7 Of The Best Places To Order Contact Lenses Online – Forbes


As a contact lens wearer for more than twenty years, I’ve tried a variety of different brands and versions as my prescription has slowly changed for the worse. After all this time, buying contact lenses still gives me sticker shock. I have also historically waited until I was dangerously low on my supply before reordering and needing to replenish my supply quickly, so fast shipping options have been critical.
Many online retailers take the hassle out of ordering and reordering contacts, and they help you … [+] save big.
Over time I’ve turned to online ordering options because they’re typically cheaper, and it’s often more convenient and faster than ordering through the optometrist. There are plenty of lens suppliers out there, but the best places to buy contacts online offer good prices and excellent variety, are easy to order from and have helpful customer service.
Our list features top retailers with solid reputations who offer wide selections of contact lens brands from trusted manufacturers. In many cases, they take insurance, help you deal with an expired prescription and accommodate returns within a reasonable time cushion. Below you’ll find the best places to order contact lenses that will help you breathe easy—and see clearly—with just a few clicks on your keyboard.

1800Contacts
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 they will contact your doctor directly to sort out the details. If you have an expired prescription, for a $20 fee—and in just ten minutes—you can take an eye exam through the app to update your prescription without having to take a trip to the ophthalmologist. The company price matches, offers free shipping, has free exchanges and returns, and they take 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 they save 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.
Contacts Direct
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 Contacts Direct is about as consumer-friendly as a retailer can be. They offer discounts and conveniently highlight rebates. Reviewers love that they often send out coupon codes, price match and give 20% off to military members, first responders, nurses and teachers. They also accept most insurance, and their site makes it easy to understand your options for in- and out-of-network benefits. There’s the option to take an online vision assessment from home to renew your expired prescription for $30. Right now, you can get 20% off and free shipping with code MYCONTACTS.
If your order isn’t a simple nearsighted or farsighted prescription, Contacts Direct offers a wide variety of specialized lenses, including colored contacts, multifocal and bifocal contacts, monovision and toric lenses.
Discount Contacts
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 20% off with a promo code, and they will price match up to seven days after the purchase date. They also offer a totally free online vision test to renew your prescription from home (with some exceptions), which is a big plus.
GlassesUSA
Shipping: Free standard shipping, plus expedited and express options, no overnight shipping | Return policy: Within 30 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 GlassesUSA.com’s wide variety of name brands and price match guarantee. (And of course, if you need frames too, they’re a great option.) New customers receive 25% off their first order, and you can choose the frequency that works best for you.
Another factor to give you peace of mind with this site is its “excellent” rating on 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.”
Warby Parker
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 like 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 15% 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.
Lens.com
Shipping: $10 for standard shipping | Return policy: Yes, up to 30 days | Insurance accepted: Out-of-network provider for most major insurance companies
Lens.com 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. Lens.com 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 ten minutes. The fee is $10, which is less than many other retailers’.
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. Lens.com 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.
Walgreens
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 rebate 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.
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, the best fit for you 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.

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