How Much Do Contacts Cost?

By July 1, 2015Contacts Advice

When patients are considering starting in contact lenses, they often wonder ‘How much are contacts’? At face value this seems like a simple enough question, right? But in fact this question usually triggers a rather lengthy discussion between your and your eye doctor.

The simple reason why ‘how much do contacts cost?’ is not a simple question, is because there are far from only one type of contact lenses, and there are many ways of wearing contact lenses, all of which will affect the cost of contact lenses. Different types of contact lenses will have different prices. In general, the more specialized the type of contact lens, the more they will cost.


DISCLAIMER

I am not a doctor. The information provided on this page is for general educational purposes only. You are not receiving medical advice or being prescribed contact lenses on this page. Please read Contacts Advice Terms of Use before continuing.


Contact Lens Types – Prescriptions

The most basic prescriptions will require the most basic types of contact lenses. ‘Spherical’ prescriptions refer to the simplest types if prescriptions. These are prescriptions that don’t require a cylinder power, an axis, or an add. Examples of spherical contact lens brands and how much they cost are:

***For ease of comparison, all prices are for a 1 year supply of the listed brand. All prices used are the lowest prices from June 30th 2015.***

Acuvue Oasys $220.00
Air Optix Aqua $125.96
Biofinity $102.00
PureVision2 $95.80
Proclear $147.96

If the prescription contains a significant amount of astigmatism, a more specialized type of contact lens called ‘toric’ contact lenses, or contact lenses ‘for astigmatism’ will be required. These will be a little more expensive than their spherical counterparts.

Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism $320.00
Air Optix Aqua for Astigmatism $197.80
Biofinity Toric $155.00
PureVision2 Toric for Astigmatism $149.84
Proclear Toric $187.96

If the prescription has a reading ‘add’ (most people above the age of 40 do), and you wish to have both your distance and near prescription in the contact lenses, something called ‘multifocal’ contact lenses will be necessary. This specialization increases the cost of contact lenses further.

Air Optix Aqua Multifocal $245.96
Biofinity Multifocal $247.96
PureVision2 Multifocal For Presbyopia $223.80
Proclear Multifocal $191.80

Combining specializations such a having a contact lens that corrects for astigmatism, and has a multifocal design, will be the most expensive. There are also a lot less brands to choose from.

Proclear Multifocal Toric $599.80

So in short, how much contact lenses cost depends largely on how complex the prescription for them is. But it also depends on how you intend to use them.

Contact Lens Types – Disposability

Contact lenses that are disposed of more often typically cost more than ones that are kept for long periods of time. The least expensive would be the monthly disposable contacts lenses.

Air Optix Aqua $125.96
Biofinity $102.00
PureVision2 $95.80
Proclear $147.96

The next step down in the disposability of contact lenses are the biweekly contact lenses.

Acuvue Oasys $220.00
Acuvue Advance Plus $143.98

And finally we have the daily disposable contact lenses, which will be the most expensive.

Acuvue 1-Day Moist $508.00
Acuvue TruEye $660.00
Biotrue ONEday $390.00
Dailies AquaComfort Plus $260.96
Proclear 1-Day $319.92

Again, combining different specializations will increase the price. For example, monthly contact lenses for astigmatism will cost less than daily contact lenses for astigmatism.

Air Optix Aqua for Astigmatism $197.80
Dailies AquaComfort Plus Toric $632.00

When it comes to comparing the price between monthly disposable contacts and daily disposable contact lenses, it is important to consider that daily disposable contact lenses do not require you to purchase contact lens cleaning solution throughout the year, whereas monthly disposable contact lenses do. Contact lens cleaning solution could amount anywhere from $100-$200/year. This should be factored into the yearly cost of monthly and bi-weekly contact lenses.

And lastly it’s important to consider how often you plan to wear contact lenses. If one plans to wear contacts every day of the week, versus once a week, it is important to select a brand that is appropriate for the intended amount of wear. That can get pretty nuanced, as everyone’s situation is unique.

In general…

  • If you plan to wear contacts 1-3 days/week, consider daily disposable contact lenses.
  • If you plan to wear contacts 4-7 days/week, either dailies or monthlies would be would be appropriate.

If you’re not sure what type of contact lens is best for you, bring it up with your eye doctor and he/she will be able to make the most appropriate recommendation based on your situation.

Julie

Author Julie

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Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • Mark says:

    Interesting post. I wear eyeglasses ,but have thought about contacts. great info. and best wishes to you .

  • You provided a lot of information. I have been wondering about contact lenses as I want some I hardly have to change…low maintenance, for me! I thought contact lenses were more expensive than this but you have great prices. Thank you for creating this website and I will return. I read some of your Blogs and you are very helpful. I will definitely share with family and friends! Good luck with your business!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Deidre! Thank you for the kind words, you flatter me :p
      Believe it or not, the types of contact lenses that are the lowest maintenance are actually the ones you change the most often! Yes, it may seem paradoxical, but daily contact lenses allow you to discard the lenses at the end of the day without having to clean or care for them. Contacts that you don’t change for up to a month require you to clean them with care each and every single night.
      Thank you for your support, I truly appreciate it!

  • Rochelle says:

    Hello: You have so much information that will benefit many people.
    I like the fact that you covered brands and prices.
    I wish you much success with your website!
    Rochelle

  • Demetris says:

    I could not get my daughter to try a pair of contact, it was a absolute no. After several months she gave them a try. She so funny, mom had to put them in for her.

    • Julie says:

      Hi Demetris! I’m glad she was finally able to wear them. Contact lenses can be a little daunting at first, but once they’re in people realize how comfortable they are, it’s a piece of cake from there! I hope she does well with them!

  • i’d prefer the daily contact lenses, but the price is ghastly! yikes.

    • Julie says:

      The price for a year supply of dailies is more up front if you compare a year supply of monthlies. But if you don’t wear your contact lenses every day, and if factor in the savings from not having to purchase cleaning solutions, sometimes dailies are actually less expensive! Feel free to e-mail me at julie@contactsadvice.com for a more in depth analysis of your situation 🙂

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