The 7 Best Eye Drops for Contacts of 2020

Relief from allergies, red eyes, eye-strain, and more

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Blink Contacts Lubricating Eye Drops at Amazon

"This rewetting solution rejuvenates tired eyes and alleviates pain."

Best Budget: Refresh Contacts at Amazon

"Contains sodium chloride and boric acid for sensitive eyes."

Best for Dry Eyes: TheraTears Dry Eye Therapy at Amazon

"Formulated to protect against future irritation."

Best for Allergies: Zaditor Eye Itch Relief Drops at Amazon

"Relieves itchiness caused by pollen, ragweed, dander, and others."

Best for Red Eyes: Bausch + Lomb Lumify at Amazon

"Uses an FDA-approved formula with brimonidine tartrate."

Best for “Hard” Contact Lenses: Bausch+Lomb Boston at Amazon

"Made for rigid lenses to help reduce cornea friction."

Best for Soft Lenses: Opti-Free Express at Amazon

"Prevents protein deposit build-up and eye strain on soft lenses."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Blink Contacts Lubricating Eye Drops

Blink Contacts Lubricant Eye Drops

 Courtesy of Walmart

Praised by Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) and soft lens-wearers alike, Blink Contacts eye drops are a rewetting solution that rejuvenates tired eyes and alleviates the pain that comes from wearing contacts, such as dryness, blurring, or itchiness. It doesn’t contain ingredients like chlorhexidine or thimerosal that are known to cause “rebound dryness," making it more reliable for everyday use. Use one-to-two drops on your eyes as needed, either before putting in contacts or while wearing them.

Best Budget: Refresh Contacts

Get relief for cheap with Refresh Contacts Comfort Drops. They add moisture to bothersome eyes for both RGP and soft lens-wearers and a simple formula with sodium chloride and boric acid makes it easy on sensitive eyes. Drop once or twice into each eye as needed. For extra comfort, apply to contact lenses before inserting.

Best for Dry Eyes: TheraTears Dry Eye Therapy

For some, wearing contacts can cause dry eyes—which makes finding a solution that works with contacts difficult. Fortunately, these drops are formulated with an eye lubricant that relieves dryness and protects against future irritation for both RGP and soft lenses. TheraTears is less viscous than other brands and leaves eyes feeling cool and refreshed.

Best for Allergies: Zaditor Eye Itch Relief Drops

Eye allergies affect everyone differently—it may include a burning or itchy feeling, cause eyes to look red, or all the above. Consult your doctor on what active ingredient is right for you, such as a decongestant, antihistamine, or redness reliever and whether or not you need a prescription. 

Zaditor is one of the few OTC droppers that contain the antihistamine ketotifen, which relieves itchiness caused by pollen, ragweed, dander, grass, and animal hair. Unlike competitive brands, it only needs to be used twice-a-day instead of the typical four. Though application requires removing contacts (and waiting 10 minutes until you can re-insert them), it’s worth it for the promised 12 hours of continuous relief.

Best for Red Eyes: Bausch + Lomb Lumify

Red eyes can happen for a host of reasons—from environmental factors like dust, smoke, and allergens to conditions such as pink eye, uveitis, or an eye infection. When looking for an eye-dropper that reduces redness, it’s important to be mindful of vasoconstrictors such as naphazoline and tetrahydrozoline that shrink blood vessels, which may become less effective over time and cause “rebound redness.”

Bausch+Lomb’s Lumify uses an FDA-approved formula with brimonidine tartrate, which whitens the eye differently than other vasoconstrictors by targeting different blood vessels and reducing the risk for rebound redness. Plus, it begins working in one minute and only needs to be used twice a day instead of four times a day, like many competitors.

Best for “Hard” Contact Lenses: Bausch+Lomb Boston

RGP lenses are long-lasting and maintain their shape on the eye better than their softer counterparts, but are known for taking more time to get comfortable with. Boston rewetting drops are made for rigid lenses to help relieve discomfort, reduce cornea friction, and remove debris. Use while wearing contacts, putting three drops into each eye as needed. Make sure to toss after 90 days.

Best for Soft Lenses: Opti-Free Express

Soft lenses are the most popular type of contacts, made of a flexible plastic that is comfortable to wear, though they are less durable than RGP lenses and are associated with a higher risk of infection. Opti-Free Express is a thin, fluid solution, made to prevent protein deposit build-up on soft lenses and reduce eye strain. What makes it stand out from the pack is its easy-to-use applicator, working at multiple angles and letting out just enough solution to not overwhelm the eye.

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