Healthcare Cost

How Much Do Contact Lenses Cost Without Insurance?

Jasiah Hasan
Jasiah Hasan8 Mar 2023

Contact lenses can be a convenient alternative to eyeglasses but are more expensive. Instead of making a one-time purchase, you commit to spending money regularly over time. Without insurance, the average cost of contact lenses is around $150-$1000 per year. 

Factors That Influence the Cost of Contact Lenses

There are a few factors to consider when estimating the average cost of contact lenses. In the following section, we will see how eye condition, lens type, brand, and additional costs can affect the total price of contact lenses.

Type of Contact Lens

Below is a table summarizing how the type of contact lens affects the total cost per month and year. 

Type of Contact LensCost Per MonthCost Per Year
Daily Use$50-$75$600-$900
Biweekly Use$20-$35$270-$360
Monthly Use$15-$25$180-$300

Source: Warby Parker, All About Vision

Daily Disposable Contact Lenses

Daily disposables are more expensive because they provide ease of use. With daily disposable lenses, you do not have to worry about spending money on contact lens solutions or storage cases because you dispose of them daily. They typically come in boxes of 30 or 90 lenses. 

Number of Lenses Per BoxAverage Cost Per Box

Source: Warby Parker

Weekly and Monthly Disposable Contact Lenses 

Weekly disposables can be worn for 1-2 weeks at a time before requiring replacement. Monthly disposable lenses can be worn for up to 1-3 months. You wear them throughout the day and store them in contact lens storage cases at night. 

These types of lenses tend to come in boxes of 6 lenses. Because they can be reused for a specified amount of time, biweekly and monthly disposable lenses are usually significantly less expensive than daily disposable lenses. 

Extended-Wear Contact Lenses 

Unlike disposable contacts, extended-wear contacts are meant for long-term use. You can wear them throughout the day and sleep with them at night. They are replaced on a schedule you decide on with your eye doctor. 

Extended-wear contacts are helpful for people who don’t want to touch their eyes frequently, want to wake up with clear vision, and want less hassle in their morning routines. They are, however, more expensive than weekly or monthly disposable contacts. 

Brand of Contact Lens

The brand can affect the cost of contact lenses. In the following section, we will look at different brands for daily, biweekly, and monthly disposables and extended-wear lenses. 

Daily Disposable Brands

The table below shows the average prices for popular daily disposable contact lenses. Proclear 1 Day ($200/year) is usually the cheapest option. 1-Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal ($540/year) runs the most expensive and corrects presbyopia. 

Daily Disposable Brand NameAverage Price Per BoxAverage Price Per Year
DAILIES AquaComfort Plus (30 pack)$17 for 1-month supply$204
Proclear 1 Day (90 pack)$50 for 3-month supply$200
Biotrue ONEday (30 pack)$25 for 1-month supply$300
Biotrue ONEday for Presbyopia (90 pack)122 for 3-month supply$488
SofLens Daily Disposable Toric for Astigmatism (30 pack)$25 for 1-month supply$300
1-Day Acuvue Moist (30 pack)$32 for 1-month supply$384
1-Day Acuvue Moist for Astigmatism (90 pack)$100 for 3-month supply$400
1-Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal (30 pack)$45 for 1-month supply$540
Clariti 1-day Multifocal (90 pack)$80 for 3-month supply$320
Extreme H2O Daily (30 pack)$40 for 1-month supply$480

Source: Nvision

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Weekly Disposable Brands

Based on the data below, Avaira Vitality ($25/box) is the most affordable weekly disposable contact lens brand. Extreme H2O 59 Thin ($40/box) is slightly more expensive.

Weekly Disposable Brand NameAverage Price Per Box (6 lenses)
Avaira Vitality$25 
Acuvue 2$28 
SofLens 38$28 
Extreme H2O 59 Thin$40 
Biomedics 55 Premier $30 (replaced every two weeks)

Source: Nvision

Monthly Disposable Brands

According to the information in the table below, the least expensive option for monthly disposable contact lenses are Biofinity ($18/box) and Air Optix Aqua ($18/box). Bausch + Lomb Ultra tends to be more expensive ($39/box).

Monthly Disposable Brand NameAverage Price Per Box (6 lenses)
Extreme H2O 54$35 
Air Optix Aqua$18 
Bausch + Lomb Ultra$39 
PureVision 2$37 
Acuvue Vita$32 

Source: Nvision

Extended-Wear Brands

The table below shows two popular brands for extended-wear contact lenses. Biofinity ($65/box) is approximately $20 more expensive per box than Air Optix Night & Day ($45/box).

Extended Wear Brand NameAverage Price Per Box (6 lenses)
Air Optix Night & Day$45
Biofinity $65

Source: Nvision

Eye Condition

People with astigmatism or presbyopia tend to pay more for contact lenses than those who only have nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia). Without insurance or financial assistance, contact lenses for astigmatism and presbyopia can climb to $800 annually.

Eye ConditionCost Per MonthCost Per Year
Astigmatism (requires toric lenses)$50-$120$500-$800
Presbyopia (requires monovision or multifocal lenses)$30-$120$300-$800

Sources: Warby Parker, CVS


Astigmatism is a common eye condition and occurs when your cornea or eye lens has an abnormal shape. In other words, the eyeball is more egg-shaped than spherical. There are two types of astigmatism:

Horizontal astigmatism: when your eye is wider than it is tall,

Vertical astigmatism: when your eye is taller than it is wide

Astigmatism causes blurry vision because light rays do not correctly refract as they enter the eye. Consequently, people with astigmatism struggle with myopia or hyperopia. 

Contact lenses for astigmatism are called toric contact lenses. They have to account for the abnormal shape of the cornea, which is why they tend to cost more.


Presbyopia is a naturally occurring eye disease that affects older people. It is characterized by the gradual loss of sight of objects up close. The older you get, the less flexible your eye lens becomes, making it difficult to focus on things close up and far away. 

There are two types of contact lenses to correct presbyopia:

Monovision lenses: one eye is corrected for distance vision while the other eye is corrected for close-up vision

Multifocal lenses: the lenses have several rings with different prescription powers to see both near and far distances at the same time

Because monovision and multifocal contact lenses correct multiple vision problems at once, they tend to cost more.

Additional Costs for Contact Lenses

All contact lenses require contact solution, except for daily disposable lenses. Contact solution disinfects your lenses to protect your eyes from infection. A 12-ounce over-the-counter bottle costs around $8-$20—so you can expect to spend around $150-$200 on contact solution each year. 

Contact storage cases are inexpensive and accessible, around $2-$10. You use them to store your contact lenses at night with contact solution to keep them safe and clean.

Another essential factor to consider is the cost of contact fittings. A contact lens exam allows your doctor to calculate the dimensions of your eye shape and ensure your contacts fit comfortably. Without insurance, an appointment generally costs around $120-$250

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Contact Lenses And Insurance

Most major insurance plans cover a significant amount of the cost of contact lenses, especially if you use an in-network provider. A complete vision insurance package provides eye care and eyewear (including contacts) for a fixed insurance cost and premium.

A discounted vision insurance plan may offer discounted services and products with a less expensive premium payment. If your plan doesn’t cover the cost of contact lenses, vision benefit allowances can cover your costs for about $100-$150 per year. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Contact Lenses (FAQs)

The following section will answer some frequently asked questions about contact lenses and their costs.

How often should I get fitted for contacts?

You should get fitted for contact lenses annually. It is important to note that a contact lens fitting exam differs from a regular eye exam. You should get eye exams around twice yearly, depending on your vision health needs. Click here to learn more about what an eye exam entails and how much it costs. 

Are there risks with wearing extended wear contacts?

Extended-wear contacts can be a convenient option for some people. However, doctors say that sleeping in contact lenses increases the risk of eye infection even though they are designed for extended use. 

The American Academy of Opthalmology says the risk of ulcerative keratitis is 10-15 times higher in people who wear extended contacts than people who wear daily disposables. Here are some warning signs to look out for:

  • Eye discomfort
  • Redness
  • Vision changes
  • Watery eyes

How much do colored contacts cost?

You can purchase prescription colored contacts for around $45-$90 more than average prescription contact lenses for a box of six lenses. Colored contacts are not only used for aesthetic purposes. You can also use tinted lenses to avoid losing them as easily. 

What are the best contacts for dry eyes?

Wearing contact lenses for an extended time can dry out your eyes. Daily disposable contact lenses are your best option if you struggle with dry eyes. Replacing your contact lenses every day prevents protein deposits from forming and keeps your eyes moisturized. Moreover, soft contact lenses allow oxygen and water flow, letting your eyes breathe easily. 

Bottom Line

The cost of contact lenses depends on several factors: eye condition, lens type, brand, additional costs, and insurance plans. On average, contact lenses without insurance costs $150-$1000 annually. 

Jasiah Hasan

Jasiah Hasan is from Portland, Oregon. She is completing her Master's in Public Health in global health policy at George Washington University. Outside of health equity and women's health, Jasiah is passionate about writing and dreams of one-day publishing poetry books.