SIGNIFICANCE: Clinicians commonly either recommend patients begin contact lens (CL) wear full time or suggest that patients should gradually increase their wear times during the first few days of wear. This study found no differences between these two wear schedules, suggesting that patient preference may be the best schedule. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if there are any clinical differences in neophyte, 2-week, reusable soft CL wearers who were randomized to either a full-time or a gradually increasing wear time schedule. METHODS: This was an investigator-masked, three-visit, randomized, clinical trial. Participants were randomized to wear their CLs full time starting on the first day or gradually starting with 2 hours of wear on the first day and increasing wear by 2 hours each day until 8 hours or more of wear per day was achieved. Symptoms (Ocular Surface Disease Index and visual analog scale) and ocular surface signs (tear breakup time, extent of corneal staining, and Schirmer test I) were evaluated at each visit. RESULTS: A total of 25 participants were randomized, with 21 participants completing at least 1 week of follow-up. Completed participants had a mean ± standard deviation age of 23.5 ± 3.0 years, and 48% were female. No significant between-group differences were found when comparing the full-time and gradual wear time schedule groups at 2 weeks (all, P > .32): Ocular Surface Disease Index (10.8 ± 8.5 vs. 16.3 ± 18.8), visual analog scale (89.0 ± 9.7 vs. 81.8 ± 18.7), tear breakup time (11.7 ± 7.0 vs. 9.8 ± 2.7), extent of corneal staining (0.0 ± 0.1 vs. 0.3 ± 0.5), or Schirmer test I (15.9 ± 8.8 vs. 21.2 ± 12.5). CONCLUSIONS: No between-group differences were found for any metric evaluated, which suggests that the best wear schedule may be the one that best suits the neophyte CL wearer's lifestyle.