What To Do With Old Prescription Glasses (And What NOT To Do!)


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Decluttering? Here’s what to do with old prescription glasses – the best options available for you when getting rid of them – and what you should never do.

What To Do With Old Prescription Glasses (And What NOT To Do!)

How Long Should You Keep Prescription Glasses For?

The average lifespan of a pair of prescription glasses is between 1 and 3 years – dependant on the quality of the frames, how well they’re looked after, and your actual prescription.

With people having annual eye tests, it’s quite common for your prescription to change regularly – and then your current glasses becoming redundant unfortunately.

I found it amazing last time my prescription changed as a result of my eye exam, that it was cheaper to get a brand new pair than just swapping out the glass in their existing (totally OK) frame.

This seems such a waste, but as with most people – the lesser cost won.

Reasons You May Want To Get Rid Of Your Glasses

There are a few reasons you may want to let go of your glasses, and some here that you may not have considered:

  • Your style has changed – so you want a new pair.
  • Your eye prescription has changed – so you need a new pair.
  • You don’t use them anymore (maybe they’re an old prescription).
  • They’re broken and can’t be mended, or are more expensive to mend than to replace.
  • You have more than you need.

As you can see, these reasons could mean that your glasses are in good working order, or not so much.

The condition of them will determine your options for letting them go, to some extent.

4 Options For What To Do With An Old Pair Of Prescription Glasses – That Are Still In Good Condition

Sell Your Prescription Glasses

If you’re looking to make some money from your old glasses, selling them online is a great option.

There are several websites where you can sell your old glasses, such as eBay or Preloved – but there are a few things to consider if you do this:

#1 – Clean them thoroughly and inspect them for any scratches or damage.

#2 – Take clear photos of your glasses from different angles to show potential buyers what they’re getting.

#3 – When pricing your glasses, keep in mind that you’re selling used items. Don’t expect to get the same price you paid for them when they were new. Research the prices of similar glasses online to get an idea of what they’re worth.

#4 – Be honest about the condition of your glasses in your listing. If they have any scratches or defects, mention them in the description. This will help you avoid any disputes with buyers who receive damaged items.

Lastly, when you sell your glasses, make sure to package them securely to prevent any damage during shipping. Use bubble wrap or other protective materials to keep them safe, and of course, try and keep in the glasses case whenever possible.

Donate Your Glasses

If you have old prescription glasses that you don’t use anymore, you can give them away to someone in need.

There are many organisations that accept a donation of old glasses and distribute them to people who cannot afford new ones, which is a great way to give back to your community and help those who are less fortunate.

One easy place to try is your local charity shop – just drop in and see if they can take them from you.

TIP: You can also include the original case and any cleaning supplies you have to help the recipient take care of their new donated glasses.

Give Away / Gift Your Glasses

If you know your prescription then it may be possible to give away your unwanted glasses to someone else with the same prescription as you.

It may be worth asking around, or even adding a post on your Facebook profile to see if your friends need new glasses / eyewear, or know of anyone else who does.

Keep Them!

Yes, I know you’re here because you want to let your glasses go – but bear with me!

What if you lose your new glasses?

If you have to go without glasses while you get new ones made, then having an emergency pair may come in very handy.

As such, if your old glasses are still the right prescription, it may be worth hanging on to them just for a little while longer at least.

Just a thought!

3 pairs of reading glasses on white background

The Best Option For What To Do With An Old Pair Of Glasses – In Bad Condition


Recycling your old glasses is definitely the best way to reduce waste and help the environment.

Many opticians stores and charity organisations accept old glasses for recycling – just check your local area for options.

These organisations will either refurbish the glasses for reuse or break them down for recycling.

By recycling your old glasses, you’re helping to reduce waste and conserve resources – all great things, right!.

Why You Should Never Throw Away Old Prescription Glasses

Throwing away old prescription glasses can have a hugely negative impact on the environment.

By throwing away old glasses, you’re contributing to the growing problem of waste in landfills.

You see, glasses are typically made of plastic or glass which can take hundreds of years to decompose in a landfill – wasting a huge amount of unnecessary space while doing so.

And, when plastic breaks down, it releases harmful chemicals into the soil and water which can harm plants and animals.

What To Do With Old Prescription Glasses (And What NOT To Do!)

And that’s it! These are all of the different ways to decide on what to do with old prescription glasses that you can think about when you need to let yours go.

Just remember to always be as safe and environmentally conscious as you possibly can be with whichever option you choose.

Read Next: What To Do With Old VHS Tapes [Everything You Need To Know]


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This article was written by Chrissy

Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...


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