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Rivet and Sway vs. Warby Parker

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Warby Parker vs. Rivet & Sway If you’re blind as a bat like me, then you sort of dread the annual trip to the optometrist. You cross your fingers that things haven’t gotten worse from the hours you’ve spent glaring into a bright screen in low light conditions, but you might also dread the “it’s time to pick out new frames!” fun following all the eye charts. Because then you stare at hundreds of frames, all with crazy price tags in the hundreds of dollars, in search of something that will compliment you at all times of the day. Because, you’re blind as a bat, so these glasses must BE YOU all the time. Cute red frames? Will those match your pink dress you like to wear? Or will plain black or brown wear better? Hopefully there’s an Optician who is lovely and HONEST and will help you navigate the wall that’s staring back at you, but in the end you’ll still have to hand over your credit card and pay a silly amount of money just to navigate from the bed to the bathroom in the morning without maiming a dog or killing yourself. That’s why I decided I’d go a different route this year and dive into the “shop for prescription eyeglasses at home” market! Sure, I’d seen all the cool hip kids try out Warby Parker over the past few years, but I’m really not a hipster who yearns for cool oversize full frame glasses. So when I saw a little ad for a new company, Rivet & Sway, and figured I’d give it a go. And while I was at it, I thought I’d look into Warby Parker as well, so I ordered up try-on packs from both sites and here’s what happened… First up… Rivet & Sway_MG_8140 You select your 5 pairs of frames online and they’re delivered to your house within a week. The frames are all individually packaged in plastic bags and paper boxes, and elegantly delivered in a small box. _MG_8141 Rivet&Swayglasses Rivet & Sway: TOP: (1) CHECKPOINT   , (2) CHARACTER STUDY BOTTOM: (3) JE NE SAIS QUOI  , (4)  FASTER PUSSYCAT, (5) BELLE As for Warby & Parker_MG_8145_MG_8119 _MG_8148   WarbyParker TOP: (1) SEYMOUR in tennessee whiskey, (2) SIMS in striped sassafras , (3) LINWOOD in striped chestnut BOTTOM: (4) WELTY in plum marblewood, (5) NEDWIN in revolver black crystal

And here are the results in Rivet & Sway vs. Warby Parker:


Rivet & Sway

Warby Parker

Presentation & Packaging

Individual boxes & plastic bags

Individual plastic bags

Selection & Variety

Women only; ~40 women’s styles Men & Women; ~ 65 women’s styles
Cost per frame $169 for first, $99 each additional pair $95

Cost for ultra-thin lenses

additional $30

additional $30

Takes Insurance n/a – provides non-itemized receipt n/a – provides non-itemized receipt

Advice in Choosing Glasses

personalized recommendations from stylist before & after

Virtual try-on

# of try-on frames?

5 at a time (no cost)

Warby Parker Home Try-On Program: 5 at a time (no cost)

Presentation & Packaging: Rivet & Sway definitely wins on the “pretty packaging” aspect of your try-on kit that is, if you enjoy Kate Spade New York quirks like I do. There are hints of gold embossing and little quotes hidden here and there. It’s a nice touch, and makes the whole kit seem very upscale. Warby Parker is much more practical, with your frames coming in a nylon case that snaps together. The plastic bags seem a bit worn, and it feels like it’s been handled by quite a few folks along the way. Very reminiscent to renting a camera lens… not bad, but just doesn’t feel special at all. Selection & Variety: If you’re on the hunt for medium sized frames, then Warby Parker is your best bet with 44 different options for women. Rivet & Sway has a few more options in the Narrow & Wide market, and exclusively offers a few petite frames as well, but nothing for the guys.  Cost per frame: Warby Parker is the runaway winner with frames & lenses only costing $95, and an additional $30 for the uber-blind who need ultra-thin lenses. Rivet & Sway is $169 for the first pair, then $99 for each additional pair in the same order. Insurance: No one takes insurance. They also don’t itemize the cost of the frames and the lenses separately, so any insurance reimbursement you can qualify for will be of significantly less value than you could get from a covered Optician’s office. But… you can still buy them and submit for reimbursement of something! Advice in choosing frames: Warby Parker has an “online preview” feature where you can upload a photo and virtually try-on all of the glasses available. Rivet & Sway allows you to upload a photo of yourself, then receive personalized recommendations for up to 5 frames for your to try on. When you get your kit, you then upload a photo of you wearing each pair, and you’ll receive even more refined advice. So who wins out in the end? My slight preference for the frames that Rivet & Sway sent has me leaning towards them for any purchase and away from Warby Parker. And I’m not sure if it’s because I received 5 pairs of glasses that a stylist had selected for me or that I was swayed by the high-end try on kit, but that’s where I’m leaning. Yes, IN SPITE of the difference in price! (Crazy… I know…must be fancy Kim talking here!) But which pair did I like the most?  I’m not sure yet… it’s still up in the air!  And as long as it is, I’ll be blindly wandering around for a bit longer… Maybe you have an opinion you’d like to share?


  • AshleyHami

    Love the top right lenses from Rivet and Sway and bottom right for Warby :)

    I’ve been buying mine contacts and frames online for a while (my script needs updating though!) from – love ’em. Quick, speedy and cheap! They offer brand name frames, but come in a similar packaging as Warby.

  • Kate

    I am in desperate need of new frames. Which my insurance won’t cover since I use insurance for contacts. So this is a great option I need to look into.

  • Mollie

    Between the 2 companies I’d say the Rivet and Sway definitey has a softer more flattering look (dare I say more feminine). Really want to give this a try but would need to get them lens elsewhere as I need progressive lenses.