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Buying contact lenses online offers several advantages that make it a convenient and cost-effective option for many people. You might feel pressured to buy them at the same time as your annual eye exam, but there's something your optometrist might not want you to know: you can probably buy the very same lenses online for up to 70% less than retail when shopping online.
Online retailers often provide a wider selection of contact lens brands, types, and prescription options compared to physical stores. This variety allows customers to find the lenses that best suit their specific needs, whether they require daily disposables, toric lenses for astigmatism, or multifocal options. Plus, you'll enjoy the convenience of doorstep delivery, all from the comfort of your home.
Saturday, December 2nd
Discount Contacts brings competitive pricing and exceptional customer service to the world of contact lenses. With almost three decades of experience, this retailer has established itself as a reliable and trustworthy option for all your contact lens needs - including over two dozen brands to choose from.
Very competitive prices
When it comes to pricing, we conducted an apples-to-apples comparison on our favorite contact lenses, the Acuvue Oasys 1-Day for Astigmatism, and discovered that Discount Contacts retails them for $48.99 for a box of 30 and $119.99 for a box of 90. At the top of the site you'll see a 10% discount. And, you'll pay nothing for shipping if your order is over $99, and just $6.99 if it's less than that.
Insurance can be used out of network
Can you use your insurance here? Yes. Just be aware that Discount Contacts is out of network for most common carriers, but they go the extra mile to provide links to some of the most popular insurers' reimbursement forms. Just fill out the form and include your itemized receipt from Discount Contacts and you should be all set.
Easy online renewal of your contacts prescription
What makes Discount Contacts even more impressive is their innovative Online Vision Test. Forget the inconvenience of visiting your optometrist, because Discount Contacts has got you covered. With their Online Vision Test, you can easily renew your contact lens prescription from the comfort of your home. It's as easy as having 15 minutes, 10 feet of space, and a smartphone and computer handy. As long as you meet a few simple criteria, such as being between 18 and 55 years old, placing an order with one prescription for both eyes, and having specific CYL and SPH parameters, you're eligible for this online tool. Your vision test will be reviewed by a licensed eye doctor within just 24 hours, and once approved, you'll receive a PDF with your new prescription via email. Talk about cutting-edge convenience.
Generous one-year window to exchange unopened boxes
This contact lens store jumped to the top of our list for another reason: a 365-day exchange policy. As long as the box of contacts is unopened, you can exchange it for a new prescription within that timeframe. That's twice as long as we found in some places, and many rival retailers don't offer exchanges at all.
Almost all customers give this store five stars
What's the catch here? There isn't one. Discount Contacts is accredited and "A+" rated by the Better Business Bureau, and you won't find much in the way of complaints there (or anywhere else). Not only can you look at dozens of customer reviews on specific contact lens styles (like 75+ of them on those Acuvue 30-packs), but inside those comments you'll usually spot glowing praise for Discount Contacts itself. Shoppers say their lenses always come on time (so hey, repeat customers), prescriptions are confirmed promptly, and prices are much lower than what they'd pay at the optometrist's office.
Our #1 choice for contact lenses
Discount Contacts has earned our #1 spot with its unbeatable pricing, top-notch service, exceptional exchange policy, and innovative Online Vision Test. Whether you're a seasoned contact lens wearer or just starting your journey, Discount Contacts has your back with a vast selection of lenses and brands to suit your needs. With an impressive track record and a loyal customer base, Discount Contacts shines as the #1 online destination for your contact lens needs.
Discount Contacts, a sister site of AC Lens, brings competitive pricing and exceptional service to the realm of contact lenses. The two stores share a similar user-friendly design and broad selection of contact types and brands, with just a few subtle differences that set them apart.
AC Lens' pricing on the contacts we used as a comparison, the Acuvue Oasys 1-day for Astigmatism, was nicely on par with rival stores at $48.99 for a box of 30 and $119.99 for a box of 90. At the time of this evaluation, there was also a coupon code at the top of the page offering a 10% discount. Shipping is free for orders over $99, and $6.99 for orders less than that.
Can order as many boxes as you need
There's just one little detail to point out when ordering: the AC Lens order form initially appears to limit purchases to 1, 3, or 6 boxes, but a dropdown beneath the prescription boxes allows customization from 0 to 23 boxes. Who knows, maybe your prescription only changed in one eye and you're ordering a box to try out, or you lost a box on vacation and need a quick replacement. Whatever your situation, it's easy to get the number of boxes you actually need.
Not in-network but still helps with insurance reimbursement
Although you'll be out of network if you have vision insurance and want to use it here, AC Lens still wants to make it easy for you to file the reimbursement forms. Just click on the links on the insurance page (or get your own forms directly from the insurance company), include your AC Lens itemized receipt, and you're good to go.
365-day exchange window
The 365 day exchange policy offered by AC Lens is one of the industry's best. You can exchange any unopened box of contacts for a new prescription within that 1-year timeframe. That's such a win for anyone with a prescription that's prone to instability: if you order a multi-month supply of contacts and something changes, you can exchange any unopened boxes for your new prescription within a year. Beyond AC Lens and Discount Contacts, the next-most generous exchange policy was usually six months, and quite a few competitors don't offer exchanges at all.
Renew your contacts prescription online, no office visit required
Furthermore, AC Lens offers a practical and user-friendly online prescription verification tool. With this innovative feature, customers whose contact lens prescriptions fall within certain parameters can take an eye test using both their computer and smartphone. A licensed eye doctor reviews the results within a swift 24-hour timeframe, making the process of renewing a contact lens prescription a breeze. This cutting-edge convenience is a prime example of how the site provides top-notch service and ease of use.
Customers sing the praises of AC Lens
Similar to our top rated company, AC Lens has the same strong reputation: an "A+" rating, accreditation from the BBB, and plenty of praise from happy customers. In fact, 85% of those who took the time to leave a rating on Google gave this specific contact lens store a five-star score, with many compliments on the fast delivery speed and easy ordering.
Great pick for contact lenses
AC Lens is a super impressive site for buying contact lenses. You'll get competitive prices and excellent customer service when you buy your next set of contacts. Their cutting edge features such as the online vision test is just an added bonus. You can't go wrong with AC Lens.
1-800 Contacts got its start in a dorm room back in 1995, launching the industry's first online contact lens store - and then, years later, the first mobile app for buying contacts. The company believes that the customer comes first and has gone to bat to advocate for telehealth laws, against anti-consumer pricing models, and to help get a federal law passed to give everyone the right to their own vision prescription. If you want to buy your contacts from a retailer that puts you first, 1-800 Contacts is the one.
When we visited the 1-800 Contacts site recently, we got a pop-up offering us a 20% discount on our first order if we entered our email address. Just be aware that new customer offers typically can't be combined with insurance benefits if you're using an in-network partner. If you're submitting paperwork as an out-of-network benefit (as you would need to do with VSP and several other insurers), you can get all of the new customer perks on offer at the time and still get whatever your coverage includes for out-of-network contacts purchases.
Extremely competitive pricing
When you shop for your contacts here, any available discounts will be reflected in the pricing. And those prices are very competitive. On the Acuvue Oasys 1-Day for Astigmatism contacts that we applied across contact stores as a comparison, 1-800 Contacts came in at $47.99 per box on the 30-pack and $105.95 on the 90-pack after that 20% new customer price was applied. We could save another 5% if we set it up as a recurring subscription. 1-800 Contacts impressed us by also showing us that we'd qualify for a $90 rebate if we purchased at least 8 boxes of the 90-pack : something we weren't too likely to do, but it was a benefit we also didn't spot with any other contacts store on our list.
Unlimited timeframe for returns on unopened boxes
We were genuinely impressed with 1-800 Contacts' customer service. We reached out via live chat to ask about the timeframe on their "Gajillion Percent Promise" with respect to exchanging contact lenses, and we got a US-based rep right away. Looks like that 24/7 customer support is exactly as advertised. The agent we connected with confirmed that as long as the box is unopened, contacts will be accepted for returns with no time limit. That's extraordinary.
$20 to renew your prescription from home
That agent also gave us more details about 1-800 Contacts' unique ExpressExam for renewing a contact lens prescription from home. As long as you're still seeing clearly with your current prescription (and assuming this type of exam is allowed in your state, which you can confirm prior to signing up), you can pay $20 to be seen virtually by an optometrist. It'll take about 10 minutes and you need 20 feet of space (to confirm your vision at a distance), but that's it. That's a huge savings over the typical in-office contact lens exams that cost $150+. Obviously this isn't suitable for first-time contact lens wearers, but it's a big advantage for those of us who have worn them for a long time and just need that updated prescription to order more.
Solid track record over many years
1-800 Contacts has an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, with just 100 complaints filed there over the last three years. Given that this contact lens store has millions of customers over its nearly 30-year history, that's not bad at all. And, in most places you look, this retailer gets 5-star reviews from customers who appreciate the attentive customer service, fair pricing, and extended return policy on unopened boxes.
Some complaints recently
But, notice that we said "most places" . Trustpilot's reviews told a different story: across nearly 400 ratings, customers were split almost dead even between 1- and 5-star scores for 1-800 Contacts, and most of the comments left within just a few weeks of this evaluation were not positive. Long-term customers started having issues with order processing and entry of prescription information, and some brands wound up being backordered even though the payment was taken upfront. It's not enough to make us think that there's a big problem at 1-800 Contacts, but it is enough to drop this store a half-star in our ratings.
Excellent choice for contacts
1-800 Contacts stands out as a pioneer in the industry, having started as the first online contact lens store and later introducing the first mobile app for purchasing contacts. This retailer prioritizes the needs of their customers through impressive customer service, an unlimited timeframe for returns on unopened boxes, and 24/7 support. While Trustpilot reviews show a few recent concerns, millions of satisfied customers and a multitude of positive reviews from other sources solidify 1-800 Contacts' reputation as a reputable and dependable choice for purchasing contact lenses.
Eyeconic was founded by the well-known non-profit organization VSP, and whether you have vision insurance or not, their prices and service are tough to beat. Founded in 2011, this contact lens store is on a mission not just to get you the right contacts but also to help you take good care of your eyes, with over 38,000 doctors in their network.
Smooth connection with several vision insurance plans
Especially if you have VSP insurance, Eyeconic should be the first contact lens store you check out because they make it incredibly easy to use your vision insurance benefits. If you have Cigna Vision, MetLife, or VSP, you can link your insurance to the Eyeconic site in just a few simple steps. The benefit amount is clearly displayed in the price breakdown and your shopping cart, making the process seamless. And if you prefer not to use your benefits for a specific order, no problem - you can easily toggle them off and pay out of pocket instead. Now that's flexible.
Prices have gone up
But, we had to drop Eyeconic in our rankings, out of its former first-place spot. Why? Price. Unless you're applying your insurance benefits here, you're going to pay a LOT more for your contacts because Eyeconic isn't as competitive as it used to be. When we looked at our comparison lenses (Acuvue Oasys 1-Day for Astigmatism) this time, it was a whopping $84.99 per box. You're definitely better off going for a 90-lens package, priced at $137.99/box (which is still higher than most rival contact lens stores but much more affordable than the 30-day supply). At least you'll get free shipping on your order.
Can exchange your contacts within six months if needed
Ordering a year's supply is another way to save money at Eyeconic. For example, on that 90-lens box we mentioned earlier, buying enough for a full year brought the per-box price down to $124.19, saving $110.40 overall. But maybe you're worried about your prescription changing and being stuck with contacts you can't use. That's where Eyeconic really impresses us: this contact lens store gives you up to six months to exchange your contacts for a new prescription. In our experience, those exchanges are easy-peasy: just make your exchange request and upload your new prescription in your customer dashboard, return the unused boxes, and your new contacts will be on their way soon.
Thousands of five-star reviews
And reputation? Eyeconic's BBB rating is (still) only a "B." However, it seems most complaints there are about eyeglasses, not contacts, though a few people had issues with their contacts winding up backordered for several weeks. On the bright side, Eyeconic received an impressive average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from almost 15,000 customer reviews elsewhere. Shoppers usually rave about how hassle-free it is to use insurance benefits, the quick delivery time, and the huge perk of being able to exchange contacts for a new prescription even six months down the road.
Nice perks (but high prices)
Although we can't keep Eyeconic in our #1 spot, it's still a contact lens store with some big perks. We strongly recommend it for customers who have vision insurance through VSP, Cigna or MetLife, and for those who have frequent vision shifts and might need to make an exchange for a new prescription. But, you might want to look at some of Eyeconic's rivals on our list if you need the lowest possible price on your contacts - because this is one of the most expensive stores we've found.
Contact Lens King, a veteran in the contact lens industry since 2004, proudly offers a staggering selection of over 5 million contact lenses. They claim to slash prices by up to 70% compared to local retailers and boast speedy shipping, usually within one business day after verifying your prescription.
Website is easy to shop
Navigating this contact lens store is a breeze, thanks to the user-friendly design. When you hover over the brand links on the left side of the page, specific options pop out, making it a piece of cake to find the contact lenses you need. But don't worry, if you prefer comparing products by image, a simple click will take you to the results.
Best prices for contacts
Now, let's talk dollars and cents. For our comparison item, the Acuvue Oasys 1-Day for Astigmatism, Contact Lens King's pricing is exceptionally affordable, coming in at $45.95 per box in the 30-pack and $107.95 for the 90-pack. And, when we got to the checkout, we were offered a 15% discount if we set up our purchase as an auto-refill; subsequent deliveries would be at the regular retail price.
Costs go up with shipping fees
However, shipping fees raise an eyebrow, starting at $9.95 for USPS First Class and $16.95 for USPS Priority Mail: unlike some competitors, there's no free shipping on larger orders (over $99) here. On the bright side, Contact Lens King doesn't sneak in any processing/handling or insurance fees, so no surprises there. Just be aware that there have been processing fees here off and on over the past few years, and we saw some recent customer reviews mentioning it - but we weren't charged any on our latest order.
Limited return window
Another area where Contact Lens King doesn't keep up with our favorite retailers in the industry? Returns and exchanges. You only have 30 days here to request a refund; if you order an annual supply and your prescription changes five months in, you're stuck with boxes and boxes of contacts you can't wear. Since there's no cost advantage to stocking up, then, we'd recommend that you take advantage of the lower-than-average prices on the lenses for maybe a 1- or 2-month supply at a time (but, of course, then you've got the shipping fees on each order too...)
Almost 20K five-star reviews from happy customers
But here's the silver lining, besides the cost savings: Contact Lens King shines in the reputation department. With an "A+" rating and BBB accreditation, they've nailed the customer service game. Complaints are few, and they've handled them gracefully. Beyond the BBB, we found over 19,000 five-star reviews for Contact Lens King, with an average rating of 4.38 out of 5 stars. Impressive, right?
Worth a look on price alone
At the end of the day, if your bottom line is budget-related, Contact Lens King deserves a nod. The selection of contacts is extensive and the prices are some of the lowest we've seen anywhere. If you think your prescription may change a bit over the next year, you might want to avoid stocking up on your current lenses because of the 30-day limit on returns, but with nearly 20K five-star reviews from very happy customers, Contact Lens King is worth a look.
In business since 1972, For Eyes has been offering contact lenses, glasses and sunglasses for longer than many of us have been alive. In 2015, the brand became part of the Grandvision EssilorLuxottica group, taking its products and services worldwide. For Eyes is one of several options on our list that has retail locations in addition to its online storefront, if that's something that might influence your decision.
No problems using the online store
This website is super-easy to shop for contacts. Right off the bat, you can click on the "use insurance" button if you'd like to apply your benefits. We saw all of the major insurers - like Humana, Aetna, and VSP - plus quite a few others that we weren't familiar with. Next, you can schedule an eye exam if you need one: For Eyes has over 110 in-person locations, so you have that added convenience if you decide to order contacts online but need a follow-up visit.
Filters take you right to your contacts
When you're ready to buy your lenses, you won't have to scroll endlessly to find what you need among For Eyes' selection of 20 brands and 80+ contact options. Instead, use the dropdowns to select the brand, lens type, replacement frequency, and/or price: the more you enter, the quicker you'll be taken to what you're shopping for.
You'll love the prices and free shipping
As we browsed the For Eyes site, we saw that all contacts were "up to 25% off" - but it was hard to tell if that was a limited-time offer or if it represented their everyday pricing compared with the industry-standard retail prices on contacts. Either way, though, that made this contact lens store one of the most affordable on our list when it came to our comparison lenses: the Acuvue Oasys 1-Day for Astigmatism. Although For Eyes didn't offer these contacts in a 90-pack like we found with some competitors, the price for a 30-day supply was about as low as it gets at $44.24. You also don't have to mess around with minimum order amounts to qualify for free shipping here, because you'll get it on each and every order.
Only 30 days for returns
But, those low prices aren't the only thing to consider, and as you might suspect, there are some reasons you might not want to buy your contact lenses from For Eyes. For one, you've only got 30 days to make a return here. If you stock up on contacts and your vision changes, you'll be stuck with boxes of the old prescription (so maybe just buy them a box at a time here, especially since the shipping is free). That's not quite as customer-forward as the contact lens stores on our list who give you six months or more to make an exchange for an updated prescription. And, it's indicative of the fact that this retailer is more focused on eyeglasses than on contacts: even when you read the low price guarantee and "free lifelong service" promise, they're all centered on glasses.
Reputation is unclear and not reassuring
We're also not so reassured when it comes to reputation. Most of what's out there - reviews on Trustpilot, Yelp, and so on - comes from customers who visited a For Eyes store, which doesn't tell us much about the online experience. Do contacts come on time? Are returns as free and easy as the site promises? It's hard to say. Plus, that brand shift when For Eyes became part of a larger corporation affected the company's listing with the Better Business Bureau - but whether you look at For Eyes' "F" or Grandvision's "Not Rated" scores, it's not great.
Try a small order first when buying contacts here
Best prices? Yes. Good selection? Yes. Awesome return policy? No. Focused on contact lens users? Not exactly. For Eyes had us excited when we saw the prices on our comparison lenses, but it was hard to maintain that enthusiasm when we saw the downsides. If you're going to buy your contacts here, we'd recommend starting with just one month's supply and see how it goes before making a commitment to buying a year's worth.
Lens Direct, a well-established contact lens store for over 30 years, has earned accolades from Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider, solidifying its reputation as a top online shop for contact lenses. But does it truly live up to the buzz? Let's dive in and find out.
Inventory more limited than competitors
Starting with their selection, Lens Direct offers a decent range of options, though it falls short compared to some competitors. The brand list is extensive - Acuvue, Bausch & Lomb, BioTrue, Purevision, and several others - but that tracks back to just two manufacturers (Johnson & Johnson, Bausch & Lomb). When you scroll through what apparently are all of the available contact lenses in the Lens Direct inventory, it's not a long list - and some of the ones included are Halloween lenses like Vampire and White Out (but that might be a big win for some shoppers).
Prices tend to be higher than average
We were glad to see that, for our comparison lenses (Acuvue Oasys 1-Day for Astigmatism), Lens Direct is easier to shop now: in the past, they were labeled differently from every other contact lens store, making it harder for shoppers to know if they were getting the right lenses. We were also happy to see two different options for quantity: a 30-pack or a 90-pack, priced at $61.99 and $136.99, respectively. That pricing is on par with some of the contact lens stores we evaluated, but definitely not the least expensive out there. (For example, on the 90-pack, we found them for under $110/box on at least one competitor's website.)
Some savings available
However, there are ways to save money if you buy your contacts from Lens Direct. If you sign up for their AutoRefill service, you'll get a 20% discount on each box. Or, if you'd rather not make that kind of commitment, look for codes featured on the site; at the time of this review, CONTACTS15 provided a 15% discount on all contact lens orders. And, as we browsed the site, we got a pop-up offering a 25% discount if we indicated what we were shopping for and provided our email address.
Watch out for fees added at checkout
On the shipping front, Lens Direct offers even more savings, providing free delivery on orders over $49, which is great for most contact lens orders of at least two boxes. And, at the time of this evaluation, that 15% coupon code we mentioned came with free shipping on all orders. However, Lens Direct does add a 6% handling and insurance fee "to offset a portion of the cost increases related to verification of prescriptions... fuel surcharges on shipping, and return processing" . That feels like a sneaky way to eat away at those discounts they offer, right?!
Only 3 months on refunds or exchanges
Another area where we're not as impressed is Lens Direct's exchange policy on contact lenses. You've only got 90 days from when they were delivered to request a refund or an exchange - and how likely is it that your prescription will change in three months? Many rival retailers give you a full six months or more to exchange for an updated prescription, keeping Lens Direct from earning a higher ranking from us.
Some complaints but lots of compliments too
When it comes to reputation, Lens Direct gets mixed reviews. Although they have BBB accreditation, their "B" rating raised some questions - especially since that's a drop from their previous "B+" during our last review of this contact lens store. Of the nearly 150 complaints registered with the BBB over the last three years, the majority remain centered around prolonged processing and shipping times for eyeglasses, with few comments at all about contact lens orders. But, all of those issues have been addressed by Lens Direct, and if you look at their track record on Trustpilot - where there are nearly 6,000 five-star reviews and an overall average of 4.6 out of 5 stars - you'll also find people who have been loyal clients here over many years and are thrilled with their orders and the customer service.
Good but not great
Overall, Lens Direct is a decent retailer, but it might not be your ultimate go-to for contacts. While their selection is adequate, the slightly higher prices per box along with handling fees will probably have you exploring other higher-ranked contact lens stores before making a final decision here.
Contacts Direct is connected with a lot of in-person stores you probably know from the mall - like Sunglass Hut. They offer 17 brands of contacts, including all of the more popular names like Acuvue and Air Optix, plus some lesser-known ones like MyDay and Clariti.
Easy to shop but prices won't impress
It's pretty straightforward to find your contact lenses here: the most popular brands are featured at the top of the site, and there's another dozen or so under the "More Brands" dropdown. We had no trouble finding our comparison contacts: Acuvue Oasys 1-Day for Astigmatism. The pricing at Contacts Direct wasn't that competitive with other stores on our list: the 30-pack was "as low as $51.86 per box" , and the 90-pack was "as low as $133.49 per box" . But, there was a discount code to save 15% featured at the top of the site, so that made the final cost a bit more in the ballpark - and shipping is free too.
Price matching and 6 months on exchanges
Contacts Direct has a lot of customer-friendly policies that we like. For example, you can return any unopened boxes of contacts for a full refund - not just an exchange - within six months of receipt. Given that some contact lens stores don't let you make exchanges or returns beyond the first 30 days, that's pretty generous. This store also offers price matching if you think you've found your contacts for less somewhere else. Given that their prices weren't all that competitive, you might need to take advantage of that.
Not hard to use with insurance benefits
And insurance? Contacts Direct is in-network for quite a few insurers, including EyeMed, Superior Vision, Aetna Vision Preferred, Anthem Blue Vision, Humana Vision, and many others. You can also get details on how to be reimbursed if your contacts purchase here is out of network for your vision insurance; just click on the link in the Insurance FAQ.
Parent company has a "D" with the BBB
However, Contacts Direct isn't doing as well as we'd like to see when it comes to reputation. They're one of several contact lens stores on our list that are part of the Luxottica group, which unfortunately has a "D" rating from the Better Business Bureau with over 750 complaints in the last three years, Granted, there are a lot of brands under that umbrella, including some big names like Pearle Vision, Sunglass Hut, even Target Optical and Ray-Ban, so that might not mean anything for Contacts Direct specifically.
Love-hate reputation here
But, when you look at feedback for just this brand, it's not all that impressive either: on Trustpilot alone, out of nearly 2300 ratings, almost 30% gave Contacts Direct three stars or less. It seems like you'll either think your contact-ordering experience here is awesome or awful, without too much in-between. Some people get excellent customer service and their lenses arrive right on time, while others struggle to get the right lenses delivered at all.
Might be a contact lens store to avoid
You have a lot of options for buying your contacts online, and a store that offers a 6-month exchange window would usually wind up near the top of the ones we'd recommend to you. But, in the case of Contacts Direct, that's not enough to compensate for the higher-than-average prices, the poor grade from the BBB, and the very mixed feedback from customers. This might be a contacts retailer you want to skip in favor of a higher-ranking option on our list.
Glasses USA is a newer name in contact lenses, both on our list and in the industry overall - having just got its start a little over ten years ago. Although the store specializes in (you guessed it) eyeglasses and sunglasses, you can also buy most of today's most popular contact lens brands and options here too.
Pricing pre-discount isn't the best
So, let's jump right in. How did Glasses USA measure up when we looked for our comparison contacts, the Acuvue Oasys 1-Day for Astigmatism? With respect to price, we weren't so impressed: the everyday price for a 30-day supply was $65.17, but there was a limited-offer coupon code automatically applied that brought it down to $48.88. Also, there was no option for a 90-day supply where most rivals offered both quantities. But, shipping is free here and that could save you a little compared with competitors' contact lens stores.
More focused on glasses than contacts
Still, it's hard to get excited about buying contacts from a store that clearly focuses on glasses. As we saw with our comparison lenses and when we looked at other brands, the selection here is smaller: just a little over 100 contact lens options across 8 manufacturers and 18 brands. And, when you start looking for more information, the sections related to contact lenses are pretty sparse. For example, what happens if you order several months' supply of your prescription... and then it changes? Most of Glasses USA's rivals are pretty upfront about that, but we had to pull up the live customer service chat to try and chase down that particular answer.
At least we can say that our chat connected us with a live agent quickly, and the answer wasn't all bad: at Glasses USA, you can return, exchange, or get store credit on any order within 60 days. It's not the most generous we've seen - some competitors give you 90-180 days to exchange for a new prescription - but it's better than nothing.
In-network for some insurers
Our live agent also let us know that Glasses USA is in-network for some vision insurance providers. Unfortunately, one of the biggest (VSP) is an out-of-network provider; if you wanted to use your benefits here, you'd have to submit reimbursement paperwork if your coverage is also out of network after you've bought your contacts.
Reviews about contacts aren't great
With respect to reputation, Glasses USA does well overall... at first. The company has an "A" rating and accreditation - despite having nearly 1,000 complaints filed there over the last three years - and over 40,000 five-star reviews on Trustpilot alone. But, we took the opportunity to search just for reviews related to contacts, and we were disappointed to see that a lot of those were not perfect ratings. People mentioned unexplained delays of a month or more in getting their contacts delivered, and another ranted about a $29/box processing and handling fee that only showed up when they reached the checkout page. That's definitely something to watch out for if you decide to order contacts here.
Not enough focus on contacts
You have a lot of options for buying your contacts online. Why spend your time ordering from a company that doesn't really sell them as a priority product? That's the impression we get from Glasses USA: you could be waiting a long time for lenses, and you're likely to see a better selection and more attentive service with one of the higher-ranked contact lens stores on our list. Glasses USA just has too much room for improvement to earn our recommendation.
LensCrafters is a well-known company specializing in eyewear, including contact lenses, glasses, and sunglasses. They have a vast network of nearly 1,000 in-person locations across the United States, making it convenient for customers to order contacts online and return in store.
Most contact types available here
LensCrafters' selection of contacts is comparable with most stores we evaluated. You'll find six different manufacturers and 18 brands, including all of today's most popular names like Acuvue and Biotrue. Finding the contacts prescribed by your optometrist is easy too: just select the type, manufacturer, category, brand, and/or price and you'll be taken right to what you need.
Discounts make prices more competitive
Pricing at LensCrafters is just average. On our comparison contacts, the Acuvue Oasys 1-Day for Astigmatism, we'd pay $51.70 for a box of 30 and $121.12 for a box of 90. Those prices were with discounts of 12% and 15%, respectively, but there was no indication of whether those savings were everyday or a limited-time promotion. As long as you're okay with 7-day shipping, your contacts will be delivered at no cost; otherwise, you can pay to upgrade for faster delivery timeframes. We could also save up to $200 when buying an annual supply or up to $75 on a 6-month supply, and those savings were available even when using insurance benefits.
Easy to use insurance and/or HSA/FSA
Speaking of insurance, this contact lens store accepts coverage from most insurers. If you're planning on using your benefits, you can go to the Insurance page through the Savings link on the site to look up your insurer. As a sampling of what you'll find, at the time of this review there were several big names that were in-network (EyeMed, Aetna, Humana, Cigna, Anthem), a few that were accepted for in-store purchases only (MES, Community Eye Care, and others), and two big names that were out-of-network only (MetLife, VSP). And, insurance or not, you can also use your FSA/HSA benefits to pay for your contacts from LensCrafters.
No exchanges, only 30 days for returns
One area where we're not fans of shopping LensCrafters for contacts is the exchange policy - or lack of it. We had to reach out to their live chat (which, by the way, connected us with customer service almost immediately) to find out that there simply are no exchanges here. If you order that annual supply to save some money and then your prescription shifts after a few months, you're just out of luck. That drops LensCrafters quite a bit on our list, when you consider that some of our top contact lens stores give you a year or more to request an exchange for a new prescription.
Reputation is a disappointment
LensCrafters' reputation also isn't anything to get excited about. The main parent company, Luxottica Retail (which is the parent company of a few other contact lens stores on our list), has a "D" rating from the Better Business Bureau for having over 750 complaints filed in the last three years, 20 of which weren't resolved or responded to. Granted, those complaints can be about any of the brands in the family and not just LensCrafters, but it's not something we like to see. It's also hard to tell how LensCrafters does when it comes to contacts, especially when ordered online: most reviews focus on in-store experiences and glasses; customers are able to leave reviews on specific contact lens options but those are few and far between.
Look at other contact lens stores first
When you get right down to it, there's nothing over-the-top horrible about using LensCrafters for buying contact lenses - but there's nothing very compelling about it either. The lack of an exchange policy could be problematic, and prices are just average on most contacts we looked at. If using your insurance is a must and you're already a fan of LensCrafters, you could give it a try, but if you're open to other options, we'd suggest looking at the higher-rated contact lens stores in our evaluation first.
Purchasing contact lenses online can also save you both time and money. Online retailers frequently offer competitive pricing and discounts, making it possible to find lenses at lower prices than in brick-and-mortar stores. Additionally, online shopping eliminates the need for trips to physical stores, saving you time and reducing the hassle of scheduling appointments or waiting in long lines.
The convenience of online shopping also allows customers to reorder their contact lenses with ease. Many online retailers offer subscription services, ensuring that you will receive your lenses regularly without having to remember to reorder. This helps maintain good eye health by reducing the risk of running out of lenses or wearing them for too long.
Want to know which contact lenses are best? Online retailers often provide detailed product information and customer reviews, helping you make an informed decision about which contact lenses to choose. This information helps you find the best fit and comfort for their eyes, as well as to learn about the latest lens technologies and innovations.
Curious if contact lenses suit you? Perhaps your previous attempt several years ago wasn't a comfortable fit, but fear not. Technological advancements now allow many people who need vision correction to wear contacts comfortably, even after past setbacks. Soft lenses for astigmatism and presbyopia are even available, surpassing the days of rigid or gas permeable options for corrective measures.
You can easily discover the wide array of options you have online. Are multifocal contacts as a substitute for glasses? Absolutely. Daily lenses for single-use convenience? You bet. It might take some experimentation to find your ideal prescription and lens type, but the perks of contacts can far outweigh traditional eyeglasses. There's no getting caught in the rain and feeling like you need mini windshield wipers or going blind into the ocean because you left your prescription glasses up by your towel.
If you're considering buying your contact lenses online, you'll need to decide which contact lens store to use. There are a bunch of them out there, some with more name recognition than others. Here are a few criteria you can use to evaluate both the big-name retailers and the lesser-known ones:
For a comprehensive review of top-notch online contact lens retailers, check out our research here at Top Consumer Reviews. We're sure this evaluation will help you to get your contacts quickly and cost-effectively, ensuring crystal-clear and comfortable vision for the long haul!
Contact lenses have come a long way since the earliest blown-glass creations in the late 1880's. It was not until the 1950's 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 1970's, doctors developed rigid gas permeable lenses that allow oxygen to pass through the lens material. Also in the 1970's, 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.
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