Hard contact lenses, known as rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses, are customized lenses that correct vision.
Many people prefer soft contact lenses because they are convenient. However, hard contacts have several advantages that some people prefer.
Advantages of hard contacts include:
- Sharper vision
- Better vision for high prescriptions
- Highly customizable
- Don’t dehydrate
- Can correct presbyopia
Hard contact lenses require a specific RGP contact lens solution. Hard contact lens solutions have specific formulas for their materials.
Everything We Recommend
Best Multipurpose Solution - Boston Simplus Multi-Action Solution
Best Saline Solution - Equate Saline Solution for Sensitive Eyes
Best Complete System - Boston Advance Complete System
Best Hydrogen Peroxide Solution - Clear Care Plus Cleaning Solution
Best for Travel - Bausch & Lomb Boston Advance Formula Travel Pack
This article will explain the different types of solutions available for hard contacts and recommend the best brands to buy.
Never use a solution meant for soft contacts with your RGP lenses and vice versa.
Types of Hard Contact Lens Solutions
There are two main options for taking care of your RGP contacts:
- A single multipurpose solution. These solutions can be used for cleaning, disinfecting, and storage.
- A combination of cleaning, rinsing, and storage/disinfecting solutions. You will need at least two different types of solution for these systems.
Taking care of your RGP contacts is a multi-step process.
They must be:
Your eye doctor is your best resource for finding the right hard contact lens cleaning and storage solution for your eyes.
Here are some different options for taking care of your hard contacts:
Multipurpose solutions are the most convenient and cost-effective option for taking care of RGP lenses. This makes them the most popular choice among hard contact lens wearers.
They can be used to disinfect, store, clean, and rinse your lenses.
Many people refer to these solutions as “no-rub” systems. However, experts still recommend rubbing each lens for 10 seconds after taking them out of the case. Do this before you rinse it again and put it in your eye.
Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaning Solutions
Hydrogen peroxide-based solutions take more effort and cost more than multipurpose solutions. However, they are the best option for people who are sensitive or allergic to chemicals. They are used for cleaning, disinfecting, and storage.
You’ll soak your lenses in the hydrogen peroxide-based solution for 6 to 8 hours to clean and disinfect them. The hydrogen peroxide needs to be neutralized afterward.
Some “one-step” products have a built-in neutralizer that kicks in while the contacts are in the case. With “two-step” products, you need to add a neutralizing tablet after the solution cleans the lens.
You should rinse your hydrogen peroxide cleaner off with a saline solution before putting your contact in.
Daily Lens Cleaners
Daily cleaners are only used for the cleaning portion of RGP lens care. You’ll still need a multipurpose or other type of storage system.
Daily cleaners remove debris or buildup from your lenses. You’ll put the lens and cleaner in your palm and rub the contact for a few seconds.
Saline solutions are only used to rinse your lenses. They are gentle, preservative-free liquids that rinse off hydrogen peroxide or daily lens cleaners.
Carefully follow the label instructions for all types of solutions. If you don’t, you increase your chances of eye irritation, infection, and corneal abrasions.
Top 5 Best Hard Contact Lens Solutions
How to Take Care of Hard Contact Lenses
How you care for your RGP lenses will depend on the type of solution(s) you use.
The most important thing to remember is to follow the instructions from your eye doctor and on the box.
Here are some general tips to care for your hard contact lenses:
- Use the contact solution recommended by your eye doctor
- Only use products approved for hard lenses
- Always wash your hands and dry them with a lint-free towel before putting in and taking out your lenses
- For non hydrogen peroxide solutions: clean your lens case frequently with soap and warm water, and let it dry completely
- For hydrogen peroxide solutions: change your case when you open a new bottle of solution
- Do not wear contacts when you shower, swim, or use a hot tub
- Never sleep in your contacts, including napping
- Never use tap water or put your contacts in your mouth to clean or wet them
- Always put your contacts in before applying makeup
- Only wear your lenses as long as directed
- Visit your eye doctor at least once a year for a checkup
- Always rinse your lens with sterile solution before putting it in your eye
- Rub your contact for 10 to 30 seconds with a cleaning or multipurpose solution before storing them
In this article
Best Places to Buy Contacts
1-800 Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.
GlassesUSA has a huge selection of contacts, glasses, & sunglasses.
Best Places to Buy Glasses
Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.
Liingo Eyewear is another great option to buy glasses online.
Best on a Budget
EyeBuyDirect has a wide variety of budget frames starting at $6.