As 2 of the major high street opticians, people will often either use Vision Express or Specsavers to get a new pair of glasses or for other services related to their vision. Stores belonging to both of these companies can be found in just about every major city, but which is better - Vision Express or Specsavers? We wanted to compare the 2 brands and take a close look at the quality of service and product as well as price and other factors to see which is best. Let's get into it:
What are the similarities and differences between Specsavers and Vision Express?
Although both brands are very similar and are easy to compare, there are some key differences between Specsavers and Vision Express which are worth keeping in mind.
The best way to compare Specsavers and Vision Express is to go through aspects of each brand and compare, let's start with the range of glasses.
Which brand has the best selection of glasses?
We did visit both a Specsavers branch and a Vision Express branch for this guide, and had a good look at what was on offer to compare. But we'll also be comparing the online selection from the 2 brands as well.
In terms of our experience in the Specsavers store, we were really impressed with the amount of glasses available to buy. It included a lot of stylish options for both men and women, as well as a pretty extensive selection of glasses and sunglasses for kids too. We found lots of popular brands for both men and women, including Tommy Hilfiger and HUGO.
The selection on the Specsavers website was also really impressive, with well over 1000 pairs of glasses to choose from, not including sunglasses. The choice was pretty evenly split between genders, with around 500 pairs of glasses for both men and women to choose from. At the time of publishing this guide, there are also 134 pairs of glasses for children to choose from via the Specsavers website.
We definitely felt that at the Vision Express branch we visited, the selection was quite a bit less than what we found at Specsavers, both for men and women. We also found that the section for children was really lacking, especially compared to the choice at our Specsavers (which had an entire section for kids glasses).
However, the selection on the Vision Express website was actually really impressive, with 1111 pairs of glasses listed on the website at the time of publishing this guide. We'd also say that Vision Express was slightly better for really stylish brands - we found lots of premium brands that we didn't find at Specsavers, such as Barbour, Gucci, and Alexander McQueen.
Which brand has the best in-store experience?
If you're not wanting to buy your glasses online then a big part of what might make you choose Specsavers or Vision Express is the in-store experience, so let's compare:
We found that when we visited our local Specsavers, we didn't have anyone come up to us and ask us about what we wanted or offer us any help during our 10 minute visit. This was a little surprising as the store wasn't particularly busy.
However, there is no denying that Specsavers employs qualified optometrists and opticians who can give comprehensive eye examinations and lots of professional advice on eye health.
As soon as we walked into Vision Express, somebody came up to us and asked if we need any assistance. It felt helpful and not intrusive, and we were really impressed with the experience in-store. And that doesn't just seem to be our experience either - if you check the Vision Express Trustpilot profile (which is currently sitting with an 'Excellent' rating), you'll see that lots of the 5 star reviews relate to the in-store experience that people have had.
Which brand has the best prices?
For many people, the key deciding factor between Specsavers and Vision Express will be which is the more expensive of the 2. Generally speaking, Specsavers tends to be quite a bit cheaper than Vision Express on just about everything. For example, when sorting prices for all glasses from low to high on the Specsavers website, we could find a pair of glasses for as little as £15. And it wasn't just 1 pair either - it was 10 different pairs of glasses, all in different styles, and all for just £15 each. Whereas with Vision Express, the cheapest glasses you can find on the website are £25, and the styles available at this price are all quite similar.
On top of this, we definitely notice that Specsavers frequently run promotions and discounts, so you can often buy glasses via their website for even cheaper.
However, what really surprised us was the choice of cheap sunglasses from Vision Express, with prices starting at just £15 for a pair of sunglasses via the Vision Express website. Specsavers were much more expensive than this, with prices for sunglasses starting at £64, and that's for a pair of sunglasses for kids.
Anything else to mention?
Both companies offer eye tests, and it's a very popular service at both Specsavers and Vision Express. The eye test from Specsavers usually costs around £20-25, but at Vision Express it'll cost at least £25. Both eye test services are good, but the slight difference in price might be a deciding factor for you.
So as you can see, there isn't too much to separate Specsavers and Vision Express, but if we had to choose between the 2 then we'd probably give a slight edge to Vision Express, mainly for the in-store experience. You can buy glasses online, but we really think you're best to visit a branch and get expert help when choosing the right pair for you, and in our opinion, Vision Express is the brand with the best in-store experience.
Let us know what you think of these 2 brands and if you have any other thoughts on our comparison!