By now, you've stocked up on cute cloth face masks. You know the hack to use if your mask is too loose, and you've dabbled in double-masking. You're basically a pro at preventing dreaded maskne. And you even know how to DIY your own face mask in a pinch.
But let's be real, sometimes you just need a disposable mask. They’re one-use, so you don’t have to worry about washing them (who has the time?). If you misplace them, it’s no big deal, something that’s particularly pertinent for kids (or their forgetful parents). And, you can get packs in a variety of colors to switch it up, depending on your #ootd. Disposable face masks often come in packs of 50 to 100, and the cost typically breaks down to less than $1 per mask, so they're budget-friendly, too.
Face masks continue to be "one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread" of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), so you might as well stock up. And now, with new guidance from the CDC urging everyone to mask up to protect against the Omicron variant, having a few extra around definitely can't hurt.
What is the best disposable face mask for adults?
In the early days of the pandemic, you probably heard about the mask shortage. The best type of face mask is an N95 mask, but the CDC still recommends that those only be used by healthcare personnel (since pandemics, like the COVID-19 pandemic, tend to deplete their supply). N95 masks are tight-fitting masks with respirators that can successfully filter at least 95 percent of particles in the air. While these masks are a great option, you can find plenty of other masks that also provide protection and won't take away from essential workers' PPE needs.
How can you identify a good disposable mask?
First, you should make sure your mask has more than one layer, or that it's woven with tight material. To figure out how tightly woven your mask is, you can conduct a candle test, says Suzanne Pham, MD, the Medical Director of the COVID-19 response team atWeiss Memorial Hospital. While wearing your mask as you regularly would, hold a candle about a foot away from you and try to blow it out. "If it blows out, that means your masks is probably not doing as great of a job. If it doesn’t blow out very easily, then that probably means the fibers are quite tight and are trapping in particles well," says Dr. Pham.
You can also do a quick test with your phone light. Shine your phone's flashlight through your mask and see how well you can see it on the other side. "If the light can be seen quite clearly, that means that the fibers of your mask are not woven tightly enough," says Dr. Pham. "So it’s not going to be able to trap the viral articles as you’re exhaling them compared to one where the light isn’t seen as well."
But the most important thing when it comes to a good disposable mask is ensuring the proper fit, says Dr. Pham. Your mask should fit properly above the nasal bridge and wrap under the chin. There should be no large gaps between the mask and your cheeks, adds Dr. Pham. The mask should also have a metal nose piece that allows you to shape the top of the mask around the bridge of your nose appropriately.
Though that's a lot to take into account, don't fret. You can find tons of different disposable masks at the click of a button. Whichever one you choose, make sure your mask fits snugly against the face, covers your nose and below the chin, has multiple layers of fabric—ideally, at least three—and is secured with ear loops or ties. These are the best disposable masks on Amazon right now, according to user reviews.
These black face masks are a great basic to keep on hand. They come in a pack of 50, so you won't need to order a new box every other day. Plus, each mask has three layers of fabric for added protection.
Rave review: "These are great. I like the texture, the lightweight material, the comfortable fit and breathability. I used to wear a hand made one from black material and it was too thick and caused acne on my face. These are much more forgiving and comfortable and when put on the nose correctly, seem to cause less fog on glasses/sun glasses. The stretch is good and looks good on the face. They don't slip down. Glad I got these."
These masks come in blue, grey, pink, or black, so you can stock up on your favorites (or all four!). With a nose clip and a plastic seal around each box, these are an easy choice for a classic mask that still offers plenty of protection.
Rave review: "They’re comfortable and my glasses don’t fog up. The strings are soft and don’t pull on my ears, which is such a relief. I like my cloth masks but they can pull or fall off if I don’t adjust them just right. A friend recommended these and I’m so glad she did."
Patterns are a foolproof way to up your mask game. This pack of 100 disposable masks is bright, fun, and perfect for older kids and adults alike. And, yep, all come with a metal nose piece for the perfect fit.
Rave review: "My daughter wanted these for school but i ended up using them as much as she does! I work 10hr shifts at work and they are not hot and they don't get the fuzzys in the inside that tickle your nose or lips I ordered another pattern by far our favs."
This pack of mask offers six colors and a unique four-layered design. The pastel colors (plus a nice, basic black) are pretty, but not too loud for the workplace.
Rave review: "These are a beautiful colorful mask they are comfortable to wear all day long. I have a different color for each scrub that I wear every day love to be in fashion even when I work in scrubs!"
Designed specifically for smaller faces, these come in a variety of colors—including an adorable pattern of pink or brown puppies—and offer up multiple layers of protection to keep your little one safe at school or on the playground.
Rave review: “My kids love these masks as they are comfortable and cute. And with the affordable price I’m not upset if they break or lose it or decide to change each day.”
So maybe you don’t want to look like a doctor. These three-layer masks come in six pleasing pastel colors (including a pink butterfly print) so you can mix and match depending on your outfit. Take that, earrings.
Rave review: “These are not super thick but they do the job and you can still have that little bite of fashion.”
Okay, so this mask is technically reusable, but it comes with four disposable filters you can toss and replace after each use.
Rave review: “I’ve tried a lot of masks and this one ranks really high for fit and comfort. The adjustable ear loops allow for personalized face fitting...The filter pocket is easy to access and the four neatly packaged filters that come with the mask are an added plus... Ordering more immediately.”
A pack of bright face masks is the perfect addition to your mask wardrobe. They'll match almost any outfit—plus, each mask is individually wrapped (so they're perfect for sharing with others!).
Rave review: "These masks are very comfortable and cover well. I like the bright colors and the nose wire and ear loops are great. I'm happy with my purchase and feel it was a good value for the money."
These masks come in a variety of patterns, including a super chic animal print. They're inexpensive and come with all of the protective details you'd expect, like three layers and an adjustable nose bridge.
Rave review: "Nice pattern and a change from the plain color disposable masks. Very soft and fits nicely!"
These tie dye masks are sure to be a hit in any household! Their small size and gradient pattern makes them a great option for kids.
Rave review: "This mask is the perfect fit for my 9 year old. She loves the rainbow colors ! So it’s easy to get her to wear this. It has a metal secure nose piece bendable just like the adults masks, yet these straps fit just right. It’s not engulfing the chin like the adult masks do...Breathable and comfortable."
Grab a pack of camouflage face masks. One box contains all five colors, so no need to buy a bunch of packs to get your favorite. They're all individually wrapped, too, so you can quickly grab one and get out the door.
Rave review: "They’re super lightweight and breathable, and I LOVE the reinforced bendable nose band. It’s super comfortable to wear, and each is prepackaged so they’re perfect to leave in the car for 'just in case'. Absolutely will purchase again."
Make a statement with these lace masks! Grab the variety pack or stock up on just your favorite color. They're individually-wrapped and offer three layers of protection (and a nose clip, too).
Rave review: "These masks are super cute! These masks are fun lacy colors & definitely spice up your typical boring disposable mask!💜💜These masks are the standard 3ply masks, but they are pretty thick, so they could be worn alone or together with a cloth one. The design/pattern is exactly like the picture shown, so you really get what you paid for."
These kids' face masks have extra-wide straps for added comfort and security, in case those elastics hurt your little one's ears. (Oh, and they also make an adult size!)
Rave review: "I ordered the mask for my daughter so she can have some relief from masks with elastic. Her school requires masks for the students so wearing them for 6 hours can be a hustle. They are comfortable, breathable and durable. Very easy to put on. Don't bother behind the ear.I can recommend them!"
These masks come in an assortment of muted colors that will match any wardrobe. Tired of that same old blue shade? Try dusty rose or navy.
Rave review: "I work in the emergency department & these are awesome! they have a seal for the nose that doesn’t make my protection goggles fog up, not to mention they’re super cute!!!"
These face masks come wrapped in packets and feature four layers of protection. With an adjustable nose bridge and wide earloops, these masks are an excellent option for under $15.
Rave review: "Wanted a bigger size mask that didn't pull on my ears like the standard blue ones do. Saw a lot of reviews saying these were big and I was not disappointed. They fit me well, not tight on my ears, I can wear all day no issues. Haven't had any straps break. Would buy again without hesitation when I need more."
With black elastic and a pretty shade range, these disposable masks look a little fancier than others. They also come in sizes for kids, and the individual seal on each one makes them easy to throw in your purse or your car.
Rave review: "These are so comfortable. And the colors are gorgeous. I get compliments every time I wear them. Every color is pretty."
This bright pack of 100 face masks is perfect for a busy household. With 20 of each design, you can stop fights over which mask to wear before they even happen. (And, how cute are they?)
Rave review: "I teach kindergarten. They are perfect for my little people ❤."
Looking for something simpler? Try these masks, which have thicker ear loops and a 3D structure. Customers in the reviews love the way this mask stands out from the wearer's nose and mouth.
Rave review: "Not having a string around my ear all day is such a relief. The adjustable soft band that goes on your ear is so soft you don’t have sore ears after a long day of wearing this mask. The mask is secure and breathable. I’m always out of breath thanks to my asthma and having a triple layer mask that allows me to breath and not block my nostrils or mouth when I’m breathing heavy is great."
Geometric patterns make these masks a standout. Get ready for plenty of compliments—and keep the link handy, in case anyone asks where you got them.
Rave review: "They fit great, are not itchy and I feel protected. Since these stated 3 ply I decided to do the candle test and they passed!! You can not blow out a candle while wearing these so I feel extremely safe ! Will continue to buy. Im actually excited for this set to run out so I can buy the colored ones."
If you already have a large pack of disposable masks and find they just don’t fit right, you don't have to toss 'em. These ear loop extenders, which help adjust the fit and relieve tension on the ears, can be particularly important for those of us who have to wear masks for hours upon hours each day.
Rave review: "I absolutely love these mask extenders. I have very sensitive skin and having to wear a mask all day around my ears is super painful. Using the mask extender, I can take the mask straps off of my ears and still wear my mask comfortably."