Walmart Vision Center: 5 Things to Know Before Your First Visit

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Story Image: A computer displaying Walmart Vision Center online
Image Credit: Clark.com

If you wear glasses, then you know how expensive and inconvenient it can be to replace them. I’ve worn glasses for years and have gone way too long without replacing them in the past because I’ve wanted to avoid the hassle.

In this article, I’ll take a look at Walmart Vision Center — a convenient option for purchasing your glasses online or in-store.

5 Things to Know Before Visiting Walmart Vision Center

Whether you need an eye exam, new glasses or contacts, Walmart Vision Center may be one retailer to consider. I found a huge selection of frame styles and colors on the website at competitive prices.

To see if there’s a Walmart Vision Center near you, visit the store location page and enter your ZIP code. If there isn’t a location nearby, you can still shop for glasses and contacts online.

Before you place an order or book an eye exam, take a look at these five things to know about Walmart Vision Center:

1. What’s Available at Walmart Vision Center?

When I first visited Walmart Vision Center’s website, I saw that it offers prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses, reading glasses, computer glasses and contact lenses. If you don’t already have a prescription, you can also get eye exams and contact lens fittings through independent optometrists whose offices are located next to select vision centers. 

If you visit the website to shop online, you can click through women’s, men’s, girls’ and boys’ prescription eyewear to find more than 600 styles with prices beginning at less than $20. 

While on the website (screenshot below), I saw options along the side of the screen that let me filter my results further. To find frames sold by Walmart and not third party sellers, be sure to select “Walmart.com” under “Retailers.” Once you do, you’ll see that option under “Applied Filters” on the left side of the screen.

Frames available online at Walmart Vision Center filtered by those sold directly from walmart.com

After looking at available frames, I found that Walmart is not the place to shop if you’re looking for brand-name frames. I clicked on a few high-end brands (Vera Wang, Armani and Michael Kors), but there were only one or two styles under each, and they were sold by third parties.

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I found a much bigger (and more affordable) selection of generic frames sold directly from Walmart.com.

Depending on your prescription and preferences, you may need a specific type of lens. Single-vision lenses and progressive no-line lenses are available at Walmart Vision Center. Once you’ve selected your prescription type, you can choose from clear, basic tint, polarized tint and transition lenses.

All clear, plastic lenses are included for free and come with an anti-scratch coating. You can also choose from additional features including no-glare coating and impact-resistant lenses at an additional cost.

Walmart Vision Center also carries most popular brands of contacts including Acuvue, Air Optix and Biofinity.

2. How Much Does an Eye Exam Cost at Walmart?

If you have a Walmart Vision Center nearby and you need a new or updated prescription, you may be able to schedule your eye exam there. Select vision centers have independent doctors of optometry working in offices next to Walmart.

An eye exam at Walmart costs around $73 depending on where you live. I found that the cost for an eye exam at Walmart was pretty average compared to other popular optical centers.

You should call your nearest Walmart Vision Center to get an exact price for the eye exam before scheduling. If you’re being fitted for contacts or renewing your contacts prescription, you can expect an additional fee. 

Note that while some optometrists are employed by Walmart, most eye exams are conducted by self-employed doctors who lease space in the stores near the vision centers. 

You can book an exam by using the store finder online and calling the number for your nearest location. According to the website, an associate will help you set up an appointment. 

3. How Much Do Glasses Cost at Walmart?

Frames vary in price based on the materials from which they’re made. Likewise, lens prices vary based on the features your prescription requires. 

Walmart Vision Center offers frames online starting just under $20 and ranging up to $165. I used the filters online to narrow the price range and found that more than 180 prescription glasses are available for under $100 including styles for men, women and children.

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Lens prices vary depending on the type of lenses you choose and the frames you select. The base prices you’ll see for frames include clear, plastic, single-vision lenses with an anti-scratch coating. 

Glasses available from Walmart Vision Center that include the lenses in the total cost.

While single-vision lenses are available for free, progressive no-line lenses cost $50. Once you’ve chosen your prescription type, you’ll be able to choose from the following options beginning at these prices:

  • Clear lenses: free
  • Basic tint: $41
  • Polarized tint: $65
  • Transition lenses: $65

Note that for prescription sunglasses, you’ll be able to choose from only basic or polarized tint options. 

All lenses come with an anti-scratch coating at no extra charge. Additional features include no-glare coating beginning at $50 and impact-resistant lenses beginning at $31. Nikon Eyes Advanced and Customized lens options are also available for select frames beginning at $121.

Contacts begin as low as $20 per box at Walmart Vision Center, but that price varies greatly depending on what brand you use. Be sure to check the prices at a few reliable online retailers to make sure you’re getting the best deal on contacts.

4. What Insurance Does Walmart Vision Center Take?

Walmart Vision Center accepts most major insurance providers — but only for eye exams and in-store purchases. To see if your insurance is accepted, call your nearest location.

According to the website, Walmart is an out-of-network provider for the following insurance companies:

  • Cole Managed Vision
  • Davis Vision
  • EyeMed
  • Spectra
  • VSP

For more information on how to receive a reimbursement from one of these providers, visit this page on Walmart.com.

5. How Long Does It Take to Get Glasses From Walmart Vision Center?

According to Walmart’s website, “98% of all US orders arrive within the 7-10 day delivery time stated on our website. However, the vast majority of orders that are shipped from stock will arrive significantly sooner.”

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When I added a few pairs of prescription glasses to my online shopping cart, I was told that they would arrive within three and a half weeks from the time of order. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic may have impacted the estimated delivery time when I was researching this story. In-store pickup wasn’t available, but shipping was free on orders over $35. 

Expedited shipping (3-4 business days) is available for contact lenses for $11.95. I wasn’t able to find an expedited option online for glasses.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I found that Walmart Vision Center offers a great selection of affordable frames and lenses when it comes to prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses. Comprehensive eye exams are also available at an average price compared to competitors like Target Optical, Sam’s Club and Costco.

When I looked at the cost of prescription lenses and frames, I found that the prices are comparable to those at EyeBuyDirect and America’s Best. If you take the time to comparison shop, you’ll likely find lower prices at an online competitor like Zenni Optical. Still, the prices at Walmart Vision Center are a little more competitive than what you’ll see on average at Target Optical or even Warby Parker.

For single-vision frames and lenses, I found that you can easily stay under $100 by ordering your glasses online. However, I recommend visiting the store to try on glasses and to use any insurance benefits you have available.

Have you ever had an eye exam or bought glasses/contacts at Walmart Vision Center? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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