Here’s where to buy one right now.

By Megan Soll
June 26, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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Since COVID-19 has taken hold, face masks have become the rule rather than the exception in our daily lives. It’s now clear that wearing a cloth face mask is the best way to prevent transmission while indoors and in public spaces, and that includes the most essential errand: getting groceries. The Centers for Disease Control recommends face coverings in public settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain. Until a vaccine is developed, wearing a mask is the most important habit we can practice to protect ourselves and the communities we live in.

Old Navy

Why You Should Wear a Mask

The best line of defense after grocery shopping or picking up food from your favorite restaurant is washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. While you’re on location at the grocery store, it is possible transmission might happen from non-food surfaces, but it’s far more likely to happen from the people around you. Cloth masks prevent contagious particles from spreading from person to person via coughing, sneezing, talking, and even just breathing. Though they are not 100% effective, they lower the risk considerably, according to research from the CDC. As for the types of masks that are acceptable for the general public, surgical masks and N-95 respirators should be reserved for healthcare workers and medical first responders. For the rest of us, cloth face masks are perfectly sufficient for preventing the spread of viral particles. It’s important to remember that even people who are completely asymptomatic can spread the virus just as easily as individuals with serious symptoms.

How to Wear a Face Covering Correctly

Every person over the age of 2 should be wearing a face mask when in public. According to the CDC guidelines, the most important rules around wearing a face mask include:

  • Keep the mask on for the entire time you’re in the public space
  • Don’t leave it around your neck or forehead
  • Don’t touch the mask, and if you do, wash your hands for 20 seconds afterward
Parachute

How to Clean Your Face Mask

The CDC has a list of guidelines for properly washing face masks. In the washing machine, use the warmest setting with regular laundry detergent (it is fine to wash with your other laundry). To wash by hand, make a simple bleach solution with 4 teaspoons of household bleach per quart of room temperature water, soak the mask for 5 minutes, then rinse it out. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. To dry the face mask, use the highest heat setting in the dryer or lay it flat in direct sunlight.

What to Look for in a Face Mask 

There are a few types of face masks, including double-layered cotton, silicone styles with interchangeable filters, and the medical-grade masks (which, again, should be reserved for healthcare professionals treating sick patients). Your mask should cover your nose, mouth, and chin and use ear loops to stay in place. Ideally, cloth masks should be made of tightly woven layers of 100% cotton. Be sure to find the correct size for children, leaving no gaps. Look for materials that can be sanitized or washed easily and that won’t degrade after multiple rinses with bleach or a few rounds in the washing machine.

Where to Buy Face Masks

Hundreds of retailers are now selling masks at varying sizes, styles, and price points. We rounded up plenty of options, from standard cotton face masks to those with filters and a few with kids’ sizes as well. If you can afford it, consider some of the options that either donate masks or contribute to charities from proceeds. Giving back is a great bonus to protecting yourself and others. Be sure to wash your new masks before wearing for the first time and after each time you subsequently wear them. (Disclaimer: These are non-medical grade masks and are not acceptable replacements for N95, surgical, or procedural masks.)

Lucky Brand

Affordable Face Masks

These mask brands have bundles that add up to less than $10 per mask, and most are under $6 apiece:

Parachute, 5 masks for $30 at parachutehome.com

Avocado, 4 masks for $30 at avocadogreenmattress.com

American Eagle, 3 masks for $9-$13 at ae.com

Lucky Brand, 5 masks for $25 at luckybrand.com

Gap, 3 masks for $15 at gap.com

Old Navy, 5 masks for $12.50 at oldnavy.gap.com

Society of Threads, 6 masks for $25 at macys.com

Levi’s, 3 masks for $15 at levi.com

Everlane, 3 masks for $28 at everlane.com

Athleta, 5 masks for $30 at athleta.gap.com

Madewell, 3 masks for $20 at madewell.com

Anthropologie, 3 masks for $18-$25 at anthropologie.com

Sanctuary Clothing, 3 or 5 masks for $21-$28 at sanctuaryclothing.com

String King, $7 per mask at stringking.com

Buck Mason, 5 masks for $20 at buckmason.com

Vida, 2 for $18 at shopvida.com

Caraa, 5 for $25 at caraasport.com

Hedley & Bennett

Face Masks With Filters

These cloth masks have pockets sewn in for replaceable filters, for an extra level of protection:

Baggu, 3 for $32 at baggu.com

Society6, $14 each at society6.com

Avocado, 4 for $30 at avocadogreenmattress.com

Hedley & Bennett, 3 for $45 at hedleyandbennett.com

Society of Threads, 6 masks for $25 at macys.com

Vistaprint, $13-$18 each at vistaprint.com

Express, $16 each at express.com

Casetify, 3 for $40 at casetify.com

Subzero, $19-$29 each at subzeromasks.com

Abacaxi, $30 each at abacaxi-nyc.com

Vida, 2 for $18 at shopvida.com

Caraa, 5 for $25 at caraasport.com

American Eagle

Best Face Masks for People With Glasses

The following brands have options that include a built-in wire that can form the mask to your face, decreasing the chance of fogging up your glasses:

American Eagle, 3 masks for $9-$13 at ae.com

Society of Threads, 6 masks for $25 at macys.com

Athleta, 5 for $30 at athleta.gap.com

Anthropologie, 3 masks for $18-$25 at anthropologie.com

Los Angeles Apparel, 3 for $30 at losangelesapparel.com

Vida, 2 for $18 at shopvida.com

Caraa, 5 for $25 at caraasport.com

Baggu

100 Percent Cotton Cloth Face Masks

Baggu, 3 for $32 at baggu.com

Parachute, 5 masks for $30 at parachutehome.com

Avocado, 4 masks for $30 at avocadogreenmattress.com

Hedley & Bennett, 3 for $45 at hedleyandbennett.com

Steele Canvas x Food52, 2 for $22 at food52.com

American Eagle, 3 masks for $9-$13 at ae.com

Lucky Brand, 5 for $25 at luckybrand.com

Gap, 3 masks for $15 at gap.com

Old Navy, 5 masks for $12.50 at oldnavy.gap.com

Society of Threads, 6 masks for $25 at macys.com

Levi’s, 3 masks for $15 at levi.com

Everlane, 3 masks for $28 at everlane.com

Rag & Bone, 3 for $55 at ragandbone.com

Los Angeles Apparel, 3 for $30 at losangelesapparel.com

Madewell, 3 masks for $20 at madewell.com

Anthropologie, 3 masks for $18-$25 at anthropologie.com

Sanctuary Clothing, 3 or 5 masks for $21-$28 at sanctuaryclothing.com

Uncommon Goods, 2 for $25 at uncommongoods.com

String King, $7 per mask at stringking.com

Express, $16 each at express.com

Casetify, 3 for $40 at casetify.com

Subzero, $19-$29 each at subzeromasks.com

Abacaxi, $30 each at abacaxi-nyc.com

Vida, 2 for $18 at shopvida.com

Macy's

Mask Brands With Kids’ Sizes

Avocado, 4 masks for $30 at avocadogreenmattress.com

Steele Canvas x Food52, 2 for $22 at food52.com

Gap, 3 for $15 at gap.com

Old Navy, 5 fro $12.50 at oldnavy.gap.com

Athleta, 5 for $30 at athleta.gap.com

Society of Threads, 5 for $25 at macys.com

Levi’s, 3 for $15 at levi.com

Los Angeles Apparel, 3 for $30 at losangelesapparel.net

Sanctuary Clothing, 5 for $25 at sanctuaryclothing.com

Uncommon Goods, 2 for $25 at uncommongoods.com

Vistaprint, $13 each at vistaprint.com

String King, $7 each at stringking.com

General Mask Sellers

Amazon face coverings and masks, prices vary; amazon.com

Etsy Reusable Face Masks, prices vary; etsy.com

Nordstrom Rack Masks, prices vary; nordstromrack.com

Anthropologie Reusable Face Masks, prices vary; anthropologie.com

Express Face Coverings, prices vary; express.com

Reusable Face Masks, prices vary; zazzle.com