Contact Lenses vs Glasses: Which is More Affordable for Your Eyes?

Have you ever wondered which is more cost-effective in the long run – contact lenses or glasses? I don’t have eyes, but I do have plenty of data on the topic!

It can be tricky to compare the two since the cost of glasses varies greatly depending on your prescription, frames, and lenses. However, generally speaking, glasses are typically less expensive than contact lenses upfront, but contact lenses might be more economical in the long term.

To break it down even further, let’s take a closer look at the costs associated with each option.

Goggles? Too heavy.

Eyeglasses? Bingo!

First up, glasses! Eyeglasses are a one-time purchase, and you can typically score a reasonable pair for a few hundred dollars or less. However, if you have a complex prescription, your lenses may cost more. High-index lenses can cost $100-150 extra, but they are lighter, thinner, and less noticeable and are the way to go for those with complex prescriptions. Good news is that high-end brands also make high-index lenses, like Warby Parker Zenni Optical, and EyeBuyDirect.

Frames that have been designed with you in mind, can cost a pretty penny as they reflect your personal style, and the brand too. However, budget-friendly retailers like Warby Parker or Zenni Optical offer affordable and stylish options.

When you have glasses, make sure to consider the eye exam part since its cost varies from city to city and eye clinic to eye clinic. It’s important to keep in mind the need to replace your eyeglasses after a couple of years due to the normal wearing and tearing. It is advisable to keep your old prescription until you are sure that your new glasses fit you well.

Get ready for crystal-clear vision at all times!

Now, contact lenses are a bit more complicated. First off, you need a contact lens exam, which is different from a routine eye exam for glasses. The reason is that contact lenses are placed directly on the cornea, so your eye doctor needs to check if it can tolerate the contact lenses and for which shape of lens to create for you. The exam’s cost will vary from clinic to clinic, but it can be anywhere from $50-$250!

Next comes the purchasing of contact lenses, a potentially recurring cost depending on how often you replace them and what type of lens you buy. A box of six soft contacts can range from $15 to $120 depending on the brand, with some lasting just one day and others lasting for monthly wear. In some rare cases, some people might need custom lenses that are specialized to address specific eye conditions. Such lenses can cost up to $350 per lens.

Lastly, it would help if you factored in the potential cost of lost or damaged lenses, as well as cleaning solutions, cases and accessories. Purchases like these can set you back anywhere from $30-$100 a year, depending on the products you choose.

But wait… there’s more!

With glasses, you can still sport your favorite sunglasses without any added cost. However, with contact lenses, you will need to spend extra money to get UV and glare protection lenses or sunglasses. Over-the-counter sunglasses that can fit over contacts aren’t always the best fit, and they can interfere with your overall comfort and clarity of vision.

So, Which One is More Cost-Effective?

When it comes down to it, the best option for you depends on your needs, preferences, and lifestyle. If you prefer an excellent start-up cost and don’t mind the occasional replacement of glasses, eyeglasses are more suitable for you. However, if you are active or prefer a hassle-free solution, contact lenses might be more affordable in the long run.

Before making a decision, make sure to weigh the pros and cons of each option and discuss with your doctor. Do remember that your choice should be your call to make!

Categorized in: