September 21, 2021
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Health protection Recommended Reviews

9 Face Masks We Actually Like to Wear

Our Picks

  • PHOTOGRAPH: ACE & JIGAn Artisan MaskAce & Jig Textile MaskI’ve long admired Ace & Jig‘s soft, custom-woven, 100 percent cotton fabrics from afar, but I never had the bank to buy any of its clothing. But a mask is a much more affordable item than a dress or a pair of pants. If I’m going on an outdoor walk with a friend, I like to reach for one of these. They’re soft, cheery, brightly colored, and fit flush against my face. They have a nose wire to adjust the fit, and you can tighten or loosen the ear loops with a small rubber toggle (you do have to be careful to not pull the toggle off, though). They also have a pocket for a filter.$22 AT ACE & JIG

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  • PHOTOGRAPH: OUTLIERThe Most Stylish MaskOutlier Mask 001 Ultrasuede SnaptightWe don’t endorse using loosely tied bandanas as face masks. But a bandana-style face mask is another thing entirely. The experimental clothing brand Outlier recently branched out into face masks, and WIRED photo editor Phuc Pham likes the Mask 001, which makes you look like a cool city cowboy. It has a linen insert, an internal nose bridge, and an easy-to-use magnetic closure to hold it flush and securely against your face.Outlier is a textile-nerd company, and the ultrasuede material is made from polyester that is soft, lies well, and is fine, dense, and washable. It also makes a more conventional-looking pleated mask, but check back often as its products swing in and out of stock.$75 AT OUTLIER
  • PHOTOGRAPH: HEDLEY & BENNETTA Very Comfortable MaskHedley & Bennett The Wake Up and Fight MaskOver a year, many mask makers have had ample opportunity to improve. We liked Hedley & Bennett’s masks last year, and reviewer Matt Jancer and I both like the latest version; WIRED’s managing digital producer, Kimberly Chua, also likes these masks a lot. Hedley & Bennett is a kitchen workware company that quickly pivoted from making aprons and chef coats to making masks. It designed them in collaboration with Robert Cho, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at a local hospital. They’re sturdy, comfortable, and made from either cotton or a cotton-poly blend, with an adjustable nose wire. They come with a pocket for a removable filter and now offer adjustable straps and different strap designs. For every mask sold, the company donates a mask to frontline health care workers and farmworkers.$22 AT HEDLEY & BENNETT
  • primal filter  maskPHOTOGRAPH: PRIMALAn Accessorized MaskPrimal Wear Carbon Face Mask 3.0A great fit is important. Primal Wear’s mask does just that with a patented plastic X-Frame insert. Reviewer Scott Gilbertson found that the insert held the mask off his face and made it easier to breathe, and the neck strap also helped to keep it snug against his face. The Nt3D filters also held up past 10 washes, but since only one comes with the face mask, you may want to invest in a few extras.$25 AT PRIMAL
  • PHOTOGRAPH: OUTDOOR RESEARCH A Treated MaskOutdoor Research Face Mask KitI’ve tested a number of masks with purported antimicrobial and antiviral properties. While there is some sound science behind antiviral coatings, rigorous, independent studies that show reliable Covid protection aren’t here yet. It’s best to pick one that fits well and is comfortable. For that reason, my favorite treated mask is the Outdoor Research Essential mask. It’s been treated with HeiQ NPJ03, which is a Swiss textile treatment that has been tested in the European Union for antiviral and antibacterial properties. However, these tests have not been replicated in the US.I also tried the är mask, which is too loose and lets out too much air around my nose, and Cupron’s copper-infused face masks, which are one-size-fits-all but were enormous on my medium-size face. Bilio also has a silver-infused mask, which we list below. You’ll still need to wash and care for these masks as thoroughly as you do your regular cloth face masks.$20 AT AMAZON$20 AT NORDSTROM$20 AT MOOSEJAW$20 AT BACKCOUNTRY

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  • PHOTOGRAPH: RAG & BONE A Great Pleated MaskRag & Bone Pleat Mask PackThese masks are manufactured in Los Angeles. They’re pleated for a greater range of motion when you talk, and they’re made from 100 percent cotton (with a cotton-poly lining). Each month, Rag & Bone picks a different charity to receive $5 from the sale of each mask.$55 AT RAG & BONE (3-PACK)
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel Lingerie Underwear Bra Cushion Shoe Footwear and SockPHOTOGRAPH: BILIOA Mask That Won’t Fog Up GlassesBilio MaskIn my bin of masks, this one is incredibly distinctive. It’s knit to shape from recycled yarn. That means it’s zero-waste—no cutting and sewing pieces of fabric with scraps that will have to be discarded—and it also stands off my face. This shape, combined with the fact that it points sharply over the bridge of my nose, means it doesn’t make my glasses fog. It also passes both the light and the candle test. It’s a little harder to breathe on walks or longer hikes, though.Bilio uses proprietary SilverKiss antibacterial tech, though we should note that coronavirus is a virus, not bacteria. If you’re having a lot of trouble with mascnesilver, copper oxide, or zinc oxide treatments like this might help (maybe), but you’d probably get more benefit from washing your mask more often and doing spot treatments.$38 AT BILIO
  • Image may contain Clothing Apparel and DressPHOTOGRAPH: RICKSHAW BAGSA Gorgeous, Sturdy MaskRickshaw Bags Face MaskWIRED’s Director of audience development, Indu Chandrasekhar, likes the masks made by bag manufacturer Rickshaw Bags. Rickshaw offers a handy shorthand to sizing for anyone who doesn’t have a tape measure. Faces tend to correspond to body size, so if you’re under 5 feet tall, go with a small, and if you’re over 6 feet, pick large. Everyone else is a medium. Each mask is made by hand in San Francisco from three layers of 100 percent cotton, so you don’t need a separate filter.$22 AT RICKSHAW BAGS
  • Image may contain Animal Bee Wasp Hornet Invertebrate Insect Andrena Logo Trademark and SymbolPHOTOGRAPH: VISTAPRINT A Great Graphic MaskVistaprint Fabric Face MaskVistaprint’s masks are popular, stretchy, extremely comfortable, and machine washable. They come in a plethora of chic designs and have adjustable ear loops and a pocket for a filter, which Vistaprint makes (no cutting up vacuum bags here!). It also makes incredibly cute kids’ masks that fit my 5-year-old perfectly. However, they’re not made from breathable cotton. The outer layer is 100 percent polyester. In summer’s damp humidity, my breath soaked through these and left them dripping in a matter of minutes.$18 AT VISTAPRINT

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