Costco Optical Review: Options, Pros Cons, Is it Worth It? (2023)

You have many options for getting eye care today, both in person and online. You’re probably already familiar with Costco for bulk shopping, but you may not know they also offer comprehensive eye care services.

Read on to find out if Costco Optical is right for you and your eyes.

Costco Wholesale is a membership-based retail store that’s been around since 1976, when it was known by the name Price Club.

Costco offers about 4,000 products, compared with the 30,000 products most grocery stores have on hand. Their stock varies and is sold in bulk, generally at cheaper prices than standard grocery stores. In addition to groceries, Costco also sells clothes, electronics, home furnishings, and more.

Many Costco locations also have a Costco Optical inside, where you can get an eye exam and pick out eyeglasses. Costco Opticals are staffed by trained opticians who can help you pick out your glasses and answer questions about insurance, returns, and orders.

Each Costco Optical has an independent doctor of optometry who can give you a standard eye exam, just like at any eye doctor’s office.

Costco Optical pros

  • There are more than 500 Costco Opticals nationwide.
  • No Costco membership is needed for an eye appointment.
  • Costco Optical accepts most vision insurance plans.
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Costco Optical cons

  • Costco Optical’s website is fairly vague. For instance, the website states they accept most insurance plans, but you have to call or go in person to find out which plans they accept.
  • No warranty information is available on Costco’s website.
  • A Costco membership is needed to purchases glasses or contacts.
  • Costco’s app is just a glorified version of their website, with no unique app-based features.

Costco Optical offers in-person eye exams from independent doctors of optometry. If you’re a Costco member, you can select from a wide range of contact lenses, brand-name designer eyeglass frames, and sunglasses. They also sell name-brand contact lenses, as well as eye care products like contact lens solutions.

As a Costco member, you can order glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses, and eye care products online.

Costco Optical offers a wide range of lenses, including HD progressive, polarized, Transitions photochromic, anti-blue-light, anti-reflective, and multifunctional lenses, as well as contact lenses and sunglasses.

A closer look at the Costco app

Costco does have an app, which I downloaded and perused. The app has an average of 2.4 out of 5 stars in the Apple App Store, based on more than 4,500 ratings. On the Google Play store, the app averages about 3 stars, based on more than 32,000 ratings.

The app’s Costco Optical info is identical to the information available on the website. Since the interface is identical to the website, there’s no real benefit of using one over the other.

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To purchase lenses or eye care products through Costco Optical, you must be a Costco member. The annual fee for a personal membership is $60. The Gold Star Executive Membership for businesses is twice as much, at $120.

If you’re not already a Costco member, visit the Costco website for info on memberships.

The Costco Optical website doesn’t list the cost for an eye exam, but my research tells me it averages about $75 to $80. Be sure to call your local store for pricing options.

Since I’m not a Costco member, I couldn’t view the exact prices of their eyewear and eye care products. Based on my research, the average cost for a pair of frames and lenses is $184.

Much of Costco Optical’s website is frustratingly opaque if you’re not a member. To find out exact prices, sign in to their website with your Costco membership info, or visit a Costco Optical to check out products and prices in person.

Does Costco Optical take insurance?

Costco Optical’s website says they now take most vision insurance plans, but notes that discount plans are not eligible. To find out if your insurance is accepted, call or visit your local Costco Optical.

Does Costco Optical take VSP insurance?

Yes, according to VSP’s website. However, the VSP website notes that your allowance may differ. For more details, call the number listed on your VSP card or check with your local Costco Optical.

Does Costco Optical take Medicare?

Costco may accept some Medicare plans, but it depends on your specific plan. Costco’s website doesn’t explicitly state whether they accept Medicare. To find out if your Medicare plan is accepted at Costco, call the Medicare number listed on your insurance card and call your local Costco Optical.

To place a Costco Optical order online or in person, you must be a Costco member. If you’re not already a member, you’ll need to join.

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If you’re ordering prescription contact lenses, you’ll need your prescription handy. You can place an order through the website or the app.

Products eligible for flexible spending account (FSA) payments are noted on the website.

To place an order on the website, take the following steps:

  1. Sign in to your Costco account.
  2. Select the contacts you wish to purchase.
  3. Enter your prescription, if applicable.
  4. Enter your shipping info.
  5. Enter your payment info.
  6. Place your order.

If you prefer to order in person, you’ll need to visit your local Costco Optical during store hours. There are more than 500 Costco Opticals in the United States, as well as several locations in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Mexico, Iceland, and Spain.

If you order glasses for in-person pickup, Costco states they will take about 7 days to process. If you order glasses delivered to your home, it’ll also take 7 days to process plus an additional 7 to 14 days to ship.

When checking review websites, I found mixed reactions to the shipping time. Many of the negative reviews mention that the glasses took longer than stated to arrive.

Costco Optical’s return policy is a little more complicated than that of similar retailers. There’s no standard satisfaction guarantee, but you can get lenses replaced if there’s an issue with your prescription. The time frame for replacing your eyeglass lenses is 60 to 90 days, depending on your Costco Optical location.

Make sure to ask your local Costco optician for details before ordering. If you need to change your lenses, you must schedule an appointment with the eye doctor on-site.

The return policy for contact lenses is more straightforward. As long as the package isn’t opened or damaged, you can return your contacts at any time for a full refund. Keep any paperwork that comes with your contacts order, and follow the included instructions to make a return.

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First and foremost, Costco is a wholesale club that lets customers buy all sorts of groceries and home goods. Customer ratings at places like the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot reflect a wide variety of customer experiences, not just with Costco Optical.

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): Costco’s BBB page shows that the company has an A+ rating and an average of 1.48 out of 5 stars with more than 210 customer reviews. BBB doesn’t appear to rate Costco and Costco Optical separately.
  • Trustpilot: Review aggregator website Trustpilot shows similar Costco reviews — an average of 1.5 out of 5 stars and more than 1,400 reviews. Like the BBB, Trustpilot doesn’t have a separate page for Costco Optical, so keep in mind that these ratings are based on Costco as a whole.
  • Reddit and Google: Find the name of your local Costco’s doctor of optometry and then search their name in your city’s subreddit or in Google reviews. This should give you an idea of the doctor’s reputation. You can also post on Reddit asking for the experiences of your neighbors at Costco Optical.

In 2013, a man in California filed a class action lawsuit against Costco. He believed he was sold glasses at a higher cost due to Costco Optical functioning as a “joint operation.” The lawsuit was initially dismissed, but that dismissal was reversed in 2018, meaning the plaintiff could reopen his case.

In 2021, Costco agreed to pay $525,000 to settle a suit that claimed the company failed to refund consumers for the costs of cancelled Costco executive memberships. Terms of the settlement state the eligible consumers can recover a free year of a Costco membership or a cash payment of up to $15.

You have many options for in-person and online eye care. Here are a few alternatives to consider:

  • Target Optical: Like Costco Optical, Target offers in-person eye exams and a wide range of name-brand eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contacts. Learn more about Target Optical.
  • Local independent retailers: Take to Google, Reddit, and Facebook, or crowdsource your friends to find local shops that sell eyeglasses, contacts, and sunglasses.
  • Online retailers: Check out this Healthline article that covers the top eight places to buy glasses online.
  • Local eye doctors: Get your eyes examined the old-fashioned way by going to an optometrist in your area. You can find the best local eye doctor by searching Reddit or Google, or asking your friends. Find an eye doctor near you.

Costco Optical appears to be a decent option for affordable and quick in-person eye exams, especially if you have a Costco membership. If you opt to go elsewhere, note that you have a plethora of options available to you.

Ash Fisher is a writer and comedian living with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. When she’s not having a wobbly-baby-deer day, she’s hiking with her corgi, Vincent. Learn more about her on her website.

(Video) An Alternative To Progressive Lenses


Is Costco Good for optical? ›

Costco Optical accepts most vision insurance plans and you can see an independent optometrist, saving you both time and money. Costco Optical was ranked as the best place to buy eyeglasses according to Consumer Reports.

Is Costco Optical better than LensCrafters? ›

Consumer Reports surveyed more than 91,000 members, and Costco Optical topped the list of eyeglass retailers for customer satisfaction. The key factor? Price. The median cost for glasses at Costco was $186, while the median price at LensCrafters was $369.

Is Costco Optical better than Walmart? ›

But if you need basic, plastic single-vision lenses, you can pay as little as $29 at Walmart, about half as much as at Costco. These retailers got high marks from readers, with Costco, our top-rated eyeglass retailer, edging out Walmart in several areas, including the quality of frames and lenses and follow-up service.

What happens if I don't like my glasses at Costco? ›

Can you return glasses to Costco if you don't like them? Only if they are non-prescription. Non-prescription glasses can be returned to Costco at any time for any reason. However, Costco Optical only accepts returns on prescription glasses if there is an issue with the frame fit or lens prescription.

What brand of lenses does Costco Optical use? ›

Kirkland Signature™ HD Progressive Lenses:

Latest manufacturing technology available delivers high definition vision at any distance. Includes Anti-Reflective Treatment. Custom made lens for your prescription and selection.

Does Costco membership include free eye exam? ›

Billing doesn't go through Costco since the optometrists are contractors, so your exam bill is separate from your membership. The glasses, contacts, and lenses are all Costco-owned, meaning you need a membership to buy those items.

What is the best optical center? ›

The Best Places for Eye Exams in 2023
  • Best Overall: Costco Optical.
  • Best for Low-Cost Eye Exam: America's Best.
  • Best Place for Eye Exam Without Insurance: Pearle Vision.
  • Best for Convenience: Walmart Vision Center.
  • Best for Frame Selection: Eyeglass World.
  • Best for Doctor Quality: Vision Source.
Jan 15, 2023

How long does it take to get glasses from Costco Optical? ›

How long does it take to get glasses from Costco? If you order glasses for in-person pickup, Costco states they will take about 7 days to process. If you order glasses delivered to your home, it'll also take 7 days to process plus an additional 7 to 14 days to ship.

What is the average price for Costco glasses? ›

Glasses cost an average of $185 at Costco Optical — 54% less than other chains and retailers. Just like in most places, glasses at Costco Optical can have a wide range of pricing. To start, it depends on the frames you choose. If you go with the Kirkland brand, you will pay less than if you choose designer lenses.

Will Costco Optical use my frames? ›

Yes, you can bring your own frames to Costco. So bring your current frames or snag a deal a pair from several online retailers such as Warby Parker, Zenni Optical, or Frames Direct. Still, keep in mind, you can also receive a discount at Costco when you purchase multiple frames for the same person all on the same day.

Can I get a refund if I dont like my glasses? ›

Some optical stores and online sellers guarantee your satisfaction with your eyeglasses — even if you simply don't like them — by offering a refund or a store credit for the amount you paid for them. If so, you usually must return the glasses within a specified period of time (for example, within 30 days of purchase).

Can you cancel Costco Optical order? ›

To cancel your order through, follow these steps: Visit and select Orders & Returns. Find the order you want to cancel and select the Cancel Order button. The amount of time you have to cancel will depend on the products you ordered and at what point they are in the shipping process.

Can you return a prescription to Costco? ›

Due to State and Federal regulations, the Home Delivery pharmacy is unable to accept prescription returns unless authorized by a licensed pharmacist. If you feel there is an issue with your order, please contact a representative at 1-800-607-6861 and ask to speak with a pharmacist.

Are Costco lenses glass or plastic? ›

In previous years, Costco has mainly offered polycarbonate ophthalmic lenses, which are the standard in the U.S. market.

Can I bring my prescription to Costco Optical? ›

YES. What is this? By no means do you have to use Costco's optometrist to take advantage of their prices on new eyeglasses or contact lenses. Just bring in your current prescription and a staff member will help you out.

Are Varilux the best progressive lenses? ›

Sharp vision at every distance—even in dimly lit conditions—that eliminates the blurriness, off-balance feeling, and low-light issues of ordinary progressive lenses has made Varilux® progressive lenses the #1 lens recommended by optometrists and opticians*.

How much is a Costco card for seniors? ›

Gold Star memberships, available for $60 per year, grant shoppers access to Costco Warehouse locations as well as all merchandise available on Gold Star members also gain access to Costco Gas, Costco Travel, Costco Tire Center, Costco Optical, and more.

Can my husband use my Costco card without me? ›

The Costco membership card is non-transferable, but there are several ways to share the experience with family and friends. Anyone with a card can bring up to two guests to the Warehouse during each visit. Keep in mind that purchasing items is exclusive to Costco members.

Can I walk around Costco without a membership? ›

When you visit a Costco warehouse, you'll discover all the valuable savings we have to offer. As a nonmember, you may still purchase prescriptions from a Costco pharmacy with cash, debit, Costco Shop Cards or a Visa® card. However, you must be a paid member to enter the warehouse and purchase any other items.

Can I bring my own prescription to Costco Optical? ›

Yes. You can bring in your current prescription to Costco Optical to either get new frames, update your prescription, or receive eye care services to determine whether your current prescription is still working for you.

What vision plans are accepted at Costco? ›

I decided to dig a little deeper and discovered that Costco accepts the following insurance plans:
  • VSP.
  • EyeMed.
  • Davis Vision.
  • VBA Vision.
  • FEP BlueVision.
  • MES Vision.
  • United Healthcare.
  • Spectera.
Sep 26, 2022

Does Costco Optical just replace lenses? ›

You can get glasses repair or replacement services at Costco Optical locations. Some of the repair options include screw tightening or replacements, lens replacements, frame repair or adjustments, and so on.

Are Prescriptions really cheaper at Costco? ›

The low Costco Pharmacy prices can get even lower through the Costco Member Prescription Program (CMPP). The CMPP, which is free for Costco members to join, is not insurance.
3. Join the Costco Member Prescription Program (CMPP) for Additional Savings.
Victoza Pen 18mg/3ml2$624.36
7 more rows
Sep 3, 2021

How long does it take to get prescription lenses from Costco? ›

It takes 5–7 business days from the time you order them. You can get your prescription and order your glasses all in the same day.

How does getting glasses at Costco work? ›

Yes, you need to be a member to purchase glasses or contacts at Costco Optical centers. However, you do not need to be a member to make an appointment with our in-house optometrist. For more information, visit our dedicated optical site here. Or, locate your local optical center at a Costco warehouse location near you.

Who makes Costco lenses? ›

Costco's Kirkland Signature daily disposable contact lenses are made by CooperVision. The Costco lenses are the same as CooperVision's MyDay lenses.

Is Costco a preferred provider for VSP? ›

Unfortunately, Costco is not a VSP network provider.

Customers can still use Costco Optical with VSP insurance, but Costco is treated as an “out-of-network” provider. So, customers are responsible for submitting claims for reimbursement after receiving care.

What is progressive lens glasses? ›

Progressive lenses are a type of lens which have no differentiating lines between the focal distances. These have three different levels of focal distances ranging from distance to near. They have no visible lines, so they can be considered a better pair of progressive lenses than single or bifocal lenses.

What's the phone number for VSP? ›

Can you return glasses to Costco Optical? ›

If you are not completely satisfied with your contact lens order, simply return your order to the Optical Department of any Costco location. There's no need to wait in the general returns line at the warehouse.

Are premium progressive lenses worth it? ›

premium progressive lenses? If the price is a factor, opt for standard progressive lenses. However, if you have a complicated prescription or need customized lenses, premium progressive lenses are the better option. Either way, the new glasses will help get your vision back on track.

How much should progressive lenses cost? ›

Average cost of progressive lenses

Compared to the slightly lower cost of bifocal lenses, the average consumer pays between $150 and $250 for their progressive lenses. For this price range, you should be able to purchase a decent set of progressive lenses.


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