Soft Contacts: Dailies or Monthlies?

Editor: Dr. Russel Lazarus, Published February 22, 2021

You have made a life-changing decision to wear soft contact lenses, now which will you choose – daily or monthly?

The choice between wearing daily soft contact lenses or monthly soft lenses may be easier for some, while others can find it overwhelming.

Learning more about their differences can help those, debating between the two, make a more informed decision. Both Daily and Monthly lenses can correct for astigmatism and come in a range of multifocal options.

Wearing contact lenses does have tremendous benefits, and following your eye doctor’s advice is essential to allow you to keep enjoying the freedom the contact lenses can offer.

More than 75% of contact lens wearers in the United States use soft lenses

If you wear contact lenses or would like to, the Find an Eye Doctor directory provides a list of eye doctors near you that can help you decide which kind of soft contact lenses would be best for your eyes.

Daily Lenses

Daily contact lenses are a single-use lens that are removed and discarded at the end of the day. 

The next day, a fresh pair of lenses are inserted. Daily contacts have a high water content and are typically very thin.

Daily contact lenses are made to be thrown away after one use.

While it may be convenient to leave daily contact lenses in overnight, especially after a long day, this should not be done with daily lenses. These lenses are meant to be taken out before bedtime and tossed.

Since a fresh pair is opened every day, there is generally no need to clean daily lenses. This is one of the major bonuses of daily disposable contacts, as they require very little maintenance.

As daily contact lenses are very thin and tend to tear easily, it is always a good idea to carry extra lenses, along with a backup pair of glasses.

Daily disposable contact lenses tend to be more expensive up front. If a more specialized lenses for astigmatism or dry eyes are needed they are typically more expensive.

Monthly Lenses

Monthly contact lenses need to be replaced monthly, depending on the care instructions given by an eye doctor.

Monthly lenses have a thicker composition making them long-lasting and more durable. They are also usually more resistant to drying out.

However, these lenses must be cleaned and disinfected regularly in order to ensure healthy wearing.

Monthly contact lenses can be worn for about 30 days before switching to a new pair. Monthlies are meant to be worn taken out at night and only worn during the day and need to be stored in a disinfecting contact solution overnight. Since monthly contact lenses are built to last longer they might feel a bit thicker on the eyes compared to dailies.

Extended wear lenses

Certain monthly lenses known as ‘Extended Wear’ can be worn full-time for up to 30 days, even while sleeping. 

These lenses are FDA approved for a full month of overnight wear, it is important to know that the longer contacts are worn the higher the risk bacteria can build up on the lenses and infect the eyes.

Monthly lenses are worn for a longer period of time, making them more susceptible to the buildup of lipids and proteins in the eyes, which can collect on contacts, causing blurry or uncomfortable vision.

Monthly contact lenses need storage cases, travel supplies and contact lens solutions these items can add up. So while a six-month supply of monthly contact lenses might cost less upfront, their upkeep might cost more in the long run.

There are plenty of options for both daily and monthly contact lenses. Trying both kinds can help make the decision of dailies or monthlies easier.

If you’ve been thinking between daily or monthly soft contact lenses, contact an eye doctor near you to discuss which ones will best meet your eyes’ needs.