How Long Does It Take for Prescription Glasses To Be Ready?


Just got a new prescription and wondering how long you’ll have to wait for new glasses? The answer depends on a few factors, but in general, you can expect to receive your new glasses in anywhere between one and three weeks (but often sooner).

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Average Time Frame: One to Two Weeks

If you don’t have an especially complicated or strong prescription, you can usually expect your glasses to be ready in a week or two.

In many cases, if you order prescription glasses online, you won’t need to wait that long. Many optical shops have ways of rushing your order through the system so you can get your glasses much more quickly. But even if you’re not able to get a rush on your glasses, one to two weeks is still a reasonable timeline.

If you have a strong or complex prescription or need specialty lenses like progressives or Transitions™, your glasses may take a bit longer. In these cases, you may need to wait a few more days for your glasses to be ready.

But no matter how complicated your prescription is, you shouldn’t have to wait more than a few weeks for your new glasses. If it’s been longer than that, something may have gone wrong and you should check in with your optical shop to see what the status of your order is.

How To Get Your Rx Without An Exam

Retail Optical Shop

man trying on glasses in retail optical shop

Most retail optical stores can make prescription glasses in anywhere from three to fourteen days.

The timeline will depend on a few factors, like the store’s policy, whether they need to order your lenses from an outside laboratory, and how busy the store is.

Here are some timeframes from popular stores:

LensCrafters: 3 to 14 days, depending on the complexity of the order
Visionworks: 14 days
Pearle Vision: 7 to 14 business days
America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses: ready for pickup in 7 to 10 business days
Target Optical: 7 days to process, 3 to 5 days to ship

(source: https://www.allaboutvision.com/eyewear/eyeglasses/how-long-does-it-take-to-make-glasses/)

Warby Parker: 7 to 10 business days (for either in-store pickup or shipped to you)
Costco Optical: ready for pickup in 5 to 7 days (but often ready sooner)

As you can see, the timeline can vary quite a bit depending on the store. But in general, you can expect to wait anywhere from one week to two weeks for your glasses to be ready.

Of course, most stores will do their best to accommodate you if you’re in a hurry. Some stores offer rush services for an additional fee, which can get your glasses to you in as little as 24 hours.

And some stores keep a selection of popular frames in stock, so you can walk out with your new glasses the same day you pick them out.

Doctor’s Office

eye doctor's office

The timeline for getting your glasses from a doctor’s office is similar to the timeline for getting them from a retail store. In most cases, you can expect to wait one to two weeks for your glasses to be ready.

However, there are a few things that can affect the timeline. First, each doctor’s office operates on its own schedule, so the timeline will vary from office to office.

Second, if you need specialty lenses or have a complicated prescription, your glasses may take a bit longer to make. In these cases, you may need to wait another week or two for your glasses to be ready.

And finally, you’ll probably need to go in to pick up your glasses and have them fitted once they’re ready. This might not be as convenient as having them shipped to you, but it’s a good opportunity for your doctor to check your vision and make sure everything is okay.

If you’re worried about the timeline, the best thing to do is call the doctor’s office and ask. They should be able to give you a better idea of how long it will take to get your glasses.

Online Glasses Retailer

purchasing glasses online

If you buy your glasses online, you can get them as quickly as 24 hours for rush delivery or up to three weeks. Keep in mind that besides production time, there’s also shipping, so factor that in when you’re placing your order.

Here’s a sample of the timeframes you can expect from a few online retailers:

EyeBuyDirect: 7 to 14 business days standard shipping, or 2 business days with 2-Day Delivery Service
Zenni Optical: 14 to 21 days standard shipping, or 3-5 business days with Fast Frame Service
Liingo Eyewear: 14 days, including shipping time
FramesDirect: 10 to 12 business days to process, 3 to 11 business days to ship

(source https://www.allaboutvision.com/eyewear/eyeglasses/how-long-does-it-take-to-make-glasses/)

Overnight Glasses: 24 hours to 6 days
Warby Parker: 7 to 10 business days

Many online stores have their own optical labs and can produce glasses in-house, which generally means a faster turnaround time. Some stores outsource production, which usually lengthens the delivery time.

Most companies offer expedited shipping for an additional fee, though the speed with which you receive rush orders varies. Shipping location also affects delivery times — glasses that are produced in your own country will arrive faster than those shipped internationally.

Of course, the nice thing about ordering online is that you don’t need to go pick up your glasses in person. They’ll be delivered right to your door.

And if you need adjustments to make your glasses fit right, some companies have physical locations or partnered locations you can visit.

Factors That Affect The Timeline

We all want things right now dammit!, but it’s good to know the things that can affect how long it takes to get your glasses. Here are the most common ones:

Rx Complexity and Lens Options

optical lens manufacturing machine

Prescription glasses are custom-made to your needs, so the type of lens you order will affect production time. For example, if you need bifocals or progressive lenses, those will take longer to produce than single vision lenses since the lenses need to correct for more than one vision problem.

The type of lens material you choose will also affect production time. Polycarbonate and high-index lenses are thinner than regular plastic lenses, so they require special machinery to cut and grind them to the right prescription.

This process generally takes a bit longer than if you were to choose regular plastic lenses.

The same goes for special treatments or coatings on your lenses. Anti-reflective, anti-scratch, UV-protection or blue-light blocking treatments are all popular choices, but they each add an extra step to the production process.

(Ditto if you order prescription sunglasses or photochromic, light-adjusting lenses.)

Once your lenses are made and fitted into your glasses, there’s also a quality check at the end of the manufacturing process, which adds a bit more time to the overall timeline.

Frame Design

optician inserting lens into frame

Aside from lenses, the frame you choose will also determine how quickly your glasses can be produced. For example, if you purchased a pair of rimless glasses, they can’t just pop your lenses into the eyewire since there is none.

The lenses need to be drilled precisely to connect to the frame, which adds extra time to the production process.

Where the Optical Lab is Located

Just because you place an order at your local optical shop or doctor’s office doesn’t mean your glasses will be produced there. In fact, many optical stores send orders to central labs located elsewhere in the country or even internationally.

Obviously, it will take longer for your glasses to come back if they need to travel a long distance.

Whether the Company Outsources Production

Companies who outsource production usually take longer to deliver glasses than those who produce them in-house. If you need your glasses quickly, be sure to check whether the company outsources production before you place your order.

Our Recommendations For Glasses In One Week or Less

eyeglasses in box

If your local optical or doctor’s office can’t get you new glasses quickly enough (or if you’re traveling and lost your glasses), these online retailers can get you some new prescription glasses in less than a week.

Keep in mind that this is mostly limited to single-vision prescriptions since bifocal or progressive lenses take longer to make.

Overnight Glasses

With a name like Overnight Glasses, it’s pretty self-explanatory what this company’s turnaround time is — yup, you guessed it, one day. Or at least that’s the goal.

Overnight Glasses produces most orders in their own U.S.-based lab and offers expedited shipping options so you can receive your glasses as quickly as possible.

Their 24-hour service is a rush service where you can get single-vision prescription glasses overnight if you place your order before 12PM PST (Mon-Fri, for deliveries Tues-Sat).

If you need multifocal lenses, you can get them in three days, again as long as you place your order before 12PM PST on business days.

Otherwise, with their standard shipping included in all orders, you can expect to receive your glasses in 6 days or less.

EyeBuyDirect

EyeBuyDirect’s standard delivery takes between 7-14 business days, but they also offer a 2-day delivery service in the U.S. for select frames with single-vision lenses for only $19.

The 2 days are business days (so if you place an order on Thursday, you won’t see your glasses til the following Monday).

A few Ray-Ban and Oakley frames are even available for this service too.

Zenni Optical

Finally, the famously ultra-low-cost glasses shop Zenni Optical has a Fast Frame delivery service where you can get single-vision prescription glasses in 3-5 business days within the contiguous U.S.

Glasses made for rush delivery are processed at their Ohio facility and shipped via FedEx 2-day delivery.

These are the frames available for this service, and the price includes the rush delivery fee ($19).

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