Trying to find the right cloth face mask can be overwhelming. Not only do you want to find something that’ll keep you safe, but you probably also want something that looks nice since you have to wear it just about everywhere. Over the past five months, we’ve tried to narrow the field by talking with health-care workers, doctors, nurses, even athletes — as well as conducting our own research and testing — to find options that are comfortable, stylish, and, of course, effective. And to make it even easier, here, we’ve assembled the best reusable cloth ones for every type of person (including kids), which happen to be available on Amazon.
For the person whose head is really big or really small
These Strategist-tested face masks are highly adjustable thanks to the pleated fabric and string ties, making the masks easy to tighten or loosen to one’s unique head shape (or beard). Strategist senior writer Karen Iorio Adelson says these masks are thick but not too thick, and she finds the stripes to be “kind of chic.”
For the person who wants a secure fit
We talked to health-care professionals about the masks they wear when they’re not at work, and this one was recommended by internist Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, who likes that it fits securely and has a cozy, flowery pattern. Plus, the nose-bridge wire makes it easy to adjust for peak comfort — “an added bonus,” she says.
For the person who likes to be prepared
These Starhig masks have the same snug yet breathable feel as the Beat Basic, but these come in a goes-with-everything solid black. And if you’re looking to stock up so you can put a mask in your purse, your car, and have an extra one for home, they’re very affordable at $16 for a pack of six, and they’re recommended by cosmetic dentist Marc Lowenberg, who keeps two or three with him at all times.
For the person who wants the mask equivalent of Euphoria makeup
If you need your face mask to go beyond utility and make a fashion statement, this glitter face mask is the one. Not only is it delightfully bold, coming in blue or pink, it’s good for the community: For every mask purchased, one mask gets donated to the Midnight Mission homeless shelter.
For the person who’s meticulous about swapping out filters
If you’re extra concerned about your mask having a filter or face shield that protects you from droplet transmission, this nurse-recommended, well-priced four-pack of multilayered masks comes with eight interchangeable, replaceable filters.
For the person with sensitive skin
Here’s another gentle doctor-recommended cotton face mask that’s easily tied up at the back of the head to prevent irritated ears or red marks left by too-tight mask straps. Plus, Aanand Geria, a dermatologist with Apostrophe who recommended this mask, told us that he “can wear this mask all day long with no discomfort whatsoever.”
For the person with big (or small) ears
Not only is this patterned face mask made with two layers of cotton, its pleasant floral design is great for practically any setting. It’s yet another one of the dermatologist-approved face coverings we found, this time by dermatologist Elizabeth Mullans, who says that “cotton is the best fabric” for the parts of masks that touch the skin as “it is less irritating than synthetic materials.” Plus, the unique design of the ear straps means it’s easy to size and get the fit just right.
For the person who’s gotten really into running
The Buff face mask — really, a neck gaiter — came highly recommended in our roundup of the best masks for running and the best face masks to buy online and for good reason: It can easily be pulled up and down for when one is within or not within six feet of others, and it’s thin enough not to be too uncomfortable while running around town or heading out for an errand on a hot day. Though it may look a little funny, it can be turned inside out for what Strategist writer Louis Cheslaw calls “an extended turtleneck.”
Editors’ note: Last September, a study from Duke University claimed that bandannas blocked very few particles and that wearing neck gaiters, such as Buffs, might actually be worse than wearing no mask at all. A day after that study was released, Slate made a compelling case for why it should not be blindly accepted. Buff issued its own statement as well. Make of this confusion what you will.
For the kid who’s always losing their mask
This pack of Crayola kid-size masks, one of the best for kids we’ve found, comes with masks in five different colors for all five days of the week, plus name tags and a mesh laundry bag, making it easy (and fun) for you and your kid to keep track.
For the kid who loves animals
Another pick from our best face masks for kids. If your animal-obsessed kid is missing weekend trips to the Bronx Zoo, they’ll love these reusable and washable puppy and tiger face masks.
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