Objectives: To compare the effectiveness of Hawley and vacuum-formed retainer (VFR) usage protocols on post-treatment stability. Methods: The inclusion criteria included patients who initially presented with mild or moderate pretreatment crowding and a Class I or Class II malocclusion. The retention protocols were defined as Group 1: Hawley retainers, 12 months full-time wear; Group 2: Hawley retainers, six months full-time, six months night-only wear; Group 3: VFR, 12 months full-time wear; Group 4: VFR, six months full-time, six months night-only wear. Study models were taken prior to treatment (T0), after debonding (T1), six months after debonding (T2), and 12 months after debonding (T3). Little's irregularity index, intercanine and intermolar widths, arch length, overjet and overbite were measured. Repeated measure ANOVA with one-fixed factor, one-way ANOVA, Kruskal Wallis or Welch's heteroscedastic F-test, were applied. Results: Fifty-eight patients were analysed at T2, and 52 patients at T3. There was no significant difference between the effectiveness of a Hawley appliance or VFRs on arch stability after six months. The intercanine width changes from the sixth to 12th month of retention showed a significant difference (p = 0.016) between Group 2 (-0.38 +/- 0.58 mm) and Group 3 (0.39 +/- 0.94 mm). Conclusions: Different wearing regimens of a Hawley appliance or VFR retainers did not reveal any difference determined by Little's irregularity index. Full-time usage of VFRs provided better intercanine width retention than night-only Hawley retainer wear in the maxillary arch.