If you spend about $400 a year for contact lenses, you can cut this expense in half if you avail of free contact lenses. You just need to know where to look – both online and offline.
Note that because the FDA classifies contact lenses as medical devices, many of the resources below would require you to have a prescription. Serious eye health problems may occur as a result of sharing contact lenses or using them without prescription.
Where to Find Free Contact Lenses
The following stores offer free contact lenses, but you have to visit the eye care specialist partner nearest to you.
Most of the time, a pair of contact lenses and an eye exam are both free, as long as you have a certificate printed out and ready at the in-store clinics. In some cases, you might need to pay for the exam, but a lot of doctors will give you some trial contacts to let you test them out.
- Bausch – If you’re nearsighted or farsighted, you can get a free month trial of Bausch + Lomb ULTRA contact lenses. You need to fill out the form, which will get your a certificate and list of local eye care professionals near you who will give you an eye exam and one pair of Bausch + Lomb ULTRAcontact lenses. This is valid for Canada and US locations
- Fresh Look Contacts – Get a colored pair of contact lenses free. You have to register through the EyeFile™ System first to obtain free membership and the Free* In-Office Trial Offer that comes with it.
- Waldo – Register for a free trial (this means 10 pairs of free contact lenses), but you have to shoulder shipping cost of $2.95.
- Dailies – If you’re looking to change brands of your daily disposable contact lenses, Dailies offer a 5-day free trial, which you could redeem at participating eye doctors.
- Coopervision – This company has several contact lens brands you can choose from, depending on what type of vision problem you have (there are contact lenses that correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia). Fill-up the form to get an e-coupon for a free pair of contact lenses, which you’ll be able to redeem with participating eye care practitioners in the US.
- Acuvue – Fill out the form posted here, download your certificate and bring it to the nearest Eye Doctor partner of Acuvue. Visit the doctor during your appointment and get fitted for a free paid of contact lenses.
- BioTrue – If you’re not a fan of how dry your eyes feel with contact lenses, the Biotrue ONEDay promises of keeping your eyes moist for up to 16 hours. Fill-in the form to get a coupon sent to your inbox. A pair of these lenses are free if you have your prescription ready, or you may have to pay for your eye exam.
- AVEO Vision – Get 10 pairs of ordinary or contacts for astigmatism if you subscribe to this program. You do have to pay for a one-time $5 shipping fee and know your prescription.
- Sight Supply – This is another site that lets you subscribe to regularly-shipped contact lenses. For the sample, you can receive 10 pairs of Sight Supply lenses by paying $3 for shipping and handling.
- Hubble Contacts – The offer Hubble Contacts is giving isn’t actually free, but for only $1 (plus $ shipping cost), you get 15 pairs of Hubble Lenses as your first shipment. This is a subscription-based contact lens company, so if you’re not planning to get another shipment in the future, be sure to check how to cancel your subscription.
- Scout by Warby Parker – This pair of daily contact lenses isn’t free, but the 6-day trial goes for only $5 if you want to try the brand out.
- Next Day Contacts – If you already have a favorite brand and type of contact lens, you should check out this store. Sign up, enter your prescription details and get your first box free.
Similar to the promo available at Fresh Look Contacts, EyeFile also have other contact lens offers posted on its website. Check here if you want to see what they have to offer.
Getting Contact Lens Samples from Your Eye Doctor
If you don’t have time to try out all the sites above, the easiest way to get a free pair of lenses is to go to your eye doctor.
In most cases, you’ll have an eye exam that takes about 30 minutes. After the exam, you’ll be given lens options depending on your prescription.
During this time, you can discuss if you plan to wear them every day, or just for specific activities, such as reading. Once the eye doctor explains how to use and take care of the contact lenses, you’ll be given a free trial.
- A good example of this is from Boots. The form can be pretty comprehensive, but it’s worth it because the trial consists of either up to 5 pairs of daily disposable lenses, or a month’s supply of selected reusable lenses.
- Bona Vision Eye Center, an Oklahoma-based clinic, gives away a free pair of contact lenses if you took an eye exam in-office. Almost all local eye doctors offer these kinds of promotions – check with the one nearest you, even if there isn’t any promo published.
Note that in most cases, you’ll have to book a follow-up appointment to replace your current contact lenses, or get a new batch.
The Bottom Line
You can also send an email to manufacturers directly to try out their contact lenses. This is always a good idea, even if there are no existing promotions available. Note that Acuvue and Bausch are two of the most generous brands out there in the market.
Going to the eye doctor would work better if you don’t have prescription yet (or if you need to update your eye test results). If you’re trying to get samples from manufacturers, you should prepare copies of your prescription when filling out trial requests.