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Sclera Contacts Explained

Sclera contacts are a fashion accessory which covers more of the surface of the eye than regular contact lenses. Most colored contacts are between 14.0 and 14.5mm in diameter, meaning that they only cover the areas of the eye called the pupil (the black center through which we see) and the iris (the colored circle around the center which allows the pupil to dilate so that more light can enter the pupil and we can adjust to see more easily in lower light conditions.

Eye Diagram Iris Sclera Pupil

Sclera contact lenses also cover part or all of the sclera.


Sclera Contacts however, are not contact lenses as a lens is defined as a

"piece of glass or other transparent material for concentrating or dispersing light rays" (OED, 2018)". As these contacts do not refract light or alter vision in any way, they are not a lens. Just like normal sunglasses you would buy in the shops they are not designed to alter vision in the way prescription glasses do. However, in the same way "sunglasses" are glasses, these are often refered to as contacts, simply as it is established in colloquial language.


"Sclera" contacts should not be confused with "Scleral" contact lenses. The former which we sell are a soft fashion accessory and do not contain a fluid reservoir. The latter is a rarely used optometric vision altering device requiring a prescription. You can learn more about the difference here.


There are currently 2 types of the sclera fashion and costume accessory available; 22mm and 17mm in diameter versions:

22mm Sclera Contacts

These are what people tend to imagine when they think about sclera contacts. They do not alter vision as they are not a lens.


They cover most of the sclera making the whole of the eye appear to be one color or pattern. For example, a black sclera 22mm contact is often used to give the impression of vampire eyes.

17mm Mini-Sclera Contacts

Much smaller than the 22mm variety, these actually only appear slightly larger than normal coloured contacts. Lots of the sclera remains visible. They do not alter vision as they are not a lens but are sometimes called circle lenses as they give a very cute Anime character aesthetic (17mm mini sclera contacts are often drawn covering more sclera than they really do, they're then sold far cheaper price than full sclera contacts).

The centers of sclera contacts are transparent (or have a fine mesh in a few designs), allowing the wearer to see through the center. However they do not refract light and alter vision in the way that prescription glasses or contact lenses do. The color of the sclera contact is actually achieved with a very thin coloured foil which is sandwiched between 2 layers of polymacron. While this may sound a strange approach, any sort of dye would of course just run due to the water content and ruin the design!

Our specialist fashion accessory scleras which you will find across our site are sterile hydrophillic soft sclera contacts made with 62% polymacon and 38% water with a high oxygen permeability for comfort. Generally, the more water content, the more comfortable, but also the less time they will last and more difficult they are to stay in when worn.

Items included with sclera contact lenses purchase

They are manufactured in a sterile environment and immersed in buffered saline solution in individually sealed vials. Sclera full eye colored contact lenses are designed to fit most eyes, however some people may find them uncomfortable to wear for an extended period of time if they are not used to contacts.


Sclera contacts are designed to create a striking effect by covering the whole of the visible eye with color or pattern. These full eye coloured contacts are very popular in the movie and fashion industries and are the crowning jewel for any costume. Sclera contacts are used in movies such as the whited-out eyes of the monsters in Evil Dead, or blacked-out eyes in Underworld and Underworld: Evolution, or the Star Trek episode Where No Man Has Gone Before. These contacts are used extensively in Cosplay for characters such as X-Men, Avatar, Tokyo Ghoul and Naruto.


And that's it! Got any questions? Feel free to send us a message and ask...

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