HipOptical prescription lenses and frames review

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REVIEW – I got my first pair of glasses when I was in the third grade and I’ve been wearing glasses ever since. I did have a couple of years where I wore contacts, but unfortunately, I became allergic to the proteins that stick to the lenses and had to go back to being a four-eyed geek.

I was never that self-conscience about wearing glasses and have liked being able to change my look and style with new frames every couple of years. What haven’t I liked though? The price of prescription lenses and frames. Is there an alternative to buying glasses from your local eye doctor? You bet! Let’s check out one option – HipOptical.

What is it?

HipOptical is an online store that sells eyeglasses with prescription lenses and no eye exam required. Just fill in your prescription details (that you get from your eye doctor) and within about two weeks, your new glasses will arrive in the mail.

Design and features

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HipOptical offers a variety of frame styles for men and women that include plastic frames and metals frames. In the image above, the frames at the top are from HipOptical and the ones below are the $500+ frames and lenses that I ordered from my local eye doctor last year. If you think that is expensive, I thought that was a bargain compared to my previous $800 lenses and frames.

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HipOptical sent me three different frames with prescription lenses. From top to bottom the styles are Bryce, Canterbury, and Hambelton.

Two pairs of the glasses have progressive (bifocals) and special blue light filtering lenses and the other pair has progressive and transition lenses. If you’re not familiar with transition lenses, they automatically turn into sunglasses when you go out in the sun.

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Each pair of glasses come with a folding case and a polishing cloth.


Selecting your frames through the HipOptical website is straight forward and easy to do. Each frame is shown alone and on a model which you can see from various angles.

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Detailed info about the size of the frames is also included. After you select a frame, then you can choose the type of prescription lens that you want.

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You have 3 choices. No lenses at all, single vision, or progressive lenses (bifocals). I am old so I picked progressive lenses 😉

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Then you get to choose extra features for the lenses which include no features/clear, light responsive/transitions, or blue light filtering. Note that you can’t have blue light filtering lenses AND light responsive lenses.

As you choose the features, the price at the bottom reflects the changes to show the total charges.

The last step is to upload a file or photo with the prescription. Then you submit the order and wait for the frames to arrive which is around 7-14 days but they are working on getting that down to 7 days max.

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I found the frames to be very well made. Comparing them to some of my older more expensive frames, I could tell little to no difference between them.

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The blue light filtering lenses look just like the other lenses which do not have this feature. They aren’t a weird yellow shade but are perfectly clear like you see above.

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I couldn’t really detect that the blue light filtering was doing anything while using the glasses and working on my computer. I don’t know if I’m that sensitive to blue light. I can work in front of a computer all day long and can go right to sleep.

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I also found that the light responsive lenses reacted to sunlight exactly like my current lenses.

Note that all of the HipOptical lenses have a superhydrophobic, anti-reflective, and scratch-resistant treatment and they are covered against scratches within the first 12 months.

What I like

  • Price
  • Ease in ordering
  • 30 money back guarantee

What needs to be improved

  • Would be great to have a virtual fit tool that could use the buyer’s face

Final thoughts

One thing to keep in mind when ordering glasses and frames online is that you’ll probably need to have them properly fitted once you receive them. You can usually do this by going into a store, but they charge you since you didn’t purchase the glasses from them.

I think HipOptical frames and lenses are a terrific value. The ordering process is easy and they offer free shipping and returns. And for each purchase, they donate a pair of glasses to someone in need by partnering with Restoring Vision.

If you are frustrated with the price of glasses at your local eye doctor, you should give HipOptical a try the next time you need a new pair of glasses.

Price: Varies depending on the frame and lens options but the ones sent to me were $107 and $117. Use promo code Gadgeteer and save 30% your order (expires 4/21/19)
Where to buy: HipOptical
Source: The samples for this review were provided by HipOptical.

14 thoughts on “HipOptical prescription lenses and frames review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Well, I’m giving them a try – though for my Rx I’m doubtful they can do it. Warby Parker couldn’t. I have prisms and astigmatism with progressives, and for the #s WP told me they could do the prisms only for a single vision pair. But these folks don’t say anything about limitations so considering my latest pair were $800 I can hope! Will update if I hear from them.

      1. Well, they didn’t cancel my order when I provided my complex Rx, and I got the shipping notification yesterday. I’m curious to see what arrives.

          1. They arrived yesterday… and just went back today.

            Pros: seemed well made, nice thin lenses

            Cons: they did not manage to deal with my prisms plus progressives. I could see from looking side-by-side with my $800 pair that the lenses didn’t have sufficient curvature, and when I tried them on I had serious eye strain (more than just “get used to a new pair”) immediately as my eyes did not get what they expected.

            I can’t say I was surprised, since another internet eyeglass service had told me that I had too much prism for them to also do progressives (they could do a one-vision pair). What this indicates to me is that no one reviews the Rx before shipping the order to whereever it gets made.

            For others to compare, my Rx is
            -0.75-3.50×105 0.5BD;2.5BO

            -2.00-2.25×80 0.5BU;2.5BO

            add +2.50 OU

  3. Christine Olewiler

    Thanks for this informative article.I am looking for a more cost effective way of wearing glasses as my prescription is getting higher and more expensive every year.I look forward to trying the service!

  4. Wondering about the thickness of the lens. I am very nearsighted and need thin lens. Nothing I see says anything about high index prescription lens. Mine would resemble coke bottle bottoms without thin lens.

  5. Unfortunately I have to disagree with your review. I Purchased glasses from hip optical for $200 and after two months arm on the right side of the glasses fell off. The company only offered a 50% credit towards a new set of glasses. They cost just as much money as getting them locally with no way for me to repair them. A complete waste of a lot of money.

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