Unless you opt for laser eye surgery, vision correction is part of your annual spending. According to contact lens manufacturer Acuvue, the yearly cost of contact lenses can range from $120 to $1,200, depending on your insurance and the type of contacts you need.
Thankfully, numerous retailers can help contact lens wearers save money. If you’re tired of overpaying for this necessary expense, you need to know where to buy affordable contact lenses.
Where to Buy Affordable Contact Lenses
Various in-store and online retailers offer affordable prices on a range of contact lens brands, especially if you buy in bulk.
Just remember: You must have a valid prescription to buy contact lenses if you live in the U.S., so have physical and electronic copies of your contact lens prescription ready.
- Pros: Discounts for buying in bulk; free shipping on most orders
- Cons: Requires a Costco membership
- Verdict: If you already shop at Costco, you can purchase an annual supply of contact lenses to save
- Air Optix
Costco carries single-vision, toric lenses for astigmatism, bifocals and multifocals, and color lenses. Lens categories include daily disposable lenses, two-week lenses, and monthly lenses.
Costco also has its own Kirkland Signature pack of 90 lenses for $58.99. But in true Costco fashion, there are usually offers for buying multiple boxes at once or purchasing larger packs that help you save money. For example, buying four boxes of Kirkland Signature contact lenses saves $35, and buying eight boxes saves $95.
Non-Costco brands can also offer mail-in rebates. For example, one offer is to buy five (90-count) boxes of Dailies Total 1 multifocals to receive a $50 mail-in rebate. Each box is $106.23, so it’s a significant upfront expense. But in exchange for bulk shopping, you save $50 with the rebate.
You still need a Costco membership to buy contact lenses. It’s worth noting that Costco shipping is free for most orders, including optical purchases. Additionally, Costco accepts most vision insurance plans.
You should factor in Costco’s $60 annual membership fee to what you save on contact lenses and anything else you would shop for. But if you shop at Costco regularly, you can likely offset the membership fee with your savings.
Plus, you can also shop with the Costco Anywhere Visa card to earn cash back for shopping at Costco and travel, dining, and everyday spending.
- Pros: Discounts for buying in bulk; free shipping
- Cons: No discounts for using the subscription service
- Verdict: Shop at Walmart if you want to buy at least six to 12 months’ worth of contacts and don’t have a Costco membership
Walmart Contacts, an online store operating in partnership with Arlington Lens Supply, is also a convenient way to save money when buying contacts. Aside from free shipping, Walmart carries popular contact lens brands like:
- Air Optix
Walmart has daily, weekly, and monthly disposables. Lens types include single-vision, toric lenses for astigmatism, color and tinted, conventional (vial) lenses, and bifocal and multifocal lenses.
Prices can be slightly more expensive than Costco for larger orders. For example, Walmart’s 90-count box of Dailies Total 1 multifocals is $132 per box, whereas Costco sells it for $106.23 per box.
However, there are still numerous affordable options, and many packs of daily disposable lenses cost less than $1 per day.
Additionally, buying contact lenses for six- and 12-month periods often drops the price per box significantly. For example, buying a three-month supply of 1-Day Acuvue Moist lenses costs $71 per box. But if you buy 12 months’ worth of boxes, the price drops to $57 per box.
Plus, you can set up a no-hassle contact lens subscription to receive regular deliveries. Unfortunately, you don’t receive a discount for subscribing, but subscribing ensures you’re always stocked up.
As for vision insurance, Walmart Contacts is an out-of-network provider for:
- Cole Managed Vision
- Davis Vision
Walmart has an impressive amount of brand and inventory selection. If you want to buy in bulk or try the subscription service, Walmart is a worthy alternative to Costco.
3. Discount Contact Lenses
- Pros: Brand variety; 20% off on subscriptions; free online vision test
- Cons: No free shipping on orders under $99
- Verdict: Shop at Discount Contact Lenses if you want more brand variety or if you want to subscribe for 20% off reorders
As the name suggests, Discount Contact Lenses sells contacts at a discount. The company says you can save up to 70% on contacts, and you also get free shipping on orders over $99.
Discount Contact Lenses also carries more brands than many other online options. You can find over 20 popular and niche brands, including:
- Air Optix
Lens categories include daily, weekly, and monthly disposables. Single-vision, bifocals and multifocals, toric lenses for astigmatism, and color lenses are available lens types.
Discount Contact Lenses also sells rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses. These lenses are harder than soft contact lenses and allow 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 on Discount Contact Lenses cost around $50 per lens, although you wear RGP lenses for an entire year.
Overall, prices are competitive. For example, a 90-count box of Acuvue Oasys 1-Day costs $89.99 per box on Discount Contact Lenses. At Walmart, the same box is $92 unless you order six or 12 months’ worth of lenses. Plus, Discount Contact Lenses lets you subscribe for regular deliveries to get 20% off and free shipping on reorders.
Unlike many online providers, Discount Contact Lenses 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.
Note that you need an existing prescription to take the test and can’t be a first-time contact lens wearer. It’s also no substitute for in-person optometrist appointments since online tests can’t check eye health or for conditions like macular degeneration and glaucoma.
Discount Contact Lenses is an out-of-network provider for most vision insurance plans, including Davis Vision, EyeMed, UnitedHealthcare, and VSP.
If you want to save even more money on contact lenses, you can also shop through Rakuten to earn cash-back rewards at Discount Contact Lenses 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.
4. Contact Lens King
- Pros: Savings on annual supplies; $10 referral bonus
- Cons: No free shipping
- Verdict: Contact Lens King is another affordable option for buying a year’s supply of contact lenses, especially if you don’t have a Costco membership
Another bulk-shopping option to save money on contact lenses is Contact Lens King.
Contact Lens King encourages you to buy a year’s supply of lenses. The company notes that shopping in bulk can reduce your yearly lens replacement cost by up to $80 thanks to manufacturer rebates. Almost every product on the website has an “as low as” price next to regular pricing that shows the potential discount you can score for buying a certain number of boxes.
Contact Lens King carries over a dozen brands, including:
- Air Optix
Lens categories are also standard, and you can buy daily, weekly, and monthly disposables. Single-vision, toric lenses to correct astigmatism, color, and bifocal and multifocal lens types are your options.
If you’re only buying one or two boxes of contact lenses, it’s tough to score discounts on Contact Lens King. Additionally, shipping is $7.95. The focus on bulk shopping and lack of free shipping ultimately means Contact Lens King is best for buying at least six to 12 months’ worth of contact lenses.
Contact Lens King says vision insurance reimbursement varies depending on your provider and doesn’t include a list of insurance partners. So if you want to use vision insurance at Contact Lens King, call your provider first to see if your purchase is eligible for reimbursement.
On the bright side, Contact Lens King has a $10 referral program that pays when your referral places their first order. But it’s still best to use Contact Lens King for bulk shopping and other retailers for smaller orders.
- Pros: Brand variety; free online vision test; excellent limited-time deals
- Cons: No free shipping
- Verdict: Shop at Lens.com if you’re willing to bargain-hunt for limited-time deals for massive savings
Lens.com says you can get up to 70% off contact lenses.
And 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 and multifocals, RGP, and color lens types are available.
Lens.com also runs limited-time deals that often beat the competition. For example, one deal featured a 90-pack of Dailies AquaComfort Plus for $20.49 per box, down from $50.49 per box. In comparison, Walmart sells the same box for $62 per box, and Costco sells it for $44.93 per box. Granted, Walmart and Costco offer bulk shopping discounts, but Lens.com applies many sales even if you just buy one box.
Plus, you can renew your prescription by taking a free 15-minute online eye exam. You have to be 18 to 55 years old to take the exam. Additionally, the exam only tests for vision sharpness by getting you to read letters from a distant laptop screen. The test doesn’t test your eye health and may only be appropriate for a relatively simple prescription.
The primary downside of Lens.com is that U.S. shipping costs $7.95.
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, reimbursement shouldn’t be an issue.
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.
- Pros: Multiple ways to save through rewards programs and rebates; regular deals for new customers; free shipping
- Cons: Not the most affordable option for buying contact lenses in bulk
- Verdict: Walgreens can be an affordable place to buy contact lenses if you have a rebate, but without it, there are better options
If you want to save money on prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, shopping at Walgreens is a smart move. Weekly deals, the myWalgreens rewards program, and senior discount days are just a few ways Walgreens makes shopping more affordable.
If you wear contacts, Walgreens also has affordable options to help you save.
For starters, new customers can get 30% off their purchase of one of over 100 different types of contact lenses with the coupon code “DEAL30.” Similarly, Walgreens often runs other discounts in the 10% to 30% off range for contacts and eyewear.
In terms of brands, Walgreens carries popular choices like:
You can find daily, weekly, and monthly disposables for single-vision, toric lenses to correct astigmatism, bifocals and multifocals, and color lenses. You can also find some conventional vial lenses, although the selection is sparse.
Walgreens also has rebate savings for contact lenses if manufacturers offer them. These rebates usually require buying an annual supply of a particular brand. But if a rebate offer matches your prescription, the savings can be worth it.
Shipping is free for all contacts. Walgreens also accepts most insurance plans and lists over 20 partners on its website.
Finally, if you shop with the right cash-back credit card, you can also earn rewards on drugstore purchases, including Walgreens. The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card and AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature card both pay unlimited 2% cash back on drugstore purchases, making either card an excellent choice to have in your wallet if you frequently shop at Walgreens.
- Pros: 15% first-time order bonus; Coastal donates eyewear to charity after you make a purchase
- Cons: No free shipping on orders under $99; 15% discount isn’t the highest first-time bonus
- Verdict: Shop at Coastal if you’re a first-time customer spending over $99 or want to support a company with a charitable mission
Coastal aims to make eye health care more affordable and sells glasses and contact lenses at a discount. Coastal even partners with the Essilor Vision Foundation to offer a buy-one, give-one program that donates a pair of glasses to countries in need after you buy a pair of glasses.
However, Coastal is more than a company with a charitable mission. If you want to buy cheap contact lenses online, Coastal runs promotions quite regularly to entice new shoppers. For example, new customers usually get 15% off and free shipping on orders of $99 or more.
In terms of brands, popular choices include Acuvue, Air Optix, Biomedics, PureVision, and SofLens, but there are over a dozen other brands. You can buy daily, weekly, and monthly disposables for single-vision, toric lenses for astigmatism, bifocals and multifocals, and color contacts. RGP lenses are also available.
Prices are also competitive, even without the 15% discount. For example, a box of Acuvue 2 is $29.99 per box on Coastal without any discount. At Walmart, a box of Acuvue 2 costs $36 per box and doesn’t offer discounts for bulk orders. On Lens.com, Acuvue 2 usually costs $39 per box, although a rebate deal lets you get four boxes for $16.24 per box.
This pricing discrepancy shows that Coastal holds its own against the competition. But it’s still essential to shop around for deals since rebates and bulk shopping discounts vary between retailers. Additionally, Coastal charges $5.95 for shipping without the $99 promotion, which is a downside.
However, if you use the 15%-off first-time order bonus and order over $99, Coastal can be one of the cheapest online contact lens options.
- Pros: Savings on annual supplies; multiple discounts and rebates; free shipping
- Cons: Not always as affordable as other options unless you shop in bulk
- 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.
According to ContactsDirect, you can save up to $100 when you buy an annual supply of lenses from numerous brands. 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, one- to two-week lenses, and monthly lenses. For lens types, ContactsDirect offers single-vision, bifocals and multifocals, toric lenses to correct astigmatism, and color lenses.
ContactsDirect doesn’t always have the best prices on bulk orders at first glance. For example, an annual supply of Dailies AquaComfort Plus 90-packs, which is eight boxes, drops the price per box from $65.99 to $53.49 per box. But the same bulk shopping choice at Walmart brings the price per box to $47. At Costco, the bulk price per box is $44.93.
But ContactsDirect separates itself from the competition with discounts and promo codes. For starters, it often runs a 20% off promo code. Additionally, Contacts Direct 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. Plus, you can find manufacturer rebates on certain brands to save even more.
If that weren’t enough, ContactsDirect is a Rakuten partner, so you can earn cash-back rewards for your purchases.
Standard shipping is free, and ContactsDirect accepts most major vision insurance plans.
ContactsDirect also offers a vision test to renew your prescription. But it costs $29.99, whereas some online sellers offer free vision tests.
You must be 18 to 55 to qualify for the test and you need your smartphone and computer since you read letters from your computer screen and record answers on your smartphone.
It’s worth noting that online vision tests don’t check for eye health or conditions like glaucoma. Additionally, you need an existing prescription to take the test, so you can’t be a first-time contact lens wearer. If it’s been a year or two since you’ve taken a regular eye exam, go to an optometrist instead.
If you want to save money buying an annual supply of contact lenses, ContactsDirect is possibly the best online option. Just compare bulk prices between other retailers and look for promo codes and rebates whenever possible.
- Pros: 20% first-time order bonus; free shipping
- Cons: A 5% subscription discount isn’t the best subscription deal
- Verdict: 1800contacts is worth it to leverage the 20% welcome discount for a large order, but it isn’t the most affordable long-term option for buying contacts
New customers receive a 20% discount at 1800contacts. You can also subscribe for regular deliveries to save 5% off future orders.
For brands, 1800contacts carries popular choices like:
- Air Optix
Lens categories include daily, weekly, and monthly disposables. You can find single-vision, bifocal and multifocal lenses, toric lenses for astigmatism, and color lenses.
The 20% discount helps 1800contacts remain competitive for more expensive orders. For example, a 30-pack of Focus Dailies costs $31.99 per box with the 20% discount. Discount Contact Lenses sells the same box for $25.99. But if you spend more on a 90-pack, 1800contacts’ price per box is $63.99, whereas Discount Contact Lenses’ price per box is $66.99.
If you need a new contact lens prescription, you can take an online vision test in 10 minutes for $20. The test has you read letters from a laptop screen and record your answers on a smartphone.
You need to have an existing contact lens prescription to take the test. Additionally, you must be between 18 and 55. 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 1800contacts accepts most vision insurance plans.
The first-time 20%-off discount makes 1800contacts worth considering if you’re spending a lot of money on your first order. But a 5% subscription discount isn’t competitive, so for recurring purchases, switch to a provider that offers more generous subscription discounts.
10. AC Lens
- Pros: 20% off subscriptions and first-time purchases; free online vision test; free shipping
- Cons: AC Lens becomes less affordable than bulk shopping options after your first order if you don’t subscribe
- 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 orders over $99.
If you don’t like subscriptions, you can still shop directly for contacts. Additionally, new customers usually get 20% off their first order.
There are numerous brands, including:
- Extreme H20
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 vial and RGP contacts.
Like some online 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. You need an existing prescription to take the test. Additionally, online eye exams don’t examine eye health or work well for powerful prescriptions. If it’s been a year or more since your last regular eye exam or if you have a strong prescription, it’s better to go to an optometrist than use an online vision test.
Standard U.S. shipping costs $5.99 on orders under $99. For vision insurance, AC Lens is an out-of-network provider for:
- Davis Vision
AC Lens is worth it if you subscribe for the 20% discount and also land free shipping. But the shipping cost and lack of discounts price it out for smaller one-time orders.
- Pros: 25% off first-time purchases; free shipping
- Cons: Savings fall off after your first order
- Verdict: Shop GlassesUSA.com to use the first-time discount, but explore other retailers for buying annual supplies
GlassesUSA.com offers affordable eyewear that starts at just $29. But it’s also an affordable way to order contacts online.
For starters, GlassesUSA.com often runs promo codes that grant 25% off all contacts. You can view its coupons and promotions page to find other ongoing deals as well.
You can shop lenses from brands like:
Lens categories include daily, weekly, and monthly disposables. Lens types include single-vision, bifocals and multifocals, toric lenses for astigmatism, and color lenses.
The 25% discount helps cut costs for more expensive contacts. For example, GlassesUSA.com sells a 90-pack of Acuvue Oasys 1-Day for $91.84 per box. But with the discount, the price drops to $68.88 per box. That’s cheaper than 1800contacts’ price of $75.99 per box, and Walmart costs $78 per box, even if you shop in bulk.
Shipping is free, and GlassesUSA.com works with a dozen vision insurance providers.
If you can make use of the one-time 25% discount or other promo codes like a pair of free eyeglasses, GlassesUSA.com is one of the most affordable choices.
- Pros: Up to $100 in annual contact lens savings; AAA member benefits; free shipping
- Cons: Not the cheapest option if you aren’t shopping for annual supplies
- Verdict: If you’re an AAA member and want to buy a yearly supply of contact lenses, LensCrafters is for you
While LensCrafters specializes in eyewear and carries many premium brands, it’s also an effective way to save money on contact lenses. LensCrafters even says you can save up to $100 on your annual supply of contacts by shopping online or in-store.
The website displays how much you save for buying an annual supply of certain contact lens boxes. Most boxes grant $30 or $100 in savings for bulk purchases.
As for brands, LensCrafters carries options like:
LensCrafters also has its own contact lens brand, but these are typically more expensive than mainstream brands. For lens types, it carries single-vision, toric lenses to correct astigmatism, bifocals and multifocals, and color lenses.
For annual savings, LensCrafters is worth looking into. For example, a yearly supply of Biotrue ONEday for presbyopia (age-related far-sightedness) costs $31.74 per box. At Costco, the cost is $32.98 per box, but you need a membership to shop at Costco. Furthermore, AAA members can receive 10% off eligible contacts at LensCrafters, and this discount stacks with manufacturer rebates.
LensCrafters’ shipping is free.
Additionally, LensCrafters has an extensive network of vision insurance partners and accepts most plans.
It’s still worth comparing annual pricing at LensCrafters to other bulk contact lens options. But if you’re a AAA member and can stack your savings with a rebate, LensCrafters is surprisingly affordable.
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 and are free to use.
And 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.