9 Best Snorkel Masks of 2023 [+ Buying Guide]

Written and Reviewed By

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An optimal snorkel mask will provide you with a crystal clear view of the underwater world, without ever leaking or fogging. It’ll fit you comfortably and will be rugged enough to take on years’ worth of adventures.

But with so many different shapes, sizes, types of masks available, buying a mask for snorkeling can be a little overwhelming.

As a PADI Divemaster working in the South Florida scuba diving and snorkeling industry, I’ve learned what makes a snorkel mask great.

After scanning the market and getting my hands on as many snorkel masks as possible, I’ve condensed my list of the best snorkel masks down to just five options.

I then went on to rank and review these masks on the following criteria:

  • Lens Material & type
  • Anti-fog properties
  • Field of vision
  • Strap and Skirt material
  • Color & style
  • Price
  • Manufacturer reputation
  • & More

I’ve also put notes about what each snorkel mask is best for, and what type of diver should get it.

Below, I’ll jump straight into my recommendations, followed by a snorkel mask buying guide and FAQ list at the end.

Best Snorkel Masks

Best Dual Frame Snorkel Masks

Spectra

A dual frame snorkel mask has 2 separate lenses that are held together by a frame. With this type of snorkel mask, the lenses can sit closer to the face which reduces the internal volume. This makes it easier to clear and equalize so it’s a good choice for beginners and freedivers.

Dual window snorkel masks are the most common, and often the cheapest as they’re relatively easy to manufacture. Also if you wear glasses, a 2-window snorkel mask is the only type that can be fitted with prescription lenses.

Best Overall: Tilos Flex

Best Mask & Snorkel
Tilos Flex
4.8
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Type: Dual Lense | Lens Material: Tempered Glass | Skirt Material: Silicone | Strap Material: Silicone | Field of Vision: Excellent 

First on the list, I’m putting the Tilos Flex as the best overall mask and snorkel. When I am freediving, this is the mask and snorkel that I personally use.

The main advantages of this mask is its compact size, which allows it to easily fit into your pocket or purse, making it convenient to carry with you wherever you go.

The frameless design of the mask ensures a comfortable, secure fit that won’t slip or slide around on your face, even during prolonged use.

The innovative snorkel features a unique design that incorporates a spiral-shaped airway. This helps to reduce resistance and makes breathing easier and more efficient.

The silicone mouthpiece is soft and comfortable, and the adjustable snorkel keeper allows you to easily attach the snorkel to your mask. The snorkel also features a one-way purge valve that makes it easy to clear water from the airway. 

Pros:

  • Compact
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Only comes in black

Most Comfortable: ScubaPro Spectra

Most Comfortable
Scubapro Spectra Mask
4.5
$109.00
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02/18/2024 05:24 am GMT

Type: Dual Lense | Lens Material: Polycarbonate | Skirt Material: Silicone | Strap Material: Silicone | Field of Vision: Decent | Colors: 8 Options | Warranty: 2 Years

If comfort is your top priority then look no further than the ScubaPro Spectra 2. Despite its simple appearance, this is hands down the most comfortable and clear snorkel mask that you will ever use.

Featuring ScubaPro’s ultra-clear lenses, it also offers unrivaled clarity underwater and you can opt for a mirrored lens for additional glare protection.

Although it’s one of the more expensive options on our list, it’s worth the investment. This is a seriously high-quality and high-performing snorkel mask from one of the most trusted diving brands. And if you take care of it well, this mask will last you for a lifetime of ocean adventures.

Pros:

  • Super soft silicone create extra comfy fit
  • Water-tight seal on almost every face shape
  • Low volume gives a wide field of vision
  • Exceptional clarity thanks to ultra-clear finish on the lens
  • Available in different colors and with mirrored lens
  • Push-button swivel buckles for easy adjustment

Cons:

  • Finish on the inside of the lens is easily damaged
  • Frame may push the bridge of your nose due to it’s low volume design
  • It’s quite expensive (but we think it’s worth it!)

Best for Beginners: Cressi Matrix

Great for Beginners
Cressi Matrix
4.5
$47.03
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02/18/2024 08:32 am GMT

Type: Single Lense | Lens Material: Tempered Glass | Skirt Material: Silicone | Strap Material: Silicone | Field of Vision: Average  | Colors: Many Options | Warranty: 1 Year

For beginners and experienced snorkelers alike, we love the Cressi Matrix. There’s a reason that this mask has been one of the most popular among both scuba divers and snorkelers for so many years.

It’s reliable, comfortable, and provides a leak-free fit on just about every face. The inverted teardrop lenses provide superb visibility for a low-volume mask and the anti-fog properties are excellent. And with micrometric adjustable buckles, you can fine-tune the strap for a perfect fit.

It’s an affordable option that will take excellent care of you in the water.

Pros:

  • Fits almost every face
  • Excellent anti-fog properties
  • Robust construction built to last
  • 2 year warranty
  • Available in small for kids / smaller faces

Cons:

  • Not the best periphery vision
  • More expensive than the Cressi F1

Best Single Lense Snorkel Masks

Cressi F1 Frameless budget snorkel mask on white background
TUSA M 1001 Freedom snorkel mask on white background

Single-lens snorkel masks don’t have a frame running down the middle. These tend to be the most popular among snorkelers and scuba divers because they provide a wide and uninterrupted view.

However, they do tend to be a bit more expensive than 2 window masks. They also have a higher internal volume which makes them harder to clear and equalize.

Budget Single Lense: Cressi F1

Budget Option
Cressi F1
4.5
$34.95
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02/18/2024 08:39 am GMT

Type: Single Lense | Lens Material: Tempered Glass | Skirt Material: Silicone | Strap Material: Silicone | Field of Vision: Great  | Colors: Many Options | Warranty: 1 Year

When it comes to value for money, the Cressi F1 is the best budget snorkel mask on the market. 

Designed and manufactured by one of the world’s leading dive and snorkel gear brands, this is a top-quality product for a very affordable price.

Thanks to its premium-grade materials and solid construction, this mask is exceptionally comfortable and will last a long time. 

It’s ergonomic and easy to use design also makes this a great snorkel mask for beginners. As with all Cressi products, this mask comes with a 2-year warranty.

Pros:

  • Incredible value for money
  • Soft & durable 100% silicone skirt provides a reliable seal
  • Great fit on small faces
  • 2-year warranty
  • Huge variety of colors available

Cons:

  • Tends to fog a little without the use of an anti-fog solution

Premium Single Lense: Tusa Freedom HD

Premium Choice
TUSA M-1001 Freedom HD
4.5
$99.00
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02/18/2024 09:08 am GMT

Type: Single Lense | Lens Material: Polycarobonate | Skirt Material: Silicone | Strap Material: Silicone | Field of Vision: Great  | Colors: Several Options | Warranty: 1 Year

For those of you with a little more budget to spend, the TUSA M-1001 Freedom mask offers a premium snorkeling experience. Created using TUSA’s patented Freedom Technology, this mask delivers superior fit, comfort, and increased performance.

It is a single-lens snorkel mask with an incredibly wide field of vision. Boasting a 180° rotational buckle system, it can comfortably fit a variety of face sizes while maintaining a low profile. It also features an innovative dimpled silicone skirt with varied thickness, stability ridges, and low-friction surface which creates a soft and supple feeling mask with a dramatically improved seal.

While it’s slightly more expensive than most of our list, it’s still very reasonably priced for such a high-quality and performing mask. And thanks to the 5 position strap angle adjuster, this mask fits perfectly on almost any and every face.

Pros:

  • Superior fit & comfort
  • Very wide field of vision in all directions
  • Easy to adjust rotational buckle system
  • Low volume & easy to clear
  • Top quality materials & construction

Cons:

  • May leak a little if not adjusted properly
  • Expensive

Best Full Face Snorkel Masks

full-face snorkel mask covers the entire face and allows you to breathe naturally through your nose as well as your mouth.

These are a great option for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable using a traditional snorkel mask. But are not suitable for swimming underwater.

One thing to note about a full-face snorkel mask, is that equalizing is very difficult due to not having access to the nose.

Best Full Face Snorkel Mask: Seaview 180 V3

Our Top Pick
Seaview 180 V3
5.0
$59.99
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02/18/2024 09:58 pm GMT

Best for: Surface Snorkelers | Strap Material: Silicone | Lense Material: Polycarbonate | FOV: 180° | Sizes: S, M, L | Weight: 1.4 lbs/.62 kg Return Period: 30 Days | Warranty: 1 Year 

There’s only one place to look if you’re after a full-face snorkel mask. Wildhorn Outfitters is by far the best and most reliable manufacturer of full-face snorkeling masks.

The Seaview 180° V3 Full Face Snorkel Mask is ergonomic, user-friendly, and affordable.

With a unique breathing system, it’s arguably the safest and most comfortable full-face snorkel mask on the market.

Austin Wearing Full Face Snorkel Mask

Given it’s a full face snorkel mask, it’ll also have some of the great vision and field of view out there.

The mask is also 100% GoPro compatible, given the camera mount pieces that come with it. The mask is also super easy to travel with. While it’s not foldable, it’s super easy to remove the top snorkel and condense it.

If you’re looking for more full-face options, take a look at our full rundown of the best full face snorkel masks.

Pros:

  • Effortless breathing experience
  • Leakproof without having to pull straps super tight
  • Stays perfectly in place once adjusted
    Fog-resistant
  • Beautifully clear 180-degree views
  • Removable snorkel for travel
  • Gopro mount on top
  • Sleek and more stylish design
  • Variety of colors available

Cons:

  • Somewhat bulky for travel
  • Not the “cheapest” option
  • Not suitable for freediving below the surface
  • Looks a little dorky
Luxury Option
Ocean Reef Aria
$59.95
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02/18/2024 06:13 pm GMT

Best for: Surface Snorkelers | Strap Material: Soft Elastic | Lense Material: Polycarbonate | FOV: 180° | Sizes: S, M, L | Weight: 1.72 lbs Return Period: 30 Days | Warranty: 2 Year 

If you are looking for a comfortable/ secure snorkeling mask with an unobstructed view, the OCEAN REEF Aria QR Snorkeling Mask might be a good option for you.

With its full-face design and dry snorkel system, I enjoyed my snorkeling experience without any water leaks.

If you plan to go deep diving, this mask is not suitable. Overall, it’s a solid choice for surface snorkelers like myself who seek a high-quality snorkeling experience.

 

Pros:

  • Available in 3 different sizes
  • Comfortable fit
  • Lots of fun colors
  • Great for kids

Cons:

  • Heaviest mask on the list
  • Can’t freedive or equalize

Best Freediving Masks

Freediving masks have a significantly lower internal volume and a much more hydrodynamic profile than a scuba diving mask.This is important as when you’re freediving you only have 1 breath for your entire dive, every single sip of air is precious. 

To be honest, unless you’re pushing the limits of freediving, these masks can be overkill, but I wanted to present a few options anyways.

Best for Freediving: Tilos Spawn

Our Top Pick
Tilos Spawn
4.5
$59.95
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02/18/2024 09:34 am GMT

Lense Material: Tempered Glass | Color: Camo | Skirt Material: Silicone | Strap Material: Silicone

The Tilos Spawn mask is the freediving mask that I personally use. The mask is designed with a soft silicone skirt that molds to your face, providing a comfortable and watertight seal.

The tempered glass lenses on the mask provide a clear and unobstructed view of the underwater world.  The camo design of the mask and snorkel can help you blend into your surroundings, making it easier to approach fish or other marine life. The snorkel features matches the  mask its straight tube for simplicity and easy to use. 

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Anti-fog technology
  • Shatter resistant

Cons:

  • Limited styles

Lowest Volume: Mares Viper

Lowest Volume
Mares Viper Mask
4.5
$70.00
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02/18/2024 10:13 am GMT

Mares are known for creating some of the best freediving masks on the market. And the Viper is considered the best of them all.

Developed in collaboration with the world’s best freedivers, it’s designed specifically to enhance your performance underwater.

With a super streamlined, low profile design, Mares has maximized the hydrodynamics of this mask to allow you to glide effortlessly through the water.

The decreased lenses to eye distance combined with the matte silicone finish and anti-glare interior provide a broad and clear field of vision underwater.

Mares x viper freediving mask product shot

The unique skirt creates a strong yet comfortable seal on most face shapes, whilst the lip-free edging promotes a self-equalizing effect. And the ergonomically designed double-button buckles help you get the perfect fit.

This is an ultra-low volume, high-performance freediving mask that will not disappoint.

Pros:

  • Ultra-low volume
  • Superior hydrodynamics
  • Enhances performance
  • Anti-glare finish
  • Wide field of vision
  • High-quality silicone
  • Ergonomically shaped skirt
  • Excellent anti-fog properties
  • Multiple colors available incl. reef camouflage

Cons:

  • Facial hair will cause leaks
  • Not ideal for round faces
  • Skirt can feel a little hard

How To Choose The Best Snorkel Mask

Identify It's Purpose

As with any piece of scuba or snorkel gear you buy, it’s important to think what you need from your snorkel mask, and what you plan to use it for.

  • Are you going for a surface snorkel only
  • Do you want to use it for freediving or scuba diving as well?
  • Are you after a wide, panoramic view or a slim, low profile design? 

These aren’t always mutually exclusive, but it’s good to sort your priorities from the get-go.

Otherwise, you’ll waste a ton of time looking at snorkel masks that don’t actually fit your needs.

What kinds of snorkeling masks do you find most comfortable?

Are you experienced, or a total beginner?

Answering all these questions upfront will help you narrow down your options and quickly choose between our recommendations.

If you want to go freediving in your mask, or enjoy diving down more than a few feet then opt for a low volume design. If the mask has a large internal volume it’ll be difficult to equalize and will cause an uncomfortable squeeze as you descend.

Get the Right Fit

The most important aspect of a snorkel mask is a proper fit.

If the mask doesn’t fit you properly it won’t be comfortable, it’ll leak, fog up and you’ll have a terrible snorkeling experience.

The best snorkel mask is the one that fits so perfectly that you forget you even have it on!

A well-fitting snorkel mask should form a comfortable seal without needing to be pulled tight. Remember, it’s the skirt that should create the seal on your face, not the strap. The head strap is simply there to stop the mask from slipping out of place.

Equally, the mask frame shouldn’t dig in or put pressure on any part of your face. You want your nose to sit comfortably within the nose pocket without feeling squished. And you should be able to pinch your nostrils shut so you can equalize if you dive down.

Other Features To Look For

In addition, to fit, the best snorkel masks will feature some, if not all of these features:

  • A flexible and wide silicone skirt that has good contact with your skin will create the best watertight anti-leak seal. Plastic won’t create a good or comfortable seal and rubber becomes brittle and cracks over time. So it’s best to avoid these materials.
  • Anti-fog properties on the lens help keep your mask from fogging up.
  • Tempered glass: The lenses should be made from tempered glass which is super strong and shatterproof to protect your eyes.

Stick With Reputable Manufacturers

We stress this in all our buying guides, but we think it’s worth mentioning again here. Don’t skimp and go for a cheap, knock-off snorkel mask!

Stick with reputable brands that have proven track records for making high-quality gear. It’s not worth buying something cheap that’ll break quickly and put you at risk.

Austin demoing the Seaview 180 V3

Set Your Budget

Lastly, decide how much you  want to spend on your new snorkel mask.

Snorkel masks can cost anywhere from $15 to over $100 depending on the brand, features, and materials. You can easily find a good snorkel mask on a budget, but don’t go too cheap. As with most gear, you usually get what you pay for.

Remember you’ll also need to set aside some budget for a snorkel and potentially some fins. If you’re looking for the best deal on snorkeling gear, check out our guide to the best snorkel sets. Buying your snorkel gear as a package is more cost-effective than buying each item individually.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are black or clear snorkel masks better?

It really depends on the conditions, and slightly on your own preference for the color of your snorkel or scuba mask.

Masks with a black silicone skirt are preferred by photographers and spearfishers because it helps block out unwanted light that reflects on the inside of the lens and makes it a little trickier to see clearly.

A black snorkel mask also helps shade your eyes and reduce glare, which is helpful in tropical locations where the sun is bright and the water is clear.

A clear silicone skirt on a snorkel mask offers a very open and airy feel. A transparent skirt can also help extend the field of view and reduces your blind spots.

In destinations where the water is not as clear, or there is not as much bright sunlight, a clear snorkel mask can be more beneficial than a black one as it allows more light in.

Some people can find a black snorkel mask a little claustrophobic and feel much calmer wearing a clear snorkel or scuba mask.

So it really depends on how you feel personally in the snorkel mask. But the basic rule is that black snorkel masks are better in bright water and clear masks in dark water.

What's the difference between a snorkel mask and scuba mask?

To keep it simple, the main difference between a scuba mask and a snorkel mask is that a scuba mask is built to withstand the water pressure at depth for an extended period of time.

Whereas a snorkel mask is designed for use at the surface or in very shallow water.

You can always use a scuba diving mask for snorkeling, but not all snorkel masks are suitable for scuba diving.

Especially the more basic snorkel masks as their features aren’t designed to perform efficiently at depth. This means they may leak, fog up or, even worse, break when scuba diving.

If you plan to scuba dive and snorkel, then it’s worth investing in a slightly higher-quality mask that can be used for both activities.

The majority of the snorkel masks we’ve recommended above can be used for scuba diving as well.

What is the safest full face snorkel mask?

The safest full-face snorkel masks come from reputable brands that have a proper circulation system such as those from Seac, Tribord, and Wildhorn.

Our recommendation would be the Seaview 180 V2 from Wildhorn as this model has an advanced air circulation system that ensures there is no CO2 build-up, making this one of the safest full-face masks available.

For more info on the safest options, check out our run-down of the best full-face snorkel masks.

Conclusion

This concludes my  snorkel mask buying guide. If you have any questions about what the best snorkel mask is for you, be sure to drop a comment or message me here, and I’ll get back to you promptly.

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