Zenni Optical Review

Update: May 15 2015 – click to read.

Update: September 10, 2014, Click here to read.


I recently had a new eye exam done, and was giving a new prescription. I didn’t want to have to spend $200+ on new glasses, so I started to shop around. The price is steep even at places such as Walmart, who advertise that they have lower priced – high quality glasses. Turns out that the only savings me be in the single digits.

A few months ago, my sister had stated to me that she had previous used an online store to order some glasses from, and she seemed pleased with them. She had said she ordered several pairs, and had only paid about $30 or fewer each. This instantly made me skeptical, and just naturally assume that they’d be cheap, low quality glasses.

My eye doctor gave me some contacts on the spot, so I could see, and wasn’t too much in a hurry to get a pair of glasses, especially not a pricey set. So, I decided to browse the site that she had recommended. The site is ZenniOptical.com, which seems like a legit site. They have a decent selection, not a HUGE selection, but decent. I decided on a pair of frameless glasses. I want glasses to not get in the way or affect my face too much. I don’t wear glasses to be stylish, I wear them to see.


The frames I picked are #314816, for the low price of $29.95! What a deal!
I liked the default lens, so I left everything as default, and clicked to check out.

I entered my prescription that the eye doctor had printed off for me, but became stuck on the pupillary distance part. My eye doctor didn’t write this on the prescription. I suppose you get this measurement by the place you buy glasses from, and they may be hesitant to release this info for obvious weird reasons.
So, I was under the hunt for a millimeter ruler. Found a old measuring tape and used it. It’s very hard to get the measurement yourself since your eyes move each time you look for the measurement, so I went with taking pictures of myself with the ruler on my head. I got the average measurement of 60mm, so i went with that.

They gave me extra lens options in check out such as lens quality, glare resistant, tinted, etc and since I didn’t know if these glasses would even work, or be decent quality, I didn’t want to bulk the price up. If they turned out to be great, I could just easily and cheaply order another pair. I did though decided to just get the better 1.59 Polycarbonate lens for only $9. Even for $28, adding $9 is still pretty cheap over all.

I then preceded to check out, selected standard shipping, paid, and that’s it.

I received an Order email, that did not give an estimated delivery date, but the website FAQ does suggest that shipping time with standard shipping via USPS could take 2-3 weeks.

Being as finicky as I am, I checked the order regularly, several times a day (fun part of ordering things online), For a day the order was on “PROCESSING”, then it changed to the “MANUFACTURED” status where it stayed for days and days. Reading their site and facebook posts, this means the glasses have been made, but are being sent to the US from China, which can take a week.

USPS Tracking
USPS Tracking

I ordered my glasses on August 27th, at around maybe 3am. On September 3 (a week later), I checked the order status, which was now “COMPLETED”, and there was a link to Track Order, which sent me to the USPS tracking website. It said the package was received, and expected delivery was September 6th.

Now this has me very impressed with USPS. Every single time I have used them receiving or sending anything besides a letter, they have been horrible. Their tracking system was useless and didn’t work, or was never updated, and it has always been overall a negative experience. However, this time they have really impressed me.

The tracker was updated regularly, and not only that, they were able to get the package from California, to Kansas, over night, and surprisingly it was out for delivery the NEXT DAY! Wowzers!

I checked the mail at 2pm, and the package was there. Was a tightly packed, white bubblewrap, plastic package. I think this packaging is standard anymore.

ZenniOptical Package

The glasses were wrapped in plastic, inside a solid plastic eyeglass case. The glasses are lightweight, look good. Perhaps the arms are a bit flimsy, but not as if they are going to break. This could be why they are called “flexible” in the frame name. Even though the arms are flexible, the noise piece and other parts are solid, and actually hard to bend. Takes a tiny bit of force to adjust the noise pieces. Which is good.

Also included with the glasses and hard case, were a metal eye glass screw driver, extra screws, extra nose pieces, and a cleaning cloth with some weird fruit on it. They had also sent me what appears to be a pupillary distance measurement tool. This will come in handy.

ZenniOptical tools
ZenniOptical tools

I do seem to have some problems with the glasses though, which I am going to say is my fault. or perhaps I just need to give it time to adjust to them, since they are after all, the first pair of glasses I’ve worn in 15 or so years.
They seem to have some distorting to them, which is hard for me to get used to. Could be normal who knows, I am going to blame myself. Perhaps I got the pupillary distance wrong. or again, its normal adjusting.

Overall the glasses are quality, not what you’d expect for such a low price. Not much difference to me than ordering a $300 pair from a local store. Also, even these problems with prescriptions, and other issues being off would exist in a local store, and even with them, there would be weekly if not longer waiting times.

Overall I’m very impressed with ZenniOptical, and also surprisingly impressed with USPS. Both did a very good job and I’m a happy customer with both.

I plan on ordering another set of glasses soon from ZenniOptical, but first I want to make sure I get the details right this time.

ZenniOptical Glasses
ZenniOptical Glasses

I highly recommend ZenniOptical. Don’t go broke for being blind!, Get yourself some spectacles! I’m sure you’ll be a satisfied customer only.

Oh yeah, please take note, While they are cheap, ZenniOptical will not refund your entire price no matter what. They only seem to do half. Which I can understand since their prices are so low, there isn’t much room for them to deal with these issues without going out of business. I’d say this is the only negative, but it’s understandable.


Update: September 10, 2014
I used some other methods to properly measure my pupiliary distance (hopefully!), and yesterday I ordered another pair of glasses from Zenni Optical. The previous pair of glasses I order that were originally discussed in this post I had the PD at 60. The new methods I used gave me the measurement of 64mm, which could be why there were so much distortion. The new method that I used is discussed here. Basically the “proper” method is as follows:

  1. Wear your glasses. (Or any glasses if you don’t have your own. Even just try on demo glasses at the mall if you are that bold.)
  2. Have a felt-tip maker handy.
  3. Focus on a single object in the far distance (anything farther than 20 feet works, but farther is better).
  4. Raise the marker to your right lens and precisely put a dot on it directly over the distant object.
  5. Repeat for your left eye. If done correctly, with both eyes open the two dots should overlap into a single dot over the distant object. If not repeat making the markings until they do form a single dot.
  6. Measure the distance between the two dots on your lenses with a millimeter ruler.
  7. That’s your distance PD.
  8. If you need a near PD for reading or computer glasses, just do the same procedure but focus instead on the object you will be looking at, either reading material or computer monitor.

We’ll see if Zenni can provide the same experience, if not better this time.

By the way, I didn’t bother to send back or refund the first set of glasses, even though Zenni would most likely give me half the money back, or exchange them. The error is my fault so i’ll take the hit.

Update: September 15, 2014
I just got an email saying the new glasses have been shipped to me. I didn’t get an email on the previous order. The order details on the website is still in the “Manufactured” state which doesn’t provide a tracking ID. Got the email which has tracking number. If it does get shipped out tonight, it’ll be sent a couple more days sooner than the last set, and I should get them in two days, or less. We’ll see.

Update: May 15, 2015

Sorry, I’ve been weird and haven’t edited this review. My got my last order on Sept 18th. My pupiliary distance was still wrong, so they weren’t 100%. I just had someone give me several readings with a measurement, and reordered another pair of glass. I’m so sick of my contacts. We’ll see if this distance is right, if not i’m just going to the eye glass place and ordering some $400 or so glasses, ha.
Minor update- May 20th –  I got an email with tracker code yesterday morning. Which is blazing fast! I believe this is the fastest an order from Zenni was processed, manufactured, and shipped. However the tracker status is still on “Label Created”, we’ll see where this goes.