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Freediving Mask vs Scuba Mask: What’s the Differences

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diving mask against clean background

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Freediving vs. scuba masks? It all boils down to visibility and depth. Freediving masks prioritize clear sight and comfort for deeper dives, while scuba masks offer more versatility for exploring at various depths.

This blog dives deep into their key differences to help you choose the perfect underwater companion, maximizing visibility, comfort, and that unforgettable diving experience.

Design Differences

diving mask design difference

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Size and Volume

Freediving masks are designed with a low profile to reduce drag underwater. Opt for a mask that offers minimal internal space, as this feature decreases the amount of air required for equalization. This design is particularly beneficial for free diving, where conserving air is essential.

On the other hand, scuba masks typically have a larger internal volume compared to freediving masks. The increased airspace in scuba masks provides ample room for efficient equalization during extended dives. If you engage in scuba diving across various depths, a larger-volume scuba mask might be more suitable for your needs.

Freediving Masks

  • Optimal visibility underwater
  • Low internal space for reduced air consumption
  • Ideal for free diving and spearfishing

Scuba Masks

  • Larger internal volume for extended dives
  • Suitable for diverse depth exploration
  • Enhanced equalization capabilities


Enhanced visibility is crucial when choosing between a freediving mask and a scuba mask. Freediving masks are crafted to provide divers with an expansive field of vision underwater. These masks often feature single or double lens designs that offer a wide view of the aquatic environment.

Conversely, scuba masks prioritize visibility by offering a broader range of view compared to freediving masks. The larger design of scuba masks prevents tunnel vision during dives, allowing divers to observe their surroundings more effectively.

Freediving Masks

  • Wide field of vision for optimal visibility
  • Single or double lens designs available

Scuba Masks

  • Prevents tunnel vision underwater
  • Broadens visibility range during dives


Comfort plays a significant role in selecting the right diving mask, whether it’s for freediving or scuba diving purposes. When it comes to comfort, freediving masks are designed to compress against the face at depth, ensuring a snug fit throughout the dive. This feature enhances comfort levels during deep descents and ascents.

In contrast, scuba masks are generally larger and heavier than freediving masks but still offer comfort during extended underwater explorations. The spacious design of scuba masks allows divers to wear them comfortably over prolonged periods without feeling constricted.

Freediving Masks

  • Compress against the face at depth for enhanced comfort
  • Suitable for deep dives and rapid descents

Scuba Masks

  • Larger size provides comfort during extended dives
  • Allows prolonged wear without discomfort

Functionality Differences


When it comes to freediving masks, the lower internal volume makes equalization more efficient during descents and ascents. This design minimizes the energy needed for equalizing, allowing divers to focus on their underwater experience. On the other hand, scuba masks with a larger internal volume provide ample airspace for equalization over extended periods, catering to the needs of divers exploring diverse depths.

Freediving Masks

  • Efficient equalization during descents and ascents
  • Minimized energy consumption for equalizing

Scuba Masks

  • Ample airspace for extended equalization
  • Ideal for exploring diverse depths

Oxygen Consumption

Freediving masks are crafted to optimize oxygen consumption rates, crucial for breath-holding divers. The low-volume design reduces the amount of air required for equalization, enhancing overall diving efficiency. Conversely, scuba masks with larger internal volumes demand more air for equalization compared to low-volume freediving masks.

Freediving Masks

  • Optimized oxygen consumption rates
  • Low-volume design reduces air requirement

Scuba Masks

  • Higher air demand for equalization
  • Larger internal volume impacts oxygen consumption


While freediving masks are specifically tailored for freediving activities, they offer limited versatility beyond this scope. Scuba masks can be utilized for both scuba diving and recreational freediving, providing divers with flexibility in their underwater pursuits.

Freediving Masks

  • Tailored for freediving activities
  • Limited versatility outside of freediving

Scuba Masks

  • Suitable for scuba diving and recreational freediving
  • Offers flexibility in underwater pursuits

Choosing the Right Mask

When selecting between a freediving mask and a scuba mask, it’s essential to consider various factors based on your diving style.

For freediving, opt for a low-volume mask that allows for easy equalization and comfortable wear during deep descents. Brands like Cressi and Hammerhead offer excellent options worth trying out before making a purchase. Remember, each face is unique, so finding the perfect fit is crucial for an enjoyable diving experience.

For scuba diving, personal preference and face shape play significant roles in choosing the right mask. Ensure you try on different masks to determine which one offers the best comfort and fit for your underwater explorations. The mask you select should provide a snug yet comfortable seal without causing any discomfort during extended dives.

Practical Tips

Testing Fit

Before finalizing your decision on a diving mask, always test the fit to ensure it meets your comfort and functionality requirements. A well-fitted mask should create a secure seal without feeling too tight or loose on your face.

To test the fit, place the mask over your eyes and nose without putting the strap around your head. Inhale gently through your nose – if the mask stays in place without any air leakage, it’s likely a good fit for you.


Proper maintenance of your diving mask is crucial to prolong its lifespan and ensure optimal performance underwater. After each dive, rinse your mask with fresh water to remove saltwater residue that can cause deterioration.

Avoid exposing the mask to direct sunlight for extended periods as this can degrade the silicone skirt over time. Store your mask in a cool, dry place away from sharp objects that could damage the lens or frame.

Final Thoughts

To make an informed decision between a freediving mask and a scuba mask, remember the key distinctions. Prioritize comfort and seal for an enjoyable dive experience.

Explore various options to find a mask that fits snugly without leaks or discomfort. Consider opting for a low-volume mask like the Cressi Nano for enhanced peripheral vision underwater.

Ensure your chosen mask is both comfortable and efficient, allowing you to dive effortlessly without distractions. Shop wisely, as finding the perfect fit can transform your diving adventures from good to exceptional.


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