We Tested Tons of Face Masks So You Don't Have To — and These Are the 18 Best
Let's face it — over the last year, you've probably tried a variety of cloth and disposable face masks you weren't completely satisfied with. While masks continue to be an everyday essential (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals wear masks indoors to slow the spread of coronavirus), finding a mask that both fits well and feels comfortable can be a challenge. That's why PEOPLE staffers are sharing their favorites with you, so you don't have to second-guess your next purchase.
These are the 18 best face masks our writers and editors recommend:
- Huheta KN95 Face Mask, 20 Pack, $28.99; amazon.com
- WeCare Disposable Face Masks, Individually Wrapped, 50 Pack, $24.98; amazon.com
- Flexmon KF94 Face Masks, 20 Pack, $31.98; amazon.com
- Eyelov Cloth Face Masks, 10 Pack, $22.99; amazon.com
- Bondir Air Guard Fitted Face Mask, $14.99; amazon.com
- Maskc Variety KN95 Face Masks, prices vary; shopmaskc.com
- Masqd Face Masks, prices vary; masqd.com
- Evolvetogether Milan Disposable Face Masks, 30 Pack, $35.97; evolvetogether.com
- Hedley & Bennett The Wake Up and Fight Mask, 3 Pack, $36; hedleyandbennett.com
- Inex Gear The Better Mask, $22.95; inexgear.com
- Everlane 100% Human Face Mask, 5 Pack, $10 (orig. $25); everlane.com
- Caraa Sport Universal Adult Face Masks, 5 Pack, $25; caraasport.com
- The Tie Bar Face Masks, 5 Pack, $30; thetiebar.com
- Athleta Everyday Non Medical Face Masks, 5 Pack, $3.99–$14.99; athleta.gap.com
- Gap Kids Contour Mask with Filter, 3 Pack, $0.99–$18; gap.com
- Buck Mason Antimicrobial Face Mask, 5 Pack, $20; buckmason.com
- Tokki x Gravitas Cotton Face Mask, $24; etsy.com
- Barrière Variety Print Pack, $18; mybarriere.com
- Jill and Ally Face Mask, 3 Pack, prices vary; jillandally.com
Huheta KN95 Face Masks
Christina Butan, Amazon eCommerce Writer: If you're searching for KN95s that are easy to breathe and speak in, fit well, and won't ruin your outfit (I think we can all admit that's a factor nowadays), these are it. Made with five layers, the Huheta masks make me feel super protected, and I've been wearing them exclusively indoors, in crowded areas, and on NYC trains for months. They come in packs of 20 or 30 in all black, but there's a newer multicolored pack of 60 that I'm considering purchasing, since it'll last a while and add a pop of color when I want it.
Buy It! Huheta KN95 Face Masks, 20 Pack, $31.98; amazon.com
Maskc KN95 Face Masks
Alex Apatoff, Digital Lifestyle Director: I wanted a more "serious" mask for the few times I couldn't avoid crowded spaces this fall, but I couldn't bear to put on the more "plague doctor"-looking KN95s masks we panic-bought before a road trip pre-vaccines. Enter Maskc, whose KN95s come in fun colors, are beloved by celebrities including Hilary Duff and Rihanna and are — dare I say it? — pretty cute.
Buy It! Maskc KN95 Face Masks, 10 Pack, prices vary; shopmaskc.com
WeCare Disposable Face Masks
Christina Butan, Amazon eCommerce Writer: On days where I don't feel like I need my KN95s, or if I expect to wear a face mask for a short amount of time, I've been loving these super cute masks from WeCare. The brand is highly rated on Amazon for their individually wrapped disposable masks that are soft and lightweight. They come in tons of different versions including tie-dye, animal prints, camo, and kids' options. This printed pack with florals, monstera leaves, and lemons are perfect for days you want to zhuzh up your mask game.
Buy It! WeCare Disposable Face Masks, Individually Wrapped, 50 Pack, $24.98; amazon.com
Masqd Face Masks
Sarah Ball, Market Editor: I love this brand! Their masks are really well made — and they use incredibly soft fabric. I haven't found a mask that fits better than this one. The straps are adjustable, making it super comfortable to wear during long periods of time and it has a nose plate, which makes the mask fit snugly against my face. And for extra protection, they all come with a pocket where you can insert a filter if you like. They have a ton of really fun prints for when you want to add a little pop of fun to an outfit. I also really love their solid colored ribbed sets for every day.
Buy It! Masqd Face Masks, prices vary; masqd.com
Flexmon KF94 Face Masks
Amy Schulman, Amazon eCommerce Writer: These KF94 masks (the South Korean equivalent of N95 with a few slight differences) were recommended to me at the start of the pandemic when I'd complain about going outdoors with fogged-up glasses. To this day, they're the only kind I'll reach for if I'm going out with my glasses: They're adjustable thanks to the nose wire, wonderfully lightweight, and won't pull at my ears if I'm wearing them for large bouts of time. Plus, the mask puffs out enough so it doesn't touch my lips or cheeks which has gloriously resulted in far fewer breakouts.
Buy It! Flexmon KF94 Face Masks, 20 Pack, $31.98; amazon.com
Bondir Air Guard Face Mask
Jessica Mattern, Amazon eCommerce Editor: I've tested dozens of masks, and this is the only one I've found to be comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time. The machine-washable covering has adjustable straps, allowing me to create the perfect fit for my face. Its super soft material doesn't chafe on my ears or face — even while talking and working out.
Buy It! Bondir Air Guard Fitted Face Mask, $14.99; amazon.com
Evolvetogether Disposable Face Masks
Alex Warner, Celebrity and Entertainment eCommerce Lead: As an e-commerce writer, I've tested my fair share of face masks over the past year or so, but nothing compares to Evolvetogether — the brand's disposable masks have been my go-to. Not only do I feel like I can actually breathe in them, but my super sensitive ears are grateful for their non-irritating ear loops that don't tug. My husband is also a big fan because they're one of the few masks he can wear with glasses. I've even got my family hooked on them!
Buy It! Evolvetogether Milan Disposable Face Masks, 30 Pack, $35.87; evolvetogether.com
Eyelov Face Masks
Summer Cartwright, eCommerce Writer: I took up running to stay sane during these socially distanced times. After testing out disposable masks, breathable gaiters, and homemade cloth coverings, I found this set of black nylon masks. They're breathable, even during long runs on hot days, and they stay in place. Better yet, they haven't led to any annoying breakouts — a true miracle seeing as sweat plus cloth typically equals disaster on my skin. The pack of 10 makes it easy for using a new one with every run throughout the week.
Buy It! Eyelov Cloth Face Masks, 10 Pack, $22.99; amazon.com
Hedley & Bennet "Wake Up and Fight" Masks
Katie Macdonald, Food eCommerce Lead: I was already a fan of Hedley & Bennnett's impeccably made chef aprons, and its lightweight masks are just as incredible. For more than a year, my "Wake Up & Fight"mask has been my go-to. It's made from a blend of cotton and polyester, which is soft and comfortable on my skin, and has adjustable ear straps and a metal nose insert for a snug fit on my smaller head. I also love that it has a pocket for disposable filters, providing an extra layer of protection when I go to the store. Lastly, it's attractive!
Sanah Faroke, Amazon eCommerce Writer: I love that this mask is designed with two layers and has a pocket to add a filter if you want one. I'm also a big fan of the nose design: The material comes up over the nose and secures itself via a metal wire. It gives me a great fit and allows me to see (I've tried others where the material literally obstructs my vision). The adjustable ear loops are amazing too, which means everyone in my family can wear them comfortably and then toss them in the wash after use.
Buy It! Hedley & Bennett Wake Up and Fight Mask, 3 Pack, $36; hedleyandbennett.com
Athleta Everyday Face Masks
Eden Lichterman, Amazon eCommerce Writer: The Athleta masks are the only ones I've found that actually fit my face and stay put. Thanks to adjustable ear loops, pleated fabric, and a flexible nose wire, the masks are completely customizable to your face, and you don't have to constantly mess with them to make sure they're covering your nose and mouth. Plus, they come in a pack of five super cute patterns for just $15. You can't beat that!
Buy It! Athleta Everyday Non-Medical Masks, $3.99–$14.99; athelta.gap.com
Everlane Face Masks
Alex Apatoff, Digital Lifestyle Director: When I need a lightweight mask for walks, I like these from Everlane. They don't have any bells or whistles (no nose wire, no filter pocket) but they're super breathable, comfortable, fit well and can go in my pocket easily.
Buy It! Everlane 100% Human Face Mask, 5 Pack, $10 (orig. $25); everlane.com
Inex Gear "The Better" Face Mask
Jennifer Chan, eCommerce Writer and Editor: The Inex Gear Better Masks are by far the best I've tried, and I've tried a lot! They're super soft and breathable, yet provide triple-layered antimicrobial protection. Plus, they're impressively lightweight and flexible — you honestly forget you're wearing one. I won't get on an airplane without wearing The Better Mask, and recommend them to everyone I know.
Buy It! Inex Gear The Better Mask, $22.95; inexgear.com
Gap Kids Face Masks
Alex Apatoff, Digital Lifestyle Director: My three-year-old is the ultimate mask tester (you'll quickly find out if any aren't up to the task) and the best we've tried are Gap's. They have a good full-face fit and nose wire, the adjustable ear straps accommodate his rapidly growing noggin and he seems to find them really comfortable — they don't slip beneath his nose while playing and he never pulls on them the way he does other masks. They're often on sale, too!
Buy It! Gap Kids Contour Mask with Filter, 3 Pack, $0.99–$18; gap.com
Caraa Sport Face Masks
Braelyn Wood, Health and Wellness eCommerce Lead: I've accumulated a small collection of more than 20 face masks, but Caraa's lightweight design is easily one of my favorite reusable picks. It's breathable, yet still has multiple layers of protection. I love that the ear straps are adjustable and never painfully rub the skin behind my ears like others in my lineup. Plus, it has an adjustable nose wire that ensures it fits my face like a glove. Better yet, it comes in so many colors that I actually like matching them to my outfit. Hey, it's the new norm.
Buy It! Caraa Sport Universal Adult Face Masks, 5 Pack, $25; caraasport.com
The Tie Bar Face Masks
Alex Apatoff, Digital Lifestyle Director: These Tie Bar masks have the distinction of being loved by both my husband and me. They have a really gender-neutral look and come in tons of colors and prints. The construction is excellent: The fabric is super-sturdy and holds up to a million washes, and the fit (with an adjustable nose wire and extra material to go under the chin) never budges, even when we're talking. They're easy to breathe through and have a pocket for a filter. I'm always surprised I don't see these recommended more often — I suggest them to everyone who asks.
Buy It! The Tie Bar Face Masks, 5 Pack, $30; thetiebar.com
Buck Mason Face Masks
Claudia Fisher, eCommerce Deputy Digital Director: These masks are super soft, so you can actually barely feel one on your face. I love that you tie them around your head so you don't have to worry about where you're putting it when you're not wearing it over your face — which is especially helpful for me living in a big apartment building because the second I leave home, I need to have one, but it's so easy to forget if it's not wrapped around your neck.
Buy It! Buck Mason Anti-Microbial Face Mask, 5 Pack, $30; buckmason.com
Tokki x Gravitas Face Mask
Alex Apatoff, Digital Lifestyle Director: Need a fancy mask? This eco-conscious brand (which normally designs fun reusable gift wrap) has beautifully made masks in the loveliest prints — I have a few for "dress up" occasions which always garner me compliments. They donate one for every one sold.
Buy It! Tokki x Gravitas Cotton Face Mask, $12; etsy.com
Barrière Disposable Face Masks
Brittany Talarico, Senior Style Editor: These disposable face masks offer all the important functions with a side of fashion. I love the cute prints Barrière launched, including the leopard and bandana styles in this 5-pack. It's no wonder the brand already has a legion of celeb fans including Martha Hunt, Dua Lipa, Kelly Osbourne, Elsa Hosk and Victor Cruz.
Buy It! Barrière Variety Print Pack, $15; mybarriere.com
Jill Zarin Face Mask
Colleen Kratofil, Style Editor: With her years of experience running her fabric business, Zarin Fabrics, it's no surprise the former Real Housewives of New York star has pivoted to making face masks. Jill Zarin teamed up with her daughter Ally Shapiro to not only create a comfortable and colorful selection of protective gear, but also found a way to give back amid the pandemic. For every mask sold, they donate one to a frontline worker. These have become my go-to masks for everyday wear because they're soft (made from washable three-ply cotton), have adjustable toggles on each side and come in a huge array of vibrant hues. True story — every time I wear one of their signature tie-dye patterns, I get a slew of compliments.
Buy It! Jill and Ally Face Mask, prices vary; jillandally.com
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