When the CDC updated its guidance on who should wear cloth face coverings, it explained that, ‘Your cloth face covering may protect them. Their cloth face covering may protect you.’ Despite the ongoing division in America over the use of masks to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, all health organizations recommend wearing masks.
The World Health Organization recently changed its face mask guidance for over 60s and now recommends any person aged 60 or over to wear a medical mask in areas where virus transmission is active. For those under 60 and medically healthy, and who aren’t on the CDC’s updated list of who’s at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, reusable fabric masks remain suitable.
Looking for all types of face coverings and face masks, including disposable face masks? You can buy them in packs of various quantity sizes, and, unlike at the start of the pandemic, they are becoming more widely available now. That means you shouldn't have to pay over the odds to buy some.
Here's where you can buy various types of face masks in the US:
- Shop fabric face masks at Vistaprint
- Shop fabric face masks at Amazon
- Shop disposable face masks at Amazon
- Shop cloth face masks at Disney
- Shop face masks at Home Depot
- Shop face masks at Daily Steals
- Shop disposable face masks at Walgreens
- Shop 3-ply disposable face masks at Rite Aid
- Shop all face masks at Target
- Shop disposable face masks at Costco
- Shop disposable face masks at Newegg
- Shop disposable and fabric face masks at Lowes
- Shop face masks at Adorama
- Shop face masks and face coverings at REI
- Shop face masks at Staples
- Shop 3-ply single use face masks at Walgreens
Some of the masks sold at various online retailers are disposable masks, designed to be worn once then safely disposed of (never leave used masks lying around). If you'd prefer a face mask that's made of fabric and can be washed and reused, we've rounded up some of our favorites below.
These are ideal if you don’t have the time or interest to make your own homemade face mask, as they follow CDC guidelines for personal mask use.
Where to buy reusable fabric face masks online
Replaceable Filter Fabric Face Mask | $18.99 at Vistaprint
This face mask uses a replaceable filter system, so you can swap in new filters each time you wear the mask - remember to wash your mask after use. They have latex-free ear straps, are machine washable, and come in a variety of designs. Sunrise (pictured) is our favorite, along with Brenton. Face mask filters cost $10 for a 10-pack, or use your own.View Deal
Reusable Fabric Face Mask | $12 at Casetify
Casteify has pivoted to selling reusable face masks with filter inserts, as well as phone protectors. These soft cotton face masks come with two disposable PM 2.5 filters, which you can replace with your own filter material or buy more from Casetify. Best of all, you can choose the ‘Buy 1 + Donate 1’ offer ($15) to donate a face mask to Direct Relief. View Deal
American Mask Project Fabric Face Mask | $20.81 for 2-pack at Amazon
This is another popular reusable fabric face mask, available in a variety of colors. It’s made using a mix of durable stretch jersey with spandex, and features reinforced elastic ear loops for extra comfort. Following CDC guidance, the American Mask Project face masks contain a filter pocket for your pm2.5 filter material of choice. This mask is comfy, expandable and machine washable.View Deal
Levi’s Reversible Fabric Face Mask | $15 for 3-pack at Amazon
Available in two sizes (small for kids, large for adults) and various colors, the Levi’s face mask is a best-seller. It’s good value for money, offering three reusable face masks for just $15, and fast-drying if you have them in heavy rotation. There is a small side slit to pop in a filter, but the other face masks featured here have better, more dedicated filter pockets.View Deal
Avocado Mattress Organic Cotton Fabric Face Mask | $30 (4-Pack) at Avocado Mattress
Avocado makes organic mattresses, so we’re not surprised to learn that these reusable face masks are made from 100% organic cotton canvas. Simple tie straps keep them in place. Inside sits a pocket for your filter material of choice. Avocado currently has a small production delay for masks, and is selling them in kids and adult sizes, in packs of four.View Deal
USA Cloth Face Mask | From $14.50 at Amazon
Amazon stocks a range of fabric face masks, including this 100% cotton, two-layer USA Cloth Face Mask that follows CDC guidelines and comes in a variety of prints. It has a nose wire bridge for a better fit, plus a filter pocket for your filter material of choice - you add your own filter. The adult-size fabric face masks measure 12x6", while the kids measure 9x4.5". There other sizes available too. View Deal
Purple Fabric Face Mask | From $20 (Twin Pack) at Purple
If you’re a fan of comfy pillows, you’ll love this one. Purple's washable face covering, available for kids and adult sizes, follows CDC guidelines for personal face mask use. It’s made of triple-layered fabric, as found on some Purple pillows, plus soft earbands that won’t chafe your skin. It's in and out of stock, so move fast.
Where to buy face masks online: What to look for
Ideally, choose a reusable fabric face mask with a dedicated pocket for a filter material. You can buy filters online, or you can use your own filter materials. According to Loretta Fernandez, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University, coffee filters or toilet roll can be used.
Look for masks with comfortable ear loops or ties, especially if you'll be wearing them for longer periods - you want them to be as comfy as possible.
If you're buying disposable face masks, thoroughly check the design to ensure that they follow current health guidelines. Ideally you'll buy a 3-ply disposable mask to give you more protection.
To determine the effectiveness of homemade masks vs surgical masks, researchers at the University of Edinburgh recently tested seven different face coverings, including a handmade mask, to see how well they limit the spread of the virus.
The scientists found that the homemade mask performed just as well as the surgical mask. However, they also acknowledge that not all homemade masks are made equal, so some may offer a higher level of protection that others.
To adhere to CDC guidelines for personal face mask use, any cloth face covering you buy must:
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops
- Include multiple layers of fabric
- Allow for breathing without restriction
- Be able to be laundered and dried without damage or change to shape
Why social distancing and hand hygiene still matters
Even when wearing a mask you still need to adhere to 6-feet social distancing and regularly wash your hands. Running errands? Keep your hands clean with sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) until you get home and can wash properly.
The CDC’s updated coronavirus guidelines cover everything you need to know about COVID-hygiene. If you own an Apple Watch, its new hand washing feature has a countdown timer to ensure you wash for the full recommended 20 seconds.
We’re helping our readers better protect themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic, and as such have produced a variety of health and wellness guides, including a round-up of the best digital thermometers for fever monitoring, plus 12 common coronavirus questions answered by a doctor.