Daily vs. Monthly Contacts: What Are the Differences?

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How often you replace your contacts — daily or monthly — affects the cost and effort that go into their upkeep. As such, it’s important to work with your eye care professional (ECP) to decide whether daily or monthly contacts meet your needs best.

This article will discuss the pros and cons of daily and monthly contacts. After reading this guide and consulting with your ECP, you’ll be better equipped to decide which replacement schedule works best for you.

What are daily and monthly contacts?

contact-lenses-new-blister-packs Daily disposable contact lenses, also known as dailies, are single-use contact lenses that you throw away after a day’s use. They are designed so that you wear a fresh pair of contacts every day. Daily disposable contacts are not the same as daily-wear contacts, which can be reused.

On the other hand, monthly contact lenses are contact lenses that can be worn daily for up to 30 days. After 30 days, you’re supposed to throw them away and use a fresh pair of contacts. Some monthly contact lenses can be worn overnight or continuously for several days.

What are the pros and cons of daily disposable contact lenses?

daily-disposable-contacts-packs-closeup The pros of daily disposable contact lenses are as follows:

  • Convenient – Daily disposable contacts are incredibly convenient because you just throw them away at the end of the day. This makes them ideal for travel.
  • Comfortable – The materials used in manufacturing daily disposable contacts are thinner than those used in manufacturing reusable contacts because dailies aren’t designed for reuse and storage. Daily disposable contacts are generally more comfortable to wear than reusable ones, especially if you have sensitive eyes.
  • Little to no deposit buildupProteins, lipids, and other deposits may accumulate on reusable contacts over time, resulting in irritation. This isn’t a problem with daily disposable contacts because they’re simply thrown away after a day’s use.
  • Low maintenance – Daily disposable contacts require very little care or maintenance because they’re made to be used once and then thrown away.

The only major downside of daily disposable contacts is their cost. Dailies generally cost more per year than 1-2 week or monthly disposable contacts because each pair can only be worn once. Since dailies require little to no maintenance, you may be able to save money on lens care products. However, you should still have some lens care products for rewetting purposes.

What are the best daily disposable contacts?

At Lens.com, we offer a variety of daily disposable contacts. For your reference, we put together a list of the best-selling daily disposable contacts (on Lens.com, at least).

Rank The Best-Selling Daily Disposable Contact Lenses of 2022
1. DAILIES TOTAL1®
2. 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST
3. DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus®
4. Biotrue® ONEday
5. Proclear® 1 day
6. 1-DAY ACUVUE® TruEye®
7. SofLens® daily disposable
8. ACUVUE® OASYS 1-DAY with HydraLuxe® TECHNOLOGY
9. Focus® DAILIES®
10. 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST for ASTIGMATISM

Who should wear daily disposable contacts?

Your ECP will likely prescribe daily disposable contacts if you’re new to contact lenses. ECPs generally prescribe daily disposable contacts to first-time contact lens wearers because dailies are comfortable. Dailies are also generally thin, meaning you’re less likely to feel like there’s something on your eye.

That being said, contact lens veterans can wear daily disposable contacts, too. In particular, people who don’t have the time or patience for a rigorous lens care routine, like shift workers and athletes, will likely benefit from wearing daily disposable contacts.

What are the pros and cons of monthly contact lenses?

brand-new-monthly-disposable-contact-lens-package Monthly contact lenses have many benefits, including:

  • Reusable – Monthly contacts can be worn daily for up to 30 days before they need to be thrown away. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about buying new contacts all the time.
  • Overnight or extended wear – Some monthly contacts are FDA-approved for overnight or extended wear. Such contacts are ideal for people who tend to forget to remove their contacts before bed.
  • Cheaper cost – Monthly contacts cost less upfront, even after considering lens care products.
  • Reduced environmental impact – If you use monthly contacts, you only need 12 pairs of contacts every year. For the eco-conscious contact lens wearer, this translates into less waste.

Unfortunately, monthly contact lenses have a few downsides, including:

  • Irritation – Even with daily cleaning, monthly contacts can accumulate deposits. Deposits, such as proteins, lipids, and mucins, can make a once comfortable contact lens very uncomfortable and irritating.
  • High risk of eye problems – Wearing reusable contacts continuously without removing them, even contacts that are approved for sleeping, can pose risks to your eyes because the contacts deprive your eyes of oxygen. Risks include eye infections, corneal ulcers, and even permanent vision loss.
  • Strict lens care routine – Because monthly contacts are reusable, you need to follow a strict lens care routine. This can be tedious, especially if you have an active lifestyle or a busy schedule.

What are the best monthly contact lenses?

Lens.com carries several popular brands of monthly contact lenses. For your reference, we put together a list of the best-selling monthly contacts (on Lens.com, at least).

Rank The Best-Selling Monthly Contact Lenses of 2022
1. Biofinity® toric
2. AIR OPTIX® AQUA
3. Biofinity®
4. AIR OPTIX® plus HydraGlyde®
5. ACUVUE® VITA™
6. Proclear® compatibles
7. Bausch + Lomb ULTRA®
8. Biofinity Energys®
9. PureVision®2
10. AIR OPTIX® NIGHT & DAY® AQUA

Who should wear monthly contact lenses?

Monthly contact lenses are ideal for contact lens wearers who have no trouble sticking to a lens care routine. Monthly contacts may also benefit those with sensitive eyes since monthly contacts hold more moisture and stay moist for longer periods than daily disposable contacts. Since they can be reused for up to 30 days, monthly contacts are also ideal for eco-conscious contact lens wearers.

Can you sleep in daily and monthly contacts?

You can’t and shouldn’t sleep in daily disposable contacts. They are meant to be removed and thrown away after a day’s use.

Some monthly contacts are FDA-approved for overnight or extended wear, but you still have to be careful when wearing them to bed or continuously for several days. Contacts can deprive your eyes of oxygen and dramatically increase your risk of infections and other eye problems. Experts advise giving your eyes a break from contacts, even those approved for sleeping, every now and then.

Can I switch from daily to monthly contacts, or vice versa?

Yes, if you already wear contacts, then you should have no problem adjusting to daily or monthly contacts. If you’re interested in switching from daily to monthly contacts, or vice versa, book an appointment with your ECP.

Conclusion: which contact lens is better?

Both daily and monthly contacts have their pros and cons, and no two contact lens wearers are alike. Therefore, only your ECP can determine which contact lens is the best for you. If you’re interested in trying daily or monthly contacts, schedule a visit with your ECP to discuss options.

This information is intended as a resource, not medical advice. Be sure to consult with your ECP to determine your specific needs.