At-home teeth aligners present a lot of great advantages: they’re cheaper than braces, they’re less noticeable, and they’re far more convenient. For a lot of people, price is the biggest factor in their purchasing decisions. Most of us don’t have thousands of dollars sitting around to use to pay for braces or Invisalign—both of which can cost more than $5,000.
Thankfully, at-home teeth aligners have a price point that usually ranges from $1,500 to $2,400 (but the highest price in this guide is just $1,950). That price is much more attainable. But if that range still feels a bit harsh, you can also subscribe to financing.
In this review, we’ll talk about four of the cheapest aligner companies: AlignerCo, SnapCorrect, Smile Direct, and Byte.
What makes one home teeth aligner more affordable than another?
A lot goes into the price points for each service. The cost of the aligners themselves is the most significant factor, but there are other aspects to consider. For one thing, how much does the impression kit cost? This start-up cost is (usually) unavoidable, and you’ll want to budget for it.
And “cheap” doesn’t always mean poor value. Some companies include post-treatment retainers for free, and others require you to purchase them instead. And then there’s the question of whitening: is it free? And if not, how much is it?
Last but not least, it’s worth noting the financing options from each company. Some services require a credit check, and others have 100% approval rates. Not to mention down payments, which can vary from zero to a few hundred dollars.
Based on those criteria, we rank AlignerCo, SnapCorrect, Byte, and Smile Direct as the most affordable companies to use. Check out the full run-down below to learn which is the cheapest service.
The run-down: AlignerCo, SnapCorrect, Byte, and Smile Direct Club
Price to get started
To kick off your treatment process, you’ll usually need to purchase an impression kit. However, a couple companies maintain physical locations where you can get digital images taken instead. If you do, your “impressions” will be free.
With most companies, though, you’ll have to purchase an impression kit. Every company includes a prepaid return shipping label to make it easy to return your impressions. And then there’s the industry standard we can’t forget to mention: the impression kit guarantee. Basically, if you take impressions and it turns out that you’re not a good candidate for treatment, you’ll get a refund for the price of the kit.
With that in mind, let’s talk about the price to get started with our four services:
AlignerCo does not have any retail locations; the impression kit is your only way to get started. However, they understand that the impression kit process can be tricky, so you’re welcome to schedule a video call for assistance. If you do, a customer care assistant will help coach you through the process so you can nail your impressions.
SnapCorrect doesn’t have any physical locations either, but they match the industry standard for the price and contents of the impression kit.
Byte’s impression kit includes all the components you need to take impressions on your own: putty, impression trays, a cheek stretcher, and instructions. They also offer video support, during which a member of their support team will walk you through the whole process.
Smile Direct: FREE or $59
Smile Direct is one of the few companies that maintain retail locations, affectionately called SmileShops. They also have “pop-up” Smile Buses to deliver teeth scans on wheels. If you visit a shop or a bus, you’ll get to skip the hassle of taking impressions by yourself.
If you do, it’s free. Smile Direct has hundreds of locations across the country, so there’s a good chance you live close to one. But if you don’t, or you’d rather take impressions yourself, you can order a kit for $59.
Aligner Kit Pricing
If you’re a candidate for treatment and you decide to go ahead with the company’s proposed aligner plan, the next step is payment. You can use financing if your budget is tight (more on this in a moment), but the cheapest method is to pay it all in one go. The savings are substantial enough that we recommend you pay up front if you can swing it!
If you’re looking for super affordable treatment, AlignerCo is your best bet. Being budget-friendly is their claim to fame; they’re hundreds cheaper than their competitors (and less than half the price of one of their pricer competitors). Thankfully, the contents of their kit aren’t as “cheap” as their price tag. Their aligners are top-quality, BPA-free plastic that will shift your teeth quickly and safely.
SnapCorrect has the second most affordable price tag in the industry. Like AlignerCo, however, their kit doesn’t cut corners. It also includes all of the aligners you’ll need, a free set of post-treatment retainers, and free whitening treatment for life.
Byte’s aligner kit isn’t the cheapest option, but it is a great value. That’s because they include all the aligners you’ll need for your treatment, your first set of post-treatment retainers, and the Hyperbyte system. The Hyperbyte normally retails for a whopping $699, so it’s a huge plus that you get it included in your kit. The system makes your treatment twice as fast as any other option, so it’s a big advantage.
Smile Direct, $1,950
Our first two companies have the same sticker price of $1,950. It’s a pretty straightforward price, too: for that money, you’ll get all the aligners you need to reach your perfect smile. You’ll also be “inducted” as a member of the Smile Club with their Club Guarantee. (There are a couple other extras, too, but we’ll cover that in another section).
Most of these companies average between $1,800-$2,000 when you account for the cost of the aligner kit itself and of the post-treatment aligners. That’s thousands cheaper than traditional braces and even Invisalign. But if that’s too much to pay all at once, we get it. It’s still a big investment.
Thankfully, all of these companies offer financing. The main difference, though, is whether or not you’ll need to pass a credit check and how big your down payment is. Let’s dig into the details.
AlignerCo is unique; they actually have two different financing options—one with a credit check and one without. With SmileFlex, the credit check option, you’ll have 12 monthly payments of $110. SmileFlex Easy swaps the credit check for a down payment of $275. After that, you’ll have 11 monthly payments of $95.
With either financing option, you’ll end up paying a total of $1,320.
Byte handled financing in-house through their Bytepay program. Bad credit? No problem. Every customer is automatically approved. To be eligible for Bytepay, you’ll need to make a down payment of $349. Then you’ll pay $83 per month for 29 months.
SnapCorrect uses Affirm as their financing partner, so you’ll need to pass their credit check. But once you do, you’ll enjoy a flexible payment plan option. Options range from 6 months to 24 months, with an APR of 10-30%. Typical monthly payments for a 24-month plan are roughly $80.
Smile Direct offers financing with a 100% approval rating, but you’ll need to make a down payment first. Once you make a down payment of $250, you’ll have a monthly payment of $89 for 24 months. That means your total price will be $2,386.
Byte, Smile Direct, and SnapCorrect all get high marks for the free extras they often include with your treatment: post-treatment retainers and free whitening (AlignerCo doesn’t do as well for freebies).
For the companies with free extras, though, the post-treatment retainers are an especially big deal. After investing so much time and money in your teeth, you’ll want to protect the end results. Your post-treatment retainers will do just that. Normally, these cost $99; having the first set included saves you a fair bit of money.
Similarly, many of these companies offer complimentary whitening treatment to maximize the “wow factor” of your new smile. But if you run out, you’ll need to replace it. Let’s talk how much the free extras from each company are worth.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for freebies, you won’t get them with AlignerCo. That’s because AlignerCo does their best to keep costs low. As a result, they don’t offer any free whitening treatments. Thankfully, if you want whitening, you’ll have some pocket change left to buy some (if you do, just be sure to choose one that’s safe for aligners).
Like byte, SnapCorrect also includes one set of retainers in their overall cost, but whitening is where they really shine. You’ll get free whitening treatment for life once you’re a customer—no cost to replenish. Part of the reason SnapCorrect can offer this is that they grew out of an established cosmetic whitening company.
Byte includes whitening treatment and one set of post-treatment retainers in your initial price. Byte’s whitening treatment triples as a breath freshener, aligner cleaner, and teeth whitener. You can use it throughout your whole treatment, too. You can buy a replacement bottle for $30, or if you want to buy six at once, you’ll pay $20 per bottle.
Smile Direct doesn’t include free retainers in your treatment kit, but they do offer complimentary whitening. Once you run out, you can replace your supply starting at $40 a kit. The more you buy, the cheaper each bottle is, too.
The #1 cheapest aligner company is…
AlignerCo—no contest. They may not offer any free extras, but the difference in their price tag makes up for it, and then some. Even better: you can often get a referral code for an additional $100 off your aligners. We love their buyer-friendly financing options, too; you’ll be able to get treatment no matter what your credit score is.
That said, Smile Direct, Byte, and SnapCorrect are all affordable options, too. If you find yourself drawn to one of these other companies, then you’ll still get a good value and great treatment.