Virtual reality was once a technology only seen at snazzy tech conferences, but thanks to a range of VR headsets, the experience has been brought to the masses.
And while many early models came with fairly hefty price tags, there are now several affordable headsets on the market.
Some of the most well known headsets include Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, while lesser known options include Stealth VR200 and OPTO Air.
But which headset is the best option for you?
To help you decide, we’ve put together a list of the best VR headsets for 2018.
1. HTC Vive – £499
The HTC Vive is one of the most advanced VR headsets on the market.
The headset uses cameras in tandem with your computer, allowing it to mark out a portion of your room as an interactive space.
This means you can physically walk around all manner of different digital gaming worlds, seen through the goggles.
And should you stray too close to an object, a virtual mesh grid will materialise, warning you that you’re about to leave the ‘safe’ gaming area.
HTC said: “Within minutes you’ll be walking around, crouching, leaning into the world and peeking around the corners of these alien, virtual realms that have replaced your real-world surroundings.”
Buy the HTC Vive here .
2. Oculus Rift – £399
The Oculus Rift was the headset to kickstart the VR revolution.
The headset is light and comfortable with a snug fit, meaning you can forget you’re wearing it when absorbed in a game.
It has an OLED display with a 2,160 x 1,200 resolution and a 110-degree field of view, designed to fully immerse the wearer in whatever they are watching.
While it is intended for use with a PC, the headset requires a lot of processing and graphics power, meaning that not all computers are compatible.
If you want to use it for gaming you’ll need a PC with at least an Nvidia GTX 970 GPU, an Intel i5-4590 processor and 8GB of RAM.
Buy the Oculus Rift here .
3. PlayStation VR – £266
If you already own a PlayStation 4 console and are looking to venture into virtual reality, then the PlayStation VR should be top of your list.
Rather than strapping directly to your face, as is the case with Oculus, the PSVR uses an adaptable headband to take the weight of the visor.
That leaves it hanging down over your eyes and secured with a soft cushion that blocks out light and the outside world.
It also has 360 degree vision, so whichever way you turn, there is a seamless field of view.
In terms of audio, PlayStation VR uses cutting-edge 3D audio that lets you accurately perceive the direction and distance of sounds that are coming from above, below and all around you.
Buy the PlayStation VR here .
4. Google Daydream View – £99
One of the best mid-range options is the Google Daydream View.
The headset is a soft, lightweight fabric, with space to slot in your smartphone, and comes with a motion-sensitive remote control that can be used for navigation or gaming when you’re strapped in.
While VR apps used to be fairly limited, there are now thousands on the Google Play Store , meaning the options for Google Daydream View are plentiful.
While the 360-degree vision of Daydream VR isn’t as seamless or crisp as the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, i is several hundred pounds cheaper, so bear that in mind.
Buy the Google Daydream View here .
5. Samsung Gear VR – £72.80
Samsung ’s offering is the Gear VR headset, which is powered by Oculus.
Like the Google Daydream View, Samsung Gear VR has a slot for your smartphone, allowing you to interact with a range of VR apps.
It also has a small handheld controller with a touchpad, trigger and back and home keys, allowing you to navigate your virtual reality with ease.
However, unlike Google Daydream View, the Samsung Gear VR is only compatible with Samsung smartphones.
Buy the Samsung Gear VR here .
6. Google Cardboard – £15
Google Cardboard may be the most basic option on the market, but it’s still fairly effective, especially if you’re a VR beginner.
As the name suggests, the headset is made from cardboard, which you fold up, and slot your smartphone into.
Again, this gives you access to a range of VR apps from the Google Play Store.
The main issue with Google Cardboard is the fact that the headset doesn’t have a a strap attached, meaning you have to hold the device to view your VR content.
Buy the Google Cardboard here .
7. Stealth VR200 – £24.99
Another option on the cheaper side of the spectrum is the Stealth VR200.
The device features breathable faux-leather eye padding and a headband, making it fairly comfortable and easy to wear.
A folding visor at the front of the headset can be flipped down, allowing you to easily insert your smartphone and use a range of VR apps.
And unlike Samsung and Google’s headsets, the Stealth VR200 is compatible with iPhones as well as Androids.
The quality of the image isn’t as good as the higher-end devices, but with a price tag of just £24.99, the Stealth VR200 could be a great budget option.
Buy the Stealth VR200 here .
8. Freefly Virtual Reality Beyond – £41.99
The Freefly VR Beyond is another option for those looking for smartphone-compatible headsets.
The headset has full black-out casing and headphone access, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in a virtual reality.
Again, it is compatible with both Android and Apple phones.
One of the most appealing features is the community aspect – the headset comes with apps like vTime, where you can meet, chat and interact with friends and make some new ones in virtual reality.
Buy the Freefly Virtual Reality Beyond here .
9. OPTO Air – £99.99
OPTO describes its Air headset as ‘VR with no strings attached’, thanks to its wireless design.
The headset is smartphone-compatible and features two large 44mm lenses, helping to immerse you in your virtual reality scenario.
One of the main appeals of the OPTO Air is how light it is. The headset has a unique foam body, that is extremely light, while still being strong.
And for the style conscious among you, you’ll be happy to hear that the headset has interchangeable front covers which come in a range of colours.
Buy the OPTO Air here .
10. Stealth VR50 – £12.99
Stealth’s most basic VR headset is the VR50, which could be a great starting model for VR beginners.
The device is easy to set up, with a front tray that slides back, allowing you to insert your phone.
With two 35mm lenses, the image quality isn’t amazing, but does allow you to explore virtual reality areas with ease.
And with a price tag of just £12.99, the Stealth VR50 is a great low-cost option to buy while you consider investing in one of the high-end models.
Buy the Stealth VR50 here .