Save Money on Contact Lenses and Vision Costs

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By Forrest | Last Updated: March 7, 2020

Cheapest Places to Purchase Contact Lens and How to Save Money on Vision Costs

Over 60% of people need some sort of vision aid, between contacts or glasses. The costs of which can be enormous. The average cost of a daily supply of contacts can range between $.50 and $2 per day amounting to more than $500 annually. Add in the cost of eye exams, vision insurance, and other vision costs and you can easily spend thousands on eye care over the course of a year.

So how can you lower the costs of your contacts or other eye ware? Read more to find out!

How Much Do Contact Lenses Cost?

The cost of contacts ranges depending on the type, brand, and sometimes the strength of the lens. Daily contacts are commonly the most expensive, while weekly or monthly contacts will offer a lower price but lack the convenience of disposable daily contacts.

Why are Some Contacts More Expensive Than Others?

There are many reasons for the variation in pricing of contacts ranging from the quality of materials to the brand and marketing that goes behind them.

Quality of Materials

Contacts are made in a few different ways with a few key materials. The most commonly prescribed type of contact lenses are silicone hydrogel lenses (64%), followed by soft (hydrogel) lenses (22 percent).

One of the most important health factors to consider when purchasing contact lenses is the lens oxygen permeability or the amount of oxygen that can pass through the lens to your eyes. Oxygen is essential to eye health, therefore these contacts will typically come with a slightly higher price tag. Many cheaper contact lenses will not provide as much oxygen permeability which can be alarming to some optometrists. Always check with your eye care professional to ensure a healthy lens for your eyes.

Increased Marketing Spend or Operational Costs

Some brands will choose to dedicate a large portion of their budgets towards marketing or other operational costs that can drive up the costs of your contacts. 

Will Insurance Lower Costs of Contact Lenses?

Vision insurance will typically cover some (or most) of the costs of contact lenses. Insurance companies will offer a certain amount towards your purchase.

Your policy should outline the amounts available for you to spend and the difference between in-network and out of network costs. If you aren’t sure how much insurance is willing to pay, many vision stores can check for you.

Insurance companies will commonly offer a specific amount towards your lenses, no matter which type you chose. Therefore, it might be beneficial to opt for a lower cost contact if you want to save money on your vision costs.

Cheapest Places to Purchase Contact Lenses

There are many different options when it comes to purchasing your contact lenses. Between your local eyeglass store, wholesale clubs, or online options you can compare pricing between them to find the lowest cost.

Tips to Savings on Contact Lenses

If you want to save on your next contact lens purchase, there are a few tips that can help you.

Use Insurance if Available

Insurance will help to lower the cost of your contacts. You can expect a credit towards your contact purchase up to a certain amount. It may or may not cover the full cost based on the lenses you are prescribed.

Price Matching

Many retailers will offer price matching which can help offset the cost of your contacts. Typically you’ll need to find the exact same lenses that are not on sale in order for price matching to be approved.

Avoid Local Eyeglass Stores

Many people will choose to purchase their contacts at a local eyeglass store because of the convenience. These places will often mark up their costs by 20% more than online retailers which can cost you significantly more. Always check your options before committing to one.

Consider Glasses

Glasses are inherently cheaper than contacts. They might not be for everyone, but they are certainly worth considering if you want to lower your vision costs. Even better, your glasses can last forever, saving you hundreds per year.

Your insurance will also cover costs for glasses lenses and frames. You should check to see how much they will cover. You can also opt to purchase your frames and lenses online, which can save you even more money on your vision costs.

You can spend anywhere from $50 to well over $200 on glasses frames and another $70 to $200 on prescription lenses. There are many different types of glasses lenses that will determine the cost. You can choose from a slimmer lens (polycarbonate) which will typically cost slightly more than a standard plastic lens. Depending on your frames, you might be forced to purchase a polycarbonate lens.

You can also add an anti-reflective coating that can help with glare caused by light. This will add an additional cost to your lenses with only certain insurance policies covering the cost.

Opt for Weekly or Monthly Contacts

Daily disposable contacts are the most expensive option for an obvious reason, you will need more of them. Consider asking for a weekly or monthly option to lower your costs. You can expect to save 20% or more on these options compared to a daily lens.

Ask for a Less Expensive Option

Whenever you visit the optometrist, you will have some say in the type of lens prescribed to you. Many brands offer a variety of lenses ranging in price based on the quality of the lens. If you need a less expensive option, ask your optometrist if they have a more affordable option to consider.

Check for Rebates

Some brands will offer mail-in rebates to help save on your vision costs. Some retailers will promote these while others you might have to search for them. You can find some of the most common contact lens rebates below.

What About Contact Subscription Services?

With subscription services becoming all the rage, they have made their way into the vision industry. Companies like Hubble offer daily contacts for less than $1 per day for their services.

Are they worth it? Be careful. Many optometrists have expressed concern over these services because of the lower quality lenses that do not allow for as much oxygen to your eyes.

With that said, if you’re looking for a less expensive option, especially for those who do not carry vision insurance, these can be an affordable option for many.

Hubble Contacts

Hubble is one of the most popular subscription contact services offering daily contacts for less than $1 per day. They claim their contacts are manufactured from “high-grade methafilcon A hydrogel material. With 55% water content, UV protection, and a thin edge, they’re designed for easy insertion, all-day comfort, and crystal clear vision.”


Contacts can be extremely expensive, ranging anywhere from a few hundred to almost one thousand dollars per year for those without vision insurance. Thankfully, there are many ways you can save on your contacts. From opting for a weekly or monthly contact to price matching among different retailers, saving money on your contacts should be essential to your budget.

For those with vision insurance, you should check your policy before making any decisions on your contacts and opt to use your benefits if possible.

Do you wear contacts or glasses? What do you do to save on your vision costs? Comment below!

Forrest is a personal finance, entrepreneurship, and investing enthusiast dedicated to helping others obtain life long wealth. He owns several different blogs and is also passionate about health and fitness.
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