What Is The Average Cost Of Contact Lenses? – 7 Ways to Save Money on Your Contacts

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While it is difficult to give an exact estimate on how much you might be spending on your contact lenses due to variables affecting the price such as prescription, brand, and where you purchase them from. That isn’t mentioning that the contact lens exam itself is more expensive than an eye exam for a eyeglasses prescription, and cost such as solution and eye drops for your contacts.

Average Cost Of Contact Lenses

Acuvue Oasys

Many other factors such as buying in bulk, vision insurance, manufacturer rebates, shipping cost, and how frequently you change out your contacts influence your cost. Nevertheless, we have created a comprehensive guide for the annual cost of contact lenses, based on a number of different brands and factors so you can get a general idea of the average cost of contact lenses.

Types of Contact Lenses

There are many types of contact lenses available on the market today. With this being one of the main factors that influence how much your contact lenses ultimately end up costing. Your eye doctor will be the one that determines which type of contact lens will be the most beneficial to you based off of your prescription.

There isn’t much you can do to change the type of contact lenses that you wear. If you have astigmatism, and you are required to wear a toric lens, you will have to wear the toric lenses. What could possibly be changed is the specific brand of toric lenses you wear. If the brand that you are wearing is expensive and you were interested in a different brand that is less expensive, you will have to ask your eye doctor during your exam. They are the only ones that know if you can wear a different brand and if your prescription is compatible with that brand. Note that at times, that one brand of contact lenses that you are wearing might be the only ones that make your prescription. Below you will find a list of popular types of contact lenses along with their average cost per box. The prices were pulled from our local Walmart Vision Center.

  • Daily Disposables – These contact lenses take 8 boxes to make an annual supply, and can range anywhere between $42  a box for Biotru, up to $87 a box for Dailies Total 1.
  • Daily Toric (Astigmatism) Disposables – These contact lenses take 8 boxes to make an annual supply, and can range anywhere between $62 a box for Clariti 1-day Toric, up to $80 for Acuvue 1-day Moist Toric.
  • Daily Multifocal Disposables – These contact lenses take 8 boxes to make an annual supply, and can range anywhere between $72 a box for the Clariti 1-day Multifocals, up to $118 a box for the Dailies Total 1 Multifocal.
  • Two-week Disposables – These contact lenses take 8 boxes to make an annual supply, and can range anywhere between $27 a box for Acuvue 2, up to $53 for SofLens.
  • Two-week Toric (Astigmatism) Disposables – These contact lenses take 8 boxes to make an annual supply, and can range anywhere between $39 a box for SofLens Toric, up to $45 a box for Acuvue Oasys Toric.
  • Two-week Multifocal Disposables – These contact lenses take 8 boxes to make an annual supply, and can range anywhere between $46 for Acuvue Oasys for Presbyopia, up to $53 for SofLens MultiFocal.
  • Monthly Disposables –  These contact lenses take 4 boxes to make an annual supply, and can range anywhere between $38 a box for Biofinity, up to $62 for Air Optix Night & Day.
  • Monthly Toric (Astigmatism) Disposable – These contact lenses take 4 boxes to make an annual supply, and can range anywhere between $50 a box for Air Optix for Astigmatism, up to $137 for Biofinity XR Toric.
  • Monthly Multifocal Disposable – These contact lenses take 4 boxes to make an annual supply, and can range anywhere between $62 for Bausch and Lomb Ultra for Presbyopia, up to $154 for Proclear Multifocal XR.

As you can see the type of contact lens that you wear has a huge factor in how much your contact lenses will ultimately end up costing you. Let’s take a look at more factors.

Average Annual Cost of Contact Lenses

As we have mentioned before the specific brand has a big factor in how much your contacts will ultimately cost. We gathered some data of a couple of the most popular contact lens brands and figured out how much it would cost you every year to wear those contact lenses.

This would kind of give you a ballpark estimate on how much it would cost. But remember this calculation is assuming that you wear contact lenses every single day. Obviously, if you only spend half the year wearing contact lenses. Then your year supply would technically be a two year supply. The retail value for the contacts that we used to make these graphs were taken from our local Walmart Vision Center. Let’s get started:

Air Optix (Price Range: $192 – $336 Annually)

Annual Cost for Air Optix ContactsAs you can see with the Air Optix line of contact lenses, they are actually quite reasonably priced. Air Optix contact lenses are monthly disposable contact lenses, therefore it takes 4 boxes to make an annual supply. If you wear the Air Optix Aqua contacts your annual cost would only be $192. Which is very reasonable for contact lenses. Even the Air Optix Colors and Air Optix Multifocal are quite inexpensive at $336 and $314 for an annual supply. Read our money-saving guide to find the best place to buy Air Optix contact lenses here.

Acuvue (Price Range: ($216 – $796 Annually)

Annual Cost For Acuvue Contacts

The Acuvue line up of contact lenses is a bit more diverse, as they manufacture 2-week, monthly and daily disposable contact lenses. The Acuvue Vita is the only monthly disposable contact lens, all the other Acuvue brands that are not daily disposable contacts are two-week disposable lenses. The Acuvue 2 is the most inexpensive of the lineup and is a two-week disposable lens that would cost you $216 to wear annually. But if you wear the Acuvue 1-Day Moist Multifocal contact lenses, you are looking at an annual cost of $792. Check out our money-saving guide to find the best place to buy Acuvue contacts online.

Biofinity (Price Range: $180 – $548 Annually)

Annual Cost For Biofinity ContactsThe Biofinity line of contact lenses are monthly disposable contacts, and can be quite inexpensive if you are wearing standard Biofinity contact lenses which would run you about $180 annually, but for anyone that has a strong astigmatism prescription and you need to wear Biofinity XR Toric, those could run you upwards of $548 annually. Looking for the best prices for BIofinity Contacts? Check out our guide here.

Dailies (Price Range: $480 – $1000+ Annually)

Annual Cost For Dailies Contact LensesDailies brand contact lenses are a line up of daily disposable contact lenses, and as you can see if you are prescribed Dailies as your daily disposable contact lenses, you could be looking anywhere between $480 if you are wearing Dailies Aqua Comfort Plus or Focus Dailies, but if you are wearing something like Dailies Total 1 Multifocal you might be looking over $1000 annually for your contact lenses. Looking for the best prices for Dailies? Check out our guide.

Ultra (Price Range: $224 – $304 Annually)

Annual Cost For Bausch and Lomb Ultra Contacts

These are one of Bausch and Lomb’s newer line up of contact lenses that are specifically designed for individuals who spend extended time in front of digital devices. These monthly disposable lenses are fairly affordable and would cost you about $224 annually for the standard Ultra lenses, and could go as high as $304 annually if you wear the multifocal presbyopia lenses. See where the best prices for Bausch and Lomb Ultra contacts are at here.

How Can You Save Money On Contact Lenses?

Although wearing contact lenses may seem like it could potentially be expensive but that doesn’t mean you have to go broke to be able to see, there is definitely no shortage of options to help you save money. Below we have listed some tips to help you save money on your contact lenses.

  • Check Your Vision Benefits – If you have vision insurance, check to see if you have benefits that can be applied towards contact lenses. The best way to do this would be to call your insurance company and just get a detailed breakdown of what is covered on your insurance. Although rare, some insurance may even cover glasses and contact lenses, but you wouldn’t know if you didn’t check.
  • Check for Rebates – Checking with the manufacture of your contact lenses to see if there are any rebates available is a great way to get some money back on your contact lenses. Save Money Tools
  • Ask for Brand Change – This isn’t an option that is available for everyone and largely depends on your prescription, but if you feel like the brand of contact lenses that you are wearing is too expensive you can ask your doctor if there are any other less expensive alternatives available that he would be able to prescribe you.
  • Shop Around – This is a must. You always have to shop around, you never know when a retailer could be running promotions. At times you may find retailers that could have coupon codes to get a certain percentage off your entire order.
  • Buy an Annual Supply – Buying in bulk is always a great way to save money. Many retailers offer instant savings when you purchase an annual supply, and sometimes even six-month supplies could have savings.
  • Ask for Price Match – This is something you can ask anywhere whether you are shopping at your doctor’s office, a big-box retailer, even online. We have seen some retailers that beat competitor’s prices by up to 5%.
  • Use HSA/FSA – If you have health savings accounts, or flexible spending accounts and have a card that is affiliated with Visa or MasterCard, you can use it to purchase your prescription contact lenses at many retailers online just as you would use a normal credit card. This is a great way to save money on your contact lenses, especially during the end of the year when you need to figure out how to use the leftover amount before they expire.

Final Thoughts

Monthly lenses generally will cost you cheaper than daily disposable lenses, but with longer use the better care they need. Remember though in order for you to switch contact lenses for any reason you will have to visit your eye doctor and inquire to see if there is even a brand available for you to switch to.

Many of the money saving tips that we have provided are able to be combined to maximize on your savings so don’t think you can only use one. You can buy in bulk, submit a manufacturer rebate, get those contacts price matched, and use your FSA card to pay for them all in one order and maximize your savings.

How much do your contacts cost you per year? Is it expensive for you? Let us know below! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave it below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.


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About Huy Le ABOC, NCLEC 119 Articles
Huy has been working in eye care for the last 10 years as an Optician, and Optical manager. He is coming to you as an expert in the field, as well as a long time eyewear user. He is bringing his expertise and unbias opinion on optical technology, frame styling, contact lenses, and eye health. He is on a mission to educate the world about the importance of eye health, as well as provide everyone with helpful tips to save money on all your eye care needs.Huy is certified by the American Board of Opticianry as well as the National Contact Lens Examiners and is a State Licensed Optician in the state of California. Huy is the founder of EyeHealthHQ.com and is currently an Optician in Los Angeles, CA.

12 Comments

  1. It is so expensive to buy contact lenses for a year supply. This never crossed my mind. Isn’t it better if the person just do a laser rather than buying contact lenses which is dangerous if he/she forgot to take it off? But on the other side, I’ve seen girls with pretty colourful contact lenses that a laser effect is not possible. Will that cost more? 

    • Hi Florence, Laser eye surgery isn’t for everyone, and can be quite pricey upfront. Also it isn’t necessarily permanent either, your prescription could still change. The only way to know if you can get laser surgery is to inquire with your eye doctor. Some prescriptions can’t be completely fixed with laser surgery. I hope that answers your question. 

  2. Hi Huy 🙂

    I’ve been wearing glasses for a good number of years now. Once I needed glasses to read I just got the progressive lenses which I need for distance too.

    I’ve always been a bit leery of contact lenses but I think it’s time for me to ditch the glasses.My kids both wear contacts and they rarely have issues with them.

    I can see by your chart that the average cost is reasonable although I guess you can’t put a price on your vision.I like the way you spelled everything out with the disposable contacts to make it easier to choose from.

    I think these would definitely save me money! What kind of guarantee are there on these?

    • Hi there Rob, thank you for stopping by! They do manufacture multi-focal contact lenses which would give you the same effect as your progressive lenses where you can see far as well as up close. If you are ever curious you can always inquire with your eye doctor and they will fit you with a trial to make sure you can see well before you are even prescribed them. 

      As far as guarantee, your eye doctor will make sure you can see before finalizing your prescription. As far as any guarantee when buying them, it varies from retailer to retailer. 

  3. I have worn glasses for more than 40 years and in the past have been a little bit hesitant about contacts.  Glasses are a bit of an old friend to hide behind.

    However, there are times when I wish I could have less weight sitting on my nose and when it is hot and the glasses are sweaty I certainly think about contact lenses.

    Thank you for this wonderful information.  I always thought contacts were so expensive but obviously I was wrong. Great post, maybe a rethink is required.

    • hi KerryAnn, thanks for stopping by! They can be expensive if you are a full-time wearer, but if you switch off between contacts and glasses you wouldn’t be spending too much. Best thing about it is you can wear them whenever you want like on those hot summer days. Take care!

  4. Hello Huy. I am sure you are doing just awesome. Thank you for sharing this article which shows us the average cost of contact lenses. This list is an awesome recommendation for anyone looking for solution and ways to save money on their contact lenses. This list will save time, money and perhaps improve eye health if the doctor sees that the recommendation here is compatible with the client. Keep sharing…

  5. Great article. Personally I get monthly disposable contacts in bulk from 1800Contacts at a decent price, and I’ve always been happy with them. For people who use the daily disposable contacts and one of the more expensive brands I’ve seen, I can imagine how expensive those are to keep buying. These are good tips for people looking to save money. 

    • Hi Nate thanks for stopping by! Yes 1800Contacts have been around for quite some time and is a very reputable and trusted retailer, most people we talk to that purchase their contacts from there rarely ever have any issues, and if they do their customer service is top notch. Take care!

  6. Hi Huy, 

    Thanks very much for writing such an informative article on ways to save on contacts. I’ve worn glasses for 3 years now and have often thought about trading them in for some contact lenses. I’ve always been concerned about the cost of constantly replacing them though. Your article has some very good tips on how to save money on contacts as well as comparing some providers, so it’s definitely given me some food for thought. I’ll definitely be considering contacts again after reading this. 

    Cheers, 

    Shane

    • Hi Shane, thanks for stopping by! Contact lenses are no question more expensive than wearing glasses, BUT that generally goes for individuals who wear contact lenses full-time. For me personally I switch on and off between contact lenses and glasses so the cost is very minimal. Take care.

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