How much do contacts cost?
Contact lenses cost between $185 and $1,000 a year for both eyes.If you wear contact lenses regularly, you should expect to pay between $15 and $85 per month.
This wide variety is due in part to the many types of contact lenses available. Contact lens prices vary depending on the design and the vision problems they treat. For example:
- Contact lenses designed to treat astigmatism often cost more than those that are not.
- Daily contacts cost more than biweekly or monthly contacts
- Colored contact lenses cost more than clear contact lenses.
But the type of contact lens isn't the only thing to consider when estimating how much you'll pay for contact lenses. This article details the factors that affect the cost of contact lenses so you can determine how much you're paying.
Where to buy glasses + contact lenses
Best overall:warby parker
Also cool: Liingo
The best place to buy contacts:1800 contacts
What factors affect the cost of contact lenses?
The cost of contacts varies greatly. Also, prices are constantly changing as new technologies and products emerge. Factors that affect the price of contact lenses include:
- optical examination.Contact lens wear generally requires an examination of the contact lenses by your ophthalmologist. Prices vary, but generally range fromUS$ 40 a US$ 150.
- type of contact lenses.Daily lenses cost more than monthly or biweekly lenses.
- The vision problem is treated.contacts forAstigmatismand presbyopia cost more than those ofMyopia (short vision)and farsightedness (myopia).
- where to buy glasses. Retailer coupons, manufacturer discounts, and rebates offered by your eye doctor can help you save money.
- maintenance costs.Unless you wear contact lenses daily, contact lenses must be cleaned, disinfected, and stored. This means you have to buy contact lens solutions and cases all year round.
- Health plan.If you have corrective lenses, your health insurance company may cover a percentage of the cost of contact lenses.
One of the biggest variables in the price difference is how often you change your lenses. For example, you can buy daily lenses for $45 per pack. It seems cheap, but it only lasts a month. So for a year's supply, you'll need to spend around $540.
Alternatively, the bi-weekly disposables can be $30 for a box of 6. One box lasts a month and a half if you use it on both eyes. That costs about $240 a year.
Orthokeratology lenses initially cost between $1,000 and $4,000. Ongoing treatment costs more.
Types of contact lenses and their costs
ophthalmologists prescribedifferent types of lensesbased on a person's condition. The price depends on the contact lens manufacturers, packaging, and how often you need to change your lenses.
1. Daily one-way contacts (daily)
- Half price:$17 to $45 per box (pack of 30); $50 to $122 per box (pack of 90)
- Annual costs:$204 to $540 per year (30-pack); $200 to $488 per year (90-pack)
daily contact lensesthey are kind of soft touch. They are very comfortable but less durable than other lenses. Daily contacts cost more than other types, but you pay for convenience.
After using these disposable contact lenses, you should throw them away the same day. That means a 30 pack lasts 1 month and a 90 pack lasts 3 months.
Since you start with a fresh pair every day, you don't have to clean or disinfect them. Also, if you lose a lens, no problem. To save money, we recommend purchasing packs of 90. 2. Bi-weekly contact lenses
- Half price:$25 to $40 per box of 6 lenses
- Annual costs:$100 to $160 per year
Biweekly contact lenses are designed for long-term wear. You can wear them for up to two weeks, but only during the day. You need to soak them in a container filled with saline solution overnight.
Bi-weekly contact lenses typically last 10-14 days and come in packs of 6. If you lose a lens, it's not a big loss.
It's tempting to save money by renewing a pair of contact lenses for more than a week or two. However, this is bad for the eyes. Be sure to follow the instructions on the contact lens packaging.
third month contact lenses
- Half price:$18 to $39 per box of 6 lenses
- Annual costs:$36 to $78 per year (monthly change); $18 to $39 per year (changed every 2 months)
you can use a pairmonthly lenses1 month before replacing them. It is important to note the date you started wearing each lens to ensure replacement if necessary.
They are the cheapest disposable lenses, but require the most cleaning and storage.
Choosing monthly contact lenses also means you may suffer a greater loss if one becomes damaged or falls out. Some retailers offer free replacements in these cases, so it's worth asking.
4th edition of contact lenses
- Half price:$50 to $80 per pair
- Annual costs:$50 to $80 per year (changes annually)
Annual or annual lenses are the hardest soft contact lenses. You can use them every day for up to a year.
Of course, you should clean and soak them in contact lens solution every night. If you have had trouble maintaining bi-weekly or monthly lenses in the past, this may not be the best option for you.5. Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contacts
- Half price:$35 to $95 per lens
- Annual costs:$70 to $190 per couple (changes annually)
RGP contact lensesthey are more durable than soft contacts. They can also correct more vision problems. The prices depend a lot on the brand, type of lens and what it is.
Special lenses that treat astigmatism or are used in refractive therapy of the cornea cost more than contact lenses that treat nearsightedness. In general, they appear to be less expensive than weekly and daily contact lenses.
However, these are custom made contact lenses. They require a contact lens prescription, imaging tests, and fitting, which can add to overall costs.
If you need RGP lenses for both eyes or want to buy tinted variants, expect to spend more.
6. Long-term contacts
- Half price:$45 to $65 per box of 6 lenses
- Annual costs:$360 to $520 per year (weekly change); $90 to $130 per year (changes monthly)
Prolonged WearContactthey are approved for overnight use. Most are soft contacts. However, some rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses are approved for extended wear.1
Night lenses can be worn for a week or 30 days, depending on the type of lens. In general, you can wear soft contact lenses for shorter periods and RGP lenses for longer periods.
Using them one at a time means you don't have to clean them between uses. This can save you money on contact lens solutions.
Most ophthalmologists do not recommend wearing contact lenses to sleep, even those approved to do so. Sleeping with contact lenses increases the risk of eye infection.
7. Toric lenses
- Half price:$45 to $85 for a 6-pack of lenses (soft contact lenses); $95 per lens (RGP contacts)
- Annual costs:$360 to $680 per year (light, changed weekly); $180 to $340 per year (light, changed every two weeks); $190 per year (RGP, changes annually)
o-ring contactsThey are aspherical lenses that are used to treat astigmatism. These can be soft contact lenses or RGP lenses.
You can wear toric and soft contact lenses for 1 to 2 weeks and up to a year if they are RGP.
Toric lenses tend to be more expensive than soft contact lenses, which are commonly treatedrefractive errorssuch as myopia and hyperopia.
- Half price:$35 to $50 per box (pack of 30); $90 to $120 per box (pack of 90); $70 to $90 per box of 6 lenses
- Annual costs:$420 to $600 per year (30-pack, changed daily); $360 to $480 per year (pack of 90, changed daily); $140-$180 (6-pack, monthly rotation)
Bifocal and multifocal lensesensure clear vision at all distances. are to correctPresbyopiain older people.
Multifocal lenses are available in rigid, gas permeable, long-term, and disposable lenses that you can change daily or monthly.
9. Orthokeratology lenses (Ortho-K)
- Purchase cost:US$1,000 to US$4,000
- Additional annual costs:US$ 300 a US$ 500
orthoceratologyIt is a refractive therapy. Corrects vision problems by slowly reshaping the cornea.
The initial cost is usually high, since it requires an ophthalmological examination and corneal topography. A lens manufacturer also makes RGP contact lenses that fit your eyes.
Ortho-K contact lenses are generally worn while sleeping. You should wear them until your calluses are remodeled. After that, you can switch to retain contacts.
Maintenance costs are also often high. You should consult your doctor for your backup plan.2
10. Colored (tinted) contact lenses
- Half price:US$ 45 a US$ 90 mensai
- Annual costs:US$ 500 a US$ 1.000
Colored contact lenses change the color of your eyes while correcting your vision. These contact lenses are available for daily wear, extended wear, and toric lenses.
11. Decorative (cosmetic) contact lenses
- Half price:$100 to $400 per pair
decorative contactsare US licensed cosmetic lenses approved by the Food and Drug Administration.3
Cosmetic contact lenses are also known as Halloween, theatrical, and fashion lenses. Unlike other lenses, they do not correct vision.
Contact lens prices vary. Colored disposable lenses cost more than soft contact lenses. But they're also less expensive than extended-wear contact lenses.
Additional costs for wearing contact lenses
In addition to paying for the lenses, there are other costs to consider:
How much does a contact lens exam cost?
- Average Price Range:US$ 40 a US$ 240
Before you can wear contact lenses, you must get a prescription. The cost depends on whether you have a simple or comprehensive eye exam.
Factors like where you take the exam also affect the price. Some doctors charge an additional fee for the procedures.
retail stores and discount stores
These places only offer prescription glasses and contact lenses.Optometrists who work at discount chains typically charge between $45 and $150 for an eye exam.
You can get a discount if you buy contact lenses or glasses with your prescription. Some popular chains include America's Best, LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Stanton Optical, and Visionworks.
These are eye clinics located in or near large retail stores. Some examples are JCPenney Optical, Target Optical, and Walmart Vision Center.
An eye exam at an eye center typically costs $80.
To private clinic
Optometrists with their own clinics can charge between $40 and $240, depending on their location.
If you live in the Midwestern or Southern United States, you can get a comprehensive eye exam for $90. However, if you are in the Northern and Western United States, an eye exam typically costs $110.
Research can be done in some Northwestern states and in large cities like Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C. costs up to $240.
Dilation and imaging tests
During an eye exam, the doctor may perform additional procedures. Most optometrists already include dilation ratios in their eye exam. However, the retinal image is rarely included.
Doctors can perform both tests. They can cost between $24 and $33 each if billed separately.
If you have eye insurance, it may cover the cost of having your contact lenses checked by an eye doctor. If you don't have vision insurance or your plan doesn't cover eye exams, retailers like America's Best and Lenscrafters offercheap eye exams.
How much does a contact lens fitting cost?
- Average Price Range:US$ 25 a US$ 250
The cost of contact lens fitting depends on the type of lens.
soft disposable contact lenses
Optometrists generally charge less than $100 when fitting disposable soft lenses.This is for people who have never worn contact lenses. If not, you can apply them yourself.
After the initial fitting, you can put them on and take them off yourself. (Your doctor will teach you how.)
Soft contacts with extended life
Eye doctors can charge up to $140 to customize soft contact lenses for continuous overnight wear.
Again, you don't have to make an adjustment every time you change lenses. But it's ideal if you let a professional help you the first time.
Optometrists can charge $150 to fit toric lenses, whether they are soft lenses or RGP contact lenses.
Rigid gas permeable lenses, multifocal lenses, and therapeutic contact lenses (TCL) can cost between $210 and $250 for a fitting.
How much does a contact lens solution cost?
- Average Price Range:$5 to $20 per bottle
- Annual costs:$150 to $200 per year
Contact lens solutions come in containers from 2 to 24 oz. bottles They can be sold individually or in packs of 2 to 6 bottles. You can save money by buying them in bulk.
Does vision insurance cover contact lenses?
Yes. However, this depends on your insurer and your plan. Vision insurance and benefits may cover these costs:
- Preventive eye care.Annual eye exams.
- Correct glasses.glasses and contact lenses.
You can buy these plans directly from an insurance company. But if you qualify, you can get them through an employer or through government programs like Medicaid and Medicare.
Your insurance will cover some but not all of your costs. The amount of coverage depends on the plan chosen.
Some providers provide additional benefits when you purchase contact lenses with or as an alternative to glasses. Comprehensive vision plans also offer discounts for elective vision corrections like LASIK and PRK.
Can I use an FSA or HSA to pay for contact lenses?
Yes. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA), you can use it to pay for your contact lenses.
Read more aboutUse your FSA or HSA for glasses and contact lenses here.
Do contact lenses cost more than glasses?
Most contact lenses are cheaper than thisaverage cost of glassesby lens. However, when you consider long-term costs, contacts are more expensive.
Glasses are a one-time cost for vision correction that lasts a year or more. Unlike contact lenses, you do not need to replace your glasses unless they are damaged. If your prescription changes, you can keep the frame and just replace the lenses.
contacts vs. LASIK: Which one is for you?
LASIK-Operationand contact lenses correct vision problems caused by refractive errors. These include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
The main difference is that LASIK offers a long-term, cost-effective solution. It uses a laser to reshape your cornea and permanently improve your vision.
With LASIK, you only have to pay for follow-up eye exams.
Contact lenses have high maintenance costs and only offer a temporary solution. You will have to wear and replace the lenses for the rest of your life.
Each one has its risks. However, an ophthalmologist can make sure that any treatment he chooses is safe.
Talk to your ophthalmologist andFind out if you qualify for LASIK.
The best places to buy contacts
Many stores and online retailers sell contact lenses. Some of the best places to buy contact lenses are:
your ophthalmological clinic
You probably have the option of purchasing contact lenses directly from your optician. This can be a convenient option if they already have your prescription in stock and you just had a contact lens fitting.
However, you may end up paying a higher price than what you would find online. And if the office doesn't have your contacts in stock, you'll probably have to go back for them.
Online options often offer the best prices and the widest variety of lenses.Online retailers offer products at competitive prices, so you're guaranteed to get cheap contact lenses with the added convenience of home delivery.
The best places to buy contact lenses online are:
Larger retailers often sell contact lenses at reduced prices. You can buy contact lenses in-store or online at many Walmart and Costco locations.
- The cost of contact lenses for both eyes ranges from $185 to $1,000 per year.
- Many factors affect the price of contact lenses, including the vision problem for which they are designed and how many days each lens can be worn.
- Daily lenses cost more than monthly lenses, but are more convenient.
- Monthly or yearly contact lenses require more attention to proper care when it comes to cleaning and storage.
- Your eye insurance, or lack thereof, will also affect the total cost of your contact lenses.
- You may want to try a variety of contact lenses before finding the right type for your vision and lifestyle needs.
- Contact lenses are available online, in specialty stores, and from your eye doctor.
In this article
The best places to buy contacts
1-800 Contacts is our #1 recommendation for buying contact lenses online.
GlassesUSA has a wide range of contact lenses, eyeglasses, and sunglasses.
The best places to buy glasses.
Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.
Liingo Eyewear is another great way to buy glasses online.
Better on a budget
EyeBuyDirect has a wide range of cheap frames starting at $6.