them two years ago when I got single vision photochromic lenses that were decent.

Going back to the website, the selections were similar to what I remember from two years ago, but they did add some better filtering options when trying to find what you want. I wanted to make sure I got lenses with a decent vertical height as my first pair from Zenni was a bit shallow and I didn't really love that. I tended to have difficulties seeing what was on my fork when eating as the fork would always wind up right even with the bottom line of my glasses. The last pair I had gotten from them I liked enough. While I wasn't thrilled with the feeling of the ear pieces, the shape and style of the lenses was good. After using their filtering, I realized that the pair I bought two years ago was still the best size and shape for what I like. I did filter out any frames over $20, so maybe I would have found something better if I were willing to pay a bit more. The frames I picked were in the $12.95 category.

I then get the option to select what type of lenses I want. The current prices for single vision lenses are:
1.50 Standard single vision Free
1.57 Mid-index single vision Free
1.59 polycarbonate $9
1.61 high index single vision $19.95
1.67 high index single vision $$34.95

Bifocal (with lines):
1.50 bifocal $17
1.61 bifocal $46

For progressive - which is what I ordered, it also asks if you are using the lenses for general/office or sports/outdoors/driving. It also asks where you wear your glasses - high on your nose (most common), middle of nose, or low on nose. Prices are:
1.50 Progressive (no line multifocal) $21.95
1.57 Progressive (no line multifocal) $21.95
1.59 polycarbonate progressive (no line multifocal) $39
1.53 Trivex progresive $49
1.61 progressive $49 (marked as recommended based on my prescription)
1.67 progressive $67

I selected the 1.57 progressive as it was cheaper, and I can't imagine that at my strength that there would be that much difference between 1.57, 1.59 and 1.61.

Then you get to choose antireflective coatings - $4.95 for the standard anti-reflective coating. $8.95 for super hydrophobic. $14.95 for the oleophobic coating. I decided to go with the standard anti-reflective, as people who have ordered the more expensive coatings seem to all report that they can't tell any difference.

I wasn't interested in photochromic lenses, but the prices ranged from $58 to $189. The best option appears to be the 1.57 for $59.

I placed my order on November 8 (total cost $44.80, which includes shipping) and I got notice November 21 that it has been shipped. I got the new glasses today (November 23), and I'll post an initial review shortly.
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Postby george » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:40 pm

Okay - I've worn the progressives for a few days.

First of all, Zenni got the glasses to me quickly and they are in perfect shape. The prescription seems very accurate. It's amazing how much better this prescription is than what I had last year, especially for reading. My vision is FAR clearer with the stronger reading prescription than what my single vision prescription from last year did. I don't know how much worse my eyes have gotten over the past year, but it is a very noticeable difference.

The good - the frames and lenses are what I expected. The anti-glare coating seems similar to the last pair I had gotten, which means that it does a good job removing glare. It seems to clean just as easily as the others. Obviously durability is something that will only be apparent if I have problems down the road. I wasn't about to do scratch testing on my new glasses!

The bad - I'm not sure I like progressive lenses. For distance vision it is totally fine. Anything beyond 10 feet seems very clear. For looking at my phone, it is almost always very good. The problem I have is when reading wider papers or looking at a computer screen. Specifically, the area of accurate correction is limited, unlike single vision lenses where I could look through the glasses anywhere and seem to get the same level of correction. When I look directly at what I am reading, the correction is fine. The problem is if I don't turn my head when reading and let my eyes move from side to side, my vision gets a little blurry. When reading narrow books (or looking at my phone), that isn't a problem. Wider papers and a computer screen, though, I'm not used to turning my head as I read. I suppose it is something I will get used to.

After reading about progressive lenses, I've learned that there are a few different methods of how they are made. There are the original style of progressive lenses, and then around the 1990's they came up with a technology called "free form" customization. They basically use more advanced customizations of the lenses, most commonly with the progressive add being on the back-side of the lens. Sometimes these lenses are referred to as "high definition" or "digital" lenses. The free form lenses have a wider area of accurate correction. I assumed that the Zenni lenses were the older technology, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

An additional problem I'm having with progressives is that my desktop computer at work has the monitor set up fairly high on a stand. The only way I can get the benefit of the near vision is to tip my head back quite far. I'm checking into getting a new computer desk to lower my monitor which should fix much of the problem, I've also gone ahead and ordered some single vision cheap glasses for reading and computer use. I hate the thought of having to have a separate pair of glasses, but we'll see if I can get used to moving my head when reading as opposed to just moving my eyes.

I happened to order the single vision lenses from a different online store (eyebuydirect.com) and I'll put together a review on that process soon. The cost was cheap enough that I figured it was worth ordering from somewhere else and seeing what the experience Is like from a different online retailer. The reason I mention that in this review is that while placing the order, I noticed that eyebuydirect.com has an option to order progressives or "free form" progressives for a slightly higher cost. I was under the impression that in order to get a benefit from free form progressive lenses, you would need to get properly fit by an optician, including several measurements of how the lenses sit on your particular face. After doing some reading, though, I've seen claims that for 80% of people, the default settings for free form lenses are fine. It is only for 20% of people where the extra customizations will make a difference. I don't know how true that is - and obviously I could be in the 20% who would benefit from extra customization.

It made me wonder whether the Zenni Optical progressive lenses are "free form". I sent an email to their support asking. I didn't get a response after several hours, so I just went to their online chat and asked. The person in the online chat said that the progressives are "free form". I later did get a response to my email which did not answer my question about "free form" and looked like a canned response about what a progressive lens is. I sent back my specific question again and I'll see if I get a response.

I was thinking that if my progressives are NOT free form, I may consider ordering a pair from an online retailer that offers free form progressives to see if the field of vision is wider to the point that it is more wearable for me. The other option I'm considering is whether lined bifocals would give a bigger area of correction. Of course, the lined bifocals make you look like an old fuddy-duddy, but I'm not too vain.

So - overall, I don't have other progressive lenses (yet) to compare these to, but I would say that Zenni's seem to be decent quality just like their other products I've gotten from them. Getting them in 2 weeks was better than I expected. The main issue at this point is whether I can adjust to wearing progressives or whether other options would be better for me.
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Postby george » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:54 pm

Regarding the question of "free form" lenses, I did get another useless response from their customer support. They referred me to a picture they sent which just shows the different regions on a progressive lens. I sent back another reply, saying they are not understanding my question and could they please forward to someone with more technical knowledge of their lenses.

I got what seems to be the most accurate response I could which included this:

Sorry for any unclear information provided in our last email. The progressive lens we offer has similar features to the so called "free form", but we don't call it free from, and it is our own manufactured brand ZENNI.

So - it has features similar to free form, but they don't call it that. I'm not sure exactly what that means.

Now that I've used my progressives for another two weeks, I can say that the lenses are pretty good. I've gotten more used to them, but I still have trouble with reading papers without moving my head around. I also have trouble when writing at certain angles, as the paper needs to be directly in front of me for it to be in focus. If I try looking out of the side of my eye at all, the images get blurry.

I did get my single vision lenses from eyebuydirect.com which I'm using for computer use and other close reading. I'm not thrilled with having to switch glasses, but it seems to be the best solution so far and probably won't be that big of a deal when I'm sitting at my computer for lengthy periods of time. It really is the only solution for reading at my computer at work where the monitor is positioned higher up.
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Postby JerryM » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:53 pm

Today I received the glasses I had ordered from Zenni. I have worn trifocals for at least 20 years and wanted to try progressive lens. I ordered SS frames that were on sale for $7.98, 1.50 progressive lenses, standard yellow 50% tint, and standard AR coating. Total order with shipping was $44.78.

The lens height is 36 mm. The glasses I am currently wearing are trifocals with a lens height of 45 mm.
At first glance, after several hours of wear, I am not sure I am going to like the progressives. I think that the lens height needs to be greater and more like the 45 mm height of my current glasses. I am finding that the progressives do not focus as cleanly as trifocals. I am wondering if a lens height of 45 mm or so would help that. I have trouble especially at the intermediate distance at my computer.
I do not know if the size of the progressive portion of the lens varies with the lens size, but I suspect that it does, and a lens of greater height might make it easier to find the “sweet spot when reading and intermediate distances. A friend who has progressives said he dislikes them because he has to lift his head too high to read since the bifocal part is so low on the lens of his glasses. I am finding the same problem, and then when at my computer where I need the “trifocal” power I have trouble finding the right spot. Even the distance part is a little high for me so I cannot wear the glasses high on my nose, even though that is where I specified I would wear them.

I also notice that when I move my head side to side the paper I am looking at rolls like waves or sand dunes.
In conclusion, I have no complaint as to the quality of the glasses, but made a mistake in not realizing that the lens height was too low at 36 mm for me. I am considering ordering another pair with aviator type frames and a much higher lens of at least 45 mm. I do not really need them but would like to satisfy my curiosity about progressives. So many friends say they really like their progressives, and they are using a shallow/low lens height which is popular these days.
FWIW I ordered the glasses on Jan 30, and received them on Feb 21. I think maybe the Chinese New Year and out national holiday caused some delay, but the time is not bad in any case.

I have ordered a couple pairs of glasses from Walmart, and have a good relationship with the optician there. He said he would adjust the glasses for me. He has some back up glasses he bought from Zenni. Not sure if some adjustment will help, but maybe the angle of the frames relative to my face will make any difference.
The 50% yellow tint is barely noticeable and dies seen to sharpen things on a dull day, as today is. I like the tint.
Any comments or advice is welcome.

Regards, Jerry
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:58 pm

Postby george » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:03 pm


Thank you very much for sharing your experience. I merged your post into this thread, as I think it makes sense to keep the discussion on Zenni's progressives in one thread.

I've never had lined tri-focals, so I have nothing to compare these to, but I think my experience with the Zenni progressives is similar to yours. I like them much better than my single vision lenses, because I can focus much, much better on close items. I also see fine when dealing with more distant viewing. Like you, I struggle with the computer. I've gotten more used to it, but it isn't as good as my single vision lenses were for computer use.

While getting a taller lens may help find the intermiediate zone, I'm not sure how much that would help. I am curious if the limitation is with the Zenni progressives, or perhaps even progressive lenses in general. If you do try with a taller lens, I look forward to hearing your comments. I also think it would be interesting to see what your optician thinks of the lenses, as to how comparable they would be to the progressive lenses they distribute at Walmart.

When it comes time for my next pair of glasses in the fall, I'm probably going to see about getting what would be considered a "high quality" progressive lens and see how much it differs from the Zenni product. Unfortunately, that probably means shelling out a lot more money.

Interestingly, I haven't found any cheap places to buy lined tri-focals as I would be interetested in testing them out, just to compare to the Zenni progressives.
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Postby JerryM » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:05 am

Thanks, George. I agree with combining my post with this thread.
Trifocals are about $50-60 added to the cost of bifocals at Walmart. I had a pair of lined bifocals made there at a cost of $52 if I remember correctly, and trifocals were slightly over $100. They used my frames so I think that cost $10.
I am going to visit them tomorrow, but they may be so busy on Sat that I wait until next week.

I do think the frames need some adjustment, and it appears to me that the progressive are more sensitive to the alignment than lined trifocals.

If I can see the Optometrist that recently examined my eyes, and gave me a prescription I will see what he thinks. He was interested in how Zenni could properly fit the glasses on line.

I am going to wear the Zenni glasses over the weekend and see if I can adjust. I suspect I am going to forget progressives and stay with lined glasses. I have not minded either the looks or the lines, and after these progressives I am thinking that I much prefer the lines. The field of vision of the corrections is too narrow in the progressives to do much reading, and that correction is too far down. I am wondering if the size of the progression varies much with lens size?

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Postby JerryM » Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:07 pm

After wearing the progressives for a couple of days I find that I could become accustomed to them. However, my conclusion is that I much prefer lined trifocals.
I have liked the Zenni 50% yellow tint for normal wear.
I visited Walmart and talked to the optician. He did some adjustment, and determined that the prescription was correct. Overall he was favorably impressed with the glasses. I asked if he thought that a higher lens on the order of 45 mm would help, but he did not think that that would correct my dislikes as for the width, and the fact that the position of my eyes when looking at something or reading is more critical than with my lined trifocals.

I do not regret purchasing these glasses, and am pleased with Zenni. I would recommend them to my friends.

My wife does not like her present glasses because the frames are too large. We had looked at Zenni for a long time, but she could not decide on a frame. Accordingly she looked at frames at Walmart and found one that she liked. The frame was $68. She wears bifocals and with the AR and using CR 39 lens the bill was $168. If she needs any more we have a frame she likes and will find a similar one from Zenni and order glasses from them.

Thanks for the help and advice here.
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Postby Melissa Kramer » Sat Nov 29, 2014 7:10 pm


I have a very, very strong prescription (-7.75) and am looking at progressive lenses for the first time (hi-index 1.67). I want to thank those who wrote this review, and made comment, about Zenni's progressive lenses. I did a query to find out their manufacturer and could not find any information until this review. I have done some research on the best progressive lenses that eliminate the nauseating side blur, bouncy camera motion, and so forth. Unfortunately, a hi-index progressive that will behave in what I feel is an 'acceptable' manner is way out of my price range, starting at around $500 (for just the lenses) online, and even more expensive at brick and mortar retailers. I think I am consigned to be forever wearing hi-index bi-focals (which are still not cheap) instead of progressives.

Thank you so much for the reviews! It saved me money, time, frustration, and anxiety. All the best.
Melissa Kramer

Postby cindi » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:33 pm

Are you sure? You checked zennioptical.com and eyebuydirect.com? They are much less than that for the best hi-def progressives. You should be able to get everything you want for barely over $100.

If you want to go in store, which I am thinking is safer for hi-def progressives so they can really fit them right and can tweak them if there is a problem, the prices at Costco are about half what the other retailers are charging. You should be able to get what you need for under $300.

Postby toddster63 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:43 pm

Okay here is two cents from a vision freak with some experience--

I have worn progressives for several years now, ranging in quality and price from $62 Zennis, to Silhouette frames and Sharmir Auto II lenses, costing $1000. I paid for this all personally, having no optical insurance.

Yes, the European made frames are nicer and better made than Zenni's rimless frames. But they are both made of titanium and are very close. SIlhouette's compression mounting is low in profile and nicer, period. Though if you search around on Zenni they do offer one style of rimless with the compression mounting. Zenni's plastic and acetate frames have been decent quality--not as shiny and of lesser quality material than what Luxotica offers, but then we are talking $22 compared to $180+ (and if you don't know about the vision monopoly giant Luxotica, then learn!)

Expensive lenses I have tried (Shamir) have offered a little bit better vision than Zennis free from progressives--but I am talking a LITTLE bit better, not much at all. And certainly not worth the $500-$600 price difference for the 1.67 high index material (local optical charges $700 for Shamir Auto II lenses in 1.67 and Zenni charges $73).

The intermediate and reading are GREAT on Zenni's progressives--even on the 30mm short lenses I prefer to order, the corridors are great. They are a bit narrow, but this is a problem with ALL progressives lenses (hence the moving your head around to read the whole paper or computer screen), and is only a little bit better with more expensive lenses like the Shamirs. And not wide enough to justify a $600 prices increase in my humble opinion.

The one thing I will fault Zenni for is the narrow distance segment. It's only about 110 degrees in width. Compared to the widest progressive I have worn--the Varilux Physio with 150 degrees of vision, you can notice the difference--noticeably more narrower. However with the Physio you pay a price for this wider and larger distance viewing--the intermediate and reading are MUCH inferior to the bigger and brighter intermediate and reading with Zenni's progressive. I HATE the Physios while shopping, as it makes looking at shelves and food labels much more work with it's tiny intermediate and reading sweet spots. In contrast, the Zennis are great in the markets--the prices and fine print just jump out and are easy to read. However, in contrast, if I were standing over the Grand Canyon and taking in the view, I would prefer the Varilux Physios by all means.

Last note--the moving around to take in intermediate and reading is just part and parcel of progressive lenses. It does get a little better with more expensive lenses--but NOT much at all--very little in fact. If you're loaded with spendable income, then the additional $600 might be worth it to you. It is NOT for me, and is way too expensive for a minor upgrade. If the moving around of your head to use progressives is an issue, then they may not work for you. Multifocal contacts might be a better option. It's a hard adjustment as your eye's lenses harden up (presbyopia), and the switch over from single vision to progressives can take time, but in the end you will see at all focal lengths well.

How people can live with bifocals (with NO intermediate vision) or trifocals (the worst!) is just beyond me. I hate the big boxes of blurred vision that you have in your vision all day, Uggg! Progressives are such an upgrade in my book!

Postby RMR113 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:51 pm

Just a quick comment on progressive lenses by Zenni. I worked for a long time where I had to read papers and work on computers. At first bifocals were OK, but finally I had to have expensive trifocals. They were a major problem because the mid-range was so small that I had to keep my head carefully aligned to work. I investigated progressives but they were extremely expensive. Then I found Zenni. For less than a $100 dollars, I got very good progressives. It took a week for the brain to figure out what new processing it had to do and then everything was wonderful. It was very natural reading papers, on the computer, and at a distance. It did not require that I be at any particular distance as there was always a sweet spot to be found. So if you find them a problem, give your brain a week or two to adjust. So, for about 10 years I was happy. Just had cataract surgery in Dec 2014, and have close to perfect (actually better: 20/15) distance vision but can't read anything mid or close. Readers (cheap) now scattered all over the house. I just got my final prescription yesterday, and with some very minor (.25 and .5 cylinder) corrections for astigmatism. So I am ordering progressives from Zenni just so I can wear one pair of glasses around the house, when reading menus, driving, etc. Well worth the cost to do away with the constant problem of changing readers (or looking for the ones I need).

Postby Lori T. » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:15 pm

I have no vision insurance. I have a very limited income and low budget. The eye exam for glasses, & one complete pair of progressive bifocal's cost me 50% of my monthly income! I just spent major money at Vision Works. I did not get their "free form progressive lenses, as they were, {are you ready?} $599! That was without any frames,glare coating, scratch resistance or tint. That is insane!

I see that Zenni Optical is now carrying a free form progressive lens which will widen your "sweet spot" as well as give you a slightly wider reading glass area too. I am going to order a back up pair of progressives. When I got my eyes tested, I paid particular attention to my RX. I knew I was planning on getting an additional pair of glasses from Zenni Optical. I wrote down some of the measurements {over all frame width, lens width, lens height and bridge} that they took. I am hopeful those measurements will allow me to choose comparable frames and enable Zenni Optical to fine tune the lenses for me specifically. SO I am really excited and amazed at the Zenni Optical price for a complete pair of free form progressive lens glasses with all the coatings AND even a clip on sun glasses to go over them. All this cost about $30 more than just the price of my eye exam. You certainly get more bang for you buck from them!

New progressive wearers " FOLLOW YOUR NOSE" it will make getting used to your progressives much easier. Good Luck! :)
Lori T.

Postby mjoe » Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:11 am

I ordered 3 pair of progressive from Zenni last year. I loved them all. The only problem was that 2 of them had nose pads & I developed an allergy to the material (silicone/plastic) so they are not comfortable. I'm experiencing the same with my older glasses I had gotten at Costco. I had all the nose pads changed but that did not resolved the issue. In addition my prescription changed slightly. So I took advantage of Zenni annual buy 3 get 1 free sale & got 4 new pair :D . I love all the frames. The vision is great for driving & TV but it's not good at all for the computer :( . As I'm typing this whit my new glasses, as I look back & forth at the keyboard & the screen the letters get somewhat blurry. I just switch to the ones I got from them last year & it does not do that.

I went back to my optometrist to see if he had made an error with the prescription & had him checked my new Zenni glasses. The prescription was fine & my Zenni glasses were made to my prescription. BUT, we found that the segment height was too low for my need & apparently lower than the previous glasses I had gotten from Zenni.

I enquired about this with Zenni & asked them if I send the glasses back could they raise the seg height. Here's the response I got:

"We would like to tell you that the standard segment height we produce for multi-focal lenses depends on the size of the lens itself, which is approximately 5mm higher from the middle line of the lens for a progressive lens design. Therefore, the actual dimension is somewhat affected by the lens height chosen. Most customers find these dimensions completely workable for their vision needs."

When I inquired as of why my previous progressive lenses they made for me last year work better than the new & asked if maybe they changed since then how they do the segment height. I also asked if they would raise the seg height for me if I pay even if they find out the lenses were made to their "standard seg height correctly". Here's the response I got:

"We would like to tell you that we do updated the standard of segment height and the new standard segment height we produce for multi-focal lenses depends on the size of the lens itself, which is approximately 5mm higher from the middle line of the lens for a progressive lens design.

And if we determined that the glasses were incorrectly produced, we will remake the glasses for you at no charge."

So at this point I don't know what to do. If they determined that their new standard seg height is the right thing but does not work for me they don't seem to be willing to change it for me.

Another potential issue is that when I originally ordered from Zenni I used the PD that was written in my old glasses which was 52. But this year I had Costco measure my PD twice & it was 55-55.5. I also measured my PD myself & came up with the same 55. So that's how I ordered my new glasses. Zenni says that maybe 55 is a wrong PD. I went back to Costco & a different employee measured my PD & came up again with 55. In any case if the PD was wrong I would thing it would affect also my vision when I'm away from the computer but it does not. So I really think the seg height is the problem.

I get a 1 time 100% credit for them to remake my glasses although I would lose the promotion & have to pay for the 4th pair because the promotion is over. I'm losing a bit of confidence in their ability to make good progressive lenses for me. I'm concern I will send the glasses, I lose my promotion, they re-do them but they still don't work because they have a new "standard seg height".

As anybody run into this problem? Any suggestions?

Postby george » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:41 pm


I'm sorry to hear about your issues with Zenni. When I ordered in November 2013 they had an option asking how you wear the glasses - high on your nose, middle, or low, with high on your nose being the default. If you selected lower, I assume they adjusted the segment height to compensate. Now they no longer have that option. I chatted with their customer support and they confirmed it is no longer an option but they just use a standard setting of the progressive starting 5mm above the middle of the lens, as you stated. Obviously, you need the segment height higher. Since I ordered, they also seem to have changed the progressive lenses they offer - they now advertise them specifically as "free form" which should be an improvement, but perhaps not. Also - do you know if you ordered the "free form" glasses last year or did you have the same version I ordered - where they asked for how you wear them on your nose?

Is the blurriness you get when looking at a computer screen there if you look straight ahead or only when you look slightly to the side? What if you try raising the glasses higher on your nose? Obviously this is not a good long term solution, but you can see if a higher segment height would even make a difference with their lenses, not that they can adjust it anyway. It may be that the new progressives also have a narrow middle corridor which won't work well for middle distances even if you did have a correct segment height.

Unfortunately, I think you may be out of luck. Their progressives may just not work for you which really sucks since you did pay for 3 pairs. In my experience, I have found the Costco progressive lenses I bought last year far superior to the Zenni progressive lenses from two years ago. The Zenni progressives were better than single vision for me, and so I managed with them for a year before I tried the Costco progressives, but these are far superior. I have far fewer issues with blurriness with computer usage - actually none that are a problem. I don't notice having to constantly adjust where I am looking to get things to focus like I did with the Zenni progressives. The Costco lenses are more money than the Zenni lenses, but they are still significantly cheaper than the private optometrist lenses like Varilux.

And I would recommend ordering any glasses with the 55mm pupil distance that has been confirmed by an optician.
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Postby sheanderso » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:55 pm

Thanks for posting these comments and I could identify with all the issues stated. I look at it that for what I've paid at Zenni, I can buy 2-3 pairs every other year and still be ahead. (as I am also rather a clutz.) As for George's comments on progressive lenses, this time (and I've been buying from Zenni for at least 12 years) I went with a more expensive option on which I will post after I get them. It still wasn't that expensive (around $78), but I also get readers, which makes up for the lack of 'reader' area on the progressives. I also like the plastic frames, although Ive gotten frame less and still have and use them. I also like the basically free tinting that a person can order. I've gotten both 10 & 80%. The amber, even at 80% makes winter and night driving so much easier for people with light sensitive and computer aged eyes. I have also tried green 10% lenses and the first time I tried that in a progressive, I got a little dizzy and nauseated. Not sure if it was the color or the prescription, but I sent the glasses back and they sent me new ones for $5 shipping and have had them ever since. In fact, after I broke the first pair, I sent for another. The ability to pick a face similar to yours and try on the glasses has helped a lot, as well. Their site has become more and more user friendly over the years. My son (who told me about Zenni) recently went to have his eyes checked at a large chain store. When they knew he wasn't interested in buying glasses, they wouldn't give him his pupilary distance, period. So I was pleased when Zenni added a free measuring device, along with a free hard case and cloth, anywhere else would have charged dearly for those 3 options.

Postby JerryM » Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:13 pm

I ordered my first, and only, pair of progressives from Zenni in Jan 2014. I can wear them, but still prefer tri-focals as I like the wider vision. I am wondering, however if Zenni has made any changes to their progressives since 2014, if the corridors are any wider now? I am thinking of giving them another try with a higher lens height.

Any information?
Thanks, Jerry
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Postby george » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:44 pm


I have no new information on the Zenni progressives, as I haven't ordered another pair since I got mine mentioned in this post. However, I did recently buy a pair of lined trifocals at Costco, just to see how I would like trifocals compared to progressives - I am having the opposite experience from you. I can wear the lined trifocals fine, but I much prefer the progressives. My prescription is not very strong, which may be part of the reason progressives work much better for me compared to lined trifocals. Hopefully I'll have some time soon to do a thorough write up of my experience comparing lined trifocals to progressive lenses.

I'm not sure if it's worth the cost to test out another pair of the Zenni progressives. I have found the Costco progressives FAR superior to the Zenni progressives I got in late 2013. If you do happen to give it a try and order a pair, I'd love to see your review here.
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Postby JerryM » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:19 am

Hi George,
I emailed Zenni and they replied that their progressives are fixed and have not changed. I ordered a pair anyway since my current progressives are 50% yellow, and are a little bright on sunny days which we get a lot of here in southern NM.
I'll let you know how I like them a couple of weeks after I get them.
My prescription is
-0.25 -0.50 70
-0.25 -0.50 100.

Regards Jerry
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Postby JerryM » Tue May 03, 2016 2:29 pm

After wearing progressives for two weeks I got used to them. Although I could wear them OK I still like trifocals better. My objections to progressives is the narrow horizontal latitude of clear vision. I have to turn my head to see clearly so that I am looking directly at an object, whereas with trifocals I can see clearly looking out of the corner of my eye at an object.
I also find that using my computer with the progressives requires me to position my head in a position that is uncomfortable to my neck. I do have a pair of computer glasses, but do not have to use them with my trifocals.

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