Emily VanSchmus | 

Are Costco Eye Exams a Good Deal? Prices and What to Know

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You might already know about the savings you can get on bulk vitamins and cold medicine with your Costco membership, but there’s another major Costco membership benefit that could save you money on health expenses: Costco Optical. Inside this part of the warehouse, you can get an eye exam, pick out prescription eyeglasses, and even buy contact lenses — all for less than competitors.

While they may not have as large of a selection as places like LensCrafters, Costco Optical does carry a good range of brand-name designer frames and many different types of contact lenses. And their eye exam costs are hard to beat.

But Costco Optical refers to their optometrists as "Independent Doctors of Optometry," and they technically aren’t employed by Costco. For that reason, prices for eye exams and even the types of insurance they accept may vary by location. But if you're deciding whether a Costco membership is worth it, the potential savings on eye care may be something to consider.

Also worth noting: while they may accept walk-ins for an eye exam (and you don't even need to be a Costco member!), it’s always best to call ahead for an appointment since each location may have a different policy. And keep in mind that not every Costco has an optical department. Only about 500 locations exist throughout the U.S. (out of more than 600 total locations).

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Is Costco Optical a good deal?


Whether you need a new lens prescription, glasses, or contacts, Costco’s optical department can save you hundreds compared to other retailers.

Let’s start with the Costco eye examination cost. Without insurance, you can get a basic eye exam at Costco for under $100. Considering the average cost of an eye exam without insurance is $100 - $200 (according to a 2024 Mira report), you could save up to $100 by going with Costco.

Costco also has low prices on high-quality frames. As you might expect, the cost depends on the frames you choose. But if you go with their store brand, Kirkland Signature frames start at just $59.99.

But if you want designer lenses, you can score major savings there as well. One Reddit user commented they bought a pair of RayBans at Costco for $89.99. The same pair cost $299.99 at LensCrafters a few blocks away. That’s an instant savings of $200 (or 70%) on designer frames!

You can also find a good deal on contacts at Costco if you watch for bulk sales online — though many shoppers say the more expensive brands rarely go on sale. However, many of the 90-day supplies are still the cheapest option even at the regular price, so you really can’t go wrong.

KCL TIP: A Costco optician on Reddit reported that frames, lenses, and contacts are only marked up 1% over cost. While we couldn't confirm this statistic with any Costco Optical associates we spoke to, they didn’t deny it either.

Eye exams

Since Costco employs independent optometrists at each location, the Costco eye checkup cost can vary by location. But generally, you can expect the Costco eye exam cost without insurance to be between $75 - $100. If you need a contact lens exam, plan to add $50 - $60 to the cost of the basic exam.

The Costco Optical employees we spoke to confirmed that each doctor sets their own price — although they generally stick within a similar range. We recommend calling ahead so you know what to expect.

With vision insurance, the cost of an eye exam will depend on your coverage, as many vision insurance plans cover one basic exam per year. Just be sure to check that Costco Optical is covered by your policy.

We compared the Costco eye checkup cost at several different locations and found they cost an average of $89.50 for the basic eye exam, and $131 for a contact lens exam.

Costco Eye Examination Cost by Location

Store Location

Eye Exam Cost

Eye + Contact Lens Exam Cost

Daytona Beach, FL



Lenexa, KS



Irvine, CA



Phoenix, AZ



Austin, TX



Rochester, MN



Lexington, KY



Huntsville, AL



Average Price:




Though Costco isn't the cheapest place to buy glasses (online-only retailers tend to have lower prices), they're considerably cheaper than the $400-range that you’ll find at some eyeglass chains or independent stores. In fact, Consumer Reports found that the average cost of glasses at Costco (after insurance) came in around $160. That’s a 60% difference compared to competitors.

It’s also worth noting that Costco has topped the Consumer Reports list of best places to buy eyeglasses for much of the last decade, so you know you’re getting a quality product you won’t have to replace as frequently as some of the cheaper (and sometimes poorly-made) options.

From there, your prescription’s complexity can bump up the price. Single lens prescriptions are less than bifocals, with progressive lenses being the most expensive. Options like anti-glare, polarized, or blue anti-reflective lenses will cost more, too. This isn’t exclusive to Costco — you’ll find these extra fees almost anywhere you shop.

Most of the time, Costco’s online prices are higher than in-store — but the optical prices are the same online as what you’ll find in-store. However, you can only buy Kirkland frames online. Right now, they have more than 150 styles all for $59.99 — but if you want designer lenses, you’ll have to shop in person.

It’s also important to note that you cannot use insurance plans to cover the cost of any purchases made online. Because each Costco Optical is run by a different doctor, some locations do accept insurance when you pay in-store. That means trying on frames in the store could save you a lot of money. (Although, it’s worth noting that Costco does have a great virtual try-on feature if you’re shopping online!)

Many Costco fans on Reddit say the quality of lenses from Costco Optical is way better than some discount retailers. For example, multiple customers say they’ve ordered from both Costco and Zenni, and while Zenni is a lot cheaper (you can get a pair of prescription glasses for around $10), they were much more satisfied with the quality of Costco’s glasses. Many of them also said the prescription for glasses ordered through Zenni was either incorrect, or the quality was so poor they stopped wearing them.

Cheapest Available Glasses Without Insurance


Cheapest Frames

Cheapest Frames + Basic Lenses




Warby Parker










Costco has one of the best deals on contacts around, partially because you can buy them in bulk. They frequently have coupons for contacts when you buy multiple boxes — for example, you can save $40 on four boxes or save $120 on eight boxes of the Biotrue Oneday 90-pack. So instead of paying $251.48 for four boxes, you’d pay $211.48 — a savings of 16%. The deal lasts all of 2024, so you can plan ahead and stock up throughout the year.

We compared pricing for four popular kinds of contacts across different retailers, and Costco won every time:

Price of Bulk Contact Lenses Compared


Costco Price

1-800 Contacts Price

Walgreens Price

1-Day Acuvue Moist 90-Pack




Biotrue Oneday 90-pack




Dailies Colors 90-pack




Bausch + Lomb Soflens Daily Disposable 90-pack




Tips for Using Costco Optical

Return glasses or contacts if you're not satisfied.

Costco Optical is pretty good about returns and replacements. Under the Costco return policy, you can return any unopened contact lenses to the Optical department at any Costco location. As long as you haven’t opened or used the contact lenses, Costco will issue you a refund. (And if you ordered online and can’t get to a store, you can start this process online.)

As for glasses, if something isn’t fitting quite right or the prescription seems off, head back to Costco Optical to get your glasses readjusted or tweaked to your liking — free of charge. If they made a mistake with your order, they’ll replace the glasses for you at no cost. But don’t expect to get a refund or replacement if you’ve simply changed your mind about the prescription glasses you picked out.

Bring your own prescription to skip the eye exam.

Though most people have their eyes examined and then pick out frames at the same location, there’s no obligation to do both at Costco Optical. You can come in with a prescription from another optometrist and just use Costco Optical to order new glasses. As long as you have an up-to-date prescription, this is an easy way to save money.

You also have the option to get your eye exam done at Costco and then take your prescription elsewhere to order glasses. Up to you!

Look for occasional monthly sales to save up to $90.

Specials do pop up here and there at Costco Optical, such as a discount of $30 if you’re buying two pairs of glasses.

Recently, we saw a great deal on a 90-pack of Kirkland Signature Daily Disposable contact lenses. When ordering online through the Costco website, if you bought four boxes, you got a discount of $35, while buying eight boxes saved you $90.

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