The 10 Best Contact Lens Solutions of 2021

Start seeing clearly

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products, and articles are reviewed by healthcare professionals for medical accuracy. You can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Taking proper care of your contact lenses is important for keeping your eyes healthy and infection-free. There are several products you can use to care for your contact lenses—one of the most common being contact lens solution. Contact lens solution is traditionally used to store contact lenses when they’re not being worn, but some contact lens solutions can also clean and disinfect contact lenses.  

There are three primary types of contact lens solutions: multipurpose solution, hydrogen peroxide-based solution, and rigid gas permeable solution. Multipurpose solution is an all-in-one solution that rinses, disinfects, and stores contact lenses, and it’s commonly used to store soft contact lenses. Hydrogen peroxide-based solution cleans, disinfects, and stores contact lenses, and it’s traditionally prescribed when someone has an allergy to multipurpose solutions. Hydrogen peroxide-based solutions need to be stored in a special case that transforms the liquid into saline solution, so that it doesn’t burn or sting the eyes. Rigid gas permeable solution is specifically designed for hard contact lenses and tend to only store them—not to clean or disinfect them.

The right contact lens solution for you may depend on what kind of contact lenses you wear. Be sure to work with your optometrist to create a lens care system that responds to your unique needs.

Here are the best contact lens solutions on the market.

Our Top Picks
Promises to kill 99.9% of germs in just four hours.
You can expect lenses that are clean, disinfected, and buildup-free.
Keeps contact lenses comfortable while also minimizing irritation.
Comes equipped with HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix, a system that envelops contact lenses in a cushion of moisture.
It may be a suitable choice for those who find multipurpose solutions irritating.
Promises to cut down on redness, as well as dryness and irritation.
Suitable for soft contact lenses (including silicone hydrogel lenses) and rigid gas permeable contact lenses, alike.
Can be applied throughout the day to soothe the eyes, providing moisture, relief, and comfort.
Best Preservative-Free:
Purilens Saline Solution at Amazon
Doesn’t contain many of the irritating compounds that may be found in other multipurpose or hydrogen peroxide-based solutions.
Particularly effective at combating Acanthamoeba, an amoeba found in dirt and water that can cause severe eye infections.

Best Overall: Renu Bausch + Lomb Lens Solution

ReNu Bausch + Lomb Lens Solution
Pros
  • Allows for oxygen flow

  • Conditions and disinfects

Cons
  • May not be suitable for sensitive eyes

  • More expensive option

ReNu’s Bausch + Lomb Lens Solution is a multipurpose contact lens solution that's suitable for soft contact lenses—including silicone hydrogel lenses, which are special soft lenses that allow for greater oxygen flow. In addition to storing contact lenses, ReNu’s Bausch + Lomb Lens Solution promises to clean, condition, rinse, and disinfect. It cleans lenses by dissolving denatured proteins (proteins that are no longer useful) that have built up on the lenses.

Many contact lens solutions disinfect lenses, but ReNu’s Bausch + Lomb Lens Solution disinfects more quickly than most. The solution’s triple disinfectant system kills 99.9% of germs in just four hours. ReNu’s Bausch + Lomb Lens Solution hydrates lenses for all-day comfort, providing up to 20 hours of moisture at a time.

Active Ingredients: Boric acid and polyaminopropyl biguanide (0.00005%) | Use: To condition, store, and disinfect contact lenses

Best Budget: COMPLETE Multi-Purpose Solution

 COMPLETE Multi-Purpose Solution Easy Rub Formula
Pros
  • Gentle on eyes

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Doesn’t mimic natural tears with ingredients

  • Must rub for 10 seconds

Complete’s Multi-Purpose Solution is, like its name implies, a multipurpose contact lens solution suitable for soft contact lenses—but for half the price of many comparable products. It provides a balance of disinfection and comfort, keeping lenses clean while remaining gentle on the eyes.

Like many multipurpose contact solutions, Complete’s Multi-Purpose Solution dissolves denatured proteins and other debris on the lenses. After just six hours in Complete’s Multi-Purpose Solution, you can expect your lenses to be clean and ready to wear.

Active Ingredients: Polyhexamethylene Biguanide (0.0001%) | Use: To store, disinfect, and clean contact lenses

Best for Comfort: Biotrue Bausch + Lomb Multi-Purpose Solution

BioTrue
Pros
  • Matches pH of healthy tears

  • Hydrates with hyaluronan (HA), which is naturally found in the eye

Cons
  • Only for soft lenses

  • Screw top lid

Biotrue’s Contact Lens Solution is a multipurpose solution suitable for soft contact lenses, including silicone hydrogel contact lenses. In addition to storing contact lenses, the solution conditions, cleans, rinses, and disinfects.

Biotrue’s Contact Lens Solution is designed to match the pH of healthy tears. This keeps the lenses comfortable while also minimizing irritation. Biotrue’s Contact Lens Solution also hydrates lenses using hyaluronan (HA), a lubricant found naturally in the eye. This system can keep your contacts moisturized for up to 20 hours at a time, for comfortable, all-day wear.

Active Ingredients: Hyaluronan, sulfobetaine, poloxamine, and boric acid | Use: Conditions, cleans, rinses, and disinfects contact lenses for all day wear

Best for Dry Eyes: Opti-Free Puremoist Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution

Pros
  • Two disinfectants in one to kill more bacteria

  • HydraGlyde envelops contacts in moisture

Cons
  • May not be suitable for sensitive eyes

  • More expensive option

Opti-Free’s Puremoist Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution is a multipurpose contact lens solution that draws on two different disinfectants to rid contact lenses of microorganisms that could potentially cause infection. The contact solution also comes equipped with HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix, a system that envelops contact lenses in a cushion of moisture. This leaves lenses feeling comfortable while also creating a protective barrier that helps keep debris from getting in.

Active Ingredients: Sodium citrate, sodium chloride, and boric acid | Use: To clean, store, and disinfect contact lenses

Best for Sensitive Eyes: Clear Care Cleaning & Disinfecting Solution

 Clear Care Cleaning & Disinfecting Solution with Lens Case
Pros
  • Hydrogen peroxide provides a deep clean

  • Combats protein and debri buildup

Cons
  • Cannot use as a quick rinse

  • Will irritate eyes if solution touches it directly before soaking over time

Clear Care’s Cleaning & Disinfecting Solution is a hydrogen peroxide-based solution that can be used with both soft contact lenses and rigid gas permeable contact lenses. The bubbling hydrogen peroxide gives a deep clean, loosening dirt and combating protein and debris buildup.

Because Clear Care’s Cleaning & Disinfecting Solution is hydrogen peroxide-based, it may be a suitable choice for those who find multipurpose solutions irritating. The solution is also preservative-free, to further cut down on irritation.

That said, it’s important to use hydrogen peroxide-based solutions exactly as instructed to avoid burning, stinging, or otherwise irritating the eyes. Clear Care’s Cleaning & Disinfecting Solution comes with a contact lens case that, over time, converts the hydrogen peroxide to a gentle saline solution. This solution mimics natural tears, and its HydraGlade system cushions lenses with long-lasting moisture. These elements keep lenses feeling comfortable enough for all-day wear.

Active Ingredients: Hydrogen peroxide | Use: Cleans and disinfects both soft contacts and gas permeable lenses

Best for Red Eyes: Equate Saline Solution for Sensitive Eyes

Saline Solution
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Good for sensitive eyes

Cons
  • Non-name brand item, which means contents may vary

  • Does not disinfect

Equate’s Saline Solution for Sensitive Eyes is a saline-based solution that is suitable for soft contact lenses. Unlike multipurpose solutions and hydrogen peroxide-based solutions, saline-based solutions cannot clean or disinfect lenses. Instead, Equate’s Saline Solution for Sensitive Eyes is simply designed to store and rinse lenses, keeping them fresh, moist, and ready to be used.

Equate’s Saline Solution for Sensitive Eyes was specifically designed with sensitive eyes in mind. The sterile solution promises to cut down on redness, dryness, and irritation.

Active Ingredients: Boric acid, sodium borate, and potassium chloride | Use: To rinse and store contact lenses

Best for Scleral Lenses: Clear Conscience Multi-Purpose Contact Solution

Multi-Purpose Solution
Pros
  • Suitable for soft and gas permeable lenses

  • Combats protein and lipid buildup

Cons
  • Must rub lenses

  • Not available at all drugstores

Scleral contact lenses are rigid gas permeable contact lenses commonly prescribed to patients who have corneal irregularities. Most multipurpose contact solutions are designed for soft contact lenses, not rigid gas permeable contact lenses. But Clear Conscience’s Multi-Purpose Contact Solution is a multipurpose solution that is suitable for both soft contact lenses (including silicone hydrogel lenses) and rigid gas permeable contact lenses. 

Clear Conscience’s Multi-Purpose Contact Solution cleans, conditions, rinses, and disinfects contact lenses while storing them. Like many multipurpose contact solutions, it also promises to combat protein and lipid buildup. Clear Conscience’s Multi-Purpose Contact Solution is proudly cruelty-free. It's also free of the potentially irritating disinfectant chlorhexidine and preservative thimerosal.

Active Ingredients: Poloxamer, sodium phosphate buffer, and sodium chloride 

Use: To clean, condition, rinse, and disinfect lenses

Best Rewetting Drops: Refresh Contact Lens Comfort Drops

Pros
  • Long lasting hydration

  • Soft and gas permeable use

Cons
  • Cannot store lenses in solution

  • Small amount of product included

Refresh’s Contacts Comfort Drops are not technically contact solution, but instead are eye drops to keep your contacts feeling fresh and moist throughout the day. Refresh’s Contacts Comfort Drops can be paired with both soft contact lenses and rigid gas permeable lenses.

Refresh’s Contacts Comfort Drops can be applied throughout the day to soothe the eyes, providing moisture, relief, and comfort. Each drop creates a “liquid cushion” that offers long-lasting hydration.

Active Ingredients: Carboxymethylcellulose sodium, sodium chloride, and boric acid | Use: To refresh contact lenses throughout the day

Best Preservative-Free: Purilens Plus Preservative-Free Saline Solution

Pros
  • Preservative-free

  • pH balanced

  • Minimally irritating

Cons
  • Will not disinfect lenses

  • Will not clean lenses

PuriLens’ Plus Preservative-Free Saline Solution is a saline-based solution, suitable for both soft contact lenses and rigid gas permeable contact lenses. The preservative-free solution is pH balanced to mimic the eye’s natural tears, making it a comfortable and minimally irritating option.

Because PuriLens’ Plus Preservative-Free Saline Solution is preservative-free, it doesn’t contain many of the potentially irritating compounds that may be found in other multipurpose or hydrogen peroxide-based solutions. This makes it an excellent option for those with dry or sensitive eyes. But because it is a saline-based solution, it will not clean or disinfect contact lenses—it will only store them.

Active Ingredients: Sodium chloride, sodium borate, and boric acid | Use: To store contact lenses

Best for Travel: ACUVUE RevitaLens Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution

Pros
  • Combats Acanthamoeba, an amoeba that can create serious eye infections

  • Good for travel-related activities

Cons
  • Screw-on cap

Acuvue’s RevitaLens Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution is a multipurpose solution with a dual-disinfecting technology that kills bacteria while maintaining the comfort needed for all-day wear.

Research has shown that Acuvue’s RevitaLens Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution is particularly effective at combating Acanthamoeba, an amoeba that can cause severe eye infections. Acanthamoeba is commonly found in dirt and water, so travel-related activities, like swimming and using a hot tub, are associated with an increased risk of infection. Acuvue’s RevitaLens Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution may be an apt choice for those who are traveling—especially because the solution is available in a TSA-friendly container.

Active Ingredients: Alexidine dihydrochloride 0.00016%, polyquaternium-1 0.0003%, and boric acid | Use: To clean, store, and disinfect

Final Verdict

ReNu’s Bausch + Lomb Lens Solution (view on Amazon) is an excellent choice for those looking for a comfortable, moisturizing multipurpose solution that disinfects quickly and efficiently. If you have particularly sensitive eyes, opt for Biotrue’s Contact Lens Solution (view at Amazon). It balances comfort and cleanliness while keeping your lenses moist and hydrated.

What to Look for in a Contact Lens Solution

Active Ingredients

Contact solutions work by killing bacteria through included preservatives. “Preservatives in contact lens solutions  either kill (bactericidal) or stop growth (bacteriostatic) of bacteria. They enhance the lens surface wettability, disinfect the lens, maintain lens hydrated in the eye and serve as a mechanical buffer between the eye and the lens and the cornea,” says Elisa Bano, M.D., optometrist at ReFocus Eye Health. Most common preservatives/ingredients are, according to Dr. Bano:

  • Ethylenediamine tetraacetate (EDTA): chelating agent (reduces heavy metals) and not a true preservative 
  • Benzalkonium chloride (BAK): works as it kills a wide spectrum of bacteria and fungi , combined with EDTA can be used in lower concentration
  • Chlorhexidine-Bactericidal: When binded with EDTA, it has increased efficacy for gas permeable lenses , but not as effective against fungi/ yeast
  • Thimerosal-Bactericidal: This is a slow acting ingredient that’s ineffective against pseudomonas. Patient sensitivity has been reported with this ingredient.
  • Polyaminopropyl biguanide (PAPB): low sensitivity, used for soft contact lenses
  • Polyquad: low sensitivity
  • Benzyl Alcohol: a preservative that helps kill bacteria

Compatibility

Different contact lenses are compatible with different contact lens solutions. You may want to talk to your eye doctor to ensure your contact lens solution (and overall contact lens care system) meets your individual needs.

Contact Lens Storage Time

Different contact lens solutions can store contact lenses for different amounts of time. “I generally recommend that if a patient is only wearing lenses occasionally and thus storing for longer periods of time, to completely change the solution in the case no less than every month,” says Jeff Kegarise, M.D., a board-certified optometrist and co-author of One Patient at a Time: The K2 Way Playbook for Healthcare & Business Success. “My first recommendation would actually be to change to daily disposable lenses, which are a much better option for part time wearers.  It’s also very important to clean your case with soap and water, drying thoroughly and then rinsing the inner case with your contact lens solution.”

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long can you keep contact lens solution after opening?

    Some contacts are made to wear daily, weekly, or even monthly. You should change out the solution each time you put in and take out your lenses. If you don’t wear them for a few days, you may store them in the same solution for the amount of time your lenses are built to last for (daily, weekly, or monthly). Always talk to your eye doctor if you have additional concerns. The maximum amount of time you should ever store lenses is 30 days.

  • When should you change contact lens solution?

    You should change the contact solution each time you wear the contacts. You should never reuse solutions. Follow the instructions carefully on the back of your solution box.

  • Can you use contact lens solutions like eye drops?

    You should not use contact lens solution as eye drops because the saline and chemical compound cleaners will harm your eye over time. The primary function of a solution is to break down bacteria and other grit and dirt that builds up on your lens. Use eye rewetting drops if you want to put something directly into your eye for comfort either before or after inserting contact lenses.

What the Experts Say

“If you are not achieving that level of comfort and wearability, and have dryness or irritation that limits the wearing time you would like, talk to your doctor about potential underlying causes,”—Jeff Kegarise, M.D., a board-certified optometrist and co-author of One Patient at a Time: The K2 Way Playbook for Healthcare & Business Success.

Why Trust Verywell Health?

As a seasoned health writer, Lindsey Lanquist understands how vital quality product recommendations can be. She is careful to recommend products that are reliable, comfortable, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them.

Additional reporting to this story by Brittany Leitner 

As a health writer with over 8 years of experience, Brittany Leitner understands how important access to information is when it comes to making educated health decisions. She has interviewed dozens of medical experts, tested out hundreds of products, and aims to provide quality recommendations that won't break the bank.

Was this page helpful?
12 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. “Contact Lens Care Systems & Solutions.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9 Apr. 2020, www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/care-systems.html.

  2. “Update on Scleral Lenses.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 27 May 2020, www.aao.org/eyenet/article/update-on-scleral-lenses.

  3. Kilvington S, Huang L, Kao E, Powell CH. Development of a new contact lens multipurpose solution: Comparative analysis of microbiological, biological and clinical performance [Desarrollo de una nueva solución multiusos para lentes de contacto: análisis comparativo de su rendimiento microbiológico, biológico y clínico]. J Optom. 2010;3(3):134-142. doi:10.1016/S1888-4296(10)70019-4

  4. “Acanthamoeba Keratitis FAQs.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 Nov. 2010, www.cdc.gov/parasites/acanthamoeba/gen_info/acanthamoeba_keratitis.html.

  5. Finnegan S, Percival SL. EDTA: An Antimicrobial and Antibiofilm Agent for Use in Wound CareAdv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2015;4(7):415-421. doi:10.1089/wound.2014.0577

  6. Basaran P. Inhibition effect of belzalkonium chloride treatment on growth of common food contaminating fungal speciesJ Food Sci Technol. 2011;48(4):515-519. doi:10.1007/s13197-011-0268-5

  7. Lin L, Kim J, Chen H, Kowalski R, Nizet V. Component Analysis of Multipurpose Contact Lens Solutions To Enhance Activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureusAntimicrob Agents Chemother. 2016;60(7):4259-4263. Published 2016 Jun 20. doi:10.1128/AAC.00644-16

  8. Decicco BT, Lee EC, Sorrentino JV. Factors Affecting Survival of Pseudomonas cepacia in Decongestant Nasal Sprays Containing Thimerosal as PreservativeJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 1982;71(11):1231-1234.

  9. Mondino BJ, Salamon SM, Zaidman GW. Allergic and Toxic Reactions in Soft Contact Lens WearersSurvey of Ophthalmology. 1982;26(6):337-344.

  10. Rembe J-D, Fromm-Dornieden C, Schäfer N, Böhm JK, Stuermer EK. Comparing Two Polymeric Biguanides: Chemical Distinction, Antiseptic Efficacy and Cytotoxicity of Polyaminopropyl biguanide and Polyhexamethylene biguanideJournal of Medical Microbiology. 2016;65(8):867-876.

  11. Coroi MC, Bungau S, Tit M. PRESERVATIVES FROM THE EYE DROPS AND THE OCULAR SURFACERom J Ophthalmol. 2015;59(1):2-5.

  12. Contacts Direct. Can you put contact solution in your eyes with contacts? Updated July 6, 2020.