How Do Eyeglass Brands Rate?

In terms of actual quality.

In the current era of the online vs offline equation of price to value — and “cutting out the middle man” rhetoric — this question comes up often from real consumers. The lines have been blurred by conflicting storylines in the different media and review sites available in print and online. How do I know if I am buying H&M or Hermes in terms of actual build quality? What am I actually investing in?

I put this Quality Scale graphic together to share the perspective of optical professionals who understand the details of which raw materials are used and the experience of the craftsperson, that result in the final product quality. Yes, there is an actual quality difference outside of design. Yes, you can get a nice design at a low price, but don’t confuse that with quality. No, not every eyeglass is made in the same factory.

The list has gone through an initial vetting process, but can be updated. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but as a benchmark which includes some of the better known eyewear brands, key independent brands, and direct to consumer start ups. I encourange any optician or optical professional to add their feedback in the comments below if you believe a change is needed.

I hope this becomes an honest and informative resource for real consumers.

Brands in red are direct to consumer, therefore not subject to the same retail margins.