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The best face masks: Where to buy safe face coverings

Best face masks
(Image credit: Rike_ at Getty Images)

Knowing where to buy the best face masks is more important than ever. With governments the world over increasingly requesting face masks be worn in many social situations, and with stocks in and out of supply, knowing where you can get a face mask quickly is essential. 

Whether you want a graphic, stylish face covering, or a medical-grade PPE, we can help you out. Here, we've compiled a list of online retailers that currently stock face masks, and can deliver straight to your door.

We also got more up-to-date content on face masks. If you'd rather make your own face mask, see our guides to how to make a face mask. And if you're in the UK, get more advice on the best face masks that you can get right now. Finally, we've got information on the best kids' face masks too. 

Jump straight to: 

Where to buy a face mask: US

Our favourite face mask overall |  $18/$13 at 3 Vistaprint
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 you or your little ones.
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Best handmade face masks | From $12 at 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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Best for kids | 4 pack 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, and are expected to ship by the end of July.
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Best made in the USA | $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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Best disposable face mask | 50 pack 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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Best reusable face masks | 2 pack 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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Best balaclava | $15.73 at Zappos
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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Best medical-grade face masks  | 30% off 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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Best ethical face masks | 5 for $25 at Caraa
Caara 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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Best stylish face masks | $30 at 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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Best funky face mask | $12 at Sock Cares
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

Stylish face mask designs – £12 for two at ASOS
Fashion supplier ASOS has recently starting selling face masks, and right now they've got some seriously cool designs. And they won't break the bank, just £12 for two – bargain.
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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.View Deal

Should you wear a face mask?

Whether you should wear a face mask mostly depends on which country that you live in, as governments guidelines vary. In the US, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you wear a face mask if you are in a place where it's hard to maintain social distancing, for example when you're shopping. New York has made it mandatory to wear face masks in public when social distancing isn't possible (see CNN's list of states here for a comprehensive look at where to wear a face mask). 

The UK government has advised the public to wear a face mask whenever possible where social distancing is not always possible. It is also now mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport in England and Scotland.

All this makes the question of where to buy a face mask even more pressing. Above you'll find our pick of the face masks currently available.

What to consider when buying a face mask

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 want to touch the mask as little as possible once it is on, 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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