When we were kids, shopping for a mask was something you did before Halloween. We had those old-fashioned thin plastic masks with a simple rubber band around the back of your head. There were friendly masks like Casper the Friendly Ghost or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and gruesome versions of Freddy Krueger or the Scream mask fromScary Movieto terrify neighbors.
Now we are looking for masks again, but the scary subject matter ismore important than ever. The Centers for Disease Control recommend a non-medical cloth face covering whenever you leave home, and more and more places are making them mandatory as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll. We’re in this for the long haul, so we might as well shop around for some fun and functional looks to fight the virus in style. Here are 15 ideas, and you can click each headline to order the mask for yourself or as a gift to others:
I would start here, because you can see the love that has gone into the individual design and stitching of so many of these. For example, look at the hand-crafted Fiesta embroidered masks (with filter attached) from friends and family at Raquells Mexican Clothing Boutique in Brownsville, Texas. Support those who are working hard to help all of us.
Major League players wear masks, and we aren’t just talking about the catcher’s facemask anymore. So it’s another chance to show your team spirit and wear the same thing your favorite players wear around Summer Camp as we wait for the shortened MLB season to begin. MLB.com has quick-ship masks and just added new throwback styles, and all other sports leagues follow suit.
You might as well do the world some good while you are dealing with the world’s newest problem. Padi Gear makes equipment for divers, and that includes a full line of really cool sustainable masks made of recycled plastic fiber. They come with replaceable filters and styles include Geometric Shark, Manta Ray, Island Sunset and more. The company harvests plastic waste from our seas and lets you wear it on your face, supporting a cause. Win-win!
You can help support neighbors facing hunger during this period of uncertainty by buying a face cover designed by Olivia Culpo. Each mask you buy from Express (up to 250) means $10 goes to Feeding America.
I have been a Zensah Ambassador for years as a runner, relying on the company’s compression gear like calf sleeves for long races. So I trust Zensah to produce gear suitable for this pandemic, and they have lots of examples, starting here. These masks are infused with copper to make them antibacterial, odor-free, thermal regulating, anti-static, quick drying and ultra-comfortable. They are great for light to mild running, walking, grocery shopping and wearing throughout everyday activities. They also offer a Copper Neck Gaiter, and your basic Performance Mask.
Thanks to Oprah magazine for their 25 mask recommendations, starting with this one. Do you think Betty White is wearing it? This microfiber cotton mask has filter pockets, featuring TV's Golden Girls. Let's keep all our Golden Girls safe and wear masks!
Society 6 has over 1,000 styles, with artwork from independent artists -- like this one from Cassia Beck. These feature a pocket for a filter (not included) and elastic ear loops. A portion of proceeds go to World Central Kitchen’s coronavirus relief efforts.
The CDC recommends that all people age 2 (good luck with that!) and over should wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth when they are out in the community, so you can look at those guidelines here. If schools are really going to reopen this fall throughout the country, then Kids Masks will be all the rage. Zensah has a blog post about how to make wearing masks fun for kids, and they offer versions with fun patterns like lions, cats and unicorns, and comfortable straps that won’t hurt their ears.
Never forget our frontline heroes who are still up against it 24/7 to help people suffering from COVID-19. Hedley & Bennett makes washable, reusable fabric face masks that are built for the front lines and the home front, and it was just updated with new features for improved fit and function. These non-medical masks were developed in concert with Dr. Robert Cho, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at a local children’s hospital. Choose a color and you can insert a disposable filter within the fabric for an added layer of protection. There’s even a tag inside to write your name so everyone knows it’s yours.
Wear the same masks that Ben Affleck, Ana de Armas and Alessandra Ambrosio were seen wearing, according to People magazine. Los Angeles-based Sanctuary has masks for men, women and kids in many designs including leopard print and camo. Order packs of three, five, or 10, starting at $24.
Here's a straightforward Black Mask that does the job. It's one of the most affordable we found, at only $3.50. These are anti-dust, anti-odor, washable and reusable. I also liked a couple of the key bullet points this company adds on its order page: “These masks are NOT ANTI-VIRAL. It is not a cure, it simply helps. . . . These masks are a great reminder not to touch your mouth and nose in public and prevent folks from sneezing on you!” For the budget-conscious, Old Navy masksalso are a great value at under $15.
Imagine you just spent a fortune to get your teeth fixed or whitened, and you want people to see your smile. Or you are a speech pathologist and you want to see your customers’ mouths as they speak. Or you are deaf and the other person doesn’t know sign language. Or you want to stick your tongue out at someone. Show off your kisser. They don’t fog up!
Each Reformation set will be a surprise, with different colors, prints and materials. These are made without any use of plastic, these fabric masks allow you to adjust the fit with two string straps. You can also donate through the Reformation site for those in need of PPE.
Unisex coverings from Le Miller have a double layer of polyester fabric and come in various patterns like plaid, denim and tie dye. Available in small to extra large sizes, so you can't go wrong as a gift.
Remember to always remove your mask carefully by the ear loops, and wash it after every use. Now that you are equipped with lots of choices above, the easiest method is to take a week's supply of used masks and and toss them into your washing machine with regular detergent. You can also just soak them in a sink with hot water and no-rinse detergent, then line-dry.
Health care professionals might wear any of these on a casual basis, but in their occupations, they of course are using more serious face coverings. Look here for an FAQ about surgical masks and other medical PPE, and anyone in healthcare can shop here for bestsellers in medical face masks and shields. We’re all in this together.