We tried the Glasses Direct service so you don’t have to

And we were pretty impressed

Glasses Direct is a service we’ve seen floating around the Internet and popping up in ads for a while now – in fact they’ve grown hugely popular since they launched way back in 2004.

But trusting an online service with your vision can be a little daunting, right? Well, our editor, Beth, put her sight into the hands of these Internet optometrists to test the service.

Beth’s experience:
The first part of the process was to book an eye test at my usual optician, which for me is Boots. So I booked in, went along and had a normal eye test asking for a copy of my prescription at the end.

One thing I did differently was ask them to measure my pupillary distance, as I’d seen this was required on the Glasses Direct website. Now, I’m not going to lie the optician was a little funny about doing this. I don’t know if that’s because it’s something they don’t usually do or because they know it means I want to order glasses elsewhere and therefore they’re losing business. Nevertheless, I got the measurement.

Between booking my eye test and attending the opticians I had also ordered a free home trial from Glasses Direct. This was easy to do on their website, apart from the fact there is just so much choice! They have loads of own-brand options as well as frames from brands like Scout, London Retro and Dolce and Gabbana.

The home trial arrived about two working days after I ordered and I now had four frames to try. Having the opportunity to try the frames, rather just looking at them on the website, was really helpful. It reassured me of the quality and gave me a chance to gain opinions from friends and family.


The only complaint I have would be that the frames have to be sent back within seven days from when they were dispatched, so it doesn’t give you lots of time to try them on. Well, if you’re like me anyway because I wanted to wear each pair for more than a few minutes to get a feel for comfort etc. BUT when you are ready to return them you just have to drop them in a post box which is very easy.


After a couple of days trying on the frames I was torn between two pairs. I was pleasantly surprised and found the quality of all four pairs was really good.

L – R: Fitzrovia London Retro, Firework Scout, Bromley London Retro, Nancy London Retro

Luckily for me, I didn’t have to settle on one pair because Glasses Direct had a fab deal on – which they often do! If you look around or sign up to emails you’ll probably find a promo code sooner or later.

The actual ordering process was pretty straightforward. I managed to buy one pair and get another pair free (just paying for the lenses) meaning I got two pairs for £72! After choosing the frames, you then pick a lens package ranging from £10 to £59. I went with the ‘recommended’ silver package priced at £12. I chose the option of sending a photo of my prescription, instead of entering it because I thought it would be easier.

I received my glasses quite quickly – about three to four days after ordering. Each pair did arrive separately but I was kept up to date about when each pair was being made and dispatched.


I was happy to see each pair came in their own case with a cleaning cloth. One thing I will say is that the lenses seemed to have a strange green tint reflection to them, which you could see in some lights (you can kind of see in the above image). However it doesn’t seem to change how things look through them – Glasses Direct got in touch and told me this was the anti-reflective coating and is perfectly normal.

Overall I was happy with the ease and simplicity of the whole service. It was easy to use with quick delivery, definitely lots of choice and good quality glasses.

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