Garish Halloween masks are fun. Cloth kids’ face masks, on the other hand… not so much. And yet, adult and kids’ cloth face masks are one of the most effective and easiest ways to slow the spread of COVID-19. The reason is simple: the coronavirus is spread through droplets; face masks stop them from careening from one person to the next. Convincing kids to wear masks can be a hurdle, 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 it need to get used to it (hint: modeling good compliance goes a long way). A good, comfortable mask, in a breathable fabric, can help.
The CDC recommends 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 there are a range of sizes. If a kid will be wearing the 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.
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.
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.
Soft and sweet, these tightly knit cotton masks have a built-in pocket for a filter, if you choose to use one.
Kids wear these bandanas around their necks, and pull them up over their faces when needed. Bonus: The masks provide UPF 50+ UV protection.
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.
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 ultra-comfortable cotton face masks have standout prints and stretchy cotton straps to keep the masks in place.
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.
Any self-respecting Marvel or DC Comics fanatic will want to wear this triple-layer cotton mask.
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.
This polyester mask proves that all superheroes should wear face coverings.
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