VR Cover remains the go-to brand for virtual reality face covers that help you keep your VR headset hygiene in check— all while greatly increasing the comfort of your VR workout. In fact, it’s practically necessary for Oculus Quest owners to slap one of these VR Cover covers onto their faceplate in order to fight discomfort caused by poor weight distribution. Recently, however, VR Cover released a silicone version of its VR headset cover solution.
This begs the question: do you need a silicone VR cover if you already own one of the faux leather or cloth VR Cover face covers for either the Oculus Quest or Oculus Rift S?
Our answer depends on what you value in a face cover. Note that this product review is largely informed by my own opinion, but because VR fitness is so personal and intrinsic to each player’s own biological needs, I’ve taken some notes from VR Fitness Insider Editor-in-Chief Shane Hoalst and fellow VR fitness writer Sonya Haskins, who gave their input as to why my (less-than-stellar) experience might not be universally applicable.
Oculus Quest and Rift S Silicone VR Cover Review – Trades One Common Issue for Another
Starting off, let’s talk about what comes in the bag. Once unsealed, you’ll discover just one silicone cover— as opposed to the two covers that normally ship with the cloth kits. This is fine; the expectation with this silicone cover is that you won’t really need to switch it out as it doesn’t actually absorb any sweat and is easily cleanable.
Besides just the one cover, you get an instruction pamphlet that shows you how to install the cover to your faceplate, and as usual, it’s still a bit tricky to follow if you don’t know your way around the faceplate. Instead of fiddling around with the pamphlet, I recommend just following along with VR Cover’s official install videos for Oculus Quest and Rift S, respectively.
With the “unboxing” part out of the way, I figure it’s worth noting that I’ve been an avid user of VR Cover’s cloth covers for just shy of three years. I bought the cloth covers for my original Oculus Rift, and I’ve had the same cover on my Quest and Rift S as well. What I’ve always loved about these covers is how comfortable they feel on my face, as well as how they absorb my sweat instead of letting it run over the side of my face and potentially into my line of sight. And then, of course, they can come right off for a wash (and fit right back onto the headset afterward, just as snugly as before).
The silicone VR covers do not have this same quality. They are smooth and rubbery, which may be comfortable for some, but I personally did not find them very snug. Further, they don’t absorb my sweat. I’m a heavy sweater, and by the end of each of the various 30-minute workout sessions I completed in each headset across games like Beat Saber, BoxVR, and The Thrill of the Fight, I really struggled with fogged-up lenses.
This is the same issue I’ve had with VR Cover’s faux leather solution as well, but there’s one other thing that made my experience even worse than that: these silicone VR covers have a tendency to stick to my face, causing the cover to peel off of the faceplate whenever I remove my headset after a decently lengthy play session.
I’m not the only one to make this observation, but the silicone cover has a major upside as well; because it doesn’t absorb sweat, it’s far easier to pass your silicone-covered headset along to another player after just a short wipedown. I’m a private person who doesn’t share my headsets at all, so this isn’t even something I’d normally take into consideration, but at some point, location-based VR will likely make a comeback.
This means that for things like live VR demos, VR esports tournaments, VR arcades, and Black Box VR fitness gyms, this silicone VR Cover will certainly come in handy. At least, it will be far more useful than the cloth covers that I profess to love so much for personal use.
In summary, the silicone VR Cover for Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest is a good solution if you’re more interested in using a smooth-surface face cover than relying on the standard foam padding, but it really shines if you share your headset with other people. The downside is frequent lens fogging and constantly needing to adjust it or even take the silicone VR cover all the way off and put it back on between play sessions.
It lacks the comfort quality and sweat absorption of the cloth covers, and it lacks the velcro straps like the ones on the faux leather VR Cover that allow you to firmly attach the cover directly to the faceplate. However, it’s the perfect fit for those who want an easily detachable, easily cleanable cover that does not absorb sweat during intense VR sessions.