Looking for the best face mask? Here’s what you need to know about different types of face coverings available, when and how to use them, and what to look for when shopping for face masks for the whole family.

Wearing a face mask while in public has become our new normal. It’s how we protect ourselves and others from COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that continues to be a threat here in the U.S. and in other parts of the world.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend the use of face masks, particularly in places and situations where it can be difficult to maintain the social distancing guidelines of six feet or more.

Today, face masks for non-healthcare workers are widely available and you can even design your own personalized face masks from the comfort of your home. Learn more about different types of face masks, when and how to use them, how to take proper care of them, and what to look for when shopping for a face mask.

In This Post:

  • Do Face Masks Protect Against Coronavirus?
  • When & How To Use A Face Mask
  • What’s The Best Face Mask?
  • What To Look For In A Face Mask
  • Create Your Own Custom Face Masks
  • DIY Face Masks: How To Make A Face Mask At Home
  • Face Mask Care

Do Face Masks Protect Against Coronavirus?

Wearing a cloth face mask that covers your mouth and nose is simply a preventative measure, just like washing your hands and maintaining a distance of six feet from others. It’s certainly not a guaranteed way to prevent the virus, but it has been proven to slow the spread of COVID-19. A proper face mask when worn in public can block virus-filled droplets that are expressed into the air when we talk, sneeze or cough. Think of it as an added layer of protection for you and the people around you.

It’s important to note that wearing a face mask is as much about protecting yourself as protecting those around you. That’s because those who are presymptomatic or asymptomatic, meaning they experience no symptoms and likely don’t even know that they’re carrying the virus, can unknowingly spread COVID-19 to others. In short, cloth face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19 and are most effective when used universally within communities. [ Learn more at cdc.gov ]

When & How To Use A Face Mask

The CDC recommends the use of cloth face masks in public places and situations where it’s difficult to maintain six feet of distance from others. If you’re experiencing any of the coronavirus symptoms, including fever, shortness of breath, sore throat or cough, chest pain, loss of sense of taste or smell, general muscle aches or headaches, you should also wear the mask at home.

Face masks are recommended for adults and children over the age of two, however they’re not recommended for people who have trouble breathing or those who can’t take off their mask without help. Remember to wash your hands before putting your mask on, or before helping kids put on or adjust their masks. [ Learn more at cdc.gov ]

What’s The Best Face Mask?

The best face mask is one that fits in a snug yet comfortable way around your face, nose and chin and allows you to breathe freely.

Reusable cloth masks, that can be washed after being used, are a safe and practical option for everyday use. The best cloth face masks are made from multiple layers of breathable fabric that completely cover the nose and mouth but allow for breathing without restrictions. When laundered and dried, the face mask should retain its shape and integrity without showing damage. The face mask should also include ear loops or ties that allow for a comfortable and secure fit. Look for masks that feature stretchy elastic, adjustable ear loops or ties that allow you to tailor the fit to your face.

What To Look For In A Face Mask

There are a few things you should look for when shopping for face masks for your family:

  1. Washable and reusable
  2. Proper size and adjustable fit
  3. Quality cotton fabric
  4. Bonus: Removable Filter

First, start by looking for durable cloth face masks that can be washed frequently and reused throughout the week. The CDC recommends washing your face mask after each use, either by hand or in a washing machine. Check out the Face Mask Care section below for more info.

Another important feature of a face mask is how it fits on your face. Look for masks that are able to cover your nose and mouth completely, providing a snug, comfortable fit on your face. Attached strings that tie behind your head or elastic ear loops should offer a proper fit. Many designs include ear adjusters that let you get a custom fit.

It’s also important to look at the type of fabric the mask is made of. Ideally, you’ll want at least two layers of quality fabric, such as tightly woven cotton or a cotton blend. Some studies suggest that combining cotton with a different fabric for the second layer can increase the effectiveness of a two-layer mask. [ Learn more at mit.edu ]

A bonus feature you’ll find in some face mask designs is a removable carbon filter. The layered filter system uses activated carbon and is more effective at blocking airborne contaminants and pollutants. The filters need to be regularly removed and replaced, depending on the frequency of use.

Create Your Own Custom Face Masks

Wearing a face mask on a daily basis has become our new normal. However, it is still difficult for some to get used to this new routine. That’s why custom made and personalized face masks are such a great option for the whole family. The quality, size and fit along with the face mask’s look and style are all important features.

At Personalization Mall, you can find a variety of face mask styles and designs for men, women and kids. Each custom face mask is made to order and can be customized with your own text, photos, colors, patterns and designs you won’t find anywhere else. They’re perfect for special occasions, like weddings, bridal showers, graduations and more, but they’re also great for everyday use.

Adult Face Mask with Removable Filter

What’s more, these personalized face masks include all the features you can expect from the best face masks, like quality construction that will make them easy to care for, adjustable ear loops for a proper fit, multiple fabric layers and even removable filters. Simply choose the designs you like, select colors, patterns, upload photos, add text and other custom details to create your own custom face masks for virus protection. You can browse all of the available face masks within the Clothing & Accessories store.

Personalized Face Masks For Kids

These kids face masks are soft, comfortable and adjustable, but most importantly they can be customized with your kids’ favorite colors, photos, characters and themes, along with names, initials or monograms so they always know which mask is theirs. Weather they’re going back to school or getting ready for remote learning, kids will need to stay protected in public areas and these masks will ensure they’re ready to head out the door.

Personalized Face Masks For Women

Having to wear a mask doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style. These personalized women’s face masks can be designed any way you want, with your own photos, text, colors, patterns and other custom details. We know there are special occasions you need to attend that require a custom face mask so we made it easy for you to match any style and to make it truly special. You can also design funny face masks and ones that perfectly match your face.

Personalized Face Masks For Men

Cloth face masks in men’s sizes are widely available, but if the style and design is what’s important to you, then designing your own face mask is the way to go. Easily select the colors, patterns and other unique details while customizing with text, photos and more to get the look you want. These men’s face masks are washable and adjustable, and available with optional removable filter.

DIY Face Masks: How To Make A Face Mask At Home

Whether you’re crafty and handy with the sewing machine or not, you can make your own cloth face masks at home with just a few household items. Today, you’ll find no shortage of do-it-yourself face mask tutorials and videos available for all skill levels so you can create your own designs, styles and custom fit face masks for the whole family.

Michaels has put together a handy guide and video for a DIY bandana face mask that involves no sewing. You’ll need a coton bandana or a square 20×20 inch cotton cloth, 2 rubber bands or hair ties and scissors.

If you do have some experience with a sewing machine and 10 minutes to spare, this super easy sewing tutorial from blogger Melanie Ham will show you how to create a fabric face mask with elastic ear loops in just minutes. Melanie also includes information on how to resize the mask to fit kids along with helpful notes and tips to make your project a success.

If you have a bit more time on your hands and you’re handy with the sewing machine, you can create a more fitted face mask with this how-to from the Spruce. This step-by-step guide walks you through the process of creating a mask that contours around your mouth and nose and should take about 30 to 40 minutes to complete.

The CDC also includes some helpful information and tutorials on making your own masks at home, and of course you can also search your favorite crafting blog or website for similar guides in the format your prefer.

Face Mask Care

Once you have your face masks, don’t forget to take care of them and wash them regularly. The CDC even recommends taking care when removing and handling your masks after use, advising to be careful not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth and to wash your hands immediately after.

You can wash fabric face masks by hand or using your washing machine, throwing it in with your regular laundry. The CDC recommends using a warm water, a bleach solution, and drying the masks completely after washing. You can hang the masks to air dry or use your dryer at a high heat setting. [ Learn more at cdc.gov ]

It’s also a good idea to have a small bag or place in your home where you can put your used masks before washing so you don’t come in contact with them before they’re clean. Additionally, you can designate a separate bag or case for clean masks, which we strongly advise you do for kids and teens attending school or afterschool programs. A small makeup bag or pencil case is a good option for this.

There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed our everyday lives. Now that we know how to protect ourselves and our communities from the continued spread of the virus, it’s important to follow the right recommendations and preventive actions, and that includes always having a face mask at hand for you and your whole family.


Kasia Lorenc is a writer and editor at Personalization Mall, covering gifting, home decorating and more.

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