How to Choose Prescription Swim Goggles
skip to main content

How to Choose Prescription Swim Goggles


If you require corrective lenses to see clearly, you may also want to purchase goggles with prescription lenses for the pool. Luckily, there are several companies that manufacture prescription goggles in a variety of styles. This guide walks you through how to choose the prescription goggles that are best for you.


The Lens

Prescription goggles come with ready-made spherical lenses of varying strengths known as diopters, or step diopters. This type of lens production is similar to the generic reading glasses found in pharmacies: The prescription will be a close match to your own, but may not be as precise as that in the glasses or contact lenses you use every day. For use in the water (an already-blurry environment), step diopter prescription glasses are perfectly adequate. They are also more widely available and affordable than custom-made prescription goggles from a doctor's office.

Negative diopter lenses are the most commonly available goggles, and are intended for those with nearsighted or myopic vision. Lenses range in diopters from -1.5 to -10.0 and come in increments of 0.5. Positive diopter lenses are for farsighted swimmers, and are less common.

Finding Your Diopter Strength

The first step to choosing prescription goggles is determining the diopter strength that most closely matches your current prescription. Follow the below steps, or ask your doctor to help you choose the best ones for you.

  1. Get your most current prescription numbers.
  2. Calculate the strength of the diopter you need using this formula:

             1/2 of the cylinder + sphere = diopter strength

    Sphere is the degree of weakness in diopters. This is always a negative number for nearsighted people, and a positive number for farsighted. Cylinder is the degree of astigmatism in your eye. Add half of this number to the sphere to determine diopter strength.

    Enter the Sphere and Cylinder values from your prescription into the Lens Calculator below and click the Calculate button to determine which diopter strength would best suit your needs.


      Sphere Cylinder Diopter Strength
    O.D.
    (right eye)
     
    O.S.
    (left eye)
     

    *This measurement is only a suggestion. It is best to confirm your diopter
    strength with your optometrist.

     
  3. To choose a diopter lens, simply find the one that has a prescription closest to your own. A general rule of thumb when choosing a diopter lens is to round down — rather than up — to the prescription that most closely matches your own. This places less strain on your eyes.

For example, if your prescription is a sphere of -5.0 and a cylinder of +2.0, then (1/2 x +2.0) + -5.0 = -4.0 step diopter lens. Or if your prescription is a sphere: -2.0 and a cylinder: -1.0, then (1/2 x -1.0) + -2.0 = -2.0 (rounded up from -2.5) step diopter lens.

Choose the Goggle Model

Prescription goggles have come a long way in recent years. Prescription goggle users can now choose from lenses and goggle frames that are just as sleek and hydrodynamic as non-prescription goggles.

 
  • There are both recreational and racing styles of prescription goggles. Serious swimmers and lap swimmers will want to buy a racing style and should look for low profile frames, or those with "racing" in the model name.
  • Swimmers who rarely do lap swimming and just want an alternative to going without glasses in the water — such as masks or goggles with larger lenses — should look at recreational models. These have more generously padded frames and offer wider peripheral vision.
  • Some brands (such as Aqua Sphere™) offer separate prescription lenses that can be inserted into specific goggle models. Make doubly sure that the lenses you order are compatible with your goggle frames. This may be a good option for swimmers whose eyes have significantly different prescriptions.
  • There are a few brands (such as Sporti™) that design bifocal goggles, with just the lower half of the lens set to a certain prescription.
  • One of the few brands that offer positive diopter lenses is Hilco™, with their Z Leader goggle model.

Prescription goggles may be a bit more expensive than non-prescription goggles, but they are still very affordable (and getting more so every year). If you are having trouble deciding which goggles to buy, consider asking your optometrist. Once you have your goggles, it may take a few minutes for your eyes to adjust to new lens, but after a short adjustment period, you should be able to use them adequately in the pool.


Shop all Prescriptions Swim Goggles

Email Address Invalid. Please enter an email address in the format: xx@yy.zz
 
Mike Sears
1 month ago.
OD is -4.75 sphere, cyl -0.75, axis 114 OS is -3.75 sphere, cyl -1.00, axis 046 What would my lenses be.
Swimoutlet.com
1 month ago.
Hello Mike,

Based on your prescription information your Right Eye is -5.0 and your Left Eye is -4.0. You can purchase the same brand/style goggle in both strengths and interchange the lenses. Or you can purchase 1 in the -4.0 strength.
denise
1 month ago.
This is my sons prescription. What goggles does he need?
R +1.5 (sphere) -2.0 (cyl) 75 (axis)
L +.75 (sphere) -1.75 (cyl) 115 (axis)
swimoutlet.com
1 month ago.
His right eye is +1, left eye is +0.3125. Most prescription goggles will have the same prescription in both eyes. However, to work around this customers will order goggles with interchangeable nose pieces. This will allow you to order two goggles, one in each prescription. You can then take them apart and put them back together with the two different prescriptions in each eye. Alternatively, we do offer the Eagle Diopter Lenses and the Eagle Goggle, which allows you to purchase two separate lenses and the goggle, for a custom goggle. These lenses can be purchased here:
https://www.swimoutlet.com/p/aqua-sphere-eagle-diopter-lens-10229/
And the corresponding goggles are here:
https://www.swimoutlet.com/p/aqua-sphere-eagle-goggle-10228
Kara
1 month ago.
Right eye: +2.50, +1.50, 110 Left eye: +1.50, +1.50, 80
Swimoutlet.com
1 month ago.
Hello Kara,
Your right eye is +3.0 and your left eye is +2.0. You can purchase each strength and interchange the lenses to make two pair of goggles or you can purchase one pair in the +2.0 strength.
Alecia
1 month ago.
Need help figuring the correct diopter for my daughter. RT eye Sphere (-4.75), Cylider (-7.25), Axis (110) LT eye Sphere (-4.0), Cylinder (-0.25), Axis (70)
Swimoutlet.com
1 month ago.
Hello Alecia,
Your daughters right eye is -8.0 and her left eye is -4.0. You can purchase both strengths in the same goggle/style and interchange the lenses to create 2 pair of goggles.
Nour
1 month ago.
I need help determining which prescription lens are right for me.
Sphere. Cylinder. Axis
RT: -7.75. -2.5. 170
LT: -8. -2. 180
Thank you
Swimoutlet.com
1 month ago.
Hello Nour,
You will need a -9.0 for both eyes. We offer this strength in the Sable Water Optics brand only.
Jenn
1 month ago.
Hi there, I am wondering what I would need for myself:

EYE SPH CYL AXIS PD
Right(OD): -1.75 -3.00 81 63.0
Left (OS): -1.25 -2.50 93
Swimoutlet.com13
1 month ago.
Hello Jenn,
Based on your prescription information your Right Eye is -3.0 and your Left Eye is -2.5. You can purchase the same brand/style goggle in both strengths and interchange the lenses. Or you can purchase 1 in the -2.5 strength.
sharon
1 month ago.
My daughter is Right SYL: -3.25, CYL -1.25 and Axis 005 and left is SPH -3.00 CYL -1.00 and AXIS 180. Will these over the counter goggles work with her astigmatism?

Thanks.

PS been ordering from SwimOutlet for years and never thought to ask a question!
Swimoutlet.com
1 month ago.
Hello Sharon,
Yes, she would need the -3.5 and they will work great for her!
Tam
1 month ago.
I need help figuring out what strength swim goggles to order. Please see my prescription and advise.
OD: +3.00 - 0.075 x 138
OS: +3.00 - 0.50 x 004
Add +1.50

Thanks!
Swimoutlet.com
1 month ago.
Hello Tam,
You will need a +2.5 for both eyes.
Pedro Gonçalves
1 month ago.
Thanks for this helpful article. I think I got everything right, but want to make sure I order the right diopters. My prescription says OD sphere -6.25 and OS sphere -6.50 and cylinder -0.50. There's no info for cylinder on OD so I'm assuming it's 0. I'm planning to order goggles with -6.50 diopters. Is that appropriate for me? Thank you.
Swimoutlet.com
1 month ago.
Hello Pedro,
You will actually want to order a -6.0 as it can be damaging to your eyes to round up.
Myra
1 month ago.
Hi. My son’s prescription are Left- 350 and Right-300. How do I get the correct prescription for his swim googles? Thank you so much.
Swimoutlet.com
1 month ago.
Hello Myra,
If those are his diopter strength for both eyes, then ordering a -3.0 would be just fine since the difference is so small. If not, we would need his sphere and cylinder for both eyes in order to calculate his diopter stregth.
Myra
1 month ago.
He is shortsighted. Would it be +3.0 then? Thank you so much for your help.
Myra
1 month ago.
He is shortsighted. Would it be +3.0? Thank you so much for your help.
swimoutlet.com
1 month ago.
His prescription comes out to +1 for the right eye and +3.125 for the left eye.

Most prescription goggles will have the same prescription in both eyes. However, to work around this customers will order goggles with interchangeable nose pieces. This will allow you to order two goggles, one in each prescription. You can then take them apart and put them back together with the two different prescriptions in each eye.

Alternatively, we do offer the Eagle Diopter Lenses and the Eagle Goggle, which allows you to purchase two separate lenses and the goggle, for a custom goggle. These lenses can be purchased here:
https://www.swimoutlet.com/p/aqua-sphere-eagle-diopter-lens-10229/
And the corresponding goggles are here:
https://www.swimoutlet.com/p/aqua-sphere-eagle-goggle-10228
Shelly Jones
1 month ago.
My sons rx is right eye: sphere +0.25 cylinder +3.00 Left eye: sphere +2.50 cylinder +2.50 This is not a typo. His vision is really this bad. What is my best option for helping him enjoy our Cozumel snorkeling?
Swimoutlet.com
1 month ago.
Hello Shelly,
His right eye is +2.0 and his left eye is +3.50. You can purchase both strengths and interchange the lenses to create 2 pair of goggles for him.
Jesus
1 month ago.
Hi, I have a -4.25 sphere for both.. I want to which one is best the -4.0 or 4.5?
Swimoutlet.com
1 month ago.
Hello,
What is your cylinder?
Clarissa
1 month ago.
My prescription is:

OD -4.25 DS
OS -4.00 DS

What prescription goggles would you recommend i purchase? My guess is - 4.0?
swimoutlet.com
1 month ago.
Most prescription goggles will have the same prescription in both eyes. However, to work around this customers will order goggles with interchangeable nose pieces. This will allow you to order two goggles, one in each prescription. You can then take them apart and put them back together with the two different prescriptions in each eye.

Alternatively, we do offer the Eagle Diopter Lenses and the Eagle Goggle, which allows you to purchase two separate lenses and the goggle, for a custom goggle. These lenses can be purchased here:
https://www.swimoutlet.com/p/aqua-sphere-eagle-diopter-lens-10229/
And the corresponding goggles are here:
https://www.swimoutlet.com/p/aqua-sphere-eagle-goggle-10228
Sam
2 months ago.
Hello,

Right eye: sphere= -8.00, cylinder= -0.75, Left eye: Sphere= -7, cylinder= -1.50 What number swimming goggles I should buy, I am assuming -8
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Hello Sam,

Yes, a -8.0 would be what you need!
Marisa
2 months ago.
Hi! My son is OD -1.25 sphere and -.25 cylinder and OS -1 sphere and -.5 cylinder. This is a year old rx, he’s due next week but I need to get some ordered for winter swim meets. I’m sure his eyes have gotten worse in the past year. Any idea what number would work best for him?
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Hello Marisa,
His right eye is at a -1.375 and his left eye is at a -1.25. The lowest strength we carry is -1.5 but it is not recommended to round up as this can be damaging to his eyes. We recommend that he use regular goggles unless his prescription does in fact get worse.
faadu
2 months ago.
Hi which one should I order if my prescription is -4.00 spherical and -0.5 cylindrical for both eyes?
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Hello,
You will need -4.0
Ryan
2 months ago.
Hello, my prescription is -4.25 -1.25 x 170 and -4.25 -1.00 -100 please help...

What do you suggest would work best for me. I tried your converter but I can't understand it. Thank you for your time.
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Hello Ryan,
You will need to order -4.5 for both eyes.
Barbara Stechert
2 months ago.
What should be ordered if prescription is +4.25. -1.25 for the right eye and +4.25 -1.5 for the left eye
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Hello Barbara,
You would need to order +3.5 for both eyes.
Mr Chin
2 months ago.
Hi any recommendations My right eye SPH -1.00, CYL 1.25, AX 70 My left eye SPH -2.00, CYL 0.75, AX 105 May I know the right Swimming goggle correction for me?
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Hello,
Are the CYL for both of your eyes negative or positive?
Chin
2 months ago.
Both negative
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Based on your prescription informationher Right Eye is -1.5 and her Left Eye is -2.0. You can purchase the same brand/style goggle in both strengths and interchange the lenses.Or you can purchase 1 in the -1.5 strength.
Torin
2 months ago.
Hello, My prescription is

OD +4.25 Add: +1.50
OS +5.25 -1.25 Add:+1.50
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Hello,
Based on your prescription, we recommend a +4.0 for both eyes.
Kim
2 months ago.
I need help determining which prescription lens are right for my daughter.
Sphere. Cylinder. Axis
RT: -2.25. SPH
LT: -1.75. -0.25. 175
Thank you
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Based on your prescription informationher Right Eye is -2.0 and her Left Eye is -1.5. You can purchase the same brand/style goggle in both strengths and interchange the lenses.Or you can purchase 1 in the -1.5 strength.
Antoinette
2 months ago.
Right -1.75 -0.25 Left -3.50 -0.50
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Hello Antoinette,
Based on your prescription information your Right Eye is -1.5 and your Left Eye is -3.5. You can purchase the same brand/style goggle in both strengths and interchange the lenses.Or you can purchase 1 in the -1.5 strength.
Lyndi
2 months ago.
Hello, I am so confused about swim goggles, my Grandson's prescription says. OD +7.25-1.50x173
OS +7.25-1.75x09
i would love for him to be able to go snorkeling with the rest of the family and actually be able to see underwater....what does this mean and is there even lenses for his rx eye sight? Thank you.
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Based on your prescription information his Right Eye is +6.5 and his Left Eye is +6.5. You can purchase the same brand/style goggle in both strengths and interchange the lenses.Or you can purchase 1 in the +6.0 strength.
bennie
2 months ago.
Hi,

My right eye prescription is Sphere-5 Cyl -2 Axis 75 & left eye is Sphere-5 Cyl -1 Axis 100.

Which prescription goggles would be best appropriate for my eyesight?

Bennie
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Based on your prescription information your Right Eye is -6.0 and your Left Eye is -5.5. You can purchase the same brand/style goggle in both strengths and interchange the lenses.Or you can purchase 1 in the -5.5 strength.
rosemary
2 months ago.
OD: sph: -200, cyl -050, axe 106
OS: -250, cyl -100, axe 091
which ones?
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Based on your prescription information your Right Eye is -2.0 and your Left Eye is -3.0. You can purchase the same brand/style goggle in both strengths and interchange the lenses.Or you can purchase 1 in the -2.0 strength.
Displaying   1 - 25 of 814
Add a Comment
Name * Your Email (will not be displayed) *
To prevent automated bots from spamming, please enter the text you see in the image below: