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This post was most recently updated on November 7th, 2019
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
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)
As 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)
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)
The 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)
Dailies 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)
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.
- 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.
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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