Contact lenses are beneficial, convenient, and ultra-useful vision enhancers that provide billions of individuals around the world with the ability to see clear and crisp images. Contact lenses aren't cumbersome like glasses, and they don't impact one's ability to play sports, enjoy amusement park rides, or partake in other physical activities; they don't stop anyone from doing the things they love when they want to do them. And the best part of all is that contact lenses are safe and affordable.
Thanks to the internet, the contact-lens purchasing process has become more affordable and accessible than it has been at any other point in history. Stated in short, the internet has made it easier, cheaper, and less stressful to purchase contact lenses. With a computer or mobile device and a few spare minutes, any contact wearer can get in on the action, and more and more individuals are doing so with each passing day.
With all this in mind, buying contact lenses online should be a no-brainer, right?
Old habits die hard, and the optical industry's customers aren't exempted from this truth. Many individuals prefer to purchase contact lenses from brick-and-mortar suppliers because they've long been accustomed to doing so. Others worry that online shopping will deprive them of their contacts, and others yet worry that “something bad” will sully the entire process.
To help them and other persons who might be interested in buying contacts online, let's take a look at what makes the purchasing method so very special—and what negatives can potentially detract from the experience.
OUR TOP PICK
The Pros of Buying Contact Lenses Online
The following list describes the positive aspects of buying contact lenses online. These positives are objective and backed by evidence, and countless customer testimonials serve as proof of the point.
A streamlined business model and the digital marketplace's inherent volume allow contact lenses to be sold for notably less on the internet than they are in traditional stores.
Bluntly stated, there's less overhead—rent, transportation fees, etc.—and more volume for online stores. One hundred or more orders can be secured by mildly successful websites, but it's hard to imagine that the average optical storefront serves one hundred or more individuals per day, seven days per week. And when an optical store's parking lot needs repainting or its interior needs updating (appearance really is a major part of traditional storefronts' appeal), the cost of the work is generally offset by small price increases, which add up over time.
Thus, online contact lenses are affordable because suppliers are able to pass their own savings onto customers.
Those who wear contacts must receive a prescription from an eye doctor, but once that prescription has been issued, it's up to the patient to determine the best business to fill it. The choice is completely and totally up to the individual, who has a real opportunity to make his or her life easier and, well, better.
Patients can take time from their busy schedules to drop off a prescription and pick up their contact lenses (a process that, depending on the store, could take multiple days), or they can simply log onto a computer and order their contacts online. And for those who don't know, the convenience and ease of having contact lenses delivered to a home cannot be understated!
Delivery is almost always more convenient than the pick-up process, and in its most basic form, that's all online shopping is: the ability to browse many products and have the desired items delivered.
The internet is also ideal for purchasing contacts in that today's online suppliers allow customers to set auto-renewal periods for their lenses.
Someone who is used to replacing their contact lenses every three or four months (the period most commonly recommended by eye doctors) can arrange for the corresponding deliveries to be made automatically. In this way, one won't get stuck with worn contact lenses, nor will one need to worry and fret over the process associated with ordering replacements. After the specified time frame has passed between orders, the new products will be shipped out.
And in the instance that something happens in the interim (perhaps a prescription change), and the order is no longer desired, it can be cancelled with a simple click. Seriously, cancelling is even easier than ordering!
There really is something to be said for the automation and reliability of auto-renewal options.
Sales, Specials, and Promotions
Most brick-and-mortar optical stores are used to having repeat business—individuals in the area who patronize the establishment mainly because it's close—and so they don't make much of an effort to price their wares and services competitively. (This same factor often affects customer service, but that's a discussion best left for another time.)
Online contact distributors, however, compete with one another. If a single website charges less than all the other websites, these other websites must adapt—or face an almost-certain loss of customers and profits. This is why it's so difficult to start a successful internet business, and this is also why companies that rise to the top of their respective spheres—think Amazon and Facebook—are so incredibly good at what they do. An online optical store with a strong customer base has probably worked hard for these clients.
Competition drives prices down and makes for better customer experiences, and because optical companies are so competitive on the internet, it's not uncommon to see an abundance of sales, specials, and promotions, which save customers money. Traditional stores don't really offer discounts of this nature—20 percent off the total bill, for instance—and online shoppers can therefore rack up the savings and put the money towards other things. How about a tropical vacation?
And it's difficult to argue against that.
If for some reason contact lenses aren't satisfactory—perhaps they don't fit or feel right—online shoppers will have a much easier time returning them for a full refund than customers of physical stories will.
Traditional storefronts have all manner of different return policies, and the bottom line is that these policies aren't usually too protective of or beneficial to the customer. Online businesses, in part because they engage in such vicious competition, are much more accommodating. The return process is as simple as requesting a return shipping label, applying it to the package, dropping it in the mailbox, and waiting for a refund. To be clear, this type of return refers exclusively to preference; other returns, including those that relate to dissatisfaction, can also be made.
Flexibility is an integral component of online contact lens stores, and customers benefit from this flexibility in more ways than one.
The following are some potential drawbacks associated with purchasing contact lenses online. Bear in mind that these cons are subjective—they mean different things to different people.
No Human Interaction
Those who love when their shopping experiences come with a bit of human interaction might be disappointed with the lack of one-on-one dialogue that online shopping brings with it.
Optical websites are carefully designed, easy-to-use, and reliable, but they don't do much in terms of interaction. Customers add their desired products to their cart, input a payment method, and wait for delivery. In the rare instance that an issue arises, a support official is contacted via chat or phone.
For most individuals, this process is appealing because of how organized, precise, and seamless it is; some customers may find the process unappealing for the very same reasons.
Some Computer Understanding is Required
Those who aren't well-versed with the internet (or computers generally) might have some difficulty ordering contact lenses online.
Might is they key word, as websites' designs and convenience are all but sure to guarantee that customers will complete the process. However, customers who aren't used to operating computers, browsing the internet, and/or shopping online might find that it takes them a little bit longer than expected to proceed through checkout—at least during the first order or two.
Perhaps these individuals would do well to think of the money they're saving on contacts as payment for becoming more familiar with tech!
Deliveries Take Time to Arrive
Lastly, contact lens deliveries do take time to arrive. Most online companies pack and ship orders within a day after they're placed, and standard shipping generally requires a couple days to bring a package to one's doorstep, depending on how far the company at-hand is from the customer. Contact wearers who don't want to plan ahead might be in something of a difficult spot if they place an online order that requires a couple days to arrive.
With that said, it should also be emphasized that
shipping speeds can be upgraded
, and for a little bit of extra cash, contact lenses can arrive
on the day an order is placed.
As such, this con—like the other listed drawbacks—is hardly debilitating, but it is something that online customers should consider as they're ordering their contacts.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that with all things considered, online shopping has changed the contacts industry for the better. A small bit of proactive effort can save customers time, money, and hassle. Deliveries can be pre-scheduled, headaches can be avoided, and one's vision can remain 20/20, all with a simple click. The highlighted cons are, truth be told, minimal both in quantity and significance.
There's never been a better time than today to see what all the hype is about—to buy contact lenses online. Thanks for taking the time to read up on the subject, and don't hesitate to join the millions of individuals who've already started receiving their contacts over the internet!
General Contact Lenses Questions
This section covers the basic questions you have about contact lenses. Use this section to get a better understanding of how contact lenses work.
What does BC mean on contact lenses?
BC stands for Base Curve. This is a number, usually between 8 and 10. It’s also called Power or PWR. The exact meaning of this number can change brand to brand.
Are contact lenses prescriptions the same as glasses?
No, contact lenses prescriptions and glasses prescriptions are not the same. You’ll need to see your eye doctor to get a new contact lenses prescription.
Can I use my eyeglass prescription for contact lenses?
No, you can’t use your eyeglass prescription for contact lenses. Glasses and contacts use different figures and measurements for prescriptions.
How quickly can I get contact lenses?
That depends on a number of factors. Before you get lenses, you’ll need to get a prescription for those lenses. Your eye doctor can give you more information about how long the process will take after that.
What age is appropriate for contact lenses?
Most eye doctors agree that children can start wearing contact lenses between the ages of 10 and 12.
Is it easy to wear contact lenses?
Most people find it relatively easy to wear contact lenses, especially once they get used to the act of putting them in.
Is there an age limit for contact lenses?
Yes. Optometrists generally agree that people shouldn’t wear contact lenses before they are at least 10-12 years old.
How do you take care of contact lenses?
That depends on the type of contact lenses you have. Some lenses are disposable, and others need special care. You should follow the directions that come with your lenses.
How to convert glasses prescription to contact lenses?
There’s no easy way to convert a glasses prescription to contact lenses. That’s because contact lenses need to take the shape of your eye into account, whereas glasses don’t.
Types of Contact Lenses
We’ll go over the different types of contact lenses in this section.
What are soft contact lenses made of?
Soft contact lenses are usually made from a silicone hydrogel. This material combines the properties of glass while allowing the lens and your eye to stay moist and get air.
Which contact lenses are best for dry eyes?
Most eye doctors recommend soft contacts for dry eyes, as the silicone hydrogel that these lenses are made from is good at allowing your eye to get more moisture and air.
Which contact lenses are the most comfortable?
That depends on you. Most people find soft contact lenses more comfortable than hard lenses, but there can be a pretty big cost differential between them.
Can you get colored prescription contact lenses?
You can, but you’ll need to talk to your eye doctor to get recommendations for a colored contact lens provider that fits your needs.
What are the best multifocal contact lenses for dry eyes?
That depends on your particular needs. You should talk to your optometrist to see what brands work well for your particular needs.
What contact lenses are best for me?
That depends on what your needs are. The best place to get advice on the right contacts for you is a professional optometrist.
How do you get fitted for contact lenses?
You can get fitted for contact lenses by seeing an optometrist. You need certified medical professionals to get sized for new contact lenses.
What are the best daily wear contact lenses?
The best daily wear contact lenses depend on what kind of lenses you need. Most people prefer soft or disposable lenses for daily wear.
What are contact lenses made of today?
That depends on the type of contact lenses you want. Soft lenses are usually made from a silicone hydrogel. GP contact lenses are mostly made from a fluorosilicone acrylate.
Can you get anti-glare contact lenses?
There aren’t any anti-glare contact lenses available. If you have issues with glare, then most doctors recommend you use anti-glare glasses for driving, especially at night.
Using Contact Lenses
This section answers your most common questions about using contact lenses. Keep in mind that you should always default to the advice you get from a medical professional when it comes to your contacts.
How long can you wear contact lenses in a day?
Most contact lenses can be worn for between 10 to 12 hours. You should follow the directions for your specific brand of contacts as well as your doctor’s advice.
How long do contact lenses last unopened?
Different types of contacts are good for different amounts of time. The expiration date on the packaging will indicate the last month and year the contacts should be considered safe.
How to store contact lenses without solution?
While it’s always best to use solution, in a pinch you can use saline, salt water, or distilled water as a substitute.
How long can you wear daily disposable contact lenses?
You shouldn’t wear daily disposable contact lenses for more than a single day. They are not designed to be worn twice or worn while you sleep.
How to put in contact lenses for the first time?
It can be tricky to put contact lenses in for the first time. We recommend following the advice you get from your doctor. If you’re still confused, then there are lots of videos online that can help you.
Can you wear contact lenses if you have dry eyes?
Yes, there are contact lenses made especially for people with dry eyes. Modern soft lenses are made from a material that helps keep your eyes moist and exposed to air.
Can you wear monthly contact lenses overnight?
It depends on your specific brand or type of contact lenses. Some can be worn for as many as 7 straight days.
What happen if you sleep with contact lenses on?
The consequences of sleeping with contact lenses on depends on your type of contact lenses. If you know you’re not supposed to sleep with your contacts on, then you should change them immediately and follow your doctor’s advice.
How many hours can you wear daily disposable contact lenses?
Most daily disposable contact lenses are designed to be worn for between 10 to 12 hours.
How to pack contact lenses when flying?
You can pack your contacts and solution into the quart-sized bag that you’re allowed on a flight to contain liquids.
Can you use eye drops with contact lenses?
In most cases, yes. However, you should make sure that the eyedrops you want to use are compatible with your lenses.
How to disinfect contact lenses after pink eye?
You’ll need to follow the instructions included with your contacts to disinfect them safely. If your contacts are disposable, then you should throw them away.
How to adjust to multifocal contact lenses?
The best way to adjust to multifocal contact lenses is to wear them. You’ll soon adapt, as multifocal contact lenses will more naturally fit the way your eyes work.
Can I take a shower with my contact lenses on?
You should remove your contact lenses before you shower. Failure to do so can result in irritation, pain, and infection.
Buying Contact Lenses + Contact Lenses Prices
We’ll answer some of the most popular questions about buying contacts and contact prices in this section.
Where to buy contact lenses without prescription?
In the United States you need a prescription to get any kind of contact lenses. That means you won’t be able to legally buy them without one.
Who accepts care credit for contact lenses?
Lots of places accept Care Credit for contact lenses. You can use it at places like VSP Vision Care, Eyeglass World, and more.
Does Walmart sell contact lenses in store?
Yes, you can get contact lenses at Walmart. However, you’ll need to have a prescription to get access to contact lenses.
How much do contact lenses cost for Astigmatism?
Contacts for astigmatism usually cost between $50 to $70 per box. This comes out to an average annual cost of between $500 and $700.
How much do progressive contact lenses cost?
The estimated per-box cost of progressive contact lenses is between $50 and $70.
How much is eye exam for contact lenses?
That depends on your particular health insurance situation. Generally, you can expect to pay between $15 and $160 for an eye exam where you get fitted for contacts.
How much is it to get contact lenses?
The cost of getting contact lenses depends on your health insurance. Usually the appointment to get your prescription will cost between $15 and $160.
How to order contact lenses from Costco?
The best way to order contact lenses from Costco is by going online. You can use your profile to set up regular contact ordering with your prescription.
Where can I buy Fresh Look contact lenses?
You can get Fresh Look contact lenses from Walgreens, CVS, and other pharmacies.
Where to buy contact lenses in person?
Pharmacies are a great place to get contact lenses in person. Your local CVS, Walgreens, or other pharmacy will be able to fill your order.
How to order contact lenses online with prescription?
You can order contact lenses online with a prescription by going to your pharmacy’s website. You can also go to the website for the manufacturer. They’ll tell you what you need to do to get your contacts.
Where can I get contact lenses right away?
Assuming you have a prescription, the best place to get contacts right away is at a local branch of a national pharmacy chain like CVS or Walgreens.
Where to buy Desio contact lenses in USA?
The best option for getting Desio contact lenses in the USA is by ordering them online from their official store.
Where is the cheapest place to buy contact lenses online?
That depends on your health insurance and location. However, most people get the best deal on contact lenses by ordering online.
How much do disposable contact lenses cost?
Oftentimes disposable contact lenses will cost between $50 and $70 per box. That means an annual cost of $500 to $700.
How to buy contact lenses for the first time?
The best way to buy contact lenses for the first time is to go online and search for the best prices on the contacts your eye doctor prescribes for you.
Can HSA be used for contact lenses?
Yes, contact lenses are an example of an eligible expense that can be covered by your HSA.
Other Contact Lenses Questions
This section covers questions that don’t fit into our other categories.
Can you clean daily disposable contact lenses?
It’s not a good idea to clean and reuse daily disposable contact lenses. It can lead to pain and infections, regardless of how well you clean them.
Can you use one day contact lenses more than once?
Not usually. Using one day contacts more than once risks infection and damage to your eyes.