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The $50 Meta Quest 3 accessory that I can't live without (and how to get it for free)

Forget the extra charging packs and colorful head straps, these VR prescription lenses from Zenni are literally game-changing. And they're on sale right now.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor
Quest 3 lenses
Kerry Wan/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The Zenni VR Prescription Lenses are an affordable, simple, and effective way to improve your Quest 3 experience.
  • They can be prescribed with a Sphere (SPH) range of -9.00 to +6.00 and a Cylinder (CYL) range of -4.00 to +4.00.
  • You'll have to wait about a week for delivery, but that's relatively fast for a custom-made product.

I've been spending more and more time on the Meta Quest 3. Maybe it's the discovery of Headspace's new meditation app, maybe it's the headset just being a fantastic vessel for immersive entertainment, or maybe it's the fact that since installing a pair of prescription lenses, I've finally been able to comfortably wear a VR headset without my glasses getting in the way.

Also: Meta Quest 3 vs. Apple Vision Pro: How accurate was Zuckerberg's review?

It's probably a bit of everything, but I'm going to give the Zenni prescription lenses its flowers. Because even if they didn't cost just $50 (plus 15% off when you use the code 'SPRING24CNET'), these glasses-replacements are easily my new "must-have" accessory for the Quest 3; that's how revolutionary they are for me. And if there really are more than 166 million people in the US who wear prescriptions of some sort, then I would be remiss not to share this piece of product recommendation with the rest of the world.

View at Zenni Optical

You can think of VR prescription lenses as built-in glasses, corrective lenses that give you a clearer view of the virtual world. They've been around for years, but only the most enthusiastic of VR users saw value in investing in a pair (and actually knew they existed.) In 2024, headsets like the Meta Quest 2 and Quest 3 are more popular and widely accepted. That was clear during the most recent holiday shopping season when both headsets outsold Apple's AirPods, the previous e-commerce champion.

So, why Zenni prescription lenses? For one, they're certified to fit with the Meta Quest 3. Installation is as simple as snapping on the frames to the outer rim of the headset's pancake lenses, almost like stacking a Lego brick. The box comes with a carrying case -- which came in handy when I recently hosted a house party and passed the headset around for friends and relatives to try -- and a microfiber cloth for cleaning.

Zenni Prescription Lenses for Meta Quest 3\

The lenses come with a capsule-shaped carrying case.

Kerry Wan/ZDNET

To my surprise, I haven't found myself cleaning the lenses all that often since they come with anti-scratch, anti-reflective, and water-resistant coatings. It's been about five months since I've used the Zenni lenses, and my usage mainly revolves around Beat Saber, Eleven Table Tennis, and, more recently, Asgard's Wrath 2. Here's to hoping the coating is just as effective by the end of the year.

Also: Prescription lens inserts for VR headsets: How to get a clearer look at the metaverse

I'm also a fan of how seamless the ordering process is. Once you input your prescription details and place the order, shipping takes about a week, which is relatively fast during this time of the year. The Zenni lenses can be prescribed with a Sphere (SPH) range of -9.00 to +6.00 and a Cylinder (CYL) range of -4.00 to +4.00. That's more than applicable to most users with far and near-sightedness, but still worth noting.

ZDNET's buying advice

So, whether you bought a Meta Quest 3 for yourself or were recently gifted one, and normally rely on prescription glasses, do yourself a favor and put this $50 add-on at the top of your accessory list. Since using the Zenni lenses, I've found it very difficult to wear other VR headsets with my glasses on -- remember, these are only fitted for the Quest 3 model and nothing else; the discomfort is immediately noticeable.

I'll leave you with one more piece of buying advice: Check with your vision insurance to see if it'll cover the cost of the lenses. Some will and some won't, but there's a chance that you may be able to expense the Zenni lenses without spending a dime.

And if you don't need prescriptions at all but want the anti-fog/oil-resistant benefits of VR lenses, Zenni has discounted those options down to $30 at the time of writing.

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