Updated on 

April 21, 2022

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Extended Wear Contacts

What Are Extended Wear Contacts?

One of the more popular types of contact lenses is extended wear contacts (also called continuous wear contact lenses). They let people wear soft contact lenses overnight or for many days.

These lenses differ from daily, weekly, and monthly contact lenses, which must be taken out before falling asleep. 

Extended wear lenses are available for purchase for overnight or continuous wear. Continuous wear will range according to your eye care professional’s recommendations and the product itself.

Contact lenses for continuous wear can last from one to six days, or even up to 30 days. 

Many people prefer extended wear contact lenses due to their convenience and versatility.

Be sure to consult your eye doctor before sleeping in any contact lenses.

Depending on your eyes, wearing lenses for extended periods can lead to a serious eye infection.

Eye care specialists recommend that you sleep without the contact lenses in for at least one night before using the next set.

Everything We Recommend
Best Overall - Air Optix Night & Day Aqua
Runner Up - Biofinity Monthly
Best Weekly Lenses - Acuvue 2
Best for Astigmatism - AIR OPTIX for Astigmatism
Best Multifocal Lenses - Bausch + Lomb PureVision 2 Multi-Focal

5 Best Extended Wear Contacts

Here are 5 of the best extended wear contact brands:

Best Overall: Air Optix Night & Day Aqua

Air Optix Night & Day Aqua contact lenses are FDA-approved for daily wear and up to 30 nights of continuous wear*. This allows you to create a flexible wear schedule that can adapt to any busy lifestyle. They also allow more oxygen flow than any other soft contact lens.

Lens Features:

  • Flexible wearing schedule
  • FDA-approved for daily wear and up to 30 nights of continuous wear
  • Material: 76% lotrafilcon A; 24% water
  • Manufacturer: Alcon

*Important Safety Information: Not all patients can wear the lenses for extended wear. Approximately 80% of patients are able to wear the contacts during the day and at night. Always follow the eye care professional’s recommended lens wear, care and replacement schedule. Overnight wear of contact lenses has been shown to increase the risk of certain serious contact lens–related complications.See more AIR OPTIX Safety Information.

Runner Up: Biofinity Monthly

Biofinity monthly lenses use exclusive Aquaform® Technology developed by CooperVision. These silicone hydrogel monthlies are approved for extended wear. This means that you can actually wear them for 6 nights/7 days of continuous wear.

Lens Features:

  • Aquaform® Technology
  • Extended wear (if recommended by your doctor)
  • Material: 52% comfilcon A; 48% water
  • Manufacturer: CooperVision

Best Weekly Lenses: Acuvue 2

Johnson & Johnson offers two-week daily wear (or one-week extended wear) for those seeking comfort and clear vision. Its INFINITY EDGE™ Design allows the lens to fit the eye more precisely. This type of soft lens wear also protects the eye from UV radiation with Class 2 UV Blocking properties.

Lens Features:

  • INFINITY EDGE™ Design fits your eye and provides a soft lens wear feeling
  • UV Protection
  • Material: 52% comfilcon A; 48% water
  • Manufacturer: CooperVision

Best for Astigmatism: AIR OPTIX for Astigmatism

AIR OPTIX for Astigmatism contacts can only be worn for extended wear (24 hours, including while you sleep) if directed by your eye doctor.

Lens Features:

  • Flexible and customizable wearing schedule
  • PRECISION BALANCE 8|4® Lens Design to keep lenses from rotating
  • Material: 67% lotrafilcon B; 33% water
  • Manufacturer: Alcon

*Important Safety Information: Not all patients can wear the lenses for extended wear. Approximately 80% of patients are able to wear the contacts during the day and at night. Always follow the eye care professional’s recommended lens wear, care and replacement schedule. Overnight wear of contact lenses has been shown to increase the risk of certain serious contact lens–related complications. See more AIR OPTIX Safety Information.

Best Multifocal Lenses: Bausch + Lomb PureVision 2 Multi-Focal

PureVision2 Multi-Focal For Presbyopia are visibility tinted contact lenses. They are approved for daily wear or extended wear from 1 to 30 days.

Lens Features:

  • 3-Zone Progressive Design
  • Approved for extended wear up to 30 days if approved by your eye doctor
  • Material: balafilcon A 64%; 36% water
  • Manufacturer: Bausch + Lomb

Who Should Use Extended Wear Contact Lenses?

Extended wear lenses are a safe, usable option for those who want to correct refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism) without compromising convenience.

It is important to consult an eye care specialist before using this type of lens wear. Extended wear of contact lens can increase the risk of infection and serious eye health conditions.

Not everyone is a good candidate for continuous wear lenses. Only a qualified eye doctor can tell you if you are eligible to wear these contact lenses.

Benefits of Extended Wear Contact Lenses 

Extended wear contact lenses can offer many advantages to those who use contacts.

These benefits include:

  • FDA-approved for up to 30 days in some cases.
  • No need for removal for up to 6 nights. 
  • Little or no cleaning in extended-wear disposable contacts. 
  • Availability in tints and bifocals. 
  • Increased flow of oxygen to the cornea for ensured comfort and less irritability.
  • Vision correction that is equal to glasses or standard contact lenses.

Risks & Complications of Extended Wear Contacts

Continuous wear contact lenses may lead to serious eye health conditions.

Some of the complications are as follows:

Keratitis

Keratitis is a type of inflammation that can be caused by an infection from wearing contact lenses. The cornea (the clear, outer layer of the eye that covers the iris, pupil, and anterior chamber) becomes inflamed or swollen.

Those who suffer from the condition will experience difficulties with their vision. In more severe cases, keratitis can result in blindness or the need for a corneal transplant. 

Corneal neovascularization

Corneal neovascularization occurs when new blood vessels invade the cornea due to inflammation or hypoxia.

In less severe cases, there may be persistent inflammation and scarring that affect corneal transparency and vision.

In more advanced stages, individuals may permanently lose their vision. For those with corneal grafts, corneal neovascularization may result in rejection. 

Pink eye (conjunctivitis)

Pink eye is when the conjunctiva gets infected. The tiny blood vessels in the membrane swell and create the reddish or pink appearance in the sclera. 

Corneal ulcers

These are a type of infection that is commonly associated with contact lens use.

Daily Wear Contacts vs. Extended Wear Contacts

Both soft daily wear and extended wear contacts have benefits and drawbacks. 

Daily wear contacts are ideal for those who maintain active lifestyles and do not have a tolerance for overnight wear. Daily wear contacts have less risk of developing eye conditions. However, they do wear out and must be replaced more frequently.

Extended wear contacts are very convenient for anyone whose eyes can tolerate them.

Best Places to Buy Contacts

Best Overall

1-800 Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.

Also Great
glasses usa logo

GlassesUSA has a huge selection of contacts, glasses, & sunglasses.

Best Places to Buy Glasses

Best Overall

Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.

Also Great

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.

9 Cited Research Articles
  1. “Advantages and Disadvantages of Various Types of Contact Lenses.” American Optometric Association, www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/contact-lenses/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-various-types-of-contact-lenses.
  2. “Biofinity® Family.” CooperVision®, coopervision.com/contact-lenses/biofinity-family.
  3. Boyd, Kierstan, et al. “Contact Lens-Related Eye Infections.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 23 June 2020, www.aao.org/salud-ocular/consejos/contact-lens-related-eye-infections.
  4. Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Contact Lens Risks.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/medical-devices/contact-lenses/contact-lens-risks.
  5. “Extended Wear of Contact Lenses - 2013.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 21 Nov. 2016, www.aao.org/clinical-statement/extended-wear-of-contact-lenses.
  6. “Eye Care Products & Professional Resources: Johnson & Johnson Vision.” Eye Care Products & Professional Resources | Johnson & Johnson Vision, www.jnjvisionpro.com/.
  7. “Fast Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26 July 2018, www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/fast-facts.html.
  8. “Our Products.” Bausch + Lomb, www.bausch.com/our-products/contact-lenses/lenses-for-nearsighted-farsighted/purevision2-contact-lenses.
  9. “Treatment of Corneal Neovascularization.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 5 May 2016, www.aao.org/eyenet/article/treatment-of-corneal-neovascularization.
Melody Huang is an optometrist and freelance health writer. Through her writing, Dr. Huang enjoys educating patients on how to lead healthier and happier lives. She also has an interest in Eastern medicine practices and learning about integrative medicine. When she’s not working, Dr. Huang loves reviewing new skin care products, trying interesting food recipes, or hanging with her adopted cats.
Anthony Armenta earned his B.A. in International Relations from the University of California, Irvine. After graduation, he decided to live abroad in Spain. Currently, he has spent the past 5 years working as a freelance health content writer and medical editor for different public hospitals in central Barcelona. He has covered different medical specialties from infectious diseases and pneumology to breast cancer and plastic surgery. His commitment to writing fact-driven, health-related content stems from the belief that such type of information can empower all individuals to take action and improve their health today.
https://www.visioncenter.org/author/anthony/
Author: Anthony Armenta  | UPDATED April 21, 2022
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Medical reviewer: Dr. Melody Huang, O.D.
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Dr. Melody Huang, O.D.
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The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.

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