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How to Buy Reading Glasses

When you start holding reading materials at arm’s length to see it clearly, it’s time to purchase reading glasses. Not positive you need readers yet? Here are a few other ways to test your vision before you proceed.


Where Should I Start?

No matter where you buy reading glasses, your experience should be a walk in the park. Most people buy their readers at pharmacies, online, or from their optometrist. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll find at each and why you might choose one over the others:

Where to Buy Reading Glasses

Pharmacies and other retailers often carry discount reading glasses in a range of powers, though you might not find the same selection of powers and styles as you would online.


Online stores have the largest selection of sizes, colors, powers, and prices. You’ll also find specialty items online, such as high-powered readers and customizable pairs for those with different power needs in each eye.


Purchasing reading glasses from an optometrist’s office is usually much more expensive. Most people who choose this route have very specialized eyewear needs.

Finding a Pair of Readers with Your Power

Unlike Rx glasses, reading glasses come in set levels of magnification, or powers, from +0.25 and up. You can use this guide to help you find your power, take our quick quiz, or visit your optometrist to determine your reading glasses strength. Just know that you don’t have to buy reading glasses from your eye doctor once you get your eyes tested. To keep your wallet happy, you can shop for discount reading glasses online or at a store afterward.

If you need a magnification stronger than what’s on our diopter chart, don’t worry! Finding high-powered readers (+4.00 to +7.00) online is easy and affordable.

Choosing Fully Magnified or Bifocal Glasses

Full frame, half frame, and bifocal reading glasses have different benefits. Depending on your needs, one might better suit you.

Fully Magnified:

With fully magnified readers, the entire lens has the power of your choice throughout. These are best for people who only need help to see up-close or for those who will only be wearing their reading glasses for a short period of time.


Bifocal reading glasses bring you the best of both worlds. Bifocal readers have unmagnified lenses which also contain inserts with the magnification of your choice in the lower portion of the lenses. This allows you to see both near and far without taking your glasses off, making bifocals an ideal choice for multitaskers. Imagine this: You can read while watching television and keep your glasses on after perusing the dinner menu.

Did you know? Fully magnified and bifocal readers are also available in tinted sunglass versions called reading sunglasses, which are perfect for reading by the pool or skimming the baseball lineup.

Still Stumped When It Comes to Buying Readers?

No need to fret. We have plenty of resources that can help you find your next (or first!) pair of reading glasses.

  • To find the frame style that fits your personality, shop our Collections.
  • Looking for frames that flatter your face shape? Our face shape guide can help with that!
  • For tips on how to buy prescription glasses online, visit felix + iris,’s sister optical brand.


Disclaimer: All references to “bifocals” herein refer to readers having unmagnified lenses containing a “bifocal style” single powered reading glass insert located in the lower portion of the lenses.


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