According to the Vision Council of America, 182 million Americans use some sort of vision-correcting eyewear. That’s about 55% of the population. Of those people, 60% are far-sighted, meaning they can see things far away but may have trouble reading up close. In addition, about 25% of people who are not far-sighted will become so as they age. That means millions of people in America alone need the help of the best reading glasses.
Why do so many people need reading glasses? As we age, the lens in our eye becomes less flexible, making it harder for the eyes to focus on objects within arm’s length. In the medical world, this is called presbyopia, which translates to “elder vision,” although some people may need reading glasses far earlier than others.
In many cases, off-the-rack reading glasses that you can pick up for cheap on Amazon and other online stores will suffice. Before we dive into the best reading glasses available online, let’s first look at the difference between prescription and store-bought reading glasses.
Prescription vs. Store-Bought Reading Glasses
Off-the-rack or store-bought cheaters are essentially magnifying glasses in a frame you can wear. Different degrees of magnification is indicated on the label, usually ranging from 0.5x to 6.0x. If you only need a small amount of magnification and you need the same magnification in both eyes, using a pair of store-bought glasses will usually suffice.
However, the fact that you can use store-bought glasses doesn’t mean you can forgo an annual eye exam. Suddenly needing the help of reading glasses could also be a symptom of a more severe condition, like cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.
Upon visiting an eye doctor, they may recommend you use prescription reading glasses if your eyes need a stronger magnification than store-bought glasses can afford or if your eyes need different strengths.
If you know over-the-counter readers are the best option for you, read on to learn more about the best reading glasses available for purchase online.
1. Gaoye Reading Glasses, 5 Pack
The thing about reading glasses is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a quality pair that looks nice. The Gaoye five-Pack Reading Glasses proves just that. The resin frames come in several colors, including tortoiseshell and plain black. The polycarbonate lenses block blue light and are practically indestructible, ensuring you won’t lose a pair every time you drop them. Plus, this combination of materials also makes these readers extremely lightweight. Available in a variety of magnifications, from 0.0x to 4.0x, these glasses are suitable for both men and women so that you can share the set with your partner, too. With all of these qualities, these are the best reading glasses by far — or the five best reading glasses, that is.
Gaoye 5-Pack Reading Glasses
2. THE BOOK CLUB Twelve Hungry Bens Square Plastic Reading Glasses
Get a super modern look and feel with these plastic reading glasses from The Book Club. These sleek transparent frames offer the ultimate neutrality, pairing with anything in your wardrobe. The square design features thin tapered arms with a keyhole bridge for comfortable, classic everyday wear.
Courtesy of Amazon
THE BOOK CLUB Twelve Hungry Bens Square Plastic Reading Glasses
3. Caddis SOUP CANS Reading Glasses
Offered in a brilliant green hue, these reading glasses from Caddis are perfect for those who love to stand out in a crowd. The round plastic frames accentuate the face, while the blue-light-blocking lenses offer protection from harmful light. The lenses in these frames also provide an anti-reflective coating to prevent glare. Purchase them in your desired level of magnification.
Caddis SOUP CANS Reading Glasses
4. Bullabulling Blue Light Blocking Readers, 3 Pack
A COLORFUL TRIO
This set of blue-light-blocking reading glasses features a retro frame for a cool and sophisticated look that’s suitable for most face shapes. They’re durable, comfortable to wear and come packed with a microfiber pouch, cleaning cloth, and glasses box for easy storage and cleaning when not in use. Choose from the color selection below or an array of other color combos.
Bullabulling Blue Light Blocking Readers
5. Caddis D28 Reading Glasses
This pair of reading glasses from Caddis helps with text reading while also blocking 45% harmful blue light. They feature ultra-cool plastic frames and offer anti-reflective coating on clear lenses to reduce glare. Made of 100% Acetate, the sharp, precise design is sure to garner tins of compliments from passersby.
Caddis D28 Reading Glasses
6. DOUBLETAKE Reading Glasses
If you want a glasses and case combo, you can’t beat the DOUBLETAKE Reading Glasses. This pair of minimalist readers come with two pen cases, allowing you to clip your glasses on your belt or carry them easily in your pocket without worrying that the glasses will become scratched. This is especially useful for people who don’t want to wear reading glasses full time but may need them periodically throughout the day. Furthermore, the metal frames of the glasses hold quality glass lenses that come in various magnifications, from 1.0x to 4.0x. They’re suitable for both men and women.
DOUBLETAKE Reading Glasses
7. ICU Wink Rocklin Tortoise Floral Reading Glasses
Tortoise reading glasses are some of the most popular options for their stylishly eclectic nature. They aren’t so out there, but they’re out there enough to the point that someone might tell you, “Hey, nice glasses!” These glasses from Target are a standout because they are reasonably priced, have a unique shape you don’t see so much in reading glasses and are available in four different magnifications depending on your needs. Plus, it’s Target, so while you’re shopping, you can even snag clothes, games, electronics and groceries.
ICU Wink Rocklin Tortoise Floral Reading Glasses
8. Warby Parker Reading Glasses
Warby Parker is a name that’s dominated the world of eyeglasses in the past couple of years — and for good reason. These glasses mean business. At a standard, Warby Parker treats all lenses with scratch-resistant and anti-reflective coatings. Yeah, even their readers. They have many handsome styles to choose from and have magnification strengths from +0.25 up to +2.75.
Warby Parker Reading Glasses
9. Gamma Ray Optics Reading Glasses, 3 Pack
BEST METAL FRAMES
For several decades, metal frames have been the norm for reading glasses. That’s because metal is sturdy, often lightweight and won’t break under pressure. Thin metal frames also offer clean, minimalist lines on the face. If you’d like to rock that style, consider the Gamma Ray Optics Reading Glasses. This pack of three is available in various magnifications, all the way up to 6.0x, and they come with a manufacturer’s warranty against defects for up to two years.
Gamma Ray Optics Reading Glasses
10. EyeBuyDirect Movement Square Golden Eyeglasses
BEST LENS OPTIONS
These lightweight metal reading glasses have to option of having progressive, bifocal, blue light, transition and prism lenses added as needed. With these selections, you’ll only need one pair of glasses for all of your needs. At $32, the price for the frames isn’t too high, allowing you to save money for all of the add-ons you’d like.
EyeBuyDirect Movement Square Golden Eyeglasses
11. Boost Eyewear Reading Glasses, 6 Pack
The thing about reading glasses is that you don’t always have to wear them, and they, therefore, often get forgotten. The fix to this is to have multiple pairs of readers so that you can stash one in every room of your house, or so that when you forget a pair at a public place, you still have several backup pairs. That’s why the Boost Eyewear Reading Glasses come with six different pairs of glasses. The unisex glasses include two black pairs, two tortoiseshell pairs, one blue pair and one red pair. Available in various diopters (aka magnification strengths) up to 4.0, these glasses also boast shatter-resistant frames and lenses for your safety.
Boost Eyewear 6 Pack Reading Glasses
12. TruVision Reading Glasses, 2 Pack
Just because you need to wear reading glasses doesn’t mean you have to look like your grandparents. The TruVision Reading Glasses offer a timeless appeal thanks to their always trendy black frames and slight lens curvature. In addition, these glasses boast durability rarely found in other readers as they sport Sure-Flex spring arms and Dura-Tight screws. As a bonus, each pair of glasses in this set comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth bag. That way, you’ll never have to deal with smudges on your glasses when you’re out and about.
TruVision Reading Glasses 2 Pack
13. Success Eyewear Reading Glasses
Possibly the most portable eyewear on our list, the Success Eyewear Reading Glasses fold down to fit in a case that’s just a couple of inches. When unfolded, the glasses remain small, with frames just 48mm by 25mm. This set of two comes with one pair in gunmetal and another pair in black. Plus, they’re available in strengths ranging from 0.75x to 3.0x. Just keep in mind that these are not the most comfortable glasses to wear, so if you need a pair of readers more frequently than not, you may want to invest in a different selection from this list.
Success Eyewear Reading Glasses
14. NOVIVON Blue Light Blocking Reading Glasses, 5 Pack
BEST BLUE-LIGHT BLOCKING
The blue light emitted by electronics can be bad for your eye health, especially if you’re exposed at night regularly. Not only can it impact the quality of your sleep, but blue light may also leave you at risk of macular degeneration. While the best fix is to give up electronics after dark, that is rather impractical in today’s day and age. One way around this is to ensure your reading glasses have blue-light-blocking lenses as the NOVIVON Reading Glasses do. This means that the blue wavelengths won’t reach your eyes, allowing you to read your tablet, ebook or smartphone at any time without compromising your eye health.
NOVIVON 5-Pack Blue Light Blocking Reading Glasses
15. Caddis Metamodernist Scout Reading Glasses
A TINTED OPTION
This pair of lightweight metal frames feature tinted gradient lenses. The aviator construction offers a cool and retro vibe that’s sure to go over well with those who love the laidback aesthetic of the ’70s and ’80s. Like all Caddis lenses, these glasses block out 45% harmful blue light and feature an anti-reflective coating that prevents glare and smudging.
Caddis Metamodernist Scout Reading Glasses
16. Eyekepper Men’s Vintage Reading Glasses, 5 Pack
You aren’t always going to need reading glasses in shady environments or indoors. Whether you’re reading by the pool, enjoying a newspaper while enjoying a cup of coffee, or are having a business meeting over lunch on the patio, occasionally, you’ll need sunglasses that are also readers. Thankfully, the Eyekepper Men’s Vintage Reading Glasses come with five different pairs of glasses, one of which boasts tinted lenses. All five pairs boast comfortable-to-wear, plastic frames and spring-loaded hinges. And, they’re available in strengths ranging from 0.0x to 4.0x.
Eyekepper Mens Vintage Reading Glasses
17. Norperwise Reading Glasses, 5 Pack
BEST PLASTIC FRAMES
While metal frames may be more traditional, plastic frames are more modern. They’re harder to bend out of shape but tend to snap more often. Still, they’re fashionable thanks to the variety of styles and colors available. Some of our favorites are these Norperwise Reading Glasses. Their round frames are perfectly in style in 2022, so you can wear them all day and not just when you need to read something. The set comes with five unisex glasses and is available in several different color combinations and strengths ranging from 0.5x to 6x.
Norperwise 5 Pairs Reading Glasses
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Some FAQs About the Best Reading Glasses
Reading glasses are glasses that you do not have to fill with a prescription. Instead, they are found at local stores and online with varying levels of magnification to help people read more easily.
If you're having trouble reading, whether it be on your phone, a book, what have you, there's a solid chance you might need some reading glasses that will help magnify the lettering to help you see better.
The best way to test which strength of reading glasses you need is by asking your doctor. They will provide information regarding which is the best magnification you need to pick up. Another way to do so is by going to the store and testing a bunch of glasses on there.
Reading glasses aren't too hard to find. If you're looking online, you can try places such as Amazon, Target, Walmart, CVS, or eyeglass retailers such as Caddis, Warby Parker, or The Book Club.