Shopping for Face Masks: Where to Look and What to Buy

Mother and kids are enjoying a bike trip together during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Many businesses and services open in the U.S. currently require customers and patrons to wear face masks, and those who don't abide by the rules risk being denied entry. 

It's unclear how long face masks will be required in public. A vaccine against COVID-19 is not yet ready and some experts have pointed to a second coronavirus wave, while others caution we may not be through the first wave. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines for wearing face masks while at large gatherings, such as an outdoor event or a protest. 

The good news? Many online stores are selling a variety of different types of face masks at a range of different price points and styles. 

Here are some tips on what to look out for when shopping. 

What to keep an eye out for when buying a face mask

Ensuring your nose and mouth are covered is recommended to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which transmits easily from coughs, sneezes and from droplets in your breath. Social distancing is still key to protecting against contracting COVID-19, but masks help slow the virus' spread by trapping larger particles from reaching another person.  

Masks should be wide enough to cover your nose and chin, but snug enough not to create gaps. 

Cotton face masks may be considered the most comfortable and easiest to fold up and carry around. Masks made of thicker material and/or more layers might trap larger particles accidentally ejected through talking, coughing or sneezing. They may also be warmer to wear.

Remember to wash masks before putting them on, and consider buying multiple masks so a clean one is always on hand.

Where to buy a face mask

Here are some options when it comes to buying a pre-made, non-medical face mask. 

Los Angeles Apparel 

Los Angeles Apparel's three-pack face mask is made of 100% cotton and features an adjustable nose that you can form to the contours of your face, as well as two straps to be worn around the head and neck that can be tied and tightened to preferred fit. Each three-pack purchase helps fund Los Angeles Apparel's ability to "donate masks to other essential services, while providing living wages and supporting vertically integrated U.S. manufacturing." Click here to see Los Angeles Apparel's line of masks

Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott, a jewelry and home accessories designer, is now making face masks. These non-medical masks are reusable and machine washable, and feature over-the-ear straps. For every face mask purchased, the company will donate one to a frontline worker in need. Click here to see Kendra Scott's masks

Vistaprint

Vistaprint makes cloth face masks for adults and kids. Their "face masks with filters help people feel good out in the world." To explore their full collection of washable face masks and filter face masks and find one that’s right for you, click here.

Disney 

Disney fans fear not: Masks displaying your favorite characters and franchises are available in small, medium and large sizes. Disney is donating one million cloth face masks for children and families in under-served and vulnerable communities across the U.S. that will be distributed by MedShare. Disney reached its goal of raising $1 million in profits from the sales of their cloth face masks, which will be donated to MedShare to support the medical community’s ongoing efforts to provide lifesaving care to those in need. Click here to view Disney's masks for sale.

Subzero 

Subzero makes masks for both adults and children in a variety of colors, designs and styles. They also sell filter packs for masks. For every mask purchased on their site, a mask will be donated to an at-risk individual in great need. Click here to check out Subzero's masks

Jane

Jane's masks are hand made with two layers of cotton, while jersey knit is used for the ties to ensure a soft fit around ears. Masks have a filter insert pocket where you can insert a filter if desired. Masks are reversible and have the same fabric on the inside and outside. Click here to view Jane's masks.

GAP 

GAP offers soft, triple-layer masks in three-packs and a variety of colors. They come in adult and kids' sizes. They have also donated 50,000 masks to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada. Click here to see GAP's masks

CBS

Stylish and comfortable, these face masks let you rep your favorite shows safely. A perfect blend of style and function, these face masks are perfect to wear while making essential trips outside of your home. ViacomCBS will donate 100% of their proceeds of this product to support multiple charities. Click here to see CBS's masks

Mask Market

Mask Market has something for everyone. Create your own custom face masks with Mask Market's designer tool quickly and easily. In-house designers also came up with a variety of great designs to choose from. Click here to check out Mask Market's offerings