The best face masks

Here we are, five months into the Covid-19 pandemic, and since things are not getting better, more than 30 states are now requiring that masks be worn in public. Yes, they are slightly uncomfortable and not as easy to breathe in as you'd prefer, but wouldn't it be nice if everyone just wore one for the next month or so and then we'd have the virus contained and life could go back to normal? Since April, I have been wearing a mask every time I leave the house—even to walk my dog or ride a bike—and while I keep trying new ones in search of my holy grail mask, I've found that the key is figuring out what's most comfortable for you. Here's what I look for in a face mask. 

Ear loops
There are masks that tie and masks with ear loops. I prefer ear loops because they stay in place, don't mess up my hair, and allow me to pull the mask down easily if I need to. The key is to look for thin, rounded elastic—I find the flat kind doesn't conform to the shape of your ear as well, and the thicker it is, the more it makes your ears stick out. If the ear loops are adjustable, that's a huge bonus, as it helps the mask lay flat against your face, so no germs can escape (or enter) the sides. 

My chiropractor turned me on to these masks—they come in cute prints, the fabric is super breathable, and the price is right. Note that the elastic is thin and tubular, like an old-school hair elastic.  Kitsch mask set $12 

Center seam 
There are multiple ways to construct a mask, but the primary constructions are pleated, like the masks above, or with a center seam. Both are meant to create a little space so that you can breathe more easily; if you have been struggling with the pleated kind, I'd suggest trying something more structured. I've found that a vertical center seam follows the line of your nose and creates a nice little pocket of air. 

This is my favorite mask—it's Japanese, and since they've been wearing masks for years, they clearly know what they're doing when it comes to making them. The fabric is super breathable, the shape fits my face perfectly, and the elastic is super-thin and adjustable. Japanese cotton mask $18 

Double-layered fabric 
I have masks in everything from knit T-shirt fabric to a thicker twill, and I've found the easiest to breathe in is a lightweight woven fabric. The key, of course, is that the fabric needs to be double-layered so that particles don't escape (or enter); a good test for this is to put the mask on and breathe out forcefully—if you can feel your breath on your hand, the fabric isn't thick enough. 

These Tory Burch masks are made of a double-layered moisture-wicking polyester, and they have a pocket for an additional filter as well. Bonus points for cute prints! Tory Burch mask set $35 

One more thing to note: you should treat your mask like underwear—wear a new one every day and wash your dirty ones. I throw mine in a mesh lingerie bag whenever I do laundry. Now let's all mask up and flatten the coronavirus curve! 


Lovely said...

The masks have cute designs. It's really important to wear a mask while going out.


Mica said...

So many cute masks! We were doing so well in our state and we had no cases (outside of those who were people travelling into our state that were in mandatory quarantine anyway) for 2 or 3 months but some women visited a state with an uncontrolled outbreak and lied about it to avoid quarantine. They brought the virus back with them and spread it around, even when they were getting tested they didn't stay home, so that's changed everything. We have 13 cases now, which I know isn't a lot elsewhere (the state with the outbreak announced over 600 new cases the other day!) but it's scary for us to go from none outside of quarantine to that!

Now some stores are requesting (not requiring) masks so I'm glad I bought a few from the ladies at the opshop last time I was in - I was able to wear a mask when I had to go grocery shopping on Friday.

Hope that you are having a great weekend :)

Away From Blue

Nancy 's Fashion Style said...

If we have to wear them then they better be fashionable!

Shelbee on the Edge said...

Cheryl, thanks for sharing your mask preferences. I only have the pleated kind and I am struggling with some anxiety when I wear them. I think I need the center seam kind, for sure. And definitely ear loops. Who can tie those other ones without getting your hair all knotted up in the ties? Thanks for linking up with me.