In a mere matter of months, the public wearing of face masks has changed from an eccentricity — if not an outright oddity — to the standard operation procedure for millions of Americans. Numerous brands that just a few months ago were focused on making dresses, jeans, baby clothes, and other everyday textiles have launched into action, adding in production of cloth face masks that offer customers a way to prevent the spread of Covid-19 when they have to leave home.
To be clear, the face masks you buy from, say, Banana Republic, are not comparable to the medical grade N95 masks that nurses, doctors, and other frontline medical personnel need. But that’s the point — the CDC stresses that while N95 masks are critical supplies that must be reserved for healthcare workers, “cloth face coverings [can] slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.”
The face masks everyday Americans are wearing today are akin to the Victory Gardens planted during WWII. The one mask I wear to the grocery store or post office isn’t going to end this pandemic, but millions of people wearing millions of masks will have a major impact on COVID-19 spread, and the masks you and your family members wear may well have a major effect on how this novel coronavirus impacts you on a personal level.
And as this pandemic isn’t likely to end any time soon, you might as well invest in a few washable masks that are built to last and even look good, in their own weird, new normal way. Below, see a number of face masks you can pre-order or buy online right now.
SLEEFS Face Mask
Sleefs has been in the business of making face coverings in the form of sports neck gaiters for years, so their transition to producing cloth masks in bulk numbers was only logical and has allowed the company to produce multiple patterns of mask, including basic and single-color masks for $10 or more intricately patterned masks designed with ergonomic stitching for $15. Many of their masks also have filter pockets for enhanced safety.
Sanctuary Organic Cotton Masks 3-Pack
As you might expect from brands sold by Anthropolgie, these face masks are almost as much about looks as function, but the good news is that they function well. Made from soft organic cotton and with a shape that lets the masks nestle close to the chin, mouth, and nose, these decorative face masks can be fitted with filters for enhanced wearer protection.
Zazzle Decorative Custom Face Masks
If you’re not finding a face mask to suit your taste, or you want to have something special made up, you can create a custom face mask using your own artwork or text through Zazzle. Choose from a black or white cotton base, and easily customize online by uploading your own image or playing around with Zazzle’s text formatting tool.
Pegasos Disposable 3-Ply Face Masks
If you are buying masks for the whole family (or other group) or if your work necessitates frequent contact with people (but in a non-medical setting — think deliveries, for example), then a bulk order of disposable masks is the way to go. These masks work out to a dollar fifty per mask, much cheaper than buying lots of reusable masks for a small group, and for people who remain on the job even during the pandemic, a disposable mask offers the best way to ensure you leave any potential pathogens well away from your home when you remove and dispose of your mask.
Casetify Reusable Cloth Masks
Your purchase of a reusable cloth mask from Casetify, a company usually known for tech hardware accessories like Apple Watch bands or phone cases, will trigger a donation of a mask to a healthcare worker on the front lines of the coronavirus fight. It will also of course get you a sturdy, washable cloth mask that comes with two removable filters that add to its efficacy.
Lucky Brand Pleated Cotton Face Masks 5-Pack
If you have ever owned a pair of Lucky Brand jeans, you know they last for years and only get more and more comfortable with each wash and wear. These masks are made in LA using the same fabrics as Lucky’s denim apparel, so you can count on them to last a good long time as well, which seems like a selling point that we all have to come to terms with as the pandemic stretches on. Lucky is doing its part with a one-to-one donation plan: for each five pack they sell, they’ll donate five masks as well.