what to do with 2 pair of glasses? Backup pair, or two primary pairs?

Jennifer had a question in the comments that’s something I’ve been thinking about recently, too.  She wondered whether it was better, if your child already has 2 pair of glasses, to have one pair as the primary pair, and one set aside as a backup.  Or does it make more sense to have both pairs as primary pairs, and let your child choose each morning which pair to wear?

For the past 18 months, Zoe has had two pair of glasses, and we’ve let her choose which pair to wear.  It’s worked quite well, largely because she seems to like both pair equally, so they get pretty equal wear and tear.  The lenses are less scratched, and the frames less beat up, because they’re both essentially getting  worn half the time.

That all changed last week when we found out Zoe’s prescription had changed.  I had planned to get the lenses replaced in one pair, and then when that pair was back, get new lenses for the second pair.  The guy at the optical shop, though, told me that she was likely to outgrow her red glasses in around 6 months, and he didn’t think it would make sense to replace her lenses now, only to need to replace the frames and lenses again in a few months.  So once her blue glasses come back with the updated prescription, we’ll have those as her primary glasses, with the red ones as back-up — the prescription change is small enough that the old prescription could be worn as a back up if need be.

I’d love to pick out a second pair of glasses for Zoe so that we can stay with the two pairs for her to choose from, since it’s worked so well.  But ordering new lenses for one pair, and then a second whole new pair of glasses just isn’t in the cards for us right now.  I guess I hadn’t really thought through the logistics of what happens with two pair when the prescription changes, but the frames don’t need to.

I’d love to hear thoughts on what you all are doing.  Do you have a back up pair, or two pair that your child chooses from?  Is it working well?  What would you do if the money for additional pairs were not an issue (hey, I can dream, right?)

6 responses to “what to do with 2 pair of glasses? Backup pair, or two primary pairs?

  1. We’ve kept to one style up until recently when Nicholas’ prescription changed, and he had outgrown the smaller sized frames.. We always get breakagr/warranty coverage on the frames..that way if there is breakage the old pair goes in the ‘spare parts pool’ and the new ones go in to use. We also request the optometrists order in spare frames of the same style..in case..


  2. We have one primary pair. This is our 3rd pair of frames with the same prescription – we have been fortunate there. However, our warranty expires after 1 year on our frames. So we buy a new pair every year after her appointment & the old pair becomes a backup for the new pair if they ever break. Aubrie seems to always love her new pair so it’s never a problem. Then, the old pair is always available for backups & not as beat up if and when we need them 🙂


  3. We have 2 pair – a primary and backup. We actually went quite some time with only one pair after Emma first got glasses but I broke down and ordered a second pair – I just couldn’t quite get rid of the little thoughts always in the back of my mind that I should have another pair for her!

    Her primary pair has transition lenses but her backup pair does not. She tends to wear her primary pair more often….probably because they are out and right by her bed. I actually got new lenses for both pair when her prescription changed this year but only because our optical shop was willing to work with me on cost since the 2nd pair was newer. Otherwise I probably would have left the backup pair alone.


  4. hi guys thanks for the advice. what i have found with abigail is that she uses one pair which is thankfully the pair that fits her better and is thinner but sometimes when she is not in the mood for glasses(when she is tired) then if i give her a choice of the two and then atleast one goes on. we are ofcourse only in her second week of glasses so this is all new to us. I must say i am amazed how quickly she has realised that her glasses help her. we are going again in september for her 2nd check up and then i will still get both the glasses changed if need be. I must say it is very good to know that if something happens to her one pair i still have another because i cant imagine her without them now.


  5. You mentioned ‘wear and tear’ as a concern and reason for a backup. Most lenses are warrnanted for a yaar. If you notice scratches, or anything, replace right away! Then you just need the back up for a week or two while you wait for the replacement lenses. Good luck!


  6. We are trying to decide if and why and why not to get a second pair for our 10 yo’s first glasses, and your notes help. I realize, when I was little, the backup was always last year’s pair. If only things didn’t cost money–good luck folks.


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