Best Youth Swim Goggles

Updated June 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

23 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
124 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best youth swim goggles

Last Updated June 2019

Whether in a chlorinated pool, the salty ocean, or a calm lake, it’s important to protect children’s eyes from chemicals and irritants. Well-fitting youth swim goggles provide protection and visibility, making swimming a breeze and even increasing the amount of time kids can play in the water.

However, simply grabbing the first pair of youth swim goggles on the rack isn’t a good idea. Proper fit is essential, as is choosing the correct lenses for your child’s activities.

But it’s not as complicated as you may think, and we at BestReviews can help. Read on for our guide to youth swim goggles, and take a look at our top recommended goggles to find the right pair for your young swimmer.

Inexpensive youth swim goggles tend to lose their anti-fog coating after just a few uses. These goggles are better for occasional swimmers who aren’t in the pool or at the beach every day.

Key considerations

Types of goggles

Recreational: These goggles are intended for occasional use and are designed with comfort and value in mind. The fit isn’t too tight, so young swimmers won’t mind wearing them. Recreational swim goggles are popular with kids, but they tend to be cheaper and made of materials that wear out more quickly.

Practice: Used daily by lap swimmers and swim teams, practice goggles fit tightly but have well-cushioned gaskets around the lenses to help minimize the pressure around young swimmers’ eyes.

Competition: Streamlined and much more technically designed, youth swim goggles for competition have a lower profile than other goggle types. They fit very tightly around the head and have smaller gaskets around the lenses to reduce drag in the water. This makes them more uncomfortable to wear for long periods. Most competitive swimmers reserve these goggles for races.

Swim masks: These are frequently sold alongside swim goggles, but they perform very differently than even recreational swim goggles. They have good visibility and are much more comfortable, but are really for snorkeling and other activities rather than swimming laps.  

Fit and comfort

Youth swimmers need goggles that feel comfortable for long periods of time. Make sure that your child tries on the goggles before the swim season starts, and check the fit to ensure that no water enters the goggles when they’re worn correctly.

DID YOU KNOW?

Fogging is condensation that results from a temperature change. If your body temperature is higher than that of the water, the difference in temperature between the interior and exterior of the lenses means the interior moisture may condense.

Youth swim goggle features

Lenses

Youth swim goggles have a surprising variety of lenses, and each type serves an important function. Choose goggle lenses based on the type of activity and the lighting conditions that a young swimmer will face.

Shape: Competition goggles and recreational goggles have lenses of different shapes. Competition lenses are much more streamlined and lower profile, with angles that allow water to flow past a bit more easily.

Tint: Mirrored or polarized lenses are helpful during outdoor activities where sun glare can make visibility difficult. Clear or lightly tinted lenses, especially amber, are helpful indoors and can make everything seem brighter and improve visibility underwater.

Anti-fog coating: The biggest frustration with youth swim goggles is the tendency to fog up in the water. Almost all models today have an anti-fog coating that reduces this problem, but the coating can wear off after a while, particularly in cheaper models.

Strap: Youth swim goggles generally have a single strap made of silicone or rubber that attaches to either side of the lenses and fits around the back of the head. The strap can be adjusted by tugging on the strap ends at either side of the lenses. A few models are available that use comfortable neoprene straps and even multiple straps to secure the goggles comfortably around the head.

Buckle system: A traditional loop-through buckle is the hallmark of most youth goggle straps, though some easy-to-adjust features are appearing on the market, like push-button adjustment or clip adjusters.

Nosepiece: How well goggles fit is partially determined by the nosepiece. On many youth swim goggles, the nosepiece is not a separate component but part of the goggle frames. On higher-end and competition goggles, the nosepiece can be switched out for a different size.

Colors: Youth swim goggles are available in an array of fun colors like purple or pink or bright blues, yellows, and greens. Your child is sure to find a pair in their favorite color.

EXPERT TIP

Homemade anti-fog remedies include coating the inside of the lenses with baby shampoo and letting it dry. However, if the goggles leak, that shampoo will run and get into the eyes. Stick with goggles that have an anti-fog coating, and replace goggles once the coating has worn away.


Staff  | BestReviews

Youth swim goggle prices

Inexpensive: The cheapest youth swim goggles are mostly for recreational use and cost between $6 and $8.

Mid-range: You can find lots of recreational and practice goggles in the $12 to $23 price range.

Expensive: The best competition goggles, as well as some higher-end recreational goggles, can be found in the $29 to $46 range.

EXPERT TIP

Test the fit of goggles by having your child hold the goggles to their eyes without using the strap. If there’s a slight bit of suction holding the goggles in place and the goggles feel comfortable, the fit is good.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Choose goggles based on fit and comfort. Don’t choose swim goggles based on fun colors alone. Younger swimmers might be more comfortable with either a swim mask or a mask-goggle hybrid that offers lots of cushioning and a secure but comfortable fit.

  • Don’t touch the inside of youth swim goggles, even with a microfiber cloth. The anti-fog coating can get scratched.

  • Rinse off the goggles after each swim session. Rinse them in cool tap water and hang them up to air-dry. Occasionally clean the goggle straps with warm water and dish soap. Rinse well and air-dry.

  • Keep competition goggles in their case when not in use. This will help keep the lenses from getting scratched.

Other products we considered

There are plenty of youth swim goggles out there, and we found a few more that might suit your child. We really love the Splaqua Kids Swim Goggles for their fun colors, comfy yet leakproof fit, and easily adjusted dual strap. Kids older than six might like the latest Adepoy Swim Goggles, which feature a comfortable nosepiece, larger lenses for better visibility, and UV 400 protection. And parents hunting for comfortable goggles for their toddlers and younger kids may want to check out these shatterproof Hurdilen Swim Goggles for kids ages two to eight.

A few brands of goggles offer prescription lenses so that youngsters who wear glasses can still see clearly while swimming.

FAQ

Q.  My child doesn’t like the mirrored swim goggles we bought for outdoor competitions. Is there an alternative?
A.
Try goggles with a dark blue or gray tint or shading instead. On bright days outdoors, the darker tint shouldn’t affect visibility and can help reduce the glare from the sun.

Q. Even though my goggles have an anti-fog coating, they tend to fog up anyway. How can I solve this?
A.
Try to keep the goggles’ temperature the same as that of the pool water: Don’t wear them on your forehead between sets – instead, take the goggles off and tuck the strap into your swim cap or the neck of your wetsuit. Try using an anti-fog spray on the inside of the lenses: spray, rinse, and air-dry. You can also try the time-honored method of spitting on the inside of the lenses and shaking them clean (not wiping), which temporarily reduces fogging. Remember to never touch the inside of the lenses, even with a lint-free cloth.

Q. How tight should competition swim goggles be? I was told they have to be uncomfortable.
A.
Swim goggles for competitive events tend to be less comfortable than recreational or even practice goggles because much of the extra silicone or rubber cushioning is left out of the design. This helps reduce drag so swimmers can go faster. Typically, the only gaskets are around each eyepiece, and the eyepieces press tightly around the eye sockets. This can be uncomfortable, especially when the head strap is pulled tight, but it shouldn’t be painful. Have your child try on several different pairs of competition goggles to find some that seal well without too much discomfort.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Production Assistant
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jacob
    Jacob
    Editorial Manager
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Samantha
    Samantha
    Writer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

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