The 3 best value glasses brands in 2020

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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

Best Value Glasses 2020

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.

Best Value Glasses 2020

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

Best Value Glasses 2020

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.

Best Value Glasses 2020

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

Best Value Glasses 2020

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.

Best Value Glasses 2020
Best Value Glasses 2020

“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.

More To Explore

Read Our Reviews

The Spectacle Factory is rated 5 out of 5.0 stars based on 16 review(s).


Living some 300 miles from The Spectacle Factory visiting was not an option for me, however, after checking all the reviews I decided not only to buy my J.F. Rey frames (seen on an online video by Robert) but also have my Zeiss smart life progressive lenses made by them. I had no worries. After taking advice from Robert the measurements required for the lenses were done locally at a nominal cost. I am now the proud owner of a pair of handmade 'wow' glasses and a very happy new customer. Use them with confidence. The customer service is truely outstanding.

- Alan Astin


Well they you pay for what you get. It’s definitely true of The Spectacle Factory. There customer service is the best I have experienced anywhere. I was not rushed with any decision and I was made to feel like I was there most important customer. What I paid was an eye watering amount but I got smartlife ziess lenses and frames that are very comfortable. I now also have very clear vision when reading. I thought it was not clear due to lighting in modern offices and homes. Wrong it was bad lenses and persecution not being quite right. Thank you for sorting it all out at the first attempt.

- Heath Christy


ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT I have been using the Spectacle Factory for a long time, but the latest visit was the best BY FAR..... I desperately needed an eye test, and was fitted in quickly. James, the optician, was excellent , as usual. 4 members of staff were outstanding in the service I received. Robert, Ben and Emma were absolutely perfect.....and Ruth, the manager was excellent, as she always is. The best visit by far...I cannot rate this place higher !!!

- K Rhys


Welcomed by and dealt with Robert during the whole process of choosing through to final fitting. Great service, great range of glasses, really helpful and informative. I would highly recommend

- Jenny T


After reading all the positive reviews I decided that a 40 minute drive would be worth it to try and get a new prescription and frames- I wear my glasses all day so need to get this right. I was so impressed with everyone’s desire to be helpful and make sure I was happy at every part of my visit. I wasn’t the quickest at choosing new frames but never felt rushed by Robert. He listened and gave helpful advice as we worked through choosing the frames and lenses I needed. They have a huge range of frames which meant I ended up with a pair I was really happy with. I actually chose a pair of prescription sunglasses as well, which I have been meaning to do for years. I loved the combination of cutting edge technology and personalised service. It’s so nice to see a team that places such a priority on customer satisfaction - they certainly deserve 5 stars.

- S McReynolds


Fantastic service! I attended the spectacle factory over a year ago for an eye test. They were amazing, and so patient with me! My Polaroid frame broke recently, so in desperate need called the spectacle factory to order a replacement frame. They were so efficient and helpful. Also my frames were covered under warranty and I didn’t have to pay a penny. AMAZING. Couldn’t recommend them anymore!

- Rebecca F


Friendly service, thanks to Robert who took the time and care to ensure that I was happy with my new glasses. I would definitely recommend.

- Paul Wellman


Visited the Spectacle Factory a couple of weeks ago for the first time. James did my eye test and was very thorough and informative. Chose a pair of glasses afterwards with the help of another member of staff. Great customer service. I have always gone to high street opticians before and never sure what glasses suit me. I was allowed to take my time and offered helpful advice. Love my new glasses which I picked up with the week. I will be returning to the Spectacle factory in the future. Far superior in terms of quality and customer service compared to other opticians I have been too.

- J B


My wife and I both have great glasses (and sunglasses) from The Spectacle Factory. Right from our very first visit we have been very impressed with the highest level of care and attention to detail, both with eye tests and the choice of lenses and frames. They seem to have a flair for helping you to choose the right glasses. Once your order is ready, nothing is too much trouble to ensure that the fit and the suitability of your glasses is perfect for your needs and that you are completely happy. Their ongoing service is second to none. We can highly recommend The Spectacle Factory..

- Geoff Gosling


Came in today for help with some frames, repaired no questions asked, there and then on the spot Brilliant service

- Alex


All the staff are so helpful and switched on to all your requirements I would recommend them all day what a good experience

- Roy gardiner


The Spectacle Factory offer me the kind of customer service and ability to customise my choice of spectacles that just is simply not available on the High Street. From Initial contact, to delivery of the finished product, you are treated like a loyal friend. Nothing is too much trouble. Unbiased advise, on choosing the correct spectacles for your particular application. A vast range of frames from the very cheapest to the latest designer frames. I choose the Spectacle Factory, because they can provide me with, customised glasses, to align with my particular needs and requirements. Most high street opticians have a 'one size fits all' attitude. The Spectacle Factory does not subscribe to this theory and treats every client as an individual. Their eye sight is very comprehensive and is 50% longer than the industry standard. If you value your eyesight, and want the very best care, this is the place to visit.

- Paul van de Rooy


Rob and the team were excellent help with the professionalism and advise . I will become a faithful member of the spectacle factory!! Thanks again team

- Dan Amin



- James


Excellent advice with a fantastic product range,

- Thomas Sayer


Highly recommend The Spectacle Factory - excellent service will definitely be using again.

- Hattie

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