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Astigmatism is a common condition that affects how your cornea directs light to your retina. It’s a refractive error that occurs due to an abnormal or uneven curvature of your cornea.

The irregular curve limits your eye’s ability to properly focus light on the retina. This causes blurry or distorted vision, making it difficult to identify shapes and details at any distance. It can also cause eye strain, fatigue, and headaches.

Often, astigmatism is present at birth, but it can develop at any age. It may be due to genetics or an eye injury, disease, or surgery. Minor cases may not require treatment, but moderate to severe cases require correction with contact lenses, glasses, or surgery.

Read on to learn more about the types of contact lenses for astigmatism, the best products, and what to expect from your eye exam.

There are two types of astigmatism

  • Regular or corneal astigmatism. This is the most common type, which involves the cornea, or crystalline lens, curving in more than one direction. It’s shaped like an oval instead of a sphere. If you have regular astigmatism, you can correct it with contact lenses, glasses, or surgery.
  • Irregular astigmatism. This type occurs when the cornea unevenly curves in several directions in varying degrees. To correct irregular astigmatism, rigid gas-permeable (RGP) contacts are the best option.

Contacts are an affordable and convenient option if you have moderate astigmatism. Contacts may improve vision clarity, reduce distortions, and offer a wide visual field. They don’t obstruct your vision or interfere with physical activities in the way that eyeglass frames may.

You’ll need toric contact lenses that are specifically designed to correct astigmatism. Toric contacts may be thicker, larger, and more stable than non-toric contacts. They have two powers since they also correct nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Instead of a standard spherical surface, toric lenses have a shape similar to the side of a beach ball to create different focusing powers on the vertical and horizontal planes. They must fit your eye properly to retain their specific orientation.

To improve visual clarity and prevent rotation, some toric lenses have a weighted bottom and are thicker and heavier in certain areas. These features prevent rotation and help the lenses maintain their position when you blink or move your head.

Research from 2015 suggests that using toric lenses to correct low to moderate astigmatism may have a positive effect on driving performance.

There are three main types of toric contact lenses:

Soft contact lenses

Soft contact lenses are good for mild to moderate astigmatism. Their softness and flexibility offer comfort, plus they’re easy to use and usually don’t fall out. However, it may be more difficult to get the correct fit, and they don’t provide as much clear vision as other types. They may become misaligned, which could require adjustments.

RGP contact lenses

Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses allow for oxygen flow and breathability. At first, they may be less comfortable than soft contacts since they retain their shape on your eye. Over time, you’ll adapt to RGP lenses and they’ll feel more comfortable.

RGP lenses are better able to correct astigmatism and make your vision clearer. They also retain their shape when you blink, which provides sharp vision. RGP contacts stay put better than other options, but they can still dislodge during physical activity. Another drawback is that debris can collect under RGP lenses and causes irritation.

Hybrid contact lenses

Hybrid contacts have a rigid gas-permeable center with softer edges made of a soft hydrogel or silicone hydrogel material. These lenses offer comfort while still providing the clear vision that RGP lenses offer. Due to their large size and thin edges, they’re less likely to fall out during physical activity.

To help you select contacts for astigmatism, we’ve created a list that you can use as a starting point to get a feel for the different types of contacts and to narrow your search.

We chose the following contacts based on:

  • FDA approval. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) examines the marketing application from contact lens brands to decide whether they can release their product into the market. We used their list of contact lenses allowed to be sold in the United States.
  • Brand reputation. We selected brands offering quality contact lenses from reliable manufacturers. The brands on our list provide outstanding customer service, free or affordable shipping, and satisfaction guarantees.
  • Product quality. We’ve listed products that use quality materials and designs for comfort and visual clarity.

Keep in mind that all contact lenses require a doctor’s prescription, which takes into account the best lens for the shape of your eye.

You’ll want to have an eye examination and consultation with a doctor even if you plan to order from an online contact lens retailer to get your most up-to-date prescription. The eye exam itself will help determine the health of your eyes.

With regular eye checkups, your doctor can also check the fit of your contact lenses.

Pricing guide

We’ve listed the average price and number of lenses per package.

A few things affect how much you pay for contacts. It’s common for retailers to have sales and to offer 1-month or 3-month supply packages.

Manufacturers also have rebate or coupon programs that you can apply. Some retailers and doctors’ offices generally offer discounts for an annual supply of lenses. Make sure to check with your local doctor or eye retailer.

More tips on contact lens pricing

You may also want to check how much your doctor charges for contact lenses. They may charge the same as online retailers.

Terms to know

Before checking out our picks of contacts for astigmatism, here are some terms to know:

  • Dk/t: This measurement states how much oxygen the contact lens lets through to your eyes. The higher the number, the more breathability the contact lens has.
  • Silicone hydrogel: This material creates a more breathable, soft contact lens. Note that each of the contact lens materials listed below — senofilcon A, lotrafilcon B, comfilcon A, nesofilcon A, and samfilcon A — are types of silicone hydrogel.
  • Material percentage: In the product callouts below, we’ve added the percentage of material the lens contains. Specifically, this refers to the water content the material consists of.

Best contacts for dry eyes

Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism

  • Price: $60 for 6 lenses
  • Lens type: 1- to 2-week disposables
  • Breathability: 129 Dk/t
  • Material: 62% senofilcon A
  • Pros: lock in moisture, UV protection, and breathable
  • Cons: pricier option and may tear easily

Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism 1- to 2-week disposable soft contact lenses are made of silicone hydrogel, offering comfort and breathability. They use Hydraclear Plus technology to infuse a wetting agent into the lens, helping retain moisture and prevent dry eyes.

When you quickly move your eyes or blink, the lenses stay stable, providing sharp, clear vision. Plus, they have the highest ultraviolet (UV) protection level possible.

Most comfortable contacts for astigmatism

Air Optix plus Hydraglyde for Astigmatism

  • Price: $78 for 6 lenses
  • Lens type: monthly disposables
  • Breathability: 108 Dk/t
  • Material: 67% lotrafilcon B
  • Pros: comfortable all-day wear, long-lasting hydration, and prevents irritation
  • Cons: can cause blurry vision and may cause discomfort than the usual contact lens

The lens material of these monthly disposables helps retain surface moisture and protect the lens from irritating deposits. With your eye doctor’s permission, you can sleep in these lenses for up to 6 nights.

Best breathable contact lenses

CooperVision Biofinity Toric

  • Price: $72 for 6 lenses
  • Lens types: monthly disposables
  • Breathability: 116 Dk/t
  • Material: 48% comfilcon A
  • Pros: comfortable, maintain moisture, and prevent deposits
  • Cons: difficult to insert and may rip or smudge easily

The Biofinity Toric monthlies are breathable and water absorbent. Most users find the quality of this lens comfortable for extended wear and the lens clarity dependable for a solid 4 weeks.

Best contacts for visual clarity

Biotrue ONEday for Astigmatism

  • Price: $35 for 30 lenses or $80 for 90 lenses
  • Lens type: daily disposables
  • Breathability: 42 Dk/t
  • Material: 22% nesofilcon A
  • Pros: clear vision, lens stability, and UV protection
  • Cons: blurry for some and may tear easily

Biotrue ONEday for Astigmatism daily disposables provide visual clarity with high definition optics that reduce glare and the halo effect. The lens design helps maintain stability and minimize rotation. The lenses offer UV protection and maintain moisture for 16 hours.

Best contacts for screen use

Bausch + Lomb ULTRA Multifocal for Astigmatism

  • Price: $139 for 6 lenses
  • Lens type: monthly disposables
  • Breathability: 104 Dk/t
  • Material: 54% samfilcon A
  • Pros: retain moisture, clear vision at every distance, and all-day comfort
  • Cons: pricier option and may smudge and tear easily

These multifocal monthly lenses fit comfortably and seal in moisture for 16 hours, making them a good choice for people with digital eye strain and dryness. They correct astigmatism and offer visual acuity at all distances for people with presbyopia and for people who are farsighted.

Best contacts for sensitive eyes

1-Day Acuvue Moist for Astigmatism

  • Price: $99.99 for 90 lenses
  • Lens type: daily disposables
  • Breathability: 23.8 Dk/t
  • Material: 42% etafilcon A
  • Pros: UV protection, stable orientation, and retain moisture
  • Cons: pricier option and lenses may fold during insertion

The Acuvue Moist for Astigmatism daily disposables offer sharp vision and UV protection. Comfortable enough for all-day wear, the lenses help prevent irritation and retain moisture for lasting hydration.

Best contacts for athletes

DAILIES AquaComfort Plus Toric

  • Price: $32 for 30 lenses
  • Lens type: daily disposables
  • Breathability: 26 Dk/t
  • Material: 31% nelfilcon A
  • Pros: breathable, minimize rotation, and easy insertion and removal
  • Cons: may split and irritating for some

These daily disposable lenses use blink-activated technology to lock in moisture for all-day comfort. The lens design minimizes rotation and improves stability to deliver sharp vision, making them a good choice for athletes and people with an active lifestyle.

Best contacts for high astigmatism

Proclear Toric XR

  • Price: $172 for 6 lenses
  • Lens type: monthly disposables
  • Breathability: 30.9 Dk/t
  • Material: 38% omafilcon B
  • Pros: comfortable, hydrating, and extended power range
  • Cons: tear easily and may rip in the eye

Proclear Toric XR monthlies deliver crisp vision in an extended range of powers for people with high levels of astigmatism. The natural-feel lenses have a high water content to prevent dry eyes and irritation.

Want to comparison shop?

All the contacts for astigmatism that we’ve listed are also available from Warby Parker.

See what contact lens brands Warby Parker has to offer for astigmatism.

Your eye doctor can do a routine eye examination to determine how farsighted or nearsighted you are and the severity of your astigmatism. They’ll recommend the best contact lenses based on your needs. Some cases of astigmatism will require custom-made toric contact lenses.

At the end of your appointment, they will give you a contact lens prescription. They can recommend reliable products and retailers.

Consider factors such as what kind of contact care routine you’re most likely to follow. If you have eye dryness or light sensitivity, be sure to tell your doctor.

After a few weeks of use, follow up with your eye doctor to make sure that you have the best fit.

Why are contacts for astigmatism so expensive?

Contacts for astigmatism are so expensive because they have an irregular shape requiring a custom fit. Due to their complex design, it’s more costly to design and manufacture contacts for astigmatism.

Plus, the fitting process is more complicated and time-consuming, and you may need to try several pairs to find the right fit.

How do toric and astigmatism lenses work differently?

Soft toric lenses conform to the shape of your cornea. They are flexible, comfortable, and easy to use. However, finding the proper position may be challenging, and misalignments are common.

Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses maintain their shape over your eyes and stay in place fairly easily. Depending on your level of astigmatism, standard RGP lenses may provide enough visual clarity for low and moderate astigmatism.

High levels require RGP toric lenses. For any type of irregular astigmatism, RPG lenses are necessary for irregular astigmatism, which can’t be corrected by soft lenses.

Hybrid toric contact lenses combine a rigid gas-permeable center and soft hydrogel or silicone hydrogel edges to provide visual clarity and stability. They can also correct irregular astigmatism.

If you have astigmatism, take the time to carefully select the contacts that will best suit your needs. Astigmatism may require a slightly complicated prescription, so stick to a reputable brand that can accommodate your needs.

An eye doctor can help determine the best contact lenses for you and address any concerns you have. Always follow your contact replacement schedule, and schedule a follow-up appointment after a few weeks of your initial fitting.

As a contact lens wearer, it’s important to keep regular visits to your eye care professional to ensure the health of your eyes. Although it’s rare, complications could be possible.