How To Snorkel With Glasses – 6 Best Options

How to snorkel with glasses is a frequent question that many snorkelers wonder about! It is understandable because what is the point of going snorkeling if you don’t see the beauty of the underwater world? So without further ado, let’s see below what are the best options to have the clearest vision in the water!

Post updated: 06.04.2023

Best Options To Snorkel With Glasses

1 You can wear a custom prescription snorkel mask that is specially customized to your prescription.
2 Another option is to wear contact lenses.
3 You can also use a drop-in lens mask.
4 Another great alternative is to wear bonded corrective lenses.
5 Magnifiers can be helpful to see things close up in the water.
6 For short-term use and a cheap alternative, you could also stick lenses from old eyeglasses on snorkel mask lenses.

Can You Wear Glasses In The Mask?

Have you ever tried to wear your glasses inside the snorkel mask? Well, I don’t know about you, but I have done this, and I can assure you that my mask started to leak right away because the earpieces broke the seal. I then took off the earpieces, hoping it would work, but unfortunately, the glasses were falling on my nose, which was distracting me all the time. So if you want my opinion, you better try other options.

Read Also: How To Clear Your Snorkel Of Water

Do You Really Need Glasses For Snorkeling?

Before going any further, bear in mind that water magnifies about 25%, meaning things will appear larger and closer to you when snorkeling underwater. But why is that? There is an explanation for this.

What happens is that the lens of the mask has a higher density than the air’s density inside the mask.

Glass and water have almost the same visual properties, and when the light passes through the lens of the mask into the air, it diverges. Also, light slows down as it gets into the water, causing it to bend or refract. This is the reason why things appear larger and closer in the water.

So if you have a slight vision problem, you won’t necessarily need to wear a prescription mask; water will naturally rectify your vision if you wear the appropriate mask, of course!

Read Also:10 Best Beginner Snorkeling Tips

6 Best Options to Snorkel With Your Glasses

Contrary to what you may think, you would be amazed by the variety of choices you have to see well underwater. So let’s take a look at what these options are!


1# Custom Prescription Lenses

Many snorkel masks can be purchased with prescription glasses today, but the problem is that not all of them suit the diver’s eyes. If you buy a non-prescription mask, you can replace the lenses with your prescription by sending both your mask and your order to your dive shop. Know that this method is quite expensive, but worth every penny because it provides excellent comfort and it allows you to see more clearly underwater. But before you spend a few hundred bucks on the lenses, you better dive with your mask for a while to make sure it fits your face well!


  • Provide clearer and sharper vision underwater, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of marine life.
  • Can be customized to fit your face shape and size, providing superior comfort over regular snorkeling masks.
  • No need to worry about wearing contact lenses or taking off your glasses while snorkeling.


  • Can be more expensive than other prescription snorkeling mask options.
  • Not all snorkeling masks will be compatible with custom prescription lenses.

2# Contact Lenses

I don’t wear contact lenses because I am not comfortable with them, but some of my friends do. For snorkeling and diving, they only use soft contact lenses because they are comfy and usually don’t cause any problems. However, what is not recommended are the hard and gas-permeable lenses. These can be painful to the eyes and can cause blurry vision due to the pressure that increases in the water as you go down.
So make sure to wear only soft contact lenses in the water!

Note that If you are susceptible to eye infections, you better use daily disposable lenses. These are safe, and you can throw them away after a single use. As opposed to soft contact lenses, you do not need to clean and disinfect them, which is a big plus!

There are some rules, though, that must be applied when wearing soft contact lenses.

You will need to keep your eyes closed if you take off your mask in the water or if your mask floods, which happens many times when diving. It is not a disaster if you don’t close your eyes. The only thing that can happen is that you may lose contact lenses. So you should always have some spare with you!

It is safer to Say to the friend you dive with that you wear contact lenses. That way, he can help you if something unexpected happens. You never know!

Each time you finish diving, make sure to rinse your eyes and your contact lenses with clear water to avoid any infection.


  • Maximize the wearer’s vision underwater
  • Can be found easily in any optometrist or online shop
  • No need to wear a prescription mask
  • Allow freedom of movement.
  • Affordable


  • Saltwater and sand can irritate the eyes and create discomfort for the wearers.
  • There are some risks of losing contact lenses while snorkeling.

3# Drop-In Lens Mask

Drop-in Lens is a great alternative, especially for near- or farsightedness, but not for astigmatism. These are diving masks with removable lenses that can be replaced easily by the diver. This is one of the cheapest and fastest options for prescription masks.


  • Allow excellent vision underwater.
  • Easily customizable, it allows you to choose the prescription strength of the lenses that suits your needs.
  • Compatible with a variety of snorkeling mask models.


  • Not a good option for astigmatism.
  • Can be more expensive than regular snorkeling masks
  • Requires some extra care and maintenance

4# Bonded Corrective Lenses

Bounded lenses and Custom Prescription Lenses are both very similar. The only difference with the Bounded technique is that the prescription lenses are cut to the shape of the mask and then glued on the original lenses instead of being replaced. The problem with the Bounded option is that if the lenses don’t have the same shape, you run the risk of not having a full field of view. This procedure is also expensive and can take several weeks.


  • Easy to care for and maintain
  • Offers excellent vision in the water if done properly with the right lens and mask.
  • Comfortable
  • Durable


  • Expensive
  • Can take time to get the mask ready. Between 10 to 15 days.
  • There is a risk of not getting a full field of vision in the water.

5# Magnifiers

This is also one of the cheapest alternatives, but it’s far from being the best one! This option is great for people who need to use reading glasses. These are removable and reusable flexible circles that can be stuck on the original lenses of the mask. Many divers use them to read their video camera screen or dive computer.


  • Affordable
  • Versatile, you can use them with a variety of snorkeling masks.
  • Easy to put on and off
  • Allow you to see small details up close


  • Provide magnified vision only in a small area.
  • Some people find that magnifiers are not comfortable to wear.

6# Cheap Option!

Another really cheap option is to take the lenses off of an old pair of prescription glasses and stick them on the original lenses of the diving mask. To do this, you need to:

1. Place the mask on your face, and with the help of your marker, put one dot on each lens of the outside of the mask where you want to glue the lenses.
2. Then, take your mask off and place it on a table.
3. Clean the mask and the lenses of your old glasses with a dry rag to remove the dust.
4. Apply a small quantity of super glues on the outer edge of the prescription lenses, then stick them to the inside of the mask where the dots are marked. And you are done!


  • Cheap.
  • Great alternative for short-term use.
  • Easy to do yourself.


  • Not durable.
  • The lens can detach if not glued with the proper glue.
  • Can fog and scratch easily.
  • May not suit snorkeling in the water.

In Conclusion

There are many options available to correct the vision underwater today. So now that you know them, nothing can stop you from enjoying the beautiful underworld of the sea!

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What about you? Do you snorkel with glasses? If so, feel free to share your experience in the comment below.

6 thoughts on “How To Snorkel With Glasses – 6 Best Options”

  1. Hello Daniella,

    Great article! Now that I’m older I have to wear glasses. I do love to snorkel since I live in the Florida Keys. There’s only 3 thing to do here. Drink, fish and snorkel. I do like to take my boat out as well. Anyways, I use contact lenses now. I will try your tips and try snorkeling with my glasses. Thanks again for a great article and I saved your site to my favorites.


    • Hi Jack,

      Yes, Florida Key is a beautiful place, and you are right, fishing, snorkeling, and sailing are the best activities you can do there:) If you are comfortable with your contact lenses, then you should continue snorkeling with them. However, you may try the other options and see what suits you best!

      Thank you for having bookmarked my website and for the comment. 

      I wish you a fantastic day!

  2. Hi, Daniella. This is a wonderful post. I have bad eyesight and I dive. When I did my PADI open water course many years ago and had to flood my mask as one of the tasks, that was a panic moment for me as I was wearing contact lenses at the time. I had heard of your option #1 which was what I plan to do if I continued diving seriously but it’s been a long time since my last dive. LOL.

    • Hi Cindy,

      Thank you, I am glad you found this post useful, it’s always great to receive compliments:)

      I’ve never worn contact lenses, but I can imagine how scary it can be to lose your contact lenses in the water. Yes, I agree with you, the custom prescription lenses are one of the best options. Many snorkelers opt for this option as it is practical and comfortable. Of course, it is a bit expensive but it worth the price!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a wonderful day!

  3. This is a great topic. One of my sisters has ang an eye vision problem, yet wants to try snorkeling. Thanks for posting this, so I will share it with her to know when she is ready to try snorkeling. Nice post!


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