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The 3 best value glasses brands in 2020

With the economic uncertainty surrounding the global Coronavirus pandemic, people are understandably looking to be more careful with their money. Whilst glasses are important, it’s possible to get great quality eyewear without paying over the odds. In this blog, I’m going to explore three of the best quality – but affordable – glasses brands available in 2020.

Robert Sands has worked in the design, manufacture, sale and maintenance of glasses for the last 10 years. Author of ‘A definitive guide to choosing your perfect glasses’, Robert advises clients on how to find eyewear which reflects their personality.

#1 – Eco Eyewear

There are so many positives to Eco Eyewear frames. As the name suggests, Eco is probably the most environmentally friendly range of glasses on the planet. They are made from bio-based plastic and recycled metal, which makes them significantly greener than the average pair of glasses, It also saves costs in manufacturing.

One of the things our clients like best about Eco frames is that each model (and there are many, many styles and colours to choose from) comes with its own magnetic sun-clip. This means you can have prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses in one, which is both convenient and cost-effective. Sun clips are currently making a resurgence, and will be a running theme of this blog.

Speaking of cost-effective, all Eco frames are £119.95, which is a great price for what are very stylish and reasonably well-made glasses with a great mission and brand behind them. Further proof of this is that Eco Eyewear won the 2020 iF Gold award for design. Learn more at

#2 – Anglo American Optical

One of my personal favourite eyewear brands, Anglo American make vintage styles in premium materials at half the price of other comparable brands. Anglo American have been designing and making glasses in England since 1882.

Anglo American frames have been worn by many celebrities, inluding Gregory Peck in “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Christopher Reeves in “Superman”, Diane Keaton in “Annie Hall”, Barry Humphries, Dame Edna, Woody Allen and Elton John. You can read more about the company’s history here.

Some of the frames within the collection come with their own custom sun clip, and whilst they aren’t as easy to attach or remove as their magnetic Eco Eyewear counterparts, their more antiquated design is definitely more suited to the vintage aesthetic.

For what you get – traditionally made acetate frames with quality, durable hinges in tried and tested vintage shapes – the retail price of £159.95 represents excellent value for money, especially when comparable brands like Moscot and Oliver Peoples are considerably more expensive.

#3 – Safilo

Safilo, the Italian company responsible for manufacturing glasses for huge designer brands like Dior, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Jimmy Choo and more, has created their own signature eyewear range utilising all their knowledge and experience. What makes Safilo’s signature frames special is that they are every bit as premium as the ‘designer’ frames they make, except you aren’t paying for a name.

It might seem strange when I say that the most expensive collection on this list is also the best value for money. Indeed, £249 may sound quite pricey. But when you consider that Safilo frames should last many years longer than most other spectacles on the market, they start to become a great investment.

“Safilo’s innovative double springs system takes the performance of flex hinges to the next level: 200.000 cycles against a market standard of 20- 30.000. In other terms: 15 years of impeccable performance. An enduring engine for a timeless eyewear collection.”

Safilo have created a range of frames where almost every component is serviceable and, if necessary, replaceable. Each pair is manufactured by hand in Italy and again, some models come with a sun clip.


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