Updated: Oct 7, 2021.
Biotrue Multi-Purpose Solution and OPTI-FREE PureMoist are two popular multi-purpose contact lens cleaning solutions. While both products provide dual-disinfection utilizing Polyquad as one of the main ingredients, Biotrue's Polyquad concentration is significantly reduced. Alcon's OPTI-FREE solution features HydraGlyde® Moisture Matrix, a technology known from the Air Optix with HydraGlyde contact lens family. Biotrue Multi-Purpose Solution's wetting agent is Hyaluronan (HA), an ingredient that wraps around the lens surface and captures moisture for up to 20 hours with a ph-value similar to the ph-value of human tears. The cost of using Biotrue or OPTI-FREE PureMoist is similar and you can get both products for as low as $0.80 per ounce when buying the 10oz twin pack.
Table of Contents
1. What's the Same?
Before we dive into differences, let's have a quick look at the features these two multi-purpose cleaning solutions share.
Biotrue and OPTI-FREE PureMoist are the top-selling cleaning solutions offered by Alcon (OPTI-FREE PureMoist) and Bausch+Lomb (Biotrue). Both companies spend significant resources on the development and improvement of their contact lens cleaning products. Biotrue and OPTI-FREE PureMoist are both multi-purpose cleaning solutions suitable for SiHy and non-SiHy soft contact lenses. The term 'multi-purpose' means that they take on multiple tasks at once and make it more convenient for you to stick to a daily cleaning routine. They clean, disinfect, recondition and store your lenses and both products are time-tested as they were introduced in 2010 (Biotrue) and 2011 (OPTI-FREE PureMoist).
Manufacturers of cleaning solutions integrate several disinfectants and preservatives into their products. This is to kill a larger number of micro-organisms as they could be resistant to one disinfectant but not the other. Certain ingredients have shown effectiveness as a disinfectant in many studies and Biotrue and OPTI-FREE PureMoist are taking advantage of this: Both products utilize Polyquaternium (however Opti-Free contains 0.001% while Biotrue contains 0.0001% Polyquaternium), as well as boric acid and disodium EDTA. Also, both products use sodium chloride as a component for buffering and storage. As you may know, sodium chloride is salt, and when used in a 0.9% concentration it is very similar to the salt level in our tears.
Both products can be purchased for as low as $0.80 per fluid ounce. The price range is quite wide and depends on the quantity you are buying. You are paying a premium when you don't buy a larger quantity such as a twin-pack with ten ounces per bottle compared to a small size bottle such as two ounces. The cost-per-ounce can be twice as much! So our recommendation: Once you have figured out the cleaning solution that works best for you, stick to it and buy the twin-packs.
2. What's Different?
Bausch & Lomb's Biotrue product line-up is comprised of one product, while Alcon is offering three products: OPTI-FREE PureMoist, OPTI-FREE RepleniSH, and OPTI-FREE Express. And while their names might not suggest, their ingredients and target markets are different.
A dual-disinfection system (which as the de-facto standard in multi-purpose cleaning solutions) can be found in both cleaning solutions and Polyquaternium (in different concentrations) is one of the components mentioned earlier. Besides, Bausch & Lomb is using Polyaminopropyl biguanide in a 0.00013% concentration while Alcon counts on their proprietary Aldox (0.0006% myristamidopropyl dimethylamine).
The most obvious difference between the two cleaning solutions is the type of wetting agent used to recondition the lenses. Biotrue contains hyaluronan, an ingredient that suggests (as studies have shown) to improve tear film volume and to stabilize the tear film. OPTI-FREE PureMoist's wetting agent is comprised of Tetronic 1304 (from BASF) and EOBO-41. By the way, Alcon brands this wetting technology as HydraGlyde which is also part of the latest version of their Air Optix products making them highly compatible with this cleaning solution.
Clinical Studies (External Links)
- Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Biotrue Multi-Purpose Solution and OPTI-FREE PureMoist for Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lenses
- Performance of OPTI-FREE PureMoist, Synergi, and COMPLETE RevitaLens with a Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lens
- Care solution effects on contact lens in vivo wettability
3. Biotrue and OPTI-FREE PureMoist: Specs Compared
Biotrue Multi-Purpose Solution
|Product Name||Biotrue Multi-Purpose Solution||OPTI-FREE® PureMoist®|
|Type||Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution (MPDS)||Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution (MPDS)|
|Manufacturer||Bausch & Lomb Inc.||Alcon Inc.|
|FDA Device Class||II||II|
|Over the Counter (OTC)||Yes||Yes|
|Special Features||With dual disinfection and a balanced pH value similar to your tears. Smart protein management using sulfobetaine keeps healthy tear proteins active.||Featuring HydraGlyde® Moisture Matrix for all-day comfort and Dual Disinfection with Polyquad® and Aldox®|
|Disinfection & Preservatives|| || |
|Wettings Agents & Lubricants|| || |
|Buffer and Saline|| || |
|Packaging, Pricing and Offers|
|Packaging Details|| 2 oz (60 ml)|
4 oz (118 ml)
10 oz (296 ml)
16 oz (473 ml)
Twin Pack 2 x 10 oz (2 x 296 ml)
Twin Pack 2 x 16 oz (2 x 473 ml)
| 2 oz (60 ml) |
4 oz (120 ml)
10 oz (300 ml)
Twin Pack 2 x 10 oz (2 x 300 ml)
|Price Range|| $9 - $14 (1 x 10 oz bottle)|
$16 - $24 (2 x 10 oz twin pack)
| $14 - $17 (1 x 10 oz bottle) |
$16 - $26 (2 x 10 oz twin pack)
|Cost per ounce (30ml)||$0.80 - $1.40 (per oz)||$0.80 - $1.70 (per oz)|
|Online Retailers|| |
4. Summary and Conclusion: Which Cleaning Solution Should You Get?
While you can buy both products over-the-counter and without prescription from your local drugstore or online, always discuss with your eye doc first whether these two products can be used with your contact lenses and whether they are right for you. Try both if you can. Buy a small two-ounce bottle of each, then use one product for a few days and the other for a few days after. While both products are multi-purpose cleaning solutions for soft contact lenses, they are quite different when you look at their disinfecting ingredients and the wetting agents they contain. And that could have an impact on the wearing comfort of your lenses. Some people will find their lenses to be more comfortable after cleaning them with Biotrue rather than with OPTI-FREE PureMoist and vice versa. We are all unique and so are our eyes and how they respond to the chemicals in contact lenses and cleaning solutions.
Have you tried these lens care products? We would love to get your feedback!