Ordering your contacts online is now easier than ever. You can find affordable contact lenses at these top online retailers without sacrificing quality and style.
Even with vision benefits, contact lenses can cost you a pretty penny. If you're looking for affordable contact lenses, you likely know that your eye doctor or local optical shop is probably the most expensive way to buy them. Instead, you'll want to buy contact lenses online to get the best deals.
There are many online stores that offer every contact lens brand you can think of, often at discounted prices or with rebates. We've rounded up some of the best places to buy contacts online below. Our best overall pick for best online contacts retailer is Warby Parker. However, by shopping around you can get the most savings and find a store that lets you use your insurance to help offset the cost.
So, ready to ditch the frames and dive in? Here is where you can find contacts at an affordable price.
Read more: Best Online Glasses and Contacts Deals: Savings You'll Have to See to Believe
Warby Parker doesn't just sell affordable and stylish eyeglasses -- the company sells contact lenses too. You can pick from Scout, Warby Parker's own contact lens brand, or get contacts from Acuvue, Biotrue, Air Optix, Dailies and other major brands.
A three-month supply of Scout daily contacts (a total of 90 lenses) starts at $47, which is a good deal for daily contact lenses. Depending on where you shop and the brand you use, prices online can vary from $60 to $200. You can get a six-day trial pack of Scout contact lenses to see if you like them before committing to a full supply.
Depending on your vision insurance, you may be able to use your benefits to pay for your Warby Parker contacts purchase. If your insurance company doesn't directly work with Warby Parker, you can instead file a claim with your insurance to be reimbursed for any qualified orders.
Lens.com's prices are often lower than other shops for prescription contact lenses. It has an impressive selection of brands -- including Acuvue, Air Optix, Dailies and Biofinity Toric for astigmatism -- plus it takes returns and covers the cost of shipping unopened boxes back.
Lens.com is an out-of-network provider for vision insurance, so you can't use your benefits to directly pay for your order. However, you can submit the receipt to your insurance company for reimbursement/ (Always check with your insurance company to see what it covers.)
As one of the best-known contacts stores, 1800Contacts stocks all of the most popular brands, and you can even get hard contacts through its call center. One CNET editor praised the company for providing customer service that went above and beyond.
1800Contacts price-matches any competitor, so if you find a better price, you can let the company know and it will do its best to match it (with some restrictions).
Like Lens.com, you can text or email your contact lens prescription, which speeds up the ordering process. 1800Contacts also offers discount contact lenses for students and free shipping on all orders, and allows you to update your prescription through an online test (only available for adults between 18 and 55 years old). You can also buy colored contact lenses from 1800Contacts. If you need to exchange your unopened lenses for any reason, 1800Contacts will cover the shipping cost.
A popular source for cheap contact lenses among my fellow CNET editors is ContactsDirect, because it often sends out coupon codes to customers. It has a wide selection of lens type options, including multifocal lenses, colored contacts, soft contact lenses for dry eyes and toric lenses for astigmatism.
ContactsDirect offers returns on products that were purchased within one year if your eye vision changes and you need a vision correction from your doctor. ContactsDirect (and 1800Contacts) also sells contact lens solution.
Eyeconic has a wide array of contact lens brands to choose from, including Acuvue, Air Optix, Biotrue by Bausch and Lomb and Extreme H2O. Like others on this list, it offers free shipping and free returns.
Last but not least is GlassesUSA.com, which sells both contact lenses and glasses and will price-match other sellers. Like every other retailer on this list, GlassesUSA.com has all of the popular lens brands, including Acuvue, Biofinity and more, and offers free returns and free shipping on prescription lenses.
Buying contact lenses online is just as safe as buying them from your eye doctor, as you get the same lenses you'd find at the optical shop. The process requires a little extra effort than getting them from your eye doctor, but you'll be rewarded with savings.
To get started, you just need to follow a few easy steps.
Pro tip: Right after your contact lens exam, it's almost always worth it to get a year's supply of your current prescription. Regardless of whether you're buying daily disposable contacts, monthly lenses or even multifocal contacts, buying in bulk will help you save money.
If your prescription changes sometime during that year, many of the retailers above will allow you to exchange unopened boxes with a new prescription. You don't have much to lose by buying a full year supply. Though it can be a higher up-front cost, you'll save money over buying one box at a time.
If you are considering buying contacts online, keep these things in mind to ensure you make a safe purchase.
Yes. 1-800 Contacts is a real online retailer. They are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and all lenses are FDA approved.
Most online retailers that sell contacts are safe. Just be sure that they fulfill your exact prescription.
No. It is illegal to sell contact lenses to anyone without a valid prescription.
Yes. Contact lenses are medical devices that require a prescription for you to purchase them -- either online or in person. Before you start shopping, you'll first need to get an eye exam and contact lens prescription from your optician or optometrist. An eye doctor can help you determine the best prescription lenses for your specific needs, whether that's daily contacts, soft lenses, hard lenses, lenses for astigmatism or multifocal lenses.
With so many stores to choose from, how do you pick where to buy your contacts online? Here are some things to consider:
Contact lenses can be expensive. But you can save money by shopping for contacts online.
Disposable contacts will cost you more money in the long run over a pair of glasses. For example, Acuvue Oasys, one of the most popular brand of soft lenses, average around $25 to $40 for a box of 12 lenses at the stores above. That box of 12 is enough for three months (one lens per eye, thrown away every two weeks). That adds up to around $160 per year for contacts.
The full retail price for a 12-pack of Acuvue Oasys is listed as $90 on Lenscrafters.com, so you stand to save quite a lot of money by shopping around online.