Daily vs. monthly contacts: Which are better for you?
If you wear contact lenses, the number of options available can be overwhelming. The biggest question: Daily or monthly lenses, and what is the difference?
How often you replace your contacts -- daily or monthly -- affects the initial purchase price, the design and materials used to make the contacts, and the cost and effort that go into their upkeep.
Once you have a better understanding of how each type of lens works, it’ll be easy to decide whether daily or monthly contacts fit your lifestyle.
How long do daily and monthly contacts last?
Daily contact lenses are made to be used once and then thrown away. Dailies are thinner than reusable lenses and aren’t meant to be stored, so you throw them away as soon as you take them out, whether you wore them for a full day or just a few hours.
Monthly contact lenses can be worn each day for about 30 days before you’ll need to switch to a new pair. Monthlies are meant to be worn during the day then taken out at night and stored in contact solution while you sleep.
Monthly contact lenses might feel a bit thicker in your eyes compared to dailies because they’re built to last longer.
Are daily or monthly contacts safe for overnight use?
After a long day, it might feel more convenient to leave your contacts in overnight. Don’t do this with your daily lenses, which are meant to be tossed when you take them out before bedtime, and be careful if you do this with your monthlies.
Advances in extended wear contact lenses make them safer to wear overnight, but you’re still introducing bacteria to your eyes for an extended period of time.
Despite the fact that the FDA has approved several “extended wear” contact lenses for overnight use, leaving contacts in while you sleep dramatically increases your risk for eye infections.
Do your eyes a favor and take your contacts out before bed.
Whether you choose daily or monthly lenses, ask your eye doctor how long he or she recommends wearing your contact lenses each day.
DAILIES OR MONTHLIES? Find an eye doctor near you and find out which lens type is best for your eyes and your lifestyle.
How much do daily and monthly contacts cost?
Daily disposable contacts are more expensive than monthlies up front. You’ll usually find them in packs of 30 (one pack for each eye) for around $30, or in packs of 90 for upward of $60 or $80.
More specialized lenses for astigmatism or dry eyes are typically more expensive.
A six-month supply of monthly contact lenses might cost you less upfront, but you also have to pay for upkeep, storage cases and travel supplies.
For example, when your extended-wear lenses get dirty or dry, you’ll need to clean them with contact lens solution. Depending on how much lens solution you use and how often, it can add up.
How to care for daily and monthly contact lenses
One of the major perks of daily disposable contacts is that they require very little care or maintenance.
Because you open a fresh pair every day, there’s generally no need to clean your lenses.
However, it’s good to carry extras, along with a backup pair of glasses — daily contacts are very thin and tend to tear easily.
Since reusable monthly lenses are worn for a longer period of time, they’re more susceptible to the buildup of lipids and proteins in your eyes, which can accumulate on contacts and cause blurry vision. Regular care with contact lens solution will keep your monthly lenses hygienic.
Dailies or monthlies: Decision time
No matter what you decide, there are plenty of daily and monthly contact lens options.
If you try one style of contact lenses for a few months and find that it isn’t working for you, call your eye doctor. He or she can help you to find a contact lens type that better meets your needs.
READY TO CHOOSE YOUR CONTACTS? Find an eye doctor near you and schedule an appointment.
Page updated January 2020