Contact lenses can offer a world of convenience over frames. When making the decision to shift from framed glasses to contact lenses, you may encounter that there’s more than one type of lens. 

Depending on factors such as the shape of your eye, your optometrist  will recommend either hard or soft contact lenses. Read on to learn more about the difference between these lenses and what you might expect when visiting your optometrist.

The Difference Between Hard and Soft Contacts

The primary difference between these types of lenses is what they’re made of. Hard contacts are made of rigid gas-permeable plastic that ensures stiffness, while soft contacts are most often made of silicone hydrogel. This allows for more flexibility and comfort. Both soft and hard contact lenses will correct your vision if you struggle seeing due to farsightedness or nearsightedness. 

When visiting our office, your optometrist will consider your unique case and decide which lens is the best fit. While your sight will be in the hands of professionals, having some prior knowledge of the two lenses can help you feel confident in your treatment. 

There are many trade-offs when it comes to hard and soft contacts, including frequency of replacement, level of care, and comfort of fit. 

Below, we’ll go through the pros and cons of each to help you understand how the decision between the two is made. 

Hard Contact Lenses

Also known as gas permeable contacts, hard contact lenses generally provide sharper vision—especially for those with astigmatism or other types of misshapen cornea. In the past, hard lenses had more disadvantages due to how rigid their material was when manufactured. 

Today, their improved design has become a popular option for many contact lens wearers. They will never be as flexible as soft lenses; however, they are more durable. Hard lenses require daily cleaning and regular polishing to keep them in good condition, so they tend to suit wearers who are more comfortable with a daily regimen. 

Pros

  • Longer lasting and more durable, reducing cost of lens replacement
  • Sharper vision
  • Best for people with unique eye shapes
  • Effective for those with dry eyes

Cons

  • Requires daily 2-step cleaning 
  • Prone to collecting debris underneath
  • Not as comfortable as soft contacts

Many contact lens resources can guide you in proper contact lens care. Reach out to our team today to learn more.

Soft Contact Lenses

Unlike hard contact lenses, soft ones ensure a flexibility that makes them effective for a wide range of sight impairments. They are often recommended for first-time contact lens wearers, as their availability over the counter, disposable options, and creation of one-bottle maintenance solutions makes them overall more convenient than hard lenses. 

Pros

  • Allow for more comfort compared to hard contacts due to flexibility
  • Light and soft, resulting in easier mold
  • Come in disposable variants
  • Generally less maintenance
  • Easy to get used to for first-time contact wearers

Cons

  • Less durable than hard contacts
  • The resulting vision is not as sharp as that resulting from hard lenses
  • Need to be replaced frequently

Understanding the draws and drawbacks of each type of lens can help you while in discussion with your optometrist. 

Why Choose Hard Contact Lenses?

Depending on the shape of your eye, level of sight impairment, and personal comfort with maintenance habits, your eye doctor may decide that hard contact lenses are the best choice for you. 


One of their biggest assets is their durability; while soft contact lenses need to be replaced frequently, hard contact lenses often have a lifespan of up to two years. They will require annual polishing at appointments and daily at-home cleaning, but offer a specialized fit for those with more specific sight correction needs. 

It’s important to know how to properly maintain this type of contact lens. Your optometrist will discuss with you what is required to keep your hard lenses in top shape. Developing a dependable schedule and routine for caring for your lenses will provide you with the best results.

Why Choose Soft Contact Lenses?

Due to their flexibility and more comfortable fit, soft contact lenses are often considered easier to adjust to for first-time wearers. While they are less durable than hard lenses, they are also more easily replaceable. Those who desire less maintenance may find soft lenses to be preferable. This may be considered a trade-off for having refreshing comfort that can be shaped. Their versatility can be quite appealing to those wary about how long-lasting and rigid hard lenses are. 

Contact Us Today

Thinking about making the switch to contact lenses? Book an appointment with our experts at True Eye today. We work hard to give our clients the best experience possible while ensuring that your optical health is the best it can be.
Whether you are a candidate for hard or soft lenses, you’ll want specialists who can help you throughout the whole process and provide you with quality service. Give us a call at (813) 710-2020, or schedule an appointment with us online.