Warby Parker vs. Ray-Ban: Comparing Two of Our Favorite Sunglasses Brands

Hint: They're both pretty good.

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Warby Parker and Ray-Ban are two of our favorite sunglasses brands. They both offer a stylish range of quality frames at a good price point. But, there are some factors that may affect which sunglasses maker you prefer. In this article, we’ll compare the brands so you can get a better idea about which is the right for you.

First up, here are seven things we love about each brand.

What We Love About Warby Parker

  • Glasses starting at $95.
  • Ability to try on five pairs for free at home.
  • Free returns and shipping.
  • Easy to use websites.
  • Large selection of on-trend and classic designs.
  • Simple pricing structure.
  • Year-long lens scratch guarantee.

What We Love About Ray-Ban

  • Iconic styles and brand.
  • Over 1,000 different frames.
  • Free returns and shipping.
  • Option to design your own frames.
  • Wide distribution.
  • Who didn’t want Ray-Bans as a teenager?
  • Reasonable prices and frequent sales.

Warby Parker vs. Ray-Ban: In Detail

Comparing the Brands

Warby Parker

Warby Parker is a relative newcomer to the eyewear world. It was founded in 2010 and is known for its affordable prices, trendy designs, and much followed direct-to-consumer retail model. This sees the brand only sell glasses through its own impressively easy to use online platform and retail stores.

Ray-Ban is a heritage brand founded in 1936. Its most popular sunglasses like Wayfarers, Aviators, and Clubmasters are genuine icons and hugely popular. The brand is currently owned by eyewear conglomerate Luxoticca, which gives the brand an incredibly wide distribution reach.

How Do The Collections Stack Up?

Both companies offer a good selection of sunglasses and most people will be able to find something they like. At the time of writing, Warby Parker has an impressive 57 different types of sunglasses in the men’s collection and 87 in the women’s. Even though there is overlap between the two ranges, this is still a huge number of frames. And that’s before you consider that many are also available in a variety of colors.

Ray-Ban’s selection is even larger and the brand has a frankly ridiculous number of frames. Checking out the “Filter By” section on the website shows the brand currently sells 1,230 women’s styles and 1,638 men’s ones. Even assuming significant overlap this is huge.

Ray-Ban number of frames

If Price is Important, This Section’s for You

Warby-Parker uses a uniform pricing model in which all its acetate frames are available for $95, and its metal ones for $145. This price includes a non-prescription lens. As you’d expect, vision correction lenses cost more with prices going up to $425. The simplicity of the pricing plus the low starting price means Warby Parker glasses are a great deal.

Prices for Ray-Ban glasses start a little higher. They range from around $139 dollars to over $200 for those that use more premium materials. While this is typically more expensive than Warby Parker, there is one factor to consider: discounts. You can often find Ray-Ban glasses for discounted prices on its website or on eCommerce stores like Amazon. This means it is possible to grab a pair of the brand’s shades for under $100.

Materials: What are the Glasses Made From?

Both brands make their frames from materials that are quality for the price point.

Warby Parker makes frames from Italian acetate, steel, and those that are a combination of the two. Standard lenses are made from a lightweight polymer called CR-39 and are scratch resistant and block 100% of UV rays.

Ray-Ban Wayfarer Review Description

Ray-Ban frames come in a wider variety of materials including acetate, carbon fiber, titanium, nylon and proportionate, and even wood. Check out the hefty hinge above for an example of the brand’s build quality.

The Extras are Where the Comparison Really Heats Up

Warby Parker sunglasses come with a case and a lens cloth. The company also offers a no-scratch guarantee for lenses in which it offers to replace scratched lenses within a year-long period. The company has a 30-day return or exchange policy. The killer feature of Warby Parker’s online experience is that you can order up to five different frames to try on at home for free. This ensures you can buy a pair that fits and that you like.

Ray-Ban sunglasses also come with a case and a lens cloth. The company offers free shipping and 30-day free returns. While there is no free try-on policy, Ray-Ban has an incredibly wide reach and is sold in stores across the country (and the world) meaning it may be easy to try them on in person where you are. The brand also has a cool “Design Your Own” glasses section that lets you create personalized shades by picking a frame, lens, temples, and engraving.

Warby Parker vs. Ray-Ban: The Verdict

The best brand for you ultimately depends on what you want from your sunglasses. Warby Parker offers cheaper frames and a brilliant online shopping experience. Meanwhile, Ray-Ban is home to some of the most iconic sunglasses designs ever made, as well as an incredible selection of other frames.

Warby Parker Top Picks

Here are some of our current favorites from the Warby Parker lineup.

Warby Parker Dorian

Warby Parker Abe

Warby Parker Harris

Ray-Ban Top Picks

Here are some of our favorite Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer

Ray-Ban Hexagonal Flat Lens

Ray-Ban Clubmaster Classic

More in Sunglasses

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Duncan Elder

Duncan is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Boardwalk. He's a menswear writer who has spent the last 15 years developing his own sense of style, which lies at the cross-section of mid-noughties indie and Uniqlo-inspired minimalism.

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