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There are a few leading contact lens brands on the market, but there’s no one-size-fits-all contact lens solution for every person.

When choosing the right solution for you, consider advice from an eye care professional, what kind of contacts you use, and your personal experience with certain ingredients. We compiled this list to help get you started on selecting the best contact solution for your individual needs.

The ingredients in your contact lens solution determine what the solution is actually able to do. Some of these ingredients can trigger allergies or other side effects, so it’s always good to take a closer look at the label before purchasing.

Some common ingredients in contact lens solutions include:

  • polyquaternium, a preservative that breaks up pathogens and proteins
  • boric acid, which has antibiotic properties and is added to clean and soothe irritated eyes
  • propylene glycol, which forms a layer over the mucous membrane to relieve eye inflammation
  • hydrogen peroxide, a disinfectant
  • polyaminopropyl biguanide, a preservative that disinfects and cleans the surface of contact lenses
  • saline, a mixture of sodium chloride and water that stabilizes the other ingredients and keeps contacts hygienic

  • Clinical trials. We read clinical trials that compared the efficacy and ingredients of different types of contact lens solution.
  • Pricing. Contact lens solution doesn’t vary in price by a lot, but we still worked to make sure that this list included some lower- and higher-priced options.
  • Convenience. The contact lens solution that you choose won’t do much good if you can’t get it easily or quickly. We tried to highlight options that you can get from your local pharmacy or grocery store. We also featured solutions for both rigid gas permeable (RGP) and soft lenses.

Pricing guide

Contact lens solution typically costs between $6 and $20 for a 12-ounce bottle. The products mentioned in this article vary in size and are priced as follows:

  • $ = under $11
  • $$ = $11-$15
  • $$$ = over $15

Best multipurpose

Opti-Free PureMoist Multipurpose Disinfecting Solution

  • Price: $$
  • Disinfects: yes
  • Good for: soft contact lenses

This brand, which comes highly recommended by optical care specialists, is affordable, loved by thousands of reviewers, and available almost anywhere contact lens solution is sold. A free contact lens case is often included with purchase.

This solution is meant for cleaning and storing silicon contact lenses, including weeklies and monthly disposables.

You need to soak your contacts for 6 hours, minimum, for them to be completely lubricated and ready to wear. Keep in mind that while multipurpose lens solution does work well for many people, some contact lens wearers experience incompatibility, such as eye redness and irritation, with certain formulas.

Pros

  • easy to find at local retailers
  • safe to soak your contacts overnight

Cons

  • contains polyquaternium, a preservative that some lens-wearers may be allergic to
  • cannot fully clean your lenses until 6 hours have elapsed

Best for dry or sensitive eyes

Bausch + Lomb Sensitive Eyes Saline Solution

  • Price: $
  • Disinfects: no
  • Good for: soft and RGP contact lenses

Formerly known as ReNu, this contact lens solution is saline mixed with potassium along with boric acid. It’s formulated for lens wearers who need to rinse their lenses with a fluid that’s extra gentle.

This solution isn’t meant to disinfect your lenses, so you can’t rely on it alone for that purpose. However, if your eyes tend to sting or burn when you first put your lenses in, a quick rinse with Sensitive Eyes Saline Solution may rid your lenses of irritants, according to over a hundred customer reviews.

Also note that this product doesn’t come with a contact lens case, perhaps because it isn’t meant for overnight disinfecting.

Pros

  • can be used on soft contacts and RGP contact lenses
  • gentle formula appropriate for those with dry eye symptoms or allergies

Cons

  • can’t be used to disinfect or clean your contacts

Best with hydrogen peroxide

Clear Care Plus with HydraGlyde

  • Price: $
  • Disinfects: yes
  • Good for: soft and RGP contact lenses

This solution is preservative-free, which means it might be a good option if you’ve had allergies to other disinfectant ingredients in contact lens solutions. If you’ve had a bad experience with multipurpose solutions, this option by Clear Care Plus may give you the disinfecting power you need without the inflammation and discomfort.

A clinical trial from 2009 showed that contact lens solutions containing hydrogen peroxide were the only ones out of 11 studied to protect against cyst-causing pathogens.

It’s important to exercise caution when using this kind of solution and to follow the instructions included carefully. Hydrogen peroxide solutions come with a neutralizing disk, which converts the hydrogen peroxide to saline so that it doesn’t burn or injure your eyes.

Never put hydrogen peroxide directly into your eye.

Pros

  • powerful disinfectant for people who have allergies or sensitivity to preservatives
  • may be more effective than other products at killing pathogens that can cause eyelid cysts

Cons

  • not safe to use to hydrate your eyes
  • slightly more expensive than other, non-hydrogen peroxide products

Best preservative-free

PuriLens Mini Preservative-Free

  • Price: $
  • Disinfects: no
  • Good for: soft and RGP contact lenses

This solution doesn’t have any disinfecting- or protein-dissolving properties — it’s basically stabilized saline. For people who are wary of preservatives and other chemical ingredients in their contact lens solution, this may be a good option.

Note that it’s a bit pricier than most multipurpose solutions.

This PuriLens contact solution can be used with both RGP and soft contact lenses. It typically comes in multipacks of 4-ounce bottles. This shopping link features PuriLens 2-ounce bottles, which are small enough to throw into your carry-on while traveling.

Pros

  • comes in a travel-friendly size
  • gentle enough to put directly on your eye if you feel discomfort, inflammation, or dry eye

Cons

  • doesn’t have the ability to disinfect your contact lenses
  • tiny plastic bottles aren’t eco-friendly

Blink-N-Clean Dry Contacts Lens Drops

  • Price: $
  • Disinfects: no
  • Good for: soft and RGP contact lenses

The Blink brand is an affordable alternative to some more expensive competitors and it’s made by Acuvue/Johnson & Johnson. The Blink-N-Clean lens drops are made to gently clean debris from your lenses and eyes when you already have your lenses inserted.

Sodium chloride can help treat redness and irritation when your eyes feel dry, while Tyloxopol acts as an active ingredient for keeping your eyes clear of irritants.

Some reviewers rave that these are the perfect solution for when lenses start to feel smeared or blurry in the middle of the day.

Pros

  • reviewers say this product can clean contact lenses, even when they have them in their eyes
  • safe for both RGP and soft lens contacts

Cons

  • might not be the most moisturizing
  • sodium chloride and Tyloxopol may irritate some eyes

Best for cleaning your contacts overnight

Bausch + Lomb Biotrue Multi-Purpose Solution

  • Price: $$
  • Disinfects: yes
  • Good for: soft contact lenses

If you have dry eye, this contact solution can infuse your lenses with extra hydration while you let them soak overnight. This formula is also able to cleanse and soothe dry eyes during the daytime. Plus, it conditions and removes proteins.

Biotrue Multi-Purpose works with hyraluronan. This ingredient is found in your natural tears, hence the formula’s name, “Biotrue.”

If you wear your contacts for an extended length of time every day or if you spend a lot of time looking at the computer screen, this solution might make your eyes more comfortable.

Pros

  • formula designed to deliver hydration
  • uses ingredients found in natural tears

Cons

  • some users may be extra sensitive to this formula

Best for rewetting daily contacts

Opti-Free PureMoist Rewetting Drops

  • Price: $
  • Disinfects: no
  • Good for: soft contact lenses

When you wear daily contacts, you don’t need to worry about storing your contacts in a disinfectant solution since you’ll dispose of them every day. But that doesn’t mean your eyes (and lenses) don’t need a bit of a hydrating boost every once in a while. This product eases irritation and dryness in a pinch.

Reviewers say these rewetting drops hydrate eyes when lenses feel “sticky,” and also that the product has a “gel-like” consistency so they don’t feel like you’re simply dropping liquid into your eyes.

The drops also contain sodium chloride to help clear off pathogens and irritants and rinse your eyes — even when you have lenses on.

You should be aware that these rewetting drops aren’t for soaking your contact lenses overnight. They are simply for hydrating your eyes and are approved for use with contact lenses.

Pros

  • gel-like consistency helps eyes feel lubricated and reduces red-eye symptoms
  • affordable price point and accessible

Cons

  • not meant for storing or disinfecting your lenses overnight
  • sodium chloride could make eyes feel dry

Best care system for RGP contacts

Bausch + Lomb Boston Advance Complete System

  • Price: $$$
  • Disinfects: yes
  • Good for: RGP contact lenses

For people who wear RGP lenses, this contact lens solution system may tick all the boxes. It removes proteins and enzymes from the surface of your lenses, disinfects by killing bacteria, and wets your contacts for the next wear.

This system comes with a special case for storing your contacts, a cleaning solution, and a conditioning solution meant to extend the life of your contacts. Reviewers say it works the way it should and that it saves them from dry eye symptoms.

You’re going to pay a little more for a bottle of this product, but it does have several uses. Plus, if you wear RGP lenses, it may make sense to pay to protect your investment as long as possible.

Pros

  • may extend the life of your RGP contact lenses
  • comes with rewetting drops that also condition your lenses

Cons

  • there are cheaper options for cleaning RGP lenses
  • only approved for RGP lenses, so it won’t work to effectively clean soft lenses

If you use any type of disposable, hard, or hybrid contact lens, chances are that contact lens solution has been a mainstay of your bathroom counter for some time now.

Contact lens solution is what enables your contacts to last longer than a single use. By cleaning off proteins and pathogens that collect on the surface of your lenses, the solution cleans or disinfects them for the next wear.

Even if you wear daily disposable contacts, you likely use contact lens solution to rehydrate your lenses when they’re dry or to remove any dust or dirt.

When you’re shopping for contact lens solution, talk with an eye care professional. They can advise you on which solution will work best with your contact lenses. If you’re concerned about the price or certain ingredients, be sure to mention that, too.

You’ll also want to consider how often you’re buying lens solution and where you’re buying from. You can save some money if you buy in bulk, or you can opt for a subscription that delivers the solution to your door on a monthly or bimonthly basis.

Finally, read the ingredients label of any solution you’re thinking about purchasing. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the past, consider a different solution.

Keep in mind that no matter how great your contact solution is, it’s still important to use your contacts properly. No solution can prevent issues due to overwear or improper care, like sleeping in your contacts.

What solution is best for daily contacts?

Daily soft gel contacts don’t need to be cleaned, because you will dispose of them after use.

If you’d like to rinse them off because they’re dry or were exposed to an irritant, you can use any contact solution labeled for multipurpose use. You can also use saline solution.

How long can contacts stay in the solution?

Your contacts will typically arrive in a saline solution. Unopened, they can stay in that solution until they reach their expiration date. But that doesn’t mean that contact lenses can stay in other types of sterilized fluid indefinitely.

Contacts should not be left in multipurpose, disinfecting, or hydrogen peroxide solution for more than a day or two. After a few days, the ability to disinfect has been compromised and the lens structure may have started to dissolve, too.

Can dried-out contacts be saved?

Dried-out contacts can sometimes be rehydrated with fresh saline solution. You’ll need a clean contact lens case as well.

But if a contact lens is completely dry to the point that it’s brittle, you shouldn’t try to clean it or rehydrate it. Putting a contact in your eye that’s torn can damage and irritate the surface of your eye.

Where should I store my contacts and contact solution?

You should store your contacts in a clean contact lens case full of fresh multipurpose fluid, saline solution, or disinfecting fluid. Never store them in tap water. Keep your contacts and cleaning supplies in a cool, dry place.

Never touch your contacts or contacts case without washing your hands first with soap and water.

Can contact solution be used as eye drops?

Some contact solutions can be used as eye drops, but not all of them.

For example, solution containing hydrogen peroxide should never be put directly in your eyes. Contact fluid labeled “multipurpose” is typically safe for use as rewetting drops or to rinse your eyes if they’re dry or irritated.

There isn’t a wide variety of contact lens solutions on the market. Most of them fall into the same basic categories, have common ingredients, and are priced similarly.

When you’re looking for a contact lens solution, speak with an eye care professional about what product will work best with your contacts.

If you have an allergic reaction to any ingredients, a hesitation about preservatives, or any other reason you might want to switch contact lens solution, you can always run it by an eye care professional.


Kathryn Watson is a freelance writer covering everything from sleep hygiene to moral philosophy. Her recent bylines include Healthline, Christianity Today, LitHub, and Curbed. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children, and her website is kathrynswatson.com.