Last updated on May 16th, 2021 at 10:55 pm
BIG NEWS: the leader in online glasses, Warby Parker, just launched a hip new contact lens brand called Scout. What’s different about Warby’s contact offering relative to other brands, and how’s does the quality of its lenses compare? As a daily contact aficionado myself, I decided to adopt early and order them the first chance I got. We’ve reviewed a number of other modern contact brands such as Aveo, Hubble and Waldo, so I am particularly excited to see how Scout stacks up.
Follow along as we review Warby Parker’s new contact lenses, give them a test drive, and find out how they compare to other top brands!
Wait, you can get contacts online?
Yes. We are two decades into the millennium and you can order almost anything online. Ordering contacts is almost as convenient as you’d hope, with one real exception: you still need a prescription. This you can only get in person from a real-life eye doctor, however, once that’s out of the way, the rest is a breeze.
So although imperfect, I’d argue that buying online is still way to go over the traditional route. You used to have to visit your local optometrist for an exam, return to said doctor’s office at a later date to get your contacts fitted, and then order a full year’s supply based almost entirely on your doctor’s rec. Somehow that year supply never lasted a full year because lenses would either get lost or go unused. Maybe your significant other develops a new glasses fetish and insists that you wear specs…..anything is possible, but I digress 🙂
How to get Scout contacts by Warby Parker
The process is super simple, and unsurprisingly similar to how they sell glasses. Plus, there is a cheap $5 trial, so you can get started without going all in on a full year’s supply. To sign up, you just follow these three steps:
- Enter your prescription
- Provide your eye doctor’s information so they can verify the prescription
- Pay $5 for the trial
And voilà, that’s all there is to it.
You can also cut right to the chase and purchase a subscription, but the idea of the low cost trial is compelling, especially for such a new offering. Your vision is too important to compromise, so it’s important to test out any contacts to make sure they feel
good great before committing. Luckily, Scout makes it super easy to sample their lenses.
Who are the Warby Parker contacts good for?
The free trial offered by Warby Parker might be the best way to find out if contacts are right for you. However, there are a few things to consider when picking an online lens provider. First of all, Warby Parker’s product uses a well-known, battle-tested formulation that has been used for quite a while; it’s not cutting edge eye-care technology.
The lenses themselves have a Dk/t of 25. The Dk/t is a measurement of how permeable the product is to oxygen – the higher the number, the more oxygen that can pass through the lease to your eye. A 25 rating is pretty standard for somewhat older technology. So if you’ve been using contacts for a long time and haven’t had dry-eye issues, or soreness, then these might be a low cost, extremely convenient option for you.
The Warby Parker contacts are great for people with relatively uncomplicated eye needs (such as no astigmatism) who are looking for easy online option from a company with great customer service.
What’s so special about Scout contacts?
There’s a few innovative aspects about Scout lenses that definitely set them apart from the competition. The most obvious being the packaging, in addition to convenience and affordability.
1. Innovative packaging
Scout comes in a sleek, space-saving flat packs that look more like gum than a traditional carton of contacts. Not only are they easier to transport and store, but Scout also claims their innovative encasement is more hygienic, too. That’s because somehow they’ve modified the way the lens sits so that you get less gunk on it when you stick your finger in there. It’s designed to always present your lens right side up, which reduces the likelihood of adding bacteria into your eye. Pretty neat, actually.
Last but not least, Scout’s flat packs use 80% less material than traditional packaging for contact lenses, which is a win from an environmental or sustainability perspective. That may seem like a #smallwin, but less waste is always nice, especially since you’ll use two of these every day if you’re anything like me!
Getting contacts from the same place you buy frames — not to mention conducting the whole transaction without ever leaving the comfort of your home — that’s convenience. Trying on lenses for 6 days for just $5, rather than committing to a whole year’s supply upfront? That’s also pretty convenient.
As an OG direct-to-consumer leader, Warby Parker understands better than anyone how much modern consumers love convenience. And from start to finish, it’s obvious they’ve made it a main focus when cooking up Scout as well.
Most contact lenses wearers blindly (ha, no pun-intended) accept their Optometrist’s recommendation and end up overpaying for lenses. Scout by Warby Parker strives to cut out the middle-man and empower you, the consumer, to get quality lenses direct from the supplier.
Lenses from Scout cost just $1.25/day which is quite affordable for dailies of a similar caliber. We’ll compare Scout’s pricing in much more detail below, but the bottom-line is that Scout prices are very competitive relative to other leading brands.
How do Warby Parker’s Scout contacts compare to modern competitors’ like Waldo and Hubble?
If you’re seriously considering getting your contacts online, you need to know how Scout lenses stack up against your current BOC (brand of choice) as well as other modern contact startups. The table below reviews and compares Scout to two other popular D2C contact lens brands that we’ve reviewed before. Find out what materials they use, the range of prescriptions covered, and more:
Comparing Scout by Warby Parker to Hubble and Waldo
|Power Range||+4.00D to -10.00D||+6.00D to -12.00D||+4.00D to -12.00D|
|UV-Protection||none||80% UVA and 95% UVB||70% UVA and 95% UVB|
|Material||Hioxifilcon A||Methafilcon A||Etafilcon A|
|Replacement Schedule||Daily lenses, in 90, 180 or 360 day packs||Daily lenses, 30 per box||Daily lenses, 30 per box|
All the major online providers use materials approved by the FDA, so you are going to get tested products. Unfortunately, none of the vendors offer toric lenses for people with astigmatism – so if that’s you, you’re stuck going with a traditional brand. One important consideration is that the Warby Parker products have a limited power range, meaning that if you have eyes worse than +4.00D or -10.00D you need to go with a different vendor like one of the ones we outline above.
Ok, so let’s discuss what these babies cost!
How much do Warby Parker contact lenses cost?
Scout contacts by Warby Parker are affordably priced in 90, 180 and 360 day “subscriptions,” meaning that you’ll get packages with 180, 260 or 720 lenses. These cost $110, $220 or $440 respectively, and shipping is included. That’s $36.66 per month. The closest competitors are $36 per month with free shipping for Hubble, and $36 per month with $3 shipping from Waldo. The table below lays out more detail.
Contact Prices: Scout, Hubble, and Waldo
|Price per Month|
$36.66 per month
$36 per month
$36 per month
(just pay $5 for shipping)
(just pay $1 for shipping)
(just pay $2.95 for shipping)
|FSA (pay with an FSA?)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Subscription Options||90, 180 or 360 days||30 days||30, 90 or 180 days|
|Website||Try Scout||Try Hubble||Try Waldo|
Each company has a great free trial, which we recommend you try out. Get the lens, put them in, see how they feel and go with the one you like best!
What’s it like to receive contacts in the mail from Warby Parker?
The process is really simple. Your Scout free trial ships to your address just a few short days after ordering. Although I’m still waiting for mine to arrive, here’s a video I made when receiving contacts in the mail from Waldo. I’ll update this Scout review once I have the lenses in hand (or each eye!) so you can see what the packaging and experience is like.
So, should you try Warby Parker’s contacts?
The price is right, and so is the branding. Already a leader in online glasses, it totally makes sense for Warby Parker to get into the contact lens game on their quest to become the leader in vision care more broadly. At $5 to test, it also totally makes sense for you to try out their lenses so long as you don’t have astigmatism or any moral qualms with putting tiny bits of plastic in your eyes every day.
Scout’s user experience is fantastic, and the quality and price seem on par with other modern contact brands like Hubble and Waldo. Anything holding you back? Let us know in the comments or click below to get 6 days of Scout contacts to try for yourself!