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Where to buy a face mask: quality face coverings in stock now

(Image credit: Vistaprint)

Where to buy a face mask is a question many are asking right now. Sales of medical-grade and non-medical face masks have probably never been higher, and face coverings of all different types are selling out quickly all over the world. That's why we've put together this list of online retailers that still have face masks in stock, and, of course, deliver.

Bear in mind that our list doesn't include medical face masks: the face coverings listed below are unlikely to protect you from getting COVID-19. However, the general advice is that wearing a cloth or homemade face mask can help protect other people, if you're carrying the virus without realising it, for example. And in some places, governments are recommending people cover their faces outside the home, or requiring that their citizens do so. And that's where we can help – you'll find an up-to-date list of where to buy non-medical face masks below.

If you'd rather make your own, see our guides to how to make a face mask, which details three easy ways to make one at home.

Where to buy face masks in the US:

  • Vistaprint – Adults and kids RNS face masks for $18/$13
  • Disney – Cloth masks featuring best-loved characters for $19.99
  • Zappos – face mask and balaclavas from $15.73
  • Stringking – CDC-recommended cloth masks for just $6.99
  • Etsy.com – patterned face masks for as a little at $4
  • Caraa Cares – 5 face masks for just $25
  • Los Angeles Apparel - 3 adjustable face masks for only $30
  • Sock Cares – funky face masks for only $12

Where to buy face masks in the UK:

  • Etsy.co.uk – artist face masks from just £3.99
  • Easylife – Standard CE approved surgical face masks, 30 for £29.99
  • Buff – stylish face coverings at low prices
  • Ebay.co.uk – washable face masks at a bargain price
  • HYPE – get three face masks for £24.99 with 100% of profits to the NHS
  • Silkies – two protective face masks for $16.99

Should you wear a face mask?

Official advice on whether you should wear a face mask while out in public differs from country to country. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US recommends wearing a face mask if you are in a place where it's hard to maintain social distancing – in the supermarket, for example. Some states such as New York have made it mandatory to wear face masks in public when social distancing isn't possible (different rules apply in different places, see CNN's list of states here). 

The UK government recently advised residents to wear a face mask when visiting enclosed public places where social distancing is not always possible. However, the guidance does not require people to wear one by law.   

Elsewhere, rules in Germany make the wearing of face masks on public transport, long-distance trains and shop a legal requirement in most states. All this makes the question of where to buy a face mask even more pressing. Below you'll find our pick of the face masks currently available, but if you want some more information before you decide, jump to our things to consider when buying a face mask section. 

Where to buy a face mask: US

Buy handmade face masks in the US from Etsy
There are a wide variety of face mask options available on Etsy's US store, including plain face masks to those with fun patterns and messages – like this pictured mask from CassysTopShop. Buying from Etsy also means supporting independent creatives.
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Vistaprint RNS face masks for kids and adults for $18/$13
Engineered with a Replaceable Nanofilter System, these Vistaprint face masks are tailored for comfort, and come printed in unique designs. Choose from dinosaurs, planets and smiley faces for your little ones. Ships by 28 May.
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Disney's cloth face masks, pack of 4 for $19.99
Disney has created a series of cloth face masks featuring some of its most beloved characters. All profits from sales of the masks (up to $1million) will be donated to Medshare. These are available to pre-order now, but don't expect to ship until the end of June.
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USA-made cloth masks for just $6.99 at StringKing
Made in the USA, these cloth masks follow CDC recommendations for cloth facial coverings. The mask is created from a two-ply washable cloth and two layers of fabric, and is also available to purchase in bulk.  
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Disposable 3-layer face mask, pack of 50 for $39.99 at StringKing
This single-use face mask is designed to provide a general barrier to protect the wearer from the environment and vice versa. Available to purchase in boxes of 50, 1000, half pallet (24,000) and full pallets (48 cases, 48,000 masks).

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Pack of two protective face masks for $16.99 at Silkies
Featuring a two-ply fabric barrier and biocompatible, hydrophobic finish to resist bodily fluids, these protectives face mask are machine washable and reusable. Available to order now with fast delivery.
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Face mask and balaclavas from Zappos from just $15.73
Online clothing retailer Zappos has a wide selection of quality balaclavas, including a face mask available now. There's a variety of colours and designs to choose from, including options for kids.
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Disposable face masks flash sale at Gear Best
If it's a medical-grade face mask you're after, Gear Best still has plenty of options available. Plus the company is running a number of discounts and fast shipping options on a variety of different kit.
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Buy a set of 5 face masks for $25 from Caraa Cares
Caara Cares is designed to get non-medical face masks to as many people as possible. These simple yet stylish masks are made from recycled materials, and come in sets of five ($25). Donations to New York's relief efforts are matched by Caraa.
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Buy a set of 3 face masks for $30 from Los Angeles Apparel
Los Angeles Apparel is selling a set of three face masks, which are handily adjustable to sit snugly around your nose and also have adjustable straps. They're 100% cotton, are made in the USA and they also come in a range of fun (and classic) colours.

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Buy a funky face mask from Sock Cares for $12
Sock Cares has switched some of its usual sock production lines to make face masks. There's a range of masks on offer, for an affordable $12 each for adult masks, $9 for kids. We particularly like the Jazz Solo '80s vibe mask (kids' mask pictured).

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Where to buy a face mask: UK

Get 3 HYPE face masks for £24.99 – one donated and all profits got to the NHS
This great deal from HYPE means not only keeping yourself safe in style, but supporting the NHS and keyworkers too. For every sale, the company will donate another face mask to the NHS, a care home or keyworker. 100% of the profits go to the NHS, too.
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Disposable surgical face masks from Easylife, pack of 30 for £29.99
These Easylife UK Standard CE approved disposable surgical face masks are available to pre-order now. Featuring three protective layers to filter 95% of airborne particles, they're light and comfortable to wear.
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Buy washable face masks from ebay
Okay, so we can't exactly say that every single mask available on ebay is high quality, and the search results do occasionally throw up some curveballs, but there are some decent options here (pictured face mask from esmeonplumisland for £4.99).

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Buy handmade face masks in the UK from Etsy
There are tons of face mask options available on Etsy's UK store, including this pretty strawberry face mask from MagicWardrobe03 (pictured). Check the reviews before you buy and leave your own review once purchased to support sellers.

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Buy Buff face coverings from Go Outdoors
Slightly different to the other face masks options listed, Buff face coverings are designed to be multi-purpose. You can wear them as a scarf, and then pull them up over your mouth and nose when needed, and they'll be good for hiking in future, too.

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Buy Buff face coverings from £14 from Cotswold Outdoor
Costwold Outdoor is another option for Buff face coverings. The Merino Wool Buff Patterned (pictured) comes in three colours and is designed to keep you warm when it's cold, and cool when it's warm. Free delivery when you spend over £50.


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What to consider when buying a face mask

There are plenty of places to buy non-medical, handmade face masks online, but it can feel a little overwhelming trying to choose the right face mask for you. What exactly should you be looking for? 

First of all, consider what type of face mask you want to buy: some are more like bandanas, some are glorified scarves or T-shirts and others are more like the sort of eye mask you might get in a posh spa – but for your mouth and nose. When making your face mask choice, remember that cool features are no good if your face mask isn't functional. Fit is especially important – you want your mask to cover your mouth and nose safely, with no gaps – check the sizing of the mask before you buy it. You also don't want to be touching the mask all the time, so you need one that will stay in place.

And as we're a design site, it'd be rude for us not to mention style considerations. While a face mask isn't a fashion accessory, having one that is aesthetically pleasing can be, well, pleasing, both for you and those around you. 

Also consider comfort – some masks can be uncomfortable around your ears, depending on the material they are made of and how they are fastened – elastic in particular can cause problems if it is too tight, but also think about how long you're likely to be wearing your face mask for. 

The best face masks are also reusable and washable, and many of them come in packs of more than one so you can always have one clean and ready to use. 

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