Visionworks Vs. Pearle Vision: Which Eyewear Retailer Is Best?

When it comes to buying eyeglasses and contacts, two major national retailers often top the list: Visionworks and Pearle Vision. Both offer comprehensive eye exams along with a wide selection of prescription eyewear.

But there are some key differences that may make one a better choice over the other depending on your needs and preferences. This comprehensive guide examines the pros, cons, and key features of Visionworks and Pearle Vision to help you determine the best option for your eye care and eyewear needs.

A Brief Comparison Table

AspectsVisionworksPearle Vision
PricingVery affordable, low prices on exams, frames & lensesHigher prices, especially for designer brands
Frame SelectionBroad selection of brands at all price pointsFocused on Luxottica owned designer brands
Eye ExamsPerformed by licensed optometristsAlso by licensed optometrists
Insurance AcceptedAccepts most major vision insurance plansAccepts most major vision insurance plans
Store ExperienceCan be crowded, busy; staff is fast-pacedMore refined experience but potentially sales-focused
Extra Lens OptionsBasic lenses affordable but upgrades increase costPremium pricing for designer progressives, treatments
Locations700+ stores nationwide500+ locations nationwide
Sales & DiscountsFrequent sales and discount dealsOccasional sales help lower designer brand prices
WarrantyFrame and lens warranty protection1 year warranty coverage on frames & lenses

Overview of Visionworks

Founded in 1984 and headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Visionworks is one of the largest optical retail chains in the United States. Here is some background on the company:

  • Operates over 700 stores across the country.
  • Offers eye exams, eyeglasses, and contact lenses.
  • Features a good selection of budget-friendly and designer brands.
  • Employs optometrists to provide eye exams.
  • Provides in-store labs for same-day glasses services.
  • Accepts most vision insurance plans.
  • Offers frequent sales and discounts.
  • Provides a frame warranty and lens guarantee.

Some of the key pros of shopping at Visionworks include:

Convenience: With hundreds of locations nationwide and weekend/evening hours, it’s easy to visit a Visionworks near you.

Affordability: Visionworks has glasses starting under $50 and routine eye exams from $50. Frequent sales and specials make eyewear even more budget-friendly.

Selection: Choose from a large assortment of eyeglass frames and lens options from various brands. From budget to designer, there’s something for everyone.

Eyecare: Experienced, licensed optometrists provide comprehensive eye health exams to test vision and check for issues.

Quality: Frames and lenses come with a warranty and guarantee for added peace of mind.

However, some downsides to consider include:

  • Stores can be crowded and busy, resulting in long wait times.
  • Staff may seem rushed and provide minimal guidance.
  • Extra lens upgrades and coatings quickly increase costs.
  • Designer brand selection is limited compared to independent eyewear stores.

Overall, Visionworks is ideal for price-conscious consumers who want convenience, affordability, and selection when shopping for eyeglasses or contacts. It’s a solid option for anyone looking for an eye exam and basic prescription eyewear.

Overview of Pearle Vision

Founded in 1961 with over 500 locations across the United States, Pearle Vision is another major national optical retail chain. Here’s some background information on Pearle Vision:

  • Headquartered in Mason, Ohio.
  • Owned by Luxottica, a large eyewear company.
  • Offers eye exams, prescription eyeglasses, and contact lenses.
  • Carries many Luxottica-owned designer brands like Ray-Ban, Oakley, and Coach.
  • Employs optometrists for eye exams.
  • Provides in-store labs for quick glasses servicing.
  • Accepts most vision insurance plans.
  • Runs frequent promotions and sales events.
  • Provides frame and lens warranties.

Some of the biggest advantages of Pearle Vision include:


Selection: As a Luxottica brand, Pearle Vision offers many popular designer frames you won’t find at other chains.

Eyecare: Thorough eye exams performed by optometrists check for prescription needs and eye health.

Convenience: With locations across the country, you can usually find a Pearle Vision nearby.

Quality: Frames and lenses come with a standard 1-year warranty and damage coverage.

However, there are a few potential drawbacks:

  • Pricing is generally higher than other budget retailers.
  • Staff may seem more sales-focused than service-focused.
  • Designer frames selection still limits you to Luxottica brands.
  • Extra coatings and services can add significant cost to basic prescriptions.

Overall, the elegance and designer brands of Pearle Vision appeal to many eyeglass wearers who want quality and style. But the higher prices make it less ideal for bargain hunters.

Direct Comparison of Visionworks Vs. Pearle Vision

Now let’s directly compare the key factors you should consider when deciding between Visionworks and Pearle Vision:

Pricing and Cost

  • Visionworks: Very affordable pricing, with eye exams starting at $50 and frames under $50. Frequent discounts and bundle deals help you save more.
  • Pearle Vision: Higher average prices, but occasional sales help offset the cost of designer brands. Expect to spend more for exams, frames, and lenses.

Verdict: Visionworks has better everyday low prices, while Pearle Vision offers more luxurious designer brands at premium prices.

Selection and Brands

  • Visionworks: Offers a wide range of brands from budget to designer names like Coach, Nike, and Ray-Ban.
  • Pearle Vision: Heavy focus on Luxottica brands like Ray-Ban, Oakley, and many proprietary brands. Less variety beyond designer names.

Verdict: Visionworks has greater diversity among different brands and price points. Pearle Vision concentrates more narrowly on elegant designer brands.

Read more: Comparison Between Warby Parker And GlassesUSA.

Eye Exam Quality

  • Visionworks: Provides essential eye health exams by licensed optometrists focused on assessing your vision needs.
  • Pearle Vision: Thorough eye exams by optometrists inspect vision while also checking for eye health issues.

Verdict: Both chains have licensed optometrists that perform comprehensive eye exams to test vision and screen for ocular diseases. Exam quality is comparable.

In-Store Experience

  • Visionworks: Stores can be crowded and busy, so you may need patience during visits. Staff is helpful but quick.
  • Pearle Vision: More refined experience focused on service, but some patrons report overly sales-focused staff. Long waits can still occur.

Verdict: At both chains, weekend crowds are common. Visionworks prioritizes value and speed, while Pearle Vision promotes service and designer eyewear.

Extra Lens Options

  • Visionworks: Basic plastic lenses are affordable, but add-ons like progressives, transitions, thinning, and coatings increase costs quickly.
  • Pearle Vision: Designer progressives, photochromic, and anti-reflective lenses available, but boost already higher prices further.

Verdict: Compared to independent eyewear shops, both chains charge premium add-on pricing for upgraded lens options and coatings.

Insurance Acceptance

  • Visionworks: Accepts most major vision insurance plans including EyeMed, Spectera, VBA, Davis, and many others.
  • Pearle Vision: Also accepts most major vision plans, including EyeMed, VSP Global, Spectera, Davis Vision, and UnitedHealthcare.

Verdict: Both accept the major insurance providers, making them conveniently accessible for those with vision coverage seeking eye exams and eyewear.

Watch the video to learn more!

Additional Pros And Cons of Visionworks Vs. Pearle Vision



  • Budget-friendly pricing on eyeglasses and contacts
  • Frequent discounts and deals to save more
  • Wide range of eyeglass brands and styles
  • Knowledgeable optometrists for eye exams
  • Hundreds of stores nationwide for convenience


  • Busy crowds and long waits
  • Staff is fast but provides minimal guidance
  • Extra coatings and features increase costs
  • Smaller designer brand selection

Pearle Vision


  • Broad selection of elegant designer frames
  • Comprehensive eye exams by optometrists
  • Hundreds of convenient locations
  • Quality lenses with coatings and treatments
  • Warranties on frames and lenses


  • Premium pricing, especially for designer brands
  • Limited mainly to Luxottica-owned brands
  • Sales-focused staff in some locations
  • Additional lens options further increase costs

Read more: Comparison of Zenni And GlassesUSA.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which is better LensCrafters or Visionworks?

Both LensCrafters and Visionworks offer eye exams, prescription glasses, and contacts at hundreds of retail locations nationally. LensCrafters focuses more on higher-end, luxury brands while Visionworks has greater affordability and selection across brands of all price ranges. Visionworks tends to offer lower prices and more frequent sales.

Is Pearle Vision LensCrafters owned by the same company?

Yes, Pearle Vision and LensCrafters are both owned by Luxottica. This shared ownership means the two brands offer many of the same designer frame lines from Ray-Ban, Oakley, Coach and other Luxottica brands. However, LensCrafters positions itself as more high-end and premium, while Pearle Vision appeals to mid-range designer eyewear customers seeking quality and style.

Who are Visionworks competitors?

The main competitors of Visionworks are other major optical retail chains like LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, MyEyeDr, America’s Best, For Eyes Optical, and Cohen’s Fashion Optical. Local independent eye doctors and eyewear boutiques are also competitors. But Visionworks stands out for its broad selection and very affordable pricing.

What if I don’t like my glasses from Visionworks?

Visionworks provides a couple options if you are unsatisfied with your new glasses from them. First, you have 14 days after purchase to return eyeglasses for a different frame or lenses. You can also discuss any frame or lens defects with them to repair or replace items under warranty. And kids prescriptions come with a 2-year replacement guarantee for breakage or defects.

Also Read: Comparison Between OptiContacts And 1-800 Contacts Lens.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to choosing between the major retail chains Visionworks and Pearle Vision, it largely comes down to your priorities. If you want designer brands and excellent service, Pearle Vision is a solid bet.

But if affordability and selection are more vital, then Visionworks is likely the better option for your eyeglasses and contacts.

Both chains make eyewear shopping convenient by offering eye exams, in-store service, and acceptance of major vision insurance.

Key is comparing locations near you, pricing, brands carried, and your eye care preferences. This ensures the best match so you get both quality eyewear and vision care at the most reasonable cost.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.