To find the best scuba mask for you, you’ve gotta know what you want!
There’s many different types of scuba diving mask out there: from framed to frameless, single to double lens and low to high volume.
Most are available in a range of colours and have tempered glass to make them shatter-proof – but only a few incorporate special features like UV protection, extra-soft skirts or panoramic windows.
Many are instantly recognisable as dive masks with classic teardrop lenses…yet others have more quirky or retro appearances!
Also: some scuba diving masks come in different sizes for different shapes of face!
The pros have been highlighted, the cons have been exposed and each dive mask has been assigned a titular niche that describes it!
How did we review these masks you ask?!
Through hours of real-life and online research! We’ve submitted first-hand reviews of our favourite owned scuba masks, interviewed other divers about theirs and even included a few looks at other masks that are high on our Christmas lists!
Disclosure: Diving Squad is reader supported and earns affiliate commissions when you buy through our links – at no extra cost to yourself. It’s what helps us keep this website fresh and awesome. Thanks!
Cressi are a huge name in the diving industry – they’ve been established since 1946 and are renowned for making high quality and innovative scuba diving gear.
The hugely popular Cressi Pano 3; a top seller on amazon, is not only the cheapest dive mask on our list; it’s also the only one to feature panoramic side-windows!
These side windows expand the wearers peripheral view slightly making it a great option for diving over coral reefs and other sweeping expanses.
The front mask lens is single (as a posse to double) in design for an unobstructed view; which thanks to the side windows and large parameters of the teardrop inverts is open and spacious in all directions.
Like most scuba masks, the Pano 3 features a double feathered soft skirt made from super soft silicone to provide a non-leaking seal. Its adjustable strap is also made from silicone and features a split at the back for even dispersal of weight across the back of the wearers head.
The Pano 3 is a framed mask which means its more durable and provides an extra-stable fit. Its designed to fit most face types with a one-size fits all.
The second cheapest scuba diving mask on our list, the Aqualung Sport Nabul was once a pretty expensive option but it’s gone down in price a lot over the past years. However, its quality has not!
“This was the first scuba diving mask I ever bought and I still love it”! – Alex: Founder and Grand Admiral of the Diving Squad.
Unlike most dive masks, the Aqualung Sport Nabul follows a frameless design which means its more compact and exerts less pressure on the wearers face.
As a result it is an exceptionally comfortable dive mask to wear – it also offers a massive field of view thanks to the fact that it’s lens is about half an inch taller and a centimetre wider than that of most other dive masks.
In the last couple of years, the Cressi F1 has been the top selling low-budget frameless scuba diving mask.
Frameless scuba masks are more compact, easier to clear and exert less pressure on the wearers face. They’re also slightly more streamlined underwater as the lens is closer to the wearers eye and so creates less drag.
The disadvantage of frameless masks is that they tend to be a little less durable and might offer a slightly less stable fit meaning if you have one that does’t fit your face perfectly there’s a chance it could be more leaky.
However they’re compactness makes them excellent masks for travelling and carrying as backups, whilst the reduced pressure on the wearers face means they’re awesome to use if you’ve been diving a lot lately and gotten a slightly tired face from using a framed dive mask all the time.
Featuring a super soft silicone skirt and an unusually wide head strap that results in an extremely comfortable fit, the Cressi F1 offers a wide field of vision and is available in several colours.
The strap buckles are easy to adjust and seamlessly moulded onto the flexible silicone skirt which is feather-light against ones face.
Of all the many different diving gear brands that make scuba masks, Kraken Aquatics are one of the newest, having only been established since 2015!
However in that time they’ve made quite a bit…splash (sorry, couldn’t resist!) in the scuba diving gear industry.
They’re focus is on making high quality and durable products that are tailored towards a low-budget diver.
The Kraken Aquatics scuba diving mask is available in either dual-lens or mono lens options.
It features a double feathered skirt made from 100% silicone and is extremely comfortable to wear; providing low volume and exerting very little pressure on the wearers face.
It’s a framed mask which is useful for making sure it fits a wide variety of faces – which many reviews testify to, revealing it’s good for both large and small faces!
The Kraken Aquatics might not be the all-time cheapest mask (it’s 4th cheapest on our list) but its still much cheaper than the vast majority of other dive masks out there.
The fact that its a top seller on amazon and has a huge fan base is testimony to the high potential Kraken Aquatics seem to have.
A classic that’s withstood the test of time and is still a top seller on amazon; the Cressi Focus is one of the oldest scuba diving masks on this list; it was one of the first ever dive masks to incorporate an inclined lens for improved downward view.
Although it was expensive when it first came out, it’s fallen in price over the years and is now one of the cheapest options available – but still offers awesome quality.
As well as the enhanced downward view, this is also a comfortable mask to wear – being a framed mask it fits most face types and with a dual lens design is also able to take contact lenses.
There’s a range of different frame colours available as well as the option to choose it with a black or clear skirt.
The TUSA TM-5700 Liberator is one of the few low-cost diving masks that can accept prescription lenses.
This is partly thanks to its dual lens design. The downside of a dual lens mask is that its field of view is slightly more obstructed compared to a single lens mask – however only by a small amount.
Some people also prefer dual-lens masks because the lens sits a little closer to the wearers face providing lower volume and easier clearing.
Using TUSA’s computer aided design tech, the TM-5700 Liberator has been designed to fit most face shapes.
Its double feather edged silicone skirt is made of high grade crystal silicone for a soft feel against the wearers face and to provide a watertight seal that is leakproof.
The strap is also made from soft silicon and is easy to adjust even whilst doing so underwater or when wearing dive gloves.
UV protection and underwater colour enhancement are usually that is usually only seen in very expensive scuba diving masks.
The exception to this is the SeaDive Oceanways Superview – whilst not as cheap as the all time cheapest dive masks, it only costs a little more than them whilst being much cheaper than the most expensive ones.
Its single lens is coated with optical multi-coat technology, which not only enhances colours underwater but also offers some protection against surface glare.
Seaview have also incorporated their special anti-fogging tech into this mask making it less likely to fog! (Although you do still need to treat it after purchase and clean the lens between dives to avoid fogging, as you would for any scuba mask).
Now that’s one pimped out scuba diving mask! You’ll also get a huge field of view thanks to the high brow and far reaching tear drops.
The ProShot Tidal is an extremely popular dual-lens scuba diving mask with a few special features.
It features the most effective anti-fog tech on the market this year.
(However, you’ll still want to treat this mask before using and apply a thin layer of soap onto the lens then wash it off before each dive to prevent fogging – as you would for any scuba diving mask).
If you buy the option with the reflective lens, it keeps the rays from dazzling you at the surface whilst enhancing colours slightly underwater!.
This dive mask also has a huge field of view and offers a very comfortable fit thanks to its low volume and high quality silicon skirt which creates a near perfect seal on just about any shape of face.
It’s awesome to see a scuba diving mask with both anti-fogging tech and uv protection as an option – usually these features are only seen in luxury (expensive!) dive masks, not mid-price options such as the the ProShot Tidal!
TUSA are a highly reputable scuba diving gear brand; they were established in Tokyo in 1952 and since then have released many successful diving products including a number of masks.
Perhaps TUSA’s most successful scuba diving masks of all time are the Freedom Masks which were designed in 2 moulds to ensure customers can choose the one that fits their face type best:
Besides shape, both versions of the Freedom mask are identical, featuring a framed, single lens for an unobstructed view with high set brow and far reaching teardrops for maximum scope of vision.
TUSA’s patented 3-D mask strap fits snuggly against the heads curvature for next level comfort which is complimented nicely by the dimples located in key areas around the super soft silicone skirt.
These masks feature high volume, making them less likely to leak and a great option for those with beards or big noses.
TUSA Freedom masks have been an Amazon’s choice product for several years; they’re highly popular and you see them a lot out and about on dives!
Yet another incredibly well respected scuba diving gear brand are Oceanic, who were first established in 1972 in California.
Much like the #8 Tusa Freedom Masks, the Oceanic Shadow has 2 moulds for different face shapes:
However, whereas Tusa Freedom Masks are framed, the Oceanic Shadow scuba diving masks are frameless.
The advantage of frameless dive masks is that they exert less pressure on the wearers face making them extra comfortable – whilst also easier to clear.
As well as that, frameless masks are easier to pack as you can squish the skirt up against the lens.
The downside of frameless masks is that they’re not quite as durable as framed masks and may offer a slightly less stable fit meaning they could in theory be more prone to leaking. The key to avoiding this is choosing the right size for your face and properly adjust the strap!
The Oceanic Shadow and Shadow Mini, which are identical except for their different size, both feature a single lens with a wide field of view and a soft silicone skirt that sits on the face incredibly lightly thanks to the frameless design.
With high quality and a very reasonable price, the Oceanic Shadow is an example of the frameless mask design at it’s finest.
If you have an extra small and/or fine featured face and you struggle to find a scuba diving mask that provides the perfect fit than the Aqualung MicroMask could be the answer to your prayers.
It’s designed exclusively for small faced divers; not just by being small itself but also with respect to the sculpting and contours of the soft silicone skirt.
It’s also a frameless mask, meaning it exerts less pressure on the face; something that will come in extra handy for anyone with more petite facial features.
Comfort is further enhanced by the strap; which features multiple splits (as a posse to just 2 like most masks) to disperse weight across the back of the wearers head as evenly as possible.
Admittedly, a mask as small as this isn’t going to have as wide a field of view as bigger dive masks – but this is compensated for somewhat by the double lens incorporating an ocular orbit to widen vision scope.
Of course, whilst the Aqualung MicroMask is possibly the best dive mask of all time for people with small faces, it’s highly unsuitable for people with bigger faces!
The Aqualung Plazma is fairly unique in that unlike most other scuba diving masks, it features special pressure reduction zones in its soft-silicone skirt to evenly disperse pressure for a light and comfortable feel.
This is further enhanced by its frameless design – frameless scuba masks naturally exert less pressure on the wearers face whilst also being easier to clear and slightly more streamlined underwater.
On top of all that, the Aqualung Plazma is another one of the very few dive masks to have several (instead of just one) splits at the strap to allow for more even dispersal of weight against the back of the wearers head.
These features all combine to create an incredibly comfortable scuba diving mask, with a great field of view and which is compact and easy to stow away in a bcd pocket.
This is undeniably a mask designed for people with bigger faces; with small-faced reviews consistently reporting a poor fit.
Available in a range of colours, this highly popular model of dive mask has been around for a while, meaning that online availability can be a little low – but there’s still a few left.
The Aqua Lung Reveal X1 is one of the most comfortable mid-priced, framed scuba diving masks on the 2022 market.
This is largely because its double feathered skirt is constructed from differently textured bands of high-grade silicone that come together to form a better seal and awesome comfort.
Its a framed scuba diving mask; framed masks provide a more stable fit and are suited to a wider variety of face types; two important traits to have for a mask of which the top priority is providing a great fit!
The single lens, teardrop design has a good field of view in all directions and provides medium volume for a balance of feeling light on ones face and being unlikely to leak.
Like other Aqualung masks, it features a unique strap with multiple splits that is longer around the middle to fit seamlessly around the back of the wearers head for added comfort and fit stability.
The Cressi Big Eyes Evolution is a framed, double lens scuba diving mask that has been designed to take prescription / corrective lenses – which is crucial if you’d normally wear glasses above the water.
Despite being framed, this is a low volume mask meaning it’s both easy to clear and exerts less pressure on the wearers face.
Low volume also means the lenses sit closer to the users face, which will come in handy for anyone using prescription lenses.
The dual lenses offer a decent field of vision, especially with regards to downward scope thanks to the inclined teardrop shapes.
Sure, the brow isn’t quite as high as that of some single lens masks but overall field of vision is still pretty decent.
It’s double-feathered skirt is made from 100% super soft, crystal-silicone and has a light, airy feel against your face whilst still creating a comfortable and watertight seal.
The strap follows the standard split design of most dive masks but features buckles that unusually are integrated within the frame itself for easy positioning when making adjustments.
You can release your inner-underwater-vigilante with the ScubaPro Ghost which has got to be one of the most unique and stylishly shaped scuba diving masks out there.
Because it follows a frameless design, the ScubaPro Ghost is more streamlined underwater and exerts less pressure on the wearers face compared to framed scuba diving masks.
Frameless masks are also a little more compact than framed masks which means they’re a smidge more travel friendly!
I especially love the massive ultra-clear mono-lens with the greatly inverted tear drops; it provides a huge and unobstructed view.
The unobtrusive and easy to adjust buckles are extremely flexible and offer a wide range of strap angles, so it’s easy to adjust this mask even underwater.
Its also nice that the skirt is double feathered – this is usually only seen in framed masks but it helps secure a stable, watertight fit on any face shape.
With the ScubaPro Ghost looking as cool as it does, it would be nice if future additions came in more colours; currently it is only available in black or white.
Another unique-looking scuba dive mask, the Aqua Lung Pacifica is reminiscent of the vintage “fish-bowl” dive mask style from times of old.
Its large, open window gives a truly colossal and unobstructed view of one’s surroundings in every possible direction.
This is a high volume mask which means that there is more distance than normal between the wearers face and the lens.
The advantage of a high volume mask is that offers a more stable fit and is less likely to leak. The disadvantage is that it can be harder to clear when using a nose pocket.
However, this issue is nullified because the Aqualung Pacifica doesn’t actually have a nose pocket! Instead, it has the extremely rare feature of a purge valve for rapid and effortless clearing. Problem solved!
Its skirt is made from hypoallergenic silicon and is extra thin for added comfort.
You’ll either love or hate the appearance of the Aqualung Pacifica but if you do love it, rest assured that besides looking cool, it is still a high quality scuba mask that provides awesome comfort and a massive field of view.
Mares have a number of highly popular scuba diving masks; their newest models are unique for having not one but two kinds of silicon incorporated into their skirt for greater softness and flexibility.
Before we dive into the most popular of those newer models (#18 the Mares X-Vision Ultra) lets look at a slightly older (and thereby cheaper) design; which like most scuba masks is made using just one kind of silicon – the Mares One Vision.
The Mares One Vision may not have the double-silicon tech of newer Mares masks but it does offer the special frame shape of all Mares masks; which incorporates outwards extensions around it’s lower and upper side-margins for a huge scope of view.
It also has the special X-shaped head strap associated with Mares masks, for even dispersal of weight across the back of the wearers head to improve comfort and fit stability.
Its high volume does make it a little more bulky whilst a little less easy to clear compared to other dive masks but as a result it offers an extremely secure fit, that’s highly unlikely to flood.
Also, whereas all of the newer Mares masks are dual-lens, the Mares One Vision is a single lens which some users will prefer as it provides a more unobstructed view.
The Mares X Vision Ultra is similar to its predecessor the Mares One Vision in many ways – however there have been a few improvements.
Whereas the Mares One Vision (and most dive masks in general) feature a skirt constructed from one type of silicon, the Mares X Vision Ultra employs two kinds of silicon: a firmer portion for support structure and a softer portion for the parts that contact the wearers face.
The result is a bi-silicon that Mares have called liquidskin – it is a patented tech of theirs and is both softer and more elastic resulting in a firmer yet also more comfortable fit.
Also, unlike the single-lensed Mares One Vision, the X Vision Ultra is dual lens and can accept corrective / prescription lenses.
Its award winning frame design: which juts out to the bottom and the sides, also offers an even larger field of vision.
There is the option for gold mirrored lenses to increase visibility in cloudy waters or silver mirrored lenses to reduce surface glare.
Small ribs around the nose pocket relieve pressure around the wearers face whilst the unique, X-shaped bi-silicone strap does so from the back of their head.
The Mares X Vision Ultra is a highly popular scuba diving mask that you see being used a lot all over the world.
The lens of the SeaDive EagleEye Rayblocker is applied with anti-UV coating to provide basic glare-protection whilst also being tinted to enhance underwater colours for a better view.
With a large and unobstructed single lens with strongly inverted teardrops, this dive mask offers a huge scope of vision, especially around the downwards margins.
It is a framed mask and features medium volume which strikes a nice balance between providing a stable fit and not exerting too much pressure on the wearers face.
The skirt and strap are both constructed from soft silicon for a comfortable fit – it is a one size fits all that can suit a variety of face shapes, but generally leans towards being more suited for larger faces.
Of course, if you want a scuba mask with super-high quality UV protection; you might want to check out our luxury dive masks.
By now you probably already know that it’s totally possible to take your beloved underwater action camera diving by placing it in a cheap waterproof housing.
But did you know that some scuba masks feature action camera head mounts so that you can keep your hands free whilst filming your underwater adventures?
The real question is – which of these action-cam mount dive masks is the best?!
In our humble opinions its the OctoMask, which is compatible with all of the GoPro models as well as most other makes of action camera.
This is a low volume, framed mask with a large scope of vision and a comfortable soft silicon skirt as well as easy to adjust strap.
It pretty affordable; sitting at the low-price spectrum of mid-range dive masks and has sold so many copies on amazon, it’s become an Amazon choice product!
The Cressi Nano has been designed with one thing in particular in mind: to be as streamlined as possible for maximum ease of movement underwater.
This is achieved through an innovative and patented new design by Cressi: dual frame technology; which joins the mask’s two rigid frames to significantly reduce volume and make it more compact.
The result is an extremely hydrodynamic mask that exerts truly minimal drag underwater.
At 12.86 inches squared, its internal volume is lower than that of almost any other dive mask on the 2022 market!
Low volume masks are not only more streamlined, they’re also easier to equalise underwater.
It’s worth pointing out that the ultra compact design of the Cressi Nano does mean that its field of vision is slightly less than that of many other masks.
Oh boy! The nest level comfort, huge field of vision and badass design of the Atomic Aquatics Venom make it the Diving Squad dive mask of choice – it’s one of our favourite scuba masks of all time!
This luxury dive mask may be expensive but the quality that it offers is beaten by none.
The Atomic Aquatics Venom lens is constructed from Schott Superwhite glass; specially imported from Germany it lets in more light than that of other dive mask lenses, enhancing underwater clarity noticeably.
You get an exceptionally stable fit thanks to the internal sub-frame which makes it almost impossible for this mask to leak!
“I’ve got a big bushy beard which means dive masks are more likely to leak for me – but I’ve never had that issue with the Atomic Aquatics Venom” – Alex: Founder and Grand Admiral of the Diving Squad.
The single lens features a high bridge and considerably inverted teardrop shape to ensure maximum field of vision – in fact it’s about half an inch taller and a centimetre wider than that of most other scuba masks.
I love the super-soft, double feathered silicone skirt and adjustable strap which features an extra wide split design to evenly disperse weight across the back of the wearers head for next level comfort.
Available in several colours.
Constructed in Japan, this futuristic looking dive mask features a double lens frame and comes in a huge assortment of colours.
The lens is UV420 grade polarized meaning it provides high-quality protection against UV whilst enhancing underwater colours in a way that is greatly superior to that of cheaper UV protection dive masks.
Users will also quickly notice that the lens features a 10 degree inclination angle for enhanced downward view; something thats further increased by the inverted teardrops shape.
The skirt is made from extra flexible silicone for a watertight seal and features a damper to relieve stress from the cheekbones; combined with the masks low volume, this makes it feel extra light against the face.
Low volume masks such as this are also easier to clear and exert less pressure on the nose bridge at depth.
Plus, the drain skirt improves water expulsion during mask clearance and minimizes leaking!
It’s easy to use the quick release buckle and fine pitch strap, even with thick gloves, making adjustment simple and hassle free.
Gull Mantis masks may be expensive but the UV protection they provide is second to none and they are also incredibly comfortable and durable.
An all-time top seller on amazon, the Atomic Venom Frameless has been crafted to be everything a great frameless mask should be: streamlined, compact and extremely comfortable and light to wear.
The lens is made from Schott SuperWhite UltraClear glass which allows more light through, enhancing underwater colours considerably.
Said lens is also computer designed to be distortion free to maximum upward, downward and peripheral vision.
Whilst most dive masks incorporate one type of silicon, the Atomic Venom Frameless stands out in that it features 2 types blended together to form bi-silicon for added comfort and stability.
Exclusive “Gummi Bear UltraSoft” is used for the skirt and strap to create an extra soft and comfortable feel whilst a second, firmer silicone keeps the mask firmly positioned even in choppy conditions.
The extra wide split strap curves around the wearers head seamlessly leads to one insanely comfortable and sports integrated swivel buckles for easy adjustment even underwater.
If you can afford such an expensive mask, the Atomic Venom Frameless is the highest quality frameless mask currently available.
It features a unique internal-ribbing texture to provide maximum comfort to the wearers face and really does achieve this in a way that few other masks can compete with.
Thin silicone is used around the parts of the skirt that touch the wearers face for added softness and comfort whilst a more rigid, matte finish is used near the mask frame for greater stability.
ScubaPro Synergy masks come with black or clear skirting and there are a variety of bright, acrylic colour options for the frame. Mirrored lenses and corrective lenses are also available at a small extra cost.
The dual lens design is low volume and provides a great range of view; one that is considerably larger than that of just about any other dual-lens and even some single lens masks.
The rotating buckles attach to tabs on the skirt rather than on the frame to optimise strap angle and range of motion.
These are highly popular scuba masks with a somewhat diehard fan base!
The Hollis M1 Frameless is actually the cheapest high end scuba mask that’s made it to the Diving Squad reviews and subsequently it holds epic value for money.
It offers improved underwater colours thanks to it’s “Saint-Gobain Diamant” Crystal Clear tempered glass lens.
Because the lens has low iron content; it produces a higher light transmittance, eliminating distortion and improving colour and visibility in low light conditions underwater.
Ultra compact, lightweight and also highly streamlined, the Hollis M1 is everything a frameless mask should be.
Being frameless, it offers incredibly low volume, which means there’s minimal distance between the glass and the wearers face; making it easy to clear and exert less pressure on the users face at depth.
The strap and buckle system are easy to adjust even when wearing gloves, so you’ll always be able to get the perfect fit.
With a minimalist frame and oversized double lens, the Oceanic Cyanea might just offer the widest field of vision of any scuba diving mask on the 2022 market.
Its lens consists of crystal clear tempered glass which contains fewer impurities and lets in more light for enhanced colour underwater.
The micro frame construction is compact and low volume, making it easy to clear and exert very little pressure on the wearers face.
We love the mask strap which create a comfortable curvature over the wearers head with elasticised material and which is chlorine and UV resistant. A silicone grip ensures it remains securely in place.
The super soft, double-feathered silicone skirt creates a large, watertight seal over your face and features stability ridges for an extra secure and comfortable fit.
You can opt for a black or clear skirt as well as several extremely vibrant colour options diffused within the centre of the mostly clear frame as well as matching up on the lettering of the strap.
It may be expensive but the Oceanic Cyanea is one seriously cool, highly-effective scuba diving mask with a wider field of view than any other option currently available!
The critically acclaimed Scubapro Spectra masks offer superb underwater visibility thanks to Scubapros patented “UltraClear” lens; which lets in more light, thereby enhancing colours.
For a small extra cost, you can also buy a mirrored version of this lens which provides decent UV protection – especially at the surface.
Of course, if you’re going to have a such a clear view, you’ll also want it to be through as big a field of vision as possible – in this area the Spectra also delivers with massive double lenses and inverted teardrops for enhanced downward vision.
These masks are exceptionally tough and durable – they’re also low volume which makes them easier to clear and less likely to dig into your face even when diving down very deep.
The double-feathered high quality silicone skirt is light and comfortable against your face whilst the multi-split strap with central padding ensures even dispersal of weight across the back of your head for maximum comfort.
All in all, these are excellent scuba diving masks that offer incredible value for money, being cheaper than many of the other dive masks on our luxury options list.
The Scubapro Crystal VU Plus is the only luxury scuba mask to offer side windows for increased-peripheral vision.
This widened field of view is further complimented by Scubapro’s special no-tint glass which offers crystal clear visibility underwater by allowing more light through than a normal mask lens would.
A double-sealed, super soft silicone skirt provides a comfortable and watertight seal around ones face whilst feeling incredibly light thanks to a low volume design.
Said low volume also makes this mask easy to clear and exert less pressure on your face.
Swivel buckles allow for easy adjustment at any angle, even whilst underwater or when wearing thick dive gloves.
Overall the Scubapro Crystal VU Plus demonstrates high durability, comfort and good field of view with enhanced underwater colour correction – the thing that mainly makes it stand out from other luxury dive masks however is its side windows.
Expensive they may be, but the TUSA M-2001 Paragon masks have been designed with diving professionals in mind and they pack a serious punch.
The huge double lenses feature high-quality UV420 treatment to protect against HEV (high energy visible light, which is present on both sunny and cloudy days), meaning you won’t get dazzled on sunny days and even on cloudier days you’ll find your eyes feel less tired or strained.
On top of this, the lenses are created using TUSA’s patented crystal glass to allow more light through. This results is brighter colours underwater – which becomes more noticeable the deeper you dive.
In addition to the awesome lens, these masks feature a number of unique factors to provide next level comfort.
The super soft silicone skirt has dimples and ridges at key areas around the forehead and cheek bones as well as varied silicone thickness; all of which come together to provide an incredibly comfortable and virtually leak-proof seal.
Stylish and badass looking, these low volume masks are available in a range of incredibly colours and being dual-lens can accept corrective lenses. They’re also available in a single lens option.
The main difference between framed and frameless scuba masks is:
(The lens/lenses and skirt are sealed to a hard frame, which the skirt is moulded to).
(Feature a glass lens that is moulded directly onto the mask skirt).
If you find it hard to get a scuba diving mask with a stable fit / that doesn’t leak, a framed mask may be the best option for you as they general offer greater stability than frameless masks.
Furthermore, if you need to fit prescription or corrective lenses in a scuba diving mask, you’ll have to go for a framed option; one that is also double lensed and which features corrective lens options.
If none of the above apply to you and you want to have a light and streamlined mask that has low volume and so is easy to clear and performs well under pressure whilst also offering a huge field of view, we suggest a frameless mask!
Frameless masks are generally more compact which makes them great to travel with and also excellent backup masks as you can easily stow them away in a bcd pocket by squishing the skirt against the lens.
Take a look at the two images above. The mask on the left is a single lens mask, whereas the mask on the right is a double lens mask because of the nose bridge dividing the lens down the middle.
Single Lens Masks:
Preferred by some folks, because a single lens gives the feeling of a more open, spacious mask. Generally fit larger faces.
Double Lens Masks:
Can (sometimes) accept corrective lenses. Generally are a better option for small faces.
If you need to add corrective lenses into a mask – go for a double lens option. That said, take note that not all double lens masks can accept corrective lenses, so check first! Generally speaking, double-lens masks are a little smaller so they may fit people with more petite faces better.
Of course, if you don’t need corrective lenses you are free to choose a single lens mask which will generally offer a larger and more unobstructed view – and may also be more suited to a bigger face shape.
This is the glass / faceplate / window part of the dive mask, through which you behold the underwater world!
Mono / Single:
A single lens that is undivided by the nose bridge. Some users find that a mask with one single lens gives the feeling of a more open, spacious mask. Single lenses cannot accept corrective lenses.
Twin / Double:
Most masks use a twin/dual lens construction as this positions the viewing glass closer to the wearers eyes, which can increase field of view. Often (but not always) double lens masks can accept prescription or corrective lenses.
Multi Lens / Panoramic:
These are essentially single or dual lens masks, with side windows to increase peripheral vision as well as to let in more light. This results in an airy, open feel. Only a few scuba diving masks have this feature!
A polarized mask reduces UV glare; in the case of cheaper UV masks through a special coating and in the case of more expensive options usually through a mirrored lens option. Polarized masks can also improve underwater visibility by making colours brighter and shadows more defined.
The classic scuba diving mask is that of a teardrop lens; i.e. it looks like two teardrops! This is a reliable shape to get a good all round field of view. Inverted teardrop lens generally refers to masks where the bottom section has been lengthened slightly, to offer improved downward view which makes it easy to see things directly below you like your dive computer or gauge.
Tempered Glass Lenses:
Nowadays, virtually all diving masks have safety or tempered glass lenses, meaning they will not shatter on impact. A few masks have plastic lenses to reduce the weight of the mask, but these are also resistant to shattering.
Prescription / Corrective:
Some models of dual lens scuba diving mask have the ability to accept corrective lenses (they will need to be specially fitted by the manufacturer).
Corrective lenses are usually available in half dioptre increments. If your prescription happens to fall between two lens strengths, go for the stronger of the two.
The mask skirt is the soft portion of the dive mask / snorkel mask that makes a seal against your face. To be effective at stopping leaks, the skirt must wear a water-tight seal against your face. Many dive masks usually have what’s called a “double feathered” skirt design lining: two edges of silicone that act like a suction cup outlining your face.
Most quality mask skirts are made out of hypoallergenic silicone, but the thickness and suppleness varies from mask to mask. Generally speaking, better quality masks have higher quality silicon skirts for improved comfort and flexibility.
Some dive mask manufacturers add different surface textures in the forehead and cheek areas to further increase comfort and improve the seal.
Try to avoid plastic / siltex skirted masks which often cause face rashes, are uncomfortable and more prone to leak (don’t worry none of the scuba masks we’ve reviewed on this page have plastic skirts, they all have silicone skirts!).
Low volume Design masks have been designed to have very little space between a diver’s face and the mask glass (this is known as the internal volume). This means they hold very little air and thus require less effort to equalise and clear, which can be a huge advantage! As well as making things easier, it saves air, saving more for scuba diving!
Frameless Masks always have low volume. Some newer designs of framed mask also have low volume.
However low volume masks sit very close to the face which can be irritating for some people, or increase the risk of leaking if they have a large nose or beards.
By contrast, high volume masks can be harder to clear and exert more pressure on the face when at depth; however they’re less prone to leaking.
Mounted in the bottom of the nose pocket, a purge valve is designed to keep water from building up inside a leaky mask. All you have to do is ensure that the valve is at the lowest point and exhale through your nose whilst holding the mask against your face to force the water out.
This is particularly useful for divers who struggle with getting a mask to seal and frequently suffer from a leaky mask, such as those with a moustache or beard – or even a big nose!
Most scuba masks don’t have a purge valve and it’s not essential – but if this sounds like a really cool feature that you want to have on your mask then we recommend going for the AquaLung Paficia.
Some buckles are easy to operate and make strap adjustment easy whereas others are just frustrating. The buckle systems on many modern masks mount on the skirt, rather than to the frame. This improves the range of motion for strap positioning as well as enabling the buckles to be folded flat against the lens for easy packing.
If you have long hair, it’s a good idea to get a mask strap wrapper to reduce the risk of entanglement.
As with all diving equipment, a little care and maintenance for your new mask goes a long way towards keeping it in working condition for a long time.
The first time you buy a dive mask, it’s very important that you treat/clean/defog it before using it; otherwise it’ll end up fogging up in a major way and you’ll not be able to see anything!
That’s because during the manufacturing process, a film of silicone and mould release agents forms on the surface of a scuba mask – said film is annoyingly resistant to the usual defogging methods of spit, baby shampoo or commercial defogger.
But how does one clean or “defog” a new scuba mask? All you need to do is get a small blob of regular toothpaste and rub it firmly in circular motions all over both sides of the mask lens/lenses. Be sure to push the toothpaste in extra hard – I find rubbing it in firmly with a thumb is the best way! (Some people prefer to use a dry toothbrush).
Once you’ve firmly coated both sides of the mask lens/lenses in toothpaste leave the mask for about fifteen to twenty minutes and then wash the toothpaste off using water. Be sure to get all the toothpaste off, you would not want it to irritate your eyes when you wore the mask! Then repeat the entire process three or four more times! Might be good to put on a good scuba diving movie for this one.
Oh and by the way! You should totally use kids’ toothepaste for this as it’s less corrosive meaning it won’t damage the lens and also if you do leave some residue in the mask and then wear it, it won’t sting your eyes nearly so bad!
Another strategy is to burn your mask. You can do this using a lighter – hold it to the glass lens and move it about. You’ll notice the glass turning black which means that the silicone layer that is stuck to it is burning off. Once the glass is all black you can let it cool and wash it with dish soap or toothpaste. You may also have to repeat this process a few times if the mask still fogs.
If you do opt to burn your mask, take great care not to damage the skirt and also do not apply heat for too long on any one spot of the lens! A steady sweeping motion across the surface of the lens is best!
Throughout the time that you are using your scuba mask you’ll also want to give it a little lovin’ in the form of some basic care and cleaning to ensure it remains clear, doesn’t end up fogging and is safe to use.
Caring for your scuba diving mask is easy. After every dive wash your scuba mask with fresh water until it is fully clean. Warm, fresh water that is less than 120°F is best for dissolving salt crystals that are stuck to the mask. Afterwards, rinse it throughly and dry it off with a towel.
Periodically, you should take the time to do a deep clean on your mask, to cut through build up that may not have been removed in your post dive cleanings. To do this, take watered down dish soap and rub it into both the lens and skirt. Make sure you get into all the sides, the nose area and every little pocket around the mask.
Next, use fresh, warm water to clean the soap off. Rinse the mask three times to ensure all the dish soap is removed. Leave the mask to dry and only stow away when it is completely dried off.
When storing your mask, be sure to keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. It’s best to store it in an airtight container or insects may start to chew on the mask, especially if it’s not cleaned properly.
Store with the face covered or lens up to avoid scratches. Also, if you have a clear skirted mask store it away from other scuba gear as the black colour of other gear items can discolour a clear skirt.
This is something you learn when taking your open water certification, but just in case you’ve forgotten, here’s what you need to do:
Don’t forget to check our scuba diving refresher tips if you need to further brush up on your scuba skills.
Diving Squad – at ease! Nice. You’ve just finished this whale shark of an article on the best scuba diving masks of all time.
These were honest reviews by scuba divers for scuba divers and you can rest assured that because we constantly scour the market for new diving equipment, collaborate with other divers from all different backgrounds and update our content accordingly, this page reflects the very latest knowledge regarding the best dive masks currently available.
We hope you’ve found this information useful – now go get yourself out there and buy a damn dive mask!
Diving Squad Out.
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