ordering frames online, getting the lenses fit at a local shop

Wendi sent me the following:

The time has come and my 10 month old is needing glasses and even though I live in the big city, I am having a horrible time finding glasses that are reasonable and will work.  Most places just shrug and tell me that they have a brochure, but I want to be able try them on… Plus, I don’t want to have to pay $400 and then replace them in a few months.   I contacted the company Baby Banz because they make these GREAT sunglasses and turns out you CAN get a RX for them !!!  I just ordered a pair and when they arrive, I will take them in to get Danny’s RX in them (and then report back).  I’m just wondering if anyone else has done this (and if they have…did they get the polarized lenses?).

I know there are other companies that also sell their frames online, so parents order them and take them to a local optical shop to have the prescription lenses put in.  I believe that Tomato Glasses, and Specs 4 Us also work the same way (edited to add after Mel’s comment: Solo Bambini is another example).  I’m sure there are others that I’m missing, too.

Who has experience getting glasses for their children this way.  Any pros or cons?  How easy was it to figure out the right size frames for your child?  Any other tips or comments?

7 responses to “ordering frames online, getting the lenses fit at a local shop

  1. Hi there,

    My experience of trying to find glasses for my 7 month old was excruciating! I live in sydney, Australia, and yet I could only fine ONE shop in the whole city that had A SINGLE frame for a baby. It was the Miraflex one and about $2-300 dollars for JUST the frame, and another $300 for the lenses. I found a great company in CA called solobambino.com and they have a few baby glasses. For $80 dollars I had a pair of plastic frames at my door and I had the lenses put in at my local optometrist. At that age, all the glasses look pretty average, so just do your best! My son is now 18 months and I have just bought him the titanium eschenbach oio frames that I bought for my older son when he was 20 months but unfortunately my toddler won’t even put them on, so we are stuck in the old, too small frames. Good luck!!


    • Thanks Mel! You know, I had Solo Bambini listed in the post, and then I doubted myself. I’m going to add a link to them above.

      Good luck with the new frames, too.


  2. I’m interested in hearing about this as well. My son got his first pair last August. We went back in January for a 6-month checkup and although one eye got worse by -0.5 and both gained an astigmatism the pediatric ophthalmologist said we could wait until he outgrew his glasses or until his next appointment. (His one-year appointment from the first appointment.) We paid $400 for his first pair WITH insurance. We’d love to have a back-up pair or prescription sunglasses but at that price it’s just not possible. I’m worried about ordering online though. The prescription we have doesn’t mention a pupil distance which I have seen as a required measurement on some websites. (Strangely enough I don’t remember his optomitrist taking this measurement when he filled his prescription – I believe he just used the prescription from the doctor which didn’t include a pupil measurement.) Other websites simply won’t carry his high prescription. Any advice would be great!


  3. I ordered a pair of Rec Specs for my daughter online. A local shop wanted to charge an unreasonable amount for them. My daughter had already tried them on and was measured. You do need to get measured in person because of the pupil distance. Maybe your local shop will try to match the online price if you mention they’re cheaper. I, then, took that information and ordered online. SportEyes.com has really good prices and customer service. I believe they also sell regular sunglasses too. My daughter’s -10 prescription has not caused a problem with them. I don’t work for them by the way.

    I opted not to get polarized lenses because they are expensive and my daughter’s prescription usually changes every six months.


  4. My little guy, now 5, has been wearing glasses since he was 5 mos. old. We lucked out during our initial search for glasses–a local shop had a pair from Solobambini. I cannot say enough positive things about these glasses–practically indestructible, super comfortable and inexpensive!! Anyhow, by the time he was about 2 and needed a new pair, we had moved to the east coast and no one carried the line. While shopping in our local PearlVision however, I mentioned that I was really sold on the SB line but that no one carried it–and the manager looked into it an said they could order several frames and and let us try them on in the store. Maybe this could be an option for you too? That said, I have several friends who have had great luck ordering frames on-line and had a local shop make/fit the lenses. Best of luck!


  5. My wife and I decided to buy 2 pairs of Kidz Banz sunglasses for our son (1-year old at the moment) who at the moment we were told had some sort of ocular-albinism. He LOVED using those sunglasses, he even made his “cool-face” when wearing them.
    After a year, and some visits to the pediatric eye doctor, he gave the order for him to wear glasses for astigmatism and hypermetropia (now 2-years old). We were told he was to use his glasses all the time, and as we already had those Kidz Banz he wouldn’t be able to wear anymore (as he had to wear his other eyeglasses) we took them to our local optical shop and had them place the Rx lenses there. Worked fine =), and he is using them everyday.
    Of course it took us a while for him to get used to them, plus, he’s not talking yet so it was more of a yelling => not yelling so much => not yelling at all thing. Took us about a week to get him to wear them all the time.
    Now he doesn’t mind using them, but the straps go down a little, sometimes bending one of his ears…. and we really don’t like that (could his ears start bending??… I mean, he’s still growing so we think it’s possible). And if we adjust them so that they don’t fall, the lenses get too close to his eyes and he expells a lot of heat =p (not sure how to say it ), and his glasses get all foggy… So… that’s where we are now.
    Even though they are very good glasses, I think this is a particular problem with him. We are thinking of getting a different pair of glasses, ones that have temples+straps, instead of straps-only.
    Hope this helps anyone trying to do the same thing.


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