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  • Writer's pictureMaria Cholakova

Seeing Clearly on a Budget: Are Contacts or Glasses More Expensive?

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Are contacts more expensive than glasses? Are glasses more affordable in the long run? Eyewear or contacts, which is the best choice in terms of budget? Those are all questions that people tend to ask before they make the final decision to invest their money toward vision correction.

In this article, Ophthalmology24 will break down the cost of contacts and glasses and help you decide which one saves you more money long-term.

The Price of Perfect Vision

For people who rely on corrective eyewear, the decision between contacts and glasses is a crucial one. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. So it could be difficult to determine which one is the better choice, especially when money is a factor.

At the end of the day, the price of perfect vision comes down to:

We will get in-depth about these purchase factors in the next few paragraphs. Keep on reading.

Contacts vs Glasses: Which One Saves You More Money?

glasses and contacts

When choosing between contacts and glasses, here are a few crucial things to always keep in mind to make an informed decision about vision correction:

Upfront Cost

Are contacts more expensive than glasses? Generally, yes. Contacts have a higher upfront cost than regular eyeglasses. That is because you can always buy glasses off-the-shelf at a lower cost. But of course, if you decide to buy designer eyewear, eyeglasses might turn out to be a lot more expensive when it comes to upfront costs.

Replacement Cost

You need to replace contact lenses regularly, while glasses can last for years with proper care. The cost of replacing contacts can add up quickly, especially if you wear monthly lenses or daily disposable lenses. Glasses, on the other hand, require less frequent replacement and are often more cost-effective in the long run.

Maintenance Cost

Contacts require a special cleaning solution, storage case, and other maintenance supplies. Eyewear also requires storage and cleaning supplies like lens wipes, cleaning spray, and eyeglasses cases. But they are generally less expensive and do not need as frequent replacement.

Insurance Coverage

Depending on your insurance plan, either contacts or glasses may have more insurance coverage. It is advisable to check with your insurance provider to see which option is going to be more cost-effective for you. If your insurance plan covers one option more comprehensively than the other, that would make the decision easier. Additionally, some eye doctors offer financing options or discounts for buying contacts or glasses in bulk, which can lower the overall cost.

Your Budget

Your budget also plays a significant role in determining whether contacts or glasses are the more affordable option for you. If you have budget limitations, glasses may be the better choice since they generally have a lower upfront cost and require less frequent replacement. However, if you prefer the convenience and comfort of contacts, you may be willing to pay more upfront for the lenses and maintenance supplies.

Ultimately, your budget should be a key factor in your decision, but it shouldn't be the only factor. It's important to weigh the cost against other factors, such as convenience, comfort, and eye health, to determine if glasses or contacts are the best fit for you.

Tips for Choosing Between Contacts and Glasses

Eye doctor holding glasses and lenses case


Contact lenses are a better choice for people who lead active lifestyles or who don't like the way glasses frames look or feel. However, glasses are generally a better choice for people who have a busy schedule or who don't want to deal with the hassle of putting in and taking out contacts daily.

Wearing glasses can also be more convenient for those who want to quickly switch between wearing glasses and not wearing them. While contacts are more practical for those looking for a permanent solution, as they have an expiration date.


Some people find contacts more comfortable than glasses. That is because once in your eyes, you cannot feel the lenses in any way. At the same time, others prefer eyewear's ease and comfort of putting on and taking off glasses fast and without eye irritation. The downside of glasses in terms of comfort is you can feel the frame on your nose and behind your ears.

In general, contacts are the right choice for people who don't like glasses on their faces, as they provide a more natural appearance with minimal weight. Glasses, on the other hand, offer more stability, as they rest on your nose bridge. We would advise you to try both options and see which one feels best for you.


Glasses are becoming more popular as a fashion accessory, and some people enjoy having a variety of frames to choose from. Contacts, on the other hand, are invisible and don't really affect your visual appearance unless you buy color contact lenses.

Color contact lenses are a fun way to change your look. However, it is imperative to have an eye doctor's prescription before wearing them. Color contact lenses also require extra care and maintenance to ensure your eyes' health.

Eye Health

Contact lenses are more prone to cause eye infections and other problems. Especially if not properly cared for. Glasses are generally the safe choice for eye health and in some cases provide sun protection from UV radiation.

The decision between contacts and glasses ultimately comes down to personal preference and lifestyle. While contacts may have a higher upfront cost and require more maintenance, they can be more convenient for some people. On the other hand, glasses can be more cost-effective in the long run and provide more eye health benefits.

Make sure to weigh the pros and cons of contacts vs glasses and choose the one that works best for you and your budget.

Was this article helpful? We hope we make choosing glasses over contacts or vice versa easier. Read more about eye care and eye health in our medical blog.

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