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Best Contact Lenses For Dry Eyes – Take Control of Your Comfort!

By January 19, 2016Contacts Advice

As the demand for digital device usage steadily increases in our daily lives, dry eyes are becoming an ever-increasing problem. Staring at monitors and screens causes our eyes to blink far less frequently, which causes our eyes to dry out faster than they should. Now add 12+ hours of contact lens wear in the mix, and you can be left with some serious discomfort.

Luckily, contact lens manufacturers are aware of this problem and have all been working hard to develop great contact lenses that are even comfortable for people with dry eyes. In this article, I will discuss my top monthly, bi-weekly, and daily pick for the best contact lenses for dry eyes.

Contacts Advice Medical Disclaimer

Monthly Contact Lenses

1. ULTRA by Bausch + LombULTRA contact lenses

When it comes to comfort in a monthly lens, there is simply no contest. ULTRA is the first monthly lens to hit the market since 2008. Prior to ULTRA, people wearing monthly contact lenses were wearing lenses that were over a decade old.

The ULTRA lens was designed specifically to solve the problem of dryness with contact lenses. It is revolutionary in design, in that is combines all the elements that make a contact lens breathable, with all the elements that make a contact lens comfortable. A decade ago, these two things came at each other’s expense. Lenses were either very breathable, but felt stiff and uncomfortable, or very comfortable, but not so breathable. Bausch + Lomb knew that for ULTRA to succeed they had to combine both. That’s why they spent years on research and development until they perfected it, and the resulting contact lens is truly phenomenal.

==> Click here to Read My Full Review of the Bausch + Lomb ULTRA Lens <==

2. Acuvue Vita by Johnson & Johnson Acuvue Vita Contact Lenses

Acuvue Vita is Johnson & Johnson’s response to Bausch + Lomb’s ULTRA. Johnson & Johnson has long dominated in the realm of comfort, but they have never put out a monthly contact lens until Acuvue Vita.

Acuvue Vita utilizes brand new technology that they call HydraMax. Compared to it’s predecessor, Acuvue Oasys with HydraClear, HydraMax helps the contact lens material stay hydrated and comfortable for a full month without gradually getting dryer and scratchier as other brands do.

Also, Acuvue Vita is non-coated. That means that the properties that make this contact lens comfortable are found in the material of the contact lens itself. It does not depend on an exterior coating to keep it comfortable, which is good because those coatings tend to wear out by the end of the month.

==> Click Here To Read My Full Review of Acuvue Vita by Johnson & Johnson  <==

Daily Contact Lenses

3. Dailies TOTAL1 by AlconDailies TOTAL1

In the world of daily lenses, Dailies TOTAL1 by Alcon dominates the comfort profile. It is the newest daily lens introduced by the contact lens giant Alcon, and it came much to the relief of many dry eye sufferers.

The main difference between Dailies TOTAL1 and other daily lenses is the water content of these lenses. Water content is a property of contact lenses that characterizes what percentage of the contact lenses is water vs plastic polymer. If a contact lens has a very high water content, on one hand, it will be very comfortable, but on the other hand, it will be very flaccid and floppy and it won’t hold its shape well. If a contact lens has a very low water content, the lens will hold its shape well, but it will be stiff and uncomfortable.

Most daily lenses have a water content that is a compromise between comfort and stiffness. But Dailies TOTAL1 has the best of both worlds by being the only contact lens with a water content gradient. Alcon developed this lens to have almost 100% water content on the inner and outer surfaces so that you can barely feel it, while the center of the lenses has a water content that drops to 33% so the lenses can still keep its shape.

The way Dailies TOTAL1 contacts are designed is truly clever, unique and innovative, and for that, it has risen to the top of its class when it comes to comfort with contact lenses.

==> Click Here To Read My Full Review of the DAILIES TOTOAL1 <==

4. Acuvue Oasys 1-Day by Johnson & JohnsonAcuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe

Although this lens shares its name with the bi-weekly lens Acuvue Oasys, the Acuvue Oasys 1-Day has very little in common with its bi-weekly namesake. The material is different, the replacement schedule is different, the lens treatments are different, the patented technology used to create it is different, etc.

Johnson & Johnson developed Acuvue Oasys 1-Day principally to deliver a contact lens with the smoothest surface possible. This allows wearers of Acuvue Oasys 1 Day to wear their contacts comfortably all day, regardless of whether you’re always in front of a computer, or constantly on the go. The advances in comfort and breathability in this lens are due to the patented HydraLuxe technology, which is currently unique to Acuvue Oasys 1-Day.

==> Click Here to Read My Full Review of Acuvue Oasys 1 Day With HydraLuxe <==

Bi-Weekly Contact Lenses

5. Acuvue Oasys by Johnson & JohnsonAcuvue Oasys with Hydraclear Plus

I have included Acuvue Oasys in this list not only because it happens to be one of the only bi-weekly lenses on the market, but because to this day it remains a very comfortable lens despite having been around for over a decade.

The main reason for Acuvue Oasys’ success over the years has been the combination of the material used (senofilcon A) and the Hydraclear Plus technology that coats it. Most contact lenses are treated with some sort of surface coating that’s designed to keep the lenses moist and prevent them from drying out over the course of the day. Hydraclear Plus does this exceptionally well. The fact that they are replaced every 2 weeks instead of 1 month also helps keep them feeling fresh and comfortable, though not as much as a daily lens would.

If you are dead set on staying in a bi-weekly lens, Acuvue Oasys would be your best option, but if you’re open to trying a monthly or daily lens, consider the 4 options above.

Where To Find The Lowest Contact Lens Prices

Once you’ve got a valid prescription from your eye doctor for the brand that’s the best fit for you, it’s time to start shopping around to get the best price for your contact lenses.

Julie Founder of Contacts Advice

Hi I’m Julie – founder of Contacts Advice, and I’m here to save you money!

Here at Contacts Advice, I’ve made the process as simple as possible.

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Since I launched Contacts Advice in 2015, my mission has been to save contact lens wearers as much money as possible. That’s why I find the lowest prices for every brand of contact lenses so that you never overpay for your contact lenses again.

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P.S. I am happy to answer questions about optics, contact lenses, brands, and prices in the comments below, but I do not offer any medically-related advice. I recommend speaking to a licensed health care professional for all medical concerns.


Author Julie

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Join the discussion 24 Comments

  • Sam says:

    Good contact lense article. I’ve never worn contacts, so I have to take this all at face value. I noted though, that the difference in contacts, was their ability to hold water in the right places. I gather, that an overly dry lense causes discomfort and irritation, and a very wet lense is flippy floppy. You claim to hit the happy medium with leses that hold water in all the right places. if I ever need contacts, I’ll check you out again.

    • Julie says:

      Yes, the right balance is very important. Contact lens manufacturers have been trying to develop the perfect formula for years. I wouldn’t say that there is a perfect contact lens out there, but Bausch + Lomb ULTRA and Alcon Dailies TOTAL1 are the closest thing to it at the moment. And with time, there will surely be even better lenses developed. And when that happens, I’ll write about here 🙂

  • Pete Williams says:

    Hi Julie
    I’m a contact lens wearer, in fact I’m currently using the Acuvue Oasis as I have done for years now. I get mine from the local Opticians and can say they are comfortable enough for me without drying my eyes out.

    I work in a hotel and I sometimes work long 12 hour shifts in sometimes a hot environment, such as the kitchen & and restaurant during service which is lit by candles. This can make the air dry so I need a suitable pair of lenses.

    The Acuvue Oasis are my main contact lenses and I’m happy with them.

    I’ve also have on trail the Dailies TOTAL1 by Alcon. Because I want to switch over to disposables soon. After trying them out, they really are comfortable and the water content keeps my eyes hydrated without having to add any drops in there.

    My Optician says they are like the ‘formula one’ of contact lenses and offer long lasting comfort for the wearer. He demonstrated to me leaving the lens out of solution for a few minutes and how well the lens kept it’s moisture and shape.

    I’ve also wore cheap budget disposable lenses on holidays, and in comparison they are flimsy, tear easily and pinch the eye and make me sore.

    The Dailies TOTAL1 by Alcon are the best I’ve ever worn and I like the idea of replacing fresh lenses into my eyes to prevent protein build up or infection from Bi Weekly or monthly lenses ( if not cared for properly)

    I haven’t ever used the ULTRA by Bausch + Lomb so I cant give an opinion here, but the Acuvue Oasis are my main lenses and I give the thumbs up. And the Dailies TOTAL1 are perfect for me in dry conditions and fit the eye nice and comfortable for many hours.

    All the very best Julie


    • Julie says:

      Hi Pete! Thanks for sharing your experience with Acuvue Oasys and Dailies TOTAL1. It’s always nice to hear from people that these lenses live up to their reputations.

      If you ever have a chance to try the Bausch + Lomb ULTRA lens in the future, let me know what you think of it!

  • Dominic says:

    Hi Julie, I like your choices for the best contact lenses for dry eyes. I have a friend/colleague who always uses contact lenses but I’m concerned with his choice of contacts. When I asked what brand of contacts he uses, he said, it doesn’t really matter as long as it is cheap and affordable. I mean, that worries me as he buys contact lenses according to his budget. He should be getting a good quality one for the good of his eyes, right? I’m pretty sure his choice of contact lenses is not from Bausch+Lomb, Alcon, or Johnson & Johnson. I got to convey this post to him and let him read this. Thanks a lot Julie!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks for that story Dominic. Unfortunately there are a lot of people just like your friend out there. The internet has given us a lot of freedom as far as shopping for contacts goes, but the flip side of that is that often times people will get stuff that’s not necessarily good for them to save a little. When it comes to contact lenses, although the brands in this article might be a little more expensive, there’s no question that it’s worth it to keep the eyes in good health.

  • Maurice says:

    Loving the honest review you are giving here and it looks like you’ve got some experience in contact lenses. I’m not currently wearing any of the brands you mentioned, but I think I’ll give the Bausch + Lomb ones a try for my next purchase, as I do get a little bit of dryness with my current contacts.

    • Julie says:

      Hi Maurice, I work in an optometry practice with a large contact lens clinic. Over the years I have tried every brand, some for actual persona use, and other just to experience how they perform. I also follow patients who wear all sorts of different brands. And I can honestly say that there’s never been anything like ULTRA by Bausch + Lomb before.

  • Derek Marshall says:

    Hi there,

    Finally I find a Site related to contact lenses. Please, I would love to be able to wear contact lenses but I just cant get them in.

    Is there any special technique or tool that can be used?

    I find it terribly difficult to put them in my eyes. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Julie says:

      Hi Derek! Well if you have never worn contact lenses before, I do recommend that you start with a contact lens fitting with a trained professional. They will not only teach you the proper techniques for inserting and removing contact lenses, but also review all the do’s and don’ts of contact lenses which will ensure you don’t run into problems with them.

  • Steve says:

    Great review on some of the brands of contact lenses to wear. Although I have always wanted to try wearing contact lenses, I have been urged not to. I believe that the some of these brands contact lenses are widely used and the retention of water in the lenses is one of the key factor to prevent discomfort and irritation to the eyes. It seems that contact lenses cannot be worn too often. Nevertheless, I might try it one day to get a feel of what it is like.

  • Riaz Shah says:

    Wow Julie,

    This is great, just what I wanted! My eyes are always dry and irritating, I can’t walk anywhere in an air conditioned room for 10 minutes without putting eye drop every now and then.

    I’ve been thinking of using contact lens to help protect my eye since they’re always so sensitive. Would that actually work?

    • Julie says:

      Hi Riaz, contact lenses are often the treatment for sensitive eyes due to scratches on the eyes, and those types of things. If you’re eyes are sensitive just due to general dryness, check out this articles: http://contactsadvice.com/how-to-improve-dry-eyes-with-contacts. The advice there applies contact lens wearers and non-contact lens wearers.

      If you have tried everything, i.e., eye drops, hot compresses, etc., it may be worth a try to see if contact lenses would actually help protect your eyes from dryness. But I would advise only using the best contact lens possible for this purpose I.e., Bausch + Lomb ULTRA or Dailies TOTAL1.

  • Carrie says:

    Hi Julie, I just stopped by to check out what’s new with contacts because I cannot decide on them or glasses since my vision went from worse to really poor! I love the site and it was helpful to learn about the stuff you need to buy and all that stuff. At 52 I doubt this ole gal won’t be trading in her glasses any time soon! Thanks for the Helpful Info!

    • Julie says:

      Carrie! If you’re wearing contacts at 52 you’re doing amazing! A lot of people drop out in their 40’s due to dryness or problems with their near vision. Hopefully with the new lenses they have nowadays, people can remain in contacts for longer than ever before.

      All the best to you 🙂

  • Xander says:

    I really appreciate your post on the best contact lenses for dry eyes. I have been using the Optix range for over ten years now and was wondering if there wasn’t a better option out there. How would you rank Air Optix Aqua to these that you listed and would you recommend me to rather change manufacturer?

    • Julie says:

      Hi Xander! The Air Optix Aqua is a rather old lens. I would put it middle of the road as far as quality. The Dailies TOTAL1 I discussed in this article are actually made from the same manufacturer as the Air Optix line (Alcon). If you wanted to upgrade to something within the same manufacturer, the Dailies TOTAL1 would be ideal for you.

  • Chris says:

    My father gets contacts that is obstructing oxygen from the eye and he’s getting real bad problems through it – I was wondering if these sorts of contacts you’ve mentioned above could really help him? He’s at the point where he will try anything to get rid of the irritation!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Chris, yes I would recommend the Dailies TOTAL1 for your dad. It is extremely breathable, and it’s a daily lens, that’s the healthiest combination for someone who has had problems from contact lenses in the past.

  • Carey says:

    Hi Julie, love your article on dry eyes. I can’t get a full day out of my contacts due to dry eyes and blurry vision. Frustrating… I have really bad allergies and sinuses. So wearing glasses isn’t always an option. I also wanted to say I had a severe allergic reaction to Bausch and Lomb contacts. My optometrist had never heard of it. Leave it to happen to me…:/ Thank you again for the info!!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Carey, I’ve heard of allergic reactions to contact lens solutions before, those aren’t too uncommon actually, but never to the lenses themselves. That is fascinating! Do you know specifically what brand it was by Bausch + Lomb?
      Thanks for sharing that story 🙂

  • Cindy says:

    Hi, I have tried Acuvue Vita, Dailies Total One and Bausch and Lomb Ultra. Overall, which of the three contacts are the most economical? Which one is considered the most comfortable? Thanks so much!

    • Julie says:

      Hi Cindy!

      Great question.

      In terms of affordability, Dailies TOTAL1 is definitely going to be more expensive because that is a high end daily disposable brand. Right now it is $72.24 / 90-pack at ACLens.com

      Acuvue Vita and ULTRA cost about the same if you look at the lowest price for each. Right now, Acuvue Vita is $43.99 / box at DiscountContactLenses.com and ULTRA is $41.99 / box at ACLens.com.

      Which brand is most comfortable is highly variable depending on the person. The only way to really know that is try each of them on and compare them.

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