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This post was most recently updated on May 25th, 2020
One of the biggest concerns for people that are interested in wearing contact lenses is the cost, and rightfully so, it can be quite expensive. Especially when you factor in the fact that it is a constant recurring cost that you always have to budget for.
So where can you find the best prices for contact lenses?
Best Prices For Contact Lenses
Unfortunately, the answer to that question isn’t quite as simple as you might expect. There is truly not one online retailer that has the best prices for contact lenses for all brands straight across the board. If you have been following our money-saving guides, you will notice that even within one brand you will find different retailers with the best price for different types of contacts within one brand. Even though we can’t give you a one place fits all place to buy contact lenses, below you will find tips on how to find the best prices, as well as authorized retailers online where you can safely buy your contact lenses online.
Tips for finding the best prices for contact lenses
There are a number of ways that you can use to lower the cost of contact lenses, whether you buy your contacts from your doctor’s office, or joining the millions of contact lens users who now order their contact lenses on the internet. Occasionally there are manufacture rebates or promotions from retailers that could help reduce cost. Below you will find our tips for finding the best prices for your contact lenses
- Change your brand – If the brand of contact lenses that you are wearing is expensive, you can always inquire with your doctor when you do your next eye exam to see if there is potentially another brand of contact lenses that would work with your prescription. Remember, there is no guarantee that your specific prescription is available in any other brand than the one that you have been prescribed.
- Look for promotions and coupons – Promotions and coupons are a great way to save money on your contact lenses. Often times many online retailers will be offering promotions on their contact lenses. This may or may not require you to buy over a certain amount of contact lenses. Occasionally you will find retailers that have coupon codes for a certain percentage off. Be sure to check for any promotions or coupons you could take advantage of when it’s time to get contacts.
- Check your vision insurance – If you have vision insurance, check to see if you have benefits that can be applied towards contact lenses. This would help you spend less money out of pocket. If you are purchasing online, there are few online retailers that are able to bill with your insurance, therefore you will have to pay out of pocket and submit your invoice to your insurance provider for reimbursement. If you have vision insurance with VSP, MetLife, or Cigna Vision you can go over to Eyeconic where you can apply your insurance benefits directly to your order.
- Get annual supply – Buying in bulk is a great way to save money. Many online retailers offer discounts on each box if you purchase an annual supply. Don’t forget to shop around, some retailers that have discounts for annual supplies have a high retail price, and the cost is still higher than other retailers. The drawback of purchasing an entire annual supply is that if your prescription changes you might be stuck with contacts you can’t use. Check with the place you purchase your contact lenses from to see what their policy is on returning unopened boxes of contacts in case something like that happens.
- FSA/HSA – If you have a flexible spending account or a health savings account and have a card that is affiliated with Visa or MasterCard, many online as well as local optical retailers will let you use it to purchase your contact lenses just as you would use any other credit or debit card.
- Check with your doctor – Ask your doctor’s office if they price match online prices if they do then you can get everything all in one stop, if not make sure you always ask for a copy of your prescription after your exam.
- Manufacturer rebates – Always check with the manufacture of your contact lenses to see if the brand you are wearing currently has any manufacturer rebates available. This is a great way to get some money back after purchasing your contact lenses. Many times you can still get the manufacturer rebates on top of any instore annual supply savings you might have already purchased.
- Factor shipping cost – If you are purchasing your contact lenses on the internet, don’t forget to think about the cost of shipping when you are making your decision of where you purchase. Some online retailers will require you to spend over a certain amount to get free shipping where other retailers just offer free shipping, some don’t offer free shipping at all. Also do not order last minute, always order before you run out of contacts. Using expedited shipping is an unnecessary expense.
How to get the most out of your contact lenses
Following proper handling and care of your contact lenses will help make sure that your contact lenses last throughout the entire duration that it is meant to be worn. Not only that, following proper care and handling procedures will reduce the chance of getting any unwanted eye infections. Be sure to follow all the recommended steps from your doctor. Below you will find some best practices to get the most out of your contact lenses.
- Wash your hands – Before you handle your contact lenses, always wash your hands. Also make sure that the soap you are using does not have any perfumes, oils or lotions. Any contaminants that are on your hands could potentially be transferred over onto your contact lenses and cause your eyes to become irritated, or worse an eye infection. After you wash your hands, be sure to dry your hands with a clean, lint-free towel.
- Use the recommended solution – Always be sure to use the contact lens solution that is approved for your type of contact lenses. If you want to change solution and you are unsure if it would work with your contact lenses, be sure to ask your doctor because there are some eye drops that aren’t safe for use with contact lenses. Never use tap water, or saliva to clean or wet your contact lenses. Tap water and saliva contain bacteria which could be trapped on your contact lens and lead to serious eye complications.
- Clean storage case – Your storage case should be cleaned everytime you use it, and let it dry out. You should never just keep topping off your solution without cleaning your case. It is also recommended to replace your contacts case every 3 months.
- Hairspray before contacts – If you are going to put hairspray on, make sure you put hairspray before you put on your contact lenses. If you put hairspray with your contact lenses on, the hairspray could get on your contact lenses and interfere with your vision.
- Makeup after contacts – You would put on your make up after you put your contact lenses in, This keeps you from accidentally getting makeup on your contact lenses putting them in. Remove your contacts before you take off your make up,
- Clean contacts – Make sure to clean your contact lenses as recommended by your eye doctor each time you use them. Following proper cleaning procedures keeps them clean and reduce the buildup on the surface of the lenses. Which means you will have
Where To Buy Contact Lenses Online
With more people turning to the internet every day to get a better deal on their contact lenses, there is no shortage of people trying to scam you or send you counterfeit product. Therefore it is important to know where you can buy your contact lenses with peace of mind.
So if you already have your prescription in hand, now all you need is to know where to go, here are some great online retailers that sell contact lenses and some of them sell prescription glasses as well.
- Coastal – This company has been around since 2000 and is now owned by French lens manufacturer Essilor, who acquired Coastal in 2014. Coastal is their website for the United States but they operate globally as Clearly. They have most major brands and will price match any authorized online retailer with a maximum discount of $100. They also offer prescription eyewear as well.
- EZContacts – This company is a New York-based company that offers both contacts as well as prescription eyewear. They carry most major brands of contact lenses, and they have a rewards system where you can earn points and eventually get a $25 off coupon to use towards your next purchase. The real icing on the cake for EZContacts is that they will beat competitor’s prices by 5%, and offer free standard shipping.
- LensDirect – Lens Direct is another New York-based company, but they only offer contact lenses and no prescription eyeglasses. They carry most major brands of contact lenses, and usually at one of the best prices. They also have an auto-refill subscription program where you can get even more off on each box of contact lenses. They also offer free shipping for orders over $49 and will price match, authorized online retailers.
- Walgreens – America’s largest drugstore sells contact lenses, and even though the retail price of the contact lenses on the Walgreens website is more on the expensive side. They often offer promotions where you can get a certain percentage off on your contacts which brings down the cost and standard shipping is free.
- Eyeconic – Eyeconic is operated by the health insurance company Vision Service Plan, and therefore if you have vision insurance and you have VSP, MetLife or Cigna Vision, you would be able to apply for your insurance benefits directly to your order saving you money right away. They do price match authorized retailers, and offer free standard shipping.
- WalmartContacts.com – Walmart is one of the largest retailers that operate globally. After their partnership with 1800contacts ended they started up their own contact lens website. Walmart offers free standard shipping on all their orders, as well as a price match guarantee.
- 1800Contacts – They are one of the more better known online contact lens retailers out there. 1800Contacts has an online prescription renewal system if your prescription is expired one of their licensed ophthalmologists can review your exam results and send your prescription to you within the same day. They offer a great price match in which they will beat the competitor’s price by 2%, and they offer free standard shipping as well.
- ACLens – ACLens is another one of the larger more well-known contact lens retailers out there. They also carry a selection of cosmetic special effects contact lenses as well. ACLens offers a price match guarantee in which they will beat the competitor’s price by 5%, and they also offer free standard shipping when you purchase over $99.
When it comes to prescription contact lenses, the exam itself is expensive enough. Therefore shopping around for the best prices and deals for your contact lenses is a must. Since you would normally be purchasing contact lenses every couple of months, there is plenty of time for retailers to change their prices and promotions in between.
Where do you currently purchase your contact lenses? Why do you purchase them there? Let us know below! If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to leave them below and we will try to get back to you as soon as we can.
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7 thoughts on “Where to Find The Best Prices For Contact Lenses [Money Saving Guide]”
These are some really good tips and I can see how the eye industry has changed recently…you really can shop around now for contacts and I can’t imagine buying them the old fashioned way.
I see ads sometimes for disposable contacts…is that economical? At first glance it seems wasteful but i guess it eliminates having to clean and sanitize regular lenses. I guess a lot depends on your prescription as well?
This seems like a highly competitive industry and like you said I can see a lot of coupons and promotions going on for them to try and get your business. Thank you for another great article.
Hi Tim, there is actually a current concern about where these disposable contact lenses are ending up. They are so small and break down into microplastics. Terrible for the environment.
You are so right about changing brands, it can mean a massive difference to price and some of the lower priced brands are just as good as the more expensive brands, both with contact lenses and other products. I’ve made some huge savings in our home with changing brands.
Buying in bulk and also looking for specials can make for massive savings on contact lenses. It’s always a great idea to ask for a bulk discount – you never know, you might get a great offer from your local supplier!
I recently started wearing glasses and am interested in getting contacts. I have always just bought my glasses from the eye doctor. It sounds like if I go with contacts there may be some better, less expensive options? I always thought I would need to buy them directly from the eye doctor in case there is ever a problem. I do like your suggestion of checking the return policy before buying contacts. I am guessing you probably can’t return a box once they are opened, but it’s good to check. Thanks for all of this great information, I will have to do some research and figure out what option will work best for me.
Right before the school year started, I took my son to get a school physical. They did the eye exam, and he struggled more than usual. The doctor said he has an astigmatism and he’ll need glasses. Immediately, I thought…school clothes = money, school supplies = money, and now, glasses?
Then, he said he doesn’t want to wear glasses because “middle school kids” don’t wear glasses because it’s not cool. Now, I’ve been finding myself reading online about how to get affordable contact lenses and whether that’s even a good route since he’s an 11 year old boy.
I really appreciate this article because it’s giving me some great ideas for how to save on my upcoming investment of the contact lenses. I have an HSA, but I had no idea I could use it for contact lenses.
Thanks for this very useful information Huy. I think that person should know where to buy this things and how to work with them because it is not child’s play and we should be cautious. My friend use contact lenses but he does not pay much attention to hygiene which is very bad. I will show him this great article.
You have made me aware with good tips in your post. Shopping for contact lenses on a website that compares them will be a good idea except one already is a loyal customer to one seller or provider.
Should we dispose contact lenses? Are there no ones that can be used for long period?Can contact lenses replace traditional eye glass?
Thank you for another great article.