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Average Cost of Spectacles in Singapore

How much do spectacles cost in Singapore? Here's your guide to spectacles prices in Singapore.


 

How much does it cost to do glasses in Singapore


What's the market average, and how much should you be paying? Check out our reference guide!


Glasses used to be sold ala-carte, i.e. you add the frame and lens prices together. As an article by TheSmartLocal noted, "frames can cost as much as $300, and most of the time, these don’t include lenses".


But gone are those days! Now you have a choice - glasses packages that include the necessary basics at one flat price, or ala-carte your way with atas lens options.


If you're looking for progressive lens prices, scroll down towards the bottom of this article.





Package Glasses Prices - Simple, easy, transparent pricing!


Under $50 - Very Budget

You can usually find sub-$50 glasses by going online. These usually have a smaller range of prescriptions available, with various top ups necessary. Shops based overseas typically have a longer waiting time. Some of the frames used in this price range could be 'fashion-stock' meant for the night markets or street vendors. Another way to lower cost is to put as much of the fulfillment in a country where it's cheaper, i.e. your order is fulfilled overseas.


$50 to $100 - Acceptable

In this price range, you will be able to find reasonably decent glasses in some neighbourhood shops - especially those that focus less on branded goods. Look out for good plastic frames, like those made of TR90 material which is flexible and lightweight, making it durable and comfortable to wear. New generation optical shops (like Otago Optical) have pretty decent glasses at this price range, inclusive of multicoated lenses, and a wide selection of styles to choose from too!


$101 to $200 - Best Value

This range is where you will find the best value - the perfect balance between price and quality. Most shops, including the larger chain stores would typically stock glasses that are in this price bracket, although the selection may not be huge. Going to a less expensive store, you should be able to find decent titanium alloy frames, as well as some more unique materials like polyetherimide (also known as PEI or ultem) that can offer excellent flexibility and material memory, making it good for those of us who tend to abuse our glasses a bit more. Shops in malls including the fast retailing chains tend to start with a base price in this range, with add-ons on the lenses potentially making the cost go up significantly.


Above $200 - Premium

Here is where you can find premium products, such as branded frames and branded lenses. While not common, there are shops that package such branded products together to give a simple pricing, making it easy for the consumer. We find that these tend to be the fashion brands, with the truly designer brands being sold ala-carte. Note that there is a huge range of brands available, and there can be different product ranges within a brand itself, so if you're comparing prices, keep this in mind.





Ala-Carte Prices for Frames


Typically, for frames, expect to pay about $150 ala carte for a popular high-street brand, and $400 or more for a designer handmade brand that has less supply and may only be available at a small handful of select stores. Limited edition frames can go up to $1000 or even more.


Unbranded frames are typically cheaper, starting anywhere from about $20 per frame to about $200 or so. At this end of the market, the pricing often is a reflection of the cost to produce the frame (of course, excluding the shops that exist to intentionally overcharge and chop unwary consumers). Some designs, materials, or manufacturing processes are more costly, producing unique designs in smaller quantities will result in a higher cost, and so on.


Check out this article on why some frames cost more to manufacture.


Frames that are designed locally, or made with quality-first in mind in order to match with good branded frames, would fall on the higher end of the scale.


Some frames are licensed with a brand, i.e. the supplier or distributor has bought the license to use the brand on the frame. Depending on the popularity and value of the brand, the frame can be as cheap as a normal unbranded frame, or as much as a designer glasses.


Ala-Carte Prices for Lenses


For lenses, expect to fork out about $140 and above for basic lenses by the major premium brands (the Big 3 - your Crizal, Hoya, Zeiss). These lenses can run up to well over $1000 depending on the lens type and features.


As a general rule, 'stock lenses' which are pre-made and are more commonly used tend to be cheaper, while 'rx lenses' which are made-to-order are more expensive. 'Rx lenses' are there to meet all you folks who have high astigmatism or degree, or expect some additional features, say if you want the lenses to be compensated for the specific frame and wearing position on your face.


For unbranded lenses, our research has shown the typical price of ala-carte prescriptive lenses in Singapore:

​Multicoated Lenses with UV Protection

​1.50

$40 to $60

1.56

$40 to $60

1.60

$90 to $120

1.67

$150 to $190

1.74

$250 to $380

Prices vary as different businesses have different concepts - some offer a low price for a certain index lens, but have a very limited prescription range, hence the user ends up having to upgrade the index. Some stores may charge the same whether you do just the lenses, or the glasses as a package (i.e. free frame).


We also note that some shops have absurdly low prices, especially for the higher index lenses. Use caution. The prices we have listed are based on what we believe are legit and authentic.


Also check out the article on the thickness of your lenses VS the index. There are many other factors to consider - thickness isn't always just about lens index!


 



1-for-1, Trade-In, Second-Pair Half-Price Promotions


Some optical stores frequently run promotions, or have memberships that can you can sign up for, in order to get a better price. In this case, you would have to monitor the on-going sale mechanics to score the best deal and avoid buying it when prices are high. Also note the terms and conditions that have to be fulfilled for the promotion, and any minimum spending required.


 

Prescription Ranges and Higher Powers or High Astigmatism Lenses


For package glasses, most good shops would keep a range of about +400 to -600. This means 400 degrees of hyperopia/presbyopia and 600 degrees of myopia. Astigmatism would be -200 and under.


For the cheaper price points, the range is usually smaller, e.g. +200 to -400, with additional top-up required if you fall outside the range.


For Otago Optical, as at this writing, we keep a range of +400 to -800, astigmatism up to 200. This covers the large majority of spectacle wearers we see.


High astigmatism, i.e. above 200 degrees, will usually cost more, as they are not typically kept in stock, and the store would either have to order from a lab that keeps stock, or have it made-to-order. These also usually take more time - which is why if you have a higher astigmatism, it's best to have a spare pair of glasses.


High astigmatism lenses can cost as little as $30 more, or up to $100 and more, depending on the specifics of lenses you are ordering, i.e. are they high-index, do you need photochromic function, etc.




 

How much do progressive lenses cost in Singapore?


$200 to $2000, depending on the specific requirements and features the lenses offer.


While there are lenses going for under $100, those are rare. There are stock progressive lenses that are pre-made with common prescriptions, and are simply cut to fit the frame - just like how we can cut single vision lenses on the spot so customers are able to collect their glasses within a short period of time. Some of these stock progressive lenses do not come with astigmatism, and they have limited parameters. Of course, these are not customisable.


A decent pair of progressive lenses should cost about $200 and up. This should include the multicoating, which gives you the anti-reflective (AR) coating as well as the ultra-violet (UV) blocking feature.



Branded lenses typically start from $350 for the budget range, all the way up to $2000 for the most individualised range with add-ons.


The final price depends on:

- what index, i.e. how thin you want the lenses to be, if you have a higher prescription

- what functions you want, e.g. photochromic, blue/violet light blocking

- the design of the lenses - think wider corridor or usable space with less distortion

- how personalised the lenses are to your needs

- if the lenses are branded


Since most good progressive lenses are made-to-order, high astigmatism isn't an issue, i.e. typically shops do not charge extra for it. However, expect to pay more for high-index lenses if your prescription is higher, and also any fancy add-ons like blue or violet light blocking, photochromic (photosensitive) function, and so on.


There can be quite a significant difference between unbranded and branded lenses here. Fast-retailing and newer 'package pricing' stores tend to have an add-on price for functions like photochromic or violet light blocking, which is about $100 or so, while for branded lenses some these additional functions can cost an additional $200 or more. The price premium could be worth it in some cases, which depends on your expectations, and also as some brands are well-known for certain functions or features.


Office lenses work similar to progressive lenses, but additional inputs are done in order to customise the prescriptions and usage areas, in order to make it individualised for the wearer's workspace. For instance, office lenses can be made to work for both near objects at 35cm at the downward gaze, and up to 1metre in the straight gaze which would make it suitable for desktop computer work as well. These usually cost about the same as a progressive lens, or sometimes a little more, due to the additional time it takes to personalise the lenses for the wearer.


The important thing to note for progressives is: There is no one-size-fits-all. It requires a good balance between your expectations and needs in terms of your lifestyle and visual requirements, your budget, while also considering other factors like the frame type, if you have other glasses (e.g. single vision reading glasses), and so on.



 


Hola! You've come to the end of this article. Come visit our optical shop at South Bridge Road, or click on one of the buttons below to explore further:



P.S. We are just a minute walk from Maxwell MRT Station.

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