If you have vision issues, you know that glasses and contact lenses are an expense you can’t avoid without surgery. And contacts aren’t always cheap.
“There’s been a huge problem in America with price fixing on contact lenses,” says money expert Clark Howard. “That’s why if you’ve been a longtime contact lens wearer, you’ve seen the prices skyrocket for your lenses.”
Still, that doesn’t mean you have to pay top dollar to get what you need. There are ways to get cheap contact lenses, and that often involves taking your prescription and buying your contacts from a discounter.
Team Clark compared the prices at 10 reputable online retailers known for having some of the best prices on contacts, and you might be surprised to find how much you may have been overpaying!
The Best Prices on Prescription Contacts
To find out where to shop for the cheapest selection of contact lenses, Team Clark researched the best prices available for a few of the most popular contact lens brands in early February 2021.
Note that, to order your contact lenses from any reputable source, you’ll need a current, valid prescription.
Some of these prices are eligible for additional savings, rebates and promotions that can be found on the retailerss websites or at sites like Coupons.com and RetailMeNot. (The prices below are subject to change at any time.)
Below, you’ll see the prices we found at ten of the best low-cost online retailers of prescription contact lenses as of February 2, 2021. You may have to scroll horizontally across the table to see all the prices.
|1800 Contacts||Coastal||Costco||Walgreens||Walmart||AC Lens||Discount Contact Lenses||Lens.com||Contact Lens King||Lens Direct|
|Acuvue Oasys (12-pack)||$77.99||$44.99||$52.23||$76.99||$77||$61.99||$61.99||$25.39||$50.95||$53.38|
|Dailies AquaComfort Plus (90-pack)||$68.99||$59.99||$44.93||$62.99||$47||$48.74||$48.74||$22.99||$36.95||$45.60|
|Air Optix Aqua (6-pack)||$69.99||$46.99||$37.23||$50.99||$53||$51.99||$51.99||$12.49||$46.95||$43.30|
When looking at the top five best prices for each product, it’s clear that Costco, Lens.com, Lens Direct and Contact Lens King consistently come out on top.
Of course, when it comes to getting the best deal on prescription contacts, there’s more to consider than just the base price per box. These retailers offer unique discounts and promotions — and sometimes charge fees — that you’ll need to be aware of.
Customer service is also a factor to consider when deciding where to shop. Be sure to familiarize yourself with each company’s return policies, the user-friendliness of the site and the availability of customer support. You can always check the Better Business Bureau for ratings and reviews.
Where To Buy Cheap Contact Lenses
Even after processing fees, shipping and discounts, or even if you don’t wear any of the specific brands included above, there’s still a good chance you’ll find the best price for your contact lenses at one of these five stores:
This retailer offers contacts that are FSA and HSA eligible. Several of the most popular products are also eligible for free shipping with no minimum purchase amount, which can help you save a ton. While you may not see many coupons or promo codes, the sale prices themselves make Contact Lens King a great place to shop for cheap contact lenses. Just be sure to watch the processing fee per box, which can get high if you’re ordering in bulk.
Much like Contact Lens King, ordering contacts from Lens.com is a great way to find the best price per box. The processing fees are significantly lower, though standard shipping costs $7.95. Still, if you find your brand is cheaper at Lens.com, you can save more by buying as many lenses as you need in the same order!
“One way that Costco’s a game-changer is if you wear contact lenses,” Clark says, pointing out that Costco has some of the lowest prices across the board. In addition to filling prescriptions for most trusted brands at some of the best prices, Costco often offers rebates. For example, you can get up to $70 back when you buy four boxes of Costco’s Kirkland Signature daily disposable contacts (180-pack).
AC Lens is another great place to shop for cheap contact lenses. You’ll find good prices on a big selection of the most popular brands, and new customers are eligible to save 20% with promo code P52T23S4 (valid as of February 2, 2021). These prices compare well with similar online retailers, and you’ll also get free shipping on orders of $99 or more.
Coastal’s prices compete closely with the prices at AC Lens, and it doesn’t charge processing fees. Shipping costs $5.95, and the company is currently waiving handling & insurance costs for even more savings. When you spend $99 or more on contacts, you can also get an instant $10 off with promo code SAVE10.
You’ll most likely be able to find the best base price for prescription contacts at Lens.com or Contact Lens King, but be mindful of the fees you may not see until you go to the checkout page.
Costco is a great place to shop for the best deals and rebates, while AC Lens and Coastal also offer great discounts at comparable prices.
Stores like Walmart, Walgreens, 1-800 Contacts, Discount Contact Lenses and Lens Direct are also great places to compare prices, just to make sure you’re getting the best deal and not missing any promotions.
More Ways To Save
- Always compare prices with tools like Google Shopping and ContactsPrice.
- Check in-store promotions and websites such as Coupons.com and RetailMeNot.
- Consider buying more boxes of contacts at a time, especially if you know you’ll end up needing them before your next eye exam.
- If you think you’re paying too much for contact lenses, ask your doctor to recommend a more affordable brand that works for you!
Do you buy your contacts from an online retailer that has better prices or deals than the ones we’ve listed above? Let us know in the comments!