Best Places To Buy Contacts Online 2024 - Forbes Vetted

As a contact lens wearer for more than 20 years, I’ve tried a variety of different brands and versions as my prescription has gradually changed. I’ve turned to online ordering options because they’re typically cheaper than ordering from the optometrist’s office, and it’s often more convenient and faster, too. There are plenty of lens suppliers out there, but the best places to buy contacts online offer great prices and excellent variety, are easy to order from and have helpful customer service (like our top pick overall 1-800 Contacts).

The best places to buy contacts online take the hassle out of ordering and reordering—and help you ... [+] save money. Contact Lenses Online

Best Places To Buy Contacts Online 2024 - Forbes Vetted

Our list features top retailers with solid reputations that offer wide selections of contact lens brands from trusted manufacturers. In many cases, they take insurance, help you renew expired prescriptions and accommodate returns within a reasonable time frame. Below, you’ll find the best places to order contact lenses online.

Shipping: Free standard shipping, plus expedited and one-day options | Return policy: Free exchanges and returns with no time limit | Insurance accepted: Yes, accepts FSA and HSA

One of the most well-known of the bunch, 1-800 Contacts makes ordering lenses online convenient and painless. First, you search for your brand on the easy-to-navigate site. Next, you digitally email or text your prescription, or someone will contact your doctor directly to sort out the details. If you have an expired prescription, for a $20 fee—and in just 10 minutes—you can take an eye exam through the app to update your prescription without having to go to the optometrist. The company price matches, offers free shipping, has free exchanges and returns and also takes vision insurance. You can even return opened boxes of contacts or return ones that are a decade old or older, which is basically unheard of. If you subscribe, you save 5% on orders, and you don’t have to worry about running out.

I’m a longtime 1-800 Contacts user because it’s easy to submit a prescription, and the website saves my info so I can easily reorder when I need new lenses. I also like that the site sends me a polite nudge when I’m due to order, offers discounts when ordering multiple boxes and ships really quickly. (Check out our in-depth 1-800 Contacts review here.)

Shipping: Free standard shipping and store pickup, plus priority and express options | Return policy: Unopened boxes accepted for up to six months with shipping fee | Insurance accepted: Yes, accepts HSA and FSA

If you’re someone with less-than-perfect vision, you’ll appreciate that ContactsDirect is about as consumer friendly as a retailer can be. It offers discounts and conveniently highlights its rebates process. Reviewers love that the site often sends out coupon codes, price matches and gives 15% off to military members, first responders, nurses and teachers. ContactsDirect also accepts most insurance, and the site makes it easy to understand your options for in- and out-of-network benefits. Right now, you can get 15% off and free shipping with code HAPPYCONTACTS.

If your order isn’t a simple nearsighted or farsighted prescription, ContactsDirect offers a wide variety of specialized lenses, including colored contacts, multifocal and bifocal contacts, monovision and toric lenses.

Shipping: Free shipping on orders over $99 ($7 shipping if order is below $99), plus expedited and overnight options | Return policy: Free returns for up to 365 days from ship date | Insurance accepted: Out of network for some providers, accepts HSA and FSA

A major plus for this company is its willingness to accept returns for a whole year, which is convenient if you’re one of those people who takes ages to get your act together and return things. It’s also helpful if your prescription changes mid-year and you’ve got boxes of expensive, unopened contacts you can’t use filling your bathroom shelves.

Discounts, promos and coupon codes are another hallmark of this site. New customers receive 15% off with a promo code, and Discount Contacts will price match up to seven days after the purchase date. It also offers a totally free online vision test to renew your prescription from home (with some exceptions), which is a big plus.

Shipping: $10-$13 for USPS first class mail | Return policy: 30-day return policy on original, unopened boxes | Insurance accepted: Doesn’t accept insurance (Contact Lens King recommends submitting an invoice to your insurance company)

With a 4.6-star rating on Trustpilot, this company features a wide variety of premium brands, including Acuvue, Biomedics, Biofinity and Dailies all at affordable prices. Options include daily, weekly and monthly disposables along with colored and astigmatism lenses.

Through its referral program, Contact Lens King offers existing customers a $10 credit towards their next purchase. More importantly, the site encourages you to make bulk purchases to really maximize savings. It looks like every product listing suggests buying more boxes to get a greater discount. The only caveat: Shipping costs at least $10, which will set you back, especially if you aren’t purchasing lenses in bulk.

Shipping: Free standard shipping to contiguous 48 U.S. states | Return policy: Free 30-day return and exchange policy on sealed contact lenses | Insurance accepted: Out of network provider, and accepts FSA and HSA

For a company that specializes in premium glasses, FramesDirect offers an impressive spread of contact lenses. If you’re unsure about which type of contacts to get for your eyes or prescription type, FrameDirect’s team of optical experts provides personalized service that’s often hard to come by online. The “excellent” service at FramesDirect (according to reviewers at Trustpilot) is a balm when sifting through the myriad options available.

Shipping: Free standard shipping, plus expedited and express options, no overnight shipping | Return policy: Within 60 days if in original packaging | Insurance accepted: Yes, from several major providers, accepts FSA and HSA

There’s nothing quite like that panicked feeling realizing you’re down to just a couple contact lenses and haven’t remembered to order new boxes. It always seems to happen just before a big trip or work presentation. But you’ll be back in business quickly with’s wide variety of name brands and price match guarantee. (And of course, if you need frames too, this site is a great option.) New customers receive 30% off their first order with code CONTACTSNEW30, plus free glasses with contact lens purchases of $120 or more with code GLASSES-NEW. And if you sign up for a subscription, you can choose the frequency that works best for you.

What the reviews say: Another factor to give you peace of mind with this site is its “excellent” rating on review site Trustpilot, where reviewers are notoriously difficult to please. One reviewer calls it “always great and trustworthy. When issues have come up they are there to make it right. Highly recommend.”

Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Free 30-day returns if in original, unopened box | Insurance accepted: Yes, but insurance orders are not available for discounts or promotions, accepts HSA and FSA

Warby Parker has specialized contact lenses that intensify your eye color with or without vision correction. The retailer offers a wider variety of colored contact lens options than many other sites, from brands such as FreshLook, Air Optix, Dailies, Acuvue, and ToriColors for people with astigmatism.

Warby Parker has competitive pricing with no hidden fees, and as a new customer you can save 20% off your first order. To note: Even if you just want to alter the color of your eyes and don’t need vision correction, you still need a prescription for colored contact lenses. You can renew your prescription online with its at-home eye exam, which costs $15.

Shipping: Free standard shipping, $20 overnight shipping | Return policy: Returns accepted within 30 days if order was incorrect or damaged, with some exceptions | Insurance accepted: Accepts HSA and FSA

Walgreens offers easy ordering, fast home delivery and plenty of options for savings. As a new customer, you can save 30% off your first order, and you’ll often find promotional codes and coupons for 20% off or more. Another tip: Check out the rebates center for additional discounts. As with other online retailers, once you select your lens type and preferred shipping method, the customer service team will contact your eye doctor to verify your prescription.

Shipping: Free standard, plus $3 on shipping and handling (and sales tax) after the first box | Return policy: 14-day return policy on original, unopened boxes | Insurance accepted: Out-of-network (Hubble recommends saving your receipt to apply for reimbursement from your provider)

Hubble is making contact lens ordering cool and accessible with its direct-to-consumer model. The first shipment of 15 pairs of classic Hubble lenses costs only $1, and thereafter they’re $20.

If you don’t have a prescription, the company helps you locate a list of doctors in your area to schedule an eye exam. Hubble’s own contacts are disposable and made from methafilcon A hydrogel, which keeps your eyes feeling fresh and hydrated. The company also stocks eye care brands like Biotrue, Lumify and Alaway to complement your order. For other astigmatism, multifocal, color and bi-weekly contact lenses, Hubble suggests visiting its sister site ContactsCart.

Shipping: Free 5-10 business day ground shipping on all orders | Return policy: Can return most unopened items within 30 days for a full refund | Insurance: Out-of-network provider; submit invoice to insurance company for reimbursement

WebEyeCare stocks over 14 brands, including popular ones like Acuvue, Biotrue and Dailies. Each product is deeply discounted compared to the retail cost, and their various promo codes and deals allow you to save up to 70% off. 

If you don’t have a prescription, WebEyeCare charges $35 for an online vision test, which is comparatively less expensive than other routes. And unlike other subscription services on other sites, WebEyeCare conveniently offers 10% off every order. Bottom line: It’s hard to beat this site’s affordable pricing and free ground shipping.

Shipping: $10 for standard shipping | Return policy: Yes, up to 30 days | Insurance accepted: Out-of-network provider for most major insurance companies is one of the largest online contact lens retailers. It carries a wide variety of brands—Acuvue, Biofinity, Dailies and many more—and stocks more specialized contacts for those who use toric, bifocal or multifocal lenses. tends to have comparatively low prices and offers rebates, which are a great way to lower the price tag on your overall purchase, although some reviewers say it takes time to receive rebate money. It’s simple to send in your prescription via fax or email, or the company will contact your provider directly. And if it’s expired, you can use your computer or smartphone to take a vision exam from home in just 10 minutes. The fee is $10, which is lower than what other retailers charge for their vision exams.

While shipping isn’t free and it’s an out-of-network provider, you can purchase contacts and submit your invoice and claim form to your insurance company for reimbursement. has 24-hour customer service, which is a nice perk. The site is a little busier visually than others, but it does include helpful tips on understanding the information on your prescription or lens packaging, which can prevent errors in ordering the wrong contacts.

At Forbes Vetted, we’ve researched and written a wide catalog of eyewear stories and roundups of the best personal care products on the market. Author of this article Molly Calhoun is a regular Vetted contributor with dozens of shopping guides to her name; she’s also a seasoned contact lens wearer with firsthand experience purchasing contacts online. Calhoun also reported on the best contact lenses, which gives shopping advice on ideal brands for various vision needs. In addition, the publishing of this article was overseen by deputy editor Jane Sung, also a longtime wearer of contact lenses, who has extensively covered beauty and wellness topics for over a decade.

We regularly refresh this story to confirm that our selections are still the best in their respective categories. This piece was last updated in January 2024 to ensure that all prices, specs and information were current and accurate.

When assembling this shopping guide, Calhoun tapped into her own firsthand experience as a contact lens wearer. Our top pick, 1-800 Contacts, is her go-to retailer, which she’s purchased through for a long time; senior updates editor Karen Tietjan also details her experience with the brand in her review. We also took a deep dive into specs such as shipping prices, return policies and variety of inventory before making our selections. Whether or not a retailer accepts insurance can be a large deciding factor when looking at places to buy contacts online, so we included several websites that are in network for major insurance providers (plus most are HSA- and FSA-eligible).

While it depends on your vision needs and whether you want a site that accepts insurance or not, there are number of top sites for ordering contacts online. Our best overal pick is 1-800 Contacts because of how convenient and hassle-free it makes ordering lenses online. Besides having an easy-to-navigate site, the brand offers price matching, free shipping, and free exchanges and returns. Plus, you can return old (by a decade or longer) or even opened boxes of contacts, which is rare and incredibly helpful.

Buying your contacts online is just as safe as buying them in person, as long as you purchase from a reputable seller. All of our recommended websites feature the same brands of contacts that you’d find at an optical shop, including Acuvue and Bausch & Lomb. The main difference is that contacts purchased online are often less expensive than ones bought in-store.

In most cases, yes, and this is the reason many people prefer buying contacts online—in addition to the convenience factor. While your eye doctor’s office can offer rebate options, online contacts suppliers get lenses directly from manufacturers, skipping steps that add extra costs for you. And, they have access to massive warehouses, which allows them to give steep discounts. Further, several eyewear e-tailers offer price matching, meaning if you find your preferred contacts cheaper elsewhere, they’ll match (or beat) that price.

The price of your lenses depends, in large part, on the type you’re buying. In general, daily disposable contacts are the more expensive option, as are lenses that do more than just address general nearsightedness or farsightedness, such as toric lenses for astigmatism, multifocal lenses or colored contacts. Contact lenses typically run between $200 and $1,500 per year, so it makes sense to try to find a reliable, safe, budget-friendly buying option online.

No. You always need an updated, valid prescription to order contacts online because they are classified as medical devices by the FDA. In general, the recommendation is to have your prescription updated every year or two, depending on the state you live in. If you have a previous, expired prescription from an eye doctor, it is possible to renew it online. Several sites offer the option for an at-home vision exam by using a computer or smartphone.

Whether you’re a new contact lens wearer or a veteran, it can sometimes feel like your prescription is written in a different language. Below, find our step-by-step guide to safely ordering contacts online—and being sure you’re getting the best ones for you.

Before ordering contacts online, you need an up-to-date prescription from your eye doctor. In general, a prescription is valid if it’s less than one year old. A contact lens prescription is different from an eyeglasses prescription because contacts sit directly on the eye and glasses sit approximately 12 millimeters away from the eye.

As part of your prescription, your eye doctor will specify a lens brand based on factors such as breathability, fit and your lifestyle. You’ll want to shop for contacts on a site that carries your brand.

Usually sites will allow you to order a one-month, three-month or six-month supply, and sometimes more. You’ll receive a greater discount when you order more lenses, but you run the risk of your prescription changing before you can use them all. The best time to order in bulk is when you have a brand new prescription, although some sites also offer returns on unused, unopened boxes.

Each contact lens prescription includes the lens brand, lens diameter and base curve for each eye. There are also abbreviations that indicate things such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism and pupillary distance. Most sites offer tutorials on how to correctly read your prescription, and you can always call customer service if you have questions. Depending on the site you’re using, you have the option to email, text or fax your prescription, and the site will reach out to your doctor directly to confirm it. If your prescription is expired, many sites offer the ability to take an online vision exam from home through your computer or smartphone.

Although several sites offer free standard shipping, take note that your order can’t be shipped until your prescription has been approved by your eye doctor, and this can take anywhere from a few hours to several days. Expedited shipping fees are steep, which should incentivize you to place your contact lens order well before you need it.

Deals are often highlighted at the top of the retailer’s main page, and some sites have specific rebate pages. Also, beware of things like hidden fees or additional pricing for shipping. Often, you’ll click through your order thinking you’re getting an amazingly low price, only to get to check out and see that the cost has doubled. If this is the case, call customer service and have them explain the situation to be sure there’s not another way to find a cheaper price. Sometimes you won’t see savings until you receive a rebate a few weeks after placing your order.

I am a temporary reporter for the wealth team covering billionaires. Prior to joining Forbes, I reported for Nikkei Asia and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. I hold a Master of Science in Journalism and a Master of International Affairs, both from Columbia University. Tips:

I am a temporary reporter for the wealth team covering billionaires. Prior to joining Forbes, I reported for Nikkei Asia and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. I hold a Master of Science in Journalism and a Master of International Affairs, both from Columbia University. Tips:

I am a New York City based consumer products writer, with specific expertise in apparel and textiles. I regularly test and write about anything apparel or textile based such as leggings, backpacks, sheets, towels, pillows and more. 

I previously worked in product development and manufacturing for a home textiles company, leading their quality assurance efforts and holding positions in technical design and product development. I’ve also worked at Nike where I held leading roles in apparel product integrity and material development. 

I have reviewed products for several years, and along with Forbes, I frequently contribute to Good Housekeeping Magazine, CNN Underscored, Wall Street Journal’s Buyside, USA Today’s and other media outlets. I also have a passion for coffee and have completed SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) coffee course in coffee brewing, barista skills and sensory tasting, so I’ve been known to test many coffee-related products as well. 

I grew up in Michigan where I earned my degree in apparel and textile design as well as mechanical engineering before coming to New York City where I have lived for over a decade.

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After studying product design and journalism in college, I became a full-time freelance writer in 2016, where I found my niche in the shopping and product testing realm. To date, I’ve conducted firsthand product testing on hundreds of items, including everything from grill pans to lawn mowers, and my work has been published on websites such as USA Today, Business Insider, The Spruce, Popular Mechanics, and more.

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Best Places To Buy Contacts Online 2024 - Forbes Vetted

New Contact Lenses After studying product design and journalism in college, I became a full-time freelance writer in 2016, where I found my niche in the shopping and product testing realm. To date, I’ve conducted firsthand product testing on hundreds of items, including everything from grill pans to lawn mowers, and my work has been published on websites such as USA Today, Business Insider, The Spruce, Popular Mechanics, and more.