Woman with different glasses on light background, closeup

Liudmila Chernetska/istockphoto

Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.

There are countless ways to buy eyeglasses these days. Some people order online at sites like Zenni, but first time buyers or those who want to check out glasses in person may want to go brick and mortar. In a recent r/Frugal thread, a Redditor asked whether Costco, Target, or Walmart was the best place to go for glasses. The conclusion almost everyone came to? Costco wins.

“Costco all the way. I regret not getting all of my glasses there over the years,” writes one Redditor. Others chimed in to describe exactly what they paid, which was around $185 for lenses and frames at Costco Optical.

“I have various vision issues and an interesting prescription. Costco is the only way to go! They cap lens prices at $200 (this includes Transitions), and they have stylish frames at reasonable cost,” one top comment reads. 

Another Redditor agreed that Costco is a clear winner: “Costco was $237 out the door for a new pair of glasses,” the user writes. "I picked a $60 semi rimless metal frame That included Progressive Transitions with 1.60 index lenses, anti reflective coating, scratch resistance. They said it would be $20 more for higher index lenses.” The user went on to share that Walmart and Target quoted prices of $360 and above for the same lenses and coatings. They also shared that Costco occasionally runs a special that offers $40 off a second pair of glasses ordered at the same time.

The majority of Costco Optical locations employ an optometrist, who may charge around $75 to $80 for an exam. According to one Redditor, "Costco service was better than I've gotten from any non-discount optical place. A Costco rep measured three times and figured out one of my eyes' focal points is 3 mm higher than the other, which means my lenses had to be made accordingly. Finally got my first proper glasses fit from there."

Still, not everyone was team Costco. "If you have 3 options and 1 requires a membership, then you only have 2 options,” wisely points out one Redditor. 

"Walmart has a VERY wide range of frames and pretty inexpensive ones, if you're looking for single vision," says another Redditor. 

Among the 800 Costco locations worldwide, around 500 of them have an optical department. Note that while you don't need a membership to get an eye exam, you do need to be a member to purchase products from the store.

Not already a Costco member? You can apply here.

Cheapism in the News