The Best Cheap Reading Glasses You Can Buy In The UK

For some of us, reading glasses are a necessity. However, when purchased from an optician’s, they are also eye-wateringly expensive! Buying your reading glasses online or from a high-street shop are convenient and affordable alternatives. Here’s our comprehensive guide to the best cheap reading glasses available in the UK.  

Fantastic value and excellent quality – a guide to the best reading glasses UK retailers sell

The Reading Glasses Company – a durable and attractive 2 pack

If you want to buy reading glasses that have consistently great reviews, then try these! They are great value and so stylish. We love this two pack of cheap reading glasses for men and women. The style is a classic, they are light weight and they come in lots of different levels of magnification. 

Kerecsen 5 pack of colourful easy reader glasses

Amazon reading glasses don’t come much better value than this! The shape is flattering and the five different colours in the pack mean you can match your eye ware with your outfit. Even better, there’s a 90-day money back guarantee so if you pick the wrong magnification it’s super easy to swop. 

CGID reading glasses to go – handheld and feather light

Simply fantastic! These easy readers glasses are so small, thin and light that they can be kept in your pocket, wallet or handbag. If occasional help with your eyesight is all you need then we’ve found the perfect solution. 

The unisex shape and different colours in the pack make them suitable as both women or men’s reading glasses. They are available in five strengths and come with a handy cord strap and cleaning cloth.

UV Reader’s glasses – a timeless tortoiseshell design

If you want your reading glasses cheap but still expect quality, then we recommend this pair. Tortoiseshell will suit everyone and the shape of these will look lovely on all kinds of face. 

We like the fact that there is a little more weight to these than other cheap men’s reading glasses UK shops and websites sell. They feel robust and the arms are spring loaded, so they’ll stand a lot of wear and tear!

Buying prescription and non-prescription reading glasses – what you need to know 

Taking an eye test 

  • At an optician, an eye test will cost approximately £25-£30. 
  • The optician is legally required to provide you with your prescription and there will be no obligation to buy frames and/or lens from them. 
  • Do a little research and find half price eye test deals. 
  • Go on the NHS website, it’s possible that you may be eligible for free eye tests. 
  • Make the effort to have a professional check your eyes at least every two years as your prescription will change over time. 

Your prescription 

This is the information you will need when buying prescription reading glasses:

  • Cylinder – the shape of your eye
  • Sphere – the lens strength you need
  • Long or short sighted – a + means you are long sighted and a – means you are short-sighted
  • Axis – this shows where the lens should be positioned 
  • Pupillary distance – this is the distance between your pupils and is not always included on a prescription. You can, however, work it out for yourself. Try You Tube for guidance. 

The level of magnification 

Even if you’re buying non-prescription reading glasses, they should still make your vision crystal clear and to achieve that it’s vital that you pick the right level of magnification. 

Non-prescription reading specs have different levels of optical power and that is represented by a number. Usually this will go up in 0.5 increments to around 3.5. 

You’ll need to experiment with different levels of magnification to discover if you need 1.50 reading glasses or some that are more powerful. 

Style and fit

If you buy reading glasses online UK customers will be familiar with the ‘Help Me Choose’ features on most websites. 

Your individual colouring and face shape (round, heart-shaped or square) will all have an impact on the glasses that suit you best. 

Personal style is important too! Black reading glasses with a cat’s eye will look stunning on a lady who loves a 50’s retro look. 

Helpful styling tools:

  • Uploading your picture to ‘try on’ glasses is a fun way to choose. 
  • Pick a site that allows customers to have a free trial of the glasses they are unsure about. 
  • If you’re buying from Amazon or eBay, make sure there is a generous money back guarantee. 

On reliable sites you will find plenty of advice on how to buy the right size of glasses but here’s a few helpful tips from us. 

  • Look at the arm of an existing pair of glasses you find comfortable to wear. The numbers you will hopefully find indicate your correct size of lens and bridge. 
  • Try some on in a shop. The staff in an optician will be happy to let you browse especially if you have just had your eyes tested with them. 
  • Glasses can be adjusted slightly at home, head to You Tube for guidance and be gentle! 


The cheap reading glasses UK shops sell will never be investment accessories but there are loads of reasons why they are a great idea!

  • Fab as a spare or emergency pair – keep some in the car, bedroom, at work and in your handbag. 
  • If you’re clumsy or prone to losing things, then spending £100 on designer frames is a bad plan. 
  • A pair to look stylish with every kind of outfit, from dinner with the girls to a business meeting.

Where to buy reading glasses 

If you Google reading glasses for men and women, you’ll be presented with a huge array of websites. Similarly, there are more and more shops where you can find reading glasses for sale, from Tesco to Primark. 

Buy reading glasses online – save money

Buying cheap reading glasses online is the ideal solution for busy people who already know the level of magnification they need. Once you have received an eye test result, head to trusted websites such as Glasses Direct to purchase reading spectacles at a fraction of the optician’s price. 

Why are online retailers so much more cost effective? You’re not paying for the expensive equipment that opticians need. They also have much more scope to bulk buy frames and will pass on that discount to you. 

Designer over the counter reading glasses 

Online reading glasses are super convenient but if style and fit are an important consideration then trying on ready-made reading glasses in a high street store is a sensible idea. Just pop in, check out which styles suit you and take a note of the model to search out online when you get home. 

From a reading glass stand 

The non-prescription reading glasses UK supermarkets and fashion shops are now selling can be as cheap as a £1!

These bargains are best for occasional use and won’t last being sat on. However, we really do adore the Primark black frames that come complete with a tiny LED light on the arm. Amazing for close work like needle craft or knitting! 

Prescription glasses for reading – why this might still be the best option 

Ready specs are a wonderful money saving purchase, but they aren’t suitable for everyone. 

  • Non-prescription glasses based on optical strength are best for simple short sightedness. 
  • If you have complicated needs, prescription glasses will be safest. Make sure you accurately all the information you receive after your eye test. 
  • If you need bi or vari-focals then expect to pay more, even on the cheapest deal sites. 
  • Stay aware of the dangers of ordering the wrong reading glasses and scrutinise the returns and guarantee policies. 

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