Both a cylinder and a slab phantom have been recommended to be used as calibration phantoms for eye lens dosimetry in the International Atomic Energy Agency TECDOC. This study describes investigations on the influence of the type of phantom on the calibration of dosemeters. In order to fulfil the purpose, backscatter radiation from practically used water-filled phantoms was evaluated by calculations and experiments. For photons, the calculations showed that the cylinder phantom had 10 % lower backscattered effect at maximum than a slab phantom, and simulated well the backscattered effect of the human head or neck to within ±10 %. The irradiation results of non-filtered optically stimulated luminescence and radio-photoluminescence glass dosemeters indicated that the differences of the calibration factors between the two types of phantoms were up to 20 and 10 %, respectively, reflecting the response to backscattered photons. For electrons, no difference was found between the two types of phantoms.