Soft and RPG lenses compared

Contact lenses are made from two types of material; soft or rigid.  Contacts made from soft material are referred to as hydrophilic, and those contacts which are made from a hard material are known as Rigid Gas Permeable (RPG) lenses.

Wondering which type of contact lens between the two is suitable to correct your eye vision needs? Here is a brief comparison of both soft and Rigid Gas Permeable  lenses. However, before making any decision, you should visit an optometrist for a comprehensive eye examination to determine your vision needs and the best contact lens for your needs.

Soft Contact Lenses

These contact lenses are made of malleable plastic polymers. They are flexible and when fit properly, tends to form to your cornea. Soft contacts are the most commonly worn type of lenses.


  • Provides more comfort when initially worn, as opposed to RPG lenses

  • As a new wearer, you will need a shorter period to adjust to your lenses

  • Can be worn on an intermittent basis

  • Reduced chances of damage from foreign elements such as dust

  • Minimized sensitivity to light

  • Ideal for contact sports such as basketball or football; will rarely fall out of your eyes

  • Comes in different types of tint


  • Low durability as compared to RPG lenses

  • Dries out when worn under a hair dryer, in a hot room or in dry and windy weather; causes discomfort making your eyes itchy and tired

  • There is more lens care involved, specifically for unplanned replacement schedule contacts

  • Performance declines over time; prone to more protein and lipids deposit

  • Will often absorb chemicals and dust from the environment; results in irritation of the eyes

  • Distort when you blink; your eyes have to refocus

  • Expensive to maintain

  • Less oxygen gets to your eyes; can cause corneal problems

Rigid Gas Permeable (RPG) Contact Lenses

These contact lenses may be rigid, but the plastic material they are made of is more flexible as compared to soft lenses. With the advanced lens technology, there are new RPG contacts that allow more oxygen to pass through your eyes, which allows them to breath. According to Eye practitioners, these lens are known as Oxygen Permeable Lenses, and can be worn for both daily and extended wear.  They are also designed with superior optics when compared to soft lenses.

Listed below, are some of the benefits and limitations to wearing RPG lenses.


  • Provides good vision

  • Designed to correct most corneal astigmatism  and bifocal conditions

  • Are highly durable

  • Visibly tinted to allow for proper handling

  • Less hassle and expenses involved in caring for the lenses

  • Retains shape when you blink; no need for your eyes to refocus

  • Requires less water to maintain their shape; will not dry out your eyes

  • Fewer protein and lipid deposits; provides more comfort which results into healthier eyes


  • Wearers experience discomfort during initial wear

  • Gets dislodged easily

  • Wearers may take longer to fully adapt to the lenses

  • Scratches and breaks easily

  • Not designed for intermittent wear


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