When it comes to your visibility and comfort when diving using only the best scuba masks will be crucial. If you’re new to diving, then learning more about a mask’s features and style options is a great place to start and the best way to find one that will work for your diving needs. But considering how popular diving is, finding the perfect mask can take some serious research on your part, as you weed through dozens upon dozens of models.
I’ve reviewed several of the best-selling models currently on the market, narrowing it down to eight must-have masks that can make all the difference on your next diving adventure. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each of these models, listing many of the important features that you’ll need to pay attention to in order to find a model that will work for you and enhance your next diving experience.
Scuba Masks Comparison Chart
SwimStar Snorkel Set for Women and Men
This diving mask is available in a variety of colors and comes with a head strap that’s fully adjustable and a face skirt that’s made out of high-grade silicone and designed to gently conform to the shape of your face. The lens features an anti-fog coating for a clearer viewing experience and a single lens that’s made out of tempered glass. The comfort-fit skirt will provide a watertight seal, without causing discomfort or skin irritation. The single lens provides a clear, unobstructed view, while the included mouthpiece is hypoallergenic and also made out of high-grade silicone.
- Single lens design
- Anti-fog coating
- Lens is made out of tempered glass
- Mouthpiece included
- Strap is highly adjustable
- Only one size available
This freediving mask is perfect for both men and women and designed to gently conform to most face shapes. The single lens is made out of tempered glass, highly durable, and comes complete with an anti-glare coating that will prevent the mask from fogging up, even if you’re snorkeling in humid conditions. The manufacturer has done an excellent job of creating a mask that offers an optimal viewing experience, a model that comes equipped with a watertight seal, and a solid construction that makes the mask both durable and comfortable to wear.
Optical Corrective Scuba Dive Snorkeling Mask Prescription Lenses
This dive mask by ProMate is perfect for the prescription lens wearer and will accommodate both farsighted and nearsighted people, and even those who are both near and farsighted. For these lenses, you’ll need to send in your eyeglasses prescription. The corrective lenses will be installed by the manufacturer’s trained technicians. The mask itself features a liquid silicone injected strap and skirt, a double edge comfort seal, and low volume. The mask’s strap is highly adjustable and allows you to enjoy a comfortable fit, promoting a longer dive time. The dual lenses are made out of tempered glass and controlled by chemical treatments that increase durability. The tempered glass is designed to balance any type of internal stress, which prevents the glass from breaking or shattering under pressure.
- Highly adjustable strap
- Silicone skirt and strap
- Dual-lens design
- Designed for divers in need of corrective lenses
- Only available in one size
This mask is perfect for the diver who wears corrective lenses. Ordering this mask is simple, just provide the manufacturer with your prescription lens requirements. Unfortunately, the mask is only available in one size option, which will be a dealbreaker for many buyers, considering the lack of size options can put the diver at risk of purchasing a prescription lens mask that doesn’t provide an adequate seal.
SCUBAPRO Solo Scuba Snorkeling Dive Mask
The mask features a low profile and a single lens design. The skirt is made out of silicone and is clear, providing an enhanced viewing experience. The strap is highly adjustable and features a no-slip design and a durable buckle. The silicone skirt is double sealed for added protection and improved durability. The mask offers a low volume panoramic field of view and a flexible buckle design that improves user comfort. This is a great buy for both the experienced and new diver in search of a durable mask that won’t leak and is highly adjustable.
- Highly adjustable
- Low profile
- Single lens design
- Clear skirt
- One size fits all
- Strap can be difficult to adjust
This mask is a great buy for the diver that needs a mask that’s highly adjustable, durable, and comfortable to wear on longer dives. Its panoramic view allows you to clearly see your environment underwater, making the mask a great choice for the inexperienced diver or those who are still struggling to be comfortable with diving in general.
Cressi F1 Scuba Diving Snorkeling Frameless Mask
Cressi has remained one of the leading manufacturers of diving equipment in the world for decades. Their latest mask to hit the market is made out of one hundred percent silicone and features a frameless design that many divers prefer. The low-profile design and the double feathered edged skirt promote user comfort while the single-lens design offers optimal visibility in any underwater environment. The nose pocket features an easy access design that allows for one-handed ear equalization. Divers who are looking for a mask that offers a wider field of vision will appreciate the single lens and the overall low profile design. The split mask strap is designed for comfort, providing even tension on the skirt, ensuring the proper seal. This mask also comes with a storage box, which will protect the mask from exposure to sunlight and bugs with an appetite for silicone.
- Double strap design
- Low profile
- Offers optimal visibility in a variety of underwater environments
- Lens has a tendency to fog up
Featuring the type of low profile design and high visibility that most divers are looking for, it comes as no surprise that this mask rated well in many areas, despite the fact that the lens is prone to fogging up in certain conditions. Well-built and designed to last, this diving mask is a best-seller for a reason and a mask that you can rely on, wherever you dive.
TUSA M-1001 Freedom HD Scuba Diving Mask
In need of a diving mask that offers a better than average field of view? Then this mask by TUSA is it. It also features a one hundred and eighty-degree rotational buckle system, minimal internal volume and a large frame design. The round edge skirt promotes user comfort and a better seal. The strap is highly adjustable and features five position options, for micro-adjustments. This adjustability ensures a more custom fit and the proper seal.
- Highly adjustable strap
- Rounded edge skirt for improved seal and comfort
- Wide field of view
- Rotational buckle system
- If not adjusted properly the mask will leak at the bottom
This model provides a wider field of view, a highly adjustable strap system that allows for micro-adjustments, a rotational buckle system that allows the mask to easily conform to a wide range of face sizes, and a comfortable fit that ensures a proper seal. It’s a great buy for beginners in need of a mask that’s specifically designed with adjustability and comfort in mind.
Cressi Pano 4 Mask
The four lens design provides a panoramic, wide field of view. The mask is made out of one hundred percent liquid silicone and designed for longer use and total comfort. The side lenses are joined to the main lens via an invisible seam, so there’s no worry about blind spots with this model. The highly adjustable strap and buckle system allow you to achieve the proper seal and a more comfortable fit. The frame is made out of lightweight polycarbonate material and silicone, so it’s very flexible and designed to conform to a wide range of face shapes.
- Four lens design
- Lightweight frame
- Fast-adjust ratcheting straps
- Low price
- Strap needs frequent adjustments
This model offers excellent peripheral vision, a durable lightweight frame design, and a soft skirt that will conform to narrow and wide face shapes. The wide field of vision and lack of blind spots is one of the reasons this model is flying off the shelves. Perfect for diving in clear and murky water conditions, the manufacturer has done it again by producing a model that’s well-built, lightweight, and comfortable to boot.
AugustTrek ONE80 GoPro Compatible Snorkel Mask
This mask offers some impressive features including an upgraded lens that allows you to easily view all the angles, for an improved diving experience. Without negatively impacting the curvature of the lens, the lens itself is placed closer to the wearer’s face for an improved one hundred and eighty-degree viewing experience, without the fisheye effect that you would typically expect with this design. The anti-fog and anti-leak design promote longer use and total user comfort. The included mouthpiece is foldable for easy storage and transport.
Unlike competing masks, this model comes with a Go-Pro mount, so you can capture your next underwater adventure on film. The mount can be attached to the mask or you can detach it and turn it into a selfie stick. Even better, if you’re unhappy with how this mask fits, or the field of view it offers, the manufacturer offers a thirty-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked.
- Foldable mouthpiece
- Upgraded lens
- Go-Pro mount
- Anti-leak and anti-fog lens design
- Plastic components give the mask a cheap feel
This model comes loaded with some great extras including a foldable mouthpiece that’s travel-friendly, a free Go-Pro mount, and an upgraded lens design that allows for a wider field of view compared to competing models in this price bracket. However, the plastic components on the mask give it a cheap, flimsy feel, although it does not have a negative impact on the mask’s overall durability or performance.
SeaDive Oceanways Superview Mask
The high-definition single lens design gives you a whole new way to view an underwater environment. The skirt and strap are made out of soft silicone, for improved comfort and durability. The vision brightening lens is what makes this mask really shine, combined with the unique teardrop shape that’s designed to significantly improve underwater vision. The lens comes complete with optical multi-coat technology that minimizes glare. It also minimizes lightwave length by as much as four hundred and six hundred nanometers, for improved definition at every depth. The HD coating is designed to provide a clearer visual experience. This model also features a solid impact-resistant plastic frame complete with a black skirt that’s specifically designed to minimize glare. The lens has an anti-fog coating that will significantly reduce the chances of the lens fogging up in certain water conditions.
- HD coating
- Black skirt
- Anti-fog coating
- Highly adjustable
- Black skirt has a negative impact on peripheral vision
This is a mask that comes with all the bells and whistles the diver could want, including a high-definition coating that can improve your vision in dark and murky underwater environments, a highly adjustable strap, and a teardrop shaped single lens design that easily conforms to the wearer’s face. This mask is compatible with most face shapes, adding to its versatility.
Scuba Masks Buyer’s Guide
Shopping for a new mask can be an overwhelming process since choosing the wrong type of mask can literally ruin a dive or it can even put you in danger, especially if you choose the wrong fit or the mask makes you feel claustrophobic. Fortunately, most manufacturers produce a wide range of sizes, types, and styles to choose from, so you can find a mask that will meet your unique diving and comfort needs.
Of course, while there are many features that you’ll want to pay attention to going forward on your quest to find the right type of mask for your next diving excursion, fit is by far the most important.
Regardless of how the mask looks or the features it has to offer, if it doesn’t fit right, it can totally ruin your dive. If a mask is not able to seal correctly or if it’s incredibly uncomfortable to wear when you’re shopping and trying on masks, imagine how uncomfortable it will be to wear underwater. Even if you’re planning on ordering a mask online, I recommend getting out there and trying on as many styles and brands of masks as possible to determine which one offers the type of fit you need. The mask should provide the perfect seal along the entire length of the skirt and should not press or rub at the lenses, frame, or nose pocket.
A Perfect Fit
As you can see, how a mask fits is incredibly important. Many manufacturers will claim that their masks are the most comfortable on the market. The suppleness and thickness of a scuba mask can vary from product to product. Some skirts will mold to the wearer’s face, just like a second skin. This type of fit can create a watertight, comfortable seal.
Other masks with stiff edges will hurt your face and dig into the skin. Some brands will add a different type of surface texture in the cheek and forehead areas in order to improve the seal and the overall comfort. Ribs that have been molded in malleable silicone will offer a nice balance of shape and softness, which can result in a pliable skirt that will provide an excellent seal while molding to your face. You should avoid masks that have plastic skirts. These are often found on lower priced masks and they aren’t exactly what anyone would consider comfortable.
Skirt Color Option
A comfortable skirt that allows you to clearly see where you’re headed is important, but skirt color options are often a matter of personal preference and tend to depend on how comfortable you are with diving in general.
A clear skirt will allow plenty of light in, which can create a type of airy, open at-depth effect. A black skirt will block out any type of reflective glare. A clear skirt will be a plus for the wearer who tends to feel claustrophobic or for people who often find themselves in green or murky water. However, if you dive in bright light conditions, then a clear skirt can make it difficult to see underwater, whereas the black skirt will provide plenty of relief from harsh light conditions.
Lens Coating Options
Some models will come with a basic lens, while higher-priced masks will include lens coatings including anti-glare and anti-fog. These extra coatings are designed to improve your underwater vision, but they will not be effective for every model. In some cases, these coatings can even work against you and can make the glare worse. In other cases, the anti-fog coating will not work at all. If you’re looking at a model that comes with anti-fog or anti-glare coatings, make sure you read scuba mask reviews to learn whether or not these coatings are actually effective. The cost of these coatings is reflected in the mask’s price, so why pay more for coatings that don’t work?
Field of View
A good mask will optimize your field of view both vertically and horizontally. When you’re trying on different types of masks, you may notice that each one will differ in regard to how much you’re able to see up and down and side to side. The ability to see downward easily will come in handy, while a mask that comes with oversized lenses can help to minimize any feelings of claustrophobia.
High or Low Volume?
The term mask volume refers to how much air space is inside the mask. Like an expansive field of view and a clear skirt, a mask with high volume will make it feel as though you’re looking at the underwater world via a giant picture window instead of a tight porthole. The drawback here is that they can be more difficult to clear, however, if you typically dive in situations in which you normally take your time when descending, then a high volume mask may be preferable. Masks with a low profile or low volume will rest closer to your face and can be easily and quickly cleared of water.
They also tend to create less drag as you cruise through water columns and can offer a wider view of view since the front lenses will rest closer to the eyes. A mask that’s designed for the freediver will usually have a very low volume and a more streamlined design, which will offer ease of equalizing and clearing, yet they will not be the best choice for claustrophobic or new divers.
The best scuba diving mask will come in one, two, three, or four window versions. A single mask will have one pane of tempered glass. Double lens models will have a couple of lenses in the front of the mask, which will be joined by a nose bridge. A triple-lens mask typically consists of one front pane window and a couple of side lenses. The four-lens mask consists of a couple of lenses on the sides and a couple of lenses in the front. The choice between these lens designs is usually more a matter of personal preference, but it can also depend on the type of diving you do. The single-lens masks provide the widest field of view since it doesn’t have the nose bridge obstruction like the dual and tripe lens masks do. The single-lens masks usually have a larger volume.
Dual lens and triple-lens models usually have a much smaller internal volume compared to single lens models since their smaller size allows them to rest closer to the eyes. Remember, a smaller volume will make it significantly easier to equalize and clear. However, they can also be fitted with corrective lenses, which will be a huge plus for eyeglasses wearers. The addition of side lenses will increase a diver’s peripheral vision and allow in more light, which is a good thing for the diver who’s prone to claustrophobia. However, masks with side and front lenses will create distortion and blind spots at depth, but they can also be fitted with prescription lenses. Models with side lenses will also be a good fit for beginners or divers who experience claustrophobia.
Some masks will come equipped with advanced glass composites that deliver a better level of visual clarity. However, most masks will have lenses that are made out of tempered or safety glass, both of which are designed to not shatter.
Most masks will feature a buckle system that mounts on the skirt and not the frame. This design provides many advantages such as allowing the buckles to be folded flat for packing or storing, or an improved range of motion when it comes to positioning the straps.
Neoprene or Silicone Strap?
Most divers tend to go with masks that are equipped with a neoprene strap because they’re more comfortable. If you don’t have issues with straps slipping or long hair, then a silicone strap is a good choice.
A mask that comes equipped with a purge valve is a great option. This is a one-way valve that’s directly built into the nose of the mask and is used to clear water from the mask. This feature will eliminate the need to look up when clearing a mask. While some seasoned divers prefer this feature, others consider it unnecessary. This type of valve can make it difficult to pinch the nose during equalization. It’s also an additional failure point on the mask since the valve breaking can cause the entire mask to flood.
Try Before You Buy
With so many models to choose from and features to look for, finding the perfect mask and one that will be appropriate for your type of diving, personal preferences, and face type can be a challenge. Keep in mind that the right fit is the most important thing to pay attention to. Even if you’re ordering a mask online in order to save money, I recommend heading to your local scuba supple store and trying on a number of masks in order to determine which make and model offers the best fit. This is referred to as a dry test and it’s something that every seasoned diver is familiar with.
When you try on a mask, make sure you look up, placing the mask on your face without engaging the straps. The mask should rest evenly on your face, without gaps. If the mask slips off, then it’s too big. If the masks hits any part of your face including the tip of your nose or your cheekbones then it’s too small.
Next, you’ll place a snorkel or regulator mouthpiece in your mouth. After doing so, determine if the mask still feels nice and comfortable and note if there are any gaps.
Next, look forward and place the mask on your face without using the strap and inhale through your nose. At this point, the mask should easily seal on your face. Do this a second time after you’ve placed a mouthpiece in your mouth. If at any point, the mask falls off, then it’s not the correct size.
Now, you’ll use the strap and adjust it correctly. Make sure the nose pocket doesn’t make contact with your nose and that the skirt feels comfortable on your upper lip and cheekbones. If any portion of the mask’s frame begins digging into your skin then it’s a poor fit.
When wearing the mask with the straps in place, take note of whether you’re able to easily reach the nose pocket in order to equalize. If the nose pocket feels too big then it will be very difficult to equalize when you’re underwater.
You’ll find masks available in every price bracket, ranging from as little as thirty dollars up to two hundred. If you’re a serious diver, then the steeper price tag will be worth it considering you’ll get a mask that’s durable, highly adjustable, and designed to promote user comfort. The lower-priced models have a tendency to leak or may not offer the most comfortable fit, but some can still be a better option if you only find yourself snorkeling or diving once or twice a year. Like with most things in life, you get what you pay for. If you want a mask that offers a top of the line seal, a comfortable fit, and a durable design, then expect to pay more.
Mask Usage Tips
- After you buy a new mask, make sure you scrub out the inside using a type of non-abrasive cleaner or toothpaste, both of which can do wonders in terms of preventing the interior of the mask from fogging up during use.
- Keep in mind that tightening the mask too much can cause the mask to leak
- Masks should always be stored in a plastic mask box to prevent bugs from doing serious damage. Bugs love to eat silicone.
- If you wear prescription glasses, consider optical inserts or prescription lenses.
- After each use, make sure you rinse out the mask thoroughly and keep it out of direct sunlight.
The best scuba masks are designed with comfort, durability, and safety in mind. With so many models to choose from, you should have no trouble finding a mask that’s designed to suit your specific needs. The included eight masks that made it onto my top eight list can do wonders in terms of enhancing your next diving experience and come loaded with all the features you need to enjoy your next diving experience in total comfort and style.