A novel approach and the equilibrium sessile drop (laser assisted) method were used to determine the wettability of hydrated and unhydrated PMMA, Polycon II, Boston IV, Equalens and Boston RXD rigid contact lens materials. In the new method the ability of the contact lens surface to attract the liquid is evaluated by measuring the adhered mass of liquid on the front lens surface. The mass has a direct relationship to contact lens wettability, so the greater the lens surface hydrophilicity the more liquid adheres to the contact lens surface. In the hydrated state, Equalens and Boston IV showed the greatest hydrophilicity of all five materials, although there was no significant difference between them (P > 0.9). Boston RXD had a lower ability to attract liquid and there was a significant difference between it and the next higher material which was Boston IV (P < 0.005) and also the next lowest Polycon II (P < 0.00001). PMMA had the lowest capability to adhere liquid and there was a significant difference between PMMA and Polycon II (P < 0.00001). The new method is simple and quick to use and gives greater discrimination and repeatability than other current methods.