Almost three years ago, I took my first shot at online glasses shopping and bought a pair of Warby Parker Linwood glasses. I loved the process (more on that in a minute) and I loved my glasses. However, when it was time to get a new pair, I knew I wouldn’t go back to WP for one main reason — the freaking smudging. Let’s be real here — a complete pair of Warby Parker glasses costs $95. That HAS to come with some trade offs. In this case (somewhat confirmed by a conversation with some eye care professionals), I believe that payoff comes in the form of lower quality lenses. I can’t be mad based on the price I paid, and I honestly would still recommend Warby Parker to someone looking for attractive glasses at a low price point, but I just decided it was time for me to upgrade.
Enter David Kind. I found out about the company via a PR pitch (though I didn’t get free glasses or compensation of any sort to write this post) and was excited to see another company with a similar model but a higher quality product. Here’s a breakdown of a comparison between the companies from my perspective.
Nearly identical. Both offer free at-home try-on experiences, where you choose styles to be sent for you to try on (with non-prescription lenses, of course). From there you decide which ones work for you and place your order (or not — there’s no obligation). David Kind has a more robust process to build a style profile, and their specialists add a couple of styles to your try-on box. I ended up getting a style that was one of my own choices, the Otto, but I do like the idea of getting suggestions I might not have otherwise considered.
Oh, and I have to mention that David Kind’s try-on box opens up to reveal a big mirror inside, which is great — especially if you’re like me and carried it around to show off to all of my girlfriends at work, most of whom wanted to try them on themselves.
With both companies, you email them your prescription information so the glasses can be made for you. Easy peasy.
Warby Parker definitely has more options at this point, but I think their aesthetics are pretty similar. Lots of tortoiseshell and slightly hipster styles. I could easily have found multiple frames from each site that would have worked for me.
Style is the #1 reason that I’ve taken to online glasses shopping. Before I made this purchase, I did EXTENSIVE browsing at a number of brick and mortar stores that sell glasses and I can honestly say I didn’t find a single pair of frames that I loved. I don’t know what it is, but online shops seem to have much more contemporary styles.
My Warby Parkers held up really well for three years — three years during which I’ve worn them every single day and had kids trying to yank them off of my head and/or eat them. This is not anything to sniff at. That said, the previously mentioned smudging issue got to be EXTREMELY annoying. So far I haven’t had that issue with my David Kinds, and hopefully it will stay that way.
The David Kind frames are VERY lightweight, which is nice, but does make me a little bit nervous about their durability. I’ll update this post if I end up having any issues.
Warby Parker glasses are typically $95 for the frame and lenses–more if you need progressives. David Kind glasses are $295 for frame and lenses–again, progressives are more expensive. For that price you get higher quality lenses (interesting details on that in this Forbes article) and frames that are handcrafted in Italy.
At the end of the day, I’m a fan of online glasses shopping. I haven’t had my new glasses for long enough to make a completely fair assessment, but so far, I’m really happy with my decision to give David Kind a shot.
If anyone has David Kind glasses, I’d love to hear about your experience and particularly how they’ve held up!