A Guide to Buying Contacts Online

Simple Contacts

While we feel secure about buying contacts directly from our physician, there is no denying it is the more expensive option.  With 45 million Americans buying contact lenses, today’s competitive online market helps to significantly reduce the cost of trusted brands. 

There can be pitfalls to naïve online purchasing, but a little knowledge goes a long way.  This guide has all you need to know so you can take advantage of the best prices and still be sure of your vision quality and safety.

Why Buy Contacts Online?

The short answer: price & convenience.

The traditional way to buy contacts has been through the eye doctor’s office. 

But the online market for contact lenses continues to grow and become more competitive.  That’s good news for you.  While your doctor has several sources of revenue to rely on, online companies need to have the best lens prices or be driven out of business.  That’s why even the same brands tend to be much more reasonable online.

Convenience is also king.  You have minimal control over shipping time and location when ordering through your busy doctor.  Online companies streamline everything.  Rather than have a long wait and an extra trip to pick up your lenses, you can have your contacts dropped off on your doorstep in a matter of days. 

For more details, we have 5 Money Saving Tips for you as well as customer testimonials about how Simple Contacts makes buying easy.

Get 20% Off Contacts

Valid for new customers only.

What You'll Need to Buy Contacts Online

A reputable contact lens company will make it easy for you to buy from them.  All you need to have ready on your end is a prescription and insurance.


By law, your doctor must give you a copy of your prescription and cannot force you to buy from him.  Once you have that prescription in hand, that is your key to buying anywhere. 

We have a guide to help you understand the acronyms and shorthand of your prescription. 

A legitimate lens provider will ask you for your prescription.  It tells them information like lens strength, differences between eyes, presence of astigmatism, etc.

The beauty of online shopping is that there are many brands widely adaptable to your needs.  You can do your own research on specific brands, and a contact lens company isn’t going to tell you no.


Just because you are not buying from a doctor does not mean your insurance doesn’t apply.  As with most healthcare needs today, utilizing insurance can save you a lot of money over time.

Reputable companies will be accepted by major insurance plans.  Not all insurance agencies have the same process, so a good contact lens business will have personalized guides for helping you get the coverage you’ve paid for.

This guide for submitting a claim has the step by step process for 11 of the most common plans and how they would reimburse lenses from Simple Contacts.

Is Buying Contact Lenses Online Safe?

While shopping online, a savvy consumer needs to be aware of the grey market.  Most companies respect the importance of your eye health.  Unfortunately, there are a few who do not.

Various grey market companies source their contact lenses from producers using substandard materials and unsanitary production methods in order to cut costs.  Sometimes, these lenses are even sold under the guise of trusted brand names.

How can you avoid buying lenses sourced on the grey market?  Fortunately, there are some telltale signs:

  • If a company does not ask for your prescription, then you know they do not have your eye health in mind.
  • The legitimate market is competitive.  Compare costs.  If a company’s lenses are significantly below market price, they are likely sourced from the grey market.
  • Check the lens you receive with the specifications you requested.  A legitimate business will provide the exact brand, material, strength, etc. that you asked for upon purchase. 
  • Make sure the business has real contact information.  If something looks fishy, call their customer support line to verify they actually want to serve their consumers.

Price is the primary giveaway.  A business with illegitimate sourcing will not last long on the market unless their prices significantly undercut their more honest competitors.

Renewing Your Prescription Online

While buying contacts online has great convenience and pricing for consumers, doctors are still needed to get prescriptions, and prescriptions have expiration dates.

Simple Contacts has a solution. 

Prescription renewal generally ranges from one to two years depending on your state.  When this routine renewal comes around, unless you’ve noticed a deficiency in your current prescription, Simple Contacts online renewal process can save you the time and money of a doctor’s visit.

The renewal process is easy and we have this guide to tell you how it works.

From the comfort of your home, you can download the app which connects you with our team of doctors.  Through a five-and-a-half-minute process, your phone will collect testing and visual information needed to verify your prescription. 

Within 24 hours, our team of doctors will return your test results, renewing your prescription and allowing you to order that next set of contact lenses.  Compared to the $100 to $250 price tag of a doctor’s visit, our test only costs $20.

Get 20% Off Contacts

Valid for new customers only.

Buy Your Contacts Online

You have all the background you need now.  With your prescription renewed, insurance lined up, and the grey market avoided, you are ready to buy your new lenses online.

The final choices are which lens to buy and who to buy from.  The most common factors for most people are:

  • Lens price
  • Shipping cost
  • Brand options & information
  • Delivery scheduling

While the choice is up to you, Simple Contacts has done our best to make it easy for you to click buy.

Simple Contacts offers the major brands in the industry for 10-25% less than competing retailers.  Shipping is fast with options for two days or overnight. 

Our Simple Refresh subscription allows the consumer to set up a flexible delivery schedule.  No need to hoard lenses.  Regular, automatic deliveries mean regular savings.  You can also skip, cancel, and adjust on demand.

We have a wide list of brand options with information to help you make the right choice for your eyes.  If you're wondering how contact lenses compare to each other, we've written a few reviews:

Ready to buy your new contacts?  Start here.

Get 20% Off Contacts

Valid for new customers only.