You can buy dive masks in a range of different styles and colours. But, the most important feature is that it allows us to see things clearer underwater.
The following information, evaluations, and customer reviews will help you choose the best mask for beginners and what makes a good diving mask for divers and snorkelers.
There is no benefit in buying a cheap mask if it feels uncomfortable or it lacks a good field of vision.
Still, go ahead and test the soft nose pocket. Make sure you can pinch your nostrils for equalisation underwater.
Then, a good dive mask is one that makes it easy and simple for divers to clear water from it.
So, having tested a range of different scuba masks, you can base your final decision on its design and colour.
The list of best scuba diving masks that we reviewed below is a helpful guide. We have not based it with any particular bias towards specific models. Please send an email to our team of scuba professionals if you have any questions or comments.
The team at Private Scuba in Thailand were happy to test and evaluate different makes and models of dive masks with a range of prices (cheap to expensive).
Overseen by our PADI Master Instructor, the testers based their scuba mask reviews on the following factors:
Is it easy to adjust the buckles and strap and does an adjustment actually meet the objectives? It's also important to confirm whether they stayed in the chosen position after making the changes.
After flooding the mask with water (intentionally) the testers evaluated how easy it is to completely clear a flooded mask, including:
Being able to see underwater is the main reason for divers to wear a scuba mask. So, we checked the field of view in all directions (to the left, right, up, and down).
Not only did we check if the frame or skirt blocked the view, we used the results in comparison to other masks that we reviewed?
Several key factors can make it a good mask for scuba diving and snorkeling. Here are three important questions to answer before you buy a scuba mask - especially if you are beginner:
Note: Our dive mask testing included a rating about construction (e.g. design and ruggedness) and its resistance to fogging. Even so, being based in Asia means we did not test scuba masks on a comprehensive range of face sizes and shapes (i.e. a professional review of mask comfort and dryness is somewhat subjective).
To begin with, we wanted to determine the unique selling point of the new Symbol scuba mask. In fact, the main benefit is being able to change the standard lenses for prescription lenses.
Hence, because you can't go scuba diving with glasses, being able to swap a tempered glass lens without having to buy a new dive mask is really handy (e.g. if you break a lens).
The sturdy frame holds the twin lens design together. There are tiny recesses around the internal frame that allow you to pop them out.
Seac Symbol dive masks also allow you to fit your own prescription lenses. So, you can have two different lenses to match your specific needs.
The new SEAC Symbol scuba mask is available in seven (7) different colours, including the traditional black colour.
The detailing on the nose pocket adds a certain amount of grip to ease equalisation. The 3D buckles do not attach to the frame - so you can fold it completely flat (e.g. for safe storage).
Pro Tip: Most manufacturers of scuba masks have started using eco-friendly cardboard boxes (instead of plastic).
"Cheaper copy of Tusa Intega, which also allows prescription lenses."
"A guitar pick is a great tool for separating plastics like you're talking about to change the lens. If you need to, grind one corner down a bit to make it closer to the appropriate screwdriver size."
The silicone of the new frameless, single-lens, two-tone, dive mask made by Icona bonds directly onto the tempered glass.
Besides the subtle flash of colour around the mask, the matt skirt also has a smooth, non-reflective finish on the inside as well as the outside.
Plus, the 'rounded' edge of the skirt increases grip and helps to prevent those annoying dive mask marks on your face (e.g. after making a long dive).
The Seac Icona dive mask features new 3D hinged buckles with a two-button ratchet strap mounted into the silicone skirt. The result? It creates a better fit, reduces the risk of unzipping itself, and it packs flatter for storage.
First, you may notice that most scuba mask manufacturers have started using eco-friendly cardboard boxes (instead of plastic).
Next, another noteworthy feature of the new Seac Icona mask is the reduction in internal volume - mostly due to the lack of clunky framework.
In general, less internal volume means the process of equalizing pressure while diving becomes somewhat easier (because it sits closer to your eyes).
Furthermore, the new 'curved' skirt design opens out the field of view and allows lots of light to penetrate through the glass.
"SEAC is an Italian company and they offer good sets with top quality snorkels and comfortable masks for beginners. But it's a competitive market and for those who want to scuba dive even more or want better quality, I do recommend purchasing snorkeling equipment separately."
"For those who just want to get out there and need the basics and don't want to spend all that much, then the SEAC Frameless Scuba Snorkeling Snorkel/Mask Set is worth checking out!"
Most divers will have heard some good and bad reports about the IST Pro Ear diving mask. The design and unique features (tubes and earmuffs) help to compensate for the air volume between the eyes and ears.
It's not uncommon for beginners to struggle with equalisation problems underwater (e.g. ear issues). Thus, if you have similar challenges, the IST ProEar Mask could be a perfect fit for you.
In general, it offers a comfortable fit around the face and there are two (2) ear protectors at the sides.
The earmuffs fit over the diver's ears and the tube system works by automatic process as the diver exhales.
The manufacturers of the ProEar say it helps to prevent inner-ear infections. Furthermore, it helps divers avoid severe pressure injuries. The prescription-lens option is now available and you can wear a neoprene integrated hood with this mask.
"The materials are good and it is comfortable to wear, it can even be worn with a hoodie, but it's somewhat more uncomfortable."
"I took the Pro Ear mask for a trial dive in a pool first and it worked perfectly... it kept my ears dry perfectly. The following morning I tried it out for a real dive.
It was rather hard to put it under my hood (loose hood). It will work fine with a wetsuit and integrated hood. The anti fog function was 'OK'!
Visual area was smaller as what I would expect, silicones sides could be a bit more softer / flexible to better lock off water inlet in the mask, but at the end of the day it still kept my ears dry for the full 62 minute dive."
Note: The short video presented by PADI® shows how to clear a dive mask without getting water inside your nose.