The 8 Best Places to Buy Contacts in 2020

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Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

Best Overall: Discount Contact Lenses at discountcontactlenses.com

"Get lenses found on other sites, but at a more affordable price."

Best Budget: AC Lens at aclens.com

"More than 47 brands to choose from."

Best for Convenience: 1800contacts at 1800contacts.com

"Automatically get your contacts when you need 'em."

Best One-Stop Shop: Lenscrafters at lenscrafters.com

"Get your eye exam, prescription, and order contacts."

Best for Buying Only Online: Coastal at coastal.com

"Known for their buy-one, give-one glasses."

Best for Scoring Deals: Walgreens at walgreens.com

"Keep contacts budget-friendly and offer tons of options."

Best Subscription Service: Web Eye Care at webeyecare.com

"You can reorder with Alexa."

Best for Easy Returns: Lens at lens.com

"You can return at any time for free. They’ll cover the cost of shipping."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Discount Contact Lenses

Discount Contact Lenses

Courtesy of Discount Contact Lenses

You still get most contact lenses that you’ll find on other sites, but at a more affordable price when you order from Discount Contact Lenses. Most packs ring in at well under $100, while other companies offer lenses in the triple digits.

In addition to the actual contact lenses, you can also find a range of eye care products on the site, like solution and cases for your contacts, as well as sunglasses and reading glasses. If you don’t need better eyesight, but you do want colored contacts, this site offers that too—all at prices that won’t break the bank.

Best Budget: AC Lens

AC Lens

Courtesy of AC Lens

4.7

With more than 47 brands to choose from, you’ll find the best contact lenses for you—and all at an affordable price. New members also get 20% off on all contact lenses, so you save a little money with your first-time order.

Because the company has been around since 1996, they’ve got the system down, offering lots of FAQs to help you navigate how to order contacts online. If you do have a question, you can give them a call as well. Keep in mind, you do have to spend $99 to get free shipping with an online order at this site. 

Best for Convenience: 1800contacts.com

1800contacts.com

Courtesy of 1800contacts.com

4.4

If you want to make sure you get a fresh set of lenses every month, then the 1800contacts.com page should get a spot on your bookmark list. You can easily input your prescription information—and update it at any time—and you'll automatically get your contacts when you need 'em, without even thinking about it.

If you decide not to do the subscription and realize you're out of lenses, you can also order a set for next-day delivery. Better yet, if your Rx changes and you still have some lenses left, you can send back the remaining pairs for a refund and money toward your next order.

Best One-Stop Shop: Lenscrafters

Lenscrafters

Courtesy of Lenscrafters

Get your eye exam and prescription and order contacts (and glasses, if you want them, too), all at Lenscrafters locations across the country. The vision care center offers a few different brands, and your eye doctor can easily suggest which would be best for you. Choose from different pack sizes, from a few dailies to a three-month supply of monthlies. You can also find contacts for different conditions like astigmatism or multifocal lenses.

Besides the option to buy in-person, you can also easily order contacts online from Lenscrafters—a good idea if you’re just looking for a renewal and want to get it done quickly.

Best for Buying Only Online: Coastal

Coastal

Courtesy of Coastal

4.5

Known for their buy-one, give-one glasses, you can find more than just a pair of spectacles at Coastal. They also offer contact lenses, which you can easily order (and re-order) when you need them. If you aren’t sure how, they have an online chat option so a rep can help you out. They offer a price match guarantee, too, so you can get ‘em on the cheap.

Coastal also offers colored contact lenses and “enhancers” that simply magnify the natural color of your eyes.

Best for Scoring Deals: Walgreens

Walgreens

Courtesy of Walgreens

Order popular brands like Dailies, Acuvue, or Bausch & Lomb (among others) for your everyday contact wearing. The Walgreens site often offers discounts on lenses—in fact, right now you can snag a 20-%-off deal on all contact lenses that the retailer sells.

Besides keeping contacts budget-friendly, Walgreens also offers tons of options for you to choose the right set. You can get daily disposables or pairs you toss after a month or a week; opt for colored lenses to change your pupil hue or focus on multifocal if you need better sight near and far.

Best Subscription Service: Web Eye Care

Web Eye Care

 Web Eye Care

Web Eye Care has a great selection of popular contact lenses at incredibly affordable prices, and their subscription service makes the contact-buying experience hassle-free—you can even reorder with Alexa.

If you're someone who waits by the window to watch for your package delivery, sign up for SMS notifications so you know exactly what's going on with your order (and shipping is free!). Life happens, and if you need to postpone or change your subscription, logging into your account to change the timing is a breeze. Want to cancel? Just text, email, or call and they take care of you right away.

Best for Easy Returns: Lens.com

Lens.com

Courtesy of Lens.com

Filled the wrong prescription? Don’t like the way your lenses feel? No matter why you have to return your contacts, you can do so at any time—and for free. They’ll cover the cost of shipping them back, all you have to do is make sure to call the customer service center first (or email them) before packing them up. The rep will tell you what to do to get your order back, including the paperwork to fill out. It’ll take just two to three business days after you submit everything to get the cash back on your card. 

In addition to the great return policy, you have lots of brands to choose from and that customer service team can help you out with any questions you have before your order.

The Ultimate Contact Lens Buying Guide

By Troy Bedinghaus, OD

It is difficult to estimate how much you may have to spend on contact lenses because so many variables can affect the price. Optometrists determine their own fees for contact lenses, as well as for contact lens exams and follow-up visits. Some optometrists combine these fees into one price, so make sure you ask exactly what you're getting for your money. Most professional optometrists do not combine everything into one price, but rather clearly spell out and itemize what you are paying for. This is because vision plans and insurance companies pay for some of these services and the industry has become standardized for billing purposes.

Types of Contact Lenses

Many different types of contact lenses are available today. Your optometrist will be able to determine the type of lenses that would be most beneficial to you. Typical prices of contact lenses vary depending on the type of lens and the prescription required.

For example, if your vision requires you to wear a contact lens to correct astigmatism, your lenses will be called toric lenses. Toric contact lenses are more expensive than the soft contacts used to correct nearsightedness and farsightedness. Toric lenses are to be replaced twice monthly. However, some doctors will tell you that these lenses can safely be replaced less frequently to lower the monthly cost. If you are over the age of 40 and require a bifocal contact lens, expect to pay more than regular soft contacts. Also, colored contact lenses, as well as special effect lenses, can cost up to 80% more than non-tinted lenses.

Prices

To give you an idea of the price ranges, here are some average contact lens prices taken from commercial opticals, online contact lens retailers, and private doctors' offices.

  • Daily Disposables: $55-95 per box (8 boxes/annual supply)
  • Two-week Disposables: $25-$55 per box (8 boxes/annual supply)
  • Two-week Toric (Astigmatism) Disposables: $50-65 per box (8 boxes/annual supply)
  • Monthly Disposables: $45-85 per box (4 boxes/annual supply)
  • Monthly Toric (Astigmatism) Disposables: $55-95 per box (4 boxes/annual supply)
  • Conventional-Yearly Soft Lenses: $25-100 per lens (2 lenses/annual supply)
  • Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses: $75-325 per lens (2 lenses/annual supply)
  • Hybrid RGP/Soft Lenses: $250-500 per lens (4 lenses/annual supply)

(Keep in mind that some or all of the contact lens fees may be covered under your insurance plan.)

Ordering Contacts Online

If you are considering ordering contact lenses online, pay particular attention to the shipping charges and volume discounts. Typically, prices are extremely competitive in private optometrists offices and they often have manufacturer rebates that are not available online. Online retailers may have slightly lower prices but longer shipping periods (one to two weeks, on average). It may also be more difficult to order custom-designed lenses online.

Federal law prohibits dispensing contact lenses without a valid prescription. Unfortunately, there are a few online contact lens retailers that sell contact lenses without a prescription. The Federal Trade Commission has recently shut down many of these illegal websites.

What You Should Know

Remember that contact lenses are a safe and convenient correction option, but they are also medical devices that must be cared for properly in order to maintain healthy vision. Certain hygiene measures should be taken to avoid possible eye infections or serious eye problems. Washing your hands before handling your contacts is extremely important for safe contact lens wear.

A serious risk associated with contact lens wear is a corneal infection. These infections are often due to due to dangerous organisms that come into contact with the eyes. It is recommended that wash your hands thoroughly with an antimicrobial soap before handling contact lenses.

Never swap lenses with anyone; sharing contact lenses can cause infections and other serious eye problems. Also, never wear your contact lenses for longer than is recommended by your eye doctor. Sleeping in contacts is a bad idea because a contact lens impairs oxygen flow to the cornea. The cornea has no blood flow, so it relies on oxygen in the air to stay healthy. A contact lens covering the eye impedes oxygen flow and alters the physiology of your eye. 

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