Contact Lenses are often the number one choice for people with vision correction needs. Besides offering flexibility and convenience, contact lenses come with a variety of types and features, catering to consumer's needs.
There are a great many reasons why people choose to wear contact lenses over traditional eyeglasses. Some of these reasons include:
They allow a natural field of view, unobstructed by eyeglass frames
They do not fog up or get splattered by rain
They generally offer better sight correction than eyeglasses
Many people feel they look better and more natural in contacts than in eyeglasses
So which kind of contact lenses are right for you? Many people are surprised by the large variety of contact lenses that are available. From soft contact lenses, to extended wear lenses, to disposables, each type of contact lens has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. For your convenience, we've put together this contact lens cheat sheet that describes some of the different
types of contact lenses and what you should expect from each one.
In addition to deciding which type of contact lens is right for you, there are a number of factors to consider when deciding where to purchase your contact lenses. Some of these factors include:
Variety. Does the store offer the type of contact lens you need, with the features you want?
Cost. Does the store consistently offer competitive rates for the contact lenses they sell?
Guarantee. If you aren't happy with the product, can you return it for a refund?
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best contact lens stores available today. We hope this information helps you save time and money when purchasing your next set of contact lenses!
Disclosure: We pay our reviewers and we are compensated for our reviews. Click here for details.
Consistently low. Plus, their Lowest Price Guarantee ensures you get the lowest price available.
Free Priority Ground (3-5 days) on all orders over $99.00
With a motto of Best price, Best service, Best shopping experience, Coastal Contacts sets the bar pretty high for themselves. Perhaps surprisingly, we found they deliver on their promise - and more.
The Coastal Contacts website is extremely easy to navigate. You can search by brand, type of lens, most popular contacts or view their offerings alphabetically. With so many options, we easily found what we were looking for. For each brand of lenses, Coastal Contacts guides you through a step-by-step process of how to order the contacts. From
questions as basic as where to find your prescription on the box, they walk you through each option when placing your order.
One feature we especially like is Coastal Contact's Lowest Price Guarantee. While their prices were consistently low across the board on all brands of contacts, the guarantee means that you will always receive the lowest price for any contact lens. This is an extremely consumer-friendly feature and one that we found unique to Coastal Contacts.
When placing your order, Coastal Contacts offers several payment options - including a convenient Buy Now / Pay Later option available to all consumers. You can also pay in several other ways, such as online with a credit card, ePay, by phone, or by check.
Coastal Contacts boasts the second largest on-hand inventory of contact lenses, which speaks volumes for their dedication and explains why they're able to offer such low prices. You can expect to receive your order in a timely manner, because of a high volume of inventory stored in their personal warehouses.
A toll-free customer service phone number is provided so you can easily get in touch with a live person if necessary. Alternatively, you can e-mail your questions or concerns to their support area. We found their service people to be knowledgeable and friendly when answering our questions.
Do you often forget to order more contact lenses before its too late? Coastal Contacts offers a very convenient refill reminder option. If selected, Coastal Contacts will e-mail you a reminder with plenty of time to order and receive your contacts before that last pair runs dry. Initiating the refill is as easy as clicking on the "Refill my Contacts" button. You then simply fill out their e-mail address
and zip code for confirmation. For people on the go (and who isn't?), we found this feature invaluable.
Coastal Contacts has a very consumer-friendly return policy - one of the best in our review. They offer refunds or exchanges on unopened boxes that are returned within 30 days of delivery.
In addition to contact lenses, Coastal Contacts also offers a complete line of accessories including lens cases, solution, sunglasses, and more. They are your one stop shop for all of your eyecare needs.
With a huge inventory to choose from, a low price guarantee, easy ordering procedure, and valuable reminder service, Coastal Contacts sets the standard for contact lens stores and earns our highest rating.
1-800-Get-Lens delivers a positive shopping experience with a variety of products. Visitors can shop by brand, type of lens, or alphabetically. The website features cool, calming colors which helps the consumer to be patient when looking through their many options in contact lenses.
On the very first webpage, shoppers are given the option of searching by most popular contacts, top lens types or top brands. This helpful feature allows consumers to quickly choose from a variety of ways to search, meeting a wide range of needs. Additionally, you can easily search by most popular lenses or by the quick links at the bottom of the webpage, which narrows down the search by type of contact lens. Visitors
that are unsure of what they are looking for can easily search by top brands to help narrow their focus to match their specific needs.
1-800-Get-Lens advertises that they are the most affordable and convenient source for contact lenses. We found that consumers can save up to 70% from retail prices on brand-name contact lenses, including top brands from Acuvue, Focus, Freshlook, and Biomedics. However, many of the other companies in our review also matched 1-800-Get-Lens prices.
1-800-Get-Lens guarantees that consumers will receive their contact lenses and that the lenses will be sealed in the manufacturers sterile packaging, or your order will be refunded. Additionally, if you find that their product is unsatisfactory, you have 30 days to obtain a refund. Only unopened boxes can be returned for a full refund. Like many sites, custom lenses, including novelty and made-to-order lenses, cannot be
canceled, returned, or exchanged.
We found the Frequently Asked Questions section very detailed and helpful in answering our shopper's questions. Customer service is available 6 days a week, with a live person answering consumer questions. 1-800-Get-Lens even offers an international toll free phone number for calls originating overseas.
At 1-800-Get-Lens, you can expect to find all of the most popular brands of contact lenses, offered at prices competitive with their competition.
Just Lenses claims to be the most convenient and affordable choice for refilling a contact lens prescription. Unfortunately, when we took a look under the covers, we found an average site with prices that could be bested by their competition.
While the Just Lenses website appears clean and easy to navigate at first, the bland yellow color bars used to feature certain popular products proves unsuccessful in attracting attention and is uninviting to the user.
Search functions are comparable to other sites. Visitors can shop by lens type, manufacturer, most popular lenses and other products (for example, reading glasses). In addition, average customer product ratings are featured to give shoppers a better understanding of the product and the experiences of others.
Unfortunately, Just Lenses has a rather high handling fee on all orders placed. They state that they are working on ways to eliminate this cost to their consumers, but the handling fee to consumers currently stands at 6.5% of the product value. This fee is added automatically to your purchase and will be included in the itemized invoice of any order.
If problems occur when you receive your order through Just Lenses, they ask that you contact their customer service department immediately and they promise to make things right. They do not offer a money-back satisfaction guarantee however, which is something we place a high importance on when ordering products over the internet.
With middle of the road prices and a bland website, the experience offered by Just Lenses lags behind the top-rated companies in our review.
Lens fails to offer their consumers a friendly and inviting website. With bright red featured as a predominant color, our reviewers were looking for opportunities to turn away and shop elsewhere. This is unfortunate because their search options are easy to use and their prices are competitive.
As the fastest growing direct-to-consumer contact lens supplier in the world, Lens is doing something right. One feature we liked was their helpful customer product reviews, located at the bottom of each product screen. These can help shoppers can get a better idea of the products they are browsing, by reading about the experiences of others. Lens also offers a convenient reorder service and refer-a-friend program.
Lens prides themselves on their high quality of customer service and order fulfillment. All of their orders are shipped either by USPS or FedEx. Most orders are processed and are ready to ship within 48-hours and should arrive within three to five business days. Orders can be placed either online or over the phone.
Lens promises to supply all of the major brands and types of contact lenses at up to 70% below retail. While this might be true, the navigation issues and strain on the eyes makes it a chore to shop. You can find deals that are just as good, and a far better shopping experience, with one of our top-rated selections.
With a promise of over 1,000,000 lenses in stock, one would think that Contacts America could deliver on all your contact lens needs. Contacts America claims they carry all major brands such as Acuvue, Biomedics, Focus, and Freshlook - but so do all of their competitors. Contacts America also promises to carry hard-to-find specialty lenses such as toric contact lenses, colored lenses, bifocal lenses and multifocal
lenses - but again, so do their competitors.
While carrying so many lenses is helpful, Contacts America's website features colors that are harsh and flashy. The choice in colors might have been chosen to keep with an American theme, but as presented on this website they are overwhelming and unappealing to someone shopping for something as delicate as contact lenses.
During our repeated testing efforts, the website exhibited numerous technical issues that affected the display and usability of the site. Certain elements slid right off the visible area of the webpage. This proved to be aggravating at the least and confusing to potential shoppers.
While Contacts America does provide a side-by-side chart showing consumers their price compared to other contact lens providers, it just wasn't enough to receive a higher rating. Aside from the issues with where the chart was displayed, the information in the chart itself was somewhat misleading. It features Contacts America's lowest price only when you order a minimum of 4 boxes per eye. This high volume of contacts may
not appeal to consumers who don't want to buy contacts in large quantities, or whose prescription needs change more rapidly.
Contacts America offers to refund or exchange unopened lenses within 30 days of delivery.
Although Contacts America is a simple site, it is difficult to navigate due to the bright colors and technical difficulties. They need to spend time improving the shopper experience if they hope to be a competitive player in this market.
Thet Latest Trends in Contact Lenses
Contact lenses have come a long way since the earliest blown-glass creations in the late 1880s. It was not until the 1950s that lenses were crafted that could be worn all day. Even so, lenses were fragile and expensive, and contact lens insurance was common.
The cornea in the eye does not contain blood vessels, so oxygen must be directly absorbed by the cornea from the air. In the late 1970s, doctors developed rigid gas permeable lenses that allow oxygen to pass through the lens material. Also in the 1970s, chemists developed contact lenses made from soft, flexible material, and these have become the most popular types.
Current contact lens research is involved in finding ways to increase oxygen transference to the cornea. Scientists are also working on ways to include antimicrobial ingredients in the lenses themselves. This helps with the identification and prevention of conditions resulting from contamination by foreign organisms and reduces bacterial infection.
Contact lenses must be periodically cleaned, then rinsed and disinfected before reuse. Lenses must also be stored in a liquid solution when not being used, for example overnight. In the past, each of these functions was performed by a separate formulation. More recently, multipurpose cleaning solutions have been developed that perform all these functions. There are even devices that clean and disinfect lenses
using ultrasonic, ultraviolet, or vibration. The latest multipurpose solutions are effective against bacterial and fungal growth, and include ingredients to increase surface moisture and provide greater comfort to lens wearers.
Other areas of patient compliance also present a challenge. For example, if lenses designed for daily wear are worn overnight, there is an increased risk of corneal infection. The use of daily disposable lenses helps reduce contamination by inadequate cleaning or improper storage. A lens case lined with silver has been developed to help eliminate germs that might come in contact with the lens case.
Perhaps the most radical and exciting development in contact lenses is the work being done to create “bionic lenses.” Still in the testing stage, these lenses include electronic circuits and infrared lights incorporated into the lens material itself to create a virtual display similar to a heads-up display in modern aircraft. Scientists are experimenting with using radio signals to power the lenses instead of
conventional power sources, like batteries. With a built-in antenna, these lenses could communicate with a personal computer or other electronic device and be used for playing video games, education, training, or perhaps to provide warnings to people who are hearing-impaired.
Contact Lenses In The News
Google Looking Beyond Glass, Eyeing Contact Lenses Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Just as many people are forgoing glasses and opting for contact lenses so too may tech giant Google -- at least in the prototype stage. While Google has announced that it will open its Glass Explorer program ? at least for a day ? the search giant could be ?looking? beyond the glasses and toward contact lenses. This was first spotted by Patent ... Publ.Date : Wed, 16 Apr 2014 04:24:05 -0700
After Glass watch for Google Contacts Forget Google Glass, the next wearable technology trend could be Google contact lenses.As the web giant's US$1500 ($1745) high-tech spectacles finally went on sale to the general public in the US yesterday, news emerged of another... Publ.Date : Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:43:25 -0700
Bacteria survive longer in contact lens cleaning solution than previously thought, study shows Each year in the UK, bacterial infections cause around 6,000 cases of a severe eye condition known as microbial keratitis ? an inflammation and ulceration of the cornea that can lead to loss of vision. The use of contact lenses has been identified as a particular risk factor for microbial keratitis. New research shows that a bacterial strain associated with more severe infections shows enhanced ... Publ.Date : Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:50:50 -0700
Google developing contact lenses with built-in cameras This is one way of dealing with the growing reports of backlash against the ?Glassholes? who insist on wearing Googles smart glasses everywhere. Google has a patent for contact lenses... Publ.Date : Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:28:57 -0700
Bacteria Survive In Contact Lens Cleaning Solution Longer Than Thought Society for General Microbiology Each year in the UK, bacterial infections cause around 6,000 cases of a severe eye condition known as microbial keratitis ? an inflammation and ulceration of the cornea that can lead to loss of vision. The use of contact lenses has been identified as a particular risk factor for microbial keratitis. New research, presented today at the Society for General ... Publ.Date : Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:16:42 -0700