A Comparison of European Soft Contact Lens Markets in 2022

Contact Lens Market - The Optical Journal

Author: EUROMCONTACT a.i.s.b.l. Board


EUROMCONTACT collects data for Soft Contact Lenses (SCL, Daily Disposables (DD), Weekly / Bi-Weekly and Monthly (W/B&M), and conventional soft (CS)) CLs in 32 countries. Four are in pairs, which makes for 30 countries/clusters in total. Not all countries had data in all segments for 2022 and/or 2021, though. This is especially true for CS, where only one country / Cluster had data in 2022. All had data for W/B-W&M and DD in both years, except EG.

In 2022, the market value of soft contact lenses (SCLs) at industry to eye care professionals (ECPs) level grew by 13.1% to € 2’079 million. The CL market for the eleven reported countries in this paper grew by 11.9%, to € 1’710 million. They represent 82.3% of the total collected. In the eleven markets DD grew by 15.9% and W/B-W&M by 6.3%), CS not measured.

With a total of 13.5% (+0.4%) of the 15-64 years old population wearing CLs, Denmark (DK) is leading the penetration ranks, ahead of Sweden (SE) (12.3%, +4.9%) and Norway (NO) (11.1%, -7.0%). Lowest among the eleven is Germany (DE) (4.4%, +6.7%), next is Spain (ES) (4.74%; +3.81%). Across all markets are 20.9 million wearers (+6.6%).

EuroMContact-Market-Size graph

Silicone Hydrogels (SiHy) have an 87.0 % value share in the W/B-W&M segment (across all 30 countries / 32 clusters) and range from 81.2% (IT) up to 95.2% (NO) in the reported eleven countries.

The total lens care market was flat (+0.00%) at € 175 million for all 30 countries / 32 clusters. All countries but SA and EG had total data for 2022, plus not all had data for all segments in one or both years (2022 / 2021). In the eleven countries, total care market was € 139 million (-0.30%).


EUROMCONTACT has run this syndicated market data analysis since 2003. Table 1 shows the names of the companies that participated and contributed to the data collection in 2022. The total data collection covers 32 countries, two of which are tied with another one to form two clusters (BE with LU and UK with IE). This report covers only the eleven major countries, while sometimes referencing to the total 30/32 data. (Tables 2 and 3 show the assessed and non-assessed countries and markets). To facilitate trend observation, this report closely follows the earlier ones.

The data collection process, syndicated data

The Headquarters of the participating companies submit each quarter the numbers of lenses sold (units) and their market value (lenses and lens care products) at ex-manufacturer’s prices (sum of the invoiced prices, so-called shipping or sell-in data) to an independent company. This company then removes manufacturer-specific information and returns the aggregated numbers by country, by segment, by sub-segment etc. for each country to EUROMCONTACT and the participating companies. The collection covers all soft lens and lens care market segments. For non-€ currency countries, the year’s exchange is fixed on Jan 2nd for the whole year. Past years’ values are adjusted to the current (2022) exchange rate of the €. While the data is primarily used by the contributing manufacturers it is, however, also of interest to contact lens practitioners and the whole vision/eye care industry. The participating companies believe they cover around 80 to 90% of the disposable/planned replacement CL market in the covered countries. The coverage of the CS is not good anymore (only one country had data in 2022), as this market is mainly served by local/regional manufacturers.

The wearer bases

The value of a country’s total market and the split of the market segments are important, but even more so is the number of users (wearers) as it is a good indicator for the success of CLs in the marketplace. The number of people who wear CLs within a market is called the ‘wearer base’ and is presented here as the fraction of CL wearers within the 15 to 64 years old population1. It would be more interesting to express it as the fraction of the population needing vision correction, but unlike general population data, this number is not readily or publicly available. This report calculates the number of SCL wearers using the 2022 units (one CL) sales divided by an assumed annual consumption. The wearer base is calculated for the following SCL categories:

EuroMContact Wearers Age graph
DD-W/B&M-CS wearers in population 15 – 64 years of age 2022 vs. 2021
(for values of 2022 see also table 5)
Soft lens wearer base values for each country or region assessed, presented by lens category and in total (with comparison to 2020). Penetration expressed as % of total population of 15 to 64 years of age.
  • daily disposable (DD)
  • weekly/bi-weekly and monthly replacement lenses (W/B-W&M)

For each lens category and for each country, the number of wearers was calculated by taking the yearly figure of units sold and dividing them by an assumed annual ‘consumption’ rate per wearer. For consistency reasons, these values were kept constant at 350 CLs per year for DD1, 26 CL per year for W/B-W&M CLs1. For CS it would have been 2.7 CLs per year2.

The number of wearers for each category and country was then divided by the population of 15-64 years of age for each country or region, to provide a wearer base value as a proportion of the population 15-64-year old’s (in %)3 per country and in total. The eleven countries and regions evaluated in this article are listed in Table 2.



The reported countries represent 82.3% of the total value collected. Among the eleven reported DD grew 15.9% in value, while W/B-W&M grew 6.3%. For CS, only one country had data in 2022, so not further analysis for CS.

For all 30/32 clusters/markets total value is € 2,079 Mio (+13.1%), with DD growing 16.6%, W/B-W&M at 8.7%.

Of all and thus also among the eleven DK has the highest penetration (13.5%, +0.4%), followed by SE (12.3%, +4.9%) and NO, down 7.0% to 11.1%). Next are NL at 10.65% (-12.5%), CH at 9.65% (-13.7%) and the UK & IE (8.5%, +0.3%). Lowest among the eleven is DE at 4.2% (+10.4%) and ES (4.3%, +22.1%).

Silicone Hydrogels (SiHy) are now at 87.0 % value share in the W/B-W&M segment (across all 32/30 countries) and range from 81.2% (IT) up to 95.2% (NO) in the reported eleven countries.

The total lens care market declined by 0.04% to € 198 million for all 34 countries / 32 clusters (-11.5% for those with data in both years, same total but growth of 0.8%). In the eleven countries, total care market was € 138 million (-4.0%). All countries except EG and SA had total data, but not all had data for all segments and both years.

The total value of lenses across all 32/30 markets grew by 13.1% to € 2’079 million. The total for the 11 reported increased by 11.9% to € 1’710million. Strongest growth among the reported countries was in NL (+17.6%), closely followed by DE (+13.1%). None declined. The biggest market, UK-IE, grew 11.5%.

The eleven reported countries represent 82.3% of the total. DD value in the group of the eleven grew 15.8%, W/B-W&M by 6.3%. CS not reported in 2022.

The split in the segments (by value) for the total 32/30 markets is: 59.0 % for DD, 41.0% for W/B-W&M. (see also Figure 2). For the eleven it is 61.5% for DD, 38.5% for W/B-W&M.

DK and SE have the highest total penetration rate. It is 13.3% in DK (+0.4%) and 12.3% in SE (+4.9%). NO declined to 11.1% (-7.0%). The lowest penetration among the countries covered in this publication report is DE (4.43, +6.7%). ES grew 3.8% to 4.74% (see Table 5).

There are 20.9 million wearers across all 30/32 countries.

DD are worn by more than 10% in DK (10.4%), and more than 5% in SE (6.2%), NO (8.6%) and UK-IE (5.24%). DD wearers in % of total wearers are 78.2% in DK and 72.10% in NO. Among the eleven, W/B-W&M is the strongest segment in ES (76.0%) and DE (70.9%) in % of all wearers.

Silicone-Hydrogel lenses

Over the past years, DD and SiHy CLs were important drivers for the contact lens market. It is therefore of interest to see the share of silicone hydrogel lenses in the W/B-W&M segment. (see Figure 4)

Among the eleven countries in this report, NO (95.2%) has the highest percentage of SiHy among the W/B-W&M, followed by SE (94.2%) and UK-IE (92.7%). The rate is the lowest in IT (81.2%).

Lens Care Products (LCPs)

For the LCP market only values are reported, while milliliters were also collected. Different bottle sizes and usage quantities needed per system and case does not allow for a simple ‘units’ system). The following segments were collected (no change in the collected segments to previous reports in earlier years):

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide (HP) based solutions / systems
  2. Multipurpose (MPS) solutions
  3. Total Soft Disinfecting (sum of HP and MPS)
  4. RGP Soaking solutions, non-multipurpose chemical disinfectants
  5. Daily Cleaners (for rigid and soft lenses)
  6. Enzymatic Cleaners products
  7. Rinsing solutions (saline)
  8. Rewetting (drops, solutions)
  9. Total (sum of all segments)

Data was not available in such detail in all countries, not even for the first two categories, which are the most important ones. This report will therefore look at total CLC, total soft disinfecting and the largest segments (HP and MPS) only.

The total LCP market across all 32/30 markets was flat at € 175 million. In the eleven markets it declined by 0.30%, total value is € 139 million. Total soft disinfection (HP and MPS) makes up 80.2% of the total LCP market (32/30). The MPS market relative to the HP market (value) in the eleven countries can be seen on Table 4 (for the countries which had MPS and HP data per country).

Annual Lens Care Value per Wearer

W/B-W&M wearers, as well as CS CLs wearers use MPS or HP solutions to disinfect and store their CLs when not worn. Therefore, when taking the total soft disinfecting (combined value of the MPS and HP) and dividing it by the number of the W/B-W&M plus the CS wearers, one can calculate an annual lens care value per wearer. This ignores the fact that some do wear their W/B-W&M CLs on an extended or even on a continuous wear basis and thus do not use lens care products. In some markets only MPS data was available. For 2022, there was no data for CS wearers.

EuroMContact Cost per wearer graph
Comparison of the 2022 yearly cost of the different systems to the ECP, relative to DD (350 lenses a year), per country, lenses plus care for W/B-W&M and CS.

This annual value (sell-in prices) of lens care per wearer is highest in CH and lowest in UK-IE (among the eleven reported). There can be several reasons. The prices in CH may be higher, the wearers in CH are using more bottles in the year (higher compliance), or it may be a combination. Another option is the mix between less expensive MPS and more expensive HP (in CH total HP value is higher than total MPS, while in Milliliters MPS is bigger).

Comparison of the total cost of the different systems for the eye care professional

Taking the assumed consumption of CLs, one can have an annual cost of CLs per wearer for the eye care professional. Adding into this the annual cost of lens care (for W/B&M as well as CS), one can get the total costs at which the eye care professionals purchase the annual supply for all different systems.

Taking the annual cost for DD as a basis (100%) in each country, one can express the other systems’ costs relative to the DD. (See Figure 5) The difference is somewhat favorable for W/B-W&M, but then not all countries had complete coverage of the care market.

Closing remarks

This report uses data that EUROMCONTACT member companies have collected. EUROMCONTACT thanks all participating companies for their contribution and cooperation.

Reporting companies (in alphabetical order)

Alcon Vision Care
Bausch & Lomb
Johnson & Johnson Vision
Menicon Europe

List of Markets assessed and reported on

Belgium & Luxembourg (BE-LU)
Denmark (DK)
France (FR)
Germany (DE)
Italy (IT)
Netherlands (NL)
Norway (NO)
Spain (ES)
Sweden (SE)
Switzerland (CH)
United Kingdom & Ireland (UK-IE)

List of Markets collected but not assessed

United Arab Emirates (AE)
Austria (AT)
Bulgaria (BG)
Croatia (HR)
Czech Republic (CZ)
Egypt (EG)
Finland (FI)
Greece (GR)
Hungary (HU)
Israel (IL)
Kuwait (KW)
Poland (PL)
Portugal (PT)
Romania (RO)
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (SA)
Turkey (TR)
Slovakia (SK)
Slovenia (SI)
South Africa (ZA)


  • Based on the annual survey of contact lens wear at Eurolens Research, UMIST.
  • Jones L, Woods CA and Efron N. Life expectancy of rigid gas permeable and high water content contact lenses. CLAO J. 22: 258-261.
  • http://www.cia.gov/

For more information visit www.euromcontact.org

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