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We get it.
You’re here to purchase a scuba diving mask.
There are so many options out there; you’re not sure which one to get.
Here’s the deal:
If you’re a beginner diver, skirt masks are a great choice. Look no further than the Tusa Freedom Ceos. Widely recommended by dive shops around the world, and coming in a variety of colors, the Freedom Ceos is an excellent choice.
Looking for another type of mask? This page will compare and contrast you with different options for scuba diving and snorkeling masks.
Why should I buy a scuba diving mask?
Buying your first scuba diving mask is a rite of passage. They are reasonably priced, easy to carry and even easier to use, so they are often the first bit of kit that many scuba divers buy.
Well, first off is the convenience. Once you have your own, perfectly fitting, scuba diving mask (more on that later), you will struggle to see how you ever dived with anything else.
You can also adapt your mask to you, without worrying that the next diver is going to ruin your finely tuned work! Find your perfect strap length and anti-fog method or even put in prescription lenses.
If you are wearing a dive shop’s mask, it is natural to be concerned about the cleanliness of wearing something which has been on another’s face. Though they are (hopefully) cleaned between divers – the “ick” factor is real!
Aside from convenience and safety, you can really let your style shine through with a scuba mask. Whether your personal scuba look is all black or bright pink, there is a mask to suit you.
Whichever your reason, buying the best scuba diving mask for you is going to be a great investment!
What should I look for in a scuba mask?
When looking for the best scuba diving mask for you, getting a perfect fit is always the number one priority. We go into more detail about how to get this perfect fit later on.
The number two priority for a good dive mask is the comfort, which has a lot to do with the skirting. The skirting is usually made out of soft silicone which molds to your face.
It’s important when trying a mask to see if you feel a pinch anywhere, or as though the skirting is digging in. Remember, any problems on the surface will be accentuated below the surface!
Now, colors may seem like solely a style choice, and when buying a product like fins or snorkels it is, but it is a little more complicated when buying a scuba mask. When buying a mask, you can choose between a clear or opaque skirt.
The clear skirt allows more light into the mask which is ideal for claustrophobic divers or when diving in low light or visibility. Bright situations, such as sunlight reflecting off the sandy seabeds of Gili Trawangan can quickly become dazzling with a clear skirt.
Black or opaque skirts are great for bright conditions as it blocks some of this reflective light, this is why they are a favorite amongst photographers. The downside is that they can be more claustrophobic.
As for the rainbow of colors of opaque skirts on offer? Well, that’s just a style choice you’ll have to make for yourself!
Other factors to consider are whether you go for a frameless scuba mask (only glass and silicon skirting) or framed (glass, silicone and a hard plastic frame around the lenses). This is a personal preference and you can find both amongst top-rated dive masks.
Low profile and low volume models are generally regarded as the best scuba masks as they are easy to clear and because of the proximity to the face, the visibility is excellent. The only downside is for those with extra long eyelashes!
How do I check the fit of my scuba mask?
Having a mask that fits perfectly to your face is not only about the comfort of a leak-free dive, but also safety. When your mask fits perfectly, you should be able to dive with no strap – though we don’t recommend trying it if you’re a beginner diver! If you are a beginner, you can check out a few of our top tips here!
Finding the perfect fit for your face may be trial and error. The skirting on each scuba mask is subtly different and some will fit the curvature of your face better than others.
Follow our super-quick guide below or check out the video:
Hopefully, you’ve now found your perfect fitting scuba diving mask – congratulations!
If not, don’t be disheartened – try lots of models and you’re sure to find your perfect fit.
Best Scuba Diving Masks
TUSA masks are well known for their versatility in fitting many different face shapes with their super soft silicone skirts. In fact, many dive shops point people towards TUSA masks first when they come looking for good diving masks, as they are so often a perfect fit.
They have two lenses that are removable and interchangeable which is vital if you wish to use prescription lenses in your mask. If you need prescription lenses, this would be our best mask recommendation!
Very similar in fit to the Freedom Ceos is the Freedom Elite HD – the key difference is that it has one lens instead of two.
This means less visual disruption but does mean that it cannot be fitted with prescription lenses.
As with the Ceos, and most TUSA models, it will fit most but is a little larger than the Ceos. For that reason, it is a better match for those with larger faces.
This mask is fantastically durable due to its lack of an exposed external frame. It is a slim design that is generally better suited to older children, women, or those with thinner faces.
The two lenses can be easily removed, ideal for those who wish to fit prescription lenses.
This slick, black design from Hollis has both style and efficiency in mind. It features a frameless design and extra low profile so you have the best visibility possible. It is a very versatile design that fits many face shapes and sizes.
The matte black design is also incredibly sleek looking. It is a favorite amongst freedivers and spearfishers but is garnering support in the scuba diving community too.
This is the best budget mask that we’ve featured here.
It is an excellent mask that features a single lens with a super-soft opaque skirt – in a variety of exciting colors!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is better – 1 or 2 lenses?
Masks come with up to 4 lenses and most people discover a preference for a certain design. The benefits of a single pane offer the most uninterrupted field of vision as the panorama is not broken by the lens break over the nose.
Dual lenses reduce the range of vision but often have a lower volume, allowing the mask to sit closer to the face. They also enable prescription lenses so if this is something you need, dual lenses are the way to go.
Multi lens masks, with extra lenses on the side, allow greater peripheral vision, and are good for those with claustrophobia. However, the joins of the lenses can create blind spots and distortions.
Can you get masks with GoPro attachments?
Yes! You can find masks with attachments above the bridge of the nose for a hands-free diving experience.
We recommend the Octomask GoPro Dive Mask as it fits most models of action cam and is a great mask regardless of its recording capabilities!
Should I buy a snorkel at the same time as a mask?
This depends on your requirements. Many masks come with snorkels, especially the cheaper models which are often aimed at snorkelers.
However, you might find that you prefer to shop for the best snorkel for you separately so you can get the very best combinations for you.
Should I get one of those full face masks?
First of all, it is impossible to dive in a full face snorkeling mask so we don’t recommend them. Secondly, these face masks are considered more dangerous than standard masks.
They have been implicated in a number of deaths relating to the buildup of CO2 in the narrow tubes. It’s also impossible to equalize in them so you would have to stay on the surface.
I have thick facial hair – what is the best mask for me?
The best scuba mask for facial hair is one that fits your face well. As long as it forms a good seal around the rest of your face, you should manage just fine – though you may need to clear your mask more than a smoother faced buddy!
Here are a few tips to ensure the best possible seal: Shave it! (Sorry, but it really will help!) Shave the area just under your nose – Maybe the pencil tache is a good look for you!
Use mask seal – This silicon-based balm will help the mask form a tight seal where the hair is on your upper lip. Tip – DO NOT use vaseline as it will break down the silicone of your mask.
I have a really small face – is there a best scuba mask for me?
As with everyone, trial and error are your friends, though you may need to try on more masks than most.
The best scuba mask for small faces varies from person to person. If you’re really struggling, try out some of the children’s masks!
Do I need to burn my mask?
New scuba masks come with a silicone coating inside the glass which leaves the lenses prone to fogging.
A popular method of ridding yourself of this layer is to “burn” the lens with a lighter whilst other methods include scrubbing vigorously with toothpaste. We don’t recommend taking a lighter to your brand new mask unless you are an experienced scuba professional!
It is much safer for you, and your new purchase, to take your mask into a dive shop to ask for their advice and help.
A mask is the most important piece of scuba diving equipment you can buy and it is important to ensure it fits properly.
Whether you choose to visit your local dive shop or go on an online shopping spree, make sure you follow our tips above to ensure you find the best scuba diving mask for you!