Cloth face masks are one of the best (and easiest) way to slow the spread of COVID and usher the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new three-layers masks are even better. For some, it’s an annoyance to remember them, but really, wearing a mask is the absolute least we can all do. If you’ve got nightmares about early iterations, then we’ve got great news: The best face masks today are more breathable, easily washable, and are made in a range of neutral and not-at-all ridiculous patterns.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that face masks fit snugly, be secured with ties or ear loops, have multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing, and be sturdy enough to endure machine washing without damage. Face masks shouldn’t be placed on children under 2 or on anyone who can’t remove one without assistance.
As with all coronavirus necessities — disinfecting cleaners, toilet paper, and homeschooling resources — finding the best affordable cloth face masks in stock can be a gentle challenge. We’ve got you covered with a variety of different mask picks, all of which meet the CDC’s guidelines for non-medical face masks.
The Best Three-Layer Face Masks
While many companies dove into apparel manufacturing with masks, Henry's founder spent more than a decade in haute couture, and his masks clearly illustrate that experience. Engineered to be worn three different ways and with an ingenious design that stays clear of your child's mouth, these are the ultimate for in-person learning. Bonus: They're designed to be washed and reused month after month.
The Best Everyday Face Masks
These masks are made of only a single layer of material, but since it's an antimicrobial fabric and comes with a filter, it's still a decent option. They come in 7 different sleek styles, from camo to paisley and this mountain print shown above, all of which have adjustable ear straps.
From the brand that makes cool diaper bags for dads, these reversible masks are business in the front, party in the back. One side features a sleek tweed, while the reverse is a swirly purple paisley. They're made of double-ply 100 percent cotton, per CDC guidelines, and the reversible feature means you can wear them twice as long before washing.
These reusable, machine washable masks come with all the prerequisites of a CDC approved mask: two layers of 100% cotton, a pocket for a filter, and adjustable straps and a nose bridge to secure it snugly without gaps. They come in a variety of understated colors and patterns, and ship free.
Steele Canvas usually specializes in industrial-scale canvas products, like laundry bins — when masks became scarce, they switched gears and started manufacturing face masks, now available in collaboration with Food52. Masks are available in adult and child sizes. For each mask sold, one is donated to medical facilities around the country.
Here's a cloth face mask you can feel good about: You rep your favorite team, and all the proceeds from licensed face coverings are donated to Feeding America. The masks have elastic closures and feature the logos of the team of your choice. Right now, the merch shop is blowing them out for a buck, so you can pick a few.
Rendall Co.'s full-coverage mask comes in four different patterns, all made from 100-percent woven cotton. Masks come with copper nosebands to mold to face, which helps to reduce eyeglass fog. All materials are locally sourced in L.A., one mask donated for each one sold.
The Best Face Masks for Working Out
These ultra-comfortable masks from Athleta are made from three machine washable layers - an outer layer made with a polyester-spandex blend, and two inner layers of cotton. They have adjustable earloops and a metal nose piece to eliminate any gaps. Plus, Athleta is donating 100,000 masks to medical facilities across the country.
For those who like to run at nigh (or, these days, past 4 pm) this glow in the dark mask helps with visibility. Its contoured design provides full coverage, and it's secured with a strap that goes all the way around the head, so your ears won't get irritated after an hour. It's also handmade in rural Oaxaca, Mexico.
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