Previous controlled studies on contact lens-associated ulcerative keratitis were performed before the widespread use of disposable contact lenses. Therefore, a controlled study was undertaken to determine the relative risk of ulcerative keratitis among users of disposable soft contact lenses compared with the risk among users of other lens types. Forty-six consecutive cases of contact lens-associated ulcerative keratitis were identified between January 1990 and June 1992 at a corneal specialty practice in western Michigan. Five controls, matched to each case patient according to the dispensing data and prescribing practitioner, were obtained for 42 cases (91%). Users of daily-wear rigid gas-permeable lenses had the lowest risk of developing ulcerative keratitis. Relative to users of daily-wear soft contact lenses, users of extended-wear soft contact lens had an age-adjusted and sex-adjusted relative risk of 1.87 (95% confidence interval, 0.61 to 5.71). Disposable soft contact lens users had the highest risk of developing ulcerative keratitis, with an adjusted relative risk of 14.16 (95% confidence interval, 5.47 to 37.63) compared with daily-wear soft contact lens users and 7.66 (95% confidence interval, 2.27 to 25.83) compared with conventional extended-wear soft contact lens users.