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Extended wear contact lenses are also referred to as continuous wear contact lenses, they have been designed to be worn continuously - that's even when you are sleeping- from between 7 to 30 days, depending on the type of contact lens and the recommendation of your Optometrist. Sleeping in extended wear contact lenses is possible due to silicone hydrogel material, which allows increased oxygen permeability, -more oxygen can reach your cornea-, than regular hydrogel contact lenses(1).

Extended wear contact lenses are a great option for people who have jobs that demand they respond at a moment’s notice or long working hours (e.g. emergency personnel, nursing mother).People who frequently fly across time zones might also find extended wear contacts useful, they can also be a great option for music festivals and camping! pop the lenses in at home before you go and no need for handling your lenses whist in a muddy tent.

It is not uncommon for Optometrists to prescribe continuous wear contact lenses to people who have a particularly high corneal oxygen demand, or to people who have worn standard lenses before and become intolerant to them, and recommend that the lenses be worn as a monthly disposable contact lens.

Extended wear contact lenses are the most environmentally friendly contact lens option, there is no need for solution or plastic storage cases and with only one pair of lenses worn each month there is far less packaging material to be disposed of.

Key Points

Contains silicone hydrogel for extra oxygen permeability    

Ideal for people with dry eyes, or people who need to regularly sleep in contact lenses

No need for contact lens solution and cases    

An environmentally friendly option as no solutions required and far less packaging material than any other contact lens type

Types Of Extended Wear Contact Lenses

Extended wear or continuous wear contact lenses are available to treat most eye conditions, so whether you are long or short sighted, whether you require Toric lenses or multi focal contact lenses there should be an extended wear contact lens suitable for you.

There is also a choice of wearing options, which is normally determined by your Optometrist depending on your vision, wear times required, comfort and the oxygen needs of your cornea.

  • Monthly - Some extended wear contact lenses have been specifically designed to be worn up to 29 nights and 30 days. Monthly wear offers the best in value and is the most eco friendly contact lens option. 
  • Two Weekly - As you would expect two weekly extended wear contact lenses have been designed to be worn for up to 14 days and 13 nights, these are a great option for people who want or need the convenience of an extended wear lens but their eyes require more oxygen so are not suitable for a monthly replacement schedule. 
  • Weekly - Optometrist will often recommend this wearing schedule if your lifestyle requires an extended wear lens but your eyes require more oxygen and more nights free of contact lenses. A weekly option is the healthiest option of wearing extended wear lenses.
  • Daily - For some contact lens wearers who have a particularly high corneal oxygen demand, or who have worn standard lenses before and become intolerant to them, an Optometrist may recommend extended wear contact lenses, but to be worn only on a daily basis - like a monthly disposable contact lens - this is so that you can benefit from the extra oxygen permeability.

It is important to stick to whatever schedule your Optometrist has recommended, as this has been decided on your needs, and to keep your eyes as healthy as possible.

Our Customers Top 3 Extended Wear Contact Lenses

These silicone hydrogel contact lenses from Coopervision contain their patented Aquaform technology creating a hydrophilic lens to allow greater levels of oxygen to flow through the lens to the eye, allowing them to stay moist and comfortable all day long. Can be worn upto 30 days if recommended by your Optometrist74.9 of our customers reviews award them 5*

Purevision 2 with High Definition Optics from Bausch and Lomb are a silicone hydrogel contact lens designed to reduce glare and halos around lights, whilst delivering crisp, clear vision, even in low light conditions. One of the thinnest contact lenses available.Can be worn upto 30 days if recommended by your Optometrist

Alcons Air Optix Night and Day Aqua contains Lotrafilcon A which helps retain moisture by minimising the rate of lens dehydration, creating an all day comfortable contact lens. With an ultra smooth surface specifically designed to resist deposits so the contact lens stays clean and comfortable day after day after day.Can be worn upto 30 days if recommended by your Optometrist

How Much Do Extended Wear Contact Lenses Cost

Extended wear contact lenses are probably way cheaper than you might think.

For example, our most popular selling continuous wear lens, Biofinity, retail at £15.75 for a box of three, so assuming you purchase 2 boxes that’s just £31.50 for a three month supply of continuous wear lenses! that’s cheaper than most daily lenses and can be cheaper than most monthly lenses once the cost of solutions are taken into account.

Extended Wear Contact Lenses Compared To Daily and Monthly Disposable Contact Lenses

Can be worn continuouslyCan sleep in lensesNo need for cleaning and storing overnightNeeds cleaning and storing overnightConvenient- no need for solutions or storage casesCost*
Extended Wear£31.50

*Cost based on a three month supply of our most popular selling lens**Prices include a bottle of solution per month, all prices based on prices, prices may differ on other websites and high street optician practices.

Getting The Best Out Of Your Extended Wear Contact Lenses

It is important never to wear extended wear contact lenses overnight unless recommended to do so by your Optometrist extended wear contact lenses need a little more after care and check ups than daily or monthly disposable lenses.

To get the best out of your extended wear contact lenses 

  • Always follow the wearing schedule recommended by your Optometrists 
  • Always keep follow up appointments with your optometrist
  • Never wear extended wear lenses past their expiry date
  • If you experience dry or red eyes, remove lenses
  • It’s good practice to remove lenses overnight at least once during the month to give your lenses a clean and your eyes a rest

Best Daily Contact Lenses For

Sensitive EyesDry EyesActive LifestyleBest ValueSport
Biofinity Air Optix Night and Day Aqua Any Continuous wear contact lens Biofinity "Purevision 2 HD


What Are The Benefits Of Extended Wear Contact Lenses

With the introduction of silicone hydrogel materials Continuous wear contact lenses are becoming more popular both with contact lens wearers and Optometrists (2)
The benefits of extended wear lenses are

  • Convenience  - Designed and approved for overnight wear, these are the ultimate convenient lens, no need to remove, clean and store your lenses overnight
  • A contact lens you can sleep in - even if you don’t want to wear your lenses overnight every night, if you have a busy lifestyle it’s good to know you can sleep in your lenses without any repercussions
  • Cost effective - Continuous wear lenses can work out cheaper than daily disposable contact lenses, and even monthly disposables as you do not have the cost of contact lens solution
  • Eco friendly - Continuous wear contact lenses produce far less waste than any other type of contact lenses, as you wear so few lens per month and minimal or no solution is required, they are an environmentally friendly option for contact lens wearers

Can I Sleep In Extended Wear Contact Lenses

Yes, providing your Optometrist has not recommended that you only wear them as monthly disposable contact lenses.
Extended wear contact lenses have been approved for wear for, 7, 14 or 30 days continuously, depending on the contact lens and the recommendations of your Optometrist.

Can I Just Swap My Daily Lenses For Extended Wear Contact Lenses

No- It is important that continuous wear contact lenses are fitted by an Optometrist, they require a little more after-care and check-ups than daily or monthly disposable contact lenses.
If you think you would benefit from sleeping in contact lenses for short periods of time, such as a festivals or on long haul flights, discuss this with your Optometrist who may be able to prescribe continuous wear contact lenses for occasional wear, whilst you continue to use your regular daily or monthly lenses the rest of the time.


1. Vascular response to extended wear of hydrogel lenses with high and low oxygen permeability

K A Dumbleton, R L Chalmers, D B Richter, D Fonn
2. Global trends in prescribing contact lenses for extended wear
Philip B Morgan 1, Nathan Efron, Magne Helland, Motozumi Itoi, Deborah Jones, Jason J Nichols, Eef van der Worp, Craig A Woods

Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
John qualified from Aston University in 1980, he has authored for over the last 20 years, bringing his expertise to visitors to the site and providing valuable optical advice to customer questions throughout the years. He has been featured by several leading publications including The Express and ITProPortal