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Face masks and cloth coverings are being worn by choice and by mandate from stores and cities around the country. As businesses and cities begin to reopen, you may find you’re asked or expected to wear a face mask more often, not less. And, as much as we’d like to, we can’t rule out the possibility that a second coronavirus wave could hit.
Covering the nose and mouth is part of a recommended worldwide effort to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which transmits easily from coughs and sneezes and from droplets in your breath.
Help limit the spread of coronavirus by wearing a face mask in crowded public places.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already recommends wearing a face covering when you’re in crowded public places where social distancing isn’t possible, like the supermarket. Wearing a nonmedical face mask doesn’t exempt you from physical and social distancing, and, while nonmedical masks may not prevent you from acquiring COVID-19, they are thought to slow the spread of disease by trapping the contagious particles of asymptomatic people inside the mask.
Keep track of the coronavirus pandemic.
If making your own face mask or face covering at home isn’t for you, there are some options when it comes to buying a premade, nonmedical face mask, and some things to look for when buying one. We’ll keep updating this list as we learn of new stores and sources. And check out our gallery below to see which masks CNET editors are wearing now.
What to look for in a nonmedical face mask you buy
When shopping for masks, look for one that’s made from cotton, for comfort, and has a filter pouch — a thicker material or designs with more layers might trap larger particles you accidentally eject through talking, coughing or sneezing.
The mask you buy needs to be wide enough to cover your nose and chin, and should be snug enough not to create gaps. A tight fit will help keep out large particles that travel through the air, like from sneezes. For example, medical-grade masks come in sizes. If you buy one that’s uncomfortable, here are some ways to make your face mask more comfortable to wear.
Remember to wash the mask before putting it on. You might want to buy multiple masks so that you always have a clean one on hand — you’ll need to wash it whenever you get home after going out in public.
See the new face mask that might solve shortages
Rag & Bone
Rag & Bone, an apparel company, is making face masks and donating $5 for every mask sold to organization City Harvest.
Banana Republic is donating $10 to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund for each mask purchased. The masks have an adjustable wire at the nose for a customized fit. Note that these masks sell out fast.
Jane is a boutique e-commerce marketplace providing a platform for small businesses to sell cloth masks online. The company is donating a portion of its proceeds and masks to help fight COVID-19.
Disney is officially selling face masks, including The Avengers and Baby Yoda masks. They come in sets of four for $20. The company will donate all mask profits (up to $1 million) to MedShare.
Swim Spot, a swimsuit company, is now making face masks. You can buy a 5-pack for $10, up to a 100-pack for $250.
Emilia George, a maternity wear brand, is now producing face masks made from 100% cupro. The masks cost $10 each and come in a variety of colors.
Fashion brand Christy Dawn is now making face masks in its Los Angeles factory. For each five-pack sold (starting at $30), the company is donating a five-pack to others in need. The masks are made from 100% doubled deadstock cotton.
Hot Topic is selling face masks and cloth coverings, with themes ranging from Billie Eilish to ’90s sitcom Friends.
Radian Jeans is now manufacturing face masks. The masks are made from two layers of knit jersey fabric and come in packs of five for $25.
Kenny Flowers makes beachy face masks. For every mask you buy, one will be donated to Bali to help those in need.
Threadless masks consist of three-ply polyester with a built-in wire that forms to your nose. The company is donating 100% of the net proceeds to MedShare.
Tilit, a New York City-based hospitality workwear brand, has started making face masks from recycled hemp and organic cotton blend. For every mask bought, the company is donating a mask to a food service worker volunteering or a medical professional in need.
SubZero Masks is donating one mask to an at-risk person in need for each mask purchased. The masks are 100% cotton.
41 Winks, an eye mask company, is now using its factory to create face masks. The masks are made from two layers of cotton fabric and one layer of polyethylene filter with an adjustable nose bridge.
Vistaprint is now making face masks for adults and kids. The masks have a Vistaprint-exclusive Replaceable Nanofilter System.
Rendall Co. is a Los Angeles based workwear brand that’s now using its resources to make face masks from two layers of woven cotton with built-in pockets to add your own filter. For every mask sold, the company is donating one mask to essential workers and nonprofits working with the homeless.
Elyse Maguire is a scarves and home accessories brand that has started making face masks. The outer part is made from embroidered cotton fabric, while the interior is made from tightly woven cotton. The company is donating one mask to an essential worker on the frontlines for every mask sold.
Caraa, a New York City-based sports bag company, has started an initiative called Cara Cares that’s making face masks from its leftover materials from the production line. The masks come in a pack of five for $25.
The Reformation has cotton face masks in packs of five. The company asks that you limit your purchase to two sets.
If you’re able to safely buy a homemade face mask from someone local, then Facebook Marketplace is a good place to find them. Make sure to follow your local guidelines about physical distancing when buying anything.
This includes standing at least 6 feet apart, so make arrangements to pick up the item from their porch or ask if the buyer can ship the item to help avoid contact. Wear gloves when collecting the mask and wash it immediately.
Also, if possible, use a mobile payment service to buy the products instead of exchanging cash, which could harbor germs or bring you into close contact with the seller. Some sellers offer a buy button so that you can pay online.
Shopping an Etsy store is another option if you’re looking to buy multiple face masks with different prints. It’s important to note that they do sell out quickly, so if you spot one you like, it might be best to buy it then.
Some sellers carry sizes for adults and kids, so make sure to check the size before buying the mask to make sure you’re getting one that fits.
A baby blanket company in Seattle, SwaddleDesigns recently converted its factory to start making face masks. The masks are designed by a nurse and have two layers of cotton flannel fabric.
If you want a mask that’s fun to wear and gives people joy when they see it, then try one from Arm The Animals. You can get a mask with a tiger face, a cat or dog face or other options. The company donates a mask to California hospitals, medical facilities and emergency workers each time one is purchased.
Paige is using its extra fabrics to create cotton face masks. The company is selling the masks in packs of four for $20.
Amazon Handmade now has many more options at the time of writing, so it’s a good source for finding face masks. You’ll need to read the description to make sure you’re getting the mask you want, for example, if you’re looking for a thicker mask.
Many of these sellers are at capacity and working on orders that will take weeks to fulfill, so it’s possible that it could take up to a month to receive your shipment.
Snaptotes provides fabric face masks with three layers of protection. The masks include a filter pocket and five replacement HEPA filters.
The American Blanket Company is selling fleece face masks, which are thicker than a standard face mask. The company is donating face masks to first responders and healthcare workers with every purchase. You can get a five-pack for $39.
Sun Lovin Roots
Sun Lovin Roots is an athleisure line that has started making face coverings. For every three masks that are sold, one will be donated to a person in need. Plus 10% of all sales are going to the organization Direct Relief.
Custom Ink is a printing company that creates customized gear for businesses and groups. Now, the company is using its resources to make protective cloth face masks. You can order a family pack of 12 for $30.
The printing company notes that these masks are for personal use and shouldn’t be worn in a surgical or clinical setting where the infection risk is high.
Vida, an apparel and accessories company, has started making face masks. The masks are made of two layers of cotton and have adjustable straps and a metal nosepiece for a snug fit. Each mask has a multilayer PM2.5 filter, which the company notes needs to be replaced every seven days. Vida is donating 10% of profits to the SF-Marin Food Bank and Food Bank NYC.
Thompson Tee makes antisweat t-shirts, but now the company is shifting its focus to making cotton face masks to reach its goal of donating 15,000 masks to hospitals in need. Each mask costs $6 each, and for every three masks sold, the company is donating one.
MaskClub is a new company that’s donating medical-grade masks to the First Responders Children’s Foundation for every mask sold. It offers designs such as Batman, Adventure Time and Betty Boop that it hopes will make kids more comfortable wearing them. Currently out of stock.
You can get a three-pack of cotton face masks from Los Angeles Apparel for $30. The masks offer an adjustable nose and straps so you can shape it to better fit your face.
TheraMasks is selling medical-purpose copper masks. The company claims the masks reduce facial contamination, but also notes they don’t claim to prevent coronavirus. They’re machine washable up to 30 times and are made at an FDA-registered facility.
Serengetee masks are made from double-sided cotton fabric. The company sends two surprise masks, so you won’t know what they look like until you get them. For every mask sold, the company will give one to someone working on the front lines.
Electrothreads offers colorful face masks for adults for $20 each. They’re made with elastic and they’re adjustable for a snug fit.
USA Sewn Masks is donating all of its profits to organization Flexport to go toward supplies for front line workers. The masks have two layers of cotton with a pocket for adding a filter.
Ask local groups
If you don’t want to wait for items to be shipped, you can reach out to any social clubs or religious groups you may belong to and ask if anyone is making them. If your neighborhood uses Nextdoor or has a Facebook page, you can also post there to see if anyone can make you one — it’s considerate to offer to pay for their time.
Again, remember to wash the face masks before wearing them for the first time and after each use.
For more resources, here’s how to make a face mask or covering at home, everything you need to know about homemade face masks and coronavirus and 13 ways to help keep yourself safe when you leave the house.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.