Over 45 million people in the U.S. wear contact lenses. Hubble is a subscription-based service that promises to make daily disposable contacts safe, affordable, and promptly delivered to your doorstep. Hubble’s offer can be best described as “the Dollar Shave Club for contact lenses” and costs just $36 a month – with the opportunity of buying a 15-day trial for just $1. Does Hubble live up to its promise? Find out in this compressive review below.
- A very sleek, intuitive, and easy-to-use website.
- Excellent prices (pricing is also straightforward and transparent).
- Convenient subscription plans make reordering contacts easy.
- HSA and FSA debit cards accepted.
- 15-day trial to make sure you like the product.
- Hubble offers its own contacts and also gives you the opportunity to buy familiar brands at discounted prices through its sister site.
- Some contact wearers, such as those with significant astigmatism, may not find Hubble’s brand suitable.
- Hubble’s own contacts are made from an older material.
- Hubble doesn’t accept returns.
- It is sometimes difficult to reach a live customer service representative (though the company is very responsive via email customer support).
Hubble offers you the opportunity to get daily disposable contact lenses delivered directly to you at a very low price. For most contact wearers, we can highly recommend going with Hubble. If you have a non-standard prescription or certain eye conditions and/or want only contacts that are made from the latest materials and technology, then Hubble’s own lenses might not be the right choice for you, but through a sister site they offer many discounted higher-end contact brands that would be a better option.
Hubble offers its own brand of contact lenses at very low prices, shipped directly to your door. Suitable for many but not all.
For many people without astigmatism, Hubble's brand can save you lots of money compared to recognizable brands. If you prefer your familiar higher-end brand, Hubble's sister site sells those at a discount, with free shipping too.
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This review, like all medical-related content on Innerbody, is thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy. Additionally, we extensively analyze each health-related service we review. We evaluate the entire customer experience from signing up use of the product or service, and then offer unbiased, marketing-jargon-free analysis based on the latest scientific evidence and medical standards.
Hubble Contacts was founded in 2016 in New York by Benjamin Cogan and Jesse Horwitz. They are self-described “long term users of contact lenses” who wanted to make single-use contact lenses (or “dailies”) simpler and cheaper to purchase. The company quickly garnered social media attention and investor money alike, thanks to an aggressive social media campaign and a superbly designed website.
Their business model is based on “cutting the middleman” and ensuring long-term bulk supplies. Rather than reselling contacts made by established brands (such as Acuvue or SofLens), they outsource the manufacturing process to St. Shine, an FDA-approved facility located in Taiwan.
Hubble has a sister site as well – ContactsCart – where it introduced the option of buying your favorite brands of contact lenses at a discounted price (20% off your first order) and with free shipping.
Hubble doubles-up on the simplicity side by offering a single, straightforward service: an auto-renewable subscription that delivers a one-month supply of daily disposable contact lenses (60 lenses total) to your doorstep every 30 days.
The cost: $36 a month, plus sales tax and $3 for shipping and handling. This is a remarkably attractive offer for wearers of one-day disposable contact lenses, who often pay between $25 and $45 for a box of 30 lenses (and use two boxes per month). If that describes you, then Hubble could easily save you between $100 and $600 each year.
Conversely, if you wear monthly or bi-weekly contact lenses, then Hubble’s subscription may be more than what you are currently paying: a one-year supply of bi-weekly Acuvue Oasys can cost $300 to $400, while a yearly Hubble subscription, shipping included, will amount to $468.
For first-time customers, the company also offers a “trial period” that delivers an initial 15-day supply (30 contact lenses) for just $1.
Hubble’s offer starts to show some cracks around the edges once you look at the contacts themselves.
Contact lenses have three different measures that need to fit your eye and eye condition:
- Power, which is in charge of the actual vision correction.
- Diameter (DIA), which depends on the size of your cornea.
- Base curve, or BC, which addresses the shape of the cornea.
In its contact lenses, Hubble offers powers ranging from -0.50 to -12.00 and +0.5 to +6.00. This will fit most cases of near- or farsightedness, but it won’t correct astigmatism.
Additionally, Hubble’s contacts are fitted for a base curve of 8.6 and a diameter of 14.2. This is meant to fit “most eyes”, but does not properly fit all – and wearing the wrong diameter or base curve will increase your chances of discomfort and dryness. Poorly fitted contacts will also be more likely to move out of your eye during the middle of the day.
If your fit and prescription needs are met by Hubble, then you’re all set and there are no other concerns, right? Possibly, but not necessarily – an additional source of controversy regarding Hubble contact lenses is actually the material. Hubble uses methafilcon A, an older material that has been discontinued by several major brands.
The main issue with methafilcon A is that it has lower oxygen permeability (or Dk/t value) – that is, the material allows less oxygen into the cornea, compared to other materials. The material used by Hubble has a Dk/t value of 18, while most current 1-day lenses range between 21 and 28. The lower this value, the higher the chance will be for an adverse reaction. These reactions can range from mild dryness to corneal abrasions or ulcers.
That being said, many people have used methafilcon A contacts for years without any problems – the material has been in use since the late 1980s. But some customers have reported that Hubble contacts can feel itchy or cause irritation towards the end of the day.
Hubble’s contact lenses are FDA-approved, but newer lens materials provide more oxygenation to your cornea. They also happen to be more expensive, of course.
It’s important for people to understand what they are buying and for people who cannot afford expensive contact lenses to be able to access affordable options. Just keep in mind that this material is no longer recommended by many eye doctors. If you are interested in Hubble as an economical and convenient choice, but concerned and unsure how your eyes will respond to the material, you should definitely try the $1 15-day trial before committing to more.
If methafilcon A irritates your eyes or you just don’t want to use it, you can instead get 20% off your first order of familiar high-end brands, with free shipping, from Hubble’s sister site ContactsCart.
Just like many other budget-oriented online merchants, Hubble Contacts does not take insurance coverage directly. If your insurance plan allows it (most likely, if you have an additional vision plan), you can request receipts and use them to claim a refund from your Hubble subscription.
On the other hand, Hubble Contacts does make it pretty easy to pay using a Health Savings Account or a Flexible Savings Account – as long as it is linked to a major credit card (such as VISA, Mastercard, or Discover). They also accept PayPal.
Thanks to smart design choices and their “one size fits all” approach, ordering contacts from Hubble is remarkably simple. The part that involves you can be completed in five minutes or less, despite having a couple of unnecessary steps.
1. Visit their website and take their quiz
Head to their homepage: their offer for a $1 trial is displayed quite prominently, and it would be impossible to miss.
You will then be redirected to a short 4-question quiz that covers your lens-wearing habits, how long you have been wearing contacts, and whether you’ve experienced any dryness. Your answers won’t affect the model or quality of contacts you will be offered – but it’s fun?
After submitting your answers, you will then be taken to a page asking you to “claim your offer.” It also shows a 15 second counter, but if you let it run out, the website will simply redirect you to the next step of the process. If you close the browser, the offer will still be available later.
2. Select your Prescription Power and Doctor
Now you will need to enter your prescription power for each eye, followed by your doctor’s information. Just enter your home state and the website will let you browse through a list of pre-registered opticians in the area.
If you can’t find yours, you can add him or her manually: just enter their name, city, and the clinic or office name – you won’t need the doctor’s address or phone number.
3. Enter your payment information
In the final screen, you will need to add your shipping address and payment information to complete the order. At this point, your part in the process is done: you will need to wait up to 8 hours while they verify your prescription and confirm the order. Your first box will be sent via USPS and should arrive in 5 to 10 days.
In the United States, contact lenses are classified as medical devices that require a prescription. This means that Hubble is obligated to ensure that your contact lens prescription is real – that is, the doctor you listed in step 2 really did see you and said you are fit to wear contact lenses of the same, unique size that Hubble sells.
Though we did not experience problems during our testing, the approach taken by Hubble for this process has been laissez-faire and ought to improve, based on other complaints. Several doctors have reported that Hubble Contacts uses an automated, pre-recorded call asking the doctor to confirm that you are their patient, or that they were not contacted at all. If the doctor doesn’t call back, Hubble will wait the minimally mandated 8 hours before automatically confirming your subscription. Since they never ask for your doctor’s phone number or their full address, there’s a good chance that sometimes they might call the wrong place.
Some journalists even deliberately entered made-up information, and their orders were confirmed as normal.
To summarize, though our testing went smoothly, the process still seems to have some holes in it.
So what would happen if you get the wrong contact lenses? Hubble doesn’t accept returns, but in case of a mistake on their part, you can contact them via email or call their customer service line at 1-844-334-1640. There are a few reports online of unhappy customers claiming it’s hard to reach a human at this number. By email, though, the company is responsive.
Hubble applies a $3 shipping fee to every delivery, except for the initial trial box. They use USPS Standard Economy Shipping, which usually takes 5 to 10 days.
At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health service or product. For medical devices like Hubble contacts, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:
Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) to the customer? Is the quality of the product or service high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? Does the company have a high quality medical review board with oversight? Are their treatment options or products FDA-approved?
Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the provider offer discounts or free services to our readers?
Customer Support: How well does the company provide information about its product or service? How clearly are options presented?
Privacy: Are all products sent in discreet packaging? Will your data be stored securely? Could your data ever be shared without your permission?
Speed: How fast will you receive your product from the moment you click “buy?” Are the waiting times stated by the company accurate and consistent?