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What Should I Consider When Buying Swim Goggles?

When buying swim goggles, prioritize fit and comfort to prevent leaks and marks. Lens clarity and anti-fog properties enhance visibility, while UV protection shields your eyes outdoors. Consider your swimming environment—open water or pool—to choose the right tint. How will the right goggles transform your swimming experience? Dive deeper with us to find your perfect pair.
Carol Francois
Carol Francois

When buying swim goggles, there are three factors that you should consider: fit, quality, and cost. Swimmers and water polo players keep chlorinated swimming pool water out of their eyes by wearing swim goggles. There are a wide range of styles and sizes of goggles and it is important to select model that suits you best.

Properly fitting goggles fit snugly on the head. The eyepiece has a rubber or silicon edge that is designed to provide a watertight seal around each eye. The nosepiece is adjustable to ensure a proper fit around the nose bridge.

A swimmer wearing goggles and a swim cap.
A swimmer wearing goggles and a swim cap.

When buying goggles, take the time to test several different models. The headband, and nosepiece are adjustable, but the shape of the eyepieces are not. Some models are more comfortable than others, depending on the shape of your eyes and the design of the goggles.

Swim goggles must be able to withstand repeated exposure to chlorine and water. Check the quality of the rubber around the headband to ensure it is at least 0.07 inches (2 mm) thick. The most common issue with goggles is related to issues with the rubber headband.

A woman swimming with goggles.
A woman swimming with goggles.

Goggles range in price between $5 and $45 US Dollars (USD). The amount you should spend on goggles depends on how much swimming you are planning on doing. If you are going to swim at least once a week, invest in medium price range goggles. These goggles will be comfortable, keep the chlorine out your eyes, and keep you motivated to go swimming.

Quality goggles can greatly increase your enjoyment of swimming and related actives. Children often benefit from wearing swimming goggles when taking swimming lessons. Removing the discomfort of chlorine allows the children to focus on the lesson. If you are buying goggles for children, buy a relatively inexpensive model. Eyepieces are made of plastic and easily scratched.

Many types of goggles come with anti-fog coating, with a chemical applied to the inside of the lenses. This coating reduces the development of condensation that can occur during swimming. The condensation is caused by the contrast between the heat inside the eyepiece and water temperature.

The same effect can be created by rubbing a small amount of saliva on the inside of the goggles just before putting them on. When putting on swim goggles, push the eyepieces of the goggles firmly against your eyes. The rubber creates a seal and keeps the water out.

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Discussion Comments

Where can I find prescription swim goggles? I have just gotten into swimming but I have terrible eye sight. Obviously I can't wear my glasses in the pool but if I could get prescription goggles that would solve all of my problems.

Also, how much do they cost? I know that specialized glasses for sports or whatever can be really expensive sometimes. If the cost is too much I might just get by with squinting.


Are racing swim goggles any different than normal swim goggles? My son joined a swim team this summer and they are doing races for the next two months and my son informed me that he needs a new pair of goggles. He told me he needed racing goggle but when I looked them up I could not believe the price. Are they really necessary. Could he get by with normal goggles?


Comfort is a big concern when buying swim goggles. You will probably have them on your face for a while so you want to have a pair that does not irritate you. And many of them are irritating.

Be sure to try them on in the store before you buy them. Note how they feel around your eyes, your noes and your ears. If you think you can stand to wear them for upward of a half an hour they are probably the goggles for you.

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    • A swimmer wearing goggles and a swim cap.
      A swimmer wearing goggles and a swim cap.
    • A woman swimming with goggles.
      By: Maridav
      A woman swimming with goggles.