Best Places to Order Contacts Online

6 sources cited
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Top 5 Websites to Order Contacts Online

Mail-order prescription contact lenses have been available for over 25 years. People used to order them by phone, but now you can get them online.

The main benefits of ordering online are convenience and cost. It is a great option for anyone who wears contact lenses and knows how to take care of them.

Fortunately, the 45 million contact-wearers in the U.S. have many retailers to choose from.

Everything We Recommend
Best Overall - 1800 Contacts
Runner Up - ContactsDirect
Best One-Stop Shop - GlassesUSA
Best Deals - AC Lens
Best Independent Retailer - Warby Parker
Best for Next Day Delivery NextDayContacts
Best Student and Military Discounts Discount Contacts
Best Subscription Service Hubble Contacts

It’s important to get a comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting from an eye doctor. They will help find what types of contact lenses are right for you.

Once you have a prescription and are familiar with proper contact lens handling and care, you can order them online. Trusted contact lens retailers will always require a prescription from their customers.

Some online retailers offer online eye exams to renew your prescription. This is only recommended for people over 25 years old, who have already had a contact lens fitting and have a stable prescription. 

NOTE: Contact and glasses prescriptions are different. You cannot use your eyeglass prescription to order contacts.

How We Chose Our Recommendations

The Vision Center team has spent hours reviewing contact lens retailers, testing websites, and ordering products. We base our recommendations on:

  • Customer reviews
  • Website user experience
  • Product quality
  • Customer service experience
  • Company reputation and reports
  • Contemporary scholarly articles

Our recommendations are then reviewed by a team of editors and our resident medical reviewer, Dr. Melody Huang, O.D.

Best Places to Order Contact Lenses

Here are the top five websites to order contacts online:

Best Overall: 1800 Contacts

Vision Center recommends 1800 Contacts over all other online contact lens retailers. They have the simplest ordering process, a price match guarantee, and 24/7 live customer service.

1800 Contacts has been mailing contacts to its customers since 1995. It is the oldest contact delivery company in the business. Their customers used to call and place their orders via telephone (hence the company name).

Now, they’ve made it simple to order contacts online and have every part of the business figured out. Here’s why we recommend 1800 Contacts:

  • They have a huge selection of all major contact lens brands
  • Their price match guarantee ensures you get the best standard price on the internet
  • The checkout process is simple
  • Shipping is fast
  • Subscription service is available
  • They have a generous return policy that covers defective, torn, and unopen contact lenses
  • Excellent customer service (real people answer phone calls and online chat messages)
  • 25+ years of experience
  • 20% off your first order

1 800 Contacts is our number one recommendation for buying contacts online.

1800 contacts logo

Runner Up: ContactsDirect

ContactsDirect is another online retailer with 20+ years of experience in the industry. They sell contact lenses, glasses, and sunglasses (with or without prescription).

ContactsDirect gets some of the highest ratings from customers online. Their prices are low, but you do have to pay their shipping fee on orders under $99.

Both 1800 Contacts and ContactsDirect are good options for ordering contacts. However, there are a few reasons we recommend 1800 Contacts over ContactsDirect:

  • ContactsDirect has a smaller selection of contacts
  • ContactsDirect's return policy is not as comprehensive as 1800 Contacts
  • ContactsDirect does not replace torn lenses (they only offer refunds only some manufacturer defects)
  • The prescription upload process is easier at 1800 Contacts
  • ContactsDirect does not offer online eye exams to renew your prescription

ContactsDirect is another great option, but 1800 Contacts has a bigger selection and better return policy.

ContactsDirect Square Logo

Best One-Stop Shop: 

GlassesUSA has a nice selection of designer contact lenses, eyeglasses, and sunglasses. Their site isn’t the prettiest, but it’s easy to navigate, and the ordering process is simple.

Their contact selection is smaller than 1800 Contacts and ContactsDirect. However, their glasses and sunglasses catalog is the best on the internet. 

If you’re looking for a site to order contacts along with glasses or sunglasses, GlassesUSA has the most options.

GlassesUSA has a huge selection of eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses.

GlassesUSA Square Logo

Best Deals: AC Lens

AC Lens has made a name for itself as a discount eyewear retailer. They have some of the lowest prices on contacts, eyeglasses, sunglasses, and readers.

In addition to their already low prices, they constantly offer promos and discounts. 1800 Contacts will match AC Lens’ original prices, but they don’t match special deals.

If one of their deals covers your contacts, AC Lens could be your cheapest option for lenses.

However, unlike 1800 Contacts, AC Lens doesn’t offer 24/7 customer support, free shipping on orders under $99, or online eye exams.

AC Lens is the best place to find deals and discounts. However, they don't offer 24/7 customer support or free shipping on smaller orders.

AC Lens Square Logo

Best Independent Retailer: Warby Parker 

Warby Parker is our number one choice for eyeglasses. Their in-house design and manufacturing process produces some of the highest quality and most stylish frames available.

They also have a pretty good selection of contacts, including their own brand Scout. Their contact lens prices are generally a little higher than other sites. However, their glasses prices are low for high-quality frames.

If you’re looking for unique, stylish frames, and contacts in the same place, Warby Parker is for you.

Warby Parker has a smaller section of contacts, but they are our number one choice for glasses frames.

Warby Parker Logo

Best for Next Day Delivery: NextDayContacts

NextDayContacts is the best place to buy contacts online if you're in a rush. Their next-day delivery feature is available from Mondays to Fridays between 10 AM and 5 PM CT. Customers don't have to worry about delivery fees too.

If you order during the weekend or holidays, your order will be processed the following business day. It will be shipped out the day after processing.

Best Student and Military Discounts

Discount Contacts offers 20 percent off orders for students and people in the military. The latter includes military spouses, immediate family members of a military officer, and surviving spouses.

You can check if you qualify for this service on their military eligibility page and student eligibility page.

Best Subscription Service: Hubble Contacts

Hubble Contacts is the best place to get a subscription for daily contacts. Your first order consists of 30 free Hubble contacts, which are good for fifteen days. All you need to do is pay $1 for shipping and any applicable sales tax.

Your next box will consist of 60 pieces of contacts, which you will receive every 28 days. You can also choose to receive them less frequently or cancel the subscription completely.

Hubble Contacts only offers FDA-approved daily contact lenses. These can be worn by people without astigmatism or with mild astigmatism. They do not offer toric, multifocal, or bifocal contact lenses.

Tips for Buying Contacts Online

When you're buying contacts online, it can be overwhelming to have so many options to choose from.

Here are some tips to make the process easier:

Get an Eye Exam

Getting an eye exam is essential. Not only will this give you your contact lens prescription, but it will give you an overall view of your eye health.

Contact lenses are considered medical devices by the FDA. Wearing them does present a risk of irritation and infection.

During an eye exam, your doctor can show you the proper ways to wear and care for your contacts to avoid these health risks.

Get a Doctor's Recommendation

Once a doctor has examined your eyes, you can ask for their recommendations for the best brand and type of contacts to wear. This will ensure you're getting a pair that fits your eyes' needs perfectly.

Check Online Reviews

Before you purchase a pair of contact lenses from an online retailer, check the reviews of previous customers. This gives you a good look at the quality of their products and services. It gives you an idea of what to expect for your order.

Avoid Online Eye Exams

Doctors don't recommend relying solely on online eye exams for a prescription. These have a risk of being inaccurate, which can risk your eye health. If you don't have a contact lens prescription, it's best to go to your doctor for an in-person exam.

Ordering Contacts Online FAQ

Can you buy contacts for the first time online?

Yes, you can buy contacts for the first time online. But you will need a doctor's prescription first.

What website can I order contacts from?

There are many credible websites to order contacts from. If you want to order from a long-standing company, you can purchase from 1800 Contacts. If you're on a budget and looking for good deals on quality contact lenses, you can order from AC Lens.

Is it safe to use contact lenses bought online?

Contact lenses bought online are safe, as long as you use a pair bought from a trusted retailer and brand.

How often should you replace contacts?

Replacing your contact lenses will depend on the type that you get. Daily contact lenses must be thrown out at the end of the day, after each use. You'll open a fresh pair the next time you need to wear contacts.

Monthly contact lenses are good for about 30 days. After this, you'll need to open a fresh pair.

Is it bad to wear contacts every day?

No, it's not bad to wear contacts every day. However, you need to know how to clean and store them to avoid the risks of irritation and infection.

6 Cited Research Articles
  1. Fast Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018
  2. ContactsDirect Online Store: Contact Lenses and Solutions.” ContactsDirect
  3. Contact Lenses: Shop All Brands Online.” Warby Parker
  4. New Customer Offer.” AC Lens
  5. Order Contact Lenses Online at 1-800 CONTACTS: World's Largest Contacts Store.” 1800 Contacts. 
  6. Save BIG on Eyeglasses Online: Up to 60% OFF Retail Prices.”
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