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How much should you spend for progressives, and why not to go over your budget

Read this before buying progressives, multifocals, varifocal lenses!

Inspired to write this after seeing one too many customers coming in with progressives they've done somewhere at some amazing low price, that turned out to be single vision reading glasses (huh!), or with no knowledge of how to actually use the progressives.

Why you should not spend more than your budget for progressives, and how much you should be spending:


The Market Price

How much do you think progressive lenses should cost? If you've asked around, chances are your family, friends, or colleagues would have given you a widely varying number - from $200 to $2000, with a smaller percentage of folks going below $200, or above $2000.

First things first - be cautious about getting lenses under $200. It's easy to be enticed by low-priced offers - we've seen progressive lenses with frame going for quite a bit under $150, some even under $100, together with various features and claims - but you've gotta look at the bigger picture and be realistic.

We like to tell new progressive wearers that they should budget 200 plus to 300 plus bucks for their progressive glasses - at least. This is a good range to work with, for a decent but basic pair of progressives without all the bells and whistles.

Without all the bells and whistles, because not putting in additional features lowers the risk in the event that it doesn't work out for you, and also helps with expectations too -- not going over budget is important, more about this later.

The fast-retailing stores which are known to provide affordable options generally go well above $200 for their progressive options, and in more recent times, the big lens brands have released budget ranges for progressive lenses, but they are still well over $300 - note that these are made to target wearers who just want the most basic stuff.

That should convince you what the reasonable market price is - $200 plus plus and above.


What You Also Pay For

We all know there's a link between price and quality. But besides that;

When you buy a pair of progressive glasses, you are also paying for the practitioner to advise you on how to use it, the pros and cons, and to customise the lenses according to your visual requirements, lifestyle, and habits.

Yes, we earn your money in return for that! Reality of business - we need to pay rent, labour, and everything else right?

Guess what happens when you pay some super low price and the business earns peanuts? Go look at the start of this article on the inspiration for this blog post.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are places you can charge your phone, sip a cup of tea, and choose your frame. Not surprisingly, the customers there pay a premium for the additional service.

So, find a practice that best suits what you want! Here, we like to balance things out, to give you decent stuff at a reasonable price, in a simple setting. Therefore, no el cheapo single-vision "progressives", and no free-range truffle-infused gold-foil eco-friendly coffee either.



Why is a progressives budget starting from $200+ important?

We have noticed that when people spend over their budget, they tend to have very much higher expectations, some of which cannot be fulfilled by the progressive lenses.

If someone wanted to spend $120 for their progressives, and ended up spending double of that, they would end up expecting a lot from it.

(P.S. the converse can be true too - someone who spent $1000 on their previous progressives may be positively surprised at how well a $300 progressive lens performs, although there can also be wearers that base their experience solely by the money they pay, i.e. $300 must be crap if I used to spend $1000 and above.)

Unfortunately, there's nothing very 'wow' about getting progressives and the lens can't go the extra mile for you just because you've paid 100% more than what you intended to spend. It cannot magically adjust the power to whatever you're seeing, or come with night-vision like some futuristic action movie.

Yeah nah, it's still going to be a pair of lenses that have multiple prescriptions within them, to correct your distant and near vision. That's it - that is what progressive lenses are!

When you overspend, the lenses will not meet your increased expectations. You'll end up an unhappy buyer.


- Have a reasonable budget within the market range (no peanuts),

- Find a store that works within your budget.


Frame Choice

Frame choice is also an important factor. When your budget is very limited, you also limit yourself to a smaller range of suitable frames, which, after choosing the styles that you like, you may end up with less-than-ideal frames.

The ideal frame should be lightweight, comfortable, come with nosepads if you have a less-prominent nosebridge, that is suitably large in size from top to bottom, not excessively curved, and provide a reasonably snug fit. Since you'll likely be using the pair of progressive glasses all day, we also prefer it to be durable.

We sometimes also take into consideration your existing pair of glasses - for instance if you are used to wearing thinner, minimalist metal frames, then using a thick plastic frame might give a very much different feel, potentially making it more difficult to adapt to the progressives which is also something new and different.


Set a reasonable budget, know what you're looking for, and you'll be a happy buyer.

Now you know a little more, go check out our Shop, or read more interesting articles in our Blog.


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