Warby Parker vs Zenni: An Honest Review

November 21, 2023

As one who has worn glasses since grade school, one of the headaches I can relate to is when your eyeglasses need replacement. It’s a literal headache.

Thankfully, shopping for frames and lenses is easier now with accessible online shops like Zenni Optical and Warby Parker. And with affordable choices for everyone, you won’t need to take a single step outside your home to get high-quality eyewear.

So, in today’s post, we’ll compare Zenni vs. Warby Parker, two of the most popular brands in today’s eyewear industry. Let’s look at their selection, prices, and customer experience and help you get the best pair!

Reviewing Zenni Optical

Zenni Optical has been in the eyewear industry for over two decades. The brand represents well-known sports teams like the Boston Red Sox, San Francisco 49ers, and Chicago Bulls and has sold over 50 million pairs in 2022.

Are its eyeglasses any good, though? Here’s my experience shopping for eyewear with Zenni Optical.

Eyewear Selection

In terms of selection, Zenni Optical has a wide array of frames and lenses to choose from. They offer over 1,600 items, from reading, bifocals, progressives, single-vision, transitions, sunglasses, and even no-lens frames.

One of their bestsellers is the line of glasses that blocks blue light from screens made for gamers and individuals working extended hours in front of a screen.

Zenni Bestsellers for Woman / Bestsellers for Men / Zenni Glasses Search by your Photo

In terms of quality, I was genuinely impressed by the effort they put into every piece. The frames are attractive, flexible, and durable, which should easily last years of use.

All their lenses come standard with scratch and UV protection without extra costs. For reference, these additional features could cost you $20 to $100 from other stores!

Eyewear Visual Try-On

Unfortunately, Zenni doesn’t have an app to help you choose the best glasses for your face type, but they have on-site tools available.

Eyewear Prices

By having its own manufacturing facility and delivering directly to customers, Zenni managed to keep its items affordable to everyone.

Their eyewear pieces are amazingly cheap, costing $6.95 to $50 for basic sets and $60 to $100 for prescription and high-index lenses. 

The shop’s price for its progressive and bifocal pieces is no less impressive. For as low as $23.95 for bifocals and $44.95 for progressives, you can get your hands on a substantive eyewear pair without breaking the bank.

That said, one hiccup you’ll probably notice when ordering from Zenni is they don’t offer free shipping discounts, regardless of the amount of your bill.

Shipping your items will cost $4.95.

How to Order From Zenni Optical

Zenni Optical is an online retail shop, so they don’t have a physical shop you can visit. If you want to purchase, you’ll need to go to their website and choose a frame.

After choosing a frame, tap it to start the order process.

The website will then ask for your prescription details. Enter the required information and select the lens type you need.

You can use filters to sort the items by material, shape, color, or size. While customizing, you can use a virtual try-on feature to examine your appearance with the custom spectacles.

By this point, they’ll also provide options for the add-ons you’d like, such as anti-fog, oil resistance, anti-reflective, and more. Choose the lens features and coating before proceeding.

Once done, review all the information and tap “Add to Cart” to check out your order.

Shipping Time

Zenni Optical manufactures all its frames and lenses in China. So, shipping could take longer than other local online stores, depending on your address.

That said, shipping typically takes two to three weeks.

Another thing worth noting about Zenni is its return policy, as they only offer a 50% refund or shop credit points for returned orders.

Reviewing Warby Parker

Warby Parker is a rising label in the eyewear industry. Founded in 2010, the brand quickly rose to distinction, now owning more than 200 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Here’s my take on shopping at Warby Parker.

Eyewear Selection

Warby Parker offers a decent selection of eyewear. They have hundreds of frames, lenses, sunglasses, and accessories for men and women.

Warby Parker Bestsellers for Men / Warby Parker Bestsellers for Woman

Warby Parker Frames are currently available in 12 color and width options. Customers can also pick between nylon, metal, plastic, or a combination of these three for the eyewear material. 

Most of their frames are acetate plastic, a plant-based material known for its lightness and durability. It’s tougher than regular plastic and can handle pressure and bending better.

As far as lenses, the shop has the following lens types for prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses:

  • Polycarbonate 
  • Blue light filter
  • Light adaptive
  • 1.67 high index
  • 1.74 high index

On top of eyeglasses, Warby Parker sells contact lenses for daily, bi-weekly, and monthly use. Their contacts are disposable and use Warby Parker’s CentraForm Technology for optimal eye comfort.

Eyewear Visual Try-On

Warby Parker has an app to ensure that the choice you make will be the best of all – Download App

Eyewear Prices

Like Zenni, Warby Parker owns every aspect of its production. This advantage enabled the brand to keep its eyewear prices to a minimum.

All items in the Warby Parker shop are reasonably priced. Starting at $95, you can grab a high-quality pair of eyeglasses for prescription and non-prescription categories.

Naturally, prices increase as you purchase add-ons.

Thinner lenses (1.61 high index), for example, will cost you an additional $30 on top of the frame price. The slimmest variety of lens (1.74 high index) costs $130.

Blue light filters and photochromic lenses will add anywhere from $50 to $100 to your bill.

How to Order From Warby Parker

Warby Parker’s online shop functions seamlessly, making the ordering process quick and efficient. But you can also visit the nearest Warby Parker store if you’re not keen to shop online.

If you prefer to buy online, create your customer account.

Afterward, you can take the quiz for facial shape and style preference. It lets you choose five frames they’ll deliver to your address for you to try.

Or, you can skip the quiz and immediately shop for frames. 

Before the checkout, they’ll ask you to choose your prescription and upload a photo of your prescription details. Alternatively, you can provide your doctor’s information so they can contact them.

Shipping Time

Shipping typically takes one to two weeks with Warby Parker. And unlike Zenni, they offer free shipping for all orders.

Warby Parker vs. Zenni Optical: The Verdict

So, which brand should you pick for your next eyeglasses? Well, it depends on what you need.

Out of all the eyewear shops I reviewed, Zenni Optical remains one of the most budget-friendly. Plus, they have more selection compared to Warby Parker. 

For those reasons, if you’re shopping on a budget, you’re more likely to find what you’re looking for at Zenni. Of course, that’s if you don’t mind the longer delivery time and additional shipping fee.

Warby Parker, on the other hand, has a faster shipping time and excellent customer service. And while their items are more expensive, the free shipping offer is a great plus.

However, as you know, they have a limited selection compared to Zenni. As such, people with higher prescription requirements might struggle to find a pair that meets their needs.

Still, Warby Parker boasts exceptionally durable frames. I was particularly impressed with their attention to detail without sacrificing quality for appearance.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, Zenni Optical fits customers looking for top-notch eyewear without breaking the bank. With their extensive collection of ranging frame styles, you’ll certainly find a pair to suit your lifestyle.

People who need eyeglasses replacement quickly will benefit from Warby Parker. Although they aren’t as diverse as other stores, they possess a catalog of first-rate frames that exceed the expectations of many.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the Warby Parker Free Home Try-On service.

So, if you’re particular about eyewear fashion, try these two shops, and you’ll surely enjoy shopping for eyeglasses as I did!