Felix and Iris began life as a one-room mom and pop business. You know the story, even Amazon was small once, probably. It managed to carve out a place for itself in the marketplace as well as a place for itself on our list of the best eyeglasses online. Feel more comfortable with a better-known vendor? Check out our reviews for Zenni Optical and Lenscrafters.
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But where other firms trade on their growth and ambition, Felix and Iris seems happy to dwell happily in the corner of Greenwood, Indiana it calls home, with its ‘people matter most’ philosophy and super-wholesome team-bonding-weekend photo on their webpage.
The site looks a little dated, but the experience of buying your glasses is a fairly slick and a simple job. Where some sites trip you up with the technicalities of your prescription, Felix and Iris has a range of options that make it relatively easy. The small range looks good, if not as cutting edge as it could be. For technophobes and those who don’t need the most cutting of edges Felix and Iris is a great choice.
Felix and Iris review: How it works
- Super simple to use
- Can give doctor details for prescription
Felix and Iris: Key Figures
Year founded: 2014
Pricing starts: $119
Delivery time: 4-7 business days
Despite being a fairly well-tuned and easy-to-use website, Felix and Iris has a distinct whiff of 1998 about it. The color scheme, the font, the graphics all look like you’re browsing for a new Filofax or ‘print-it-yourself’ business cards. The slightly old-fashioned edge continues into their range of frames, which all look good, but are definitely slanted towards the more mature end of the market.
They’re proud of their heritage as a couple-founded family business, and still refer to their growing team as ‘family’. They’re US based (operating out of Greenwood, Indiana). In the time of faceless internet giants, if this is all a clever ploy, it’s a welcome one.
Despite feeling like an outdated, Web 1.0 sort of site, Felix and Iris has a few aces up its sleeve in terms of buyer experience. The whole process of choosing frames, choosing lenses and checking out is one of the easiest we tested. Particularly the thought put into getting your prescription details is clever and simple.
If you want nothing to do with it, just give them your doctor’s details and let them talk to each other instead. A little thing, but maybe that’s the old-fashioned customer service they talk about. Of course, the reduced range and simplified website help to make the process quick and easy, but at the cost of some of the options available on other sites.
Felix and Iris review: Pricing and payment
- From $119
- UV and scratch resistance as standard
Felix and Iris’s pricing structure is another example of its trademark simplicity and transparency. If your lenses are simple you pay $119. Bifocals cost more; readers cost less.
There are the standard range of lens options, tints and protections which all add to the price, but they’re clearly labelled as optional and skipping them takes no time at all.
The site takes Paypal as well as offering a regular secure checkout, again, great for slightly more mature internet users. Felix and Iris is well placed in the middle of the pack as far as pricing goes, not a super-budget company, but definitely not a fly-by-night, gone-tomorrow outfit either.
There are options to pay with FSA or HAS as long as they’re in the form of credit cards payments, which in practice means you pay and then negotiate with your insurer for a refund.
All insurance is dealt with in the same way. There’s a helpful 1-800 number where you can call and be told the same thing: "No, claim it from your insurer". Good old fashioned, useless customer service.
Felix and Iris review: How it works
- Try at home frames
- Online smart sizing
You might not know about it from its site but Felix and Iris does offer a ‘try at home’ service of the kind that Warby Parker made famous. It is there, advertised on the front page, but it’s buried amongst the rows and rows of frames, looking like a two-inch square apology.
It’s not the company’s Unique Selling Point, they’re not shouting it from the rooftops. But it’s nice to see it being offered, even in a quiet and subtle way. If you’re buying something as personal and subjective as eyewear over the internet, the ability to really road test the frames is quickly becoming standard, and expected.
To guide you through its range of frames, Felix and Iris has provided you with a simple and quick quiz. Input your preferences, a little bit about your face shape and size and… your results are ready.
The only trouble with the process was that changing our preferences didn’t seem to radically change our suggested frames, all being a very similar tortoiseshell half-framed number that would have gone brilliantly with our dad’s pipe and slippers. I could select Modern, Classic, or Scholarly, all with no visible change. Disappointing, to say the least.
Should I buy from Felix and Iris?
Pitched unapologetically at the more senior end of the online shopping market, Felix and Iris feels like a modern relic. Its style is down-home, simple and clear. Its range is great, as long as it has what you need.
It puts its family values front and centre, ahead of the mod cons and optional extras that other sites offer. Its shopping experience is quick and painless and prices, while not keen, are a very comfortable idle of the road.
We would recommend Felix and Iris to our grandmas, who would coo at the very modernity of it, then go to the bricks-and-mortar optometrist she’s been using since forever. First choice for technophobes and slipper jockeys.