Editor’s note: After posting this article, we received a number of emails from readers noting that the quality of Vistaprint’s mask had changed over the summer in ways that customers weren’t happy with. We ordered two more to investigate, and found that the mask is now made of 100% polyester, does not come with a filter (you can still buy one separately from Vistaprint), and is notably lighter than the previous version. We also found that while the adult large mask was almost exactly the same size as previous version, the adult medium was noticeably small and seemed more appropriate for a child. In response to a Fast Company inquiry, a Vistaprint representative noted that the company had switched to a different outer material more appropriate “for hot summer months.” While the updated mask appears to offer sufficient protection (it passed the match test when a filter was inserted into it), we found it less comfortable than the previous version. If you’re still looking for a high-quality mask, Fast Company recommends the Ministry of Supply Mask° 2.0.
A few months ago, like everyone in the Northeast, I found myself searching blindly online for a suitable face mask. Though companies from Everlane to the Gap to Adidas are now offering their own styles, initially the pickings were slim—especially if you wanted something soon. On a whim, I took the advice from another Fast Company article and ordered five masks for myself and my family from Vistaprint (a seemingly random conference swag company). Now we’re well into our new normal and masks abound, but I still find myself opting for my Vistaprint mask over everything else.
The biggest draw of this mask is that it’s super comfortable. Made of a silky polyester outer and a soft, 100% cotton inner, it feels lighter on my face than other fabric options, and with none of the awkward crinkliness of paper. It’s got an added lip on the underside (so the mask fits snug around my chin without riding up), a bendable nose wire, and rubber stoppers to adjust the ear loops. Personally, I also prefer this more fitted style over folded masks, which I find gape out at the ears. What’s more, the company has kids’ sizes (and patterns) and adult sizes S/M and M/L, so you can find one that actually conforms to your face.
The masks come with a melt-blown filter that fits perfectly inside the inner pocket, and you can buy replacements in packs of 10 on Vistaprint’s website. Studies have also suggested that using a combination of synthetic and cotton fabrics can create an electrostatic charge that makes masks even more effective—so I love that Vistaprint’s mask has double layers of both. The masks are sturdy, too: I’ve thrown mine into random batches of laundry many times, and it still looks and feels as good as new.
Vistaprint has a huge number of pattern options, which makes them great to order for families. When I bought a batch for my own, I opted for solid colors for my brothers, a necktie-reminiscent diamond pattern for my dad, a bold black and white for my mom, and a playful lucky cat pattern for me. Since I’ve ordered, the company has more than doubled the number of colors and patterns available, and I suspect more styles will continue to come out. The wide selection of kids’ masks includes hearts, dinosaurs, happy faces, camouflage, and animals that are bound to make masking up more pleasant for young ones. And if none of those options suits you, the company also does custom runs—so you can make a one-of-a-kind masterpiece or design a whole set of matching options for your family, classroom, or workplace.
If you’ve been down the rabbit hole searching for the best option, let me stop you here: This mask is everything you’re looking for. Go forth and purchase.