Last-Minute Solar Eclipse Glasses: Here’s How to Find a Pair

It’s essential to wear a proper pair of eclipse glasses, or a box pinhole projector for indirect viewing, if you’ll be viewing the skies during the solar eclipse today. Except for the brief period of total darkness or totality, looking at any portion of the sun or partial eclipse can cause damage to your eyes.  

Warby Parker, the popular prescription glasses shop, was making it a little easier by offering free solar eclipse glasses at its stores. However, the company is now out of stock, according to an automated message on Warby Parker’s customer service line, and information from a company representative provided to CNET Sunday evening. (If you don’t want to take my word for it, you can try calling your local Warby Parker store using this store-locator map.)

We’re down to the wire. But if you’re searching last-last minute, below are a couple more ways to snag a pair of glasses that come from the American Astronomical Society’s preapproved list of sellers that make legitimate (i.e. safe) eclipse glasses. 

If you bought your glasses from a store or source outside the list of safe sellers, it’s an extra-good idea to test your glasses before the eclipse to make sure they’re the real deal, especially amid recent reports of recalls of eclipse glasses. 

Read more: Are Your Solar Eclipse Glasses Safe to Use, or Fake? Here’s How to Find Out

Where else to look for free glasses (or buy some last minute)

A good option for finding free solar eclipse glasses is to visit your local library to see if it’s offering any. The AAS has a map of libraries offering certified glasses. Or, you can give your library a call. 

If you’re out of free options, there are some chain stores, restaurants and convenience stores selling certified solar eclipse glasses, according to the AAS, although whether they carry them will depend on the individual location. 

The following stores sell certified glasses in-shop, as identified by the AAS:  

  • Walmart 
  • Lowes
  • Cracker Barrel 
  • Wegmans
  • Bucc-ee’s 
  • Meijer 
  • H-E-B
  • Menards 
  • Staples
  • Kroger
  • 7 Eleven

If you get to your local Warby Parker store and it’s already run out of eclipse glasses, the company says it also has pinhole projectors on hand. (You can also make your own pinhole projector.) 

Wherever you get your glasses, especially if you buy them from a source that hasn’t been vetted specifically by the AAS, it’s a good idea to give them a test run before the big event. To help you figure it out, the American Academy of Ophthalmology says that while looking through them, no light of “ordinary brightness” should be visible through your eclipse glasses or solar viewer; only the sun or sunlight that’s reflected somewhere. 

For more on solar eclipse eye safety and where to find glasses ahead of time, here’s what an optometrist would like you to know. Also, here’s more information about the path of totality and how to watch the solar eclipse.