The visually-challenged have three choices – none of which are cheap: 1) wear glasses, which are usually lost down the back of the sofa, 2) fork out on contact lenses or 3) have expensive laser eye surgery.
With over 3 million lens wearers in the UK, it’s crystal clear what most people prefer. But contact lenses can be expensive and if you have been on the same monthly scheme for years, you might be spending more than you need to.
Contact lenses cost between £22 to £35 per month, which can add up to an eye-watering amount over the years. The range in prices for lenses varies greatly, with the same brand costing much more depending on where you buy them.
So, in collaboration with the UK’s most popular online contact lens store, Vision Direct, we have put together some ways to slash the cost of lenses.
9 Ways to Save Money on Contact Lenses
1. Buy Online
Most people see contact lenses as a ‘medical thing’ and don’t realise they are a consumer purchase like anything else. You don’t have to get them from your optician – you can shop for lenses online, like you would for groceries.
Online retailers like Vision Direct have fewer overheads than high street opticians and can offer the same lenses for less. A pack of daily disposable contact lenses from the high street is significantly higher than online brands.
Remember: the same contact lenses are sold by many sellers and a bit of research online could cut the yearly cost by £100s. For example, a box of 1 Day Acuvue Moist by Johnson and Johnson costs just £15.99 for 30 pairs at Vision Direct.
2. Get Your Prescription
Your optician does not own your prescription, even if they did your eye test. You have a right to a copy (which must be up-to-date) which you can then use to shop online for cheaper lenses.
3. Bulk Buy
Another brilliant way to save money on contact lenses is to buy in bulk. Bulk-buying contact lenses can make a huge difference in the cost of lenses. You’ll get bigger discounts if you pay for a 12-month supply in one go.
4. Monthly Schemes Might Not Be Cheaper
If you have a monthly direct debit scheme with a high street optician you often get the lenses, solutions and aftercare appointments thrown in. Sounds good on the surface, but look a little closer and you’ll realise all is not as it seems.
Break down the costs of these extras and you can usually get a cheaper deal buying everything online and then paying for the eye test, which costs around £25, separately.
5. Save More by Going Monthly
Monthly disposables can be much cheaper than dailies, even factoring in the cost of solution needed to store them.
Monthly lenses start from £12.49 per month with Vision Direct. If you don’t wear your lenses every day and alternate with glasses, monthly disposables could be a cheaper option.
6. Use Discounts
Use voucher codes and search for discounts online to save on lenses. At Vision Direct, you get 10% off your first order with the code SURPRISE (plus free postage when you spend over £49).
7. Own Brand or Branded?
You wear your optician’s own-brand contact lenses. So you save, right? Maybe not. Many high street optician chains sell manufacturers lenses under their own branding e.g. Boots Premium is actually Ciba Vision All Day Comforts.
Have a look at what your high-street ‘brand’ is and compare with the actual manufacturer’s brand being sold online. Use this helpful chart to compare high-street own brands and manufacturer’s brands.
8. Check the Credentials of Your Online Seller
If you have always bought your lenses from the same high street optician, you might be sceptical about buying something you put in your eye online.
Online sellers are regulated by law and must have optical professionals working for them. Check that your online seller is legit at The General Optical Council and always go with a well-known seller such as Vision Direct.
9. Look After Your Eyes
However you buy your lenses, the best way to save money on contact lenses is to look after your eyes. It is important that you get regular check-ups and eye tests to ensure that your lenses are right for you. You will need an up-to-date prescription to buy online so keep up with your yearly checks.
We hope these myth-busting tips around the cost of lenses can help you see your contact lens deal in a new light.
Over to You
Do you buy your contact lenses online? What has been your experience? Share with us in the comments box below!