Swimming is a great way to get in shape and have fun. It’s also an excellent workout for your lungs and heart. But did you know that swimming can be good for your eyes too? 

How to choose the best swimming goggles

Swimming helps relieve pressure in your body which ultimately helps relax the eye muscles. To achieve this goal, goggles are essential. Swimmers of all levels are well advised to use swimming goggles because:

  • It protects against splashing water. 
  • It protects against chlorine, salt, and germs, but also small animals or algae in the water.
  • It improves visibility underwater.
  • It allows contact lens wearers to wear their lenses while swimming and diving.

This comprehensive guide will discuss everything you need to know about choosing the best goggles for swimming. So whether you are a beginner or an experienced swimmer, read on to learn all about the best goggles for swimming!

What is vital in choosing swimming goggles?

First, it’s essential to understand that not all goggles are created equal. Some may leak or fog up quickly, while others may offer better UV protection or be more comfortable to wear. So how do you choose the right ones?

One factor to consider is fit. Goggles should fit snugly around your eye sockets without any gaps or pressure points. Remember to adjust the straps properly for a secure fit.

Next, think about what type of lens you want. Clear lenses are great for indoor pools with minimal sunlight, while tinted lenses can reduce glare and offer UV protection in outdoor pools. Mirrored or polarized lenses can also help with glare and UV protection.

Choosing the best goggles for swimming
Boy in a swimming cap and swimming goggles in the pool. The child is engaged in the swimming section.

It’s also important to consider the material of the goggles. Softer silicone materials are more comfortable, while rigid plastic may provide better durability.

Finally, remember anti-fog technology. Look for goggles with an anti-fog coating or ventilation systems to prevent fogging.  Additionally, think about special features such as UV protection. These can significantly enhance your swimming experience and protect your eyes from harmful sun rays.

Trying on a few different pairs is essential to see what works best. And remember to take proper care of your goggles by rinsing them with fresh water after every use.

Do goggles matter for swimming?

Whether to protect against reddened eyes from chlorinated water or to open your eyes underwater: Swimming goggles are probably the most underestimated accessory for fair-weather and leisure swimmers. While some people may argue that goggles are not necessary for swimming, they can actually provide several essential benefits:

  • Goggles can protect the eyes from chlorine and other chemicals in the pool water, as well as debris or microbes that could cause irritation or infection.
  • They also allow swimmers to see clearly underwater, improving their ability to navigate and perform proper technique.
  • In competitive swimming, goggles can give swimmers an advantage by allowing them to see and react to their competitors.

What type of swimming goggles are best?

Choosing the proper swimming goggles depends on various factors. You have to think about what you want to use the swimming goggles for: 

  • Do you only go to the pool occasionally? 
  • Should the glasses provide optimal protection in lakes or seas? 
  • Do you need them for competitions and regular use? 

Which swimming goggles are suitable for whom always depends on the intended use. Triathletes and competitive swimmers have different demands on swimming goggles than casual swimmers in the open-air pool. The tint, a large field of vision, and the eyecups are particularly important here.

Tint and a wide field of vision are more important for open water and triathletes than indoor swimmers. Mirrored lenses reflect sunlight away from the eye, providing a darkened view on sunny days. A broad vision field helps maintain an overview during competitions and training.

There are also significant differences in swimming goggles in the seals and lens sizes. A small field of view can sometimes cause dizziness. Many swimming goggles are often distorted at the edge, leading to some people’s orientation problems and even dizzy spells while swimming.

Seals on swimming goggles vary in hardness. Anyone who jumps into the fray and gets kicked in the face – intentionally or not – should make sure that the seal of their swimming goggles is soft and can absorb a kick.

How to choose the best goggles for swimming

Goggles for swimming with nose cover

Some goggles have nose covers or clips to prevent water from filling your nose. Googles for diving, also known as snorkeling goggles, usually have this feature. The nose cover protects your face from suctioning when diving into deeper water.

How do I choose swimming goggles? 

The proper swimming goggles should, most importantly, fit well. The glasses can be adapted to the individual face shape with various adjustment options. On the one hand, there is the headband, which can be adjusted. There are straps with a clip at the back of the head, double-layered, and split headbands. There are also different ways of adjusting the belt – easy handling is vital. In addition, the band should fit snugly but without pressing on the head or eyes.

Another feature is the nose bridge. Does the manufacturer offer the option of adjusting the nose bridge, or does it use a specific technology that allows the glasses to be flexible with different eye reliefs?

When choosing swimming goggles, you should ideally test the waterproofness in and under water while swimming using the simple test.

How to test if goggles are waterproof

It is essential that swimming goggles fit correctly and are waterproof. The so-called intake test, which you do in the dry, helps to get an idea. To do this, you press the glasses onto the eye area without pulling the glasses strap over the back of your head. Due to the negative pressure created, the glasses should last a few seconds on their own.  

If the goggles still stick when you make slight facial movements – but please don’t squeeze your eyes – there’s a good chance that they really aren’t letting water in. However, this initially applies to the idle state, but this can possibly change when the head is moved, or pressure is applied.

​​Why are many swimming goggles tinted and/or mirrored?

Depending on the lighting conditions, tints are very useful because they support good vision. 

  • Clear glass is perfect for indoor pools that are poorly lit. 
  • A purple tint enhances the contrast and is also suitable for indoor pools. 
  • Blue and gray tints provide good visibility in bright indoor and outdoor conditions. 
  • Mirrored glass is mainly used outdoors because it protects the swimmer from being blinded by the sun. 
  • Polarized lenses protect the eyes when the sun reflects heavily off the water.

Final thoughts

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to find the perfect goggles for your next swim. Happy swimming!


​​Are there differences in the headbands of swimming goggles?

While the bands are all silicone, some are split, while others are double-stranded. The advantage of the double headband is that the band can be positioned according to your own preference to better compensate for the possible pressure on the eyes.

Why should I put my goggles in a case?

Quite simply: to protect the glasses from scratches and dirt. This way, you can benefit from your swimming goggles for longer.

Guest article.

The above may not coincide with the methodology and opinion of the SwimRight Academy Team.