Here I will only talk about soft lens material since soft lenses are dominating the market today. There are a lot of materials to choose from since every manufacturer has their idea of how the best lens is made. To bring some order, FDA have categorized the materials in 5 categories.
I will now try to give you some pros and cons on these different materials. The siliconhydrogel lenses are so different from the hydrogels so I choose to compare the siliconhydrogel to the hydrogelmaterials 1-4 as one group, but the pros and cons given on each hydrogelmaterial is a comparison towards the other three hydrogelmaterials.
-Great oxygen transmissibility to the cornea.
-Good resistance against drying up in the eye.
-High stiffness in the material.
-Low surface wettability, noticeable is that the newest siliconhydrogels are better in this point of view.
Hydrogel lenses with high water content
-Low stiffness in the material.
-Good visual acuity due to thick lens.
-Easy to damage.
-More likely to attract debris.
Hydrogel lenses with low water content
-Less likely to dry out in dry environments.
-Can be made thinner.
-The materials have low oxygen-transmissibility.
-Hydrogellenses with ionic vs non ionic material.
-Ionic materials have larger water transmission through the lens.
-Ionic materials are more likely to attract protein debri.
So which lens should I choose? Well, there is no simple answer to that question, it depends on how you wish too use the lenses, your need of correction and the environment you spend time in.