Prescription eyeglasses for under $15 delivered

Last updated on February 11th, 2018  

$55 for a comprehensive eye exam & under $15 for prescription glasses.

This one is pretty simple.

1) Find a store that is part of the network.

Jini optical in San Francisco, CA and San Jose, CA has one. The cost for a comprehensive eye exam is $55 and your vision analysis is interpreted by a board certified opthalmologist.

2) Purchase your glasses from Jenni Optical and pay  $12 to $16 per pair delivered.

Jenni optical has a selection of glasses (frames with lenses) for $6.95.

To see them enter ‘6.95’ into the search box and a single entry pull down will show up showing ‘$6.95’. Select it.

Upload a picture of yourself and you can see a virtual picture of yourself with the various frames.

After you enter your prescription and select some frames you will be presented with a lot of options.

Pick the 1.57 index lens.

Do not pick any of the options except do select the $4.95 anti-reflective coating which shows up on the second option screen.

Shipping is $4.95.

Without the anti-reflective coating your glasses are

$6.95 for the glasses
$4.95 for the shipping

$11.90 total

With the anti-reflective coating your glasses are

$6.95 for the glasses
$4.95 for the anti-reflective coating
$4.95 for the shipping


Do you need the anti-reflective coating?  On your first order order the glasses without the anti-reflective coating.

The trick with Zenni optical is **do not** order complex expensive glasses the first time!

Order low cost glasses with free options even if they might be “too heavy” (thick lenses)

You want to make sure you have the prescription entered correctly and that it works for you when you get the glasses even if they are too heavy to wear all day long.

After you have your low-cost glasses and they are working well for you (that is you have been wearing them for two weeks and you are happy with the result) (It is okay if you feel they are too heavy.) You want to make absolutely sure the prescription is right.

After two weeks if you are happy with the glasses, aside from weight, you can go ahead and order glasses with more expensive options.

If your glasses are too heavy for all day wear, you can opt for lighter lenses (higher index of refraction) and if reflections are bothering you and you can add the anti-reflective coating to your next pair.

By the way, some optometrists leave the PD or pupillary distance on the prescription form blank.I do not not why they do this.

I would suggest you make sure they fill it in.

Alternately, there is help on the Zenni site describing how to figure out this number yourself using a ruler and mirror.

There are some subtle changes in prescriptions that some optomitrists do not include in the prescription.

Zenni Optical does a good job of describing these small adjustments you might make but it is easier to just get the fully completed RX from the optomitrist.

There are unfortunately two ways optomitrists tend to present your prescription information.

One form (the old version) is

a basic distance prescription with an extra column called NVADD or ADD.

This NVADD/ADD number is used to change your ‘distance prescription’ into a ‘reading glasses prescription’.

Zenni tries to help you make the correct entries into their system.

You can also use the information to create a “computer glasses prescription” with a little bit of math.

The other form of prescription is one in which you get 2 or 3 separate prescriptions (the new version):

one for distance
one for reading
one for computer

this is the best form to get your prescription in and leads to the fewest mistakes when ordering online.

Generally if you ask the optomitrist they will be willing to prepare the
3 prescriptions for you.

The optomistrist generally does not have to do any work to produce all 3 prescriptions individually. It is generally just math and 3 lines on a peice of paper.

If you end of with an (old form) prescription Zenni will help you with the math and entering the correct prescriptions.

I would suggest getting all three prescriptions.  I have never heard of anyone being charged extra for this.

There is a third version of prescription out there but it is pretty rare:

It is the ‘basic distance prescription’ with an NVADD and a CVADD.

NVADD is used to adjust the distance prescription for reading glasses.

CVADD is used to adjust the distance prescription for computer glasses.

So why is the three separate prescriptions better than either of the other two?

One reason is that the separate prescriptions reduce the risk of making mistakes either in the math or entering the data into the online ordering form.

Another is that sometimes it is desirable to make very small changes in the prescription for different distances. Changes that are not reflected solely by the NVADD/CVADD. Zenni mentions this in their online help.

What about Zenni recommending a higher index of refraction (more expensive) lens?

The Zenni site “recommends” various “index of refractions” lenses based on your prescription.

Unless your prescription is particularly strong (greater than 3.0 SPH)
stick with the free 1.57 lens for your first pair.

After you are happy with the result (other than the weight) you can order glasses with a
higher index of refraction if you want lighter glasses.

What about quality?

For less than $12 you can judge the quality for yourself.

New glasses more often

An advantage of paying $12 to $16 for glasses is that you can get new glasses more often
and you can purchase extra pairs.

Buying an extra pair of $12 glasses is a lot cheaper than ordering an extra pair of $300 glasses.

After you are happy with your prescription do order an extra pair.

Often times, people lose their glasses and must run to a one-hour glasses shop to get replacements immediately and generally pay quite a bit more.

If you have an extra $12 pair tucked away in a drawer you can use them if you lose you primary pair and then take your time ordering replacements.

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