Singapore has one of the highest rates of myopia in the world, with 83 per cent of young adults categorised as myopic. Unsurprisingly, Singapore is often labelled as the ‘Myopia Capital of the World’.
But as any glasses-wearer would attest, spectacles don’t come cheap in Singapore.
That said, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t affordable options here – you just need to know where to look. Below, we have a list of affordable spectacle shops in Singapore where you can get prescription glasses at a bargain. But before we elaborate, here’s a lowdown on basic facts on spectacles and why they are so pricey.
What are the different types of lenses available?
In general, there are five types of lenses that you can choose from. Each of these lenses come at a different cost, ranging from $19 to a few hundred dollars.
|Type Of Lens||Price Factor||Remarks|
|Standard Lens||$19 – $250||–|
|High Index Lens / Anti-Scratch Lens / Anti-Reflective Lens||Same cost as standard lens||Enhanced version of the standard lens (i.e. thinner, anti-scratch, anti-reflective)|
|Anti-Blue Ray / Computer Lens||Standard/High index lens + $100||Blocks out harmful blue rays that are emitted by computer screens|
|Transition Lens||Standard/High index lens + $100||Able to darken when exposed to sunlight, turning lens into sunglass lens.|
|Progressive Lens||Standard/High index lens + $100 onwards||Comes with lens for both long-sightedness and short-sightedness|
Why are some spectacles more expensive than others?
One of the major contributing factors to the cost of your spectacles is the type of lens you choose. The lens is almost as expensive (or more expensive, in most cases) as the spectacle frame itself. If you choose to go for progressive lens, it can easily set you back by at least $300-$400.
The other factor is the quality of your lens. Two lenses that serve the same function (i.e. progressive lens) can be priced differently, depending on the brand. For instance, a pair of lenses from Hoya is easily more than 10 times the cost of a non-brand one that you order from Taobao. In essence, you are paying more for the assurance of quality.
How much can you save compared to traditional optical shops?
These shortlisted optical options can help you save anywhere between 30%-60% compared to a regular optical shop in your neighbourhood.
Where can you buy cheap prescription glasses in Singapore?
Here’s a curated list you’ve been waiting for — 10 optical shops in Singapore that sell cheap prescription glasses.
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Text: Si Jie Lim/Her World and Singsaver.