Contacts vs. Glasses: Which Are Best For You?

There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to contacts vs. glasses for vision correction. Which better suits your lifestyle? Your aesthetic? Your budget? And, most importantly, which one is better for your eye health?

One is not necessarily better than the other. Each has pros and cons, and it’s ultimately up to you to decide what works best. This also does not need to be an absolute either/or choice. Many people choose to switch between the two!


Contacts vs. Glasses — Pros and Cons

There is no right choice when it comes to contacts vs. glasses. For example, eyeglasses offer many benefits. They need very little maintenance. You don’t have to touch your eyes to wear them, which can reduce the chance of eye infection

Also, they are more budget-friendly since they don’t have to be replaced as often as contacts. Glasses can also be crafted to protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays. 

Finally, frames come in endless: 

  • Colors 
  • Shapes 
  • Styles 

This allows eyeglasses to act as a fashion statement! 

Glasses can be expensive to replace if lost and are easily affected by the weather. They also sit about a half-inch away from your eyes, which can distort your peripheral vision. 

Contacts, on the other hand, sit directly on your eyes. This ensures that your vision is completely unobstructed with less distortion than glasses. They don’t get in the way when exercising or playing sports and aren’t affected by weather conditions. 

Contacts can’t make a direct fashion statement. However, you can wear colored contact lenses. This updates your look without eyeglasses that may clash with what you are wearing.

Please note that costume contacts can cause infections and changes in your eyesight. Always talk to your eye doctor about colored contacts before purchasing/wearing them.

However, contacts are not for everybody. Some people have trouble putting their contact lenses directly in their eyes. Contacts need proper care and cleaning to avoid eye infections. You also shouldn’t wear them while you sleep. Daily disposable contact lenses are recommended if the care requirements seem like too much of a commitment.


Which Are Better For Your Eyes? glasses and a contacts lens case laying on a cloth

Regardless of what you choose when it comes to contacts vs. glasses, both can correct your vision. However, some prescription types may work better than others. 

For example, stronger prescriptions require thicker lenses. In this case, contacts would be a much more comfortable option. Astigmatism might also benefit from a special type of contact lens over glasses. However, contacts may irritate your eyes if you have an eye disease or certain eye conditions.

Your doctor can tell which is best for you and your overall eye health after a comprehensive exam. A comprehensive eye exam is required before getting contacts. Bear in mind that there are differences between a comprehensive exam and a contact lens exam.


Should You Have Both?

As we mentioned earlier, you can wear contact lenses and eyeglasses. Extensive wear of contacts can make your eyes feel dry or strained. This makes having a pair of glasses a nice option. Or, you can simply choose based on your plans for the day or what you’re wearing!

Using both can help prevent issues with:

  • Allergies
  • Dry eye
  • Eyestrain
  • Infection

Switching from glasses to contacts and vice versa is one of the best ways to give your eyes time to rest. They need a break, and switching between eyeglasses and contact lenses is a great opportunity for them to reset. 

Allergy season is unavoidable and can lead to eye irritation. Contacts can trap allergens and irritants under the lens, causing extreme discomfort. Carrying a backup pair of glasses will restore your clear and comfortable vision. 

Keep in mind that eyeglasses and contact lenses require different prescriptions. This is because glasses sit slightly away from your eye and contact lenses sit directly on the eye. Ask your doctor before buying glasses with the same prescription as your contacts.


Choose Eyeglasses or Contacts Based on Your Lifestyle

eye doctor holding glasses in one hand and a contacts lens case in the other, helping choose between contacts vs. glassesAnother factor to consider when it comes to contacts vs. glasses is your lifestyle. Do you have seasonal allergies? Live a sedentary or physically active lifestyle? Work behind a screen or spend most of your day outside? 

Contact lenses may be easier to wear when being active and are easier to keep up with. Unfortunately, they can become more easily irritated and uncomfortable during allergy season. Eyeglasses are generally cheaper, but easier to break or misplace. 

Something else to consider is that contacts require much more care and cleaning. If you have a hard time keeping track, you might be better off with glasses or daily disposable contacts. 

There are a lot of factors that could affect your decision. We made a short quiz to help you determine whether glasses or contacts are better for your lifestyle!

Take Our Quiz



Are you ready to schedule a comprehensive eye exam for new glasses or contacts? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!


When considering contacts vs. glasses, it’s important to understand that one isn’t better than the other. What’s more important is to consider the pros and cons of each option and determine which works best for you. In fact, many people choose to use both in their daily lives!

Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical has been serving Knoxville since 2009. Located at 10904 Spring Bluff Way, you can schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (865) 888-0892.

*This blog was originally published in August of 2021. It has been updated for clarity and new information.

Medically Reviewed By:

Dr. Thompson was born and raised in Knoxville, TN. His family has lived in the Hardin Valley area since 1998, and he graduated from Karns High School in 2004. Dr. Thompson runs Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical alongside his wife, Dr. Catherine Abbott.

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"Dr. Thompson is super professional, and has some of the best 'bedside manner' that I have ever witnessed from any doctor. His staff was very helpful in assisting me with picking out regular frames and sunglasses. I’d happily recommend Dr. Thompson to anyone looking for a eye doctor."
Cody C.