13 Places To Buy Cheap Contact Lenses Online

Casey Bond
·8 min read

A cute pair of frames can really pull together a look, but sometimes you just don’t want pesky glasses on your face. Unfortunately, contact lenses are expensive, and insurance plans usually only cover glasses or lenses ― not both. Plus, there are limits to that coverage.

Though you won’t score the kind of major discounts you would by buying glasses online , purchasing your contacts from a third-party online retailer instead of your eye care provider is usually a surefire way to save money.

One thing to keep in mind when comparison shopping for contacts is that prices vary pretty widely depending on the type of lens you want. For example, daily disposable lenses that you toss after each use are generally more expensive than the kind you keep for up to 30 days. If you have astigmatism, you’ll need boric lenses, which also tend to cost more. Other specialty lenses, such as multifocal and colored varieties, also tend to be pricier than simple prescriptions.

Also, not all retailers accept insurance or are considered out-of-network by major providers. However, you can often submit the receipt to your insurance provider and get reimbursed if you are covered (it’s always a good idea to check). Plus, if you have a health savings account or flexible spending account, most products will qualify to be paid for with those funds.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change.

Cheapest Places To Buy Contacts Online

With that in mind, we selected a few different types of lenses and compared their prices across 13 popular online stores for buying contacts. While no one retailer had the best prices across the board, there were a few standouts, including 1 800 Contacts, Contact Lens King and Costco.

Price comparison of contact lenses from 13 discount retailers. Best prices are highlighted in dark green, while higher prices fade to yellow (shipping and other fees not included). (Photo: )
Price comparison of contact lenses from 13 discount retailers. Best prices are highlighted in dark green, while higher prices fade to yellow (shipping and other fees not included). (Photo: )

Though this chart gives you an idea of where you can find the cheapest contacts, don’t write off the ones with higher prices without looking into them. Many discount contact lens retailers offer special deals for new customers, plus promotions throughout the year. Many also offer significant discounts for bulk orders, as well as price-matching guarantees. So it pays to shop around and compare costs from multiple sellers before placing an order.

Here’s a look at the benefits and current promotions currently offered by 13 contact lens retailers. Keep in mind that prices and promotions are subject to change at any time.

1. 1 800 Contacts

You’ll find a wide variety of lenses available at 1 800 Contacts, and at affordable prices. You can text or email in your prescription for fast service, and in many cases, take a simple online test when you need to update your prescription. Plus, if your prescription changes and you still have some older lenses left, you can send them back for a refund and get credit toward the next order.

Accepts insurance?: Yes

Shipping: Free on all orders

Discounts available: For a limited time, save 20% on all orders of $150 or more. This discount is available on all brands and is applied automatically.

Other perks: Free returns, free torn lens replacement

2. AC Lens

AC Lens boasts “more stock and faster shipping than your eye doctor.” It also offers a subscription service with added savings.

Accepts insurance?: No

Shipping: Free on orders over $99

Discounts available: New customers can save 20% with the discount code P52T23R.

Other perks: Free returns, sign up for a lens subscription to save 10% on all future orders.

3. Coastal

In addition to contacts, Coastal is also a good place to pick up discount eyewear. The company offers a generous price match guarantee on the final amount at checkout, including shipping and handling charges. It also offers a subscription program that provides extra savings.

Accepts insurance?: No

Shipping: $5.95 for standard shipping

Discounts available: New customers can get 15% off their first order, plus free shipping, by signing up for emails. Get $10 off orders of $89 or more with the code 10OFF89. Earn 5% off and free shipping when you sign up for a subscription.

Other perks: Price match guarantee, free returns

4. Contact Lens King

The name is fitting ― Contact Lens King boasts some of the cheapest options available, often offering lenses for much less than its competitors.

Accepts insurance?: No

Shipping: $7.95 for standard shipping

Discounts available: No site-wide promotions at the moment.

Other perks: FSA / HSA eligible

5. ContactsDirect

In addition to offering an extensive variety of brands at low costs, ContactsDirect also sells a few different types of solutions as well. The company also accepts returns on unopened boxes for up to a year.

Accepts Insurance?: Yes

Shipping: Free

Discounts available: Get 15% off your order with the code CONTACTSTIME.

Other perks: Best price guarantee

6. Costco

Costco serves as a one-stop shop where members can have their eyes examined, order contacts and pick up a variety of other eye care items. However, you don’t have to visit a physical location to get cheap contacts ― simply order them online. Orders are shipped once the prescription is verified. Note that prices may vary depending on your zip code.

Accepts insurance?: Yes

Shipping: Varies

Discounts available: No site-wide promotions at the moment.

Other perks: Additional rebates on select brands

7. DiscountContactLenses.com

In addition to cheap contact lenses, you can also pick up various contact care products such as solution and lens cases through DiscountContactLenses.com. You can also purchase eyewear such as reading glasses and sunglasses.

Accepts insurance?: No

Shipping: Free shipping on orders over $99

Discounts available: New customers can save 20% on their orders with the code X84Y95B.

Other perks: 365-day return window on qualifying purchases

8. Eyeconic

One of the perks of purchasing contacts through Eyeconic is that it offers major discounts for ordering a year’s worth of contacts at a time. You can also connect your vision insurance to see the actual cost and savings as you shop. Eyeconic also offers automatic refills.

Accepts insurance?: Yes

Shipping: Free

Discounts available: Save $50 on contact orders of $250 or more with the code SCARY50.

Other perks: Price matching

9. Glasses USA

Don’t let the name fool you: Glasses USA has a solid variety of contact lenses at competitive prices. However, you can score deep discounts by purchasing glasses and contacts together.

Accepts insurance?: No

Shipping: Free

Discounts available: Get 25% off contacts with the code CONTACTS25. Get 75% off glasses when you also buy contacts using the code CONTACTS70.

Other perks: Free returns

10. Lens.com

Despite the higher shipping cost, Lens.com tends to offer some of the lowest prices on lenses compared to competitors. It also has an impressive number of brands in stock.

Accepts insurance?: No

Shipping: $7.95 for standard shipping

Discounts available: No site-wide promotions available at the moment.

Other perks: Free returns, money-back guarantee

11. Lenscrafters

You probably think of Lenscrafters as that place in the mall where you can go get your glasses adjusted. However, this retailer also offers a great selection of contacts (as well as eyewear) at low prices. If you need your eyes examined, too, you can visit one of their many locations that also also accept most major types of insurance.

Accept insurance?: Yes

Shipping: Free

Discounts available: No site-wide promotions available at the moment.

Other perks: Free returns, 30-day happiness guarantee

12. Walgreens

Another major retailer with physical locations, Walgreens stands out as a great place to get cheap contacts. In order to order from Walgreens, you need to provide a valid prescription from the last 12 months, along with your doctor’s information.

Accepts insurance?: No

Shipping: Free

Discounts available: Get 20% off your order with the code DEAL20

Other perks: Save up to an additional $150 with rebates on select contact lens purchases.

13. Walmart

Walmart offers a large selection of lenses through it’s online store at competitive prices. However, you can also order by phone or in-store. Walmart has vision centers in more than 2,500 retail locations, so you can visit a store if you’re in need of an eye exam, too.

Accepts insurance?: In-store only

Shipping: Free

Discounts available: No site-wide promotions available at the moment.

Other perks: Free returns, price match guarantee

Related Coverage

8 Dos And Don’ts For Contact Lens Wearers

Here's What Really Happens When You Sleep In Your Contact Lenses

7 Of The Best Places To Buy Glasses Online For Cheap

What To Do When You Desperately Need Help With Medical Bills

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Roll Over Your Old 401(k)

“Employees should consider rolling over an old 401(k) or 403(b) <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/topic/retirement">retirement</a> plan into an IRA, which typically takes a matter of minutes. Though the money in the old plan will continue to grow tax-deferred, investors can end up paying much higher fees in an employer-sponsored retirement plan such as a 401(k) due to expensive fund options and plan administration costs. Those fees eat directly into an individual’s potential return. The savings can be significant if you switch to an IRA — even close to 1 percent in some cases. Over time, that can really add up.” ― <i>Kristin McFarland, a wealth advisor and certified financial planner at <a href="https://darrowwealthmanagement.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Darrow Wealth Management</a> in Boston.</i>
“Employees should consider rolling over an old 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan into an IRA, which typically takes a matter of minutes. Though the money in the old plan will continue to grow tax-deferred, investors can end up paying much higher fees in an employer-sponsored retirement plan such as a 401(k) due to expensive fund options and plan administration costs. Those fees eat directly into an individual’s potential return. The savings can be significant if you switch to an IRA — even close to 1 percent in some cases. Over time, that can really add up.” ― Kristin McFarland, a wealth advisor and certified financial planner at Darrow Wealth Management in Boston.

Switch Banks

“If you aren’t earning at least 1 percent on your savings, you’re leaving money on the table. By simply switching from a traditional brick-and-mortar bank to a high-yield <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/topic/savings-account">savings account</a>, you can make your money work harder for you and earn on your savings effortlessly. It takes just a few seconds to compare interest rates between financial institutions to find the best option for you; opening a high-yield online savings account can be done in a matter of minutes.” ― <i>Andrea Woroch, <a href="http://www.andreaworoch.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">consumer savings expert</a></i>
“If you aren’t earning at least 1 percent on your savings, you’re leaving money on the table. By simply switching from a traditional brick-and-mortar bank to a high-yield savings account, you can make your money work harder for you and earn on your savings effortlessly. It takes just a few seconds to compare interest rates between financial institutions to find the best option for you; opening a high-yield online savings account can be done in a matter of minutes.” ― Andrea Woroch, consumer savings expert

Negotiate With Your Internet Provider

“Call your internet provider and negotiate your bill. Let them know your budget has changed and you are shopping around. Providers usually have some sort of special promotion going on that they’ll offer you. For example, my provider once offered a huge discount for college students and gave us our internet for half price during the school year. Spending 10 minutes on the phone saved us around $300-$400.” ― <i>Jaime Gibbs, a faith and finance blogger at </i><a href="http://likeabubblingbrook.com/"><i>Like a Bubbling Brook</i></a>
“Call your internet provider and negotiate your bill. Let them know your budget has changed and you are shopping around. Providers usually have some sort of special promotion going on that they’ll offer you. For example, my provider once offered a huge discount for college students and gave us our internet for half price during the school year. Spending 10 minutes on the phone saved us around $300-$400.” ― Jaime Gibbs, a faith and finance blogger at Like a Bubbling Brook

Complete A Health Assessment

“Many people don’t realize that their health insurance provider offers the option to complete a health assessment, which means they miss out on hundreds of dollars each year. Ours has typically been a simple online survey that takes about 20 minutes to complete. In exchange (no matter what the results), we get $150 in gift cards for every insured person over 18.” ― <i>Val Breit, owner of personal finance blog </i><a href="http://thecommoncentsclub.com/"><i>The Common Cents Club</i></a>
“Many people don’t realize that their health insurance provider offers the option to complete a health assessment, which means they miss out on hundreds of dollars each year. Ours has typically been a simple online survey that takes about 20 minutes to complete. In exchange (no matter what the results), we get $150 in gift cards for every insured person over 18.” ― Val Breit, owner of personal finance blog The Common Cents Club

Sign Up For Auto-Pay

“If you follow a reasonable budget, setting your bills to auto-pay is a great way to save time and money. Start by looking at your monthly mandatory expenses and find a company that incentivizes customers to sign up for automatic billing. Usually, they’ll offer a reduced interest rate or discounts on future transactions, depending on what type of bill it is. If you’re going to have to pay a bill eventually, why not get a discount for doing it automatically? Common places to find discounts can include student loans, car loans or utilities such as your electric bill. And the biggest perk? You don’t have to worry about remembering to pay the bill in full each month ― it’s all taken care of.” <i>― Ben Huber, owner of </i><a href="https://www.dollarsprout.com/"><i>Dollar Sprout</i></a>
“If you follow a reasonable budget, setting your bills to auto-pay is a great way to save time and money. Start by looking at your monthly mandatory expenses and find a company that incentivizes customers to sign up for automatic billing. Usually, they’ll offer a reduced interest rate or discounts on future transactions, depending on what type of bill it is. If you’re going to have to pay a bill eventually, why not get a discount for doing it automatically? Common places to find discounts can include student loans, car loans or utilities such as your electric bill. And the biggest perk? You don’t have to worry about remembering to pay the bill in full each month ― it’s all taken care of.” ― Ben Huber, owner of Dollar Sprout

Rethink Your Health Insurance

“Re-evaluate your health insurance options at work since now is enrollment time. What did you sign up for in the past that you now don’t need? For example, I knew someone who had health insurance and cancer insurance. The cancer insurance, which she did not need, was $100 a month. She removed it for instant savings.” <i>― Ja’Net Adams, speaker, author and creator of </i><a href="https://www.debtsucksuniversity.com/"><i>Debt Sucks University</i></a>
“Re-evaluate your health insurance options at work since now is enrollment time. What did you sign up for in the past that you now don’t need? For example, I knew someone who had health insurance and cancer insurance. The cancer insurance, which she did not need, was $100 a month. She removed it for instant savings.” ― Ja’Net Adams, speaker, author and creator of Debt Sucks University

Skim Your Bank Statements

“Spend 30 to 60 minutes one evening and review your past two to three months of bank statements. You might find your bank is charging you monthly maintenance fees that can be avoided and save you a couple hundred dollars a year. One way to avoid monthly fees is to enroll in direct deposit or, if you can, keep at least $1,000 in your checking account.” ― <i>Jason Reposa, CEO and co-founder of </i><a href="https://www.mybanktracker.com/"><i>MyBankTracker</i></a>
“Spend 30 to 60 minutes one evening and review your past two to three months of bank statements. You might find your bank is charging you monthly maintenance fees that can be avoided and save you a couple hundred dollars a year. One way to avoid monthly fees is to enroll in direct deposit or, if you can, keep at least $1,000 in your checking account.” ― Jason Reposa, CEO and co-founder of MyBankTracker

Listen To A Personal Finance Podcast

“There are many out there, which can be from a few minutes long to almost an hour. These types of podcasts will greatly impact your knowledge and help you to learn how to save money at no cost to you. And you also aren’t spending hours to learn, either. It’s something I do each week and has helped me make smarter money choices.” ― <i>Todd Kunsman, founder of <a href="https://investedwallet.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Invested Wallet</a></i>
“There are many out there, which can be from a few minutes long to almost an hour. These types of podcasts will greatly impact your knowledge and help you to learn how to save money at no cost to you. And you also aren’t spending hours to learn, either. It’s something I do each week and has helped me make smarter money choices.” ― Todd Kunsman, founder of Invested Wallet

Switch To A Prepaid Cellphone Plan

“Call your cellphone provider and ask about their prepaid pricing plans. With a few minutes on the phone, you can save $15 or more per month ($180+ per year), plus increase your data limit. After switching to prepaid, we saved $15 a month and increased our data from 3GB shared to 10GB each (20GB total).” <i>― Evan and Nikayla, the bloggers behind </i><a href="https://budgetingcouple.com/budgeting/"><i>Budgeting Couple</i></a>
“Call your cellphone provider and ask about their prepaid pricing plans. With a few minutes on the phone, you can save $15 or more per month ($180+ per year), plus increase your data limit. After switching to prepaid, we saved $15 a month and increased our data from 3GB shared to 10GB each (20GB total).” ― Evan and Nikayla, the bloggers behind Budgeting Couple

Set It And Forget It

“Using an app like <a href="https://www.acorns.com/" rel="nofollow">Acorns</a> can take less than 10 minutes to set up and will continuously save (and actually invest) money every time you make a purchase. Acorns works by rounding up each transaction to the nearest dollar and investing the difference for you automatically. It’s a simple and quick way to get a method of saving and investing money every single day in place.” ― <i>Dustyn Ferguson, blogger at </i><a href="https://dimewilltell.com/"><i>Dime Will Tell</i></a>
“Using an app like Acorns can take less than 10 minutes to set up and will continuously save (and actually invest) money every time you make a purchase. Acorns works by rounding up each transaction to the nearest dollar and investing the difference for you automatically. It’s a simple and quick way to get a method of saving and investing money every single day in place.” ― Dustyn Ferguson, blogger at Dime Will Tell

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.