Chances are you’ve tried a few different types of masks over the past several months—and chances are that some of those masks have left much to be desired when it comes to PPE standards and user experience. Thankfully, we are past the initial scramble of companies trying to make masks as quickly as possible, and a few designs have come out above the rest. These are the face masks FC staffers have tried, tested, and loved.
Bloch Soft Stretch Face Mask
This mask features adjustable ear loops and UV protection from nano-scale zinc oxide particles integrated into the fabric. Contributing writer Lydia Dishman says, “One of the biggest issues with masks is not getting a proper fit. If it’s loose around the ears, gaping at the sides or at the chin, I’ll pass. And if it’s scratchy, forget it. That’s why Bloch’s version is cause for rejoicing. It’s not only snug and has an adjustable nose piece (which helps cut fogging enormously if you wear shades or glasses), but the fabric is breathable and super soft. Not surprising from a brand that manufactures professional dancewear. Bonus: The ear loops are adjustable and attach to a lanyard around the neck, so you don’t have to look like you’re sporting a beard every time you pull it down but want to keep it close.”
Uniqlo Airism Face Mask
The Uniqlo Airism Mask (a favorite of ours) has a (CDC recommended) 3-layer construction, features a high-performance filter, and is antimicrobial/self-deodorizing. Associate editor Kristin Toussaint says, “Uniqlo’s AIRism mask is so comfortable, the straps don’t pull on my ears, and because it’s made with that AIRism fabric, it’s moisture-wicking and doesn’t get warm and clammy as I breathe. It’s also so lightweight it’s hard to believe it has three layers. I’ve heard it can run small—the size Small is for children, so adults only have the choice between Medium and Large—but the medium fits me perfectly, covering from the bridge of my nose to below my chin, and stays in place great.”
Vere 100% Silk Face Mask
This mask is made from 100% top-grade pure mulberry silk—which is naturally hypoallergenic. “I’m one of those people whose skin is temperamental on a good day. So going into this pandemic the maskne was, unfortunately, inevitable,” says designer Chelsea Schiff. “These silk masks are really gentle on the skin and, most importantly, wash well. They have a pocket for filters (the mask comes with 6) and adjustable ear straps to make them truly one size fits all.”
Under Armour UA Sportsmask
Impact editor Morgan Clendaniel likes both Reebok and Under Armour‘s masks for working out. Though the WHO does not recommend wearing a mask while exercising, these models were designed with breathability and comfort in mind and are great at keeping you comfortable and covered in situations where you need to be close to other people while running, hauling, or otherwise exerting yourself. “The Under Armour mask feels substantial enough that it’s protecting you, but still breathable enough to run in,” Clendaniel says. “The design keeps the fabric away from your face so you don’t get all sweaty while you work out, but it pinches around the bridge of your nose so you can feel you have a tight seal.”
The Everyday Mask from Proper Cloth
“These masks are comfortable to wear, breathable, easy to clean, and I like the look of the linen fabric,” says Impact writer Adele Peters. “Even though cloth masks aren’t designed for wildfire smoke, I’ve been wearing these during the California fires; the filters definitely reduce the smell of the smoke.” The masks can be purchased with ear or over-head loops and come with a high-quality air filter.
Marine Layer Adjustable Sport Mask
“Like the T-shirts they’re famous for, Marine Layer’s masks are just . . . so soft,” editorial director Jill Bernstein says. “The company sells two kinds—one with strings that tie in the back, and one with soft, adjustable ear loops. Both are great—it depends on your preference. They wash well, and the fact that you can’t really specify color makes it fun. You get what you get (and you don’t get upset).”
Graf Lantz Organic Cotton Face Masks
Associate editor Lara Sorokanich says of the Graf Lantz’s 100% organic cotton mask, “I was drawn to Graf Lantz’s masks because of the beautiful colors, but once I tried one, I fell in love with the design. The Zenbu mask has a separate lip that extends over your nose, with a sturdy metal bridge inside to shape it to your face. The result is that it fits snug around the edges but doesn’t rub up against my mouth, so it feels more breathable and doesn’t ride up when I talk. I got a petite one for my mom, who has trouble with other masks riding up into her eyes, and she loves hers.”
The Mask 1.0 from Rothy’s
“This mask sits close to the face, so it looks sleek and feels snug. It honestly is the best-fitting mask I’ve worn yet. It’s great for errands and wearing for an hour or two, but not the most comfortable if you’re speaking a lot (since it touches your lips and chin). The 3D knit fabric is made from recycled poly, and the construction is made to last through plenty of machine washes.” — Lauren Steele, Recommender writer
Wearing glasses? Try Warby Parker anti-fog spray
We have yet to find a mask that won’t fog up our glasses, but in the meantime, Warby Parker just launched an anti-fog lens spray, which promises to keep lenses clear and dry.
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