Divers Scuba Masks

The most important component of your scuba gear is probably your scuba mask. It helps you see your surroundings and make the most of your scuba diving trip. Scuba masks play a crucial role in your underwater adventure as they are your window to the vibrant underwater world.

And yet, scuba masks are more than just a way to see in the water. They are essential for safety, comfort, and overall diving experience. When you are about to choose your dive mask, you should take into consideration several features, including the fit, the type of lens for improved field of view, the mask strap, and even the color.

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The Scuba Mask is one of the first things to invest in when beginning your personal stock of scuba equipment. A Scuba Mask gives you clear vision underwater, protects your face and eyes from irritants in the water, and keeps water out of your nose. Here is our guide to exploring various types of scuba masks and their special features. It also gives you helpful advice on what to consider when buying one and tips on how to maintain your scuba mask for a longer life.

The Basics of Scuba Masks

The primary function of a scuba mask is to provide an air space in front of your eyes, which enables clear vision underwater. It covers your nose, eyes, and part of your cheeks and should fit perfectly so that no water comes through.

By enclosing the nose, it allows divers to equalize the pressure as they go deeper. The basic structure of a scuba mask is made of several key parts: the lens or lenses provide the field of vision, the skirt creates a seal against the diver's face to prevent water entry, the frame holds everything together, and the straps ensure a secure fit. Just as dive watches should be totally accurate and with a perfect fit, so does your full face mask.

Types of Scuba Masks

There are various types of scuba masks, each designed to cater to different needs.

Single lens

Single-lens diving masks don’t have a frame across the bridge of the nose, giving divers a more unobstructed view. The lens is uniform across the whole mask and lets you explore all underwater activities.

Dual lens

Dual-lens masks are two lenses separated at the nose bridge instead of a uniform one. Dual lenses are practical if you wear corrective lenses.

Multiple lens

Multiple lens masks have side windows to provide peripheral vision and panoramic views. Multiple lens masks require more time to clean because they have separate compartments.

Full-face masks

Full-face masks cover the entire face, including the mouth, allowing divers to breathe through both nose and mouth. They are usually used by professional divers.

Tempered glass

No matter the type of scuba mask you choose, you should always opt for tempered glass lenses. Tempered glass lenses are more resistant than normal glass and break in large chunks rather than shards. This makes them safer to use during your scuba expedition. Also, tempered glass withstands water pressure changes better and is scratch resistant. Because tempered glass is more solid, it’s easier and safer to carry your mask around without the fear of breaking it — and it’s the type of glass that will last longer.

Special Features of Scuba Masks

Modern dive masks come with a range of special features which make them more comfortable to wear. If you are looking forward to your scuba expedition, your masks should be perfectly fitting, without any leaks.

The skirt

The skirt is the part of the mask that attaches itself to your skin and seals the mask. The skirt should sit tightly on your face, close to your ears and on your forehead. The seal should be made of a high-quality, soft silicone skirt, with dual seals to maximize their insulating properties.

The frame

The frame holds the lens or lenses together. 

Some masks are frameless, which makes them less bulky. If a frameless mask breaks, though, you will have to replace the whole mask. 

In contrast, a framed mask may be easier to fix as it’s made of compartments so you can replace only the broken part. If this has happened to you, our customer service support can help you fix or replace any broken part. We could also help you find the right mask depending on your needs.

Mask volume

You can choose between a high-volume or low-volume mask. The volume refers to the amount of air inside the mask. Low-volume masks sit closer to the face and have smaller skirts: they are thus more comfortable to wear. High-volume masks give better peripheral vision but are harder to clean and un-fog.

Color and style

Most scuba masks used to be transparent or black. Nowadays, you have more styles and colors to choose from. From color-coordinated sets to patterned designs, masks can be a fashion statement, too.

A clear or transparent skirt lets more light come through but it can get a yellow tint with time, particularly if it’s exposed to sunlight. Black skirts are more resilient and show less wear and tear.

Likewise, lenses can be tinted, making it more difficult to contact and communicate with your co-divers. Filters make the lens darker from the outside and your co-divers may be unable to understand any signals you are passing through your eyes.

Prescription lenses

Many masks offer the option of prescription lenses for those with vision issues, providing a clear view of the underwater world and even details of an ocean reef. If you choose a dual-lens mask you will be able to fit corrective lenses.

Purge valve masks

Masks with a purge valve feature have a built-in one-way valve to clear water out of the mask easily. It’s practical and easy to use.

Mask straps

Masks straps are made of rubber, silicone, or neoprene. The choice is yours, although people with long hair often opt for neoprene straps as they are more comfortable in this case.

Choosing a Scuba Mask

The right mask can make or break your diving experience.

It is essential to try on different models to find a comfortable fit — a good mask should seal smoothly against your face without having to pull the straps too tight. 

Visibility, field of view, and personal preferences such as color and style also play a role. You should try your mask against your face to check it seals perfectly. 

A good way to see how well a mask fits is to position it on your face and breathe through the nose. As you are breathing, let go of your hands to see whether the mask sticks comfortably to your face.

Of course, we’ll be more than happy to help. All you need is to know how to dive: we will provide you with all the rest, including information on the best dive mask fit.

Maintenance and Care of Scuba Masks

Scuba mask cleaning

Proper care can significantly extend the life of your scuba mask. Regular cleaning with fresh water is essential, especially after diving in saltwater. Be aware that prolonged exposure to sunlight can damage the mask's silicone parts and turn them yellow if they are light-colored.

Scuba mask usage

When using full face masks try not to tighten the straps too much as it will wear them down. If you find yourself tightening the straps too often it means the mask doesn’t fit correctly.

Scuba mask storage

When storing, place your mask in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. From time to time, it's recommended to clean the mask with a soft cloth and a non-abrasive cleaner to keep the lenses clear. Although tempered glass is scratch-resistant, we suggest you take care of your mask and avoid placing it on a hard surface on the lens side.

Scuba masks should last you for years, usually up to 20 years with proper care and maintenance.

Choosing the Right Scuba Mask for You

Every aspect and feature of scuba diving masks contributes to a safe and enjoyable diving experience. It's worth spending time and effort to find the best scuba masks that fit you well and meet your diving needs. This will make sure you have many thrilling and beautiful dives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a snorkeling mask for scuba diving?

While they might look similar, snorkeling masks and scuba masks are designed for different purposes.

Snorkeling masks typically have a larger volume and may not be designed to withstand pressure at depth. A scuba mask has a stronger build, lower volume, and often provides a wider field of view, making it more suitable for diving.

How tight should my scuba mask be?

Your scuba mask should be snug but not tight. If it's too tight, it can cause discomfort, and the excessive pressure can actually cause leakage and wear and tear the strap. The mask should seal around your face with minimal pressure.