Vision correction is a large part of many household budgets. According to contact lens manufacturer Acuvue, the yearly cost to buy contact lenses can range from $120 to $1,200, depending on your insurance and the type of contacts you need.
As with saving money on eyeglasses, if you want to save money on contacts, shopping for deals from the right retailers is crucial.
Thankfully, many retailers help contact lens wearers save money. If you’re tired of overpaying for this necessary expense, you must know where to buy affordable contact lenses.
Here are the cheapest places to buy contacts online:
REMINDER: You must have a valid prescription to buy contact lenses if you live in the U.S. This typically requires an eye exam, adding $50 to $200 to your upfront cost, according to Acuvue. But many health and vision plans cover some or all of the cost, so you might pay nothing out of pocket. Once you get your contact lens prescription, be sure to have physical and electronic copies ready when you shop.
Verdict: Always check back for new promotional offers, including 30% off your contact lenses.
Limited Time Offer: Save 30% off contact lenses plus free shipping with coupon code MONEY-CONTACTS30
GlassesUSA offers affordable eyewear that starts at just $29. But it’s also an affordable way to order contacts online.
GlassesUSA often runs promo codes that grant 30% off all contacts. You can view its coupons and promotions page to find other ongoing deals. You may qualify for a discount of up to 50% if you order from that page.
GlassesUSA now sells its own private-label daily contact lenses called Vista Plus. They may be inexpensive, but they’re not cheap. They’re made with hyaluronic acid to retain moisture and combat dryness, helping them stay comfortable all day. They also provide critical protection from harmful UV-A and UV-B rays, a must in both sunny and snowy climates. Vista Plus lenses are FDA-approved and endorsed by health experts.
If the $1 free trial on the in-house brand isn’t enough to make you switch, you can also shop lenses from brands like:
Lens categories include daily, weekly, and monthly disposables. Lens types include single-vision, multifocal, toric lenses for astigmatism, and color lenses.
The 30% discount helps cut costs for more expensive contacts. For example, GlassesUSA sells a 90-pack of Acuvue Oasys 1-Day for $112.69 per box. But with the discount, the price drops to $78.88 per box. At Walmart, these lenses cost over $80 per box unless you shop in bulk.
Shipping is free, and GlassesUSA works with over a dozen vision insurance providers.
If you can use the one-time 30% to 50% discount or other promo codes like a pair of free eyeglasses, GlassesUSA is one of the most affordable choices.
- 30% off all contact lenses
- Free shipping
- Savings may expire before your next re-order
2. Warby Parker
Verdict: Warby Parker is a trusted name that offers an excellent selection of contacts at reasonable prices and has many vision insurance partners
Warby Parker isn’t just an online contact lens retailer — it also has a growing network of retail locations across North America.
While it’s not always the cheapest option, it stocks the most trusted contact brands available, so you can rest assured you’re getting the quality you expect from your contact lens provider:
Warby Parker also has its own house brand of daily contact lenses called Scout by Warby Parker. Look no further if you’re looking for truly exceptional value from a trusted name.
You’ll get 20% off your first order when you shop for contact lenses at Warby Parker. If you make an annual purchase, you’ll get a separate $50 eyewear credit for discounts on frames, lenses, and other qualifying eyewear purchases on the Warby Parker site.
That’s not all. Warby Parker has some other selling points that many competitors can’t match:
- Free shipping on eligible orders
- No hidden fees
- Renew your prescription at home for just $15
- Schedule an eye exam at any Warby Parker store
- Walk-in appointments are available at many Warby Parker stores
- Innovative flat-pack design for Scout lenses — uses 80% less material and is much easier to carry in a bag or purse
- Try Scout lenses for free — get a 6-day supply with no obligation (by request)
- Partners with several major vision insurance providers, increasing the chances that your purchase is eligible for insurance coverage or reimbursement
- Free shipping
- 20% off your first contacts order
- $50 credit when you buy an annual supply
- large vision insurance network
- Not always the cheapest contacts option
Verdict: Shop at Discount Contact Lenses if you want more brand variety or qualify for a free online vision test for reorders.
As the name suggests, DiscountContacts.com sells contacts at a discount. The company says you can save up to 70% on contacts, and it also offers free shipping on orders over $99.
DiscountContacts.com also carries more brands than many other online options. You can find over 30 popular and niche brands, including:
As the name suggests, DiscountContacts.com sells contacts at a discount. The company says you can save up to 70% on contacts and offers free shipping on orders over $99.
DiscountContacts.com also carries more brands than many other online options.
You can find over 30 popular and niche brands, including:
- Air Optix
Lens categories include conventional vial lenses and daily, weekly, and monthly disposables. Single-vision, multifocal, toric lenses for astigmatism, and colored lenses are the lens types they offer.
DiscountContacts.com also sells rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses. These lenses are harder than soft contact lenses, allowing more oxygen to pass through the lens material. RGP lenses last longer than soft lenses and provide sharper vision. However, it takes time for regular contact lens wearers to become comfortable with the lens type. RGP lenses start at $35 per lens but can last for years with proper care.
Overall, prices are competitive. For example, a 90-count box of Acuvue Oasys 1-Day costs $98.99 on DiscountContacts.com. However, there’s a 20% discount for new customers. Students and military members also qualify for a 20% discount on all orders. That reduces the price to $79.19. At Walmart, the same box is over $80 unless you order six or 12 months’ worth of lenses.
Unlike many online providers, DiscountContacts.com offers limited eye care via an online test and a remote eye doctor. The free online vision test is available to people between the ages of 18 and 55. You use your computer and smartphone to complete the vision test. Your computer displays letter charts like at the optometrist, and you complete vision test questions on your smartphone.
It takes one day for the optometrist to review the 15-minute test before you get a new contact lens prescription. If you feel your current contact lenses aren’t working, it’s a useful feature. However, it’s no substitute for in-person optometrist appointments since online tests can’t check eye health or for conditions like macular degeneration and glaucoma.
DiscountContacts.com is an out-of-network provider for most vision insurance plans, including Davis Vision, EyeMed, UnitedHealthcare, and VSP.
Pro Tip: To save even more money on contact lenses, you can also shop through Rakuten to earn cash-back rewards at DiscountContacts.com and other online retailers. It’s a simple way to get paid for shopping, and Rakuten pays your cash back quarterly through PayPal or check.
- Brand variety
- 20% off on new orders and subscriptions
- Free online vision test (if you qualify)
- Doesn’t have the lowest possible prices
Verdict: ContactsDirect is one of the most affordable options for buying an annual supply of contacts, especially if you leverage discounts and cash-back options.
If you want to buy an annual supply of contact lenses, ContactsDirect has some of the lowest prices on the market, even before any current promos, such as their 20% offer on any purchase.
Most discounts are $75 or less on annual supplies, but some brands offer discounts as high as $100. The website displays a product savings badge that shows how much you save purchasing a yearly supply, so it’s easy to spot deals.
ContactsDirect carries over a dozen brands, including:
Lens categories include daily disposables, two-week lenses, and monthly lenses. For lens types, ContactsDirect offers single-vision, bifocals, multifocal, and toric lenses to correct astigmatism and color lenses.
ContactsDirect often has some of the best prices on bulk orders. For example, an annual supply of Dailies AquaComfort Plus 90-packs, which is eight boxes, drops the price per box from $73.99 to about $65 per box. But the same bulk shopping choice at Walmart brings the price per box to around $68.
Still, ContactsDirect separates itself from the competition with discounts and promo codes. For starters, it often runs the 20% off promo code mentioned above. New customers can get a special discount when they sign up for the site’s newsletter. Additionally, ContactsDirect has a 20% discount for students, military service members, teachers, first responders, and U.S. government employees.
You can’t stack regular promo codes and unique student or employment discounts, but 20% off is nothing to scoff at. Better still, the site has a price match policy. If you find a better price at Walmart, Costco, Walgreens, 1-800 Contacts, or Coastal, call 1-844-5-LENSES, and ContactsDirect will beat that price.
If that wasn’t enough, ContactsDirect is a Rakuten partner, so you can earn cash-back rewards for your purchases.
Standard shipping is free, and you can pick up your order in person at a LensCrafters store. ContactsDirect accepts most major vision insurance plans. However, it is not an in-network provider for VSP.
If you want to save money buying an annual supply of contact lenses, ContactsDirect is possibly the best online option. Use promo codes, compare bulk prices with other retailers, and use price matching if necessary.
- Savings on annual supplies
- Multiple discounts and rebates
- Price matching
- Free shipping or pick up in-store
- Previous online vision test not currently available
Verdict: Shop at Lens.com if you’re willing to bargain-hunt for limited-time deals for massive savings.
You don’t have to settle for cheap contact lenses and low-quality brands to find savings on Lens.com. Popular brands include Acuvue, Biofinity, Biomedics, Dailies, and SofLens.
You can also find over a dozen other brands such as:
For lens categories, options include daily, weekly, and monthly disposables. Single-vision, toric lenses for astigmatism, bifocals, RGP, silicone hydrogel, and color lens types are available. Lens.com also carries novelty lenses for changing the appearance of your eyes.
Lens.com runs limited-time deals that often beat the competition. For example, one recent deal featured a 90-pack of Dailies AquaComfort Plus for $53.24 per box, with a $290 rebate for buying four boxes (dropping the per-box cost to $16.99). In comparison, Walmart sold the same box for nearly $70 per box, with a $60 discount for buying eight boxes. At Costco, the price is $44.87 per box.
Plus, you can renew your prescription by taking a 10-minute online eye exam. You have to be 18 to 55 years old to take the exam, and it requires both a smartphone and a computer. The cost is $15.99.
The primary downside of Lens.com is that U.S. shipping costs a minimum of $9.95. It definitely pays to buy in bulk here.
In terms of vision coverage, Lens.com is an out-of-network provider for most vision care providers, so if you have vision care insurance, check with your insurer to confirm your order is eligible for reimbursement.
Because of the potential savings from deals, it’s always worth comparing Lens.com prices to wherever you typically shop, especially if you’re not in the market for bulk contact lenses.
- Brand variety
- Excellent limited-time deals
- Online vision test
Verdict: Eyeconic only works with VSP, Metlife and Cigna Vision, so if you have other insurance, you may want to look elsewhere as the discounts aren’t steep
Eyeconic offers the most savings for people with VSP insurance, saving you up to $220 on glasses or contacts while using insurance. They also offer steep annual subscription discounts, saving you up to another $120.
Eyeconic works with top brands including:
Eyeconic sells daily, weekly, and monthly contacts and offers single-vision, multifocal, toric, and color-enhancing lenses. Eyeconic offers their best deals on annual supplies, but they still aren’t comparable with stores like Walmart.
For example, a 90-pack of Dailies Aqua Comfort Plus is $82.99 per box for one box, and $74.69 per box for an annual subscription. At Walmart, the same single box costs $75.86 and an annual supply costs $68.36 per box.
However, Eyeconic offers the best deals for people with VSP insurance, offering a discount on top of the insurance benefits. In addition, Eyeconic offers free shipping and returns on all orders.
- Extensive brand variety
- Subscription discounts
- Special offer for teachers, military personnel, first responders, seniors, and students
7. AC Lens
Verdict: AC Lens is a solid option if you subscribe for contact lens delivery, but it’s not the most affordable choice for one-time purchases.
If you’re a fan of subscription services, AC Lens is one of your best options for buying contacts online. If you subscribe for lens delivery, you receive 20% off future deliveries. You also get free shipping on all orders.
If you don’t like subscriptions, you can still shop directly for contacts. Additionally, new customers usually get 10% off their first order.
There are numerous brands, more than 30 in all. Notable options include:
If you’re a fan of subscription services, AC Lens is one of your best options for buying contacts online. You receive 20% off future deliveries if you subscribe for lens delivery and get free shipping on all orders.
If you don’t like subscriptions, you can still shop directly for contacts. Additionally, new customers usually get 15% off their first order.
There are numerous brands, more than 30 in all. Notable options include:
- Extreme H20
- Johnson & Johnson
- Bausch + Lomb
Lens categories include daily, weekly, and monthly disposables. AC Lens carries single-vision, bifocal and multifocal lenses, toric lenses to correct astigmatism, and color lenses. You can also find conventional vial and RGP contacts.
Like some contact lens suppliers, AC Lens offers a free online vision test if you’re between 18 and 55. It’s a 15-minute test, and you receive your new contact lens prescription within one business day.
To take the test, you read letters from a distance using your computer’s screen and record your answers on a smartphone. Online eye exams don’t examine eye health or work well for powerful prescriptions. If you have a strong prescription, it’s better to go to an optometrist than use an online vision test.
Standard U.S. shipping is free and takes five to seven business days. You can get faster shipping for $9.99 and overnight shipping for $19.99.
Be aware that AC Lens is an out-of-network provider for most vision insurance plans, including:
- Davis Vision
Given all this, AC Lens could still be worth it if you subscribe for the 20% discount and use free shipping. But without discounts, it’s priced too high for smaller one-time orders.
- 20% off subscriptions
- 15% off first-time purchases
- Free online vision test
- Free shipping
- Becomes less affordable than bulk shopping options after your first order if you don’t subscribe
8. 1-800 Contacts
Verdict: 1-800 Contacts is worth it to leverage the 20% welcome discount for a first-time order, but it’s more hassle to get deals for the long term.
New customers can receive a 20% discount at 1-800 Contacts. You can also subscribe for regular deliveries to save 5% off future orders.
For brands, 1-800 Contacts carries popular choices like:
- Air Optix
Lens categories include vial lenses and daily, one- to two-week, and monthly disposables. You can find single-vision, bifocal, and multifocal lenses, toric lenses for astigmatism, and color lenses.
The 20% discount helps 1-800 Contacts remain competitive for first-time orders. For example, a 30-pack of Dailies AquaComfort Plus costs about $23 with the discount. Discount Contact Lenses sells the same box for about $25. If you spend more on a 90-pack, 1-800 Contacts’ price per box is $67.99, whereas Discount Contact Lenses’ price drops to $63.99 per box.
If you need to renew your contact lens prescription, you can take an online vision test on your smartphone in 10 minutes. The site charges $20 for this service.
Online vision tests help you renew your prescription but don’t examine eye health. If it’s been a year or two since you went for an in-person eye exam, renew your prescription through an optometrist instead.
U.S. shipping is free, and 1-800 Contacts is an in-network provider for:
- Davis Vision
- Superior Vision
- Blue View Vision
- Anthem BCBS
You can use it as an out-of-network provider with other vision insurance plans.
The site also has a best-price guarantee, promising to beat any publicly available deal from a U.S. competitor. However, you can’t combine this price match with insurance. Instead, the site compares your final price for both and gives you whichever one is lower. However, to maximize your discount, the site also works with Rakuten.
The first-time discount makes 1-800 Contacts worth considering if you’re spending a lot of money on your first order and the price matching makes it a decent value for recurring purchases, though it takes a little more work to use.
- 20% first-time order discount
- free shipping
- 5% subscription discount isn’t the best subscription deal
Tips When Ordering Contacts Online
Ordering contacts online can be a great way to save money, but here are some tips to use when you want to buy cheap contact lenses online.
- Get a thorough eye exam: It’s important to have a thorough eye exam to ensure you have the right contact lens subscription and that your eyes are healthy. A comprehensive eye exam ensures the proper fit and prescription, as contact lenses have different prescriptions than eyeglasses.
- Stick with the brand prescribed: Your eye doctor will prescribe a specific brand based on what your eye needs and what works best. Don’t switch brands because it could reduce the effectiveness of the contacts.
- Look for deals: With a valid prescription, you can purchase contact lenses anywhere, not just from the doctor who prescribed them. There are many online deals, including specials for first-time customers that can help you save money.
- Look for renewal deals: Some stores offer an additional discount if you renew your subscription. Compare those offers to the offers you’d get as a new customer at a different store before renewing your prescription.
Frequently Asked Questions
Finding cheap contact lenses is important since the cost can add up fast. Here are some questions people have about buying cheap contact lenses.
Are discount contact lenses legit?
Many stores offer deals on contact lenses, so discount contact lenses can be legit. The key is to be careful and only purchase from reputable sellers. If you don’t know the company and can’t find any information on their reliability, on the Better Business Bureau, consider looking elsewhere.
Do you need a prescription to buy contact lenses online?
Yes, you must have a valid prescription to purchase contact lenses online. When you have your eye exam completed, ask for a digital and written copy of your prescription and keep it somewhere safe. The prescription is good for 12 months, allowing you to reorder contacts until the prescription expires.
Is it safe to buy prescription contact lenses online?
It’s usually safe to buy prescription contact lenses online as long as you purchase them from a reputable seller. Always check the prescription label on the box to what your doctor ordered to ensure you’re getting the right lenses.
Methodology: How We Chose the Best Places to Buy Cheap Contact Lenses
When choosing the best places to buy cheap contact lenses, we consider the following:
- Reputation: We only suggest stores with a reputation of providing high-quality contact lenses with positive reviews, good shipping policies, and the option to earn discounts.
- Cost: We compare the cost across all stores recommended to ensure we’re recommending the stores with the lowest prices.
- Shipping: We try to stick to stores that offer free shipping and returns, or frequently run promotions for free shipping.
- Accepts insurance: Not all contact lens retailers accept insurance, but we try to find the stores that offer the widest selection of vision insurance policies.
Vision care is expensive. But when it comes to buying contact lenses, you rarely have to pay full price considering how much competition there is in the market.
Try shopping online with shopping browser extensions and daily discount websites to take your savings even further. Websites like Rakuten and Capital One Shopping help you earn cash back and find coupon codes that are free to use.
Also, if you can use websites that offer free shipping instead of paying extra every time you buy contact lenses online, that’s another simple way to save.
Additionally, take advantage of other ways to save money on vision care. For example, most contact lenses and lens solutions are eligible purchases under your health savings account and flexible spending account, which help you save money when filing your taxes.
As long as you spend time looking for deals and use the discounts and tools at your disposal, you can put a dent in your annual vision care expenses without sacrificing quality.