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It might seem like the height of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us, but the virus is still everpresent. That means you shouldn’t let up on safety precautions while in public.The CDC still recommends that all people wear a cloth face mask when outside the home.Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about where to buy face masks online, what to look for, plus how to comfortably wear them and clean them.Some of the best places to buy face masks include Etsy and Amazon.This article was medically reviewed by Aimee Desrosiers, PA-C, MS, MPH, a practicing infectious diseases physician assistant in Washington, DC.
While most states have either partially or fully reopened, it’s important to understand that the virus still exists and there’s a very real possibility of contracting it.
Just because you can enjoy outdoor dining, go to the beach, or book an Airbnb doesn’t mean that life is back to normal. The CDC still recommends that everyone wear a cloth face mask in public, whether it be for essential trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, or hospital, or for non-essential outings like trips to restaurants or the park.
Whether you have any symptoms of illness or not, face masks should be one of your most essential belongings — right along with your phone, wallet, and keys. They’ve already become a symbol of respect and consideration for one’s self and others, and they’ll likely be a part of our everyday lives for a while.
To help you make the adjustment, we rounded up all of the places you can buy cloth face masks, plus everything you need to know about picking out a mask, effectively wearing it, and cleaning it.
5 reliable places to buy cloth face masks online: Old Navy — affordably priced, many patterns, options for adults and kidsEverlane — offers cloth face masks in fun designs for adults and kids, with collections that support the ACLUEtsy — has a large selection of handmade masks, great option for supporting small businessesAmazon — has name-brand cloth masks, generic cloth masks in bulk, and one-time use surgical masksRedbubble — has unique, stylish, and fun patterns, with plenty of variations availableWhere to buy face masks online:
Below is a list of all the articles we’ve written about face masks. We’ve rounded up everything from the best face masks you can buy from retailers like Etsy and Amazon to the best face masks for working out to the best ones we’ve personally tested.
Face masks from Etsy
Etsy has a large selection of DIY homemade masks for sale. It’s a great place to find quality cloth face masks if you haven’t found one by a well-known name brand that you like. Buying from Etsy is also a great way to support small businesses.
Face masks from Amazon
Amazon offers a handful of brand name masks, along with generic face masks in large bulk and one-time use surgical masks. Previously, Amazon limited purchasing surgical masks and other medical-grade equipment to verified healthcare workers, but as supply and demand have evened out, you can now pick them up here too.
Lightweight face masks
If you’re particularly interested in masks that are easy to wear in the summer, you’ll want to go with one of these lightweight options. Materials like linen or lightweight cotton are still protective but are a bit more comfortable to wear in the heat.
Affordable face masks for kids
Kids need masks, too. If you’re searching for masks that fit the faces of your little ones well, you’ll find many affordable options here.
Best face masks for working out and running
Primal; Athleta; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider
Whether you’re working out outdoors or in a gym operating at minimal capacity, you’ll want to wear a mask that’s breathable and secure. These are the best options for running and workouts.
The best face masks we’ve personally tested
Malarie Gokey/Business Insider
Over the past few months, we’ve collectively worn a bunch of masks, whether from personal use or product reviews, and these are our favorites.
Everlane face masks
Everlane makes a variety of face masks, from basic cotton options great for running quick errands to more fitted options with a contoured nose. The masks are sold in packs of two, three, or five, and each purchase benefits the ACLU.
Stylish face masks
Many of your favorite brands in the textile industry (including those that normally make clothes, shoes, bags, bedding, and more) are using some of their resources to produce masks. Whether you’re a brand loyalist, you want a mask that matches some of your other wearable items, or you simply want a mask from a brand you’re familiar with, you’ll find it here.
How to solve common annoyances associated with face masks
From eating and drinking to concealing your mouth from those who read lips, there are some annoyances that come with wearing masks. Fortunately, there are also solutions to these problems — and none of them include skipping a mask altogether.
Why is it important to wear a face mask?
Wearing a face mask decreases the likelihood of you potentially transmitting the virus, but if everyone in the community around you wears a mask, then it decreases the likelihood of them transmitting it to you.
According to the CDC’s most recent estimates, 40% of people infected with the new coronavirus may be asymptomatic or presymptomatic.
Whether you’re asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, or showing mild symptoms that could be brushed off as a common cold, there’s still a possibility you’ve contracted the new coronavirus and can unknowingly spread it to others. For this reason, the CDC recommends that everyone, not just those who show symptoms, wear a face mask outside the home.
Note that cloth face masks are not medical grade and that additions like filters have not been proven to be any safer or more effective.
What to look for in a face mask, according to the CDC:
A snug fit that sits comfortably against the side of the face and does not gap; ties or ear loops that keep it secure; completely covers the nose and mouth, and fits securely under the chin; two or more layers of fabric; breathability without restriction; and the ability to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to its shape.
How to measure your face for a face mask:
While most masks are designed to fit most faces, some will come in more specific sizes like small, medium, and large. If you’re stumped on which size to order, the best way to figure it out is to measure your face and then choose based on the brand’s size chart. You’ll want to use a garment tape measure to get these two measurements:
Measurement #1: Across your face — Going over the bridge of your nose and under your eyes, measure the width of your face.
Measurement #2: From nose to chin — Start from the bridge of your nose and go down to the bottom of your chin.
How to properly clean your cloth face masks
Cleaning your mask is just as important as wearing it in the first place. Wearing or handling a dirty mask can spread germs not limited to just the novel coronavirus. Whether you’d prefer to hand wash or machine wash your masks, here’s everything you need to know about doing it.
For more coronavirus-related stories, read here:
Best disinfecting cleanerBest hand soapCleaning products for every room in your houseHow to disinfect every room in your houseBest natural cleaning productsWhere to buy affordable latex glovesBest screen cleaner for your phone
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