Our quick ordering guide is below. You can click on the 3 red tabs to expand them, or scroll down for further information. If you're still stuck on anything after reading the information here, feel free to get in touch with us by clicking here.

Ordering glasses may seem daunting if you've never done it before, but it's actually simpler than you think!

1. Get your prescription

If you've had your eyes tested in the last two years, you can ask your optician for a copy of your prescription. They are legally required to give you this, and a lot of people don't realise that you are under no obligation to buy glasses from your optician just because they tested your eyes!

2. Pick a frame from our vast online range

Have a browse of our glasses and find a frame you like. All our frame prices include Optimax single-vision lenses as standard, so not only are our prices vastly cheaper than the High Street, but there are no hidden costs!

3. Choose your lenses

On the product page for the frame you've chosen, you'll see a drop-down box for "Vision Type" - This is where you choose if you want distance, reading or other lenses. Underneath you'll see "Lens Type" and "Lens Extras" which is where you choose any lens extras you'd like. To find out more about our lenses, click the tab below that says "Lens Types and Extras".

4. Upload or Input your Prescription

There is also a facility on the product page to upload a photograph of your prescription. If you're confident in your prescription-reading abilities, you can alternatively input your prescription manually by clicking "Add to Basket" and entering your prescription manually in your basket. If you're still not sure, leave all prescription fields blank, place your order and then email sales@directspecs.co.uk with a copy of your prescription and we'll be happy to decipher the details for you!

5. Sit Back, Relax and Receive your New Glasses at Home or Work

Glasses can take 7-10 days to turnaround. We often work much quicker than this, but as it depends on multiple factors such as lens coatings you've chosen; we say to allow 7-10 days to be safe.

Lens Types

These are standard lenses, glazed and polished straight from the factory.

These lenses are ideal for higher prescriptions but they can also be beneficial when you want a semi-rimless or thin frame for aesthetic reasons. These thinner lenses also come with FREE anti-reflection as standard.

These are lenses that react to UV light and darken automatically to protect your eyes. We offer these lenses in 3 colours, Grey, Graphite Green and Brown.

We offer tints in two different colours and in two different shades. Brown and Grey, 15% (light) and 85% (dark). So for example, you can have 15% Light Grey, 85% Dark Brown, etc.

These are lenses that include both distance and reading prescriptions in one lens. They are more complex than single-vision lenses, and not all frames are suitable for varifocals so we keep them in a separate category on our website. To see our frames suitable for varifocals, please click here.

Lens Extras

This coating adds a layer of protection against scratches from keys, coins, fingernails, etc. Please note that it doesn't make lenses 100% "scratch-proof", so you'll still need to take good care of your specs, but it does make the surface much more resilient.

Reduces "glare" by improving the amount of light that enters the eye. Normal uncoated lenses only let in around 92% of light, but lenses with an AR coating let in up to 99.5% of light; increasing overall vision quality, especially at night.

Our Super-Clear coating combines both the anti-scratch and the anti-reflection along with an added grease and water repellent surface, which gives you the ultimate tough lens coating.

This lens coating is perfect for those who suffer with tired eyes from looking at a screen, however please note that this coating isn't available on Thin 1.6, Tinted or Transitions lenses.

Frame Sizing

Each frame listed on our website includes 3 measurements as standard: lens width, bridge width and arm length. If you have an existing pair of glasses and you'd like one similar, you can use these measurements to find glasses that are the same size. Simply check on the inside arm of your frame and you should see a set of numbers somewhere that look like this: 52☐18 135 - The first number (52) always represents each lens width, the second (18) represents bridge width and the larger number (135) represents the arm length. All measurements are in millimetres.

Uploading Your Glasses Prescription

With single-vision lenses, you can either:

• Upload an image of your prescription on the product page/in your basket, or

• Input the details on your prescription manually once you've added a product to your basket

Even if you are confident that you can decipher the details on your prescription, we would always recommend uploading a photograph of your prescription to check it and lessen the possibility of errors.

If you want to order varifocals, you will need to upload an image of your prescription on the product page BEFORE you add to the basket in order to ensure accuracy.



Reading your Prescription

Whilst all UK eyeglass prescriptions contain the same information, they sometimes are laid out differently depending on which opticians you went to. Below is a small guide on how to decipher your prescription should you want to input it manually:

You can see in the image below that the prescription is split into 'Right' and 'Left', and then for both right and left there are 5 boxes for information. These are Sphere (Sph), Cylinder (Cyl), Axis, Prism and Base. For orders placed online, we are unable to cater to Prisms, so we can ignore those last two boxes for now and focus on the first three. You can also see there are two rows, distance and near. This is essentially your different prescriptions for distance vision (watching TV, driving, etc.) and reading (for close-up work) - Sometimes you might have values in one row and not the other, and sometimes both; but more on that later.

The above image would be entered as a DISTANCE prescription (as there are only values in the distance row)

Right SPH: -1.25

Right CYL: +0.50

Right Axis: 20

Left SPH: -1.50

Left CYL: No CYL

Left Axis: No Axis

As you can see, where there is a line drawn across the Left Cyl and Axis, this is usually deciphered as not applicable; i.e. there is no cylinder or axis value for that particular eye.

PLEASE NOTE: The + and the - symbols on your prescription are vitally important and these must be entered correctly, otherwise it may result in visual problems when you receive your glasses and Direct Specs cannot be held liable for these problems.

Another prescription example is below, that's written out slightly different than that above:

This prescription has both distance AND reading (near) values, so whether you want distance or reading glasses will dictate which values you need to enter into the boxes. If you want distance glasses, it will be entered like this:

Right SPH: -1.25

Right CYL: +0.50

Right Axis: 20

Left SPH: -1.50

Left CYL: No CYL

Left Axis: No Axis

But, if you want reading glasses, it will be entered like this:

Right SPH: +3.00

Right CYL: +0.50

Right Axis: 20

Left SPH: +2.50

Left CYL: No CYL

Left Axis: No Axis


My prescription has an Add/Reading Add/Near Add, what do I do?

If your prescription has "Reading Add", Just "Add" or "Near Add" and a value such as +2.00 then please put this in the "Reading Add" box when inputting your prescription.

There is a symbol on my prescription I don't recognise, what do I do?

If there is an infinity (∞) symbol or the word PLANO written in one of the boxes on your prescription, this means a lens of zero power so please choose "0.00" in that lens.

We know this can get a little complicated, so the best thing to do is upload an image of your prescription and leave us to decipher the details here! That way it reduces the risk of errors as we cannot be held liable where incorrect information has been supplied.


Your PD or 'pupillary distance' is simply the distance in millimetres between the centre of your pupils (the black central area of each eye). It plays a very important role when ordering glasses as if done incorrectly (especially with varifocals and higher prescriptions) it can affect your vision.

Where possible this should be supplied by your optician but you could take this measurement yourself. The easiest way to do so is by having a friend stand facing you at a distance of about 18 inches and, as you look at their nose, have them measure the distance between your pupils. Since your eyes converge when looking at near objects, you will need to modify the measurement by adding 3mm to obtain the correct 'distance vision' PD. For example, if your friend measures your PD as 58mm you will need to specify a PD of 61mm (58 + 3) on any order for 'distance' specs or 58mm for reading glasses.

Your optician may have specified 'monocular PD's' for your right and left eye individually. Simply add the two together to obtain your overall PD. For example, with these monocular PD's, R 31mm and Left 32mm, you would specify 63mm on your order.

Allergy advice

If you have, or suspect you have, an allergy to metal or plastics used in the production of spectacle frames, we recommend taking professional advice in person and buying only non-allergenic frames.