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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 name-brand and generic prescription contacts. A person’s prescription will specify the brand and type of lens suitable for their needs.

The following is everything people need to know about buying contacts online.

A quick look at the best places to buy contacts 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

Warby Parker over green background

Price: Depends on the brand

This company offers subscription and single order contacts from several different brands. It also offers 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)

On TrustPilot, the brand only has a 2.6 rating. Some buyers complain about the quality of their glasses, saying they easily bend over time.

On BBB, the company has a 1.61 rating. In both cases though, no consumers question their experience with purchasing or using contacts from Warby Parker.

Learn more about Warby Parker here.

Best for specialty contacts: 1800Contacts

1800Contacts

Price: Depends on specialty and brands

This brand supports vision insurance and only sells contacts. It provides a range of contacts from major brands alongside specialty lenses, including toric, colored, bifocal, multifocal, and disposable options.

1800Contacts also support FSA and can do international orders for those outside the United States.

The website offers three types of shipping, including one business day fast shipping. However, these are not free. They also have a call center that can support individuals with special orders.

On TrustPilot, the company has a 2.5 rating. While most say they are happy with the contacts they ordered, many complain about long deliveries and price increases.

The company provides free replacement for torn lenses, 24/7 customer support, and the possibility for a person to exchange lenses they did not open.

Learn more about 1800Contacts here.

Best payment options: LensCrafters

LensCrafters

Price: Starting from $42.99 per box

This brand offers a variety of contacts, eyeglasses, and sunglasses. People can also choose to do an eye exam.

As for contacts, individuals can easily order annual supplies fro

Positives include:

  • ability to pay with insurance, FSA, and HSA
  • free shipping
  • 30-day returns
  • annual savings
  • one-click refills
  • multiple brands to choose from

The website states that people can also purchase with Affirm, CareCredit and Medicare.

On TrustPilot, the company has a 2.7 rating. Some customers say they received contacts that did not match their prescription. On BBB, the company had over 800 complaints in the last three years and customers gave it a 1.12 rating.

Learn more about LensCrafters here.

Best overall: WebEyeCare

WebEyeCare

Price: Starting from $26.95

Similar to other companies, WebEyeCare sells a variety of contacts from different brands, including Acuvue, Biofinity, and Dailies.

It also sells prescription glasses and sunglasses, alongside 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 up to 70% of the cost a person would have to pay at a doctor’s office.

It does not offer insurance. Instead, buyers have to submit the invoice to their insurance company for reimbursement.

That has not stopped people from ordering from WebEyeCare though. In fact, the brand enjoys an A accreditation rating from BBB with a 4.52 customer rating across 292 reviews. On TrustPilot, over 700 reviews rate the company 4.5 stars.

People praise the customer service, fast shipping, and ease of ordering.

Learn more about WebEyeCare here.

To purchase contacts online, a person needs to:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 even generic ones that may be cheaper than name brands.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Learn about whether Medicare covers contact lenses here.

There are many considerations for those looking to buy contacts online. These factors include:

Price

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.

Ordering options

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 upfront 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.

Brand reputation

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 Better Business Bureau?

The FDA offer advice on buying contact lenses online. A reliable company should not attempt to substitute a different brand for which you have a prescription. Also, 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.

Personal needs

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.

Roughly 11 million people in the United States who are 12 years or older need corrective lenses to see properly. A 2011 study of Indigenous people states that proper prescription lenses can greatly improve a person’s quality of life when they can see clearly.

Contacts come in direct contact with a person’s eye. With this in mind, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAOO), older or improperly fitting lenses can pose a risk to the eyes. They may cause scratches or blood vessels to grow into the corneas.

In addition, the AAOO state that contacts are not for everyone. 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 AAOS 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people can take steps to prevent vision loss, including:

Buying contacts online can be a convenient option for people who do not wish to leave their house to shop for contact lenses.

Insurance, price, and a person’s needs are important factors to consider when purchasing contact lenses. People may also wish to shop around to find the best retailer for the type of contacts they require.