Withcases still raging (including more infectious new variants and increased talk of double-masking), it's more important than ever to have a dependable collection of to wear whenever you're around people you don't live with -- and that's both in public or in private.
Finding the best face mask can be a bit of a quest, but this guide, which surveysand reputable stores to bring you a variety of styles (including picks for and ), can help you narrow your search. We also share what CNET editors are wearing as well as the masks that our readers love most, which we measured from previous clickthrough data.
Face mask tips to remember
- Cotton face mask options may be the most comfortable and easiest to fold up and carry around, and they're machine washable.
- Some masks have pouches where you can add extra filter material.
- Masks that use thicker material and designs with more layers might trap larger viral particles and respiratory droplets you accidentally eject through talking, coughing or sneezing, but they may also be warmer to wear.
- Pay attention to the straps and nose -- do they have adjustable ear loops? If you need to wear the mask all day, could the design such as the elastic ear loops rub your ears and skin? Here are ways to .
- You're buying a washable face mask, so wash the mask before putting it on. It's also recommended to wash between wearings.
- The mask should cover your nose and chin without creating gaps.
Shopping at an Etsy store is a great option if you're looking to buy multiple face masks with different prints. It's important to note that they do sell out quickly, so if you spot a cloth face mask you like, it might be best to buy it then.
Some sellers carry sizes for adults and kids, so make sure to check the size before buying the mask to make sure you're getting one that fits.
Vida, an apparel and accessories company, has started making face masks. The masks are made of two layers of cotton and have adjustable straps and a metal nosepiece for a snug fit. Each mask has a multilayer PM2.5 filter, which the company notes needs to be replaced every seven days. Vida is donating 10% of all proceeds to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Equal Justice Initiative in support of Black Lives Matters.
Custom Ink is a printing company that creates customized gear for businesses and groups. Now, the company is using its resources to make protective cloth face masks.
The printing company notes that these masks are for personal use and shouldn't be worn in a surgical or clinical setting where the infection risk is high.
Vistaprint is now making contoured face masks for adults and kids with an adjustable nose piece. The masks have a Vistaprint-exclusive Replaceable Nanofilter System.
If you want a mask that's fun to wear and gives people joy when they see it, then try one from Arm The Animals. You can get a mask with a tiger face, a cat or dog face or other options. The company donates a mask to California hospitals, medical facilities and emergency workers each time one is purchased.
Jane is a boutique e-commerce marketplace providing a platform for small businesses to sell cloth masks online.
Radian Jeans is now manufacturing face masks. The masks are made from two layers of knit jersey fabric and come in packs of five for $10.
Disney is officially selling face masks, including The Avengers and Baby Yoda masks. They come in set of two for $12 and sets of four for $20. The company will donate all mask profits (up to $1 million) to MedShare.
Hot Topic is selling face masks and cloth coverings, with themes ranging from Care Bears to Star Wars.
Old Navy has tons of face masks in different colors and designs for the whole family. The masks are made from 100% cotton and have three layers.
Purple, the company known for its mattresses, is now making face masks. The masks are sold in pairs for kids and adults for $20. Currently sold out.
Banana Republic is donating $10 to Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund for each mask purchased. The masks have an adjustable wire at the nose for a customized fit.
Caraa, a New York City-based sports bag company, has started an initiative called Cara Cares that's making face masks from its leftover materials from the production line. The masks come in a pack of five for $25.
Rendall Co. is a Los Angeles based workwear brand that's now using its resources to make face masks from two layers of woven cotton with built-in pockets to add your own filter. For every mask sold, the company is donating one mask to essential workers and nonprofits working with the homeless.
Gap is selling face masks in packs of three, starting at $15. The masks are made from three layers of cotton.
SubZero Masks is donating one mask to an at-risk person in need for each mask purchased. The masks are 100% cotton.
Kenny Flowers makes beachy face masks. For every mask you buy, one will be donated to Bali to help those in need.
Threadless masks come in two or three-ply polyester and they're form-fitting. The company is donating a portion of the net proceeds to MedShare, and so far, they've surpassed $500,000 in donations.
Snaptotes provides fabric face masks with three layers of protection. The masks include a filter pocket and five replacement HEPA filters.
Looking for a stylish face mask? Anthropologie has you covered with a wide selection of colorful face masks from boutique brands.
MaskMarket lets you customize face masks with your preferred color, text and even lets you upload photos to the masks. The company also has a selection of predesigned masks if you prefer not to customize your own. For each mask sold, the company is donating one to the 100 Million Masks organization.
Athleta, a women's performance and activity clothing line, is making face masks for adults and kids. The masks are sold in 5-packs for $30.
Betsey Johnson, best known for its fashion-forward clothes and accessories, is now producing colorful floral face masks.
Ministry of Supply, an MIT-founded apparel brand, developed a 3D-printed knit mask that comes with one mask and 10 filters for $50.
Giftgowns, a company that makes hospital gowns, is now making face masks. The masks are made from two layers of cotton and have a filter pocket.
Swim Spot, a swimsuit company, is now making face masks. You can buy a 10-pack for $30.
MaskClub is a new company that's donating medical-grade masks to the First Responders Children's Foundation for every mask sold. It offers designs such as Batman, Adventure Time and Betty Boop that it hopes will make kids more comfortable wearing them.
Kendra Scott, a jewelry and home accessories designer, is now making face masks. For every face mask purchased, the company will donate one to a frontline worker in need.
Jaanuu, a medical apparel brand, is making antimicrobial-finished face masks for kids and adults. You can buy a 5-pack of masks for $25.
Stitchroom is making face masks, ranging from small kids' sizes to large adult sizes.
Bonrisu makes handmade cotton face masks for adults and kids. The masks have a filter pocket and adjustable straps. Bonrisu has partnered with Meals on Wheels, and is donating one mask for every mask bought. So far, the company has donated more than 10,000 masks.
Kona Supply Co, a family-owned business that manufactures clothing in Hawaii, is making triple layered face masks with 100% cotton.
Tilit, a New York City-based hospitality workwear brand, has started making face masks from recycled hemp and organic cotton blend. For every mask bought, the company is donating a mask to a food service worker volunteering or a medical professional in need.
Again, remember to wash face masks orbefore wearing them for the first time and after each use. For more resources, here's and .
Read more: Best air purifiers for 2021
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.