5 Best Snorkel Masks for Beginner to Serious Snorkelers

by | Last updated Apr 14, 2024 | Snorkel Packing List

My husband and I plan quite a few “snorkations.” We love getting in the water to discover the marine life and to date have snorkeled 39 different sites around the world. Some of our favorites have included Belize, Bora Bora, Bonaire, Maldives, St. John USVI, and the Great Barrier Reef. I share this because I mean it when I say having the right gear is important to having an amazing underwater experience. The snorkel mask is the most critical piece as I found out in 2007 while using snorkeling gear in Costa Rica for the first time. Here are my top 5 recommendations of what I consider the best snorkel masks for beginner to serious snorkelers.

* Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All recommendations are from first-hand experience that I feel will deliver value to you! Thank you for your continued support.

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Best Snorkel Masks

If you don’t feel like reading through this detailed review, here’s the TL;DR version of my top 5 picks!

Oceanways

BEST OVERALL SNORKEL MASK

RATING: 4.6/5

Cressi F1

BEST BEGINNER SNORKEL MASK

RATING: 4.5/5

Tusa M-1003

BEST CUSTOM FIT SNORKEL MASK

RATING: 4.7/5

Cressi F-Dual

BEST COMFORT  SNORKEL MASK

RATING: 4.8/5

Scubapro

BEST WIDE VIEW SNORKEL MASK

RATING: 4.6/5

Why a Good Snorkeling Mask Matters

Before we get into all the nitty-gritty details of the 5 best snorkeling masks, here is a visual representation of WHY a mask fitted for your unique face is important.

If you don’t have the right mask and it starts to fog, you may see this …

NOT A WELL-FITTED MASK 

A porcupinefish at Red Beryl in Bonaire seen through a foggy mask

A porcupinefish at Red Beryl in Bonaire seen through a foggy mask

Instead of this cute little face I recently saw while snorkeling in Bonaire!

WELL-FITTED MASK 

Porcupinefish at Red Beryl in Bonaire

Porcupinefish at Red Beryl in Bonaire seen through a properly fitted snorkel mask

If you are not quite sure what to look for in a good snorkel mask …

JUMP TO THIS SECTION FIRST

We’ll go over all the snorkel mask features to look for in addition to how to figure out if your snorkel mask is properly fitted.

Alright, let’s get into the detailed review!

5 Best Snorkeling Masks

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01- Best Overall Snorkel Mask: Oceanways

Seadive Oceanways Superview-HD Snorkel Mask

SeaDive Oceanways Superview-HD Snorkel Mask with my Cressi neoprene strap 

Wearing the Seadive Oceanways Superview-HD Snorkel Mask

Wearing the SeaDive Oceanways Superview-HD Snorkel Mask (sorry for the mirrored effect which shows my phone tripod assisting in taking the photo)

The SeaDive Oceanways SuperView-HD Mask is one of my favorite snorkel masks.

The silicone skirt is super soft and comfortable. The HD coating allows so much lighting to pass through, providing great visibility underwater.

The lens also filters out UV rays.

I use this mask most of the time. The only thing I don’t like is you have to adjust the strap buckles manually instead of pushing the two side buttons like on the other masks. Despite this minor annoyance, it’s still my favorite overall mask because of the comfort, UV/glare filter, and high definition lens. 

FEATURES TO LOVE:

→     HD coating gives you really clear visibility

→     Adjustable strap for an optimized fit

→     Super soft silicone skirt! * I can’t emphasize this great feature enough

→     Single lens offers a nice wide field of vision

→     Filters out UV rays and glare

→     Overall Amazon User Rating: 4.6/5

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02- Best Beginner Snorkel Mask: Cressi F1

Cressi F1 Snorkel Mask

Wearing the Cressi F1 Snorkel Mask

Wearing the Cressi F1 Snorkel Mask

This is an excellent value snorkel mask by Cressi, who is well known for making great diving and snorkeling gear (since 1946 to be exact!).

The Cressi F1 Mask offers a fantastic fit at a good price point for beginner snorkelers.

It has a high-grade silicone skirt, which is super important! It fits comfortably because the material is more pliable. It also has a frameless design, giving you a great wide field of view.

FEATURES TO LOVE:

→     High-grade silicone skirt

→     Frameless design so it can actually be folded flat (easy to pack for that Caribbean vacay!)

→     Great price point

→     Overall Amazon User Rating: 4.5/5

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03- Best Custom Fit Snorkel Mask: Tusa M-1003

Tusa M-1003 Freedom Elite Snorkel Mask

Tusa M-1003 Freedom Elite Snorkel Mask

Wearing a Tusa M-1003 Freedom Elite Mask

Wearing the Tusa M-1003 Freedom Elite Snorkel Mask

As you can see, I’m a big fan of single lens mask! This type of lens offers a much WIDER field of view than then a two lens mask.

I used a two lens mask when I first started to snorkel but since switching to the single lens mask I’ve never looked back. The Tusa M-1003 Freedom Elite is another great single lens snorkel mask. 

A unique feature of this mask is the 5-position strap angle adjustor. This allows for very small adjustments in the strap with a quick push of the button to give you a nice customized fit. See the photo below.

A comparison of side straps of the Tusa M-1003 and Seadive Oceanways snorkel mask

A comparison of side straps of the Tusa M-1003 and Seadive Oceanways Snorkel Mask

This snorkel mask also has what is referred to as “Freedom Technology” to reduce any uncomfortable pressure points on the face. This includes features such as a dimpled skirt and a low friction, rounded edge skirt.

Compared to the other snorkel masks, my field of view feels a little more narrow because the sides of the mask are almost vertical instead of beveled.

FEATURES TO LOVE:

→     Single lens so better field of view

→     Dimpled and low friction skirt with a rounded edge (reduces pressure points for a really comfortable fit)

→     180° Rotational Buckle System

→     Overall Amazon User Rating: 4.7/5

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04- Best Comfort Snorkel Mask: Cressi F-Dual

Cressi F-Dual Snorkel Mask

Cressi F-Dual Snorkel Mask

Wearing the Cressi F-Dual Snorkel Mask

Wearing the Cressi F-Dual Snorkel Mask

This F-Dual Mask is another solid choice from Cressi. Its frameless, single lens design offers great visibility.

It also has a double-feathered edge silicone skirt offering SUPERIOR comfort. I would describe it as buttery soft.

The snorkel mask also has two side buttons on the side strap like the Tusa M-1003 allowing for easy adjustments.

The side buttons on strap of Cressi F-Dual Snorkel Mask

Side buttons on the strap of the Cressi F-Dual Snorkel Mask allow easy “push” adjustments for fit 

FEATURES TO LOVE:

→     Frameless, single lens design that folds flat, great for packing

→     Double-feathered edge silicone skirt (feels buttery soft on the skin)

→     Wide split strap so for ladies (or men) you can pull your ponytail through the strap

→     Quick adjusting strap buckles molded right to the skirt to reduce drag

→     Overall Amazon User Rating: 4.8/5

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05- Best Wide-View Snorkel Mask: Scubapro Solo

Scubapro Solo Snorkel Mask

ScubaPro Solo Snorkel Mask

Wearing a Scubapro Solo Snorkel Mask

Wearing the ScubaPro Solo Snorkel Mask

Last but not least is the Scubapro Solo Snorkel Mask.

Scubapro is another top-rated company that specializes in snorkeling and diving gear. I’m also a big fan of their snorkel fins. See my full review if interested: BEST 3 SNORKEL FINS

The Scubapro Solo Mask is another frameless, single lens mask that offers an incredibly wide field of view. It also has a double-sealed silicone skirt offering a comfortable fit and a watertight seal.

I will be honest. The Scubapro Solo Snorkel Mask is basically identical to the Cressi F-Dual Snorkel Mask but with a slightly more narrow nose pocket.

FEATURES TO LOVE:

→     Frameless, single lens mask

→     Double-sealed silicone skirt available in 2 colors: clear and black

→     Adjustable buckles

→     Overall Amazon User Rating: 4.6/5

Snorkel Mask Accessories

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Neoprene Strap Cover

Cressi Neoprene snorkel mask strap cover

Cressi neoprene strap cover 

I have fine hair that tangles in like 2 seconds. I used to rip my hair out of the strap after a snorkeling session.

Not anymore.

The secret is the neoprene strap cover that you pull over your snorkel mask strap. This little secret accessory allows the strap to literally glide over your head.

I’d like to keep all of my hair if possible. No more tangles now!

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Baby Shampoo

Baby shampoo and travel container

Baby shampoo

Despite your best efforts, at some point, your mask is going to fog up. What do you do?

I have used a lot of anti-fog sprays and even my own spit to clear my mask. The best solution I have found is diluted baby shampoo.

I carry a little silicone bottle with the diluted baby shampoo in my board shorts. Before I get into the water, I squirt the solution into my dry mask and then rinse it right before I jump in.

Problem solved.

Understanding Snorkel Mask Features 

Anatomy of a snorkel mask

Anatomy of a snorkel mask

Having the right sized mask for the shape of your face is CRITICAL.

When I first started to snorkel, I would rent the gear (which I never would do now!). The masks never fit me quite right and would often leak water and fog. I would constantly have to stop and try to clear my mask, which quickly detracted from my enjoyment.

So, what should you look for in a snorkel mask?

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Clear vs. Black Silicone Skirt

The skirt is the portion of the mask that is coming into direct contact with your skin.

Look for a skirt that is made of silicone, which is a longer-lasting material over rubber. Also, the wider the skirt, the better the seal because of the increased material coming into contact with your skin.

Does the color of the skirt matter?

The silicone skirt can come in different colors. A clear skirt maximizes the amount of light entering the mask (see the photo above), which makes you feel less closed in.

However, some people prefer darker or opaque skirts because they block light, allowing for less glare and squinting when trying to take underwater photos.

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Single Lens vs. Double Lens vs. Frameless

Snorkeling at Black Rock Beach in Maui, Hawaii

Single lens vs. double lens mask

A single lens mask gives you a great WIDE unobstructed view.

A two lens mask has that little plastic section in the middle, which I find annoying. When I first started to snorkel, I had a two lens mask. Once I switched to a single lens mask, I fell in love and and have no intention of switching back. 

The glass lens of a frameless mask is molded right into the silicone skirt. The frameless design is lightweight, super comfortable, and offers a great seal with fewer leaks. It also offers an unobstructed panoramic view.

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Split Strap vs. Not a Split Strap

Demonstrating what a split strap on a snorkel mask looks like

Split strap vs. not a split strap 

You don’t need a lot of bells and whistles when it comes to the snorkel mask strap. Just make sure you can easily adjust it, and it stays in place.

If you wear your hair in a ponytail, consider a strap with a wide split-style strap to get your hair through.

Signs of a Well-Fitted Snorkel Mask

Do not buy a mask based on its “looks” or higher price tag. A more expensive mask does not mean this will be the right one for you.

GO BY PROPER FIT.

I used to be that person you see out in the ocean popping up every 5 minutes trying to readjust my mask. Not anymore! Understanding how a mask should fit is going to make a world of difference in your underwater experience.

How do you tell a mask is going to work?

We all have differently-shaped faces, so it may take several different mask fittings to find what works for you. Here are some general guidelines:

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01- Place the mask on without the straps

A good seal comes from the skirt of your mask NOT your straps.

Put the mask on your face and slowly inhale as you drop your hands. The mask should continue to have suction to your face.

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02- Tilt your face down while gently inhaling

A mask should continue to maintain the seal.

DO NOT INHALE TOO HARD, or you will create a false seal. As soon as you exhale, the mask should release from your face.

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03- Look for a narrow inner seal + wider outer seal

Your snorkel mask should have a narrow inner seal and a wider outer seal.

IN ADDITION to steps 1 and 2, confirm every part of your mask’s outer and INNER seal makes contact with your face. You will need a second person to check your inner seal, especially around your eyes.

If there is a gap between your inner seal and around your eye socket, you are NOT going to get a good seal.

Make sure the inner seal is NOT coming into contact with your eyebrows or hairline, which will also break the seal. The nose pocket should not be touching your nose.

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04- Attach the snorkel

Attach the snorkel and confirm there are still no gaps in your mask’s outer and inner seal.

Final Thoughts

I hope this snorkel mask guide has set you on the right path to discovering the best snorkel mask for your underwater adventures. While it might take a bit of trial and error, your dedication will be rewarded when you venture into the ocean with a mask that fits you just right. Happy snorkeling! 

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