10 best swimming goggles for 2021
19 May 2021
A decent pair of goggles has to be the number one must-have aquatic accessory – other than the obligatory swimming attire, of course. Whether you’re diving in for fun or fitness, we’ve rounded up the 10 best swimming goggles for 2021.
Unless you’re that swimmer who refuses to get their hair wet, good swimming goggles are essential for a delightful dip. Not only do they allow you to see clearly underwater, they also prevent chlorinated pool water or salty seawater from irritating your eyes and making you look like you’ve had one too many the night before.
Aquatic eyewear should fit well, without leaking, steaming up or leaving red rings around your eyes for hours after use, so choosing the right pair of goggles is vital. Yet with a sea of potential pairs available, what features should you be looking for?
We’ve taken the plunge and found the best swimming goggles to wear at the leisure centre, lake or lido. Whether you’re an aspiring Rebecca Adlington or more casual than competitive, you’re sure to discover the perfect pair in our in-depth roundup.
Here are the best swimming goggles to buy this year.
1. Best overall swimming goggles: Speedo Futura Biofuse Flexiseal Goggles
Price: £14.99 | Buy now from Amazon
“I’ve had several pairs of Speedo Biofuse and none of them have leaked.”
“Highly recommended. I have swum in the sea and pools with them and they haven't leaked or fogged.”
“I’m a swimmer too. Another vote for Biofuse because they’re so soft to wear.”
The dependable swimming sidekick of countless Mumsnetters, Speedo’s Biofuse goggles not only take our top spot overall, they’re also the frontrunner when it comes to leakproof contenders.
With thousands of swimmers satisfied with the efficiency of the soft seals and flexible frame, these goggles fit most faces and adapt to the facial contours of whoever’s wearing them. They do have a non-adjustable nose bridge, however.
Available with clear, blue or smoke lenses to suit differing light conditions and at a reasonable price, it’s easy to see why they’re the go-to goggles for so many bathers.
- Rarely leak
- Soft seal
- Fixed nose bridge
- May fog after a while
2. Best budget swimming goggles: Nabaiji XBase Print Swimming Goggles
Price: £3.99 | Buy now from Decathlon
“I ended up buying some Nabaiji XBase goggles and, with no fiddling or adjustment of the nose piece, they’ve not leaked once. I just had to slacken off the head strap a bit.”
At this price, you’d be forgiven for assuming that these affordable Nabaiji goggles were only worthy of being a mere backup pair with minimal frills. Yet there’s more to them than meets the eye.
Ideal for sporadic swimmers or for those just getting back into the pool, they offer excellent underwater clarity, can be narrowed or widened to fit your nose and the wide strap can easily be altered.
Although there’s a slight chance of fog and they’re not the best for diving, some wearers believe them to be as good as more expensive pairs of goggles.
- Great value
- Two-year warranty
- May be unsuitable for lengthy swimming sessions
- Scratch more easily than some goggles
3. Best anti-fog swimming goggles: Aqua Sphere Unisex Kaiman Goggle
Price: From £12.81 | Buy now from Amazon
“I love Aqua Sphere goggles. I figured if they're good enough to be sold as triathlon goggles, they will be good for a pool.”
“They seal nicely on my face and don’t go brittle too quickly.”
“I've had Aqua Sphere Kaiman goggles in the past and they worked well.”
Swimming laps with fogged-up goggles can be infuriating, not to mention potentially dangerous. These Aqua Sphere goggles rarely mist up and nor do they budge, fitting snugly yet comfortably. Their curved lenses eliminate distortion while also providing a 180-degree field of crystal-clear vision.
Their push-button side buckles are simple to adjust and, with UV protection, they’re perfect for either relaxed or strenuous swims, both indoors and outdoors.
Hundreds of wearers are repeat purchasers who’ve either worn theirs to breaking point or had them stolen – generally by their significant other or kids – which is arguably their best possible advert going.
The goggles’ only drawback is that they enable such great underwater visibility that you may notice things you’d rather not.
- Wide field of vision
- Anti-fog, scratch-resistant lens
- May be smaller than expected
- Potential to leave marks around eyes
4. Best fitting swimming goggles: MP Michael Phelps Xceed Swimming Goggle
Price: From £20.91 | Buy now from Amazon
“I don't care about fogging, just the fit on my face. I'm eyeing up the Michael Phelps line of goggles right now.”
“Some goggles come with interchangeable nose pieces. DH has a wonderfully large nose and uses the largest nose piece.”
While they won’t magically make you as adept at swimming as the Olympic champion himself, these unisex Michael Phelps goggles will certainly have you looking the part.
You’ll also find your perfect fit, thanks to four different-sized, interchangeable nose bridges that allow you to customise these race-ready goggles. Designed for competitive swimming, their ultra-soft seals and quick-adjust silicone strap make them comfortable to wear.
So if you’re going for gold, training for a triathlon or partaking in vigorous aquatic exercise, these are the goggles for you. If you’re going for a leisurely dip and natter with friends, possibly not.
- Interchangeable nose bridges
- Curved lenses for enhanced field of vision
- Strap lacks elasticity
- Considered overpriced by some reviewers
5. Best comfortable swimming goggles: Toplus Swimming Goggles
Price: From £15.99 | Buy now from Amazon
“I bought Toplus goggles – they’re great, no leaks and really comfortable. I also don’t have to have them so tight that I get big red welts around my eyes.”
The last thing you need while perfecting your front crawl is a strap digging into your head or significant suction around your eye sockets. There’ll be none of that with these mirrored goggles, which thousands of reviewers deem particularly comfortable.
It seems too much to ask for a pair of goggles that’ll be comfy for men, women and children to wear, but Toplus appears to have achieved the universal fit that manufacturers strive for with these efficient ones.
With thick silicone seals and a soft nose piece, they’re a reliable swim buddy – whatever your aquatic expertise – and are available with black, white or red frames and a choice of tinted, shatterproof lenses.
- Suitable for all adults and kids aged 10-plus
- Nose clip and ear plugs included
- Too dark for dim conditions
- May distort at lens edges
6. Best polarised swimming goggles: TYR Special Ops 2.0 Polarised Adult Goggles
Price: From £22.60 | Buy now from Amazon
“Go for TYR Special Ops Polarised – they have very soft silicone cups and the best colour range around. I do about 2.5k a day fast front crawl and have not had a fog or leak issue. Good for open water, too, as they are tinted or mirrored.”
“DD wears TYR competition goggles and has never had problems with leakage.”
Since wearing sunglasses in the sea or pool isn’t really an option unless you intend to keep your head above water, the next best thing is a pair of tinted goggles. These unisex ones from TYR filter out 99.9% of surface glare and are ideal for super-sunny, open-air swims.
The polarised lenses protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and the hypoallergenic silicone seals accommodate various face shapes.
Although aimed at serious swimmers, these performance goggles may be best for short sessions as – despite boasting anti-fog technology – they may mist up after prolonged use. They successfully keep water out of your eyes though, helping to ensure that you have fun in the sun.
- Full UV protection
- Wide peripheral range
- Scratch quite easily
- May fog after a while
7. Best open water swimming goggles: Swans Open Water Seven Mirrored Goggles
Price: £28.88 | Buy now from Amazon
“I use Swans – never had any trouble at all.”
Whether the Great British weather is doing its best or worst, the likelihood is that it’ll still be brighter outside than in a dimly-lit indoor pool, which is where mirrored goggles come into their own. Although favoured by many competitive pool swimmers, it’s in the great outdoors that they excel, taking the edge off glare and giving a shaded view.
This aquadynamic pair from Swans is just the job for outdoor and wild swimming – whether that’s in fresh, salt or chlorinated water. Ideal for longer swims, you can dive in with confidence with these securely-fitting goggles, the thick split strap keeping them firmly in place even when you do a tumble turn or a wave crashes over your head.
With a wide field of vision, they provide optimal optical precision and they look pretty good too.
- First-rate peripheral vision
- Extra-strong, seven-face lenses
- May be unnecessary for the occasional swimmer
8. Best easy-to-adjust swimming goggles: Maru Sonar Anti-Fog Goggle
Price: £12.99 | Buy now from Amazon
“I get the Maru ones. They are far superior (or maybe just fit me better) than Speedo ones.”
If you’re after swimming goggles that don’t involve faffing around with fiddly fastenings, it’s worth opening your eyes to this monochrome pair from Maru. The quick-release buckle makes adjusting the straps simple, enabling a more precise fit.
For swimmers aged 10-plus, these unisex goggles feature impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses, making them unlikely to break even if they’re dropped or you accidentally swim into the side of the pool (sadly the same cannot be said for your nose).
These anti-fog goggles have a lightweight and durable unibody design and come with a protective case – a goggle box, if you will – to prevent them getting scratched. And if the sun decides to put its hat on, your eyes will also be protected from its rays.
- Impact-resistant lenses
- Long straps
- Lenses may be too dark for indoors
- Thin straps may not appeal to all swimmers
9. Best swimming goggles for beginners: Cressi Planet Adult Unisex Swim Goggles
Price: From £10.48 | Buy now from Amazon
“Go for the bigger ones that look more like face masks – we’ve had quite a few and they’ve worked much better than the traditional style.”
“My DC wear the ones that are slightly bigger and look more like snorkel masks, as they find them more comfortable.”
Swimmers at learner level or who don’t get along with regular goggles that fit snugly to the eye sockets may find mask-style ones more agreeable. While it’s unlikely that you’ll ever catch a professional swimmer wearing such eyewear, it’s well suited to recreational bathers – tiddlers or otherwise.
With a wide profile and covering more of your face than conventional alternatives, Cressi’s Planet goggle mask is out of this world on the comfort front and has all the standard features of many of its smaller-lensed counterparts.
Fit for use both in and outdoors, there are several colour options available, with the choice of either clear or tinted lenses.
- Minimal eye suction
- Several colour options
- Not built for speed
- May leak more than some standard goggles
10. Best swimming goggles for kids: Zoggs Children’s Bondi Swimming Goggles
Price: From £10.44 | Buy now from Amazon
“My two-year-old has Zoggs and he loves them. DD also prefers her Zoggs to any other goggles – and believe me, we’ve been through millions of pairs.”
“Zoggs are the best ones. I have had mine for going on three years now. They make good kids’ ones too.”
When the kids need some goggs, turn to Zoggs. There’s a simple reason why this brand’s products are championed by parents UK-wide and it’s this: they work.
This colourful Bondi pair for juniors has excellent staying power, without putting too much pressure on the eye sockets. Recommended for children aged six to 14, there’s also a smaller version available – aptly named Little Bondi – suitable for kids up to six years old.
With good adjustability, fit and visibility, your little one will look cool in the pool wearing these swimming goggles – and the fact that they won’t be fiddling with them or complaining of discomfort is reason enough to splash out.
- Good seal without being too tight
- Easily-adjustable straps
- Colour choices may not appeal to all
- Could be more robust
How do I choose swimming goggles?
There are several considerations to bear in mind when picking the right pair of swimming goggles:
Whether the goggles you choose are £3 or £30, the factor to focus on first and foremost is fit. Every swimmer has a different face shape and fit preferences, but if your goggles don’t sit well, they’ll be unpleasant to wear and will probably leak; they need to be both comfortable and watertight.
Before testing them out in the pool, hold them to your eyes without the strap – if they’re a good fit you should briefly feel slight suction of the seals.
This test will also allow you to ascertain whether or not the goggles are likely to chafe, particularly over the nose, and if they’ll apply too much pressure to your eye sockets. Some goggles have adjustable nose pieces or come with different-sized nose bridges.
Most pairs of swimming goggles have an anti-fog coating to stop them misting up, but this treatment won’t last forever. To prolong its effectiveness, avoid rubbing or touching the lenses and invest in an anti-fog spray for ageing goggles. Prevent yours from becoming scratched by keeping them in a pouch or case.
Where you’ll be swimming is the biggest consideration here. Light conditions will dictate which lenses are most suitable and in general, the brighter the setting, the darker the lenses should be. Ensure that the goggles offer UV protection if using them outdoors.
- Clear: Designed to let in as much light as possible for maximum visibility in low-light conditions. Ideal for indoor environments, overcast days and night swims.
- Blue: Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, these let a certain amount of light in while reducing surface glare in bright conditions.
- Mirrored: These lenses reduce glare and brightness. Best for outdoor swimming and indoor races.
- Polarised: The sunglasses of the swimming world, these offer the greatest glare protection and are perfect for bright and sunny conditions. A good choice for outdoor pools, open water swimming and triathlons.
- Smoke: Overall brightness is reduced – great for hot holidays.
Wide-fitting goggles – including masks – are best suited to open water swimmers, beginners and children, while those with small lenses are designed for performance, training and competitions.
A mid-fit pair tends to be comfortable enough to wear for fitness and recreational swimming and is the most common type available. A split strap is best for keeping your goggles in place, while picking a pair that are easily adjustable is also advisable.
What are the best swimming goggles to buy?
The best swimming goggles to buy are Speedo’s Futura Biofuse Flexiseal Goggles. They’re watertight, comfortable and reasonably priced, plus they fit almost anyone. Available in several colours and with various lens options, it’s clear to see why they’re the goggles of choice for thousands of swimmers, including many Mumsnetters.
How we chose our recommendations
We first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which swimming goggles discerning Mumsnetters recommended and had bought themselves, noting their feedback about these brands. We then drew up a shortlist of those that were repeatedly mentioned.
From there, we did some research across the wider web, consulting independent review sites and taking into account what customer reviews said about the products featured. Having collated all that information, we picked the swimming goggles we thought were worthy of taking the titles in an array of interest categories.
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Main image credit: Aqua Sphere