There are so many types of contact lens solutions out there and choosing the right one is not an easy task. Basically, the one you go for depends on the type of contact lenses you wear and the amount of moisture your eye produces naturally.
Your optician will take you through your options with different contact lens solutions, and how to perfect your contact lens routine. Our top tip: trying out different products, even if you've been using the same brand for years, is the best way to find the right one for you.
To help you get started with your research, we've put together a list of different contact lens solutions and the contact lenses our optician recommends.
Contact lens solutions: what kind is best for me?
How it works: cleans, disinfects, hydrates and replenishes.
Recommended for: soft contact lenses
How it works: cleans, disinfects, hydrates and replenishes. Requires neutralising and it has a stronger disinfecting power.
Recommended for: soft contact lenses
Solution for Gas Permeable lenses
How it works: cleans and disinfects through two different products, with multipacks also available.
Recommended for: gas permeable lenses
How it works: it's added to the solution every one or two weeks for a deeper disinfection.
Recommended for: gas permeable lenses
Multi-purpose solutions are the most fuss-free option for looking after your lenses, decreasing your risk of infection and upping your overall eye care routine. You get cleaning, disinfecting, hydrating and replenishing functions, all in one bottle. This streamlines your routine, making comfort and hygiene a lot easier to achieve, and ensuring optimum eye health, whether you wear standard, spherical lenses, toric lenses for astigmatism or multifocal lenses for presbyopia.
When you take out your lenses at the end of the day, just put a few drops of this cleaning solution on and rub them gently. Then, pour some of the very same solution into your contact lens case, so you can store them for as long as recommended by your optometrist.
Multi-purpose solution is recommended for soft contact lenses (including silicone hydrogel contact lenses), daily disposables, monthlies and two-weeklies. It's not recommended for RGP lenses as they require other cleaning routines.
Browse our multi-purpose solutions
Bestselling multi-purpose solutions
everclear multi-purpose is one of our top-selling all-in-one solutions, for good reason: it provides high-quality cleaning from protein build-ups and hydration at an unbeatable price, offering the best value for money (especially with this handy 3-pack!). It's ideal for hydrogel lenses and some silicone hydrogel models.
Regard solution has a unique feature: it's completely preservative-free. Thanks to its delicate and balanced composition, Regard is a great choice for the majority of wearers, but it works best for users with sensitive eyes, as a daily cleaner.
A cleaning solution, Opti-Free RepleniSH is suitable for soft hydrogel and silicone hydrogel lenses. Each pack will swiftly clean your lenses from any bacteria or protein to improve levels of comfort around the clock. Plus, it works to provide extra moisture by retaining tear fluid far longer than other cleaning products.
Hydrogen peroxide solutions
Hydrogen peroxide cleaning systems for contact lenses have a stronger disinfecting power. Unlike other types of solutions, peroxides don't include preservatives, which makes them a great option for those with very sensitive eyes.
Peroxide solutions can only be used with the advice of your optician, as they usually include around 3% of hydrogen peroxide, and it requires neutralising. This neutralising happens either with a catalyst disk located in the bottom of the case itself or with tablets that are added to the solution. When added to the solution, these elements trigger the reaction that removes proteins from your lenses and neutralises the hydrogen peroxide.
If the peroxide is not neutralised, the solution could seriously damage your eyes. What's more is that it needs to be neutralised for a certain amount of time before it's safe to use, usually for 6 hours. And it's important to note that you shouldn't rinse your lenses with hydrogen peroxide solutions: there are other products for that, like saline solutions, as we'll see later on.
Hydrogen peroxide solutions can be used with all kinds of soft contact lenses, including silicone hydrogel contacts, but not recommended for RGP lenses.
Browse our hydrogen peroxide solutions
Bestselling hydrogen peroxide solutions
With its new formula, this peroxide solution removes all dirt and protein deposits from your contact lenses. Fill up the case to the mark and pop your lenses in overnight, ready to use the next day.
Manufactured by CooperVision, this peroxide solution is perfect for contact lens wearers with sensitive eyes, as it offers a higher disinfecting power against bacteria and other microorganisms. Neutralisation happens thanks to the platinum disk attached to the case.
This peroxide solution doesn't only give your contacts a deep clean, it also includes Alcon HydraGlyde technology, which retains hydration throughout the day. The disc holder neutralises the peroxide so that the next day you enjoy the greatest comfort.
Gas permeable contact lens solutions
As the name suggests, these solutions are specifically designed for gas permeable (or RGP) contact lenses. These hard contact lenses require different maintenance routines, mostly comprised of two products: a cleaner and a conditioner. These solutions are usually sold in packs with everything you need, but the products are available to buy separately too.
First, you use the cleaner, to disinfect and rinse your contacts after taking them off, rubbing a few drops gently into the lenses. Then, you rinse them with a saline solution and store them in the conditioning liquid overnight.
There also are 2-in-1 solutions for gas permeable lenses that combine both functions in one bottle - just make sure the bottle says it's compatible with RGP lenses.
Browse our gas permeable contact lens solutions
Bestselling gas permeable contact lens solutions
Regard K RGP is a multi-purpose solution made for rigid gas permeable lenses, which means that you can clean, rinse, disinfect and store your lenses, with the convenience of a single bottle. The active disinfectant OxyChlorite™ removes impurities, making your eyes feel fresh throughout the day after.
This pack includes two products: Total Care Cleaner and Total Care Wetting. The cleaner makes sure to remove all dirt from the lenses, while the conditioner, with its special formula, adds an extra layer of moisture to your lenses, making them super comfortable.
Saline solution for contact lenses
Saline solutions for contact lenses are used to rinse them free from any bacteria left over after cleaning and storing. Saline solutions don't have any disinfecting power, so you can't use them to store contacts during the night.
Saline solutions for contacts are especially effective to rinse your lenses after a hydrogen peroxide solution. They work with all kinds of lenses, including RGP. Many people don't know this, but saline solution can even be used to give dailies a rinse or refresh during the day (working the same way as eye drops for dry eyes).
Browse our saline solutions
Bestselling saline solution for contact lenses
This cleaning system includes everything you need to look after your gas permeable lenses - Boston Advance Cleaner and Boston Advance Conditioning Solution. Using both of them, your RGP lenses will be free of protein deposits, dirt and germs. Besides, this solution includes a visibility tint, for rinsing all residue away.
Enzymatic tablets for contact lenses
Enzymatic tablets provide a one-off but thorough cleaning to your lenses: you add them to the solution one night and they will remove any protein residue. They can be very useful for people with sensitive eyes, who would benefit from giving their lenses a deeper cleaning every one or two weeks. They work best with RGP lenses rather than soft lenses.
Our top tips
That was quite the list, wasn't it?! You have so many options, when it comes to solutions, but it's so important to follow your optician's recommendations. For starters, it's not safe to clean or store your contact lenses in water, as they can get infected with bacteria and other microorganisms that could lead to serious eye infections. Also, many of these contact lens solutions are available in travel packs, which are so handy to take with you on a trip. Make sure you always pack one just in case - along with a bottle of eye drops.
If you'd like to try a different contact lens solution, make sure you consult your optician first, as they could recommend what type would work with your eye and needs best. They can also tell you everything you need to know about the difference between multi-purpose contact lens solution and hydrogen peroxide solution. If you haven't been to see your optician recently, why not book your free eye test today?
Need more help or advice?
For personalised advice on anything to do with contact lenses and eye health use our live chat, call our friendly customer support team on 020 7768 5000 in the UK or on 1 800 870 0741 in the US or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They're available Monday - Friday 8:00 - 21:00, and Saturday - Sunday 8:00 - 18:00.