Monthly Contact Lenses

12 sources cited
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What Are Monthly Contact Lenses?

Monthly disposable contact lenses are soft lenses, which are good for approximately 30 days. After that, you must dispose of them and open new ones.

They can be worn throughout the day. However, they must be cleaned and placed in contact solution overnight. 

Monthlies are available in various prescriptions and lens types (toric and multifocal). They can correct:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia)
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia)
  • Presbyopia (age-related farsightedness)
  • Astigmatism.

Meet the Expert

Dr. James Dello Russo has been a practicing Optometrist for twenty-two years and is the administrative director for the New Jersey Eye Center in Bergenfield, NJ.

We asked Dr. James for his top recommendations for monthly contact lenses. Here's what he said:

Dr. Dello Russo's Recommendations
Best Overall - Alcon TOTAL 30
Best for Astigmatism - Biofinity Toric
Best for Dry Eyes - Alcon TOTAL 30
Best for Heavy Screen Users - Alcon TOTAL 30
Best Multifocal - Biofinity Multifocal
Best for Extended Wear - Air Optix Night & Day Aqua
Best Colored Contacts - Air Optix Colors

Dr. James Dello Russo's main advice about wearing monthly lenses is to take lens hygiene seriously.

"Contact lenses are medical devices, FDA approved to be used with contact lens disinfecting solutions," Dr. James says.

If you learn how to properly care for your contact lenses, you'll minimize the risks of irritation or infection.

Always get an eye exam and contact lens fitting from an eye care professional before purchasing contact lenses online.

7 Best Monthly Contact Lenses

These are the best contact lenses we recommend:

Best Overall: Alcon TOTAL 30

Dr. James' top pick for monthly contacts is the Alcon TOTAL 30.

The lens "affords excellent oxygen permeability and utilizes something called celient technology. The lens mimics the corneal ocular surface to resist lipid and bacterial adherence to the contact lens surface. This is to inhibit lens depositing...it approaches 100% on the lens surface, allowing for a smooth contact lens surface and reducing lens discomfort," says Dr. James.

Lens Features:

  • CELLIGENT® Technology
  • Nearly 100% water content on the outermost surface
  • Material: 45% lehfilcon A; 55% water
  • Manufacturer: Alcon

Best for Astigmatism: Biofinity Toric

Biofinity's toric contacts are Dr. James' recommendation for people with astigmatism. They have a "very stable design to keep the lens from shifting off-axis of astigmatism, minimizing fluctuation of vision during blinking and eye movement," he says.

Bonus: Some patients can use Biofinity Toric Monthly lenses for up to 7 days/6 nights of continuous wear. Not all patients can achieve the maximum wear time. Speak with your eye care practitioner for more information.

Lens Features:

  • Aquaform® Technology for maximum breathability and hydration
  • Optimized Toric Lens Geometry™ reduces lens movement and increases comfort
  • Material: 52% comfilcon A; 48% water
  • Manufacturer: CooperVision

*Biofinity Toric XR lenses are available for people with astigmatism and high prescriptions.

Best for Dry Eyes: Alcon TOTAL 30

According to Dr. James, Alcon TOTAL 30's superior ocular surface wettability makes them the best monthly option for patients with dry eyes.

Lens Features:

  • CELLIGENT® Technology
  • Nearly 100% water content on the outermost surface
  • Material: 45% lehfilcon A; 55% water
  • Manufacturer: Alcon

Best for Heavy Screen Users: Alcon TOTAL 30

Yet again, Acon TOTAL 30 takes this category. They block over 90% of UVA and 99% of UVB, which reduces the amount of blue light that gets to your eyes. Their breathability and wettability also keep your eyes comfortable even if you're working on a screen all day.

Lens Features:

  • CELLIGENT® Technology
  • Nearly 100% water content on the outermost surface
  • Material: 45% lehfilcon A; 55% water
  • Manufacturer: Alcon

Best Multifocal: Biofinity Multifocal

People with presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) often need multifocal lenses. Dr. James chose Biofinity Multifocal lenses because they have the widest prescription parameters, and are available in a Multifocal Toric version for those with astigmatism.

Lens Features:

  • Aquaform Comfort Science material
  • Balanced Progressive Technology multifocal lens design
  • Material: 52% comfilcon A; 48% water
  • Manufacturer: CooperVision

Best for Extended Wear: Air Optix Night & Day Aqua

Air Optix Night & Day Aqua 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 can wear contacts during the day and 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 Colored Contacts: Air Optix Colors

Air Optix Colors can transform your eyes into one of 12 different colors. Their silicone hydrogel material allows a high flow of oxygen to reach your eye. They also prevent protein deposit buildup using SmartShield® technology.

Lens Features:

  • 12 colors to choose from
  • SmartShield® Technology
  • Material: 67% polymer (lotrafilcon B); 33% water
  • Manufacturer: Alcon

Vision Center recommends getting a professional contact lens fitting from a qualified eye care professional before purchasing any contact lenses online.

How to Care for Monthly Contacts

When caring for any kind of monthly contact, follow instructions from your eye care professional. Each contact lens manufacturer and lens cleaning solution will have its own instructions. Follow these and the replacement schedule for each of your lenses. 

Here are some best practices for taking care of your contact lenses:

  • Always wash your hands with mild soap and water
  • Avoid soaps with lotion, cream, or fragrances
  • Before touching your contacts, dry your hands with a lint-free cloth or air dry them
  • Put your lenses in before doing eye makeup and take them out before you remove makeup
  • Always start with the same eye
  • Clean your contacts immediately after removing them
  • Never use water or your mouth to clean your contacts (microorganisms in water can cause infection)
  • Clean your contact case with sterile solution after each use and let it air dry
  • Replace your contact case every three months
  • Always use a new lens solution
  • Never reuse or use expired solution
  • Clean, rinse, and disinfect your lenses according to your solution labeling and your eye doctor’s advice
  • Always keep your contact lens case closed when storing contacts
  • Never wear contacts that have been stored in solution for over 30 days

For more specific instructions, speak with your eye doctor. They will provide the best routine based on your contacts, lens solution, eye prescription, and lifestyle.

Monthly Contact Lens Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Less expensive. Monthly contacts cost less than dailies. Expect to pay between $45 and $75 for a 6-pack (six months’ worth). Daily disposables cost around $60 to $100 for a 90-pack (three months’ worth).
  • Less waste. Disposable contacts are thrown out at the end of their expiration. You also throw away cardboard boxes and the blister packs the lenses come in. Daily contact wearers throw away 60 blister packs and 60 contact lenses each month. You only throw away two lenses and packs each month with monthly contacts.
  • Easy to travel with. Traveling with monthly contacts requires your lenses, case, and solution. And potentially an extra pair of lenses. Daily contact wearers need to pack a pair of lenses every day they travel, plus extra lenses.
  • More durable. Monthly contact lenses have thicker designs. This makes them stronger and more resistant to rips.
  • Available for strong prescriptions. Daily contact lenses are more limited when it comes to prescription strength. Monthlies come in a wider variety of prescription strengths.

Cons

  • Require more maintenance. The main drawback of wearing monthly contacts is their upkeep. You’ll need to keep them clean and store them properly in fresh solution every night to keep them safe for wear.
  • Require more supplies. You’ll need a contact lens case and solution to store your monthly contact lenses.
  • Susceptible to build up. Your eyes naturally produce lipids and proteins. These substances can accumulate on your contact lenses if you do not clean them properly. This can affect your eye health and cause infections and irritation.

Monthly vs Daily Disposable Lenses

Monthly and daily contacts are two of the most popular soft lens types. Monthly lenses are thicker and get replaced every 30 days. Daily disposable lenses are thinner and are thrown away at the end of each day.

Both are viable options, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Monthly contact lenses are less expensive, create less waste, and are far more durable than dailies. However, they are more prone to a buildup of proteins and lipids and require more maintenance than dailies.

Pros of daily contact lenses include:

  • Convenient. You don’t need to keep a contact case and solution with you. Simply throw your daily lenses away and open a new pair the next day.
  • Less chance of infection. Daily contacts significantly reduce the risk of irritation and infection since you replace your lenses daily.
  • More comfortable for dry eyes. Some daily contacts are made of an ultra-thin silicone hydrogel material. Many are treated with moisturizing agents that keep your eyes lubricated for the entire day. They also allow more oxygen to pass through the lens to promote healthier, clearer-looking eyes. 

Cons of daily contacts:

  • Higher cost. Daily disposables cost around $60 to $100 for a 90-pack (three months’ worth). Monthlies cost between $45 and $75 for a 6-pack (six months’ worth). 
  • More wasteful. You'll throw out two lenses and two blister packs daily.
  • Delicate. Daily lenses are thinner and more prone to ripping than monthly lenses.
  • Unsafe to sleep in. Unless prescribed extended wear lenses, you should never sleep in your contacts. This is especially true for daily contacts. Sleeping in dailies increases the risk of irritation, infection, and corneal ulcers.

How Much Do Monthly Lenses Cost?

Monthly contact lenses typically cost between $45 and $75 for a 6-pack (six months’ worth). Contacts with special features will be more expensive. These features include:

  • Toric lenses for astigmatism
  • Multifocal lenses for presbyopia
  • Transition lenses
  • Colored lenses

You’ll also need to buy a contact case and contact lens solution. These can be purchased at your eye doctor’s, a pharmacy, or online for $10 or less.

Other types of contact lenses include rigid gas permeable (RGP), weekly disposable, and daily disposable lenses.

Why Trust Us?

The Vision Center team spends several hours researching and writing every review page. We look at:

  • Customer reviews
  • Product details and specifications
  • Company reputation and reports
  • Contemporary scholarly articles 

Every review is then edited for medical accuracy by our medical reviewer, Dr. Melody Huang, O.D..

Best Places to Buy Contacts

Best Overall

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

Also Great
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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.

12 Cited Research Articles
  1. Air Optix® COLORS Contact Lenses.” AIR OPTIX® Color by Alcon.
  2. AIR OPTIX® PLUS HYDRAGLYDE® MULTIFOCAL Contact Lenses.” AIR OPTIX® Multifocal by Alcon
  3. “AIR OPTIX® NIGHT & DAY® AQUA Contact Lenses.” AIR OPTIX® by Alcon.
  4. Bausch + Lomb ULTRA Contact Lenses with MoistureSeal Technology.” Bausch + Lomb. See Better. Live Better
  5. Biofinity®.” CooperVision®
  6. Biofinity Energys®.” CooperVision®.   
  7. Biofinity® toric & Biofinity® XR toric.”  CooperVision®.
  8. Morgan, Philip B., and Nathan Efron. “Prescribing Soft Contact Lenses for Astigmatism.” Contact Lens and Anterior Eye, Elsevier, 2009
  9. Focusing on Contact Lens Safety.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, 2019
  10. Fast Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2018
  11. Cope, Jennifer R., et al. “Risk Behaviors for Contact Lens–Related Eye Infections Among Adults and Adolescents — United States, 2016.” MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 2017.
  12. Walline, Jeffrey J et al. “Benefits of contact lens wear for children and teens.” Eye & contact lens, 2007.
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