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- Best for comfort: CooperVision Biofinity Multifocal
- Best for dry eye: Bausch and Lomb Ultra Contact Lenses for Presbyopia
- Best for UV protection: CooperVision clariti 1 Day Multifocal
- Best for moisture: Biotrue ONEday for Presbyopia
- Best for all types of lighting: 1-DAY ACUVUE MOIST Multifocal Contact Lenses
- Best for long-term, overnight use: Alcon Air Optix Plus HydraGlyde Multifocal
Whether you’ve had 20/20 vision all your life or have worn corrective lenses for many years, at some point you may need bifocals.
Bifocal contact lenses are a viable option for many people with vision concerns.
Read on to learn more about when you might want to get bifocal contacts — and when you might not — plus check out our picks for the best bifocal contact lenses.
You probably can! Many people enjoy the freedom that bifocal contact lenses give them and find they can wear them successfully.
If you’ve never worn contacts before, there is a learning curve to getting used to putting them in and wearing them.
You’ll also have a learning curve because they’re multifocal, which means there are three different focal points — one for seeing things at a distance, one for intermediate vision, and one for looking at things close up.
Bifocal contact lenses are a type of multifocal contacts. That means they have more than one prescription in a single contact lens. There are several different types available to suit a variety of needs.
- soft contact lenses: These are made from breathable plastic that lets oxygen flow easily to your cornea. Some soft lenses are made from silicone hydrogel.
- rigid gas-permeable contact lenses: These lenses are more durable than soft contact lenses. They’re resistant to deposit buildup and provide crisp, clear vision.
- extended-wear contact lenses: These can be worn for up to 30 days, and are available as soft lenses.
Bifocal (or multifocal) contacts are often used to correct age-related presbyopia. Presbyopia is a condition that happens to everyone, typically around age 40.
It refers to a decline in the ability to focus on things close up, such as reading materials or emails on your phone.
Bifocal contacts contain two prescriptions in a single lens.
They allow you to focus on objects that are near to your eyes as well as those that are far away. In this way, they correct nearsightedness and farsightedness simultaneously.
Bifocal contact lenses have different ways of integrating your prescriptions. The two most common types are:
- segmented bifocals: These have a separate section for each prescription, the way lined bifocal eyeglasses do. Usually, the prescription for near vision will be on the bottom, and the one for distance vision will be on top.
- concentric bifocals: These have a circular design, and the distance vision prescription tends to be in the middle, with the near vision prescription in a surrounding ring. They’re also available with the near prescription in the center and distance prescription on the edge.
The cost of your lenses will be determined largely by the type you have. Multifocal lenses are usually more expensive than standard contacts.
If you don’t have insurance, you may expect to pay anywhere from $700 up to $1,500 per year for lenses.
If you have comprehensive vision insurance and your provider covers prescription contacts, they may also cover multifocal contacts. In some instances, you may have a copay or deductible associated with the cost of your lenses.
The contact lenses on this list were chosen specifically because they’re made with comfort and vision clarity in mind, accomplished by the materials and designs used.
We looked for lenses that feel good in the eye, even on very long days. These either have a high water content or allow oxygen to pass through freely. Some are specifically designed to eliminate dry eye symptoms.
We also looked at features such as UV protection and surface protection from irritants and debris.
Each contact lens comes from a trusted manufacturer and can be purchased from a reputable seller.
Pricing guide per box
- $ = under $50
- $$ = over $50
Best for comfort
- Price: $
- Type: monthly
These monthly disposable lenses are made with CooperVision Aquaform Technology. The brand claims this material helps with hydration and provides your eyes with 100% of the oxygen they require. Reviewers largely agree that they find these lenses comfortable and clear.
Biofinity multifocal contact lenses also come with the ability to customize the correction zones to your prescription.
These lenses come with a money-back guarantee, plus free shipping and returns.
- reviewers note they provide clear vision
- users say they’re comfortable enough for all-day wear
- come with a money-back guarantee
- not available in daily lenses
- some users found these weren’t a good fit for their eyes
Best for dry eye
- Price: $
- Type: monthly
These monthly disposable contacts come with MoistureSeal® Technology. They’re 46% water, making them a good choice for people with dry eye. They’re made with samfilcon A, a substance that helps each lens hold onto moisture. According to the manufacturer, these lenses retain 95% of their moisture for 16 hours. Users mention that these lenses don’t produce stinging or burning, even after extended use.
These lenses are designed for presbyopia, which is the natural, age-related inability to focus on close objects. Since this would make it difficult to see something small, like a clear contact lens, these contacts feature a blue handling tint.
Online reviews mention that these lenses provide comfort even during all-day wear. They’re also designed to reduce halos and glare in low light, making them ideal for night driving.
- high water content makes them comfortable for all-day wear
- have a three-zone progressive design to address near, intermediate, and distance vision
- reduce halos and glare in low light
- since they are monthly contacts, you must clean and store these according to manufacturer’s directions
Best for UV protection
- Price: $$
- Type: daily
These daily disposable lenses are made from silicone hydrogel, (in this case, comfilcon A) which allows oxygen to freely pass through to your corneas, which may increase comfort.
They have a 56% water content, so they’re naturally hydrating. These lenses also provide UV protection.
This manufacturer partners with Plastic Bank to collect and remove ocean-bound plastics from coastal areas. For each package of clariti 1 lenses sold, an equal amount of plastic is collected from beaches and recycled.
- protect eyes from UV rays
- contain a high water content for comfort
- sales go toward protecting the environment
- international shipping may not be available for Canada and some other countries
Best for moisture
- Price: $$
- Type: daily
These lenses may be good for people with astigmatism. They also have a high water content, which helps make them a comfortable choice for people with dry eye. According to the manufacturer, these lenses keep your eyes 78% hydrated after 16 hours of use. That’s the same level that your natural eye would have.
They come with three zones: one for distance vision, one for near vision, and one for in between.
- have a high water content for hydration and comfort
- designed for use with digital devices
- some users say they stick to the eye and are hard to remove without eye drops
Best for all types of lighting
- Price: $
- Type: daily
These lenses are daily disposables.
They’re made from etafilcon A, a comfortable hydrogel lens material that’s designed to allow maximum levels of oxygen to reach your cornea.
They have an aspheric, center-near design. They provide UV protection as well.
Online reviews from some people with dry eye say that these lenses are very comfortable, even on long days. The hydration, oxygenation, and lens design support sharp vision in bright and dim light, across multiple distances.
- provide clear, sharp vision in dim and bright light
- lenses protect the eyes from UV rays
- users say they’re good for dry eye
- some users say these lenses slide around on the eye
Best for long-term, overnight use
- Price: $$
- Type: monthly
These monthly disposable soft contacts can be worn for up to 6 nights in a row, making them a logical choice for people on the go.
Each lens is designed to promote moisture levels on the surface of your eye, even during extended wear. Just keep in mind that sleeping in contacts is not recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
- can be worn for up to 6 nights in a row
- designed to keep your eyes from getting dry
- not available as daily contacts
Some people find a positive difference right away, while it takes others a couple of weeks of regular wear to adjust.
While there are several different kinds of multifocal contact lens designs, you may find you’re unable to adjust to any type. Some people also give up too quickly, before their eyes have time to get used to switching between prescriptions.
With that in mind, find out whether trial contact lenses are included in the cost of a contact lens fitting. This way you can try out several types before you buy.
Some contact lens brands, like CooperVision, have free trial offers.
What are the cons of bifocal contacts?
Some people find that multifocal contacts negatively affect their depth perception, making them difficult to wear.
Others complain about eye strain, headaches, or halos. This may be more likely to occur in people who do an extensive amount of close-up reading on a computer screen or those who drive long distances, especially at night.
If you have dry eye, you may not be comfortable wearing multifocal contacts. There are, however, multifocal contacts with high water content that many people with this condition say are comfortable.
Do bifocal contacts work?
Yes. Just like bifocal eyeglasses, multifocal contact lenses give you the ability to see close up and far away. Keep in mind that you may have a learning curve with any type of multifocal eyewear. Once you get the hang of it, you should be able to see clearly through your lenses, no matter what you’re focusing on.
How long does it take to get used to bifocal contacts?
If you’ve never worn multifocal lenses before, it may take up to 2 weeks, or even longer, before you’re comfortable wearing them. The trick is to wear them all day without reverting to your prior eyewear. If you stick with it, you should get used to them over time.
What are the disadvantages of bifocal lenses?
Some people complain about vision distortions and disrupted areas of vision when wearing bifocals. Until you get used to them, this may provide challenges with looking down, such as when you climb down a flight of stairs. Bifocals also don’t provide the same range of vision as progressives (multifocal lenses). Unlike bifocals which have two vision ranges (near and far), multifocals have three (near, intermediate, and far). This provides a smoother transition for some people.
Is there an alternative to bifocals?
If you prefer, you can use two separate sets of eyeglasses for seeing near and far rather than multifocal contact lenses. You can also talk with your eye care professional about multifocal lenses.
Bifocal contact lenses are prescribed to treat a variety of vision issues, including presbyopia and myopia.
There are bifocal contacts for daily and long-term use.
Many people find bifocal contacts very comfortable and effective for correcting vision problems.
Bifocal contacts require a prescription, which can be filled at a wide range of online consumer sites and eyewear stores.