Daily vs Monthly Contacts: Which Option Is Best?

A woman putting a contact lens in and trying to decide between daily and monthly contacts.

If you’ve decided to take the plunge and begin wearing contact lenses, then you need to decide which type of contact lenses you want to use: daily or monthly contacts (or bi-weekly contacts, but those are more or less a subcategory of monthly contacts).

Both types have their advantages and disadvantages, which is why we wrote this blog post to help you make an informed decision!

Prescription Differences

If you have a unique prescription that requires specific parameters, there may be limits to the types of contact lenses you can use.

Daily lenses (also referred to as disposable lenses) are perfect for some basic vision correction, and there are even daily lenses available for patients with astigmatism and other eye conditions.

Monthly lenses (also referred to as reusable lenses) are generally recommended if you have certain eye conditions or an especially complicated prescription.

Wear Schedule

Daily Contacts

Daily contacts are named after their daily wear schedule. Every morning, you open a fresh pair, stick them in your eyes, go about your day, and discard them in the evening before you go to bed. The next morning, you start the new day with fresh, new lenses!

Monthly Contacts

Monthly contacts are also named after their wear schedule. At the beginning of the month, you open a fresh pair, stick them in your eyes, and go about your day. Before you go to bed, you have to clean your lenses with a special contact solution and store them in a case. The next morning, you start the new day with clean lenses—and then you start the new month with brand new lenses!

Material Differences

Monthly Contacts

Monthly contact lenses are much thicker than daily contact lenses. This added thickness makes them more durable and better able to stand up to minor wear and tear that could damage thinner lenses—however, we’ve found that this is rarely (if ever) an issue for our patients.

Monthly contacts are also less resistant to drying out and can generally be worn for longer stretches of time during the day.

Daily Contacts

As the name implies, this show is for one day only! These lenses are especially thin and are made with a high water content for improved hydration to keep your eyes moist throughout the day, making them much more comfortable than monthly contact lenses. Once you have them in correctly, you won’t even notice that they’re there!

While this means they aren’t as durable as monthly lenses, that’s because they don’t need to be! All the lipid and protein build-up that is produced by your eyes throughout the day goes into the trash with the discarded lenses, making them the healthiest and most hygienic option. 

You know that “fresh lens” feeling you get when putting in brand new lenses? You get to have that feeling every day with daily contacts!

Wear Time

No matter which type you choose, we do not recommend wearing your contacts for longer than 16 hours at a time. Despite the breathable materials and advances in modern contact lenses, it is important to give your eyes a break from wearing lenses, and you should never sleep in them.

Tip: If your eyes feel extremely dry or uncomfortable while wearing contacts, that doesn’t mean contacts aren’t right for you—it might mean you’re just not wearing the right contacts yet!

Caring for Your Contacts

Monthly Contacts

No matter which type you choose, we do not recommend wearing your contacts for longer than 16 hours at a time. Despite the breathable materials and advances in modern contact lenses, it is important to give your eyes a break from wearing lenses, and you should never sleep in them.

Tip: If your eyes feel extremely dry or uncomfortable while wearing contacts, that doesn’t mean contacts aren’t right for you—it might mean you’re just not wearing the right contacts yet!

Daily Contacts

To care for your daily contact lenses, make sure to keep the unopened packages of lenses at the proper temperature (about room temperature) in a safe place away from sunlight and a lot of temperature fluctuations.

At the end of the day, throw the old lenses into the trash, put on your nighttime glasses and wind down for the night. Post on socials about how much time you’re saving by wearing dailies instead of monthlies, then spend some of that time on self-care. You’ve earned it!

Which Type of Contact Lens Is Best for You?

As with any other life choice, there’s a different answer for everyone. However, over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to see both sides of this debate, and we feel that it’s really not much of a contest.

If your prescription is available in daily contact lenses, then that is our recommendation! The comfort, convenience, and fool-proof cleanliness of daily contacts just can’t be beat. The majority of our patients at Andover & Winfield Family Eye Care prefer dailies over monthlies, and many of our patients that start out with monthlies eventually switch over to dailies.

Daily contact lenses are especially beneficial for the following groups.

  • Kids and teens (and anyone else who’s less fastidious about keeping lenses clean)
  • People who play sports
  • People who enjoy a lot of physical or outdoor activities
  • People who have allergies
  • People who get grossed out thinking about all the build-up that can accumulate on monthly contact lenses over time (even if you clean them regularly!)

If you live in Andover, Winfield, or east Wichita, KS, and you’re interested in switching over to contact lenses, then we invite you to schedule an appointment with us so that we can perform a contact lens exam! We’ll determine which type and brand is best for your prescription.

Call (316) 361-1020 for our Andover location or (620) 221-2015 for our Winfield location. We can’t wait to meet you!

About the Doctor

Dr. Matt Boswell was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, where he graduated from Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School. He attended Emporia State University to play on the Men’s Basketball Team while getting his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, Pre-Optometry. While there, Dr. Boswell made the academic honor roll every year while receiving all-league honors his senior year. After graduating from ESU, he went to Memphis, Tennessee, and received his Optometry Degree from the Southern College of Optometry in 2016. Dr. Boswell is excited to practice back in Andover and Winfield, where he was a patient of Dr. Holman’s growing up and shadowed him in high school.

Dr. Boswell’s areas of interest are comprehensive primary eye care and ocular disease, including glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetes. He also loves fitting contact lenses and seeing kids. He is an active member of the American Optometric Association and the Kansas Optometric Association. Dr. Boswell resides in East Wichita with his wife, Kirsten, a nurse. They welcomed their first child in February 2022, Baker. They love the outdoors, playing sports, fishing, and staying active with their Bernese Mountain Dog, Franny.