The cost of contacts for an annual supply ranges from about $160 for an entry-level pair of two-week contacts to a high of $800+ for top-of-the-line specialty daily contacts.
That’s a super-wide range because the cost of contact lenses varies widely depending on your prescription, type of contact, brand, and any other parameters.
Thankfully, there are many ways to save on contact lenses, including using our price comparison tool to find the lowest prices online, manufacturers’ rebates, online coupon codes, and vision insurance benefits.
Later in this article, we will break down the prices by different types of contact lenses for you.
Contacts have many cost factors
Contact lenses treat a variety of refractive errors, from basic things like myopia or hyperopia (near or farsightedness) to slightly more nuanced things like astigmatisms, presbyopia, or even strabismus.
The materials that contact lenses are made out of and other details like whether they are colored (to change the appearance of your eyes) can also influence the cost. In other words, the cost of colored contacts can be higher than their non-colored versions.
Finally, the wear modality (fancy term for how often you are supposed to dispose of them) will also affect the price you’ll pay for your contacts.
When meeting with your eye doctor, it’s essential to let them know your monetary constraints so they don’t prescribe lenses you can’t afford. If you can, try not to buy the lowest priced contact lenses possible if they don’t work well for you. There’s a delicate balance between finding something good enough and wearing something that is hurting your eye simply to save.
The average costs of different types of contact lenses (per day)
To know roughly how much contact lenses will cost, we looked at the current prices for the 150 most common contact lenses.
We used those prices to calculate the average cost per day to wear different types of contact lenses. Here’s the details.
Cost of Standard Contacts
- Monthly Contacts: $0.62 per day
- Two Week Contacts: $0.81 per day
- Extended Wear Contacts: $0.91 per day
- Daily Contacts: $1.86 per day
Cost of Contacts for Astigmatism (Toric)
- Monthly Astigmatism: $1.05 per day
- Two Week Astigmatism: $1.09 per day
- Daily Astigmatism: $2.23 per day
Cost of Contacts for Presbyopia (Multifocal)
- Monthly Presbyopia: $1.01 per day
- Two Week Presbyopia: $1.31 per day
- Daily Presbyopia: $2.53 per day
Cost of Color Contacts:
- Monthly Color: $1.17 per day
- Two Week Color: $2.10 per day
- Daily Color: $2.22 per day
Cost of Toric Multifocal Contacts:
- Monthly Toric Multifocal: $1.51 per day
Additional costs of contact lenses
Compared to wearing glasses, contact lenses have many advantages. For starters, you can’t really tell you are wearing them. This is cited as the most important reason that many people wear contacts. Secondly, contact lenses are great for sports and physical activities.
However, with these advantages also comes the fact that contact lenses can carry some additional costs.
For one, it’s possible to wear the same pair of glasses for years on end. You definitely can’t do that with contact lenses, which means you’ll be potentially buying new contacts more frequently. If you try to buy contacts with an expired prescription, you’ll also have to get an updated eye exam which can cost $50+ (if you don’t have vision insurance).
Finally, if you don’t wear daily lenses, you’ll need to buy contact lens solution to clean your contacts.
Even with the higher cost, many people (myself included) still wear daily disposable contact lenses for their convenience and safety. In addition, daily contacts don’t need to be cleaned and sterilized, which lowers the risk of infection from improper cleaning.
Contact lenses cost & insurance
Like health insurance, patients pay a set monthly premium to participate in the vision insurance plan. The monthly premium is the fixed payment that you make for the benefit. Your premium payment is typically automatically withdrawn from your paycheck if you signed up for your vision plan through work.
Depending on what the vision plan entails, the vision insurance can be used to cover a percentage of fees for eye exams and glasses or contacts. The vision plan tells the provider how much to charge the patient for services and products. The provider then bills the insurance for the services provided to the patient.
Different vision insurance plans have different prices and coverage allowances. Some vision plans may cover everything, while others may cover a percentage or provide a set allowance for things. For example, a vision plan may grant the patient a $100 allowance towards contact lenses, and the patient will have to pay out-of-pocket for any balance.
Lowering contacts cost with rebates
Contact lens rebates are an incredible way to save money on contact lenses if you are ready and able to buy an annual supply of contact lenses upfront.
In exchange for buying a full annual subscription (and thus becoming a loyal customer of their brand), some manufacturers will offer a rebate with proof of purchase. You can learn more about the different rebate programs available at these links:
Cost of contact lens solution
The best brands of contact lens solution start right around $10 for a box of two bottles. The higher-end brands cost closer to $15. A tall bottle (approximately 350mL) should last about a month of thorough daily use.
For that reason, you can expect to spend about another $50 to $60 per year on solution (unless you wear daily lenses).
The cost of some of the most popular brands
1 Day Acuvue Moist 90 Pack $1.33 per day
1 Day Acuvue Moist For Astigmatism 30 Pack $2.33 per day
1 Day Acuvue Moist For Astigmatism 90 Pack $2.10 per day
Acuvue Oasys 1 Day 90 Pack $1.93 per day
Acuvue Oasys 2 Week 24 Pack $0.57 per day
Acuvue Oasys For Astigmatism $0.80 per day
Air Optix Colors 2 Pack $1.17 per day
Air Optix Plus Hydraglyde $0.47 per day
Air Optix Plus HydraGlyde For Astigmatism $0.62 per day
Air Optix Plus Hydraglyde Multifocal $0.91 per day
Biofinity $0.42 per day
Dailies Aquacomfort Plus 90 Pack $1.22 per day
Dailies Total1 30 Pack $2.67 per day
Dailies Total1 90 Pack $2.39 per day
Dailies Total1 Multifocal 90 Pack $2.81 per day
Precision1 Daily 30 Pack $2.07 per day
Precision1 Daily 90 Pack $1.51 per day
Where to buy contact lenses
You have many different options for where to buy your contact lenses. You can buy them from your doctor’s office where you get your eyes checked, at big box stores like Walmart and Target Optical, specialty eye stores like LensCrafters, or online at countless different places.
Our contact lens price comparison tool makes it a breeze to quickly see which websites offer the lowest prices so you can quickly make a purchase knowing you got a good deal.
If you want to know what we think is the best place to buy contacts online (to save money) you can see our full list of the best places to buy contacts.
Camilo is the founder of Contacts Compare and is a contact lens enthusiast who has been buying, shopping, and comparing contact lenses for over 12 years. He started Contacts Compare because it was nearly impossible to compare prices quickly to make sure he was getting the best price possible. He holds degrees from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania. His favorite contact lens is Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with Hydraluxe.