Glasses fogging up when wearing a mask

Monday, 18 May 2020 by Vision Direct

Woman wearing mask with fogged up glasses

Wearing a protective face mask is one of the many lifestyle changes we've had to make during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. A few months ago anyone wearing a mask in public would have drawn baffled stares (unless they were suffering from hay fever) - but these days, surgical face masks have become an unremarkable sight in shops and streets.

Between countries like the UK, France and the Netherlands already announcing masks becoming a mandatory preventative measure, and research proving a correlation between wearing masks in public and flattening the curve: it looks like protective face masks are here to stay. But those wearing glasses have learned the hard way that masks fog up their glasses every time they breathe out. It might seem like a minor issue compared to other disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but it's one that is within our means to fix. And one easy solution is simple, hygienic and effective: swap your glasses for contact lenses. Lenses fit your eyes comfortably and securely, giving you better clarity and seamless peripheral vision. They are fuss-free and simple, as they don't require any touch-ups throughout the day, giving you all the freedom of movement you need.

Why do my glasses fog up when I wear a face mask?

Woman wearing mask buying on phone

Here's how it happens: every time you breathe, your warm exhaled air looks for a quick way out - and your face mask directs it upward, onto the cool surface of your lenses. You know how much your glasses love steam: just think about how foggy they get when you've taken a hot lasagna out of the oven, or come inside after being out in the cold.

The water vapour in your breath creates condensation on the glasses, causing them to fog up, affecting your vision. Wiping them down won't work, thanks to surface tension causing the droplets to want to stay on the cool glass surface even more - and tightening the fit of your mask will only make it uncomfortable. Steam only needs the smallest gap to find its way out. Some suggest putting a tissue on the top of your mask will help shield condensation inside, though that will probably need a lot of fiddling throughout the day, defeating the purpose of avoiding touching your face.

Mythbusting: do tricks to prevent glasses fogging up work?

Although these tips and tricks may keep your glasses fog-free, there’s no scientific evidence to prove that they actually work. And in some cases, the effectiveness might only last for a few minutes. Most glasses have protective coatings and delicate parts, so you could even end up causing damage to your expensive specs.

Tips to fight off the fog

  1. Wash the lenses of your glasses with soapy water, baby shampoo or shaving cream.
  2. Make sure that your mask fits securely and snuggly over your nose, and opt for a mask with a nose bridge to prevent warm air from reaching your glasses.
  3. Tape your mask down across the bridge of your nose and your cheeks with a medical or sports tape - avoid using duct tape on your skin.
  4. Try wrapping the string of your mask around the side of your glasses instead of your ears - be careful when taking your mask off, as your glasses will be attached.
  5. Cover the lenses of your glasses regularly with commercial de-fogging sprays and gels.
  6. Switching to contact lenses is the most fuss-free option to avoid foggy glasses.

Like we’ve said, these options may work, but we advise against applying potentially harmful liquids or tampering with your glasses. So, why take the risk or spend money and time seeking out a viable solution when you can easily switch to contact lenses?

Get clear vision with daily contact lenses

Daily disposable contact lens packs

Daily contact lenses are easy to use and throw away; no need to worry about storing them overnight or rinsing them in solution. As convenient as they are hygienic, contact lenses give you all the freedom of movement to do the things you love, uninterrupted. From your daily exercise to baking, home DIY, activities with the kids and everything in between: gone are the days you had to stop what you're doing to readjust or wipe down your glasses. And above all, they work perfectly with your protective face mask: you just apply them, put your mask on and go about your day with better clarity and seamless peripheral vision too.

Our opticians recommend the super-affordable everclear ADM daily contact lenses, guaranteeing an ultra-comfy and irritation-free wearing experience. Designed with a hydrating soft hydrogel formula with a UV blocker that protects your eyes from harmful sun rays, these lenses are ideal for new and seasoned wearers - just check with your optician before taking the leap.

If you've never worn contacts before, book an eye test and contact lens fitting with your optician to speak about what kind would best suit your eye care needs. If you have any questions, you can always reach out to our friendly, UK-based optical experts. Find them on live chat, reach them by phone on 020 7768 5000, or email on

everclear ADM

Try everclear ADM

Exclusive to Vision Direct, everclear ADM lenses are a fantastically hygienic and comfortable option. Designed from moisturising silicone hydrogel and with a high water content, they'll keep your eyes feeling fresh and hydrated from breakfast to bedtime.

Perfect for new and more seasoned wearers, these lenses also have an in-built UV filter, protecting your eyes from harmful sun rays.

Discover everclear ADM

please wait