Seeking Advice for Buying Contact Lenses (Toric)

I'm new to contacts (just finished the trial at SpecSavers, the trial lenses seemed pretty good - I need Torics) and I have absolutely no idea which / where to start actually buying the things.

There's half a dozen different brands at SS (even two versions of SS store brand - umere and lineraial), and probably dozens more available from the bigger online retailers like Clearly, Zenni, etc.

Has anyone got some recommendations? Should I stick with SS or is the quality / value better with the online retailers? Can I buy say, a pack of Lefts in one brand, a pack of Rights in another brand, and compare them? Is there much difference between brands?

Thanks for any responses.


  • +2

    I've had no issues with SS, but Toric lenses can be fiddly. I wouldn't suggest you start trialling on your own. It would also get expensive.

    If you're at all uncertain, ask to try some other options. SS will accommodate. You'll find what suits you for type (eg. Dailies), comfort and price.

    In terms of value for money, SS has a bunch of well know brands that are rebranded for SS but are otherwise identical. In my experience, the value for money is pretty good especially when paired with regular discount codes, but you might want to shop around too. SS will happily give your prescription details if you ask and want to get a better price. The OZB way.

    You could theoretically use multiple brands, but I'm not sure why you'd want to.

    Best advice, tell SS you're not sure and want to trial some more lenses.

    Good luck

    • Thanks!

      I'll go in and have a chat with them I guess. The reason behind the different brands at the same time is just that it'd suck to buy different brands $80 at a time only to find all 60 lenses aren't good for me haha.

  • +1

    Probably not a great idea to start DIYing your brand selection if you're new to it. Trial lenses are usually selected for a reason and if you find them comfortable, you should probably stick with them. Not all brands will be available readily in the combo you need anyway.

    Difference in price is fairly minimal, so it shouldn't really be the goal of your selection process. They're often cheaper online, but i've always just told them I buy them online for $x, but i'll buy off them if they match it, which they usually do. Your prescription is on the box, so you can always by your first set from Spec Savers and then look for them online afterwards.

    Monthly (or fortnightly) lenses are better than dailies (and i'm sure there will be plenty of people here who want to argue that, but remember they're wrong) - it's really no effort to spend 5 seconds cleaning them each day.

    • +1

      Big call on the monthly/daily argument. I find my dailies more comfortable than the monthly I used to wear. Personal preference really.

      Now I only wear contacts maybe once or twice a week. With monthly or fortnightly lenses I would be pissing the money away. Dailies are ideal in this circumstance.

      • I've been wearing contacts daily for 20+ years, back when they used to be these thick rubbery things that I could only wear for ~6 hours a day before I wanted to claw my eyeballs out.

        Dailies are absolutely worse than monthlies for comfort and vision and oxygen permeability.

        For weak scripts and occasional use I concede they have a use, but they're still worse.

        • Hmm. I was told at SS that dailies are safer for infection risk, and have better oxygen permeability!

          • @Grazz989: Safer, maybe, since you've got less opportunities for infection. If you're sanitising daily and not doing dumb stuff like using spit to clean them, you're very unlikely to have any problems. The big problem one (acanthamoeba) is mostly water-borne, so you should only be using proper solutions to clean them.

  • Monthly (or fortnightly) lenses are better than dailies (and i'm sure there will be plenty of people here who want to argue that, but remember they're wrong) - it's really no effort to spend 5 seconds cleaning them each day.

    I agree that monthly/fortnightly lenses are better than dailies for comfort.

    Personally I have used CooperVision Biofinity Toric and am happy with them.

  • I've been buying Bausch and Lomb PureVision 2 Toric from Clearly for years and find them really comfortable. SS used to sell brand names but I noticed they have dropped them and try the sell their own Home brands. The PureVision are monthlies but I notice they get a bit firmer towards the end. If you get them cheap online it is better to change them early.

    The Purevision did change a while ago to the "2" version so I just matched the new specifications on the Clearly website. My eyes used to change a lot early in life but have now settled down. If we ever get out of lockdown I'm due for a check up.

    • While I was doing some research, I saw someone on whirlpool mentioning that they wear those particular lenses 24/7! Any comment on that?

      • +1

        Just like you can drive without a seatbelt on, there are contact lenses that you can "sleep in" but the risk of problems goes up exponentially. Definitely not recommended unless you want to roll the dice with your eye health

      • +1

        I don't try to keep them in overnight as I find any contact lens gets too dry and sticks to the eye if I fall asleep with them in. The eye needs time to breathe :) Contact lenses have certainly improved over the years. My initial ones were "hard" and needed specific cleaning to keep them comfortable. These modern soft lenses are so comfortable for all day wear. The Purevision are the best ones yet.

        I also find the cleansing/soaking solution to be important. Some brands make the lenses "gluggy" or sticky. I find Acuvue RevitaLens solution to be really light and fresh. It's a personal thing. I once had an Optometrist get upset that I didn't like the particular brand that he was pushing. It was a "What would you know ?" sort of attitude from him. I was the one wearing contacts and he wasn't.

        Out of curiosity, I looked up some of the other brands on Clearly that have been mentioned here. Most had the right power and axis, but had different curvature to the ones I currently wear. I guess that sort of thing is going to limit how much you can shop around.

        • Thanks for the response! … I'm quite new so I'm not sure what you mean by curvature. How can I check whether a set of lenses has the right curvature for me?

          • @Grazz989: On the script below it's the "BOZR" but it's usually called Base Curve (BC)

      • +1

        Yup checked for lenses approved for "extended wear" - it all comes down to personal preference if you actually wear them for that long.

  • Whats your prescription?
    Do you get dry eyes?
    How often do you want to wear the CLs?
    What are you planning on wearing it for?

    • My prescription is (I'll have to do some research and find out what any of it actually means …):
      BOZR: 8.6
      DIA: 14.5
      SPH: -2.5 (R), -2.75 (L)
      CYL: -1.25
      Axis: 110 (R) 70 (L)
      And SS prescribed me the Soft Daily Elite Toric linarial tor day Coopervisions.

      I don't think I've gotten dry eyes, no. Maybe once when I was staring at a PC monitor for ages and forgot to blink?

      At first I thought for special occasions, but as I get more used to them, I think I'd probably grow into using them most days.

      Basically a regular day would be to wear to work (I work in IT), maybe socialise for a bit, then perhaps back to a screen for a couple more hours - Being able to wear them long hours morning till bedtime would be fantastic. Certainly no extreme sports or such. I'm not exactly sure what you might be looking for in this answer?

      PS: Thanks a lot for your time.

      • Your lenses are reboxed MyDay Torics.

        I would suggest sticking with these lenses and seeing how you go. If you were happy with what you tried, I would strongly suggest sticking with them for the timebeing to see if CLs are right (long term) for you.

        If you plan on wearing the lenses everyday be worth considering to monthly lenses as these will be cheaper in the long run (Specsavers would be able to help you with that).

        • Thank you for the information!

          I'm happy to see how they go for another month or so, but it seems most people in these types of discussions (both here and in whirlpool) have tried a variety of brands. May I ask why doing the same would be a bad idea for myself? I was just hoping to learn and understand a bit more and perhaps get some alternative recommendations to try out. It would seem silly to me to use those MyDay Torics for the rest of time when right next to them on the shelf could be a different brand that suits me more haha.

          • +1

            @Grazz989: Not a worry, I realised that I worded my previous post poorly which may have caused some confusion!

            Contact lenses are not all the same, the material, diameter and base curve can all vary - this is why Specsavers (and any optometrist) let you test the lenses and then check the fit of the lenses before they give you a prescription.

            What I'm getting at is to see if CLs suit your lifestyle before trying different brands/types. You don't want to go "off" CLs because of a poor fitment. Once you're comfortable with how you use them (or are otherwise unhappy with your lenses), revisit the optometrist and get refitted with something else (they'll also give you some free trial lenses to test).