​How To Pick Out Your Dive Mask

​How To Pick Out Your Dive Mask

Posted by Extreme Exposure on Jan 7th 2021

All masks are definitely not created equal. Which means it can be hard to pick out the right one, especially if you are new to the sport. Every veteran diver can tell you about their collection of masks that they purchased that leaked, wasn’t comfortable, or maybe was even just a plain stupid purchase. So here’s a few tips to make finding the right mask for your diving a little bit easier.

1. SILICONE is your friend.

Do not buy plastic masks. They are uncomfortable, break, and often leak. Make sure your mask is made of silicone.

  • Your mask needs to be tempered glass or high quality composite made for scuba diving. Otherwise it could break and injure you!
  • Don’t buy masks with colored and or reflective glass.

Your teammates need to be able to see your eyes for safety reasons and if you are in low light environments it can be hard to see

2. The frame is another important part of your mask's comfort.

The frame is the piece that holds the lens in place. Nowadays there are frameless masks which allow you to have a wilder field of view, the downside is that if something breaks you generally have to replace the whole mask.

3.Don’t forget the straps matter!

The straps are an often forgotten feature when buying a mask. Your options are a silicone strap, and a slap strap or velcro strap. The upside to a silicone strap is it is easy to adjust. The downside to silicone is that your mask is harder to put back on when you are underwater. Silicone straps also pull out your hair, which let’s be honest is not very much fun. Slap straps or velcro straps have a neoprene band on the back that makes them easy to slide over your head and leaves all your little hairs in place. The velcro is also easy to adjust on the surface and underwater with gloves on.

4. Most importantly, try the mask on.

Buying online can be great if you have tried the mask on beforehand in a store, or they have a great return policy. Otherwise, try to go into your nearest dive shop before purchasing a mask. Here’s how to tell if a mask fits right without going on a dive in your tub.

  1. Hold the mask, without the strap, against your face. Make sure all your hair is pulled back away from the seal. If you have a mustache or facial hair make sure it is trimmed away from the mask before trying it on as it will break the seal.
  2. Gently inhale through your nose and let go of the mask. A good fitting mask will stay on your face without you holding it. A great fitting mask will present a challenge to remove while continually gently breathing in through your nose.
  3. Look around through the mask to make sure you have a good field of view.
  4. Repeat the above steps with a regulator in your mouth. This should not change the fit, but if it does choose a different mask. Sometimes the skirt is too wide along your upper lip and the seal can be broken when the regulator is in your mouth pushing it up.

Note: If you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, check which brands offer dive masks with prescription lenses.

Using Your New Mask for the First Time

You need to prepare your mask before you use it for the first time. During mask manufacturing chemicals adhere to the mask lens. These chemicals prevent most defog solutions from working effectively. To remove these chemicals, follow these steps:

  1. Apply about a nickel sized dab of mask scrub, or tooth paste to the inside of each lens.
  2. Using your finger or thumb, rub the paste with some pressure in a circular motion all over the inside of the lens. You are trying to scrub off the chemical coating so really put some effort into it. It should take minutes to scrub the mask lens clean.
  3. Rinse all the paste out of the mask, then dry it thoroughly.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 several times.


  1. Using a lighter you can burn the “film” or residue off of your mask lens by holding it a few inches away from the inside of the mask and moving it back and forth with a little bit of speed. Do not hold it in one spot. Often when you buy the mask in a store you can ask the staff to do this for you before you leave.
  2. Repeat this several times.

Before each dive you will want to use defog or spit in your mask to keep the lens clear and fog free. Do a quick rinse with water to remove the excess defog or spit just before heading underwater.

If you are on the hunt for a new mask the staff at EE would love to help you find the best one for you. Come into the store, email us, or reach out to us on social media for help.