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Buying contacts online is a convenient option for most people. To purchase contact lenses online, individuals just need their prescription information.
Several online retailers offer contacts. A person’s prescription will specify the brand and type of lens suitable for their needs.
This article looks at eight of the best places to buy contacts online.
A quick look at the best places to buy contacts online
Medical News Today’s methodology
Medical News Today chooses contact lens retailers based on the following factors, where possible:
- Prescription: MNT chooses companies that require a valid prescription to order contact lenses.
- Duration of wear: MNT chooses companies that offer a range of contact lenses suitable for daily, weekly, or monthly wear.
- Brands: MNT selects retailers that offer a wide selection of popular brands.
- Price: MNT chooses brands that offer contact lenses at prices suitable for a range of budgets.
Below, we look at eight of the best brands to buy contacts from online.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Best for single orders: Warby Parker
- Price: $55–$178 per pack of 90 lenses
- Types: daily, biweekly, monthly, toric, multifocal and bifocal, color
This company offers subscription and single-order contacts from several brands. It also sells sunglasses, prescription glasses, accessories, and eye exams.
Warby Parker offers:
- free shipping
- free returns or exchanges on some products, including contacts
- a wide variety of brands
- bulk orders
- supports flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA)
Best for specialty contacts: 1-800 Contacts
- Price: $28.99–$169.99
- Types: disposable-daily, disposable 1–2 weeks, disposable-monthly, soft and vial, toric, multifocal and bifocal, color enhancing
This brand focuses on selling contacts. It offers contacts from major brands alongside specialty lenses, including toric, colored, bifocal, multifocal, and disposable options.
The company provides free replacements for torn lenses, 24/7 customer support, and exchanges for unopened lenses.
1-800 Contacts accepts vision insurance and FSA payments and provides international orders.
A person can choose from three types of shipping, including 1 business day shipping. However, these options are not free. There is also a call center that can support individuals with special orders.
At time of publication, the company has a 3.2 rating on Trustpilot. While most customers say they are happy with the contacts they ordered, many complain about long deliveries and price increases.
Best payment options: LensCrafters
- Price: $31.99–$237.99
- Types: single vision, multifocal, toric, color
This brand offers a variety of contacts, eyeglasses, and sunglasses. People can also choose to do an eye exam.
People can order annual supplies of contacts.
Customers may benefit from the:
- ability to pay with insurance, FSA, and HSA
- free shipping
- 30-day returns
- annual savings
- one-click refills
- wide range of brands to choose from
The website states that people can also purchase with Affirm, CareCredit, and Medicare.
At time of publication, the company has a 3.1 rating on Trustpilot. Some customers say they received contacts that did not match their prescription.
On BBB, the company has a rating of 1.17 out of 5. In the past 12 months, the company has closed more than 215 complaints. Customers write about missing shipments, faulty products, and difficulties getting in contact with customer service.
Best overall: WebEyeCare
- Price: $39.99–$169.99
- Types: daily, 1–2 weekly, monthly, color, astigmatism, bifocal/multifocal
Similar to other companies, WebEyeCare sells a variety of contacts from different brands, including Acuvue, Biofinity, and Alcon.
It also sells prescription glasses and sunglasses, along with offering eye exams.
Lenses are available in different packs, depending on whether they are monthly or daily contacts and the brand.
However, unlike most companies, WebEyeCare offers a 100% money-back guarantee on contacts too. It also offers:
- free shipping on orders over $89
- reward points
- 24/7 customer service
- charity donations on each order
The company claims that every purchase can save a person up to 70% of the cost they would pay at a doctor’s office.
This brand does not accept insurance directly. Instead, buyers have to submit the invoice to their insurance company for reimbursement.
People praise the customer service, fast shipping, and ease of ordering. However, some customers did complain about customer service and slow shipping.
Best for flexible delivery: ContactsDirect
- Price: $34.99–$176.99
- Types: daily, biweekly, monthly, single vision, toric, bifocal and multifocal, color
ContactsDirect sells contact lenses and solutions online. It offers contacts from 14 brands, which include 7 types of lenses.
People can have their contacts delivered to a location of their choice or pick them up at a LensCrafters store for free.
ContactsDirect claims to accept vision insurance from most companies, and people can use HSA or FSA to pay.
ContactsDirect does not have BBB accreditation and has an F rating. At time of publication, the average customer review rating is 1.17 out of 5 stars, with customers writing that they had issues with returns and refunds and issues with product quality. However, there are not many comments about contact lenses.
On Trustpilot, the average customer rating is 3.9 out of 5 stars. While some people praise the customer service team, others claim their contacts made their eyes burn and had a gritty texture.
Best for online vision exams: Lens.com
- Price: $38.99–$200
- Types: toric, silicone hydrogel, monthly, daily, color, bifocal, 1–2 weekly, gas permeable, novelty, vials
Lens.com state that its warehouse has the largest independently held inventory of contact lenses and can ship most orders in 24 hours.
A person can upload their contact lens prescription to the Lens.com website, send the company their eye doctor’s name and contact information so the company can collect it, or take an online vision test to renew their prescription.
However, the American Optometric Association states that online eye tests are not a replacement for an annual comprehensive eye exam and they cannot assess eye health.
According to Lens.com, major insurance companies consider the company an out-of-network provider, and a person must pay out of pocket and claim reimbursement if they wish to use vision insurance.
Lens.com has an F rating from the BBB, and an average rating of 2.04 out of 5 stars, at time of publication. Many complaints mention problems obtaining refunds and delayed orders. On Trustpilot, the company has a rating of 2.9 out of 5 stars based on more than 2,700 reviews.
Positive reviews describe an easy, prompt, and inexpensive process. However, negative reviews complain about the refund process.
Best for consistency: ContactLensKing
- Price: $27.95–$94.95
- Types: daily, weekly, monthly, colored, astigmatism and toric, bifocal and multifocal
ContactLensKing sells a wide range of contact lenses and one brand of reading glasses. According to the company website, it offers discounts of up to 70% on its products.
Contacts purchased through ContactLensKing are FSA and HSA eligible. Reimbursement from insurance companies varies, depending on the company.
The BBB accredited ContactLensKing in 2012 and gives the company an A+ rating. It has an average customer rating of 4.78 out of 5, at time of publication. On Trustpilot, the company has an average customer rating of 4.7 stars, based on more than 2,600 reviews.
Positive reviews appreciated the company’s prices and prompt delivery. Negative reviews mentioned problems with deliveries, incorrect prescriptions, and customer service.
Best for free shipping: Walmart Contacts
- Price: $14–$163
- Types: daily, 1–2 weekly, 1–3 monthly, vial, toric, colored and tinted, bifocal and multifocal
Walmart Contacts is a division of Walmart. Some Walmart stores have a Vision Center where care from licensed eye care professionals is available.
The website offers 15 brands and 8 types of lenses. The company offers free shipping, and it can contact a person’s eye doctor to access their prescription if a person does not have it themselves.
Walmart also accepts returns on torn or defective lenses up to 365 days from purchase. However, some brands have different return policies.
There is no profile for Walmart Contacts on either BBB or Trustpilot.
The table below compares each of the brands in this article.
|Warby Parker||$55–$178||daily, biweekly, monthly, toric, multifocal and bifocal, color|
|1-800 Contacts||$28.99–$169.99||disposable-daily, disposable 1–2 weekly, monthly, soft and vial, toric, multifocal and bifocal, color enhancing|
|LensCrafters||$31.99–$237.99||single vision, multifocal, toric, color|
|WebEyeCare||$39.99–$169.99||daily, 1–2 weekly, monthly, color, astigmatism, bifocal and multifocal|
|ContactsDirect||$34.99–$176.99||daily, biweekly, monthly, single vision, toric, bifocal and multifocal, color|
|Lens.com||$38.99–$200||toric, silicone hydrogel, monthly, daily, color, bifocal, 1–2 weekly, gas permeable, novelty, vials|
|ContactLensKing||$27.95–$94.95||toric, silicone hydrogel, monthly, daily, color, bifocal, 1–2 weekly, gas permeable, novelty, vials|
|Walmart Contacts||$14–$163||daily, 1–2 weeks disposable, 1–3 months disposable, vial, toric, colored and tinted, bifocal and multifocal|
To purchase contacts online, a person needs to:
- Get an up-to-date prescription from an eye doctor. In some cases, individuals can use an online retailer’s “doctor finder” service, or complete an online eye exam. The
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)emphasizes that it is important to have an up-to-date prescription and that people should not use lenses from older prescriptions. Online eye exams do not replace in-person eye tests.
- Visit an online retailer offering contacts. In some cases, a person may want to choose a retailer that offers specialty contacts that help with certain conditions. Or they may want to select generic contacts, as they are often cheaper than name brands.
- Select the contacts to purchase. Typically, a person will have a prescription that specifies a particular type or brand of contact lens. While purchasing online, people should select the appropriate brand and lens type and provide their prescription information.
- Complete the online purchase and upload a copy of the prescription. Some companies allow people to pay with insurance or payment plans. Others provide an invoice that an individual would then use to submit a claim with their insurance company.
Buyers should note that the number of contacts per box, price, subscription services, and financing options vary greatly between brands and retailers.
There are many considerations for those looking to buy contacts online. These factors include:
Prices will vary greatly between brands and online retailers. A person should review the costs of lenses via different sites to see if they can find a price that suits their budget.
There are many different types of contact lenses. Daily use lenses are lenses that people use and discard daily, while a person wears long-term lenses for longer periods, for example, every 2 weeks or monthly. The lenses that a person selects can affect the price and the number of boxes they need to order.
With some companies, such as Warby Parker, a person can choose a subscription service that delivers a set supply every month. Other retailers may offer a 1-year or 6-month up-front service and send the whole supply at once.
A contact lens prescription will usually specify a specific brand or fit, so people may wish to speak with their doctor about choosing lenses from a different brand.
A person needs to consider two main factors regarding brand reputation. The first focuses on the contact lens brand: Does it generally receive good or bad reviews from other customers? A person may wish to spend time exploring reviews of individual brands, many of which feature on sellers’ websites.
The second consideration is the retailer. People can find out more information about lens retailers with the following questions:
- Do they provide the contacts at a reasonable price?
- Do they have good customer service?
- Are reviews generally positive?
- Are they in good standing with third-party organizations, such as the BBB?
Also, people should be wary of any firm that supplies contact lenses that do not exactly match the customer’s prescription.
A doctor may be able to offer specific recommendations for reliable brands and products.
A person can work with their eye doctor to choose an option that is safe and works best for their prescription and eye health.
For some, disposable contacts may work best, while others can use long-term contacts with no issues. People should look for contacts that will best fit their needs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vision issues may affect a person’s physical health by increasing the risk of falls and limiting physical activity. Additionally,
Routine eye exams can help a person identify any eye conditions early, help them maintain their eyesight, and even improve their overall health.
People should also keep up with routine eye exams to ensure that their lenses fit properly, as improperly fitting lenses can pose a risk to the eyes. They may cause scratches or blood vessels to grow into the corneas.
It is important to note that contacts are not for everyone. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAOO), a person should reconsider using them if they are:
- working or living in a very dusty area
- prone to eye infections
- have severe allergies or dry eyes
- unable to care for contact lenses properly
Caring for contacts
The AAOO offers the following tips for proper contact lens care:
- replacing the case every 3 months or if it becomes cracked
- following all instructions from the manufacturer of the contacts
- following all instructions from the prescribing doctor
- keeping the case clean
- washing hands thoroughly before placing contacts in the eyes
- avoiding water and other activities where substances can get into the eyes
- avoid sleeping in daily wear contacts
- using fresh solution to clean the contacts before each use
- keeping the solution in the original bottle to prevent desterilization
- using only contact solution to wash contacts
Preventing vision loss
According to the
The table below outlines how often a person should have their eyes tested based on their age.
|Age||Eye test frequency|
|0–2||once at 6–12 months|
|3–5||at least once|
|6–17||once a year at ages 8, 10, 12, and 15|
|18–39||at least once every 2 years|
|40–64||at least once every 2 years|
|65 and over||at least once a year|
A person should have more frequent eye exams if they are at risk of vision issues, such as people with a family history of eye disease, people who use contact lenses, people with diabetes, or people who have had eye injuries or surgery.
If a person has eye pain, blurred vision, floaters, or other changes to their vision, they should schedule an appointment with an eye doctor. They should also contact a doctor if their contact lenses irritate their eyes or cause pain.
Below, we answer some of the top frequently asked questions about buying contact lenses online.
What is the best place to buy contacts online?
The best place to buy contacts online will depend on the type of lenses a person needs, their budget, and whether they would like to use health insurance.
Can I buy contact lenses without consulting the doctor?
A person needs a prescription to purchase contact lenses, which they can only get through a doctor.
Although some contact lens retailers offer eye exams, these are usually to renew an existing prescription. They should not replace in-person, comprehensive eye exams.
Is ordering contacts online cheaper than buying them in person?
Ordering contacts online can be cheaper than purchasing them in person. It may also be more convenient, as many retailers offer subscription options.
How much does a 1-year supply of contacts cost?
The cost of a 1-year supply of contacts will depend on the brand and type of lenses a person needs and whether a person has health insurance.
A 1-year supply of contacts can cost hundreds of dollars, but retailers can sometimes offer discounts on subscriptions or bulk orders.
Buying contacts online can be convenient, although many retailers have a mixed reputation online.
Insurance coverage, price, and a person’s vision needs are important factors to consider when purchasing contact lenses online.