Glasses vs Contact Lenses – Which Is Best For You?

glasses vs contact lenses
On the fence about whether contact lenses are worth a try? Here's a quick breakdown of the positives and negatives of glasses vs contact lenses to help you pick the best choice.

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Glasses vs Contact Lenses

If you’re like 75% of Americans, you need some kind of vision correction. And the choice for most of us comes down to Glasses VS Contact Lenses.

Whether it’s to read the fine print on your phone screen, or to read the street sign at the end of the block, glasses and contact lenses both provide the fix we need. But neither solution is best for everyone.

Your best option comes down to your lifestyle.

Here’s a list of the positives and negatives of both contact lenses and glasses to help you choose your best option.

glasses vs contact lenses benefits
The benefits of glasses vs contact lenses

Benefits of Glasses vs Contact Lenses


  • Easy to wear.
    Put them on and take them off as needed.
  • Lower maintenance.
    A microfiber cloth is often all you need to keep your glasses clean.
  • One-time purchase.
    A good pair of prescription glasses can last for years before needing a replacement.
  • Can make a statement.
    A stylish pair of specs can be more than just vision correction.

Contact Lenses

  • Sharper vision.
    Because they’re directly on your eye, contacts give a fuller field of view.
  • Less obtrusive.
    Unlike glasses, contact lenses don’t slip down your nose or put weight on your ears.
  • Cheaper to replace.
    A new pair of contacts can be as cheap as a few dollars.
  • Invisible.
    Get perfect vision without impacting the way you look.
glasses vs contact lenses drawbacks
The drawbacks of glasses vs contact lenses

Drawbacks of Glasses and Contact Lenses


  • Higher upfront costs.
    A good pair of glasses can be hundreds of dollars.
  • Covers your face.
    Glasses don’t just help us see. They also determine how we’re seen by others, too.
  • Impacted by surroundings.
    Glasses tend to fog up, get splashed, splattered, and scratched. They can also cause glare from oncoming headlights while night driving.

Contact Lenses

  • Requires more care.
    Caring for contact lenses takes some effort. Neglecting proper hygiene can result in irritation and infection.
  • Running costs.
    Contacts need to be replaced regularly. Therefore, they can cost hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
  • Takes some getting used to.
    Some people are uncomfortable with touching their eyes.

Real World Scenarios

As you can see (no pun intended), contact lenses and glasses both have features in their favor.

Choosing one over the other comes down to what, when, and why you need them. By considering how you will wear your vision correction, you can better decide which one is right for you.

Here are some real world situations to help you choose the best option:

The Athlete

Glasses and contact sports just don’t mix.

These days, glasses are rarely made with actual glass. A good optician can even fit your frames with special lenses that are shatter-proof.

But when you’re running, jumping, and sweating, the last thing you need is your specs slipping down your nose when your eye should be on the ball.

Plus, contact lenses sit right on your eye. That means you get a wider field of perfect vision, even in the peripheral edges of your line of sight.

Winner: Contact Lenses

The Couch Potato

Some days you just want to relax.

Whether it’s lounging on the couch for a movie marathon or sitting down with your favorite book, glasses have the home team advantage.

The blue-light from computer and TV screens can cause our eyes to get fatigued. Adding contact lenses into the mix can mean dry, bloodshot eyes over the long run.

And if you accidentally fall asleep in your glasses? No big deal. But with contacts, the result can be some seriously irritated peepers.

Winner: Glasses

The Professional

Just like sports, some jobs can get physical. If your career involves a lot of jostling around, contact lenses might be a better pick for you.

On the other hand, wearing glasses in an office environment can be more comfortable. Exposure to air conditioning can cause contact lens wearers to suffer from dry eyes. That’s not as big a problem when you wear glasses.

And with modern films that can fitted to your prescription lenses, you can even get blue-light filters to reduce the eye strain from working on a PC all day.

Winner: Draw

The Germaphobe

Cleaning contact lenses can be tricky.

Improper care of your delicate lenses can lead to irritated eyes and, at worst, an infection.

Plus, wearing contacts involves touching your eye ball. Even though that is usually quickly overcome with some practice, some people have trouble adjusting.

By comparison, glasses are pretty sterile.

There’s no proof yet that contact lenses pose a greater risk than glasses in contracting corona virus. But having a physical shield in front of your eyes can’t be a bad thing right now, either.

That being said, current mask protocols have humbled glasses wearers with fogged up lenses. If you have to wear a mask for long periods, contacts definitely win out.

Just be extra sure to wash your hands before you touch your eyes.

Winner: Glasses

The Fashionista

A trendy frame can definitely make a statement, but glasses dominate your face. And they often define how others see us.

Contact lenses, on the other hand, are totally invisible. So they can be worn with any attire and won’t clash with your style.

They can easily be worn under your favorite sunglasses. Or, if you’re really daring, you can even use them to change your eye color.

And contact lenses are also your best pick for a night out on the town. Not only as a part of your wardrobe, but also for your health and safety.

The headlights of oncoming vehicles can cause glare in your glasses. Contact lenses give you a more natural night vision experience.

Winner: Contact Lenses

Glasses vs Contact lenses:
Final Verdict

Clearly, whichever way you choose to fix your vision problem is a win. But the best method you choose will come down to which situation you’re in.

On days when you’re more active and outdoors, reach for the contact lenses.

And for those lazy weekends at home, or long hours at the office, it’s good to have a pair of comfortable glasses handy.

The battle of glasses vs contact lenses is won when we keep both options on the table.

Winner: Both!

dog wearing groucho glasses
Photo by Braydon Anderson on Unsplash

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