This paper focuses on the application of NURBS-based isogeometric analysis to Coulomb frictional contact problems between deformable bodies, in the context of large deformations. A mortar-based approach is presented to treat the contact constraints, whereby the discretization of the continuum is performed with arbitrary order NURBS, as well as C0-continuous Lagrange polynomial elements for comparison purposes. The numerical examples show that the proposed contact formulation in conjunction with the NURBS discretization delivers accurate and robust predictions. Results of lower quality are obtained from the Lagrange discretization, as well as from a different contact formulation based on the enforcement of the contact constraints at every integration point on the contact surface. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.