How to Choose Swimming Goggles

Medically Reviewed by Poonam Sachdev on August 17, 2022
4 min read

Swimming goggles are important. They keep your vision clear and free from water and chemicals when you are swimming. It’s also important to know how to effectively use swimming goggles and how to wear them. Then, there’s the question of which of the different types of goggles to use and where to buy them from. 

Both competitive and leisurely swimmers should understand the importance of using swimming goggles – including how to use them and how to wear them. This type of swimming equipment can be helpful, allowing you to see underwater when you swim. 

Additionally, using swimming goggles on your child who is just learning to swim may make them feel more comfortable and relaxed during their lessons.

To avoid noticeable impressions and discomfort around your eyes after removing your goggles, it’s important to wear them to be loose-fitting. Of course, you’re going to want to make sure that they’re still serving their intended purpose, which is to keep water away from your eyes and allow you to see the beautiful underwater world, so finding the right balance can be difficult. Try tightening them just enough that water doesn’t seep through and they don’t slip around your face. That should be enough. 

You might think that all swimming goggles are the same, but the opposite is true. There are several different types of goggles on the market. These are the most common ones you’ll find: 

  • Oval-shaped goggles: These goggles come with a silicone gasket seal that can efficiently keep water out of your eyes.
  • Competitive-style goggles: This type of goggle offers a sleeker design and tighter grip.
  • Swimming masks: Since swim masks tend to be larger than your average goggles, they provide the wearer with a good range of vision, which is especially useful for children and those swimming in open bodies of water.

When it comes to choosing the right swimming goggles for you or your child, there are a few important factors you will need to consider: 

  • Fit
  • Comfort
  • Vision 

Each of these factors is important. There are a ton of brands of swimming goggles out there, but it won’t matter which one you choose if you don’t have goggles that fit right, are comfortable, and provide you with good vision.


No matter what pair you’re aiming to get, it’s important that you try them on prior to purchasing them. For cases where you might be shopping online and cannot try them on before buying, you’ll want to ensure that the online retailer has a good refund policy in place and you can return the goggles should they not provide you with an adequate fit. 

When fitting your goggles, you’ll want to make sure that they are sealed properly. Most oval-shaped goggles, which happen to be the most common goggle type, have a silicone gasket seal. As you try them on, you’ll notice a bit of suction. If the goggles do not provide this suction, then they will let water in. 

On the other hand, goggles that provide too much suction are too tight and will apply too much pressure. This means you may feel discomfort when using them. 

Meanwhile, it's also important to make sure that the goggles are not so wide that water will leak in by the corners of your eyes, so choose a pair that fits the width of your face. 


Even if your goggles fit properly around your eyes and keep the water out from them, they may be uncomfortable around the nose. This can be frustrating to deal with. 

Some goggles will offer nosepieces that can be adjusted. Otherwise, if you are uncomfortable, you can always try a different pair. 


Thankfully, many goggles come equipped with anti-fog coating and UV properties to provide you with extra protection from foggy conditions and the sun’s UV rays. If you wear prescription glasses, you can even get prescription goggles from many manufacturers, which is helpful for those with impaired vision. 

There is something else that needs to be considered in your quest for the perfect optics in goggles, though: the color of the lens. 

You may not think much about the lens and the color or believe that it doesn’t really matter what color you choose. However, the color of the lens you choose will provide you with different benefits:  

  • Clear: These are designed for low-light and overcast environments. They often provide the wearer with optimal visibility. This type is suited for indoor use. 
  • Lilac: Suited for both indoor and outdoor use, lilac-colored lenses are suited for contrast against objects with a green or blue background.
  • Smoke: Suited for outdoor swimming and best used in the sun, smoke-colored lenses are made to minimize light transmission.
  • Amber: Amber-colored lenses are made to enhance your vision in low-light situations and to reduce glare in high-light environments. They are made for both indoor and outdoor use.
  • Blue: Suited for both indoor and outdoor use, blue-colored lenses are great for allowing moderate levels of light in while protecting your eyes from glare in brighter conditions.
  • Mirrored: Mirrored lenses are designed to help reduce brightness and glare and are best suited for outdoor use.

Swimming goggles can be found at a variety of stores – from general retailers such as Walmart and Target to sporting goods stores. You can even purchase them from online retailers, though you may want to consider purchasing them in-store instead so you can try them on before buying them.