Best Scuba Masks 2024 : Tested By Divers!

One of the most important pieces of dive gear is your mask. Without it, you’d be unable to see clearly underwater and everything would be incredibly fuzzy. Unlike our fishy friends, we cannot see through water, only through air, and a mask allows you to do just that.

A dive mask is a deeply personal choice and many experienced divers use the same model of a particular mask for decades once they have found the perfect fit and function. Somehow, rental masks just don’t seem to cut it! 

If you’re looking for the best scuba masks, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on choosing an ideal mask and share with you some of our favorites! 

Various types of scuba goggles on wooden

1. 🗝️ Key Takeaways

  • Dive masks are categorized by types such as single, dual, and full face, with top-rated options rigorously tested and endorsed by diving experts for their comfort, ease of use, and clear vision, accommodating a variety of diving needs and preferences.
  • When choosing a scuba mask, key considerations include comfort and fit, lens material and quality, skirt seal and color, and mask volume and visibility, all contributing to a safe and enjoyable diving experience.
  • Scuba masks are specialized for different types of diving, with recreational, technical, and traveling for diving each having preferred mask types that cater to the unique requirements and conditions typical of these diving categories.

2. 🌟 Top-Rated Scuba Masks: Expert Tested

Selecting the right scuba mask can make all the difference between an awesome dive and an uncomfortable, distracting experience. There is nothing more frustrating than constantly having to clear your mask of water every few minutes, or worse, have it fog up! 

Fret not, we’re here to help. Here are some of our favorite masks, tried and tested numerous times over thousands of dives! 

Hollis M1 Frameless Mask

Hollis M1 Frameless Scuba Diving

Our Rating

This great all-around scuba mask has a clear lens that provides incredible visibility with a distortion-free view. The lens has high light transmittance and reduced green tint. A frameless mask is great for those looking for a comfortable fit, and the silicone material feels soft and leak-free. It’s equipped with a simple buckle that you can easily take on and off. 

Key Features

Brand: Hollis

Dimensions: 4 x 2 x 3 inches

Material: Silicone

Weight: 0.3 pounds

Framed or frameless: Frameless

Lens type: Single Lens

Best for: Beginner and experienced divers

Aqua Lung Infinity Scuba Mask

Aqua Lung Infinity Scuba Diving Mask

Our Rating

A framed mask that gives you a comfortable low-volume fit. The mask has unique polymer side lenses that open your view and give you a better diving experience. The frame has shock-absorbing techno-polymer material that can stand the wear and tear of saltwater. 

All bolts and screws are made of stainless steel AISI 304, making them durable and corrosion-free for years. You’ll be able to use the counterposed push button adjustment and joint buckle easily, even with gloves on.   

Key Features

Brand: Aqua Lung

Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 4 inches

Material: Steel

Weight: 0.1 pounds

Framed or frameless: Framed

Lens type: Dual Lens

Best for: Beginner and occasional divers

TUSA M-1003 Freedom Elite Scuba Diving Mask

TUSA M-1003 Freedom Elite Scuba Diving Mask

Our Rating

This mask gives you a wide field of view and minimal internal volume for maximum comfort. It’s equipped with a 180-degree rotational buckle system that you can easily put on and take off. There’s a five-position strap angle adjuster, so it’ll fit almost any face.

The Freedom Technology gives you a dimpled skirt for reduced leakage, stability ridges to minimize cheekbone compression and a low friction surface for a softer feeling mask. A downside is the material can weigh you down, as it’s heavier than most masks. 

Key Features

Brand: TUSA

Dimensions: 8 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches

Material: Plastic

Weight: 2 pounds

Framed or frameless: Framed

Lens type: Single Lens

Best for: Budget-conscious

Atomic Venom Frameless Mask

Venom Frameless Mask

Our Rating

A mask with a striking design for divers who want to make a statement with their gears, this mask is made with “Gummi Bear UltraSoft” silicone material for a soft and reliable seal. The lenses are ultraclear, giving you excellent vision and a maximum viewing area that allows 96% of light to go through. The skirt material is rigid, so sometimes it can be less comfortable than most frameless masks. 

Key Features

Brand: Atomic

Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 4 inches

Material: Nylon

Weight: 0.5 pounds

Framed or frameless: Frameless

Lens type: Single Lens

Best for: Experienced divers

Mares X-Vision Liquidskin

Mares X-Vision Liquidskin Chrome

Our Rating

Mares updates this award-winning mask every year, and this new one has a molded bi-silicone facepiece to improve fit and comfort.  A unique selling point for this mask is that they’re available for prescription lenses, so divers with any eyesight can enjoy the view. 

It’s fairly robust and durable for its price and can be your go-to mask for every trip. Some downsides to this mask are its large mask volume and tightness for people needing an extra-large fit. 

Key Features

Brand: Mares

Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 3 inches

Material: Silicone

Weight: 0.41 pounds

Framed or frameless: Frameless

Lens type: Single Lens

Best for: Divers with prescription lenses

Octomask Frameless Dive Mask with Camera Mount

OCTOMASK - Frameless Dive Mask w/Mount for All GoPro

Our Rating

Description

Are you a GoPro enthusiast? This mask is the perfect one for you. The Octomask dive mask is compatible with all GoPro models, including the newer ones. It’s also very affordable compared to other masks equipped with a mount. The silicone skirt is extra soft and fits comfortably on your face. The downside to this mask is its large volume and not very snug, so it can be prone to leakage. Just make sure to keep the strap tight to avoid issues. 

Key Features

Brand: Octomask

Dimensions: 5.61 x 7.3 x 2.5 inches

Material: Silicone

Weight: around 0.6 pounds when assembled

Framed or frameless: Frameless

Lens type: Single Lens

Best for: Budget-conscious divers and photographers

Award Winning Sherwood Cruz Mask

Award Winning Sherwood Cruz Mask

Our Rating

This award-winning low-profile and low-volume mask offers a rigid frame for enhanced stability underwater. The skirt is textured for extra friction and will give you a perfect seal. It has Quick Connect swivel buckles that snap directly into the frame for optimum position on your head. It’s also corrective lens compatible, so people with glasses can customize theirs. 

The lenses are made with CE-certified tempered glasses but lack anti-fog treatment and protection from UV rays. It’s a versatile mask that can last divers for a long time. 

Key Features

Brand: Sherwood

Dimensions: 8.5 x 4 x 4 inches

Material: Silicone

Weight: 0.7 pounds

Framed or frameless: Frameless

Lens type: Dual Lens

Best for: Beginner and experienced divers

Single Lens Masks

Single lens dive masks offer the following advantages:

  • Wide field of view, essential in situations where visibility may be limited
  • More streamlined design
  • Improved peripheral vision
  • More compact design

Dual Lens Masks

Dual lens masks provide a more comfortable fit around the nose bridge and are especially well-suited for individuals needing corrective lenses. Higher volume may be more difficult to clear of water as they have an increased air space. They would suit those that dive deeper or those requiring prescription lenses. 

Full Face Masks

Professional diver wearing a full face scuba goggles

Full-face scuba masks offer enhanced protection and comfort, as they:

  • Fully shield the diver’s face from water, creating a barrier against water ingress
  • Provide reassurance
  • Improve breathing
  • Offer a wider field of vision
  • Allow the diver to breathe through the nose

These features make full-face scuba masks a great choice for water sports, but many of these masks also don’t allow you to equalize, which makes it impossible to dive with them.

They would suit snorkels or other water sports when you don’t have to go down to depth. They enhance underwater vision by providing superior clarity, a wider field of vision, and expansive panoramic views, which surpass traditional dive masks. 

They also contribute to underwater communication by integrating technology that enables wireless or wired communication systems, facilitating easier communication among divers.

3. 🤿Key Factors to Consider When Choosing A Scuba Mask

Choosing the right scuba mask goes beyond just picking one that looks good. It’s about finding a mask that fits well, provides a clear view, and meets your specific diving needs. A well-fitting mask will prevent leaks and fogging, ensuring you enjoy a clear view of the underwater world. 

The skirt seal serves a vital function by keeping water out of the mask, ensuring clear vision and enhancing the overall comfort. It is an essential component that ensures divers can maintain a clear line of sight and remain comfortable during their dives.

Comfort and Fit

Close-up of scuba mask inner seal

Comfort and fit are two fundamental elements of a scuba mask. A properly fitting mask prevents leaks and fogging, ensuring you enjoy a clear view of the underwater world. It also reduces the necessity to excessively tighten the strap, which can result in discomfort and potential leaks.

The most commonly utilized material for ensuring comfort and fit is crystal or black silicone, known for its soft and comfortable seal. High-quality silicone skirt seals are essential for a durable and snug fit that contours well to the face.

Lens Material and Quality

The quality of a scuba mask lens is paramount to achieving clear underwater visibility. High-quality lenses are designed to optimize light transmission underwater, enhancing vision even in low-light conditions. Additionally, tinted lenses with color-correcting filters can improve the perception of colors below the water’s surface.

Tempered glass is highly recommended for scuba lenses due to its resistance to breaks and scratches, which enhances safety and durability underwater. This stands in contrast to other materials like polycarbonate, which may not provide the same level of resistance. A tempered glass lens is the ideal choice for scuba divers seeking optimal performance and longevity.

Skirt Seal and Color

The skirt seal is instrumental in establishing a reliable seal around the mask edges, warding off water penetration and securing a snug fit. It’s typically constructed from synthetic rubber or silicone elastomer. Silicone is favored due to its softness, flexibility, and its ability to provide an effective seal to prevent mask leaking.

The color of the skirt seal can have a significant impact on the performance of scuba masks. Many divers prefer black as it eliminates reflection, glare, and light disruption during dives, contributing to better focus and visibility underwater.

Volume and Visibility

The volume of a scuba mask significantly influences visibility. High-volume masks may provide a slightly broader view, but low volume masks place the lenses closer to the eyes, resulting in better peripheral vision and potentially a more immersive viewing experience.

High-volume masks may feel more open, but low volume masks are also easier to clear due to their reduced air space. Therefore, while high-volume masks may feel more open, low volume masks can offer a more responsive and comprehensive field of view.

4. 🌊 Scuba Masks for Different Types of Diving

Different diving styles necessitate different types of masks , making it imperative to select the right one according to your diving plans. Whether you’re a recreational diver, a technical diver, or a travel diver, there’s a perfect scuba mask for you. Let’s explore the most suitable masks for each type of diving:

  • Recreational diving: Full face mask or single lens mask
  • Technical diving: Low volume mask or mask with a purge valve
  • Travel diving: Compact mask or mask with a folding snorkel

Recreational Diving

When choosing masks for recreational diving, it is important to consider:

  • Lenses made of tempered glass or a polycarbonate blend
  • A design that provides a secure seal against the inner or outer areas of the eye sockets
  • Masks with black or dark skirts to reduce glare and brightness underwater

Single lens masks are designed to minimize interference with clear windows on either side and are easier to defog, whereas dual lens masks offer higher volume, better durability, and the ability to use prescription lenses. 

A panoramic field of view is favored due to its ability to:

  • Expand the underwater viewing area
  • Enable improved interaction with the environment
  • Provide clearer visibility of marine life
  • Minimize blind spots for a safer diving experience.

Technical Diving

Technical diving is a type of scuba diving that surpasses the limits of recreational diving. It involves deeper depths, longer bottom times, and heavier equipment. Therefore, the masks used for technical diving need to be specially designed to accommodate these more challenging conditions.

Scuba masks for technical diving encompass the following features:

  • Comfortable and watertight fit
  • Low volume design
  • Easy adjustability
  • Dual lens for greater durability

These masks are designed with a tight seal against the eye sockets to withstand the high pressures experienced at depths. Additionally, some models may feature systems to remove bubbles from exhaled breaths.

Scuba masks employed in technical diving are commonly crafted from premium materials like silicone for the skirt and shatterproof glass for the windows, guaranteeing resilience and safety in challenging environments.

Travel Diving

Travel diving is a type of scuba diving that involves traveling to different locations to experience various diving environments. Therefore, the masks used for travel diving need to be lightweight and portable.

Single lens, low-volume masks tend to be compact and suitable for dive travel. 

5. 👓 Scuba Masks for Glasses Wearers

For those who wear glasses, the prospect of maintaining a clear underwater view while scuba diving might seem challenging. Fortunately, there are masks designed specifically for glasses wearers. These masks can accommodate corrective lenses or be used with contact lenses for improved underwater visibility.

Individuals who wear glasses have the option to choose diving masks that can accommodate glasses or they may consider prescription masks designed for snorkeling and diving. These corrective lenses are securely attached to the interior of scuba mask and are individually tailored to address nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, thereby improving the visual acuity of divers underwater.

Contact lenses can also be worn safely with scuba masks, offering a viable option for individuals who wear glasses and seek to maintain clear vision underwater.

6. 🖼️ Comparing Frameless and Framed Scuba masks

The choice between frameless and framed scuba masks is another key consideration in the selection of the ideal scuba mask. Each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the choice largely depends on your personal preference and diving needs.

Frameless masks feature a glass faceplate molded directly into the mask, while framed masks have a separate frame surrounding the glass.

Advantages of frameless scuba masks include:

  • Reduced volume
  • Enhanced flexibility
  • Decreased weight
  • Improved sealing as a result of the mask closely conforming to the diver’s face

However, frameless masks are less durable and more susceptible to scratches.

On the other hand, framed scuba masks offer several advantages, such as:

  • Providing a great seal
  • Feeling light and comfortable
  • Reducing bulk
  • Increasing comfort
  • Being easily stowed as a backup mask

7. 🛠️ Tips for Proper Scuba Mask Care and Maintenance

Diligent care and maintenance can prolong the lifespan of your mask and guarantee their peak performance. Here are some easy tips to keep your mask in top shape.

When handling your scuba mask, follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid any contact with alcohol, oil, gasoline, aerosols, or chemical solvents.
  • Avoid exposing any part of the mask to direct sunlight for prolonged periods.
  • Ensure that the mask is properly centered on your face.
  • Cleaning your mask can be done using household items like baby shampoo, dish soap, or toothpaste. However, avoid abrasive toothpaste as it may scratch the lenses.

Lastly, when storing your masks, keep them in a cool and dry environment, avoiding direct exposure to sunlight. Also, keep them separate from other dive equipment to prevent scratches or damage.

8. 📝 Summary

In conclusion, the best scuba mask for you will largely depend on your personal preferences, diving needs, and whether or not you wear glasses. Whether you choose single lens, dual lens, or full-face masks, remember to consider key factors such as comfort, fit, lens quality, skirt seal, and volume. 

Also, proper care and maintenance of your masks can ensure their longevity and optimal performance. Dive in with confidence, knowing you’ve chosen the right mask for your underwater adventures!

9. ❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Is a black or clear mask better for scuba diving?

It ultimately depends on your personal preferences and diving conditions. For enhanced visibility and a vibrant underwater experience, a clear mask is recommended, while a black mask may reduce glare and distractions in bright conditions.

What are the benefits of using single lens masks for technical and cave diving?

Using single lens masks for technical and cave diving offers a wide field of view and low volume mask design, making them suitable for situations with limited visibility. 

What are the advantages of using full face scuba masks as opposed to traditional masks?

The advantages of using full face scuba masks include enhanced protection, increased comfort, improved breathing, wider field of vision, and the ability to breathe through the nose, ultimately providing reassurance during diving.

What are the top-rated scuba masks recommended for recreational divers?

The X-Vision LiquidSkin by Mares is a hot favorite with divers of all levels. Other great masks include the Atomic Venom, Hollis M1, and Sherwood Cruz.

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