Zenni Optical Review: Great Price, But How’s the Quality?

The brand has a huge range.

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I’ve been interested in Zenni Optical since I first came across the brand due to its huge selection of glasses at a great price point.

I finally got around to buying a pair at the start of March.

But, they haven’t arrived yet and as I’m based out of the U.S. shipping takes three to four weeks.

Because of this, this Zenni Optical review currently focuses on the buying process. But I’ll update it as soon as the glasses arrive and I can test them out.

Let’s get started!

Unfortunately a few days after I ordered these glasses Zenni messaged me to say they were unable to fulfill an order to my current location. I received a fast and full refund, although it means I have been unable to finish this review. I’ll be sure to update it as soon as I can grab a pair, though!

About Zenni Optical

Zenni Optical is a direct-to-consumer eyewear brand that sells a wide range of frames at affordable price points. The company was founded in 2003 making it one of the more established online eyewear companies.

It has a Huge Selection of Glasses

One of the first things that stands out about Zenni Optical is that it has a huge selection of frames. These come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and materials.

Up-to-date, modern styles sit next to retro frames in the Zenni lineup. What’s more, there are tons of options to customize your glasses with anything from polarized sunglasses lenses to prescription eyewear.

The company also regularly collaborates with designers and other guests. At the time of writing you can buy frames made in collaboration with Cynthia Rowley and Clair and George Kittle.

Prices Vary, But are on the Affordable Side

The main draw of Zenni Optical is the low price point and you can buy frames for as little as $6.95. Incredible! Although, there are premium frames that go up to $45.95.

It’s worth noticing that this is just the price of the frames with basic lenses. There are tons of options that can see the basic price rise, sometimes significantly.

The Ordering Process

It’s no surprise to report that, as a successful online retailer, the website is super user-friendly. It’s easy to start the browse glasses using the various menus and then start the buying process.

There are hundreds of styles available in both metal and plastic frames, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something you like.

I was in the market for some new sunglasses. So I settled on a cool Wayfarer-like frame with a two-tone color scheme. I was attracted to the fact that the brow is relatively thick compared to other similar designs. And at $19.95 they seem like a bargain.

Zenni Optical

Virtual Try On

The main issue with buying glasses online, or really any clothing online, is that it’s hard to know how they will fit. The Zenni Optical virtual tryon tool is a cool way around this. It allows you to see what the glasses look like on without you having to leave your sofa.

Using Virtual Try On is super easy. It uses either your desktop/laptop’s webcam or your phone’s selfie camera to create a 3D model of your face which you can then test virtual glasses on.

Just click try on and then follow the steps on-screen. I used my smartphone as my laptop camera placement is too low which resulted in slightly off images.

Once you’re finished you see what the glasses look like from multiple angles. The tool even tells you what type of face shape you have and what style of glasses are likely to look best.

The great thing about the feature is that the website stores your image so it’s easy to try on multiple pairs of glasses.

I tried on two pairs as you can see below. Both images look pretty realistic (although the model doesn’t use tinted lenses) and I’ll be happy if the actual sunglasses look somewhat similar. Although on second glance, I’m concerned that they might be slightly too big. I’ll see if that’s the case when they arrive.

It’s worth noting at this point that Zenni Optical says all media is private and that it won’t distribute your images. But if you see my picture floating around the site, let me know 🤔.

Personalizing Your Glasses

Once you’ve selected your glasses, it’s time to personalize your order. Zenni Optical offers a ton of different options here that means you can buy glasses to your exact specification. But it also means the price can go up significantly from what you see when you first choose your shades.

Available options include:

  • Prescription: Add your prescription to the glasses
  • Lens index: This affects the amount of UV protection you get as well as how durable it is.
  • Blue light blocking lenses: These help block the blue light that comes from screens.
  • Polarized lenses: These reduce glare which is useful if you spend a lot of time near water or struggle with glare when driving.
  • Photochromatic lenses: These are lenses that automatically darken when you’re in the sun.

I advise you take a bit of time on this section. I rushed through it and later realized that the lenses I choose only block 85 to 90 percent of UV light. I would have preferred to have upgraded to lenses that block 100 percent of light. This would have only cost an extra $9.

Shipping and Payment

Payment is as easy as you’d expect, just enter your card details.

There are various shipping options. Priority is the fastest and takes between 8 to 12 days. Although it costs $18.95. Standard shipping to the U.S. takes between 14 and 21 days.

I’m not based in the U.S. so my shipping takes a little longer. The email confirmation I received said I should receive my glasses in 17 to 28 days. Not bad considering I live half way around the world. International shipping also only cost $9.95. I’ll update this section with how long it actually took when the glasses arrive.

Zenni Optical offers returns of up to 30-days. But, you can only get either a store credit or a 50% refund. Although, if the exchange is due to a manufacturing error, you can get all your money back.

Glasses Quality

I’m still waiting for my glasses to arrive. I hope to have this section up by the end of March or early April depending on how long the shades take to arrive.

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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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