There are many online stores that offer every contact lens brand you can think of, often at discounted prices or with rebates. We’ve rounded up some of the best places to buy contacts online. Our best overall pick is Warby Parker because of its competitive pricing and wide selection of brands. However, by shopping around you can get the most savings and find a store that lets you use your insurance to help offset the cost. At CNET, we’ve been covering vision care for years with extensive research and unbiased reviews.
Ready to ditch the frames and dive in? Here’s where you can find contacts at an affordable price.
Read more: Best Online Glasses and Contacts Deals: Savings You’ll Have to See to Believe
What’s the best place to buy contact lenses online?
Warby Parker tops our roundup of best places to buy contact lenses online. As one of the most popular eyewear brands, Warby Parker offers a seamless and hassle-free buying experience. Additionally, the company carries most major contact brands. You can buy in bulk to save money.
Best places to buy contact lenses online for 2023
Scout by Warby Parker
Shipping Info Free, takes 5-7 business days (most brands)Return Policy 30-day hassle-free returns or exchanges on unopened productsInsurance Accepted YesNumber of Contacts Brands Around 8
Warby Parker doesn’t just sell affordable and stylish eyeglasses, the company sells contact lenses too. You can pick from Scout, Warby Parker’s own contact lens brand, or get contacts from Acuvue, Biotrue, Air Optix, Dailies and other major brands. A three-month supply of Scout daily contacts (a total of 90 lenses) starts at $47, which is a good deal for daily contact lenses. Depending on where you shop and the brand you use, prices online can vary from $60 to $200. You can get a six-day trial pack of Scout contact lenses to see if you like them before committing to a full supply.
Shipping Info Free, takes 7-10 business daysReturn Policy 30-day free returns or exchanges on unopened productsInsurance Accepted YesNumber of Contacts Brands 19
GlassesUSA.com sells both contact lenses and glasses and will price-match other sellers. Like every other retailer on this list, GlassesUSA.com has all of the popular lens brands, including Acuvue, Biofinity and more, and offers free returns and free shipping on prescription lenses.
Shipping Info Free, takes 5-7 business daysReturn Policy Free returns and exchanges on unopened products (or if prescription changes)Insurance Accepted YesNumber of Contacts Brands 11
As one of the best-known contacts stores, 1-800 Contacts stocks all of the most popular brands, and you can even get hard contacts through its call center. One CNET editor praised the company for providing customer service that went above and beyond.
Shipping Info Free, takes 7-10 business daysReturn Policy Free 6-month return on unopened productsInsurance Accepted YesNumber of Contacts Brands 14
A popular source for cheap contact lenses among my fellow CNET editors is ContactsDirect, because it often sends out coupon codes to customers. It has a wide selection of lens type options, including multifocal lenses, colored contacts, soft contact lenses for dry eyes and toric lenses for astigmatism.
Shipping Info Free, takes 8 business daysReturn Policy 30-day free returns or exchangesInsurance Accepted YesNumber of Contacts Brands 20
Eyeconic has a wide array of contact lens brands to choose from, including Acuvue, Air Optix, Biotrue by Bausch and Lomb and Extreme H2O. Like others on this list, it offers free shipping and free returns.
Shipping Info $10, takes 5-7 business daysReturn Policy 30-day free returnInsurance Accepted Considered out-of-network by most providersNumber of Contacts Brands 25
Lens.com‘s prices are often lower than other shops for prescription contact lenses. It has an impressive selection of brands — including Acuvue, Air Optix, Dailies and Biofinity Toric for astigmatism — plus it takes returns and covers the cost of shipping unopened boxes back.
How we choose the best places
To narrow down our list of best places to buy contact lenses, we considered factors like:
Customersatisfaction: We researched customer reviews from reputable third-party platforms like the Better Business Bureau to gauge overall client satisfaction.
Variety: We assessed product range, choosing retailers that offer a wide array of products that cater to different prescriptions and needs.
Accessibility: We prioritized online retailers that offered a smooth ordering process and had user-friendly sites and customer support.
Pricetransparency: We favored retailers that provide competitive pricing and a clear breakdown of costs. Additionally, we chose those that accept some type of vision insurance or discounts.
Shipping policies: We also considered shipping and delivery times to ensure our readers are offered a prompt and reliable service.
How to order contacts online
Buying contact lenses online is just as safe as buying them from your eye doctor, as you get the same lenses you’d find at the optical shop. The process requires a little extra effort than getting them from your eye doctor, but you’ll be rewarded with savings.
To get started, you just need to follow a few easy steps.
Have your contact lens prescription.
Search for the brand and model of contacts from your prescription at any of the stores above to find your specific lenses. Disposable contacts are sold in boxes, and most online shops give you a deal if you buy a six- or 12-month supply, rather than one box at a time.
During the checkout process, you’ll enter your prescription information to select the correct lenses and then submit verification of your prescription. Most stores allow you to upload an image or PDF of your prescription, or you can opt for the company to contact your doctor to verify it. This process can take as little as a few minutes or up to a few days if the store contacts your doctor.
Once that process is complete, your order will be finalized and cleared to ship directly to you.
How to save money on contact lenses
Pro tip: Right after your contact lens exam, it’s almost always worth it to get a year’s supply of your current prescription. Regardless of whether you’re buying daily disposable contacts, monthly lenses or even multifocal contacts, buying in bulk will help you save money.
If your prescription changes sometime during that year, many of the retailers above will allow you to exchange unopened boxes with a new prescription. You don’t have much to lose by buying a full year supply. Though it can be a higher up-front cost, you’ll save money over buying one box at a time.
Tips to buy contacts online
If you are considering buying contacts online, keep these things in mind to ensure you make a safe purchase.
Be sure to have a valid prescription from your eye doctor. Whether you buy in a store or online, a prescription is required to ensure you get the correct prescription strength.
Shop around at different online contacts retailers to find the best deals and look at customer reviews.
Double- and triple-check the details on your order before placing.
Make sure you have (or also purchase) all of the care supplies you need to ensure the safety and longevity of your contacts.
Best online contacts FAQ
Yes. 1-800 Contacts is a real online retailer. They are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and all lenses are FDA approved.
Are contacts safe to buy online?
Most online retailers that sell contacts are safe. Just be sure that they fulfill your exact prescription.
Can I order contacts online with an expired prescription?
No. It is illegal to sell contact lenses to anyone without a valid prescription.
Do you need a prescription to buy contacts online?
Yes. Contact lenses are medical devices that require a prescription for you to purchase them — either online or in person. Before you start shopping, you’ll first need to get an eye exam and contact lens prescription from your optician or optometrist. An eye doctor can help you determine the best prescription lenses for your specific needs, whether that’s daily contacts, soft lenses, hard lenses, lenses for astigmatism or multifocal lenses.
What’s the best place to buy contacts online?
With so many stores to choose from, how do you pick where to buy your contacts online? Here are some things to consider:
Price: Do some comparison shopping to figure out which store has the best price for your specific lenses. Prices can change often due to sales, promotions and manufacturer rebates, so the store that had the best deal last year might not have the lowest price now.
Return policy: Many of the stores above allow you to return unopened boxes of contacts if your prescription changes. Check the terms of the store you’re thinking of buying from to understand your options.
Insurance coverage: Some online contact lens stores allow you to pay through your vision insurance, some do not. If that’s important to you, look for shops that accept your benefits.