Pretty much anyone who’s worn contact lenses has heard of Acuvue – but what about newcomers Hubble and Aveo? What do they offer that’s different? Are their lenses high-quality, and how do prices compare versus traditional brands?
We’ve experienced the joys (but mostly pain) of inserting plastic films into our eyes every morning just to be able to see clearly. So, it makes sense that we’d like to find the best way to continue to avoid walking into walls and keep our vision “addiction” going.
But does it really have to be so darn expensive? Hubble and Aveo are hip D2C startups offering a hassle-free way to buy affordable dailies, challenging the status quo of buying Acuvue and similar brands in-person from an optometrist. Let’s take a closer look at how Hubble stacks up vs Acuvue and Aveo in terms of price, physical lens quality, and consumer popularity, shall we?
How are newer contact lens brands Hubble or Aveo different than Acuvue?
AcuvueⓇ is a leading contact lens brand owned by Johnson & JohnsonⓇ (J&J). J&J actually bought a company that made contact lenses in 1981, and introduced the brand in the mid-80s. Today, it’s arguably the most trusted name in contact lenses, sold through optometrists, as well as online via services like 1800contacts, and in brick and mortar retailers like Costco and Walmart.
Hubble and Aveo are both new, venture-backed startups focused on disrupting the market for daily lenses. They’ve raised considerable funding from respected VCs, designed lower-cost lenses, and set up sizable FDA-approved manufacturing facilities. In that sense, they remind us of other top direct-to-consumer brands that we’ve covered on Fin vs Fin in the past such as Roman, Nurx, and others — all of which promise greater convenience and lower prices.
One-size-fits-all vs highly-specialized lenses
One thing you should know upfront: these newer D2C contact providers do not have the same level of specialized lenses as Acuvue. In fact, Acuvue’s website lists at least 15 different specialty varieties that correct the following optical conditions:
- OASYS 1-Day with HydraLux(™) Technology
- OASYS 2-Week with HYDRACLEAR® PLUS
- 1- DAY ACUVUE® MOIST
- 1- DAY ACUVUE® TruEye®
- ACUVUE® 2 2-Week
- 1- DAY ACUVUE®
- ACUVUE® VITA®
- ACUVUE® OASYS With Transitions™
- 1- DAY ACUVUE® DEFINE®
- ACUVUE OASYS® 1-Day for ASTIGMATISM
- ACUVUE OASYS® 2-Week for ASTIGMATISM
- 1- DAY ACUVUE® MOIST for ASTIGMATISM
- ACUVUE® VITA® for ASTIGMATISM
- 1- DAY ACUVUE® MOIST Brand MULTIFOCAL
- ACUVUE OASYS® 2-Week for PRESBYOPIA (Multifocal)
That’s a complicated product line! Consumers definitely need help picking the right one, so it’s no wonder they sell mostly through eye doctors. Plus, many of these are specialized for consumers who have less common medical conditions, and a doctor can help make sure the lens fits for any special cases.
By contrast, Hubble and Aveo offer much simpler product lines. Hubble’s daily lenses aren’t for patients with astigmatism, nor for people who need bifocal contacts. Aveo has two brands, Hello, which are standard daily contacts, and Joy, which are daily contacts for astigmatism.
How you buy the lenses is different as well. Acuvue contacts are usually purchased through your optometrist, although there are online retailers where you can purchase and have them shipped to your house. Aveo and Hubble are exclusively purchased via each company’s website. Simply enter your prescription details and doctor’s contact information so that they can verify your prescription and and mail them directly to you.
Another key difference is that Hubble and Aveo offer flexible subscription plans, which means you can get your lenses delivered every month — or less frequently if you are not an avid daily user. We’ll provide more details on the subscription options offered by these two startups, but if you’re like me and don’t want to clutter your tiny bathroom cabinet with a year’s supply of contact lens boxes, then a subscription is a great way to always stay stocked.
The biggest difference between Hubble, Aveo, and Acuvue: Price
Beyond the subscriptions and product lines, by far the biggest draw for the average contact lens wearer is the price of Hubble and Aveo vs. a traditional brand. Hubble and Aveo clock in at a much lower cost per contact, saving you some serious cash:
Basically, the newcomers offer a roughly 50% discount on the monthly cost of traditional lenses, and Aveo’s astigmatism lenses are about 35% cheaper than traditional ones from Acuvue. We’ve also written about some of the other newcomers in the contact lens space like Sightbox and Waldo. It’s worth reading if your primary intent is cost-savings!
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Considering switching from Acuvue to Aveo or Hubble? Here are some items to think about.
While there are clear cost savings when switching to Aveo or Hubble, there are some important factors to consider before you start your free trial:
- Both startups offer basic lenses — nothing fancy, and certainly nothing for anyone with special medical conditions or needs. If your optometrist is saying you need specialized lenses to deal with Presbyopia or another eye condition, you need to pay attention and not use one of these new brands.
- Neither company has extended wear (i.e. non-daily) brands — so if you like to keep them in overnight or (gasp!) for a week at a time, Aveo and Hubble may not be for you. Stick with a traditional brand that has invested millions to create a product that won’t hurt your eyes if you keep them in for a long time.
- You still need a valid prescription from an optometrist, so you aren’t going to save money on that. First see a legitimate optometrist, and get a valid prescription! Your eyes are important.
What are the other benefits of Hubble or Aveo vs Acuvue contacts?
If your vision correction is relatively straightforward and not hyper specialized, there are a few other compelling reasons to switch to Hubble and Aveo over traditional brands. If you need an extra push to give their free trials a shot, here are a couple extra reasons contact wearers value these new subscription services:
- No need to deal with insurance — You don’t have to worry what’s covered or not, you just get your lenses. You can submit your receipts to most vision plans if you want though!
- Totally transparent monthly payments — No surprises at checkout about how much it’s going to cost to see next month.
- Lots of flexibility — Whether it’s changing the frequency of delivery on the fly, pausing shipments for a month, changing how you pay, etc. No more buying in bulk to save money, only for your prescription to change faster than you expected.
- Much, much lower cost — We mentioned this already, but the savings is so significant it’s worth stating again.
To help you crystalize all the important differences between Hubble, Aveo, and Acuvue, we created this handy chart that compares the most important features:
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The Verdict: Should you make the switch to cheaper daily lenses?
The new startups in the eyecare space like Aveo or Hubble are offering something that the traditional players like Acuvue can’t – low prices and flexible subscription options. They make it easy to get started, and simple to switch up subscriptions. They are clearly not the best option for folks who have more complicated vision or eye care needs – so if you have any problems, the best bet is to see your optometrist and get a specialized lens.
But if your eyes are pretty standard and you just want affordable contacts, check out Hubble and Aveo – especially since they give you free trial lenses! Click below to get your first free month and see for yourself.