Best Place To Buy Contact Lenses Online 2019 [Coupons & Promo Codes]

The internet has made buying contact lenses online a breeze. With a couple of taps on your smartphone or tablet and you could have some contact lenses sent right to do your door. Gone are the days of going to your local optometrist office, or optical retail store having to place an order and going back to pick it up a few days later. But where is the best place to buy contact lenses online?

Best Place To Buy Contact Lenses Online

With so many online retailers for contact lenses, picking which one to go with can be a hard decision. Ultimately the best place to buy contact lenses online is going to be up to you and what you are looking for. Are you looking for the best price? Maybe you are looking for somewhere that has the fastest shipping, or perhaps you are looking for a place that could provide the best customer service.  Of course, everyone’s ideal retailer would mark off all of those, but it’s just not that simple.

Which is why I took the time to browse through and research over a dozen online retailers and compared the cost, customer service, shipping time, available brands, what else they had on their websites such as glasses, accessories, return policy, and if they have a price match guarantee. Below you will find some tips and a list of some of the best places to order contacts online. Contact lens case


Whether you wear your contact lenses every single day or just the occasional night out with your friends, you still want to be able to get your contact lenses at the cheapest price as you can. Price should be a factor you consider, but it shouldn’t be the only factor you consider.

Making sure you are able to trust the retailer and make sure you are not just dealing with a company operating out of their garage. To compare these online retailers, we look at who they are and a number of factors including, their customer service, shipping cost, price match guarantee, and refund policy. In our search, AC Lens is best overall, by a slim margin with Discount Contact Lenses being the runner up.


1. Our #1 Pick | AC Lens

AC Lens Homepage

WHO ARE THEY?

AC Lens was founded in 1995 by Dr. Peter Clarkson. He had a thought that the new and unorthodox internet platform might be a good marketplace for contact lenses. Despite getting a few eye rolls, he built his website and within hours of launching he had an order, and the rest is history.

DO YOU NEED A PRESCRIPTION?

Yes a valid prescription is required to purchase contact lenses from ACLens.

WHICH BRANDS DO THEY CARRY?

ACLens carries a large selection of brands that includes all major and common brands. They also carry a selection of special effects contact lenses as well.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

AC Lens Customer service is open between 8 am and 8 pm Monday through Friday, 9 am and 5:30 pm on Saturdays, and 12 pm and 7 pm Sunday, Eastern standard time.

SHIPPING

Orders that are in-stock will ship within 24-48 hours depending on how long it takes to verify your prescription. Shipping is free on orders over $99. Below are the shipping cost and timeframe for AC Lens

  • Standard (5-7 Business Days) | $5.99
  • Expedited (3-4 Bussiness Days) | $8.99
  • Overnight (1 Business Day) | $19.99
  • Canada (7-14 Business Days) | $9,99
  • International Standard (14-21 Business Days) | $14.99
  • International Expedited (5-12 Business Days) | $34.99

PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE

AC Lens will price match any competitor’s advertised price. Not only will AC Lens match the advertised price of their competitors, but they will also give you an additional 5% off on the price difference.

AC LENS RETURN POLICY

AC Lens has one of the best return policies out there, they offer a 365-day no questions asked return policy on all unopened boxes of contact lenses for any reason. Which means if your prescription changes and you still have unopened boxes of contact lenses, that means you can return them and get ones with your updated prescription.

CURRENT PROMOS

20% OFF
AC Lens
AC Lens
New customers can save 20% on contact lenses.
New customers can save 20% on contact lenses. Show Less
$5 OFF
AC Lens
AC Lens
Get $5 off orders of $50 or more
Get $5 off orders of $50 or more Show Less

2. Runner-up | DiscountContactLenses.com

WHO ARE THEY?

DiscountContactLenses.com is definitely another great place to purchase your contact lenses. Their pricing is very similar to that of AC Lens because they are sister companies.

DO YOU NEED A PRESCRIPTION?

Yes, you will need to provide a valid prescription for any of the products that you are ordering. You can fax or email it to them after placing your order for quicker verification.

WHICH BRANDS DO THEY CARRY?

DiscountContactLenses.com carries many different major brands, such as Acuvue, Air Optix, Biofinity, and much more. They actually have one of the larger selection of contacts compare to other retailers.

CUSTOMER SERVICE 

Customer service is available from DiscountContactLenses by phone Monday through Friday from 8 am – 8 pm. Saturday from 9 am – 5:30 pm, and Sunday from 12 pm to 7 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST). You are able to reach them by phone, email or chat.

SHIPPING COST

DiscountContactLenses.com offers free shipping if your order is over $99 similar to their sister website AC Lens, and orders still ship out after the prescription is verified. Here are the shipping cost for DiscountContactLenses.com

  • Standard – $5.99 (Free over $99) – Arrives in 5-7 business days
  • Expedited – $8.99 – Arrives in 3-4 business days
  • Overnight – $19.99 – Arrives in 1 business day

Discount Contact Lenses does ship internationally and covers nearly 100 countries, the international shipping rates are as follow.

  • International Standard – $14.99 – Arrives in 14-21 days
  • International Expedited – $34.99 – Arrives in 5-12 business days

PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE

This is where DiscountContactLenses.com really shines, just like their sister company they offer one of the best price match guarantees available. If you find a price better at a competitor. they will not only price match the competitor’s price but they will also beat that price by 5%.

DISCOUNT CONTACT LENSES RETURN POLICY

Just like their sister company AC Lens, DiscountContactLenses.com also offers a 365-day no questions asked return policy. This is one of the best return policies for contact lenses online.

CURRENT PROMOS

New customers save 20%: CLICK HERE and use code: X84Y95B

Get $5 off orders of $50 or more: CLICK HERE and use code DCL5


3.  Coastal

Coastal.com Home Page

WHO ARE THEY?

Coastal Contacts was founded in 2000 by Roger Hardy and his sister Michaela Hardy. Today they are owned by French lens manufacturer Essilor who acquired Coastal.com in 2014. They operate as Coastal in the United States, but they operate globally as Clearly Contactsan in Japan, and LensWay in Scandinavia.

DO YOU NEED A PRESCRIPTION?

Yes, you do need your contact lens prescription. If you don’t have your prescription Coastal will contact your optometrist to verify your prescription within the next business day.

WHICH BRANDS DO THEY CARRY?

Coastal carries most major brands of contact lenses from various manufacturers. Whether you are looking for single vision, multifocal, toric, or color prescription contact lenses Coastal will have them.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Coastal customer service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone. You can also email them as well, they typically respond between 4 – 12 hours.

SHIPPING

All contact lens orders through Coastal needs to be verified before being shipped out, the verification process can take 2-3 business days. Waiting time for your contact lenses depends on if they are in stock or need to be special ordered. If you contact lenses prescription is verified, and the contact lens is in stock, they will be shipped out within 1-2 business days. See below for shipping cost from Coastal.

  • Standard (4-5 Business Days) | $5.95
  • Priority (3-4 Business Days) | $8.95
  • UPS Overnight (1 Business Day) | $14.99

PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE

Coastal will price match any authorized online retailer. Price matches cannot be combined with any offer on their website, with a maximum discount of up to $100 per order.

COASTAL RETURN POLICY

Coastal offers a 30-day return policy on their contact lenses from the delivery date. If you purchased RGP contact lenses, those lenses are custom made and cannot be returned or exchanged.

CURRENT PROMOS

15% OFF
Coastal
Coastal
New Customers get 15% off your first order of contacts plus free shipping. No Code Needed!
New Customers get 15% off your first order of contacts plus free shipping. No Code Needed! Show Less
$10 OFF
Coastal
Coastal
$10 OFF Contact Orders of $99 or More
$10 OFF Contact Orders of $99 or More Show Less

 


4.  Eyeconic

Eyeconic homepage

WHO ARE THEY?

Eyeconic is run by no other than Vision Service Plan Vision Care health insurance company. This company was founded in 2011, with a slightly business model than that of other online retailers. They worked closely with their network doctors to create a different model for purchasing eyewear on the internet.

DO YOU NEED A PRESCRIPTION?

Yes, you do need a prescription, but since this website is run by VSP they have a network of over 34,000 doctors across the United States, you can easily search to find a local doctor where you can go get a prescription from.

WHAT BRANDS DO THEY CARRY?

Eyeconic carries many major brands, including private label brands such as BioMedics, ClearSight and many more.

CUSTOMER SERVICE 

Eyeconic has customer service representatives available to you by phone Monday through Friday 6 am – 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 7 am – 5 pm, By chat Monday through Friday 7 am – 5 pm., and by email. Email responses take around 24-48 hours. All times are in Pacific standard time (PST).

SHIPPING COST

Eyeconic currently only ships within the United States, however, their website indicates they are working on being able to ship internationally. Currently, they are offering FREE expedited shipping on all orders. Their shipping for within the United States is as follow:

  • Standard (4-7 Business Days) | FREE
  • 2nd-Day (2 Business Days) | FREE
  • Overnight (1 Business Day) | $18.00

PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE

Eyeconic does offer a price match guarantee, you can either make your request before your purchase, or up to 30 days after your purchase date. You can redeem the price match by contacting their customer service department by phone or email.

EYECONIC RETURN POLICY

Eyeconic offers a 30-day return policy from the shipping day for any returns or exchanges on their contact lenses. However, Eyeconic does have a prescription change policy in which they will exchange any unused contact lenses with your update prescription if your prescription changes within 6 months.

CURRENT PROMOS

15% OFF
Eyeconic
Eyeconic
Get 15% Off Contact Lenses at Eyeconic.
Get 15% Off Contact Lenses at Eyeconic. Show Less

5. Best Selection | Lens.com

Lens.com Homepage

WHO ARE THEY? 

Lens.com was founded in 1995 and is a United States-based online contact lens retailer. They started with the mission of being better than your eye doctor, better than big retailers, and better than other websites. They designed their website to provide the best experience in the most simple way so it is a smooth and hassle-free experience for you.

DO YOU NEED A PRESCRIPTION?

Yes, you do need a current prescription to be able to order contact lenses through Lens.com, however, they have an online vision test you can do to renew your prescription with one of their eye doctors for $20.

WHICH BRANDS DO THEY CARRY?

Lens.com carries most major brands of contact lenses, as well as many private brand contact lenses such as BioMedics, AquaTech, Clearsoft and many more. The added bonus with Lens.com is that they are the only place on the internet where you can find FDA approved cosmetic colored contact lenses. Not only that, some of those cosmetic colored contact lenses can be ordered with a prescription as well.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Lens.com provides customer service representatives to answer any questions that you may have 24-hours a day 7 days a week by phone, chat or email.

SHIPPING COST

  • Standard (5-7 Business Days) | $7.95
  • Two-Day (2 Business Days) | $14.95
  • Next Day (1 Business Day) | $20.95
  • Canada Standard (4-9 Business Days) | $9.99
  • Canada Express (3-5 Business Days) | $17.99
  • Standard International (8-12 Business Days) | $19,95
  • International Express (4-5 Business Days) | $35.95

PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE

Lens.com does not have a price match guarantee listed. We checked with their customer service department, and they confirmed that they do not price match.

LENS.COM RETURN POLICY

Lens.com hands down has the best return policy out of all online retailers. They offer you unlimited time to return any contacts that you have that are unopened as well as unexpired. Since generally, contact lenses expire 4 years of their manufacturing date, this means you could have up to 4 years to return your contact lenses. Even though you would never need that long to return contact lenses, this is a great way to get your contact lenses updated to new prescriptions as your eyes change.

CURRENT PROMOS

$5 OFF
Lens.com
Lens.com
Get $5 OFF plus FREE shipping on orders $199 or more
Get $5 OFF plus FREE shipping on orders $199 or more Show Less
No coupons found.
FREE SHIPPING
Lens.com
Lens.com
FREE SHIPPING on all orders of $129 or more.
FREE SHIPPING on all orders of $129 or more. Show Less
$25 OFF
Lens.com
Lens.com
$25 OFF All Orders of $249 or More
$25 OFF All Orders of $249 or More Show Less
$30 OFF
Lens.com
Lens.com
Use your FSA and get $30 OFF all orders of $299 or more
Use your FSA and get $30 OFF all orders of $299 or more Show Less

6.  WalmartContacts.com

Walmartcontacts.com Homepage

WHO ARE THEY?

Walmart is one of the largest retailers in the world, with operations all over the globe. After their partnership with 1800Contacts ended in 2003, Walmart has branched out on their own with their own contact lens website. Walmart and Sam’s club are always looking to make it easier and more affordable for their customers. Striving to be that one-stop shop for their customers WalmartContacts.com was born.

DO YOU NEED A PRESCRIPTION?

Yes, you do need a prescription to be able to purchase contacts through WalmartContacts.com. If you do not have a current prescription, many Walmarts across the United States have Walmart employed optometrist or independent optometrist for you to get a prescription from.

WHICH BRANDS DO THEY CARRY?

WalmartContacts.com carries many major brands of contact lenses, they do not, however, carry any private label brands such as BioMedics, or AquaTech. Those brands have comparable alternatives, but you will have to go to your local Vision Center and talk to an optician for more details.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Walmartcontacts.com has customer service available to help you with anything related to your order Monday through Friday 8 am -11 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm, and Sundays 12 pm – 7 pm.

SHIPPING COST 

Walmart only ships contact within the United States and its territories including Guam, Puerto Rico, etc. The shipping cost is as follow:

  • Standard (5-7 Business Days) | FREE
  • Expedited (3-4 Business Days) | $11.95
  • Overnight & 2nd-Day (1-2 Business Days) | Call for availability (depends on the product)

PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE

Walmart does offer a price match guarantee that can be easily done by emailing or calling their customer service department, or you can leave the link to the lowered price competitor in the”Coupon Codes and Special Instructions” field when you are checking out.

WALMART CONTACTS RETURN POLICY

Walmart offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for any unopened or defective contact lenses that you may have received. Defective contact lenses can be exchanged for the same product if the manufacturer confirms the defect up to 365-days.

CURRENT PROMOS

None Listed but they have instant savings when you buy over a certain amount. You can visit their website here Walmartcontacts.com


7.  Walgreens

Walgreens contacts page

WHO ARE THEY?

Walgreens is a large American company that specializes in filling prescriptions, health and wellness products, as well as health information. Founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1901, Walgreens is the 2nd largest pharmacy store chain in the United States.

DO YOU NEED A PRESCRIPTION?

Yes, you do need a current prescription to be able to purchase your contacts through Walgreens. You don’t necessarily need a copy of your prescription as long as you have the boxes you can enter it in. Walgreens will verify your prescription with your optometrist.

WHICH BRANDS DO THEY CARRY?

Walgreens carries most major brands of contact lenses, including some private label brands such as BioMedics.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Walgreens customer service is available by phone 24-hours a day 7-days a week. You can also alternatively sent them a message to be contacted back through their web form. No live chat is available.

SHIPPING COST

Walgreens only ships to those in the United States, including those in American territories such as Puerto Rico, Guam, and more. Walgreens has one of the fastest shipping rates for standard shipping out of all the online contact lens retailers.

  • Standard (1-3 Business Days) | FREE
  • Overnight (1 Business Day) | $19.95

PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE

Walgreens does not price match.

WALGREENS RETURN POLICY

Walgreens, just like Lens.com offers a very generous return policy and they offer to accept any returns of unopened, unexpired, and undamaged boxes of contacts that are sold through Walgreens.com. Contact lenses that are made to order such as RGP contact lenses are not returnable.

CURRENT PROMOS

20% OFF
Walgreens
Walgreens
Get 20% OFF Your Entire Order Of Contacts.
Get 20% OFF Your Entire Order Of Contacts. Show Less

8.  1800Contacts

1800Contacts Homepage

WHO ARE THEY?

1800Contacts was founded in 1995 by Jonathan Coon and John Nichols and was incorporated in February of that year. Over the years 1800Contacts have gone through many ownership changes but are now owned by Luxottica group. The company was started with the name of a toll-free number as its brand in hopes that customers would easily be able to remember the companies phone number, and will likely to become repeat customers.

DO YOU NEED A PRESCRIPTION?

Yes do need a valid prescription to order your contacts through 1800Contacts, but if your prescription is expired they have a system online called ExpressExam where you can get your prescription renewed for $20. They have a licensed ophthalmologist in your state review your exam results and send your prescription to you within the same business day. Definitely a neat feature.

WHICH BRANDS DO THEY CARRY?

1800Contacts carries all major brands of contact lenses, including some private label brands such as BioMedics & AquaTech Plus that you may not find at all contacts retailers. They even carry Walmart and Target Optical’s in-house brand contacts.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

1800Contacts provides 24-hour live customer service from their knowledgeable specialist at any time of the day. They have a live chat that is always active, or alternatively, you can give them a call, email or even write them by mail.

SHIPPING COST

Orders could take up to 48 hours to process depending on how long it takes to verify your contact lens prescription with your eye doctor. If you send your prescription in you can get your order shipped immediately. Below is the shipping cost and timeframe for 1800Contacts.

  • Standard (5-7 Business Days) | FREE
  • Expedited (2-3 Business Days)  | $14.99
  • Next Day (1 Business Day) | $19.99
  • Canada Standard (7-11 Business Days) | FREE
  • Canada Express (1-3 Business Days) | $26.99
  • International Standard (8-12 Business Days) | $19.99
  • International Express (4-7 Business Days) | $35.99

PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE

1800Contacts does price match authorized retailers, all you have to do is give their customer service department a call. They will even beat the competitor’s price by 2%.

1800CONTACTS RETURN POLICY

1800Contacts offers a hassle-free return policy in which you can return any contacts that are unopened, undamaged, and in their original packaging. 1800Contacts will also replace if you have prescription changes. They will even return your unopened boxes if you just decided that you were no longer going to wear contact lenses.

CURRENT PROMOS

1800Contacts is currently offering 20% off for new customers.


 

 


9.  FramesDirect.com

Frames Direct Contacts Page

WHO ARE THEY?

Don’t let their name fool you, they sell contact lenses as well. FramesDirect.com is one of the earliest online optical retail stores. The website was founded by Dhavid Cooper, and Guy Hodgson who are both optometrists originally from South Africa. FramesDirect carries a huge selection of designer frames for customers to choose from.

DO YOU NEED A PRESCRIPTION?

Yes, Frames direct does require a valid prescription to purchase contact lenses.

WHICH BRANDS DO THEY CARRY?

FramesDirect.com carries most major brands of contact lenses, including Acuvue, Biofinity, and Air Optix.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Customer service is provided at FramesDirect.com through telephone or email. Their customer service is available Monday through Thursday 8 am – 7 pm, Friday 8 am – 6 pm, and Saturday 8 am – 5 pm.

SHIPPING COST

FramesDirect.com ships orders to many different countries across the world. Prices vary by location, Within the United States, they provide two shipping options.

  • Priority (USPS)(3 Business Days) | $9
  • Express (UPS)(1 Business Day) | $17.95

PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE

FramesDirect.com does not price match for contact lenses.

FRAMES DIRECT RETURN POLICY

Frames Direct offers one of the more confusing return policies out there. Their return policy is officially 30 days, but there are all kinds of restocking fees and you pay the return shipping cost as well.

CURRENT PROMOS

No current promotions listed, but you can visit their website here. FramesDirect.com


10.  LensDirect.com

Lens Direct Home Page

WHO ARE THEY?

LensDirect.com is a New York-based online optical retailer that sells contact lenses, and sunglasses. The company wasn’t always an online retailer though and was originally created as a mail-order company. Soon after, they turned into one of the leading providers for contact lenses online.

DO YOU NEED A PRESCRIPTION?

Yes, as with all the rest of the U.S. based contact lens retailers you do need a valid prescription to order contacts from LensDirect.com. If your contact lens prescription is expired you are able to take an online vision test, and one of their doctors will review it, and send you a valid prescription for $20.

WHICH BRANDS DO THEY CARRY?

LensDirect.com carries most major brands of contact lenses including Acuvue, Dailies, FreshLook, Biomedics, and much more. They used to carry cosmetic colored contact lenses but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

LensDirect.com customer service available to answer your questions 24-hours a day and 7-days a week. You can reach them by phone, email or live chat.

SHIPPING COST

LensDirect.com offers various levels of shipping, but all the cost depend on your address and what services are available in your area. They do offer a flat rate shipping as well.

  • Standard (5-7 Business Days | $6.95 | FREE for orders over $49
  • USPS Priority (3-5 Business Days) | Varies by Location
  • USPS Express (2-3 Business Days) | Varies by Location
  • UPS Ground (Up to 5 Business Days) | Varies by Location
  • UPS 3 DAY (Up to 3 Business Days) | Varies by Location
  • UPS Next Day (1 Business Day) | Varies by Location
  • International Canada (Time Varies) | $49.95

PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE

LensDirect.com price matches reputable retailers if you find a price that is lower than their prices. To get the price match you can call their customer service, or send them an email after you place your online order, and they will refund the difference.

LENS DIRECT RETURN POLICY

Lens Direct offers a 365-day hassle-free return policy for all their contact lenses that are unopened and undamaged boxes.

CURRENT PROMOS

$10 OFF
Lens Direct
Lens Direct
New Customers can get $10 OFF and FREE Shipping. No Code Needed.
New Customers can get $10 OFF and FREE Shipping. No Code Needed. Show Less

11 Tips for Saving Money On Your Contact Lenses

One of the biggest concerns for most people when it comes to contact lenses is the cost. When you purchase glasses, it is a one time purchase, but with contact lenses, it is a recurring cost that you have to keep in mind. Here are tips to keep in mind so you can find the best prices for your contact lenses.

  • 1. Shop around – Don’t assume that just because it was expensive at a certain place the previous time you checked that it will still be the same expensive price again. Same goes for the other way around if the place the cheap before it doesn’t mean they are still the cheapest place. For contact lenses, it is best to check around whether it be online or at your local optical retail store.
  • 2. Look for promotion – Check for promotions, different retailers could have different promotions running at different times.
  • 3. Factor total cost – You have to factor all the total cost is of everything after all is said and done to find your true cost. If the contacts themselves are cheap, but then you have to pay a lot for shipping then it beats the point. Also if you have to drive clear across town to get cheap contacts, it might not be a great idea either.
  • 4. Look for rebates – Manufacturers might have rebates if you were to buy a certain amount. Keep an eye on the website of the brand of contacts you wear to see if they have any special rebates where you can get some extra money back.
  • 5. Check the cost – Pricing for contact lenses on websites can be confusing and deceptive showing you the price per box if you purchase an annual supply but if you decide to purchase less the cost per box is higher. Make sure you read over everything carefully before finalizing your order.
  • 6. Buy in bulk – If you order larger quantities such as annual supplies, at times there could be an instant rebate that is applied. The awesome thing about instant rebates, if the manufacturer is running a rebate as well, you can still submit in for that rebate. Also when you buy in bulk a lot of the times you will save on your shipping cost as well, win-win for you.
  • 7. Check all the prices – If you wear multiple different brands of contact lenses, don’t assume just because one brand is cheap, it doesn’t mean that the other brand is the cheapest price there as well.
  • 8. Check with your Doctor – If you feel like the brand of contact lenses you are in is too expensive, you can always inquire with your doctor to see if maybe there was an alternative brand you would be able to get. Your eye doctor is the only one that is able to change the brand of your contacts. Note that there might not be a different brand you could get depending on your prescription.
  • 9. Check with your insurance – If you have vision insurance, check to see if you have a benefit towards your contact lenses that could save you some money. If you have FSA or HSA cards, contact lenses qualify as a medical expense. Therefore if you have extra money you need to spend on those accounts, contact lenses would be a good choice.
  • 10. Don’t wait until your out – This is the biggest waste of money, this doesn’t only apply to contact lenses but many other things in life. If you wait until your out and need to overnight some contact lenses, you are going to raise the cost substantially for no reason.
  • 11. Know Wearing Schedule –  Be sure to check with your doctor to find out the recommended wearing time, you can waste money by throwing contacts away too early.

Picking A Place To Buy Contacts Online

With so many different retailers, which one should you go with?

There are many online retailers and most of them offer most of the major contact lens brands that are currently available on the market today so to start you could shop around to find the place that carries your specific brand of contact lenses at the best price.

But the best price isn’t everything, perhaps you are looking for a place in which you could apply your vision insurance benefits. Depending on which vision insurance provider you have, Eyeconic and Contacts Direct both offer you the ability to use your vision insurance benefits directly on their websites. Which means your vision insurance benefits will be directly applied and you will only have to pay the out-of-pocket expenses. If your insurance isn’t accepted at either one of those retailers, or you don’t want to use them you can always purchase your contact lenses at any online retailer and submit your itemized receipt into your vision insurance provider for reimbursement.

How Much Do Contact Lenses Cost?

Ultimately how much your contact lenses are going to cost you is going to depend on the brand of contacts that you are wearing and your wearing habits. Contact lenses boxes can range anywhere from $20 a box or as high as $150 a box.

One of the big factors in the prices of contacts is your prescription. Spherical contact lenses are generally the least expensive. If you have astigmatism and require toric lenses, those vary in price depending on the brand and how high your astigmatism is. Multifocal contact lenses can be on the higher side as well, costing about $60-100 a box. Custom RGP hard contact lenses can run around $40-60 a lens, but you use those same lenses for a year.

Other factors such as how much calcium deposits build up on your contacts could shorten the time you are able to use your contact lens, which would drive your cost up. On average depending on your brand of contact lenses will run you anywhere from $200-$500 annually.

Which Contacts Should You Buy?

Well, ultimately the brand of contacts, and what type of contact lenses you end up wearing will be decided by your eye doctor. During the exam, your doctor will see which contact lens brand you will benefit from the most. If there is a specific type of contact lenses you want to wear, such as colors, or dailies, talk to your doctor to see what options are available to you. You would need to have your doctor write all the brands that you are prescribed on your prescription.

In the United States the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) categorizes contact lenses are medical devices, so even if you just want non-prescription colored contacts, you would still need to ask your eye doctor for a prescription of 0.00, or plano contacts.

Types of Contact Lenses

There are a number of different types of contact lenses, and the one that you will ultimately end up with is determined during your visit with your eye doctor for the contact lens exam and fitting. Here are some of the most common types:

 

  • Soft Contact Lenses – The majority of the contact lenses are made from some sort of flexible plastic blend that allows oxygen to easily pass through and onto your cornea. More modern lens materials allows even more oxygen to the eye of the wearer. Most soft contact lenses have a planned replacement schedule set by the manufacturer, generally daily, bi-weekly, or monthly.

 

  • Daily Disposable Contact Lenses – Most of the contact lenses on the market are some sort of “disposable” contact lenses. But if you are looking at that word the way the FDA defines disposable, it means that if the lens is truly a daily disposable it would be worn once and a new pair of lenses would be put on every single day.

 

  • Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses – This type of lens is made up of a more durable plastic compared to soft contact lenses but this material is still able to transmit oxygen to your cornea. RGP lenses are very durable and offer outstanding optical properties but are not as popular due to soft contact lenses having instant adaptation while RGP lenses have an adaptation period. Not to be confused with the pre-1971 hard contact lenses that were made out of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), which was a material that you may know by the trade name Plexiglass or Lucite. PMMA was a great contact lens if you were considering the  optical properties, but it did not transmit oxygen very well.

 

  • Extended Wear Contact Lenses – These are the type of contact lenses that approved to be worn generally anywhere from 7-30 days continuously. Your eye doctor will give you a wearing schedule depending on your individual eye health and how your eyes are adapting to the overnight wear. Extended wear contact lenses are generally soft contact lenses that allow a lot of oxygen to pass through onto your cornea.

 

  • Special Effects/Decorative Contact Lenses – These type of contact lenses can come in a variety of different forms and are also known under many different names such as Halloween, colored, cosmetic, theatrical, fashion, special effects or decorative contact lenses. These lenses allow you to create that perfect cosplay outfit or that creepy Halloween costume, and while they may take your outfit to the next level you should definitely talk to your eye doctor before and always purchase from a reliable retailer that offers FDA approved colored contact lenses.

 

Are There Risks Wearing Contact Lenses?

Modern-day contact lenses are designed to provide your cornea with as much oxygen as possible and therefore risks associated with wearing contact lenses are quite minimal. But that is only true if you are following all of the proper handling and care procedures that your doctor provided you during your contact lens exam. Things, like overwearing your contacts, and not properly handling and caring for your contact lenses raises the risk associated with wearing contact lenses. Since you are wearing contact lenses you definitely should understand the risks, Let’s take a look at them:

 

  • Eye Infection – I mean we all knew this was one of the risks, we touch contact lenses with our hands and put them in our eyes. If you don’t wash your hand properly before handing those contact lenses then you are putting yourself at more risk to getting an eye infection. That is only one way though, you can get eye infections from other ways while wearing your contact lenses if you do other prohibited activities with them such as swim or sleep with your contact lenses on.

 

  • Corneal Ulcers – There are a number of ways that corneal ulcers can be caused, but it is a common condition among contact lens wearers. Corneal ulcers that are caused by contact lenses are generally caused due to an eye infection.

Keep in mind that these are only a few potential risks, and the first symptoms of any sort will usually start with the feeling of discomfort. If you see any out of the ordinary redness, feel any discomfort, feel sensitivity to light, or any changes to your vision be sure to contact your eye care practitioner as soon as you can. If left untreated, these situations could potentially lead to blindness.

The Bottom Line

There are many options for contact lenses on the internet, and you shouldn’t just look at one place when you are looking to buy your contact lenses. All of these online retailers run different promotions for different contact lenses, so it is worth shopping around until you find the best price for your specific brand of contact lenses.

Thank you all for stopping by Eye Health Headquarters, I hope you enjoyed this article if you have any questions, or comments, don’t hesitate to leave them below and I will get back to you.


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About Huy Le ABOC, NCLEC 117 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.

8 Comments

  1. Ok so 1800lenses and coastal are pretty much the ones I really had heard of. Your site is very informative and like I said before, your article is very convinient for people like me who shop online for contact lenses for my children at all times. I will bookmark this article too. Thanks again for sharing this information and having all theses in one page to compare prices and service.

  2. I have to say that I am really happy with the opportunities the internet has offered us because I use to find it difficult to get my hands on contact lens due to the country I am from but this is in the past because of the internet. You gave some pretty good advice on tips in finding a cheap contact lens. I am fond of asking my Doctor first as I believe they tend to know exactly where to direct me to.

    I have never made use of any of these companies but it does seem Coastal is the best option as they are really keen to giving their customers the best satisfaction.

    I just tried checking out the site and it does seem they are real professionals and from the reviews I have gone through it seems their products are of great quality. I would definitely be buying from them the next time I am to get contact lens.

  3. Interesting article! Anything as relates to the eye is important and has to be treated with utmost care and attention hence the reason why you should get good contact lenses for yourself. That being said, you wouldn’t want to ship with a price above the selling price of the products so there are a couple of things to factor in.

  4. Dear Huy,

    Thanks for the informative article. I have been using contact lenses for so many years, always following my eye doctor’s advice, and using Acuvue directly from doctor’s office.

    It is so nice that you perform thorough investigation on all aspects of contact lenses. My price is high comparing to the price you mentioned. I bookmark your page and will do some comparison. I am sure I could find something cheaper.

    In you opinion, what price should I look for?

    Regards

    Anthony

    • Hi there Anthony, I don’t think there is a specific price target you should be looking for, because prices and sales are constantly changing so I would just look for the best price presently when you are out shopping.

  5. What an incredible post!I always enjoy all of your writing and this one is no exception because your articles are very insightfulI must say this is an eye opener for me, I cannot help but agree with everything you outlined here in this article.Thanks for sheding more light on tips for finding the best prices for contact lenses. The places to buy contact lenses are like secrets to ne.I will definitely re-visit your site because I can see you give such great and accurate information.Thanks for your indepth analysis

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