If you wear contact lenses, you know the struggle: they’re so expensive to buy on-location from your optometrist.
Luckily, you have other options. There are some amazing websites out there offering low-cost contact lenses, so you can have them delivered straight to your door and save money – not to mention time.
Ready to learn more? Read on for the 8 best places to buy cheap contact lenses online in 2020.
How to get started
Before I get into my review of the best places to buy your contacts online, here are a few basic first steps to help you get the ball rolling:
1. Get an eye exam: To get your contact lens or glasses prescription, you’ll need an eye exam from an optometrist. Some sites offer online eye exams, while others require an on-site exam at their location or from a third party.
2. Find out about vision insurance: If you have access to vision insurance, you can drastically lower the cost of your prescription lenses. Most of the sites on this list will work with your insurance plan.
3. Find your site: Find a site that carries your brand of contacts for an affordable price, and set up regular deliveries!
To help you with this step, here are 8 of the best online contacts providers:
Even though they started as a source of low-cost contact lenses over the phone, today you can get your lenses online through 1-800-Contacts.
Through this site, you can get your contacts delivered for free, quickly. The platform is super easy to navigate, and you’ll have no problem finding your contacts within a few minutes.
1-800-Contacts is a great option if you’re shopping for contacts without a prescription and vision insurance. On top of that, you can take advantage of their online eye exam to skip the trip to the doctor’s office.
Need help finding your brand? There is 24/7 live chat support on the website to help you out.
- Carries all major brands
- Free shipping
- Online eye exam available
- Great customer support
- Shipping may take a little longer than with some other sites.
One of the oldest prescription glasses and contact lenses providers around, LensCrafters now offers convenient online shopping.
You can easily find your preferred brand on this site, and have your lenses shipped to you quickly. They also offer a complete refund on returns within 30 days after you make your purchase.
For prescription lenses, LensCrafters accepts most insurance plans. You can have your eye exam done in-house and get your contacts the same day — if you feel like heading into one of their locations.
- Carries all major brands
- Comes with benefits for AAA members
- Plenty of discounts and promotions available
- Accepts vision insurance plans
- Only in-store eye exams available
- Glasses don’t come with a warranty
The name says it all. DiscountContacts.com is your go-to website for contact lenses at a discount.
You can also buy your cases, lens solution, and red eye treatments at this site. If you spend over $99 on your order, shipping is free. Plus, any return within 365 days will be refunded.
The coolest thing about this website? If you find a competitor with cheaper lenses, DiscountContacts.com will match that price, plus an additional 5% off.
- They sell everything you need for your lenses
- Most major brands in stock
- Competitor price match
- Free returns within a year of purchasing
- No free shipping unless you spend more than $99
- No eye exams available
If they carry your brand, ContactsDirect is one of the most convenient websites to buy contact lenses online, with or without vision insurance.
They make it super easy to get the deal you’re looking for. If you have insurance, ContactsDirect will file your claim for you, so you don’t have to waste time dealing with your insurance company. If you don’t have vision insurance, their lenses are still affordable.
ContactsDirect routinely offers special deals and promotions, so keep an eye on their website to see if you can find your brand marked down. You can also get $100 off your annual supply of lenses just by looking for specially marked products.
- Will file vision insurance claims on your behalf
- Low prices
- Free shipping available on all purchases
- Plenty of discounts offered
- Not as wide of a selection as some other sites
- Taxes not included in purchase price – makes it confusing to know the exact price while you’re shopping
One of the most popular glasses and contact lenses sites out there, Coastal is a great option if you want to speed up the shopping process.
You can sign up for the site by providing your contacts prescription and doctor’s information. After that, you’re free to shop whenever you want. Coastal carries most major brands, and even some specialty lenses like bifocals and trifocals.
There are always discounts available on this site, including 10% off any purchase over $99 (with a specific discount code).
Need a new pair of glasses? When you buy your prescription glasses from Coastal, they give you the option to donate a pair to someone in need.
- Easy to navigate site
- Low prices on nearly all major brands
- Specialty lenses available
- Great customer service
- Shipping costs can vary
- Shorter window for free returns than some other sites
Want your monthly prescription delivered to your door, with no hassle? Give Hubble a try.
This site takes a unique approach to providing low-cost contact lenses. They offer their own brand of Hubble contacts that you can try for just $1 on your first shipment. After that, you can renew your prescription for $36 a month, plus $3 for shipping and handling.
If you’re loyal to another brand of lenses, Hubble also carries all the major brands. You can get 20% off your first order, and set up regular shipments after that.
Unfortunately, Hubble doesn’t work with insurance plans. But if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA), they will work with those. They also offer regular sales and discounts to keep their costs as low as possible.
- Convenient monthly shipments with automatic payments
- Low cost lenses
- Pay $1 for your first purchase (of Hubble brand contacts)
- Fast shipping for only $3
- Doesn’t work with insurance plans
- $5 restocking fee if you need a particular brand
WebEyeCare is a great site if you’re looking for guaranteed affordability.
If you find your contact lenses at a lower price on another website, they’ll match that price, with an additional 1% off. That way, you’ll always be sure you’re getting the best possible deal.
WebEyeCare ships lenses directly from the manufacturer, so you shouldn’t have any problem finding the contacts you need in stock. They also offer a lot of helpful tips on their blog – perfect for someone who recently switched from glasses to contacts and needs to learn more about care and prescriptions.
Shipping through WebEyeCare is free. However, shipping times can really vary, so you might want to opt for expedited shipping if you’re in a hurry to have your lenses delivered. They offer free returns within 60 days of purchasing.
- Discounted lenses directly from the manufacturer
- Free shipping on all purchases
- Price match guarantee
- Easy to reorder prescription lenses
- Shipping costs on returns not covered
- Some products excluded from the price match guarantee
If you’re already a Costco member, you can take advantage of their online discounts for contact lenses.
You’ll have to go into the store to have your eye exam done. After that, it’s easy to order your contacts over the phone or through their website. The whole process is fast and simple – they even offer a helpful video tutorial to let you know what to expect.
If you didn’t get your eye exam at Costco, you can also upload your prescription to buy contacts online.
Not a Costco member? Check their website for the regulations in your state. In some states, non-members can have their affordable eye exam one at Costco, but won’t have access to the online contacts or glasses.
- Fast in-store eye exams
- Regular discounts on all major brands
- Easy to navigate website
- Glasses and contact lenses available
- Full benefits only available to Costco members
- Limited number of brands available
Why buy your contact lenses online?
There are tons of advantages to buying your contacts online, beyond just a more affordable price.
Online shopping makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. You can compare the prices at various websites to make sure you’re getting the best deal, and you won’t be pressured to buy a more expensive brand.
Most websites also make it easy to refill your prescription. You can set up monthly deliveries and automatic payments from your account, so you never have to worry about re-ordering or missing a payment.
On the other hand, there are a few disadvantages to shopping online, as well. You will have to consider shipping, which can cost money, and takes some time — you have to plan ahead when buying your contacts online.
Some people are more comfortable buying their prescription lenses directly from their optometrist. But if you want to save a little money and have a more convenient shopping experience, it’s worth a shot to find your contact lenses on an affordable website.
How much do contacts cost?
Of course, costs will always vary depending on where you’re shopping. As a general estimate, you should expect to pay between $100 – $200 for your eye exam, and between $20 – $26 for each box of contact lenses.
If you have access to vision insurance, take advantage of it. Insurance will always lower the cost of your prescription lenses and contacts.
However, if you don’t have vision insurance, there are plenty of ways to find the lenses you need at a lower price. Shop around on all the websites reviewed on this list. Most of them offer regular discounts and special promotions to help you get your contacts without overpaying.
You can also take advantage of online eye exams, or discounted on-site exams (if you’re a Costco member, you can have your exam done for as low as $50).
On top of that, keep an eye out for free shipping and returns! Every little discount you can take advantage of is a dollar saved on your contact lenses.
The bottom line: buying your contacts online is cheaper and easier
If you want to save time and money, consider buying your prescription contact lenses online. It’s faster, easier, and so much more affordable.
Take a look through the 8 top websites on this list. If you find a contact lenses provider who works for you, stick with them! You can continue getting your cheap lenses delivered without any hassle.
The bottom line is that you should never have to overpay for the contact lenses or glasses you need. Shop online, and take advantage of every money-saving discount available!