As a new contact lens wearer, you’ll find that there are many different types of contact lens solutions to choose from. You can visit any pharmacy and you’ll come across dozens of choices. Using the best contact lens solution will be crucial to eye health and contact lens longevity. So, how do you choose the right type of solution, one that will work the best for the type of lenses you use and eye health in general?
As a contact lens wearer myself, I know how difficult it can be to find a solution that really works and has the power to keep your lenses clean, so they’re comfortable for all-day wear. Because of this, I decided to test several solutions and I’ve narrowed it down to the top eight products. My buyer’s guide is dedicated to teaching you everything you need to know about lens solution and how you can determine which product will work the best for you, based on quality and your specific needs. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each of the solutions that made it onto my best-of list. The chart includes important information that will make it easier for you to narrow down your choices and choose a product that’s perfect for you.
Contact Lens Solution Comparison Chart
Renu Bausch + Lomb Lens Solution
This multipurpose solution features triple disinfectant power that will work to kill 99.9% of germs in just four hours. It will also hydrate the lenses and work to improve all-day comfort. The solution can be used to store your lenses in a lens case, can be used to rinse and clean them, and is a powerful disinfectant.
- Tripe disinfectant power
- Disinfects in just four hours
- Can cause dryness
This new and improved advanced formula will disinfect your lenses in as little as four hours. It’s gentle enough for daily use and works to keep the eyes hydrated, for all-day comfort. This is a two-pack deal so it’s also a great choice for the lens wearer on a budget.
Bausch & Lomb Boston One Step Liquid Enzymatic Cleaner
This is a protein remover solution that’s designed for silicone acrylate and fluoro silicone acrylate RGP, or rigid lenses. This is a one-step cleaning solution that provides a simple and easy way to remove protein deposits. This cleaner has a high rating for effectiveness and is used to remove protein deposits. It can be used on a weekly basis for routine maintenance and deposit prevention. It can be used directly in your lens case, unlike competing products that require the use of a special lens case.
- Can be used in your regular contact lens case
- Removes protein deposits
- Can be used once weekly
- Can cause some lenses to fog up
This solution is odorless, clear, and works to clean and disinfect your lenses, right in your regular lens case. It can be used on a weekly basis to prevent or get rid of harmful protein deposits. This gentle formula is perfect for contact lens wearers who are sensitive to other types of protein deposit cleaners.
Bausch & Lomb Sensitive Eyes Daily Cleaner
This is a gentle formula that’s safe and effective for daily use. It’s designed for daily use and works to clean and remove deposits and debris from soft lenses. This is a sterile solution that’s effective and efficient, helping to clean and kill harmful bacteria on the surfaces of your lenses. This is a special sensitive-eye formula that will help to improve contact lens wearer comfort if used consistently.
- Designed for sensitive eyes
- Sterile solution
- Removes deposits and debris
- Gentle enough for daily use
- Not designed for lens case use
If you have sensitive eyes and you’re looking for a cleaner that’s safe for daily use and designed to remove deposits, and debris from your soft lenses, then you’ll love this solution’s powerful formula, that not only cleans your lenses and removes deposits but can also kill harmful bacteria that can have an impact on eye health. This solution is designed for soft lens use only and is not designed for lens case use.
CLEAR CARE Cleaning & Disinfection Solution
This is a hydrogen-based cleaning system that will refresh your rigid lenses and leave them feeling new again. The powerful triple-action bubbling formula will work to deep clean your lenses and remove any built-up deposits, debris, and more. This product must be used with the included lens case, not your regular case. The included lens case contains a platinum disc that activates the bubbling action, while neutralizing the hydrogen peroxide, turning it into a gentle saline solution.
- Designed to deep clean rigid lenses
- Removes deposits and debris
- Includes special case
- Powerful triple-action formula
- Can overflow in the case
This solution is safe to use with any type of rigid contact lens and works to deep clean your lenses, fast and efficiently. This formula is gentle enough for people with sensitive eyes and can be used for up to seven days, in the special case.
Menicon Unique pH Multi-Purpose Solution
This is a multipurpose solution designed for rigid lens use. It works to disinfect, condition, and clean your lenses overnight, using the included lens case. This solution will condition your lenses by matching the eye’s natural PH level. This is a powerful solution that will disinfect the lenses with a type of antimicrobial agent that will destroy microorganisms that are commonly found on contact lenses. This solution can also be used to dilute a powerful protein remover, which may need to be diluted for contact lens wearers who are sensitive to protein deposit remover solutions.
- Gentle formula is perfect for people with sensitive eyes
- Conditions the lenses
- Matches the eye’s natural Ph level
- May cause dry eyes
This multipurpose contact lens solution is perfect for people who wear rigid contact lenses and needs a gentle, yet effective product that will clean and disinfect contact lenses, can be used to rinse the lenses, and a solution that won’t dry out lenses with regular use.
Opti-Free Replenish Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution
This solution improves contact wearer comfort, and can be used to soak, rinse, and disinfect lenses, thanks to the powerful formula. This advanced formula will eliminate microorganisms that can lead to eye infections, and works with your natural tears to create a type of protective shield that improves comfort, moisturizes the eyes, and removes particles and debris to keep your lenses clean. This formula is designed for soft contact use only. The innovative 2D dual disinfecting formula contains aldox and polyquad disinfectants that are designed to quickly eliminate any harmful bacteria.
- 2D dual disinfecting formula
- Deep cleans lenses
- Hydrates the eyes
- Reduces lens irritation
- Can cause irritation for some users
This powerful, multipurpose contact lens cleaning solution improves comfort, protects the eyes from irritants, eliminates bacteria, and is designed to maintain a surface of moisture, so you can wear your contacts all day long, in total comfort. This is a great buy if you’re looking for a budget-friendly, gentle solution that’s safe to use for all types of soft contact lenses.
AMO Complete Multi-purpose Solution
The AMO multipurpose contact lens cleaning package comes with two sixteen ounce bottles, which is perfect if you’re looking for a budget-friendly contact lens solution that won’t hit your wallet too hard. This easy rub formula is a great choice if you need a solution that you can use to rinse, clean, disinfect, and soak your contact lenses in. It’s also powerful enough to remove protein buildup and can help prevent deposit build-up.
- Two bottles for the price of one
- Gentle formula
- Can be used to disinfect, soak, and rinse contacts
- Can prevent and treat protein deposit build-up
- Can cause irritation in people who are sensitive to protein removers
This solution is formulated for soft contact lens use and works to prevent and treat protein deposit build-up, disinfects lenses, can be used to soak and rinse them, and is gentle on the eyes. However, there have been some reports that the lenses can cause redness and irritation in some users. If you notice any signs of irritation, stop using the solution immediately and speak with your eye care specialist. For most people, this formula will help to keep the eyes feeling comfortable and hydrated, while preventing harmful bacteria build-up, eye irritation, and promotes all-day contact lens use.
Contact Lens Solution Buyer’s Guide
When you’re searching for a new contact lens solution, keep in mind that you can’t just choose any product. The solution you use must work efficiently, in order to kill harmful bacteria and keep your lenses clean. Choosing the wrong type of product can result in eye problems that can potentially lead to vision problems in the future, or it can even damage your contacts.
I’ll go over what you need to look for when shopping for lenses, and how important it is to closely follow the product’s usage instructions to ensure that you do everything that’s required to keep your lenses clean and safe to use.
Eyecare Specialist Recommendations
When you get new lenses, especially if you’ve never worn them before, your eye care specialist will go over how to put in and remove your contact lenses, how to properly care for them, and what type of solution you should use. Different types of solutions will work differently, based on the type of lenses you have. While one solution may work well for a friend or family member, it may cause you severe irritation or pain. Because of this, you should follow your eye care specialist’s recommendations and only use a solution that works well for your type of contacts.
Speaking with your doctor will not only clue you into what type of solution you need to use, but you’ll also learn how to use it properly. Some solutions will contain hydrogen peroxide, which will require extra care when using it since it can cause eye irritation and general discomfort, if not used correctly.
Take into consideration the type of lenses you have before you order the solution. Some types of solutions will not work on RGP lenses but will be a great choice for soft lenses. Avoid using products that are designed to disinfect or clean rigid lenses if you wear soft lenses since this can cause damage to the lenses and can lead to eye issues in the future. Be sure to only use a solution that’s designed for soft lenses, if that’s what you wear or rigid lenses.
There are many different types of solutions to choose from, whether you need a solution for eye case use or to remove proteins, clean debris, or disinfect them.
Below is a list of the many options available and how they work.
This solution offers a type of all-in-one system that allows you to use it to store soft contacts, disinfect them, rinse, them, or simply clean them. This type of solution is most commonly used by soft contact lens users.
To use this solution, make sure you rub and rinse your contacts, then store them in fresh solution each time you remove your contacts. Never mix new solution with old solution in your case. This will end up reducing the effectiveness of the solution. The contact case itself should be rinsed in new solution once a week. Never use water to rinse your contact lens case. Make sure you remove any excess solution from the case after a rinse and dry it using a clean cloth.
Hydrogen Peroxide-Based Solutions
This type of lens solution can be used to store your lenses and disinfect them. Your eye care specialist may recommend this type of solution if you’re allergic to the ingredients found in multipurpose solutions. Signs of an allergic reaction include red eyes, swelling, and dry eyes. Peroxide solution requires the use of a special case that will come with the solution. This case reacts to the hydrogen peroxide. As the hydrogen peroxide reacts to the case, it eventually turns into a saline solution. Since this reaction is so important, you should never use a different type of case, since the solution won’t convert to saline. This will cause severe eye irritation including redness, swelling, stinging, and burning.
- Make sure you carefully follow the instructions on the product’s label.
- Place the lenses in the special contact lens case using only fresh solution. Avoid mixing old solution with new solution.
- Wait for at least six hours before you insert the lenses.
- Avoid rinsing your lenses with this solution, then directly inserting them into your eyes, as this will cause pain and discomfort.
This solution will not disinfect the lenses and should only be used for rinsing the lenses after disinfecting and cleaning with another type of solution. As an example, some types of hydrogen peroxide products may suggest rinsing the lenses with saline before placing them in your eyes. Speak with your eye care specialist regarding whether or not you need to use a saline solution in addition to your other disinfecting solution.
Daily Use Cleaners
A daily cleaner is designed for cleaning, but it will not disinfect your lenses. A cleaner works by loosening and removing debris and deposits from the lenses. To use, you’ll place a few drops in the palm of your hand, then rub the lenses carefully. You’ll need to use additional products for rinsing the cleaner off, storing the lenses, and disinfecting them.
These protein cleaners will remove material that the eyes deposit on the lenses. Your eye care specialist may recommend this type of solution based on the type of lenses you wear and the severity of the protein deposits that build up. These protein removers are available in both tablet and liquid form and can be used on a weekly or daily basis.
Rigid gas-permeable care systems are designed for hard or rigid contact lenses, which are different from the type of solutions that you would use for soft contact lenses. These contacts may require the use of several different types of solutions for disinfecting, cleaning, and wetting. If you wear rigid contacts, speak with your eye care specialist regarding what types of solutions are best for you. Avoid using a soft contact solution on rigid contacts, and vice versa. Your doctor will help you determine which type of solutions will work the best for you based on the specific brand and type of contacts you use and your specific needs.
Other Features to Look For
Now that you know what types of solutions are available, there are other important factors to consider before you buy. This can include price, preservative content, cleaning power, and more. To find out more about contact lenses, lens care, how to prevent irritation that can help you adjust to contact lens life, click here to read my guide on Tips for Contact Lens Wearers.
The more chemicals in a cleaning solution, the more days you’ll use it. The fewer the preservatives a product has, the gentler it will be on your eyes. This is definitely something you’ll need to take into consideration if you have had allergic reactions to contact lens solutions in the past.
You need a strong cleaner that can disinfect the lenses and kill any harmful bacteria that can lead to vision damage and infections. Many disinfecting solutions can be tough on the eyes, but if used in conjunction with a saline solution or a multipurpose solution, after the lenses have been disinfected, this should cut down on any eye irritation.
How much money can you afford to spend on lens solution each month? While choosing an off-brand product can be more affordable, contact lens solution is one product that you don’t want to choose based on price. If you’re on a tight budget, speak with your eye care specialist for recommendations for products that are effective, but more budget-friendly.
Make sure you check the product’s expiration date and take note of when you opened the bottle. Solution should never be used past its expiration date, since this will have a major impact on its effectiveness. Pay attention to the label’s instructions. Some solutions must be tossed out after two to four weeks of use. Replace as needed and never try to use the product for longer than what’s recommended by the manufacturer.
There are many contact lens solutions to choose from, whether you need a product to rinse your contacts, disinfect, clean, or remove protein deposits. The best contact lens solution for you will work with the type of lenses you wear, and will not cause eye irritation, redness, or discomfort. If you’re still not sure what type of solution to use, speak with your doctor for product recommendations to learn which kind of solution will be right for you.