One of the simplest and safest ways to prevent the spread of germs, like the COVID-19-causing coronavirus, is to wear a mask. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus — particularly when used universally within a community setting.” In a nutshell, what masks do is limit the number of airborne droplets (tiny, invisible specs of spit emitted from our mouths when we talk, laugh, cough or sneeze) that people emit into the air around them. One of the reasons people cite as obstacles to wearing a mask is their comfort, something a cloth mask can help with. Light and breathable, as well as easy to attach and remove, cloth masks are some of the most popular face coverings available. Here we share some reliable retailers supplying affordable ones.
The cloth masks offered by Dallas-based Well Before (formerly Honest PPE Supply) complement both work life and casual activities for everyone in your home, thanks to their easy-to-use features — like ear loops and nose pin — versatile sizing, and antibacterial elements.
This cloth face mask has a silver ion coating, which is a polymer-containing silver technology. When germs land or form on the cloth, the coating sends silver ions to attack them, safely killing microbes that might degrade your mask or cause it to smell. In case that gives you pause, it passed the Biocidal Products Regulations (BPR) safety certification and is in line with the national FZ / T 73023 antibacterial knitwear AAA security standard. The mask has a patented three-layer system. The first is stretch cotton and is it used to block dust and large particles. The second is an isolation liner, which protects against any dust that made it through the first. Finally, there’s the inner fabric layer, which is hygroscopic (it absorbs moisture from the air) and more breathable.
Best of all, this mask boasts an antibacterial rate of 99% after 50 uses and frequent washing. You can wash and reuse this mask again and again. And your family can, as well. Pricing is set at just $7.95 per mask with a minimum order of two.
If you are comfortable going without an antibacterial layer, as many of us are, a good alternative for a well-fitting face mask is N95MaskCo.
This is a more basic mask that offers many of the same comfortable features. N95MaskCo. emphasizes the comfort of the stretch cotton fabric in the materials used to cover your mouth, similar to the best neck gaiters.
All of us have different-sized and shaped visages, from our ears to our cheekbones to our chins. So it can be a relief to have a cloth mask, or a number of masks, that will fit you well, as well as other members of your family (it’s available in men’s, women’s and kids’ sizes). The advantage here is not just ease of wear, but the fact that such stretch will give your mouth and face the maximum amount of coverage. You can fold up this mask and stuff it in your pocket without worrying about losing shape and it has cloth-bound elastic ear straps to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.
This basic alternative to the antibacterial cloth masks offered by Well Before is available for $1.60 per mask when you buy a 12-pack for $20.
- This breakthrough mask promises even more protection than the N95
- Why you should be buying face masks in bulk and where to buy them
- This is my family’s favorite face mask — here’s why
- Where to buy kids’ face masks online: Order now for delivery within days
- These KN95 masks only cost $2.95 (and they’re in stock!)