Best Places to Buy Contact Lenses Online (and Save Money) (2024)

If you wear contacts, then you know how pricey they can be -- even with vision benefits. If you're looking for cheap contact lenses, you likely know that buying them from your eye doctor or local optical shop is not the way to go. More often than not, you'll be paying full retail price for your lenses. Instead, you'll want to buy contact lenses online to get the best deals.

There are many online stores that offer every contact lens brand you can think of, often at discounted prices or with rebates. We've rounded up some of the best places to buy contacts online below. I wouldn't say that any one of them is better than the other, but by shopping around, you can get the most savings and find a store that lets you use your insurance to help offset the cost.

So, ready to ditch the frames and dive in? Here is where you can find contacts at an affordable price.

Best Places to Buy Contact Lenses Online (and Save Money) (1)

Scout by Warby Parker

Warby Parker doesn't just sell affordable and stylish eyeglasses -- the company sells contact lenses too. You can pick fromScout, Warby Parker's own contact lens brand, or get contacts from Acuvue, Biotrue, Air Optix, Dailies and other major brands.

A three-month supply of Scout daily contacts (a total of 90 lenses) starts at $47, which is a good deal for daily contact lenses. Depending on where you shop and the brand you use, prices online can vary from $60 to $200. You can get a six-day trial pack of Scout contact lenses to see if you like them before committing to a full supply.

Depending on your vision insurance, you may be able to use your benefits to pay for your Warby Parker contacts purchase. If your insurance company doesn't directly work with Warby Parker, you can instead file a claim with your insurance to be reimbursed for any qualified orders.

Best Places to Buy Contact Lenses Online (and Save Money) (2)

Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Lens.comhas excellent customer service is great and the prices are often lower than other shops for prescription contact lenses. It has an impressive selection of brands -- including Acuvue, Air Optix, Dailies and Biofinity Toric for astigmatism -- plus it takes returns and covers the cost of shipping unopened boxes back. 'Nuff said.

Lens.com is an out-of-network provider for vision insurance, so you can't use your benefits to directly pay for your order. However, you can submit the receipt to your insurance company for reimbursement (and always check with your insurance company to see what it covers).

Best Places to Buy Contact Lenses Online (and Save Money) (3)

Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

As one of the best-known contacts stores,1800Contactsstocks all of the most popular brands, and you can even get hard contacts through its call center. One CNET editor praised the company for providing customer service that went above and beyond.

1800Contacts price-matches any competitor, so if you find a better price, you can let the company know and it will do its best to match it (with some restrictions).

Like Lens.com, you can text or email your contact lens prescription, which speeds up the ordering process. 1800Contacts also offers discount contact lenses for students and free shipping on all orders, and allows you to update your prescription through an online test (only available for adults between 18 and 55 years old). You can also buy colored contact lenses from 1800Contacts. If you need to exchange your unopened lenses for any reason, 1800Contacts will cover the shipping cost.

Accepts vision insurance with a valid prescription.

Best Places to Buy Contact Lenses Online (and Save Money) (4)

Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

A popular source for cheap contact lensesamong my fellow CNET editors isContactsDirect, because it often sends out coupon codes to customers. It has a wide selection of lens type options, including multifocal lenses, colored contacts, soft contact lenses for dry eyes and toric lenses for astigmatism.

ContactsDirect offers returns on products that were purchased within one year if your eye vision changes and you need a vision correction from your doctor. ContactsDirect (and 1800Contacts) also sells contact lens solution.

Accepts vision insurance.

Best Places to Buy Contact Lenses Online (and Save Money) (5)

Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Eyeconichas a wide array of contact lens brands to choose from, including Acuvue, Air Optix, Biotrue by Bausch and Lomb and Extreme H2O. Like others on this list, it offers free shipping and free returns.

Accepts VSP, MetLife and Cigna Vision vision insurance.

Best Places to Buy Contact Lenses Online (and Save Money) (6)

Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Last but not least isGlassesUSA.com, which sells both contact lenses and glasses and will price-match other sellers. Like every other retailer on this list, GlassesUSA.com has all of the popular lens brands, including Acuvue, Biofinity and more, and offers free returns and free shipping on prescription lenses.

Accepts select insurance providers.

Buying online contact lenses: Your guide

Buying contact lenses online is just as safe as buying them from your eye doctor, as you get the same lenses you'd find at the optical shop. The process requires a little extra effort than getting them from your eye doctor, but you'll be rewarded with savings.

To get started, you'll need your contact lens prescription (more on that below). Simply search for the brand and model of contacts from your prescription at any of the stores above to find your specific lenses. Disposable contacts are sold in boxes, and most online shops give you a deal if you buy a six or 12 month supply, rather than one box at a time.

During the checkout process, you'll enter your prescription information to select the correct lenses and then submit verification of your prescription. Most stores allow you to upload an image or PDF of your prescription, or you can opt for the company to contact your doctor to verify it. This process can take as little as a few minutes or up to a few days if the store contacts your doctor. Once that process is complete, your order will be finalized and cleared to ship directly to you.

Do you need a prescription to buy contacts online?

Yes. Contact lenses are medical devices that require a prescription for you to purchase them -- either online or in person. Before you start shopping, you'll first need to get an eye exam and contact lens prescription from your optician or optometrist. An eye doctor can help you determine the best prescription lenses for your specific needs, whether that's daily contacts, soft lenses, hard lenses, lenses for astigmatism or multifocal lenses.

Your eye doctor will also help you decide which brand of contact lenses will work best for you, and your prescription will include the brand name. That means you cannot buy a different brand if you find a better deal, but you can request a new prescription for a specific brand, at your doctor's discretion.

All of the stores on this list require a valid prescription to dispense your contact lenses, and they won't ship your order without one. Keep in mind that most contact lens prescriptions are only valid for one to two years (depending on your eyes and age), so if your prescription is expired, you'll need a new one to shop.

What's the best place to buy contacts online?

With so many stores to choose from, how do you pick where to buy your contacts online? Here are some things to consider:

  • Price: Do some comparison shopping to figure out which store has the best price for your specific lenses. Prices can change often due to sales, promotions and manufacturer rebates, so the store that had the best deal last year might not have the lowest price now.
  • Return policy: Many of the stores above allow you to return unopened boxes of contacts if your prescription changes. Check the terms of the store you're thinking of buying from to understand your options.
  • Insurance coverage: Some online contact lens stores allow you to pay through your vision insurance, some do not. If that's important to you, look for shops that accept your benefits.

Is it expensive to buy contacts online?

Contact lenses are expensive, full stop. But you can save money by shopping online.

Disposable contacts will cost you more money in the long run over a pair of glasses. For example, Acuvue Oasys, one of the most popular brand of soft lenses, average around $25 to $40 for a box of 12 lenses at the stores above. That box of 12 is enough for three months (one lens per eye, thrown away every two weeks). That adds up to around $160 per year for contacts.

The full retail price for a 12-pack of Acuvue Oasys is listed as $88.99 onLenscrafters.com, so you stand to save quite a lot of money by shopping around online.

How to save money on contact lenses

Pro tip: Right after your contact lens exam, it's almost always worth it to get a year's supply of your current prescription. Regardless of whether you're buying daily disposable contacts, monthly lenses or even multifocal contacts, buying in bulk will help you save money.

If your prescription changes sometime during that year, many of the retailers above will allow you to exchangeunopened boxeswith a new prescription. You don't have much to lose by buying a full year supply. Though it can be a higher up-front cost, you'll save money over buying one box at a time.

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Best Places to Buy Contact Lenses Online (and Save Money) (2024)

FAQs

What brand of contacts is cheapest? ›

Biofinity. Biofinity is the most popular selling monthly contact lens, and it's also the cheapest one.

Can I trust discount contacts? ›

Discount Contact Lenses have an average customer rating on Trustpilot. They have 3.2 out of a total of 5 stars, based on 10 customer reviews. Positive comments include affordable prices and fast delivery. Negative comments include poor quality products, unclear advertising, and poor customer service.

Is 1800 contacts cheaper? ›

Like other direct-to-consumer companies, 1-800 Contacts may be less expensive than buying your contacts through an eye doctor or brick-and-mortar eyewear retailer. The company offers a generous return policy that includes defective or torn lenses and lenses you don't need because of changes in your prescription.

HOW IS lens com so cheap? ›

Lens.com began trading in 1995, providing contact lenses at a lower price than some retailers. The company buys stock in bulk and independently sets its prices to offer people a range of lens choices.

Is buying contact lenses online safe? ›

Many online vendors are safe and secure, but it's important to make sure the company from which you order your contact lenses is reputable. Search the web for customer reviews and experiences, and browse the company website for signs of credibility.

Is Costco a good place to buy contact lenses? ›

Costco. “One way that Costco's a game-changer is if you wear contact lenses,” Clark says, pointing out that Costco has some of the lowest prices across the board. In addition to filling prescriptions for most trusted brands at some of the best prices, Costco often offers deals and rebates.

What is the most cost effective contact lenses? ›

Monthly lenses are going to be the most economical, simply because you have to purchase less of them (12 monthly lenses make a year supply, 24 biweekly lenses make a year supply, and ~360 lenses make a year supply).

Can I order a different brand of contacts than my prescription? ›

Unfortunately, not. Contact lenses come in different sizes and must be fit to your eye by an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist.

Is lens direct legit? ›

Trustpilot have given LensDirect 4.4 stars out of a possible 5. They list over 4,000 customer reviews, and 83% of them are currently “excellent.” Favorable comments include great, accurate, and reliable service, fast shipping, and good complaint resolution.

Is Contact Lens King reputable? ›

Company reputation. Though a no-frills brand, Contact Lens King has a reputation for good pricing, fast delivery, and strong customer service. They are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and have an A+ BBB rating.

Does 1-800 Contacts really verify prescription? ›

You'll get your contacts even faster

By law, we have to verify your prescription to make sure the contacts we're sending out are correct. We can contact your eye doctor's office for you, but it can take up to one business day to hear back from them.

Why are contacts expensive? ›

The Cost Factors of Contacts

The price of contacts can depend on several different factors including the brand you choose, how often you need to replace them (every day, every week, or every month), and where you buy them. If you have a complex vision problem, your contacts could cost you more.

How much are contacts from 1-800 Contacts? ›

Who's cheapest? 1-800 Contacts, Lens.com or LensDirect.com
ItemLens.com1-800
Johnson & Johnson 1 Day-Acuvue Moist 90-day$65.00$59.99
Biofinity 6-pack$37.99$49.99
Air Optix Aqua 6-pack$35.99$54.99
Dailies AquaComfort Plus 90-pack$47.99$51.99
4 more rows
20 Aug 2018

How much is processing fee at Lens com? ›

I ended up paying $7.95 for 5-7 business day shipping and a $3.50 processing fee. Here's what's interesting: When I visited Lens.com directly and not through a Google search, a different price was shown for the same Air Optix Aqua contacts.

What is the lens com rebate? ›

Lens.com offers rebates on almost all leading brands.

The rebate covers everyday flexible wear, monthly, and 1-2 weeks throwaway lenses. One thing to keep in mind is that most contact lens rebates require you to buy a yearly supply.

What is contact lens rebate? ›

What are contact lens rebates? Contact lens rebates are savings opportunities included with orders for many popular contact lens brands. They're one of the best ways to save money and get cheap contacts. Many contact lens brands offer rebates for purchases through online retailers, such as Lens.com.

What is the fastest way to get contacts? ›

Having your contact prescription ready is necessary for the quickest of orders. We stock 90% of the most common contact lens prescriptions. If you have a popular prescription, you can expect your lenses to ship the day after you order them.

Is Hubble legit? ›

Hubble Contacts has an F rating and 3.3 out of 5 stars from the Better Business Bureau. They get 1.7 out of 5 stars at TrustPilot, where 88 percent of their reviews are listed as bad. Critics of Hubble call into question the quality of their contact lenses, noting that methafilcon A is not the most up-to-date material.

Can I order a different brand of contacts than my prescription? ›

Unfortunately, not. Contact lenses come in different sizes and must be fit to your eye by an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist.

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