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If you’re going to be wearing face masks for the foreseeable future, you might as well pick a couple that actually look half-decent when you step outside the door. And while hundreds of companies are now pushing printed, colorful face masks that range from basic to bizarre, it’s best to choose a mask like you’d choose a scarf or baseball cap. Pick something with a neutral pattern or color that you can throw over your face without feeling self-conscious or looking like you’re back in high school.
As an accessory designed to help prevent the spread of germs, the best face coverings should first and foremost fit the shape of your face (just like a hat should fit the shape of your head to protect you from the sun). Per the latest CDC guidelines, the best face masks should fit snugly over your mouth and nose, and tuck under your chin. Straps should hang securely around your ears without tugging. From there, skip the graffiti prints and blinged-out contraptions for these masks below, inspired by classic bandanas, camp blankets and even a favorite T-shirt. They’re just as soft and easy to care for too — most of the picks on our list are machine-washable and reusable.
Keep in mind these cloth face coverings are not intended for medical use, and should not be considered PPE (personal protective equipment) for use by healthcare workers.
With mask-wearing orders in place around the country, it’s time to pick up a pack of stylish, comfortable face masks you’ll actually want to wear. Here are a few of our favorites to get you started.
1. Bugatchi Face Mask
Bugatchi is known for their fine men’s shirting, and this palm print face mask is inspired by their collection of resort wear. The stretchy mask is treated with a Silvadur 930 antimicrobial coating, that lasts up to 50 washes. The mask comes with comfortable ear straps and slot for a filter (filter sold separately). If you want a luxe upgrade from a basic cloth mask, you’ll want to see all of Bugatchi’s stylish face masks, which range from chambray to floral to watercolor-inspired prints.
2. Everlane The 100% Human Face Mask
Get a five-pack of these chic and charming masks from Everlane. The cotton masks feature a subtle tie-dye print, plus stretchy lycra loops around the ears. Part of Everlane’s 100% Human collection, the company is donating 10% of sales to the ACLU for every five-pack of masks sold.
3. Masksup Camo Mask
We like this ultra-lightweight and breathable mask from Masksup that prevents dust, pollen, mold and other microscopic airborne particles from coming into your nose and mouth. The camo print design is always a good choice too. Masksup says its face masks are tested to hold a minimum of 99% prevention against particles down to the size of 0.1µm (tinier than a human hair).
The company says the mask can be washed and reused up to 60 times without losing its protective properties. It’s also made with an eco-friendly latex that’s soft and gentle against the face (the latex is also naturally dust mite-resistant).
4. PopSockets Indigo Face Mask
PopSockets, the brand known for making cell phone grips and stands is now branching out into face masks. Get a reusable, washable mask with an included PM 2.5 activated carbon filter. PopSockets says 10% of every sale of a face mask and filter pack goes to Doctors Without Borders. See all the different PopSockets face masks here.
5. Brave New Look “Artist Hall of Fame” Mask
To most people, this protective face covering will just look like a printed mask, but because you’re so cultured, you’ll know this is inspired by Mondrian’s iconic painting, “Composition with Red Blue and Yellow.” Brave New Look offers masks for adults and children. Each mask comes with a PM2.5 filter that works to trap and filter out dangerous particles and liquid droplets in the air. The masks are all machine-washable; we recommend changing out the filters after one week of use (you can buy the PM2.5 filters in bulk here).
6. LAmade Washable 2-Layer Reversible Mask
Taylor Swift recently made the cardigan a thing again, and this US-made mask is like a cozy cardigan for your face — only made with an airy cotton blend that won’t feel hot or suffocating. The reversible mask features a classic knit design on one side and a solid color on the other. This mask is machine washable and will only soften over time.
7. O’Neill Fashion Face Mask
Surf brand, O’Neill just came out with a line of face masks inspired by its classic board short designs. This one’s made from a soft microfiber fabric, with stretchy elastic straps around the ear. They’re as comfortable as a pair of shorts, and you can easily toss them in the washing machine and dryer too.
8. FOCO Gameday Gaiters
FOCO just launched a new line of “Gameday Gaiter Scarves” and face covers that will be worn by a majority of Major League Baseball players throughout the season (some players already sported these gaiters on opening day). FOCO has hundreds of athletes, teams and logos represented, and not just for baseball either — choose from college sports, NASCAR, basketball, football and more. See their full selection of gaiters and face masks here.
9. Levi’s Re-Usable Reversible Face Mask
This set gets you three masks from Levi’s in the classic All-American bandana print. The masks are reversible too if you prefer a solid color. Each mask is machine-washable, and comes with the iconic Levi’s red tab flag on the inside. Choose from two sizes: small or large.
10. Brixton Antimicrobial Face Mask
If you want a subtle upgrade from a basic black mask, we like this one from Brixton. The popular skate brand adds a little tweed-like texture to this protective mask, which is made from cotton/polyester/hemp blend. Brixton says the material is finished with an antimicrobial coating, and a four-way stretch for ease of movement.
If you want something a little more out there, Brixton makes a few more adventurous designs as well (ahem, leopard print) which have the same antimicrobial properties.
11. SMRTFT Sports Masks
These SMRTFIT Sports Masks are some of the most comfortable masks we’ve tested, made from a comfortable and flexible fabric that makes them our go-to choice for a workout or jog outdoors.
The masks slide over your neck like a scarf, and you then pull the fabric above your nose to wear as a mask. SMRTFT says its MICROKNIT filter fabric blocks 99% of ultra fine dust particles (particles that are 40 times smaller than a human hair). We’ve thrown our SMRTFT mask in the wash countless times and it’s still retained its shape and protective properties.
12. Lost + Wander Face Coverings
For a subtle print that won’t look obnoxious, we like these super lightweight masks from Cali-based accessories brand, Lost + Wander. The unisex masks are made from a cotton/linen blend, which makes sense, since the designs call to mind a breezy summer linen shirt or blanket. The masks sit gently against your face and the material won’t irritate your skin. Note: these are hand-wash only.
13. Champion Lay Flat Wicking Masks
For a stylish take on camo print, we like this wicking mask from Athletic brand, Champion. It’s made from a lightweight, moisture-wicking polyester and spandex mix, and is machine-washable. The material keeps you cool, while the spandex lets you move and run freely without worrying about the mask falling off. As the name suggests, this mask sits more “flat” against the face, rather than bulging out, making for a more natural, comfortable fit.
14. Mack Weldon Silver Mask
Another subtle camo print, this one is from Mack Weldon, known for their super soft T-shirts, sweats and underwear. Mack Weldon says the masks use a blend of silky Supima cotton and real, antimicrobial silver. The masks are water-resistant too, making them great if you need to run errands in the rain, or if you work up a sweat during your workout.
15. Mother Denim “Don’t Spray It” Face Mask
As easy to wear as a pair of jeans, this denim mask wraps around the head (not the ears) for extra comfort and adjustability. Lined with 100% cotton, it’s lightweight enough to not feel stuffy but durable enough to hold up to all conditions outdoors. Prefer a bolder print? Mother Denim makes a bright floral mask here.
16. Gemelli Face Covering
A lightweight, gingham-style cotton makes this mask both stylish and breathable. This one comes with a malleable wire bar to clip around your noise, plus a removable PM2.5 filter. You also get two bonus PM2.5 replacement filters with your purchase.