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Best Places to Buy Colored Contacts for a Whole New Look

best place to buy colored contacts
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updated: February 14, 2024

Contact lenses can make tasks easier, compared to clunky glasses that slip and slide on your face while trying to do daily activities. Convenience aside, contacts can even give you a completely new look if you explore the world of prescription colored contacts—there’s a wide range of shades on the market that can enhance your natural eye color, or give you a bold new look with tints like teal and amethyst. As long as you choose quality products that won’t damage or scratch your eye (more on this below), and that require a prescription and an eye exam screened by a doctor, contacts can be a fun way to spice up your appearance. Below, you’ll find our selections for the absolute best places to buy colored contacts.

What to consider when buying colored contacts

There are a few things to keep in mind to help you make the right choice:

Quality prescription

The most important thing is to avoid buying contacts without a prescription, as you risk damaging or scratching your eyes if you buy products that aren’t vetted or prescribed by an eye doctor. Even if you have perfect vision, you can obtain a prescription for lenses that are non-corrective.

“A contact lens, even if it has no corrective power and is worn for a cosmetic purpose, still needs to be applied to the front surface of the eye, and this comes with risks,” warns Bhavin Shah, a London, U.K.-based behavioral optometrist and contact lens specialist. “The most serious is a risk of infection. The shape of the lens may not suit the shape of the front of your eye and cause excessive movement of the lens, which can lead to damage to the ocular surface. Or, the lens may not allow adequate oxygen or moisture to the eye.”

“The only way to be sure is to have a fitting by a registered practitioner,” Shah continues. “They have the equipment to ensure the fitting is suitable and they can prescribe a lens brand that is suitable and tailored for the unique measurements of your eyes. It’s impossible to tell if a lens would be safe unless a practitioner examines you.”

Lens materials

“Some contact lens materials are much better than others,” says Shah. “Also, one material might suit one person better, while a different material would be more appropriate for someone else. Some companies spend a lot of time and research developing better materials, while other companies use older materials–some of the lens materials on the market that people use are older than the first iPhone, yet you would never see them using a first generation iPhone!”

In terms of the actual materials used, modern soft contact lenses tend to be made from either hydrogel or silicone hydrogel, with the latter being much more commonly prescribed. Both are flexible and comfortable, but silicone hydrogel lenses generally have better oxygen permeation, which reduces the risk of corneal hypoxia (a condition that occurs when your cornea doesn’t receive enough oxygen). This is why silicone hydrogel is normally used for lenses intended to be worn for extended periods, or overnight, too.

Variety

You can get anything from transparent lenses meant to enhance your natural lighter eye color, to bold, bright colored tints to make a statement. Whether you’re looking for a small change or something striking, there are a variety of options, so make sure you’re buying quality products and have a prescription.

Customer service

Customer service is often overlooked and is an important factor to consider when you’re buying from a specific company or website. Good customer service can make a difference in your experience, and guide you toward the right product.

Shipping and return policies

Whenever you’re buying online it’s always a plus if there’s a reliable return policy and free shipping. If it’s not free, go for inexpensive, at least–you don’t always know what will work for you until you try it, so it’s good to have that insurance policy.

Price

Price is a big factor. Make sure you’re getting a great deal, as some companies offer a first-time buyer discount on your initial order or free shipping to sweeten the deal.

Our top picks for the best places to buy colored contacts

AC Lens

AC Lens has free shipping for U.S.-based customers and a variety of colored contact shades available. They offer 20% off for new customers, a great first-time deal, and virtual eye exams if you’re looking to cover that from the comfort of your own home.

What you should know:

  • Number of colors: 12
  • Customer service: Email, phone, fax
  • Shipping: Free shipping over $99 (free on all eyewear)
  • Return policy: Free returns for U.S. customers up to 365 days from the shipping date
  • Virtual exam: Yes
  • Price on publish: $35.99 - $106.99

What we like:

  • New customers save 20%
  • Great return policy
  • Virtual exams

What we don’t like:

  • Have to spend a lot to get the free shipping
AC Lens

AC Lens

AC lens offers 20% off for new customers, free shipping, a great return policy, and a variety of colors of contacts to choose from.

1-800 Contacts

1-800 Contacts has a great reputation for a reason: New customers get 30% off their first order and the retailer sells a selection of colored contacts in 12 shades. They also offer express online eye exams that can be done in about ten minutes for just $20—much easier, quicker, and generally cheaper than running to the eye doctor.

What you should know:

  • Number of colors: 12
  • Customer service: Call, chat through the website, and phone
  • Shipping: Contacts ship for free
  • Return policy: Free returns and exchanges (unopened)
  • Virtual exam: Yes
  • Price on publish: Ranges based on pack size and brand

What we like:

  • Good customer service
  • The 1 800 Contacts ExpressExam

What we don’t like:

  • The ExpressExam costs $20
1-800 Contacts

1-800 Contacts

If you’re looking to complete your eye exam and get your colored contacts online for just $20,1-800 Contacts even offers 30% off your first order.

Lens.Me

Lens.Me offers stunning shades of colored contacts. If you’re looking for a few options, Lens.Me can accommodate a variety of prescriptions, and their customer service is available 24/7 to help buyers through any questions or issues.

What you should know:

  • Number of colors: 7
  • Customer service: Contact form, email, and phone
  • Shipping: $7.90
  • Return policy: Refund or exchange unopened, undamaged, and unexpired lenses within 30 days
  • Virtual exam: N/A
  • Price on publish: $21.90 - $60

What we like:

  • Nice color and shade selection

What we don’t like:

  • Shipping isn’t free
  • No virtual exam
Lens.Me

Lens.Me

Lens.Me is a great option if you’re looking for a wide range of colors and great customer service.

WebEyeCare

WebEyeCare has many colored contacts available, with 12 color options for a new, bold look. If you haven’t already visited your optometrist, the website offers digital eye exams for your convenience to ensure you’re getting the right prescription, in addition to free shipping on orders over $89 and a convenient 60-day return policy.

What you should know:

  • Number of colors: 12
  • Customer service: Email, phone, and fax
  • Shipping: Free shipping on orders over $89
  • Return policy: 60-day return policy
  • Virtual exam: Yes
  • Price on publish: $36.95 - $94.95

What we like:

  • Plenty of colors to choose from
  • Good return policy

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviews mention that the website can be spotty
  • Have to spend more than $89 to get free shipping
WebEyeCare

WebEyeCare

If you’re looking for a range of colors and quality eye exams from the comfort of your own home, WebEyeCare is a great site.

Read, Also: The Best Places to Buy Contacts Online: Our Top Recommendations

EZContacts

EzContacts is a heavy hitter in the digital eyewear world, and offers 12 colored contact shades. Buyers can get a virtual exam online, so there’s no need to worry about making a doctor's appointment in order to purchase your colored contacts. EZContacts is also currently offering free shipping with no minimum purchase, and has excellent customer service.

What you should know:

  • Number of colors: 12
  • Customer service: Phone and email
  • Shipping: Free shipping
  • Return policy: Within 30 days of the order delivery date (unopened, unmarked and in the original packaging)
  • Virtual exam: Yes
  • Price on publish: $19.95 - $94.95

What we like:

  • Virtual exams
  • Free shipping

What we don’t like:

  • Quick return policy
EZContacts

EZContacts

For a variety of colored contact options from a website with great customer service, check out EZContacts.

Target Optical

Target always makes our lives easier, so it’s no surprise they also have Target Optical to assist with eyewear needs, including colored contacts. They don’t offer the convenience of a virtual eye exam, but they do have a great selection and free shipping on orders over $35, in addition to free, same-day pick-up.

What you should know:

  • Number of colors: 12
  • Customer service: Phone and online chat
  • Shipping: Free shipping on orders $35 or more and free same-day pickup
  • Return policy: Within 90 days for most products (an extra 30 days if you purchased with the Target RedCard)
  • Virtual exam: No
  • Price on publish: $43.45 - $113.49

What we like:

  • Enjoy 20% off your first purchase
  • Great return policy

What we don’t like:

  • No virtual exams
Target Optical

Target Optical

Target is a reliable brand you can count on, so you can feel secure when purchasing from Target Optical.

GlassesUSA

Though the name says “glasses” (and they’ve made our lists for the best places to buy glasses online and the best places to buy sunglasses online), GlassesUSA has a small selection of colored contact lenses as well. The benefit of shopping at this online retailer though, is the generous discounts (returning customers can get 30% off their order, for example) and excellent customer service. There’s a 100% money back guarantee, 365-day warranty, free shipping, and free returns. Plus, if you need to talk to customer service, their phone line is staffed from 7 am-midnight ET.

What you should know:

  • Number of colors: 12
  • Customer service: Phone, chat, and email
  • Shipping: Free shipping
  • Return policy: 14-day return or exchange
  • Virtual exam: No
  • Price on publish: $32.69 - $122.69

What we like:

  • It’s easy to get customer service help, especially on the phone
  • Free shipping
  • Generous discounts

What we don’t like:

  • No online vision test/virtual exam
  • You only have 14 days to return or exchange
GlassesUSA

GlassesUSA

Though it’s known primarily for an extensive selection of glasses, GlassesUSA offers major brands of colored contact lenses and has exceptional customer service.

Discount Contacts

Discount Contacts aims to provide its buyers with a huge selection of contacts, including colored contacts. In addition to a nice assortment and working to provide buyers with great prices, Discount Contacts offers a free online vision test (if requirements are met) to renew your prescription with any purchase, reviewed by a licensed optometrist within 24 hours.

What you should know:

  • Number of colors: 12
  • Customer service: Phone, fax, and email
  • Shipping: Free shipping on orders over $99
  • Return policy: Free returns for U.S. customers up to 365 days from the shipping date
  • Virtual exam: Yes
  • Price on publish: $35.99 - $106.99

What we like:

  • Free vision test with purchase
  • Free returns

What we don’t like:

  • Customers need to spend over $99 to get the free shipping
Discount Contacts

Discount Contacts

Discount Contacts offer a vision test online reviewed by a professional within 24 hours, so you can ensure you’re getting the right, updated prescription.

LensCrafters

Colored contacts are a fun way to switch up your look, whether it’s for an event, or for long-term use. Lenscrafters has a reliable reputation and an array of colored contact choices in 12 colors. Lenscrafters offers free shipping, and they pride themselves on their excellent customer support.

What you should know:

  • Number of colors: 12
  • Customer service: Email, phone, and chat
  • Shipping: Free shipping
  • Return policy: Eyewear can be exchanged, replaced, or refunded within 30 days of the dispense date
  • Virtual exam: No
  • Price on publish: $48.49 - $112.49

What we like:

  • Free shipping

What we don’t like:

  • No virtual eye exam option

The bottom line: Lenscrafters has a great reputation and a range of colored contacts, in addition to free shipping.

LensCrafters

LensCrafters

Lenscrafters has a great reputation and a range of colored contacts, in addition to free shipping.

CVS

CVS has a selection of colored contacts, with 12 colors to brighten your natural eye color or completely change it for something new. In addition to a diverse selection, they offer redness checks, vision tests, free shipping, a great return policy if you find that a product is not right for you, and a wide range of brands.

What you should know:

  • Number of colors: 12
  • Customer service: Contact form and phone
  • Shipping: Free standard shipping
  • Return policy: Contact lenses can be returned unused within a year of the shipping date
  • Virtual exam: Yes
  • Price on publish: Ranges based on pack size and brand

What we like:

  • Virtual eye exam
  • Easy returns
  • Free shipping
  • Great selection

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviews mention customer service could be better
CVS

CVS

CVS offers redness tests, online eye exams, free shipping, and a good return policy if you find a product isn’t right for you.

Walmart Contacts

What doesn’t Walmart have? You can buy toys, books, crafts, electronics, furniture, sports gear, groceries, clothes and more, in addition to proper eyewear in stores and online. To spice up your look with colored contacts, get a prescription from a professional and order your colored contact lenses online.

What you should know:

  • Number of colors: 12
  • Customer service: Phone, fax, and email
  • Shipping: Free shipping
  • Return policy: Free returns from U.S. customers up to 365 days from the shipping date
  • Virtual exam: No
  • Price on publish: $41.86 - $109

What we like:

  • Great return policy
  • Free shipping

What we don’t like:

  • No virtual exams

The bottom line:

Walmart has everything, so expect its eyewear selection to be great. There are a range of colored contacts to bring out your natural eye color, or give you a completely new look.

How we selected the best places to buy colored contacts

After scouring the internet, reading reviews, and looking for what each company offers their customers, we created a list of the best places to buy colored contacts with a prescription from your doctor. Some websites even offer online eye tests verified by a doctor to make it that much more convenient for you, if that’s something that you need.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Is it safe to buy colored contact lenses online?

As previously mentioned, it’s perfectly okay to buy colored contact lenses online, as long as you have been cleared by your doctor and have a prescription. You wouldn’t want to buy low quality products or contacts that are not suited for your eyes because you risk potentially scratching or damaging your eyes.

What are the disadvantages of colored contacts?

As long as they are cleared by your eye doctor and prescribed, colored contacts are fine to use. Avoid any kind of contacts from costume stores or websites that don’t require a prescription.

Is it okay to wear unprescribed colored contacts?

Colored contacts can be a fun way to switch up your look or enhance your natural eye color, as long as it’s done safely. As previously mentioned, you should never wear colored contacts that have not been prescribed by a professional eye doctor. Wearing unprescribed colored contacts can lead to potential problems like infection, or cuts on your eye, and can even potentially cause permanent damage. You should always have a prescription from a medical professional when purchasing contacts online.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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