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Greatist only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
- Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
- Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
- Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
For us, nothing beats 1-800 Contacts when shopping for contacts online. But reputable retailers like Warby Parker, Eyeconic, and others do more than just pass the eye test.
Getting your contacts online is sometimes easier and cheaper than buying from the eye doc — that’s crystal clear. But deciding which online shop to go with? That’s a little out of focus.
Here’s a bird’s-eye view of the best places to shop online.
- Best overall: 1-800 Contacts | Skip to review
- Cheapest and best returns: Discount Contacts | Skip to review
- Best for expired prescriptions: Warby Parker | Skip to review
- Best for using insurance: Contacts Direct | Skip to review
- Best customer service: Lens.com | Skip to review
- Best for colored contacts: WebEyeCare | Skip to review
- Best for contacts and glasses: Eyeconic | Skip to review and LensCrafters | Skip to review
To get a feel for each retailer’s general price point, we compared prices for the same 90-pack of daily lenses. (Except for the direct-to-consumer brands. For those, we looked at the price of their line.)
- $ = under $60
- $$ = $61–$80
- $$$ = over $81
Best place to buy contacts online overall
- Price: $$
- Insurance accepted: Anthem, Blue View Vision, Davis Vision, Spectera, SuperiorVision, United Healthcare Vision
- Number of brands: 11
- Shipping: free standard shipping in 1–7 business days
- Returns: free returns or exchanges on unopened contacts indefinitely, free replacement on ripped contacts
The brand has a “gajillion percent promise” that includes price matching, free returns and exchanges for any reason, and free replacements for ripped contact lenses.
Text or email your prescription or have them reach out to your eye doc directly. Also amazing? For $20, you can take an app-based eye test to update your prescription — no trip to the doctor needed.
Heads up, though: The online vision exam isn’t available in every state. Plus, it doesn’t replace a comprehensive eye exam. Boo. Use this link to check your eligibility.
Reviews: One of our editors is a 1-800 Contacts loyalist, and she says it’s super easy to submit your prescription and reorder when you run out, since the site keeps your past orders and prescription on file. She also loves the discount you get when you buy multiple boxes at once and how easy it is to apply insurance benefits at checkout.
Some reviewers say they’ve had technical glitches with the 1-800 Contacts website, and that customer service could use an upgrade. But others rave that its low prices and easy process are the best in the biz.
Cheapest place to buy contacts online (and best returns!)
- Price: $
- Insurance accepted: no
- Number of brands: 34
- Shipping: free on orders over $99, 7–10 business days
- Returns: free returns for 365 days
Summary: Great deals, plus, first-time buyers get an additional 20 percent off, and orders over $99 ship free. There are 34 different brands to choose from and all kinds of lens types.
And like 1-800 Contacts, you can take an online vision exam (depending on what state you live in) to update your prescription. But unlike 1-800 Contacts, it’s free! Just remember this does *not* replace a comprehensive in-person eye exam.
The downside? This site doesn’t accept insurance, but you can use your health savings account (HSA) or federal savings account (FSA) if you have one.
Reviews: Users dig the hassle-free ordering process and (obvi) the rock-bottom prices — though some say shipping times take longer than expected.
Best place to buy contacts online if your prescription is expired
- Price: $ for Scout, $$ for major brands
- Insurance accepted: Aetna, Anthem Blue View Vision, Blue Cross Blue Shield FEP Vision, EyeMed, Cigna, Davis Vision, EyeMed, Humana, NVA, United Healthcare, VSP
- Number of brands: 11
- Shipping: free standard shipping in 7–9 business days
- Returns: free returns for 30 days
Summary: This brand is billed as a more affordable and more sustainable (read: less packaging) alternative to traditional contact brands.
In addition to glasses, Warby Parker sells 10 other major contact brands, too, claiming to do so without any hidden fees, but the prices for those offerings really aren’t much different from other online retailers’ prices. They do offer a mini trial pack for $5, though.
We love that you can easily renew an expired prescription using WP’s online vision test *or* head into a brick-and-mortar store near you for a full eye exam. We also appreciate that you get 15 percent off your first order and free shipping no matter what.
Reviews: Planet-conscious users are in love with their space-saving, lower impact flat packs. Reviewers are also big fans of Warby Parker’s customer service, saying it’s super easy to get help when things go wrong. They also appreciate having the option to visit an in-person store for more hands-on help or to get a full eye exam.
Best place to buy contacts online with insurance
- Price: $$
- Insurance accepted: most major insurance providers including Aetna Vision Preferred, Anthem Blue View Vision, EyeMed, Humana Vision, Superior Vision
- Number of brands: 14
- Shipping: free standard shipping in 7–10 business days
- Returns: return unopened products within 6 months, but customer pays return postage
Summary: If you have vision insurance, Contacts Direct makes it as easy as possible to use your coverage.
Just add your insurance info at checkout and your provider will be charged directly (you’ll be notified if you have to pay anything out of pocket). If your provider isn’t in-network, a representative can help you file a claim at checkout via chat. You can apply your FSA/HSA dollars too.
Reviews: Reviewers also gush over Contacts Direct’s easy-to-use website, competitive prices, and ample variety. But if you’re not happy with your purchase, be prepared: You’ll have to pay for shipping and handling on returns.
Best customer service
- Price: $$
- Insurance accepted: no
- Number of brands: 28
- Shipping: $9.95 for standard shipping, 5–7 business days
- Returns: free returns for 30 days
Summary: Lens.com has been around since 1995, pretty much since the beginning of the interwebs, so they have the whole customer service thing down. If you don’t like the contacts you bought, you can return them for free with no questions asked.
They’ve also got a mega selection of major brands, and you can renew your prescription online with a virtual vision test. The brand’s standard prices are definitely midrange, but take note: Lens.com periodically offers shockingly deep discounts.
Reviews: Reviews are raving. People can’t get enough of how quick and easy it is to order from Lens.com. Most say shipping and delivery were quick, too. Others are happy with the competitive prices offered on popular brands.
Best place to buy colored contacts online
- Price: $$
- Insurance accepted: no
- Number of brands: 18
- Shipping: free standard shipping on orders over $89, 5–10 business days
- Returns: return unopened products within 60 days, but customer pays return postage and restocking fee
Summary: Want that wild-child, just-got-back-from-Coachella look? (Or just wanna see what you’d look like with green eyes?). Explore a rainbow of optical fashions with WebEyeCare’s colored contacts. Seven different packs provide jewel-toned hues like turquoise, amethyst, and sapphire.
While you’re at it, you can shop for new sunnies or readers from super popular brands like Ray-Ban, Burberry, and GUESS.
Reviews: An easy-peasy website and budget-friendly prices make for tons of satisfied reviewers. But some users complain that WebEyeCare’s customer service is lacking.
Best place to buy contacts and glasses online
- Price: $$$
- Number of brands: 15
- Shipping: free standard shipping, 4–7 business days
- Returns: free returns for 60 days
Summary: Eyeconic is a one-stop shop for contacts, glasses, and shades, featuring sought-after brands like Ray-Ban, Gucci, and Nike. Their massive variety also means Eyeconic has a wide spectrum of pricing — for glasses, you’ll find options from about $95 to $500.
Fortunately, Eyeconic accepts several insurance plans and offers free shipping.
Reviews: Tons of reviewers are happy with their experience and satisfied with the prices — especially peeps with VSP insurance (VSP owns Eyeconic, so you get a real deal). BUT many reviewers also complain of delayed shipments and incorrect orders.
- Price: $$$
- Insurance accepted: Aetna, Ameritas, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue View Vision, EyeMed, GEHA, Humana, Optima Health Plan, PlusProvider, and more.
- Number of brands: 21
- Shipping: free “green” and ground shipping, 7 business days
- Returns: free returns for 30 days
Summary: Not just a strip mall chain, LensCrafters offers contacts options online that users say are super comprehensive and decently priced.
Offering affordable glasses and sunglasses as well, they take most vision insurance plans and make it easy to check your eligibility too. And if you need to update your Rx before placing your order, just schedule an appointment at one of the brand’s brick-and-mortar stores.
Reviews: Reviewers are v satisfied with the wide range of options they get at LensCrafters. Many say the customer service in brick-and-mortar stores is top-notch, but a few complain that online customer service is lacking.
|Company||Price||Insurance accepted||Number of brands||Shipping cost||Shipping time||Return policy|
|1-800 Contacts||$$||Anthem, Blue View Vision, Davis Vision, Spectera, SuperiorVision, United Healthcare Vision||11||free standard shipping||1–7 business days||free returns or exchanges on unopened contacts for indefinitely, free replacement on ripped contacts|
|Discount Contacts||$||no||34||free on orders over $99||1–7 business days||free returns for 365 days|
|Warby Parker||$ for Scout, $$ for other brands||Aetna, Anthem Blue View Vision, Blue Cross Blue Shield FEP Vision, EyeMed, Cigna, Davis Vision, EyeMed, Humana, NVA, United Healthcare, VSP||11||Free standard shipping||7–9 business days||free returns for 30 days|
|Contacts Direct||$$||most major insurance providers including Aetna Vision Preferred, Anthem Blue View Vision, EyeMed, Humana Vision, Superior Vision||14||free standard shipping||1–7 business days||return unopened products within 6 months, but customer pays return postage|
|Lens.com||$$||no||28||$9.95 for standard shipping||5–7 business days||free returns for 30 days|
|WebEyeCare||$$||no||18||free standard shipping on orders over $89||5–10 business days||return unopened products within 60 days, but customer pays return postage and restocking fee|
|Eyeconic||$$$||Cigna Vision, MetLife, VSP||15||free standard shipping||4–7 days||free returns for 60 days|
|LensCrafters||$$$||Aetna, Ameritas, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue View Vision, EyeMed, GEHA, Humana, Optima Health Plan, PlusProvider, and more.||21||free “green” and ground shipping||7 business days||free returns for 30 days|
With a bajillion online contacts suppliers out there — offering everything from pink zebra fashion lenses to multifocal lenses for astigmatism — choosing the best options is no small feat. Here’s how we decided which companies made the cut.
- Price. Sure, you could pay an arm and a leg (and maybe an eye) for pricey contacts, but why pay top dollar if you don’t have to? The companies on our list feature a range of reasonable prices. Plus, many take insurance or can be used as out-of-network providers for reimbursement after purchase. To sweeten the financial deal, several even provide free shipping.
- Variety. Everybody has different priorities for what makes the perfect pair of eyeball pasties — er, contacts. The options listed here offer a variety of contact types, brands, and additional products (like glasses) so you can choose which works best for you.
- Ease of use. It’s no fun slogging through a clunky website or jumping through a thousand hoops just to place a dang contacts order. Our selections feature easy-to-use websites and smooth purchasing processes. (Because isn’t convenience the whole point of ordering online?)
- Vetting. We put every brand through a thorough vetting process to make sure they’re not making any unsupported health claims or engaging in shady business practices. We also make sure they have a good reputation by digging into customer reviews and ratings on their own sites and on sites like Better Business Bureau. Only brands that passed that vetting process made our list below.
Seeing your way clear to the best online contacts retailer will depend on a variety of factors.
- Insurance. If you have vision insurance, start by looking for a retailer that accepts your specific insurance. While most insurance plans won’t cover 100 percent of contacts cost, it’ll still help you save some money.
- Product selection. The next most important factor to consider is what products the retailer carries. Did your ophthalmologist recommend a specific brand and type of contact for you? Do you need glasses and contacts? Are you looking to spice things up with colored contacts? Make sure you’re picking a website that has all your needs covered.
- Prescriptions and eye exams. Some retailers offer easy online vision tests to renew expired prescriptions, which can be hella convenient if your current prescription is working for you. If you need a whole new prescription, some sites (like Warby Parker and Lens Crafters) have brick-and-mortar locations where you can go get an eye exam and then order online.
- Price. If your insurance doesn’t cover contacts or if your insurance benefits don’t cover a full year’s worth of contacts, you’ll want to shop around to find the best bang for your buck. (Use our pricing guide as a jumping-off point!)
- Return policy. Keep a company’s shipping and return policies in mind. Finding a retailer with an easy returns and exchanges policy could keep you from amassing a shelf full of contacts that don’t actually work for you.
- Company reputation. A company’s reputation and user reviews are other key indicators of quality — so go ahead down the rabbit hole of Trustpilot or Better Business Bureau write-ups to get insider deets.
Ordering contacts online is fabulously convenient and usually super simple. But before you go ordering a lifetime supply of visual aids, consider these tips.
- Shop sales! Lots of online contacts retailers offer discounts throughout the year. (Hellooooo Black Friday deals.)
- Buy in bulk. If your prescription is unlikely to change and you’ve found a product you like, bulking up almost always saves some green.
- Check out subscriptions. Choosing a company that offers monthly subscriptions isn’t just easy on your wallet — it’s one less thing to think about each month.
- Opt for retailers with free shipping and returns. No need to rack up the cost with dang shipping charges.
- Discounts. Ask your eye doctor if they have coupons, deals, or recommendations for online contacts purchases.
- Always double-check your vision insurance coverage to determine your out-of-pocket costs before choosing an online retailer. (Boring, we know, but necessary.)
- If you’re buying contacts out of network, try filing a reimbursement claim after your purchase. Your insurance provider may surprise you with some cash back.
- Prescription contacts are an eligible expense with a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA). Just note that FSA funds often expire at the end of the year.
- Need an updated Rx? It’s possible to get a prescription for contacts via your device (because in-person healthcare is so 2019). 1-800 Contacts offers this service for $20. Just keep in mind that this does *not* replace a comprehensive eye exam and works best if your old prescription was working well for you.
- If your eye doctor has recommended a specific brand of contacts, listen up! Don’t try substituting a cheaper brand; your doc knows best.
- Never try to order contacts without a valid prescription.
Is it OK to buy contacts online?
Of course! Buying contacts online is a super convenient way to get ’em. Just make sure you’re buying from a reputable brand and take things like budget, insurance, return policy, and shipping time into consideration before ordering.
What is the best place to buy contact lenses online?
For start-to-finish convenience, good variety, and insurance coverage, we’re fans of 1-800 Contacts. But if you’re looking for snazzy colored lenses, dreaming of sustainable packaging, or need to snag some glasses along with your contacts, you may prefer a different site. Before you purchase, play internet detective to compare options based on your top priorities.
How do I get the best deal on contacts?
Just because you want to see better doesn’t mean you want to glimpse a massive charge on your credit card. So how do you cut costs on contacts? Start by determining your insurance coverage — it’s possible you’ll have little to no out-of-pocket costs.
No insurance? Check out budget-friendly retailers like Warby Parker or Discount Contacts, or consider buying in bulk to save money. And don’t forget to chat up your optometrist — they may have coupons or insider recommendations for you.
Is it safe to buy contacts online?
As long as you purchase from a reputable company, safety shouldn’t be an issue when ordering contacts online. Still, if you’re concerned you might not like the online experience (or are worried about getting an incorrect order), choose a retailer with a generous return policy.
Can I order contacts online with an expired prescription?
This one’s a hard no. It’s actually illegal for retailers to sell contacts to anyone without a valid, current prescription — so don’t try. That said, several contacts companies provide virtual eye exams so you can get a prescription without leaving the couch.
Can I trust 1-800 Contacts?
If you’ve ever had a bait-and-switch experience with online shopping (and haven’t we all?), you may feel skeptical of trusting the internet with something as important as your eyesight. Not too sure about 1-800 Contacts? Here are some comforting stats: 1-800 Contacts is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where they have an A+ rating.
On the other hand, their customer rating on BBB isn’t stellar (averaging 2 out of 5). On Trustpilot, they get slightly higher marks at 3.2 out of 5.
Is 1-800 Contacts cheaper than Walmart?
1-800 Contacts tops our list for best overall online contact retailer but that doesn’t mean they’re always the cheapest. You may find lower prices at Walmart. That said, price differences between the two usually aren’t that dramatic. When we compared products, Walmart’s options were only a few dollars less than those of 1-800 Contacts.
Once you’ve got a prescription in hand, it’s not hard to get eyes on great contact lens deals online. With a few clicks, you’ll be on your way to better vision, no appointment required!
Just be sure to give some thought to priorities like budget, insurance, return policy terms, and shipping time before committing any contacts to your virtual shopping cart.