How Long Should Swim Goggles Last? (I tested it)

Nothing beats that first swim with new swim goggles. The water is clear, anti-fog protection is working well and the goggle seal is tight. Unfortunately, swim goggles degrade over time and this optimum goggle performance decreases.

As a general rule, swim goggles will last between 4 – 6 months for regular swimmers and over a year for non-regular leisure swimmers. How long swim goggles last depends on the level of exposure to pool chemicals, frequency of use and how well the swim goggles are cleaned and cared for post-swim.

Swimmer LevelSwim Goggle UseHow Long Do Swim Goggles Last?
Leisure Swimmer1 Time Per MonthYears
Regular Swimmer3 – 5 Times Per Week4 Months – 6 Months
Competitive Swimmer5 – 7 Times Per Week3 Months

I asked Zoggs directly how long my own Zoggs Predator Flex Swimming Goggles should last and they advised;

With the correct care instructions, your goggles should last on average 90-120 hours.

Zoggs, Customer Service

I have found that these amazing goggles far outlived this estimate with careful care and maintenance.

In this article I am going to look at:

  • Swim goggles testing: how long did my goggles last?
  • How to tell when my swim goggles need replacing
  • How to maintain swim goggles
  • Should I wet my goggles before swimming?
  • Should I wipe swim goggles with my finger?

Swim Goggles Test: How Long Did My Goggles Last?

I love data and analytics and decided to record and track how long my fresh pair of Speedo Adult Unisex Futura Biofuse Flexiseal Dual Swimming Goggles, lasted.

As a side note, the model I tested is an earlier model from 2019 that Speedo has, unfortunately, since updated and replaced. The updated Speedo model, which is the Speedo Adult Unisex Futura Biofuse Flexiseal Dual Swimming Goggles still works well and are my favourite goggles, but the 2019 model felt better suited for smaller faces.

Here is the swim data on how many hours my swim goggles lasted before I felt them degrade.

Swims Sessions Per WeekSwim Hours Per WeekHow Long The Goggles Lasted
4 – 5 Days4 – 4.5 Hours5 Months

After about 5 months, I felt my swim goggles beginning to degrade.

They still looked good, but I felt the anti-fog feature was not working as well.

In addition, I found myself trying to clean the goggles more, to improve the anti-fog properties, which in hindsight, probably removed even more of the anti-fog protective layer.

The goggles also started to get permanent watermarks on the lens.

I can’t complain, however, and still love these goggles. At an affordable price of around $20, 5 months of regular swimming in a heated and highly chlorinated pool is pretty good!

Here is how the goggles look after 120 hours of intense use. There is some discolouration of the seals due to overuse and the anti-fog protection is nearly all gone:

How To Tell When My Swim Goggles Need Replacing?

If you are a regular swimmer like me, you might be thinking, “I have had my swimming goggles for years, what do you mean they only last 6 months?”

Some indicators signal your swim goggles may need replacing:

  1. They keep fogging up despite cleaning, therefore the anti-fog film has degraded.
  2. They keep filling with water, therefore the lens seal has degraded.
  3. The straps are worn and loose.

I have tested a range of swim goggles, and have found that some last much longer depending on pool chemicals, how I care for them and the brand.

In addition, you might be swimming with the same goggles for years but may not realise that they are no longer as optimal as they once were.

Like everything, we get used to something and just continue using them.

For example, I swam with a pair of Adidas Unisex Adult Persistar swim goggles for years, which got regular use as I was learning to swim. Over time, I adapted to these goggles. They worked, so I used them and saved my money.

Then I decided to treat myself to a new pair of goggles.

It was not until I experienced fresh new goggles, with fresh new seals and the new anti-fog film, did I realise how worn my old goggles were.

In addition to improving my time in the water, I believe the fresh new goggles improved my swimming as I had better visibility, less eye irritation and could swim more continuously as I did not feel the need to adjust my goggles every so often.

How Do I Maintain Swim Goggles? Tips From Zoggs

The life of your swim goggles can be extended by proper cleaning and storage.

There is lots of advice online about cleaning goggles, however, as some of this is conflicting, I like to go straight to the manufacturer to see what swim goggle care they recommend.

I asked Zoggs directly how long my swim goggles should last and how I should maintain them to get the most distance out of them

According to Zoggs, this is how you should maintain and care for your swim goggles.

1 – Swim Goggle Lens Care

As a general rule, you should rinse your goggle lens in lukewarm water and buff the lens with a microfiber cloth.

Goggles MUST be rinsed in clean water, not sea or pool water

Many suggest using mild soap to clean the lens, but according to Zoggs, you should avoid getting soap onto the lens as it will strip away the anti-fog protective layer.

Zoggs do not recommend touching the inside of the goggles as this is where the anti-fog is impregnated into the lens. If they do need to be cleaned, Zoggs recommend using cotton wool to gently wipe the lens.

2 – Swim Goggle Strap Care

As a general rule, to clean the straps on your goggles you should massage soapy water into the straps and rinse with water.

It is important to avoid getting this soapy water onto the lenses as this will could damage the anti-fog coating.

3 – Swim Goggle Gaskets Or Lens Seal

As a general rule, to clean the goggle gasket, or soft material around the lens which helps maintain a watertight seal, gently rinse with lukewarm water.

Many forget that the soft material around the goggle lens is important for the operation and creating a nice watertight seal to prevent water from getting into your swim goggles.

Ensuring this area is kept clean and free from debris will extend the life of your swim goggles.

4 – Dry Lying Flat

It is essential to ensure your swim goggles are fully dry before storage or replacing them in your swim bag, as the moist surfaces can make them susceptible to bacteria and mould growth.

With regards to the drying of the goggles, Zoggs recommends rinsing them after use and leaving them to drip dry.

After cleaning, it is important to allow your swim goggles to dry fully. Ideally, they should be allowed to dry flat to maintain their shape and structure.

Many good swim goggles such as the Speedo Adult Unisex Futura Biofuse Flexiseal Dual Swimming Goggles, come with a vented and rigid hard case.

This allows the goggles to dry flay and be protected in the hard case.

Should I Wet My Goggles Before Swimming?

As a general rule, you should wet your goggles before swimming to help the swim goggle lens surface temperature adjust to the temperature of the water, which reduces the risk of your goggles fogging up while you swim.

Wetting your goggles before swimming does not extend the life of your swim goggles; wetting your goggles before swimming only helps with reducing the effects of goggles fogging when you swim.

As your face heats up as you swim, the inside of the swim goggle lens is exposed to condensation and heat. There may be a temperature difference between the inside of your goggles and the pool water temperature.

It is this differential in temperature and condensation that causes swim goggles to fog up.

The effects are very similar to when you start your car on a frosty morning. As the inside of the car heats, the car window glass fogs up because the inside of the car is warmer than the outside.

By wetting your goggles before you swim, you are acclimatising your goggles to the ambient water temperature, which will reduce the effects of fogging.

Should I Wipe Swim Goggles With My Finger?

Typically, most good swimming goggles will have an anti-fog protective film on the inside of the lens.

You should avoid wiping the inside of your swim goggle lens with your finger as with time, this will break down and remove this anti-fog film.

This was an annoying habit of mine that resulted from owning poor goggles. I would always wipe the inside of my goggles with my finger to remove fog while resting during lengths.

When I upgraded my goggles, I found I kept this bad habit and was wiping a perfectly clear lens! Of course, this was shortening the life of my goggles.

Therefore, always avoid wiping the inside of your goggles with your finger. If you find that you have to do this, it might be time to think about getting a fresh pair of swim goggles.

Alternatively, you could repair the anti-fog layer on your existing goggles by using an anti-fog spray such as the Speedo Anti-Fog Goggle Solution Liquid Cleaner which helps clean swim goggles and resists fog.

Emma Moore

Hi, I am Emma, and I am obsessed with all watersports, from swimming to surfing and everything in between. I spend my free time in the water or preparing for my next water travel adventure.

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