In our new normal, face mask chains, lanyards, and other accessories are must-haves

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Face Mask Accessories
Credit: Amazon, Etsy

Face masks have fast become a daily essential in 2020, with COVID-19 to thank for their newfound popularity. And if face masks are the Regina Georges of everyday wear, face mask accessories are soon to be the Gretchen Wienerses and Karen Smiths of the coronavirus prevention clique. 

Face mask accessories are just beginning to gain steam, with lanyards and chains the first of mask-complementing wear to gain traction on social media. If you’re unfamiliar with the world of face mask accessorizing, you should know it’s not all about fashion. A lot of these tricks are more about function than frivolity and make it easier to wear your mask for long periods of time. Mask extenders, headbands with buttons, and clip-on “mask mates,” for example, alleviate pressure you may be experiencing behind your ears from tight and constricting elastic ear loops. 

These accessories, as with face mask lanyards and chains, typically make wearing the pandemic essential more comfortable and convenient, but also safer. Face mask accessories can make being outside or in public more hygienic because they ensure a secure fit, prevent the masks from falling on the ground or getting lost, and eliminate the need to store the coverings in unclean spots (like your purse or around your wrist). Nose wires, in particular, come in handy for cloth face masks that don’t already have one built in so you can contour the soft material more closely to your face and prevent the mask from sliding down to where it’s no longer effective. 

Whether you want something simple and purely functional or are looking to amp up your face mask style and efficacy with pops of colors and fun designs, you’re sure to benefit from introducing face mask accessories into your life. Below, shop 15 of our favorites to add to your coronavirus wardrobe ASAP. Because, yes — in 2020, a “coronavirus wardrobe” is a real thing.

Anti-Tightening Ear Protector Mask Extenders

Face Mask Accessories
Credit: Amazon

These face mask extenders can be hooked to ear loops and wrapped around your neck or head for a more comfortable fit. Plus, they’ll serve as a necklace if you pull your mask down for any reason, preventing you from dropping it to the ground or losing it. Shop a 10-pack on sale for just $7.

Buy It! $6.99 (orig. $9.96); amazon.com

Adjustable Mask Extender Straps

Face Mask Accessories
Credit: Amazon

For a functional addition to your mask that also adds a little something extra, you can pick up these face mask extenders in packs of five, 10, and 20 in black, blue, or pink. Along with making your mask more comfortable, one five-star reviewer said the extenders also provide a more secure fit, writing: “Comfortable, stops mask from slipping below nose, makes any mask fit better by extending or tightening.” They're the number-one bestsellers in Amazon's Sanitary Mask Strap Extenders category, so you'll be in good company with these on.

Buy It! $14.99; amazon.com

Ear Savers for Face Masks

Face Mask Accessories
Credit: Etsy

These elastic face mask extenders wrap around the back of your head and connect with your mask’s loops to remove any strain on your ears. The Etsy best-sellers have racked up hundreds of rave reviews from shoppers who wear them both to loosen and tighten their face masks, with many praising the product for its super fast shipping. Shop the under-$5 find in a whopping 73 color and pattern options.

Buy It! $4.95; etsy.com  

Nose Bridges for Masks

Face Mask Accessories
Credit: Amazon

If your reusable cloth face mask didn’t come with an adjustable nose bridge, you can pick up a pack of 100 aluminum wires for $10. While 100 may sound like a lot, keep in mind that we’ve already been social distancing and self-isolating for over 100 days of the pandemic — and will likely continue to for quite some time.

Buy It! $9.99; amazon.com

Super Bros Mask Mate Sliders

Super Bros Mask Mate Sliders - Patented Comfort Ear Savers Eyewear Charms
Credit: Etsy

These Etsy best-sellers are adorable and super practical, letting you clip your face mask’s ear loops onto your glasses for a more comfortable fit. This seller’s original batch of mask mates in five different doughnut patterns all sold out, so you’ll want to shop these Mario and friends face mask accessories ASAP.

Buy It! $9.99; etsy.com

Optix 55 Anti-Fog Spray

Face Mask Accessories
Credit: Amazon

The Optix 55 Fog Gone anti-fog spray isn’t necessarily an accessory, but it can definitely assist your outfit and overall comfort level by preventing your glasses from clouding up while you’re wearing a face mask. Simply spray a small amount of the all-natural product onto your lenses before heading out, wash it away, and enjoy clear vision all day long. Bonus: The spray also works on bathroom mirrors, goggles, and many other fog-prone surfaces.

Buy It! $10.55; amazon.com

4-Pack Headband with Buttons for Face Masks and Covers

Face Mask Accessories
Credit: Amazon

These lightweight headbands feature buttons on the sides to which you can affix your face mask ear loops. In addition to making daily face mask wear easier on your ears, the headbands are made of a stretchy material that’ll remain comfortable while looking cute.

Buy It! $14.99; amazon.com

Ear Mask Rope Adjusters

Face Mask Accessories
Credit: Amazon

So your mask doesn’t fit quite right, but you’re not really looking for an accent accessory. Enter: ear strap adjusters. The soft silicone buckles enable you to adjust the fit of any mask and ensure it covers your nose and mouth snugly. Reviewers note these little tools even help relieve ear pain, with one saying, “As a doctor, I was working more than eight hours a day with masks. The pain and traces on the ear really make me feel uncomfortable... This really surprised me, when I wear it on my mask, my ears were released. Now I don’t have to worry about working long hours with masks; these mask extenders can kill all pain and traces.”

Buy It! $7.99 (orig. $8.99); amazon.com

Face Mask Lanyard

Face Mask Accessories
Credit: Etsy

Face mask lanyards are great for those of us who keep finding their face masks on the ground (ew!) and can be especially useful for kids who might have a tendency to misplace theirs. Any lanyard with two clips will work as a face mask lanyard, but not all will be as colorful and fun as these Etsy best-sellers. Shop the back-to-school essential in multiple color and pattern options, like pink or navy checkered, neon solids, and multi-colored designs, now for $7.

Buy It! $6.99; etsy.com

Custom Beaded Mask Chain

Face Mask Chains on Etsy made by SmileTribe
Credit: Etsy

Not all face mask chains are created equal, as evidenced by these bright and fun beaded necklaces that were specifically designed for face masks. The options are literally limitless with this Etsy shop (with the adorable name SmileTribeChains that amplifies the lighthearted pieces) because you can personalize any of the styles with your name or initials and choose your own colors. With both adult and kid sizes available, you can pick up a beaded chain to match everyone in your family’s tastes.

Buy It! $12–$20; etsy.com

Face Mask Necklace

Face Mask Accessories
Credit: Etsy

If lanyards and glasses chains had a baby, it would be the face mask necklace — similar to the face mask lanyard, but gussied up a bit. Multiple styles of this Etsy shop’s popular face mask chain are already sold out, so hurry to scoop up the remaining two looks before they meet a similar fate.

Buy It! $19.99–$30.99; etsy.com

BaubleBar Convertible Mask Chain

Face Mask Chains
Credit: BaubleBar

Few jewelry brands have entered the face mask accessorizing arena, but celeb-adored brand BaubleBar has stepped up to the plate. For $18, you can pick up a face mask chain just as pretty as an actual necklace — and the multifunctional piece comes with detachable rubber loops, so you can wear it as a glasses chain, too. For multiple pieces in one, this face mask chain seems like quite the stylish steal. 

Buy It! $18; baublebar.com

Face Mask Classic Chain

Face Mask Accessories
Credit: Etsy

This super popular face mask chain, which comes in silver and gold tones, has already sold out before, so you’ll want to act fast if it meets your aesthetic and hygienic needs. You can also wrap the chunky iron chain around your neck when it’s not attached to your mask for a regular ol’ trendy necklace.

Buy It! $36; etsy.com

Eyeglass Chain

Face Mask Accessories
Credit: Amazon

As we said before, anything with a double clip can serve as a face mask chain or lanyard (or necklace, if you like the fancier things in this coronavirus life) — and that includes name badge lanyards and glasses chains. Amazon has a few leather, beaded, and metal necklace options if those are more your style, but the sleek minimalism of these metallic chains with hammered alligator clips has us torn on whether it’s more a necessity or trendy accessory.

Buy It! $29.94; amazon.com

Face Mask Inner Support Frame

Face Mask Inner Support Frame Homemade Cloth Mask
Credit: Amazon

These mask brackets with hundreds of positive reviews will create more space underneath your somewhat constricting cloth covering, making it easier to both breathe and keep your mask clean. Because these silicone support frames act as a wedge between the material and your skin, makeup and other skincare products or food remnants are less likely to transfer onto your mask. These little gadgets even reduce the friction between your skin and your mask’s fabric, giving your irritated jawline a chance to recover from that dreaded maskne. The machine-washable accessories work best when taped or sewn into your masks, and if you’re not happy with your purchase for any reason, the company will issue a refund or exchange.

Buy It! $15.98; amazon.com

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