Face maks, whether for adults or kids, are one of the easiest and most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19. It’s simple – coronavirus is spread through droplets, and face masks stop them from careening from one person to the next. The hard part is getting kids to wear face masks. Without an understanding of the life or death consequences of slowing the spread of COVID-19, to kids, (and kid-like adults) face masks might seem like nothing more than an inconvenience. But the best kid’s face masks are comfortable, adjustable, and most of all, appealing to kids thanks to bright colors and child-friendly patterns.
The only people exempt from mask-wearing, according to the CDC, are children under the age of 2 and those who cannot remove a mask themselves or have trouble breathing. So, kids who are older than 2 but just hate wearing masks need to get used to them (hint: modeling good compliance goes a long way). A good, kid-friendly, comfortable mask, in a breathable fabric, can help.
The CDC recommends face masks that have multiple layers, fit snugly around the face, are secured with ties or ear loops, are breathable, and can withstand machine-washing. These masks are sized down to fit kids’ faces, though many come in a range of sizes. If a kid will be wearing the face mask for an extended period of time — say, a whole day at daycare or camp — a mask with ties may be more comfortable than one with ear loops.
Each of these face masks, which come in adult and kid sizes, features an activated carbon inner layer that helps them be more breathable. They also have a water-resistant outer layer and wicking lining.
These ultra-comfortable cotton face masks have standout prints and stretchy cotton straps to keep the masks in place.
Fun prints make these cloth cotton masks more appealing to kids, and the two elastic ear straps keep them in place.
Soft and sweet, these tightly knit cotton masks have a built-in pocket for a filter, if you choose to use one.
The brand makes a number of different masks, but this double-layer is our favorite. Way? It's contoured enough that it's comfortable, with an elastic binding and adjustable sliding beads to customize your fit.
Jessica Alba's lifestyle brand now has masks, and these are made with a double layer of cotton. They have adjustable silicone sliders on stretchy round elastic for a great fit around the area. There's an interior pocket for a filter.
These two-layer cotton masks have a elastic under the chin to keep them in place, and an interior lining made from a blend of tencel and jersey cotton to be extra soft.
Kids wear these bandanas around their necks, and pull them up over their faces when needed. Bonus: The masks provide UPF 50+ UV protection. They're not as effective as cloth masks, but they're definitely better than nothing.
The brand’s masks are fantastic in terms of comfort and fit. But they’re thick. So here’s an equally great version, which is significantly more lightweight while still passing the light test. They’re reversible and double-layered, but not as dense as their siblings.
Breathable and lightweight, these masks wick away moisture, so they're great for kids who tend to overheat or who complain about wearing masks on hot summer days. The straps are adjustable, and have room for extra filters. Note that they take 2-3 weeks to ship.
This set of three masks comes in a variety of patterns and colors. Each mask is made of triple-layer cotton. Mixed prints in each set, with over-the-ear straps, and an adjustable nose piece. They're big enough for adults, in a pinch, but sized just right for kids.
These washable masks have stoppers for ear loops. They're contoured, which is a good thing, because there's less margin for error.
These cute cotton face masks come in a set of two. They're soft, washable, and whimsical. They're also on the smaller side, so best-suited for kids 6 and younger.
These washable cloth masks with ear loops and a nose shaping flex-wire come in a variety of bright colors and are shaped for full coverage.
If kids are leery of wearing masks, their favorite movie characters can help. This set of cloth masks feature beloved Pixar folks; the masks come in different sizes based on age, with ear strap loops. Do note that the masks tend to run large, and they're currently only available for pre-order.
These pixar themed masks are made from two layers of polyester, which is said to be a decent alternative to cotton, if not 100% as good. They come in youth small and medium.
Nature lovers can wear their favorite scenes with these National Geographic masks. They have two layers of polyester and elastic ear straps.
This preppy seersucker mask contours to the face and comes in separate sizes (ages 2 to 4, 6 to 8, and 10 to 14) for a snug fit. It's 100 percent cotton, double-layered, and has an insert for a filter. With each purchase, the company will donate to Baby2Baby, an organization providing baby essentials to families living in poverty.
These masks transform your kid's face into a cat, dog, or even a mustache. They're double-layered, 100 percent cotton, and machine washable.
These two-layered, microfiber masks feature a plastic window that makes kid's mouths visible, making it possible to see them smile and read their lips. The child-size is 6 inches wide and can be adjusted by tying knots in the ear loops.
This polyester mask proves that all superheroes should wear face coverings.
Primary's masks are made from 100% cotton free of chemicals and irritants, come with 6 filters, and have ties that can be converted to ear loops. They come in kids and adults sizes, and the price point is one of the lowest out there.
Blue Cut is known for their high-quality chef gear, and now they're making beautiful, water-resistant kid's masks. The kid's masks are made of two layers of a super soft cotton blend fabric with a micro-suede finish, have adjustable ear loops, and feature a name tag inside.
Crayola got into the mask game with this set of five, one for each school day. Each one has a name tag, so you can keep track of which kid has worn it. They have a 3D face design, secure fit adjustable ear straps, and a nose clip.
Rendall Co's masks are made of two layers of 100% woven cotton, feature bungee cord straps that allow kids to wear the masks around their necks when not in use, and have velcro fasteners that allow them to quickly break free if their mask gets caught on something. They come in two colors and two sizes: 3-6 years, and 7-10 years.
This cotton mask features contoured fabric panels on the nose and chin that helps it stay snug to your face, plus a pocket for a filter. It's designed to fit kids ages 7-11.
This version of Case Mate's kids mask is designed to fit kids ages 3-6, and comes in a handful of cute patterns.
Here's a concept we can all get behind: Cloth masks, delivered right to you. You get two reusable and sustainable fabric masks made with different colors and original patterns. They have an with an adjustable nose band and are made of super-soft fabrics, and make mask-wearing an experience.
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