I spend a large portion of my week projecting behind a mask. I am by no means a frontline worker, but when in a socially distanced classroom, where students are at least six feet apart, lecturing very, very loudly and clearly has become a newly acquired skill. That said, I’ve been through a multitude of masks to find one that offers supreme protection, but also keeps me from sounding like Charlie Brown’s mom. And none come close to Uniqlo’s AIRism ones.
I’m not the only one. Fast Company editors love these stretchy, durable masks, citing their easy care (I throw mine in the wash), form-fitting protection, and comfort. And now, the AIRism mask is available in three new colors—navy, periwinkle blue, and a beige-brown—in addition to the original black, white, and grey. They are still extremely affordable ($14.90 for three) and are just as thoughtfully designed as the original.
Made with the same fabric as Uniqlo’s AIRism apparel line—a breathable, lightweight nylon-spandex blend—these new tri-layer models are an upgrade on the already well-loved masks that have been on regular rotation in my collection for months. They’re soft, sleek, and come in four sizes so they sit flush against your skin for a secure fit. (Note: The small size is suited for children, not adults.) The design features three layers: a built-in filter, UV-blocking AIRism mesh, and a soft moisture-wicking layer that will make six hours of extra loud enunciation a less steamy affair. Uniqlo took the opportunity with this version to smooth out the seams and improve the ear loops, so the mask feels lighter and more comfortable than ever. And yes, it’s still washable.