If you love your contact lenses, chances are you don’t love the process of refilling your prescription. It’s annoying at the very least, and it can get complicated when you’re dealing with a doctor, a retailer, and insurance. Thankfully we have the internet, which has streamlined basically every exchange of goods and money. For the vision-impaired among us, buying glasses online has become practically a necessity. You don’t have to worry about the store you’re at not having any good frames — you have access to millions of options. Innovative ways of trying on glasses remotely, like photo filters and sample packs, have made it all simple. The same goes for buying contacts online.
There are several different companies that sell contacts online. You can choose from tons of your favorite brands, so you won’t have to switch away from a particular type of contact if you don’t want. Many of the options below take insurance, so you’ll save a lot of money, and they have quite a few sales too. The biggest reason to buy contacts online is the convenience. As you’ll see below, all of these retailers let you simply upload a copy of your prescription during the checkout process. You can even renew an old prescription by taking vision tests on your phone. Keep reading to find out the best ways to buy contacts online.
Best Overall: Warby Parker
- Best for: Everyone, adults
- Good to know: Free shipping, easy prescription renewals
Warby Parker is famous for their wide selection of glasses and their convenient shipping model. They’ve extended both of those aspects into selling contacts. They have a wide selection of some of the most popular brands, like Acuvue, Biofinity and Precision1, as well as their own brand, Scout. They’re shipping process is still simple and cheap. You get free shipping on all orders, or you can upgrade to expedited shipping for $25 and get your contacts within three days of your presciption being confirmed. Deals hunters will love getting 20% off their first order. You’ll also get a $50 credit toward glasses or sunglasses if you buy the annual prescription. Warby Parker works with a lot of local eye clinics, so you can book an exam close to you. If you already have a prescription, you can renew it on your phone with an at-home exam for $15.
Best Low-Cost Option: Lens.com
- Best for: Budget hunters
- Good to know: Generous return policy
Lens.com is the king of cheap contacts. Nearly everything on their site is on sale, with impressive discounts. For instance, one of the most popular choices on the site is a 1-Day Acuvue Moist 90-day pack for just $27, down from $54. Aside from Acuvue, they have all the other big brands, such as Dailies, Air Optix, Biofinity and Proclear. If you already know your prescription, you can upload it onto the site or just enter it manually — no long visits or extra exams. If you don’t have a copy of your prescription, you can give Lens.com your doctor’s information and they will track down your prescription for you. Standard shipping for all orders costs $10. If you aren’t satisfied with the contacts you got, or your prescription changes before you’ve dug into your next box, Lens.com will cover the cost of shipping unopened boxes back to them for 30 days.
Best Online Experience: 1-800 Contacts
- Best for: Adults
- Good to know: Great customer service, colored contacts
What can we say, it’s in the name. 1-800 contacts is a great way to order contacts online, particularly because of their customer service. You can send them your prescription through a text or email, or go straight through the website. If you really hate buying important things like prescription contacts through the internet, you can call their 24/7 help line. You can browse their large selection, which will likely have the same contact options as your local eye clinic. You can save some extra money if you have vision insurance, as 1-800 Contacts takes most types. If you need to renew your prescription, you can do it through their online eye exams. It takes about 10 minutes and only costs $20. If you want a fun change of pace, 1-800 Contacts has colored contacts available too. To cap it all off, 1-800 Contacts has free shipping.
Best for Glasses and Contacts: GlassesUSA
- Best for: Glasses wearers
- Good to know: Free shipping
As you can tell by the name, GlassesUSA primarily sells glasses. That doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten about contacts. They have all the basic brands, like Acuvue, Biofinity and Precision1. They also have Toric contacts if you’re struggling with astigmatism. You can even buy colored contact lenses. GlassesUSA has a good, standard collection, and sales like 25% off your first order. You can get free shipping and free returns on certain prescription contact lenses. If you’re already ordering your standard frame glasses through GlassesUSA, you might as well buy your prescription contact lenses there as well.
Best Deals: ContactsDirect
- Best for: Deals, deals, deals
- Good to know: Six-month to annual supplies available
Summer may be coming to a close, but your daily routine, commitments, and responsibilities will always remain – your hobbies, too. So, it’s important to tackle your day, every day, with the best vision and comfort possible. You shouldn’t have to worry about your contacts or your vision. It should be seamless, comfortable, and virtually undetectable, at least in feel. That’s what Contacts Direct provides with its hygienic and pleasant lenses. From the Acuvue Oasys 1-day with HydraLuxe Technology – to simulate tears and stabilize tear films for all-day comfort – to the Dailies Total 1, perfect for those who suffer from dry eyes while wearing contacts, there’s something here for everyone. We’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention the 1-Day Acuvue Moist lenses, which keep your eyes hydrated for up to 20 hours plus offer UV-blocking technology for your outdoor escapades. However and wherever you’re wearing them, Contacts Direct is one of the best places to shop for your new lenses. For a limited time, and in celebration of fall, you can save 15% on all orders when you use code HAPPYCONTACTS at checkout.
Best for Any Price Point: Eyeconic
- Best for: Free shipping and returns
- Good to know: Only accepts certain insurance
Eyeconic is a good retailer for prescription glasses, sunglasses and contacts. They have options like colored lenses, Toric lenses for astigmatism, and multifocal lenses. All the usual brands are represented, so you’ll be able to grab for favorite easily. They take VSP, MetLife, and Cigna Vision insurance, which will help you save on Acuvue, Air Optix, Biofinity and Dailies lenses. You can upload a copy of your prescription during checkout, or if you’ve lost your copy, have Eyeconic reach out to your optometrist for you. They offer free shipping on all the contacts they sell, and they’ll even cover the return shipping cost if you aren’t satisfied or have an issue.
Buying contacts online is very simple. Normally, you have to deal with juggling your optometrist, your insurance, and a glasses store. Online retailers are customer savvy, though, and they know the best way to get your business is to streamline the whole process. All of the retailers above have the same basic steps for buying contact lenses online, and a few have some extra bonuses.
The fastest way to get your contact lenses is to have your prescription in your hand when you’re ordering. You can get this from your optometrist by giving them a call — they’re require to give it to you. All of the retailers above require some for of your prescription to confirm that they aren’t sending you something that will hurt your eyes. Most require a copy of the actual prescription, like a digital copy from your doctor or a scan of the paper version. Some, like Lens.com, will let you enter your prescription manually, but they’ll still double check with your doctor. If you don’t have your prescription handy, most sites will offer to call your doctor for you and find it. Easy.
If you have vision insurance, you can add that into your order process and save quite a bit of money. Not all sites take all types of insurance, so double check before you start the checkout process. Not all insurance covers all brands, either. Sometimes insurance will negate deals, meaning it might actually be cheaper to pay out of pocket.
Once you’ve gotten your prescription and insurance filled out, just checkout and wait for your contacts to arrive in the mail. You can set up time-saving options like auto-renew if you want to forget about the whole process. If your prescription changes you can take online exams on several of the sites, meaning you can skip the doctor’s office entirely. Buying contacts online is the most convenient way to buy them, no doubt.
Should You Buy Prescription Contact Lenses Online?
We recommend it, yes. It’s a great way to save money and time. Overall, it’s by far the most convenient way to buy contact lenses. Features like the ability to upload your prescription, or have the retailer call your doctor for you, make that process simple. Free shipping means the contacts will at least be the same price as they would be in a store, and quite possibly cheaper considering all of the contact lens dealers at the retailers above.
Since there’s so much sponsored content out there, and even on this site, it’s important to be transparent about how we selected the options above. We checked out the ordering process, the stock available, and the extra benefits like prescription renewals and customer service before we placed any of the retailers above on our list.
If a retailer is listed above, it’s because we think they’re worth shopping at. Each one has their pros and cons, listed below them, but they are all worthy options that we stand behind. Things do change, but we keep our content updated. If any better options come out, we’ll be sure to update this article to tell you what we think.