Home Health News Here's Where To Buy Cloth Face Masks For Sale Online – HuffPost

Here's Where To Buy Cloth Face Masks For Sale Online – HuffPost

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Here’s your guide to brands that have face masks now that aren’t overpriced or overshopped.

You’ve probably come across a thousand and one tutorials about how to make a coronavirus face mask — including using a bandana, a scarf or even a T-shirt — but you still might be searching for a mask that’s absolutely no effort at all.

After the CDC advised in early April that everyone should be wearing a mask when going outside, sales for face masks have soared. And that means cloth masks have been selling out — sometimes almost immediately, like in the case of J.Crew’s gingham masks.

You’ve probably seen small stores and big businesses turn to making cloth masks, from the fashionable floral face masks at Christy Dawn to the stylish embroidered cloth masks from Lele Sadoughi. Even shops on Etsy are mass-producing masks — so much so that Etsy saw sales double last month because of it.

Austin-based Kingsted, a T-shirt company, moved to making masks after it saw a dip in business with canceled orders and fabric not moving from the production floor, founder Eddy Levy told HuffPost Finds. Now, the company is producing masks that follow CDC guidelines using leftover materials they had for T-shirts.

“Being able to use what we had in inventory was essentially us making lemonade out of lemons,” Levy said.

“Being able to use what we had in inventory was essentially us making lemonade out of lemons.”

– Eddy Levy, founder of Kingsted

Many brands are now pivoting to manufacturing cloth masks for the masses, as well as for essential workers. Reformation, the sustainable fashion brand, partnered with the city of Los Angeles to manufacture masks for essential workers in an initiative called LA Protects, which includes other local manufacturers like LA Apparel. To date, Reformation has produced more than 300,000 masks at its own factory, donating an additional 23,000 to nonprofits and health care partners, according to Yael Aflalo, founder of the brand.

And since more brands are beginning to make cloth masks for personal use, you need to know what to look for when buying a mask online. (After all, you can’t see them IRL until they’re delivered to your door).

Below, we asked the experts what to look for when buying a face mask online, and rounded up some of the most reliable retailers making and selling cloth face masks right now.

Here’s what they had to say.

Why should you be wearing a cloth face mask in the first place?

Why wear a mask? Well, it’s not really about protecting yourself — it’s actually about protecting those around you.

Why wear a mask? Well, it’s not really about protecting yourself — it’s actually about protecting those around you.

There is still a lot we have to learn about the novel coronavirus. But what we do understand is that it appears to spread through close contact from person to person, according to the CDC and the World Health Organization.

While the CDC has said that “we are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes,” the virus is thought to spread through respiratory droplets that happen when an infected person coughs, sneezes or even talks. In turn, these droplets get inhaled or can just land in another person’s mouth or nose.

So why wear a mask? Well, it’s not really about protecting yourself — it’s actually about protecting those around you. A cloth face cover is supposed to help protect others in case you’re infected, the CDC said in one of its guides.

As experts that HuffPost has talked to have said: Act like you already have coronavirus, especially since asymptomatic coronavirus carriers can still spread it.

Rodney Rohde, chair of the Clinical Laboratory Science Program at Texas State University, said that it’s not just about wearing masks, either, when going out in public. People should “keep in mind that all other precautions like hand hygiene, physical distance, and other public health etiquette still applies even if wearing a mask,” he said.

“In my mind, it’s about being a good citizen for the overall public health good to protect everyone.”

– Rodney Rohde, chair of the Clinical Laboratory Science Program at Texas State University

“In my mind, it’s about being a good citizen for the overall public health good to protect everyone,” Rohde said.

So if you’re reading this, you probably should be wearing a mask when you go to get groceries or run errands. But there are caveats. According to the CDC, children under the age of 2 and those who wouldn’t be able to take off a mask without help shouldn’t wear them.

No, you shouldn’t be buying the kind of masks doctors wear.

You'll want to look for cloth face masks and leave medical supplies to health care workers.

You’ll want to look for cloth face masks and leave medical supplies to health care workers.

Health care workers are in desperate need of medical supplies, including personal protective equipment, or PPE. That includes masks.

Back in March, WHO warned that panic buying medical masks would put healthcare workers’ lives at risk. Right now, there’s a global shortage of N95 masks — the kind that doctors and other health care workers use when treating patients with COVID-19.

“In an ideal setting we would have enough masks so that our essential workers would be able to change their masks and gloves on a regular basis,” said Erin M. Sorrell, an assistant research professor at Georgetown University’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology. “We unfortunately are not in that position.”

With that in mind, you should not be buying surgical masks or N-95 respirators — the CDC calls them “critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.”

Instead, you should be looking for cloth face masks or making cloth face coverings with what you have at home.

What should a cloth mask be made of?

You'll want follow this checklist when buying a face mask online.

You’ll want follow this checklist when buying a face mask online.

There are lots of face masks that you can order online now, but you’ll want to keep the following guidelines in mind before adding any to your cart.

A recent study said that denim, bedsheets and towels are among the best materials to use for a DIY face mask — all of which you can find around the house. Generally, the CDC recommends masks made of “cotton fabric.”

You’ll also want to look for masks made with more than just a single layer of fabric. Rohde said the studies he’s seen show that two-layer masks performed better than ones with a single layer.

Sorrell recommends looking for fabrics that are tightly woven, like cotton. If you’re unsure about a mask, you can hold it up to the light — if “light doesn’t come through, then the fabric is probably thick enough,” she said.

And while you’ll want to find a fabric with a tighter weave, you do need to check that you can breathe properly with it on, Sorrell said. That’s an especially important point as summer nears, since you don’t want to wear a mask that’ll make it hard to breathe when it’s hot. Both Sorrell and Rohde agree that cotton masks are likely the best choice.

Cloth face masks should…

  • Be made of tightly woven, breathable cotton fabric
  • Consist of two layers of fabric or more
  • Comfortably fit without slipping or gaping
  • Be washed after every wear

What about those cloth masks with filters?

Everyday items like paper towels and coffee filters can be used in homemade coronavirus face masks, or in cloth masks with pockets for filters.

Everyday items like paper towels and coffee filters can be used in homemade coronavirus face masks, or in cloth masks with pockets for filters.

Both Rohde and Sorrell agreed that a filter can offer more protection.

“It is better to have a filter in your mask if at all possible,” Sorrell said.

She recommends using a HEPA filter, which is an acronym for high-efficiency particulate air, and inserting it in the pocket of your cloth face mask.

You can also use a coffee filter that you can replace after each use, according to the CDC’s guide to DIY face masks. Experts HuffPost previously spoke with said that coffee filters and paper towels are affordable options that are easy to find in your kitchen ― but they can’t be washed or reused.

Filters must be sandwiched between two layers of fabric so you don’t inhale filter materials.

How should your face mask fit?

Most of the face masks we’ve seen online have either tie straps that go around your head or elastic ones that go behind your ear. You’ll want to make sure that those straps stay secure.

Your face mask should fit comfortably so you’ll actually wear it. That means a mask shouldn’t slide down your nose, and it definitely shouldn’t be loosely tied, Sorrell said.

How should you wash your cloth face mask?

You should wash your mask every time you use it, and it’s best to machine wash, Sorrell said. (We recommend tossing them into a lingerie bag so they don’t get tangled with other laundry items).

You can also hand-wash your cloth face mask with warm water and soap — just make sure that it’s completely dry before reusing, Sorrell said.

The CDC recommends drying a mask in a hot dryer and storing it in a clean container or bag.

How many cloth masks do you need?

How many cloth face masks you should have depends on how much you’re leaving your house. But Rohde recommends having two to four masks per person, so that when one’s washing, you have another to use.

Where can you buy cloth face masks online?

Some of the most unexpected places are now selling masks. These brands — including Anthropologie for adults and Maisonette for kids— aren’t completely overshopped, so they still have face masks in stock.

Keep in mind that since face masks are in especially high demand right now, you might experience shipping delays. There are some brands that have masks on backorder until later in May or mid-June.

In our list below, we made sure to include when masks are supposed to ship out.

Take a look:

1
Anthropologie
Anthropologie
Anthropologie now has face masks. You can find a single reusable striped mask that’s 2-ply cotton jersey. There’s a three-pack that has cheetah, floral and leaf prints. This pink and polka-dotted pack is made from organic cotton and features a removable filter.

Find this pack of three for $24 at Anthropologie. Keep in mind that the pack is on backorder until June 5.

2
Casetify
Casetify
Casetify is known for its phone cases. But the brand has started selling masks on its site, too. Casetify has a “buy a mask, donate a mask” program, so when one mask sells, one surgical mask is donated to a health worker in need. These masks are made with breathable cotton materials and fitted with a filter. You can pick the color and purchase a pack of ten filters.

Find this mask for $15 at Casetify.

3
Etsy
Etsy / Pink4youUS
Recently, Etsy has been exploding with face masks. You’ll spot every print out there — from peacock feathers to polka dots. This one is washable, reusable and double-layered. Be sure to check all the details in the description for masks on Etsy before adding them to your cart.

Find this floral and polka dot mask for $5 at Etsy.

4
LA Apparel
LA Apparel
LA Apparel, from the founder of American Apparel, offers packs of three masks that are made with cotton. The masks feature an adjustable nose that can be shaped to your face. These masks have two straps that tie around your head and neck. Plus, there are kids’ packs, too.

Find the pack of three masks for $30 at LA Apparel.

5
Lucky Brand
Lucky Brand
Lucky Brand offers a set of five face masks that are reusable and washable. The outer face of these masks is made entirely out of cotton and the inner face is polyester. Lucky Brand is limiting purchases of face mask bundles to one per order.

Find this pack of five for $25 at Lucky Brand.

6
Madewell
Madewell
Madewell’s non-medical cotton face masks have elastic ear straps and three layers. Each mask has a filter, too, and is made from leftover fabric scraps, making each color a limited edition.

Find this pack of three masks for $20 at Madewell. Keep in mind that this pack is on backorder until June 3.

7
Maisonette
Maisonette
You might have heard about Maisonette from your mom friends — the brand’s all about cute baby and child clothes. Right now, Maisonette has lots of mask sets for kids, including matching sets for adults and kids. But the company has a small selection of adult masks, too, like this one. This floral mask is made completely from cotton, has an inner pocket to add a liner, and has elastic bands to put over your ears.

Find this mask for $16 at Maisonette. Orders usually ship within four weeks.

8
Michael Stars
Michael Stars
Known for T-shirts, Michael Stars now has two different packs of masks. One pack of two is striped. It features side ties and is made from either recycled or upcycled fabrics. This leopard pack has stretch elastic ear straps and a double-layer fabric that acts as a filter on the inside. It’s made from cotton.

Find this pack of two for $38 at Michael Stars.

9
The Odells
The Odells
The Odells, an LA-based clothing boutique, now carries both single face masks that are $10 and a six-pack that’s $54. You can pick between an adult or kid size. The masks are non-medical grade, reusable and washable. They have an interior pocket that can fit a filter and adjustable behind-the-ear straps. While you can’t pick your prints, if you opt for a pack, you get three neutrals (plaids, solids and stripes) and three prints (like florals and paisleys).

Find a single mask for $10 at The Odells.

10
Old Navy
Old Navy
Old Navy is now offering packs with five masks that are triple-layered and made completely from cotton poplin. They’re reusable and non-medical grade. The prints, patterns and colors of the masks are a surprise. There’s another mask pack that’s just for kids, too.

Find this pack of five masks for $13 at Old Navy. Keep in mind that the pack is on backorder until June 7.

11
Paige
Paige
Paige, known for all its jeans, now has a four-pack of masks that are made completely from cotton and use the brand’s extra fabrics and materials. Each pack comes in an assortment of colors and patterns. You can tie the straps.

Find the pack of four masks for $20 at Paige.

12
Reformation
Reformation
Reformation, known for its sustainable floral dresses and denim, now has sets of non-medical, reusable masks with ties. The masks are made from tencel, viscose or cotton blends. They’ll come in different prints and colors or all be the same in the set.

Find this pack of five masks for $25 at Reformation.

13
Shopbop
Shopbop
Shopbop now has an entire section dedicated to face covers and protective measures. There’s everything from nylon gloves to surface wipes. But, by far, this section has more masks than anything, including single masks from designers like Natasha Zinko. The best deal we’ve seen? This pack of five masks, which are reusable and have elastic straps.

Find this pack of five for $32 at Shopbop.

14
Uncommon Goods
Uncommon Goods
Uncommon Goods has sets of masks for adults and kiddos. The sets include two masks, which have two layers of cotton and attached strings that loop for an adjustable fit. The designs on the masks were created by kids and have a little message, like “keep smiling.” All the profits (yup 100%) from these masks will go NYC Health + Hospitals.

Find adult set for $25 and the kid set for $25 at Uncommon Goods.

15
Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters now offers different single masks. There’s a mask with a Kawaii face print. You’ll find another with lunar phases. But the best bargains are probably are the masks that are $12 for one or $18 for two, including these floral and striped ones. You can pick the print. They’re made from cotton, rayon and spandex and have adjustable self-ties.

You can get one of these masks for $12 or two for $18 at Urban Outfitters. Keep in mind that these masks are for preorder and will ship around June 3, which is earlier than the other masks the company has.

16
Vida
Vida
Vida sells protective masks as singles, pairs or four-packs. The masks are made of 100% cotton, have two layers and feature adjustable straps. Each masks comes with a filter that should be replaced every seven days. You can choose between different colors in the single and pair packs. The four-pack has two color options and is $36.

Find this single mask for $10 or two masks for $18 at Vida.

17
Vistaprint
Vistaprint
You might know Vistaprint for its business cards and invitations, but it recently introduced lots of masks to its site. All the masks have free shipping and 10% of the profits will go to small businesses. Vistaprint is offering both adult and child masks. The masks have an inner layer that’s 100% cotton and anti-allergenic.

You can preorder this mask and it’ll ship by May 28.

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