Buying trifocals online

A lot has changed since 2008. See here for updated trifocal post.

I received a comment from a reader wondering about the option of purchasing trifocals online. I did some research, so let me sum it up:

1. Prescription eyeglasses with trifocal lenses can be bought over the internet

2. Online generic discount shops such as eyebuydirect and goggles4u do not sell trifocals.

So where can you buy them? At the higher-end of the online eyewear world is one shop that sells designer frames way cheaper than the store – but still more expensive than no-name glasses sold by “discount” online eyewear shops. offers designer, brand-name polycarbonate trifocal lenses for about $115, depending somewhat on your prescription. This price does not include the frame, which will run from $70 to $200 or so, depending on your choice. So, the bottom line is you can purchase a fully outfitted pair of trifocals online from about $200.

So after you’ve decided whether or not you want to purchase your next pair online, the next step is to choose a frame. Trifocal wearers should choose a frame that can hold a fairly large lens – after all, you have three slightly different prescriptions going on in a single pair of glasses. If you have a pair of glasses that you really like, but it broke or simply needs replaced, you can look at your existing pair for manufacture information.

Check on the inside of the arms of your frame. Typically the brand name is on the inside of one arm and the model information is on the inside of the other. On my glasses, for example, if I look at the inside of the left arm (or “bow) of my frame and then at the right arm, I find the following information.

L135mm CV IZOD (left)

Frame Korea X58 Gunmetal L135MM (right)

So what did I learn? I have an IZOD frame that has 135mm arms. The model of the frame is “X58” and the color is Gunmetal. If I take this information and head over to, where I roll the mouse of “Eyeglasses” and select “Show all designers.” I find IZOD in the list, click, and then find my frame model. Alternatively, I could simply search for the frame model. If your glasses are several years old, you might find that either your frame no longer exists or it has been “updated” to something with a very similar model number.

If you are going for a new look entirely, simply browse the frame selection.

The Capri Optics 7705 is a large, practical frame, and costs just $62.

Ralph Lauren offers many
stylish and modern full-rimmed pair of glasses for around $150.

The hip Brooks Brothers (above)
looks great, are durable, and some are less than a hundred bucks.

Click on any of the images above to go directly to the product page. Or simply browse around at until you find a pair that you like. You’ll likely spend $200-$300 for a fully outfitted pair of designer glasses with trifocals. Saving a couple hundred bucks this way is a no-brainer.

3 thoughts on “Buying trifocals online”

  1. I don’t wear trifocals myself and it was my curiosity about them that intrigued me enough to read this article. Though it wasn’t what I expected it was a very nice article on choosing frames. I also agree with you that those Brooks Brothers frames are quite nice. Reminds me of that trendy Sarah Palin style in trend now.

  2. I’d be very wary of ordering trifocals in a frame without adjustable nose pads. You could wind up with the segments too high or too low. The safest bet is to reuse an old frame, or buy the frame first. Stretch a piece of clear tape over the lens, and mark the line(s) there; that avoids the ambiguity of just providing a measurement. There’s several online places that offer a good selection of replacement trifocal lenses, like Eyeglass Lens Direct or Wohl Optics. Both have the common 7×28 and 8×35 lenses. Wohl also has 10×35 and 12×35 lenses which should be great for computer work, and Eyeglass Lens Direct offers the (infamous) Executive trifocal.

    Don’t overlook local sources, though. Sears Optical occasionally has “real” sales, where prices become competitive with online. Walmart Vision stores can do replacement lenses, including trifocals in 7×28 and 8×35. Not as cheap as online, but less risk of a poor fit.

  3. Nice little article. Applies well to most people’s basic information needs.

    I’m trying to find out more about a larger cut style of lenses.

    Any information on these? Most people don’t know they exist.

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