Keep an eye out for cheaper specs online

It could be short-sighted not to shop around for a good deal on specs and contact lenses
It could be short-sighted not to shop around for a good deal on specs and contact lenses
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Most people are still paying far too much for prescription glasses and contact lenses.

Two-thirds of the adult population wears glasses, with 40 million people locked into such an essential purchase, it seems obvious that Specsavers and Boots – with more than 50 per cent of the high street market between them – can effectively cut competition to the detriment of consumers.

Savvy spectacle wearers are saving hundreds of pounds by buying their glasses online – some for as little as £7.50. Like-for-like glasses bought over the internet typically save 30 to 50 per cent on high street prices.

For those who need bespoke spectacles, such as bifocal and photochromic lenses or rimless frames, ditching the regular optician could result in even higher savings.

So what do you need to buy prescription specs online, and what’s the catch?

All you need is an up-to-date prescription which you can get from any optician without an obligation to buy. You then enter the relevant details onto the online form.

If your prescription is more than two years old it’ll be out of date.

A free prescription is obtainable from Tesco in-store optical departments.

If you don’t have access to the internet, you needn’t miss out. Some online dispensers will take your order over the phone, or even by post.

But be wary of buying varifocals online. They work by optical changes to the field of vision, so get it wrong and you could lose your money if you make a mistake with the prescription.

You do need to take care that you provide the correct prescription details. They’ll be set out in your prescription under the headings of sphere, cylinder, and axis.

Get them wrong and you’re not necessarily guaranteed a refund or exchange.

Examine the inside arm of your present glasses for a pair of two digit code numbers. Use the online search function to enter the code and find frames of the same dimension.

For anyone who wears contact lenses, it’s also short-sighted not to consider buying online. A three-month supply works out at around £50.

The popular Proclear Multifocal brand illustrates the massive savings to be had buying contact lenses online.

A year’s supply from Boots will set you back £305.28. Buy from online suppliers like, and you’ll only pay £128.22.