The 10 Best Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes of 2022

The Bausch & Lomb's Contact Lenses allow more oxygen to your eyes

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Contact lenses are convenient, customizable, and adaptable to your lifestyle—but having dry eyes can turn wearing contacts into an extremely uncomfortable experience and make your routine particularly frustrating. If you’ve given up on your contact lenses because they weren’t compatible with your dry eyes, it’s possible you just didn’t have the right kind of lenses for your unique needs.

Reviewed & Approved

Made from silicone hydrogel, the Bausch & Lomb ULTRA Contact Lenses allows more oxygen to your eyes. The CooperVision Biofinity Energys are designed for all-day wear and perfect for anyone on the go.

“A lot has changed [and companies are] investing in new technologies to ensure better comfort and health in newer material and contact lenses," says Rawzi Baik, OD, an ophthalmologist at Clarkson Eyecare in Cincinnati. When looking for contact lenses for dry eyes, you should take a few things into consideration: comfort, high oxygen permeability, water content less than 50 percent, and moisture. Additionally, take replacement frequency into consideration, especially if price is factored into your decision. We researched dozens of contact lenses and evaluated them for lens type, material, water percentage, additional features, and price.

Here are the best contact lenses for dry eyes on the market today.

Best Overall: Bausch & Lomb ULTRA Contact Lenses

4.9
Bausch & Lomb ULTRA
Pros
  • Disposable and good for one month

  • Maintains moisture for up to 16 hours

  • Reduces screen-based eye strain

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Meant to last one month, which can cause irritation in dry eyes

What do buyers say? 150+ Walgreens reviewers rated this product 5 stars.

The ULTRA lenses by Bausch & Lomb check off two important boxes, which is why they're our pick for best overall. They’re made from silicone hydrogel, which not only keeps eyes moist but also allows more oxygen to pass through than other materials. These lenses have a high water content, so they're made to last all day (i.e., your eyes aren’t going to dry out no matter how long your work day is).

To top it off, ULTRA lenses also take our increasingly digitized world into consideration: according to Bausch & Lomb, when you stare at a screen, you tend to blink less frequently, which dries out your eyes. With ULTRA lenses, though, less blinking isn’t an issue; whether you spend all day on your laptop, phone, or tablet, your contacts will keep your eyes hydrated.

Lens Type: Soft disposable | Material: 54% samfilcon A | Water Percentage: 46%

Best Budget: CooperVision Biofinity Contact Lenses

Biofinity

 Courtesy of Walmart Contacts

Pros
  • Clearer, high-resolution vision

  • High oxygen permeation for breathability

  • Can be worn overnight

Cons
  • Meant to last one month, which can cause irritation in dry eyes

  • Prone to tearing

The Biofinity Contact Lenses by CooperVision are also made with silicone hydrogel and are high in moisture and breathability.

“Silicone hydrogel technology improves the gas permeability of a contact, and its low water content does not dehydrate like older materials,” says Steve Menzel, OD, at Clarkson Eyecare. “[It also] does not require the same amount of water as older materials, so it does not draw as much water from an already dry eye.”

These contacts stay wet on their own rather than pulling moisture from your eyes. Combined with their high oxygen permeability and affordable cost, we think you’ll come back to these comfortable and budget-friendly faves month after month.

Lens Type: Soft disposable | Material: 52% comfilcon A | Water Percentage: 48%

Best For Screen Users: CooperVision Biofinity Energys

Biofinity Energys
Pros
  • Designed for wearers who use screens all day

  • Approved for daily and extended wear

  • Moistures and soothes

Cons
  • Meant to last one month, which can cause irritation in dry eyes

  • Not as comfortable as some other lenses

If you feel like your eyes almost never get a break from screens between your work and home life, you might want to try the Biofinity Energys by CooperVision for maximum screen-staring comfort.

Featuring Digital Zone Optics, Biofinity Energys works to combat digital eye strain in three different ways: relieving eye tiredness, easing the transition from on-screen to off-screen (and vice versa), and reducing eye muscle stress. Additionally, Biofinity Energys are made with a just-right water percentage and silicone hydrogel, making them moisture-retaining and breathable for people prone to screen-related dryness.

Lens Type: Soft disposable | Material: 52% comfilcon A | Water Percentage: 48%

What Our Editors Say

"I've been wearing these contacts for about five years, and if I'm being honest, I wear them for an overly long period of time each day (apologies to my optometrist!). Despite my habits, and the embarrassing amount of time I spend glued to screens, my eyes still feel great at the end of the day, and I rarely, if ever, find myself reaching for eye drops." Ashleigh Morley, Editorial Director of Verywell Health Commerce

Best Daily: Alcon DAILIES TOTAL1 Contact Lenses

DAILIES TOTAL1

 Courtesy of 1800 Contacts

Pros
  • Made for daily use

  • Made to promote the natural tear film of your eye

  • Prescription-strength for nearsightedness or farsightedness

Cons
  • Can be expensive when not buying in bulk

  • Not meant to be worn overnight

  • Not available for wearers with astigmatism or presbyopia

Most eye care providers will tell you that wearing daily disposable lenses is one of the easiest ways to reduce dryness and irritation; getting a fresh, clean lens every day means you’re not dealing with any of yesterday’s accumulated debris or residue.

Alcon Dailies Total1 Lenses are a cost-effective option for anyone wanting to use daily disposable lenses, but we chose them as our favorite daily pick because they go above and beyond when it comes to comfort. Even you’ll change your lenses every day, Total1 lenses are designed to promote the health of your natural tear film, encouraging your eyes to stay moist on all their own. The only downside is the lack of lenses for people with special eye concerns, like astigmatism.

Lens Type: Soft disposable | Material: 67% delefilcon A | Water Percentage: 33%

Best Transitional: Acuvue OASYS with Transitions

ACUVUE
Pros
  • Light balancing for optimal vision

  • Reduces daytime glare

  • Two-week replacement schedule

Cons
  • Less water content than comparable brands

  • Expensive

  • UV protection still needed

If your eyes are sensitive to light changes—going from day to night or off-screen to on-screen—don’t just ignore the warning signs. Acuvue OASYS transitional lenses are made to accommodate all the shifts in light we face every day, whether that’s strain from screen-related blue light, daytime glare from the sun, or common disturbances that happen at night, like halos and blurriness.

These transitional lenses respond within 90 seconds to changes in light and dark and can block up to 15 percent of blue light when you’re on a screen or device. Just remember that you still need to wear sunglasses when you’re outside, since the UV protection these lenses offer only applies to the parts of your eyes covered by your lenses.

Lens Type: UV blocking lenses | Material: 62% senofilcon A | Water Percentage: 38%

Best Weekly: Clerio Vision Extreme H2O Soft Contact Lenses

Clerio Vision Extreme H2O Soft Contact Lenses

Walmart Contacts

Pros
  • 97% moisture retention

  • Affordable subscription pricing

  • Designed to help people with astigmatism

Cons
  • High moisture retention may cause discomfort

  • Not as comfortable as dailies

Disposable weekly contacts are another great option for people with dry eyes who want fresh contacts more than once a month but don’t want to shell out the extra cash for dailies. Clerio Vision’s Extreme H2O lenses have an impressive water content and premium breathability for a comfortable fit all week long.

The lenses can be worn for one or two weeks before you have to toss them out. Their 54% water content is perfect for wearers with dry eyes. The lens is also compatible for wearers with astigmatism, so no worries if you need a more specialized fit.

Lens Type: Soft disposable | Material: 46% hioxifilcon D | Water Percentage: 54%

Best Multifocal: Alcon Air Optix Aqua Multifocal

Alcon Air Optix Aqua Multifocal

Kits

Pros
  • Suitable for prescription-strength needs

  • Can be worn overnight

  • Designed to keep contacts free of dust and debris

Cons
  • Can cause vision trouble if worn for several days

  • Lower percentage of water content than other lenses

Did you know you could wear contacts even with a multifocal prescription? You can! The Alcon Air Optix Aqua Multifocal lenses make these focal transitions super easy, accommodating a range of vision needs while also working to combat dryness. Not to mention, the Air Optix Multifocal lenses can make the shift between prescription strengths seamless, so they're great whether you're nearsighted or farsighted.

With a water content of 33%, your lenses will not only stay wet, but they’ll help prevent irritating debris and buildup on your lenses.

Lens Type: Soft disposable | Material: 67% lotrafilcon B | Water Percentage: 33%

Best for Astigmatism: Acuvue OASYS for ASTIGMATISM

Acuvue Oasys

 Courtesy of 1800 Contacts

Pros
  • Oxygen-rich and breathable for all-day comfort

  • Lenses have additional stability so they don’t shift or turn when blinking

Cons
  • Lower water percentage content compared to some other lenses

People with astigmatism may have a harder time finding comfortable contact lenses since this condition (marked by an uneven curve to your eye’s cornea or lens) can cause problems with both your near and far vision. Thankfully, though, it’s not impossible.

“All major U.S. contact lens manufacturers produce disposable—daily disposable, bi-weekly, and monthly replacement—soft contact lenses that correct astigmatism for the overwhelming majority of ‘astigmats’,” says Dr. Berman.

We like the Acuvue OASYS lenses designed for astigmatism since they have a solid water content of 38%, Hydraclear Plus technology to promote a comfortable feel, and stabilizing technology to prevent your lenses from shifting too easily on your eye with normal eye movements (a common reason for discomfort with regular contacts for “astigmats”).

Lens Type: Soft disposable | Material: 62% polymer (senofilcon A) | Water Percentage: 38%

Best for Sensitive Eyes: Alcon DAILIES AquaComfort Plus

Alcon DAILIES AquaComfort Plus

CVS

Pros
  • Keeps eyes hydrated for hours

  • One of the highest water contents available

Cons
  • More expensive than weekly or monthly lenses

  • Lenses fold easily, making them hard to manipulate

People with eyes that are dry and sensitive (i.e., prone to redness, irritation, and itching) need to take special care when choosing contact lenses. Alcon’s AquaComfort Plus Dailies combine the best of many different worlds: sky-high water content of 69%, blink-activated moisturization, and the opportunity to change your lenses each day for a fresh start. 

If you’re constantly rubbing at dry eyes or counting down the minutes until you can take your contacts out, the daily disposable nature of these contacts, combined with their extreme moisturization, might be the answer to all your sensitive eye problems.

Lens Type: Soft disposable | Material: 31% nelfilcon A | Water Percentage: 69%

Best Colored Contacts: Alcon AIR OPTIX COLORS 2-Pack

Air Optix Colors

 Courtesy of 1800 Contacts

Pros
  • Offered in 12 vibrant colors

  • Can last one full month without needing to be replaced

  • Available with prescription vision correction or without

Cons
  • May cause irritation after extended use

Whether it’s for fun or function, sometimes you need a reliable colored contact that not only improves your vision but doesn’t irritate your eyes in the process.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of colored contact lenses focusing on dry eyes, but you’re not totally out of luck. The Alcon Air Optix line features a colored lens option that includes a 33% water content and silicone hydrogel for breathability. While you still might not be able to rock those lavender or emerald green eyes all day, every day, the Air Optix Colors are probably your most comfortable—and colorful—bet.

Lens Type: Disposable color | Material: 67% polymer (lotrafilcon B) | Water Percentage: 33%

Final Verdict

We picked the Bausch & Lomb ULTRA Contact Lenses because of their longer lifespan and 46% water content. It’s a quality contact for dry eyes at a good price. But if you’re looking for a shorter-term contact lens with 97% moisture retention and one of the highest percentages of water content, consider the weekly Clerio Vision Extreme H2O Soft Contact Lenses.

How We Selected

When selecting the best contacts for dry eyes, we spoke with optometrists and spent hours combing the web for the best and most effective products. After taking all of our options into consideration, we determined which to feature based on a few key criteria as recommended by dermatologists: fit, water content, material, and price.

Once we narrowed down our options, we compared each contact's benefits to its price tag. While some choices on our list may be more expensive than others, we wanted to give a wide range of options for buyers that would fit all needs and budgets. Based on all of these factors, we compiled this list of the best contacts for dry eyes.

What to Look for in Contacts for Dry Eyes

Oxygen Permeability

Contact lenses cover the cornea of your eye, which can contribute to discomfort if your eyes tend to be drier than average. Contacts that have a high oxygen diffusion, though, let more oxygen reach the cornea.

“The most important factor to look at is the permeability of the contact lens, [or the Dk/t measurement],” says Yuna Rapoport, MD, director of Manhattan Eye in New York City. “This takes into account the material of the contact lens as well as the thickness of the lens [and] directly reflects the oxygen permeability of the contact itself.” 

According to Dr. Rapoport, the higher the Dk/T, the more permeable the lens—and the more oxygen that gets through to the cornea. This is a good thing for people with dry eyes because more oxygen means a healthier cornea, more comfort, and less likelihood of complications.

Fit

Eye care providers take careful measurements during eye exams, including the base curve and diameter of your cornea, and include these measurements in your prescription.

Patients with dry eyes, however, may need more trial and error—under the supervision of a professional—to find the exact right fit. “An improperly fitting contact lens, even if it is the correct prescription, will make your eyes feel uncomfortable,” warns Dr. Rapoport. It can also cause harm, infection, scarring, and vision loss.

Brad Brocwell, MD, ophthalmologist and vice president of clinical operations for Now Optics, agrees: “Fitting contact lenses can be complicated—if you are suffering from the symptoms of dry eye, don’t be afraid to discuss it with your eye care professional. They will help determine which contact lens is best for you.” 

Water Content

Contact lenses are made partially of water, but the amount of water is different between lens styles. High water content lenses (made of more than 50% water) are thicker, while low water content lenses (made with less than 50% water) are thinner.

While you might assume more water equals more hydration—and that high water content contacts are better for dry eyes—it's actually the other way around.

“The higher water content lenses may worsen the sensation of dryness because they can draw water away from the eye,” explains Dr. Brocwell. “Generally, lower water content lenses are more comfortable for patients suffering from dry eyes.”

Dry eye sufferers should look for contacts made with about 40% or less water to prevent this moisture-wicking effect. 

Frequent Replacement

One of the biggest culprits of dryness when it comes to contacts is environmental buildup; the more gunk, essentially, on your lenses (whether it’s pollen, bacteria, or proteins and lipids from your own tears), the more irritation they’ll cause your already-sensitive eyes, according to Dr. Baik.

One way around this, says Dr. Baik, is to use shorter replacement lenses—in particular, dailies. 

“Daily disposable lenses benefit patients by reducing the buildup of deposits,” he says. “This approach may also aid patients with allergies and blepharitis.” 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you use eye drops while wearing contacts for dry eyes?

    Eyedrops can be used with contact lenses but make sure that the eye drops are designed to be used with contacts. There are also advantages to using eye drops for treating dry eye as they can repair the tear film layer around your eye. 

    “The tear film lubricating the cornea is made up of three layers: a lipid layer, a mucin layer, and a water layer,” explains Dr. Shedlo. “Disruption to any of these three layers will result in the tear film breaking up and complaints of dry eyes. This is why lubricating eye drops are the first course of treatment most doctors recommend for dry eyes.”

    If you’re unsure if a brand of eyedrops works with your contact lenses, read the manufacturer label (yes, even the fine print!) or talk to an eye doctor. Most products will be very clear about their recommended usage and any potential warnings that you should be aware of when using their product.

  • Are daily disposable contacts better for dry eyes?

    Daily disposable contacts are especially helpful if you have trouble regularly cleaning and disinfecting your reusable contact lenses, but the added cost of wearing new lenses each day can add up quickly.

    “The biggest issue with conventional reusable contact lenses is the build-up of deposits on the lenses,” says Eubanks. “To take care of these deposits, conventional soft contact lenses must be cleaned and disinfected daily. This cleaning process requires high compliance, and a high percentage of patients fail to perform this process correctly.”

    Switching out your contacts daily removes the need to clean them after each use, meaning your eyes are at a lower risk of infection or discomfort that can lead to dry eyes.

  • How often should you change your contacts if you have dry eyes?

    It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s replacement schedule and not wear your contact lenses for longer than recommended. However, if you are finding your contacts cause eye irritation or making your dry eye symptoms worse, it’s worth considering swapping them out for new lenses more often.

    “If you have dry eyes and can wear contacts comfortably, there is no reason to change them more frequently than is recommended by the manufacturer,” says Dr. Shedlo. “If the contacts are not very comfortable, you may want to consider reducing the wearing time and remove your lenses.”

    Many of the contact lenses on this list are not recommended for overnight use either, so make sure that you are removing them regularly and not wearing them longer than recommended.

Why Trust Verywell Health

As an experienced health writer, Steven Rowe knows how to truly evaluate a project and tell the difference between marketing claims and real facts so that you can find the best products that work and make your day better. He has experience covering health tech and researching the best treatment options and resources available for the people who need it.

Additional reporting for this story by Sarah Bradley

Sarah Bradley has been writing health content since 2017—everything from product roundups and illness FAQs to nutrition explainers and the dish on diet trends. She knows how important it is to receive trustworthy and expert-approved advice about over-the-counter products that manage everyday health conditions, from GI issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.

3 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.
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  2. Coastal. How to read your glasses and contacts prescription.

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