Postlens tear film morphology, lens movement and symptoms were assessed in 100 subjects wearing hydrogel contact lenses on a daily wear schedule. Postlens tear film appearance in specular reflection was categorized as amorphous, coloured, striated or dynamic (variable with blinking), and subjects' symptoms were assessed using a questionnaire. Non-amorphous appearances were present in 25% of subjects and occurred approximately equally with HEMA, Acuvue, Igel 55 and other lens types. Patterned appearances were found to be associated with reduced lens movement (Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA, P < 0.001). The most common symptom (dryness) was not significantly related to postlens tear film appearance. Postlens tear film morphology was shown to be a determinant of lens movement, but may be unrelated to common symptoms.