What Are Reading Glasses?

As you start to notice eyestrain and blurred vision when reading, it may be time to look into getting your first pair of reading glasses. With so many options to choose from both online and in physical stores, how do you know where to start your search for the perfect pair? In this article, we'll walk through the top places to buy reading glasses in 2024, from national retailers to local optometry offices. We'll compare the pros and cons of each, looking at factors like price, selection, trying on options in-person, and more. With the right information, you'll be able to find stylish, comfortable reading glasses tailored to your needs, whether you prefer the convenience of ordering online or visiting a store near you. Let's explore where you can find your ideal pair of reading glasses this year.

kids reading glasses

Benefits of Wearing Reading Glasses

Reading glasses, also known as over-the-counter readers, are simple magnifying lenses that help correct presbyopia, an age-related condition where the eyes have trouble focusing on close-up objects. They’re available without a prescription and come in a range of lens powers to suit different visual needs.

Lens Powers

The lens power refers to the magnifying strength of the glasses and is measured in diopters. Lower powers, like +1.00 to +2.50 are suitable for people who only need minor magnification. Medium powers of +3.00 to +5.00 are good for most people noticing the effects of presbyopia. Stronger powers of +6.00 and up provide significant magnification for those with more advanced presbyopia or who prefer larger print.

Frame Styles

Reading glasses come in a variety of frame styles from classic half-eye readers that rest on the bridge of the nose, to full-frame styles that look like regular glasses. Frames are usually made of metal, plastic or a combination of the two. Half-eye and full-frame styles are available in round, square, rectangular and cat eye shapes to suit different facial features and style preferences.

Where to Buy

You can find reading glasses at most pharmacies and drugstores, in the vision care section. Many large retailers like supermarkets and warehouse clubs also carry a selection. For the largest selection, check out major eyewear retailers that focus on glasses and contacts. When buying in person, you can try on different styles and lens powers to get the best fit for your needs. You may also find good deals on reading glasses from reputable online retailers. Just be sure to get your pupillary distance measured in person first for the most accurate fit.

With many affordable and stylish options available both in stores and online, you’re sure to find the perfect pair of reading glasses to suit your visual and fashion needs. Keep a few pairs on hand for convenience and always have one within easy reach for comfortable reading and close-up tasks.

What Strength Reading Glasses Do You Need?

Improved Visual Comfort

Wearing reading glasses tailored to your specific vision needs can significantly improve your visual comfort for close-up tasks like reading, knitting, or using electronic devices. Prescription reading glasses provide crisp, clear vision so you can view details easily without straining your eyes.

Reduced Eye Fatigue

When you can see clearly and comfortably, your eyes do not have to work as hard. This results in less eye fatigue and irritation. Reading glasses help take the burden off your eyes so they do not get tired as quickly. You may even notice fewer headaches related to eye strain.

Improved Productivity

With prescription reading glasses, you can read and complete detail-oriented tasks more efficiently. You will not have to squint or take breaks as frequently to rest your eyes. This allows you to be more productive and get more done without interruptions. You may even find new hobbies or activities you can enjoy for longer periods of time.


Reading glasses also provide safety benefits, especially for older adults. When you can see more clearly, you reduce the risk of falls or accidents caused by not being able to see obstacles, steps or other potential hazards. Reading glasses give you a sense of independence and confidence to continue engaging in activities you enjoy.

In summary, reading glasses offer significant benefits for visual comfort, reduced eye fatigue, improved productivity, and safety. Wearing prescription reading glasses tailored to your vision needs can help keep your eyes healthy and allow you to do the things you love. Talk to your eye care professional about getting reading glasses so you can start experiencing these benefits.

Types of Reading Glasses Available in 2024

Full-Rim Glasses

Full-rim glasses have frames that encircle the entire lens. These provide maximum coverage and durability, protecting the lens edges from damage. Full-rim glasses are a popular, classic choice for reading glasses. The wide range of frame shapes and sizes means you can find a style to suit your face shape.

Half-Rim Glasses

Half-rim or semi-rimless frames have a rim along the top of the frame but are rimless along the bottom. This style provides an open, lightweight feel while still offering lens protection and support. Half-rim glasses are a good option if you want minimal, unobtrusive frames.

Rimless Glasses

As the name suggests, rimless glasses have no frame around the lenses. Ultra-thin wires or titanium frames attach the bridge and temples to nearly invisible lens edges. Rimless glasses provide an unimpeded field of view and feel virtually weightless. However, the lens edges are more exposed and prone to damage. Rimless glasses may not suit those with strong prescriptions as the lenses can become quite thick at the edges.

Other options for reading glasses in 2024 include frames made of metal, plastic, or a combination of materials. Metal frames are durable and adjustable but can feel heavier. Plastic frames are lightweight, come in a variety of colors, and can be more affordable. Newer, high-tech materials like titanium and memory metal provide both durability and comfort.

With many reading glasses available online and in stores, you’ll have no shortage of stylish, high-quality options to choose from to suit your needs in 2024 and beyond. Focus on selecting frames that not only correct your vision but also complement your personal style.

Buying Reading Glasses Online


Shopping for reading glasses online allows you to browse selections from the comfort of your home. You can take your time reviewing different styles and lens powers to find options that suit your needs. Once you place an order, your glasses will be delivered directly to you. Some retailers offer free shipping and returns, so you can try on the glasses and return or exchange them easily if needed.

Large Selection

Virtual eyewear stores have large selections of reading glasses available in a range of styles, lens powers and price points. You'll find classic styles as well as the latest fashionable frames. Whatever your personal style, you're sure to find a pair that fits your look. With many options across various brands, you can compare similar products to find high quality reading glasses at a price that fits your budget.

Low Prices

Online retailers are able to offer competitive prices on reading glasses due to low overhead costs. They frequently run sales and promotions offering discounts of up to 50% or more off retail prices. Some sites also have outlet sections with past season glasses at even steeper discounts. Buying online eliminates the markup added by physical stores, so you'll pay less for the same quality glasses.

While buying reading glasses online is convenient and affordable, it does have some downsides to consider. You won't be able to try the glasses on before purchasing, so you must carefully check the sizing to ensure a good fit. You'll also have to wait for your glasses to be shipped, so online buying may not work if you need reading glasses urgently. However, for most people the benefits of selection, low prices and convenience make the online option worth considering for your next pair of reading glasses.

Finding Reading Glasses at Drugstores and Pharmacies


Most drugstores have a dedicated vision care section with a selection of over-the-counter reading glasses. You'll find a variety of frame shapes and lens powers to choose from. The choices may be more limited than at an eyewear specialty store but cover the most common magnifications needed for most age-related farsightedness and reading. The friendly staff can also measure your pupillary distance to ensure a proper fit.


The prices at drugstores are typically lower than at eyewear boutiques, ranging from $10 to $50 for a pair of basic reading glasses. The stores frequently run sales and promotions offering two pairs for the price of one or a percentage off your total eyewear purchase. For the budget-conscious, these lower price points make drugstores an attractive option.


With many locations open extended hours, drugstores are convenient for picking up a new pair of reading glasses or getting an old pair adjusted or repaired. You can find reading glasses on your schedule without needing an appointment. The staff are also able to make minor repairs and adjustments to your glasses to ensure the perfect, comfortable fit.

Eye Exams

Some pharmacies also offer comprehensive eye exams to determine your precise vision correction needs. The exams can assess for common vision issues like farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism. After an exam, the optometrist can prescribe reading glasses, prescription glasses or contacts to optimally correct your vision. Eye exams at pharmacies typically need to be scheduled in advance but offer an affordable option for a full vision assessment.

With a range of styles, lower prices, convenience, and even eye care services, drugstores should be on your list of go-to spots for finding a new pair of reading glasses. You can walk in when you have time and walk out seeing clearly and comfortably again.

Getting Reading Glasses From Your Optometrist

Comprehensive Eye Exam

Before recommending reading glasses, your optometrist will conduct a comprehensive eye exam to check your vision and eye health. They will test visual acuity, pupil function, eye muscle function, and eye pressure. They can also check for common eye conditions like presbyopia, cataracts, and glaucoma. An eye exam is the best way to get reading glasses suited to your unique vision needs.

Customized Reading Glasses

Once your exam is complete, your optometrist can recommend reading glasses with lenses specifically prescribed for your vision correction needs. They offer a wide selection of high-quality frames in various styles to choose from. The glasses are fitted to your measurements to provide optimal comfort and functionality. Prescription reading glasses from an optometrist provide superior vision correction and eye protection compared to over-the-counter readers.

Follow-Up Care

Seeing an optometrist for your reading glasses also means you have access to follow-up eye care. Your optometrist can recheck your vision and eye health, ensure your glasses are working well, and make any necessary adjustments or repairs to the frames or lenses. They are also available to monitor for any changes in your vision over time and update your prescription as needed. Follow-up care helps ensure your reading glasses continue to meet your vision needs appropriately.

While reading glasses from an optometrist may cost more upfront compared to some other options, the value of customized, high-quality eyewear and professional vision care can make it worthwhile for many. An optometrist can provide reading glasses tailored to your specific needs along with the guidance and follow-up to keep your vision clear and your eyes healthy. For the best solution to your reading vision, seeing an optometrist is an excellent choice.

Purchasing Reading Glasses at Big Box Stores

Look for Dedicated Vision Centers

Many big box stores have optical centers with trained optometrists and opticians on staff to properly measure your vision and pupillary distance (PD) to ensure you get glasses with the proper lens power and fit. Getting sized for glasses by a professional is the best way to find reading glasses that suit your needs.

Compare Different Brands

Big box stores typically carry reading glasses from major brands like Foster Grant, Peepers and HD Vision as well as their own store brands. Try on multiple pairs from different brands to find ones that are comfortable and complementary to your face shape.

Check for Features

Look for reading glasses that offer the features you want like anti-glare or anti-reflective lens coatings to reduce eye strain, spring-loaded or flex-hinge arms for added comfort or lenses with added magnification like 2.5x or 3.0x for smaller print.

Don't Forget the Extras

Big box stores frequently run sales and promotions on reading glasses, especially around the holidays. Look for coupons, discount codes and package deals that can save you money. Some stores offer additional perks like free eye exams, lens upgrades or loss and damage protection plans for your glasses.

In summary, big box stores should be on your list of go-to places for purchasing reading glasses. Their vast selection, trained staff, name brand and affordable options make them ideal for finding high-quality reading glasses to suit both your vision and budget needs. With some searching, you can find the perfect pair of reading glasses at a big box store near you.

Roger Sarkis