Hybrid Contact Lenses and Your Eyes

A hybrid contact lens is a specialized contact lens that may be an option for you if you are uncomfortable wearing rigid gas-permeable contact lenses. Hybrid contact lenses are meant to provide the visual acuity of a rigid lens with the comfort of a soft contact lens. A hybrid contact lens is comprised of a center rigid gas permeable contact lens with an outer skirt made of soft lens material.

Person holding a contact lens

 cruphoto / iStock

Who Needs Hybrid Contact Lenses?

Because a rigid gas-permeable lens is hard, it might not be comfortable for some people. With a hybrid contact lens design, the crisp optics of a hard lens is provided with the center rigid lens. The soft skirt holds the rigid lens in place, without rubbing against the cornea, which is the clear covering of the eye.

Some people may benefit from a hybrid lens design. But hybrid contacts aren't for everyone.

The following can help you determine if you are a candidate for hybrid contact lenses:

  • Do you feel the need for crisper vision correction? Are you unhappy with your vision corrected by regular soft contact lenses?
  • Do you have high amounts of astigmatism?
  • If you have high amounts of astigmatism, do you want to wear a bifocal contact lens?
  • Do you have keratoconus?
  • Have you had corneal trauma or a corneal transplant and experience visual distortion?
  • Have you had refractive surgery and are unhappy with the outcome?

Some of the problems mentioned above are associated with irregularity of the cornea and visual distortion. Many times this problem is not correctable with eyeglasses, and healthcare providers will try fitting a regular rigid gas-permeable contact lens.

A hard lens produces better vision because it masks the corneal distortions, mimicking a new smooth optical surface to focus light.


With a soft contact lens, astigmatism or distortion is often not corrected because the soft lens drapes over the cornea. Some people have so much distortion that it is difficult for their eye healthcare provider to get the lens to center properly over the cornea and pupil. People with this problem who wear hybrid lenses often notice that their vision is much sharper than when it's corrected with a soft lens.

Occasionally, a hybrid lens will not work. This sometimes occurs when a person has lenticular astigmatism instead of corneal astigmatism.

Care and Cleaning

Most hybrid lenses are just as easy to care for as regular soft contact lenses. Sometimes, the same type of cleaning solutions may be used.

Because the center part is rigid, it can be broken if too much pressure is applied to it while rubbing or cleaning the lens. And the outer portion can tear if it is not handled gently.

A Word From Verywell

If you can wear a regular soft contact lens, then you can probably wear a hybrid lens. However, you may not get much of a benefit unless you have one of the vision problems that can be corrected with this type of lens. Your healthcare provider will conduct several tests to determine if a hybrid lens will work for you.

4 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. Ozcan SC, Ozcan DO. Effects of a new-generation hybrid contact lens on visual performance and vision-related quality of life in patients with keratoconus. ABO. 2022;86(1). doi: 10.5935/0004-2749.20230001

  2. Uçakhan ÖÖ, Yeşiltaş YS. Correction of irregular astigmatism with new-generation hybrid contact lenses. Eye & Contact Lens: Science & Clinical Practice. 2020;46(2):91-98. doi: 10.1097/icl.0000000000000618

  3. Kloeck D, Koppen C, Kreps EO. Clinical outcome of hybrid contact lenses in keratoconus. Eye & Contact Lens: Science & Clinical Practice. 2021;47(5):283-287. doi: doi: 10.1097/ICL.0000000000000738

  4. Chanbour W, Harb F, Jarade E. A modified customized rigid gas permeable contact lens to improve visualization during phacoemulsification in ectatic corneas. Med Hypothesis Discov Innov Ophthalmol. 2020;9(1):1-6. PMID: 31976337

Additional Reading
  • Holt JC, Dansie DF, Ogden, Utah. "A Hybrid For The Hard-to-Please: Hybrid multifocal daily-wear offers comfort and simultaneous vision." Optometric Management, Oct 2007.

By Troy Bedinghaus, OD
Troy L. Bedinghaus, OD, board-certified optometric physician, owns Lakewood Family Eye Care in Florida. He is an active member of the American Optometric Association.