Friday, April 10, 2009

Zenni Optical - the place for inexpensive spares!

My 8 year old son has autism, and he is definitely rough on glasses - though getting better almost a year into wearing them. Back in July 2008, I wrote this review of Zenni Optical which I can say, this site has saved me quite a bit. Particularly, I love that you can get tinted lenses for just $4.95 additional! With the frame choice, tinting and lenses I've found that my son's glasses range from $30-$35 and they are well worth waiting about 2-3 weeks for. Because they are just that - spares, extras.

Having ordered from Zenni before, I know that you need the PD measurement (pupil distance) - so when Belle was at the local optical shop picking out her frames I knew to ask the Optician for the Pupil Distance when they took the measurement (its when they have the kids look into the "big viewmaster"). Then, when I got home - I went to Zenni and ordered spares & sunglasses. Note: When I ordered I got a pop-up error message that my daughter's PD was "out of range", I'm guessing this is because it has a filter for adult ranges. The popup just had me click 'ok' if I wanted to continue and accept this PD measurement, which I did.

Now, with the patching - Belle's prescription may change so if it does - I know I'm not out all that much. The glasses came to $28.90 and her sunglasses came to $23.95. Shipping is $4.95 no matter how many pair. You'll need to know a few things 1) your child's prescription in full including the pupil distance 2) Sizing from a pair of glasses that fits them right.

What I didn't realize when I ordered these glasses & sunglasses is that I ordered plastic style that doesn't have a nosepiece which many of the patches rely on. She can still use a "band-aid" patch though or wear these when she isn't patching. Checking back on the Zenni site I do see that there are a few cute ones with nosepieces which I need to remember for next time. Also, a lot of the kids styles have a saddle bridge instead of separate nosepieces - if you need a nosepiece for patching, then you'll need to specify that when you order.
*update: I did find a style of patch that you can use for glasses that have the silicone "saddle" bridge. The patch is called Luxeye and Ortopad sells them.

Belle's glasses were ordered on March 17th and received today April 10th - a total of 18 business days (not counting weekends). This actually was the longest time its taken for us to receive from Zenni, and this time the package came from China instead of California.

So, here's a princess in glasses!
This is Zenni Style:

#4378 in burgundy/purple choice with a 10% purple tint. Total cost after tint is $28.90

And here's someone ready for the beach!
This is Zenni Style: #4385 in Pink(19) with a 50% Pink tint. Total cost $23.95 after tinting. These frames are adorable and actually have what looks like little hello kitty type characters on the sides of them. I could see Belle owning these in all the colors that they sell them in.


  1. I'm interested to know how you choose a pink tint and does your daughter like it? I have a 2 1/2 year old with Amblyopia that we Atropine drop and patch 2 hours a day in addition. She is sun sensitive, but doesn't like the dark black clip-on sunglasses that we have. Thanks!

  2. I ordered from them recently and I just specified that I wanted regular nosepieces and not the saddle bridge, and it came just how I wanted it. It took a little over two weeks.