Eye Exam Costs at WalMart Vision Centers

Eye Exam Costs at Walmart

The eye exam costs at Walmart Vision Centers are around $60 for a glasses prescription only. If you add an exam for contact lenses, it jumps to around $125 to $150 based on that location. This does not include an exam for progressive/bifocal lenses. A retinal photo costs around $20. If you are curious as to what happens during an eye exam, check out this article on, “What Happens During an Eye Exam?”

Eye Exam Costs at WalMart Vision Centers
Millions of people each year turn to Walmart eye care. They are in most cities in the United States. They are well known for services like photography, automotive needs, nails, banking and beauty needs. It’s no surprise that they also offer eye exams, eyeglasses, and contact lenses. When Walmart first entered the optical industry back in 1991, they were already known for their affordable prices. But they applied this same approach to glasses, lenses, and contacts. However, their quality was average but still on par with other big box stores and eyeglass chains.

Walmart optical exams
The Walmart Optical Lab in Fayetteville, Arkansas
However in 2000, they started offering premium products such as lenses from Carl Zeiss. So what are the eye exam costs at WalMart? Because of Walmart’s size, they have become one of the top 5 largest optical retailers in the United States. Their mindset in the optical reflects their overall value proposition of convenience and low cost. You can often walk-in and get an eye exam fairly quickly.

Will a Walmart Optometrist provide the same quality exam as your local, family Optometrist?
The eye doctors at WalMart have the same degree of any other eye doctor. They are just renting a space within or next door to a WalMart, versus rent their own stand alone facility. Every doctor that WalMart hires or contracts with is licensed and fully certified optometrists. Concerns about quality should have nothing to do with where they work, as much as it does with experience. I would look for an optometrist that has been out of school for 5 – 10 years and has seen lots of patients. And if you have a fairly detailed prescription or you may have additional medical issues, you may want to stick with your existing eye doctor. They will be more familiar with your history and will be able to provide more time for the exam.

Rumors of Walmart eye doctor turnover.
Because health care laws vary from state to state, some doctors are actually Walmart employees. However, most are independent doctors of optometry who lease their equipment, staff, and office space from Walmart. Because of this lease situation, the turnover rate among Walmart’s doctors is fairly high. Therefore, you may not see the same doctor every time you return for an office visit or examination. I have found that most patients enjoy developing somewhat of a relationship with their eye doctor whom they see year after year.

Does Walmart have lower pricing than an independent Optometrist?
Many people just assume that since they are the low price leader in household products that this means they will have low price eye exams as well. But we have found that their prices on eyeglass lenses and frames are often the same as those of many private, independent optometrists. In fact, Walmart once boasted extremely competitive contact lens prices, with prices being slightly below those found in private practices or other commercial practices, such as Lenscrafters. However, many of their suppliers now require Uniform Pricing to level the playing field on pricing between retail, online and private practices. For example, Walmart made an agreement with 1-800-Contacts for contact lens processing, purchasing, and sales, resulting in an increase in price. You may be surprised to learn that your private practice doctor is just as competitive on contact lens prices.

Walmart Eyeglass Frames
walmart eyeglass framesOverall they have a pretty good selection of Walmart eyeglass frames. The selection includes brands like Vera Wang, Ray-Ban, Tom Ford, Steven Tyler, DKNY, Giorgio Armani, PUMA, Montblanc, Phat Farm, Hugo Boss, Body Glove and more. For kids, look for brands like Nickelodeon and Hanna Montana. You may, however, find it difficult to special order certain items, such as brand name progressive lenses or high-profile brand frames. Do not expect to find the higher end frames and lenses. Remember that they are a “value provider” so their overall quality will tend to be lower than you may see at many private optometrists.

Does Walmart Take Vision Insurance?
While most independent optometrists honor several insurance plans, you may not be able to use your health or vision insurance at Walmart vision centers, as many of the centers’ optometrists work on cash-based systems. Also, while some of their doctors provide ancillary services, such as treatment of eye infections or disease, their examination, and office setup is mainly designed to provide routine vision care. More complex eye conditions may be better left to private eye care practices.


Article: Eye Exam Costs at WalMart Vision Centers


  1. I think that their customer service is not very good. They insisted that I just needed to get used to the glasses. Another guy said that I was not using the glasses properly versus just admitting that they gave me the wrong prescription. Either they are just in too much of a hurry or the guy wasn’t very good. When I explained that they did not mark my glasses properly before they ordered my progressive lenses to see where my eye was oriented, they just ignored me and told me it would take about a month to get used to the new set. So why can I just put on a pair of reading glasses and immediately be able to read with them, but my new glasses did not allow me to read anything in the bottom part of the lens. After spending $465.00 why can’t I see any better than my $12 reading glasses. I would avoid walmart vision centers because they are not cheaper, faster, and do not provide good customer service. Stick to a regular eye doctor that will spend more time on the eye exam.

  2. I had an eye exam on May 31, 2016. My prescription was lower that what I had the previous year. I was told that my eyes had improved. I was skeptical because my eyes had not been any different for the past 5 years. I ordered my contacts and wore them for a month and started getting excruciating migraines. I went back and the receptionist was very rude. The other girls seemed clueless on what the hell they was doing. On top of that they charged me $30 for a follow up even though the doctor told me if I had a problem just to come back. Like he was antisipating me to come back just so I can pay more. The doctor and the techs need to learn bedside manners. I really wanted to cuss them out and make a scene but there was children there so I refrained from doing so. The doctor was not hearing me out and not getting it. He left the exam room and sent in a tech to try to hurry me out. I would not recommend anyone to go to any of the walmart’s optometrist unless you want low quality care that could potentially screw up your eyes and health.

  3. Hi is there any coupons or discounts days for exams at CENTEREACH n.y. Walmart vision??? Do I need appointment? And is there evening hours ?

  4. I have a regular ophthalmologist and he was out of town so being that I needed new glasses I choose to go to Walmart for the convenience as a walk-in. Upon arrival, they had just came back for lunch. When I got a good look at the space and their casual appearance, I was skeptical of the care. However I’m picky. When the assistant call me for the initial pre test measurements and the puff of air in the eye, I notice something unpleasant. She never cleaned the equipment so the smell of someone before me was there. And then on to the main exam which I didn’t see the them wipe it down either. So I got the prescription and was on my way, thinking I would not ever return and a little mad at myself for not asking that they clean the thing before I used it. Two day later I wake to a swollen red eye and I will probably will need to see a doctor. However it’s the weekend and I can go back and tell them of my problem.

  5. Equipment not up-to-date; odor emitting from equipment; doctor and staff extremely rude; when I tried to ask questions, they walk backward out of the room just nodding their head(s), not really giving me an answer. I was so uncomfortable, I got up and left. As I was walking out, the “manager” (and I use the term loosely) just watched me walk away, never stopped to ask me why…and he was fully aware that I had not seen the “doctor”. Walmart……close your Vision Centers. They’re no good!

  6. I went to the in N. Myrtle Beach and they are great, the Dr. is the best I’ve ever been to! Went to another optometrist first, not with Walmart and couldn’t see with the contacs she gave me, this Dr. had me go out and shop and see how they felt and how well they worked for reading signs, etc!! Makes a HUGE difference where you go and if you’ll go back!

  7. My experience with costs for contact lens exams was very reasonable. I have had excellent experiences with Walmart several times, once for an actual eye ulcer. The doctor was very professional, but with a comfortable rapport and conversation style that was engaging. She was very good, thorough, and obviously incredibly knowledgeable and had been working in the field for a long time. They saw me on moments notice for the infection, she literally walked by my, immediately took in my red puffy eye, and skipped her lunch break to see me. I was very unexpectedly surprised and have continued to go there for yearly contact lens eye exams with the same awesome service, AND the same doctor! I did want to add, unlike some folks above the equipment and exam rooms were spotless, and I never felt in any danger of being exposed to items that were not properly cleaned.

  8. I bought some glasses there a couple of years ago. They really didn’t hold up very well. They scratched very easily and the arm broke off. I guess you get what you pay for.

  9. This review is about the optical department and not the optometrists in Hayward, CA. The vision center in the Union Center Wal-Mart leaves a lot to be desired. The people running the optical department don’t know what they are doing. They have very little training in dispensing glasses. They may have certificates stating they are qualified from the National dispensing board but they are clueless. I went to school for 2 years and got an AA degree in optical dispensing. They seem absolutely clueless as to how to adjust a frame. I went in there and picked a frame that I liked. It came back from the lab and the frame was crooked and they didn’t seem to know what to do to fix it. The manager got impatient with me and raised her voice because I just wasn’t going to pay $346.00 for glasses that were crooked. Even the other customers in the vision center saw what was going on. I cancelled the sale. Unfortunately, other customers who visit the vision center don’t know that they don’t know what they are doing. I will NEVER, EVER buy glasses from Wal-Mart vision again. I will either go back to Sears where I know the people know what they are doing or go to Four Eyes in Berkeley.

  10. I used them for a contact lens exam before. The Dr. Was at times rude when I couldn’t tell him if one slide looked more clear than another. I have astigmatism in both eyes. He insisted I didn’t so when I ordered my contacts, I couldn’t even wear them because I would blink them right out! No luck in getting my problem resolved either!

  11. I just received a quote of $100 for the exam. The OD at the Derby location said he wouldn’t honor the $60 exam cost shown in this advertising. He is charging $100 for a kindergarten student! I wonder if home office in Bentonville is aware of this. I’m not impressed. Then in the website, it advertised 2 pairs of glasses for 69.99, with a free exam. I don’t think the Derby OF knows what is being advertised.

  12. This article is not an advertisement for exam prices, Dena, and no Walmart offers a free eye exam.

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