Three-dimensional (3-D) visual comfort assessment (VCA) is a particularly important and challenging topic, which involves automatically predicting the degree of visual comfort in line with human subjective judgment. State-of-the-art VCA models typically focus on minimizing the distance between predicted visual comfort scores and subjective mean opinion scores (MOSs) by training a regression model. However, obtaining precise MOSs is often expensive and time-consuming, which greatly constrains the extension of existing MOS-aware VCA models. This study is inspired by the fact that humans tend to conduct a preference judgment between two stereoscopic images in terms of visual comfort. We propose to train a robust VCA model on a set of preference labels instead of MOSs. The preference label, representing the relative visual comfort of preference stereoscopic image pairs (PSIPs), is generally precise and can be obtained at much lower cost compared with MOS. More specifically, some representative stereoscopic images are first selected to generate the PSIP training set. Then, we use a support vector machine to learn a preference classification model by taking a differential feature vector and the corresponding preference label of each PSIP as input. Finally, given a testing sample, by considering a full-round paired comparison with all the selected representative stereoscopic images, the visual comfort score can be estimated via a simple linear mapping strategy. Experimental results on our newly built 3-D image database demonstrate that the proposed method can achieve a better performance compared with the models trained on MOSs.