Nothing spoils a pool day faster than a pair of crappy kids’ swimming goggles. Swimming goggles that leak, fog or keep slipping off is not something a child wants to be bothered with—and to be frank, neither do we (putting on bathing suits and swim diapers was a battle all its own, and don’t even get us started on sunscreen). Red-rimmed eyes, along with those raccoon imprints from too-tight swimming goggles, are true tell-tale signs that your little might need a new pair of kids’ swimming goggles.
When looking for kids’ swim goggles, you want to pay special attention to how the eye sockets (or gaskets) fit little eyes. It’s not enough to tighten the straps on an adult pair and call it a day. If the eye gaskets are too big, you’re pretty much guaranteeing constant leaks. Here is a tip we learned from the pros: for a perfect fit, make sure that the goggles suction to your kiddos eyes without a strap, even if it is just for a few seconds. That way when you put the strap over their head, the likelihood of leaking is zilch.
You also want to pay attention to how straps are made. (Anyone who’s had swim goggles with those rubberized bands that look like something that holds broccoli knows that these are essentially hair ripping devices.) The new generation of goggles have much better rubber straps, and if you have any concerns, go for silicone swim goggles straps—even Rapunzel wouldn’t have a hair issue.
Pretty much every pair we found boasts super-duper UV protection and tinted lenses—trust us, learning to float like a star fish is much easier if your kid isn’t blinded by the blazing sun— and are guaranteed to make time by the pool less whiny (how many times can they ask for a towel to dry their eyes?).
Now, that you’re prepped for the pool, pull out the new rash guards and let the kids swim their crazies out.
Best Kids Swimming Goggles All-Around
These kids’ swimming goggles are practically cannon ball proof! The fact that they stay on during rowdy water play is a testament to these goggles’ superior design. Obviously, your kiddo will also love these for lap swimming. Not only are the gaskets trimmed in butter-soft silicone, but the clip-on strap make it a cinch to put it on, especially on finicky little toddlers who squirm at your attempts to pull the strap over their head. Simply suction the goggles on eye sockets then clip the strap in place. The iridescent sheen of the lenses not only offer amazing UV protection and keeps kids from squinting on the sunniest of days—it makes your kid the swankiest fish in the pool. Bonus: they come in adult size too. You’ll definitely want to twin with these.
Best Swimming Goggles for Swim Team
We love that this swim goggle set comes with a clear and a tinted lens pair, making these versatile for swim team year-around. Thanks to the snug (but uber comfy fit), the 3D silicone gasket design make these leak-proof lap after lap. It’s like the goggles mold to your kids face—no matter if you’ve got teeny Tinker Bell or cheeky Poppy from Trolls. One reviewer says, “I have a 3-year-old the size of a 4-year-old, and an 8-year-old. These adjust to fit both kids very easily and the kids beg to wear them even when they aren’t in the water. It is really nice not to have to mess with nose piece adjustments.” The fishy design is a nice touch too—dare we say it’s a subliminal message to make your kiddo swim faster?
Best Swimming Goggles for Toddlers
Anyone whose kid looks like an elf in the pool (you know, because the goggle strap slips down and scrunches their ears) is saved with these amazing swim goggles. The magic is in the wide neoprene strap that hugs their tiny little head, keeping the goggles in place. Should they need to adjust, even small hands will have no problem tightening or loosening the strap thanks to Velcro snaps. “They never fall off my daughter’s head,” raves one reviewer. “She can even pull the [goggles] on to her forehead, off her eyes when she takes a break, and it does not move the band off the top or the back of her head. It also does not pull her hair out.” Now the only problem you might have is trying to get them out of the pool. And if your kid has style (duh, it’s hereditary), there are plenty of strap designs to swap.
Best Prescription Swimming Goggles
Don’t let your child’s vision needs keep them from having fun in the pool with everyone else. It’s no fun for anyone if they are perpetually playing Marco Polo. Prescription swimming goggles are a thing and unlike real glasses, these beauties don’t cost a small fortune. These are not like run-of-the-mill reading glasses with set prescriptions you see at the drugstore, you can customize these prescription swimming goggles by choosing a different prescription in each lens. “My son loves these and can actually see under the water now!” says reviewer Melissa T. Now that the underwater world is clear, Hilco ensures it stays that way with its high-performance anti-fog lenses.
Best Swimming Goggles for Pros
Perhaps you’ve got a future Katie Ledecky or a Michael Phelps in the family, but then again, your kid doesn’t have to train for the Olympics to deserve an excellent pair of swimming goggles. The Aqua Sphere wide vision design with a curved lens is awesome for visibility, especially if your kid is trying to master a flip turn (or keep an eye on the competition). Saul R. raves, “My daughters [9 and 11] swim competitively year-round. They have yet to break the straps on these. And, they haven’t had these come off during diving or swimming.” It doesn’t hurt that these are also scratch-resistant—because no child ever cared about storing their goggles in a case.
Best Swimming Goggles for Youth
These are your go-to pair when transitioning to bigger swim goggles as your child starts to grow (don’t cry). The Speedo Hydrospex are the Goldilocks of swim goggles—just right. The 5-inch thermoplastic rubber frame fits kids between the ages of 6 and 14. These are designed to fit snug but not so tight that your kids end up feeling like they have bulging frog eyes. Thanks to the double strap the swim goggles stay in place without constant readjustment. “My 9-year-old son has gone through many goggles and complains the strap hurts his head,” adds one reviewer. “These have dual straps, relieving the pressure over a large area. He loves these and says to always get these if he needs another pair.”
Best Swimming Goggles for The Beach
Beach days are the best days—unless you get salt water in your eyes. Never fear, your kids’ favorite pair of beach swim goggles is here. These wide frame swim goggles with UV protection are almost like a snorkel mask, but without the annoying suction. Oh, yea, and since the nose piece isn’t attached, your kids won’t have to feel like they are swimming through fog. One reviewer said, “My kids used these daily for an 8-day beach vacation for hours on end and they’re still hanging in after serious abuse! I’m impressed with the quality, comfort, and fit on these masks because my kids are chronic complainers when it comes to basically every other pair we’ve owned up ‘till this point. My son is 8 and my daughter is 9 and they fit as though they were made especially for them! And to get two at this low price, what more could I ask for??” You won’t have to worry when your kid makes like SpongeBob pursuing nautical nonsense all summer long.
Best Swimming Goggles for Every Day
There is a reason that TYR is a household name when it comes to swim goggles. This mom can attest, “Apparently the metallized are far better at blocking sun than the tinted goggles. My son has worn these goggles for two summers now, including four weeks of swimming lessons each summer and several additional hours in the pool each week. The smooth rubber on these goggles isn’t starting to get sticky/break down. I was so pleased that I purchased a similar pair for my daughter last year.” The soft one-piece frame is cushioned while the clips on the side make the straps easy-to adjust. And with the array of metallized lens coatings—it’s like wearing sunglasses—you can pick your child’s favorite color to boot! These may look basic but they definitely make a splash when it comes to performance.
For more fun in the sun, stock up on the latest kids gear picks for summer.