Face mask or no face mask? Despite the conflicting information on how face coverings work against coronavirus, doing all you can to stay protected shouldn't be a debate. Unfortunately, finding masks in stock is a different problem altogether. Luckily, we know where to look.
Most people touch their face over 20 times per hour on average, and when you're running to the grocery store or another public space, having a mask on is a physical reminder not to do so. Wearing a face mask is one of the best ways to look out for yourself at this point — other than social distancing, washing your hands often, and staying at home.
The CDC has changed its guidance to recommend that all citizens should only go out when wearing some sort of face mask, non-medical preferred. As medical masks are in short supply around the world, it's important to leave these essential supplies for healthcare workers who need them immediately.
Where to find face masks in stock
- RedBubble: shop face masks
- FOCO: shop face masks
- ShopDisney: shop face masks
- B&H: shop face masks
- Zappos: shop face masks
- Newegg: shop face masks
- GearBest: shop face masks
- Los Angeles Apparel: shop face masks
- DailySteals: shop face masks
- Woot: shop face masks
- REI: shop bandanas
- Eastern Mountain Sports: shop balaclavas
- Etsy: shop face masks
- Naturepedic: shop face masks
- Nuzzles: shop Kids' face masks
- Staples: shop face masks
- Office Depot: shop du-rags
- Home Depot: shop face masks
- CVS: shop face masks
Finding face masks at a store near you is pretty difficult, and if you consider just how many stores you'd have to look in to find any, you'd probably be better off just staying home. Luckily, plenty of online retailers are selling face masks right now; even some fashion companies are now selling cloth face masks on their websites. You can generally save a bit by choosing disposible masks over a cloth version, though those will need to be thrown away rather than washed and re-used.
Best stores to shop for face masks
- : Face masks and gaiter scarves at FOCO
- : Cloth face masks at ShopDisney
- : Cloth face masks at B&H
- : Cloth face masks + coverings at Zappos
- : Disposable face masks at Newegg
- : Disposable face masks at GearBest
- : Cloth face masks at Los Angeles Apparel
- : Face masks at DailySteals
With officially-licensed NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB face masks and gaiter scarves, you can keep your face covered when out and about while showing off your team pride. The proceeds are donated to charity and generic designs are also available from $13.
Disney offers four-packs of designs featuring characters and iconography from Star Wars, Marvel, and its own beloved series. All profits from U.S. sales will be donated to MedShare, up to $1 million, and Disney is even donating one million cloth masks to vulnerable communities across the U.S.
B&H has a good selection of face masks to choose from, though the best options are likely the $10 cloth masks. These can be reused after a spin in your home's clothes washer and come in a variety of styles.
Zappos is full of face masks and coverings to choose from, including bandanas and balaclavas. Shipping is free on many items, too.
Newegg has tons of stock available of disposable face masks, though as they're all from third-party sellers, you'll want to keep an eye on the shipping estimate and look for one that's shipping soon.
GearBest has disposable face masks in stock and many options to choose from. If you're looking for the best price on bulk disposable masks, this is one to consider.
These 100% cotton face masks come in a 3-pack for $30 and feature various styles to choose between. They're machine washable so you can re-use them safely, and standard shipping is just $5 within the US.
How to find face masks in stock
Amazon might be the first place you think of when you're looking for essential items, but considering just how many people around the world also use the site, it can be pretty difficult to find any face masks in stock there. Finding face masks anywhere feels like a miracle, and with so many places to search, it can take quite a bit of time too.
We've searched various retailers from Target and Walmart to Lowe's Home Depot, Staples, and more, though for the best and quickest way to buy face masks, the fashion companies are generally going to be your best bet as there are several companies with stock available right now. On the other hand, you might get lucky searching one of the major retailers and buying online for curbside pickup. That could mean the difference between getting your order today and receiving it a few weeks from now.
Just because a store lets you order today doesn't mean their face masks are shipping soon. Be sure to check out the shipping estimate of any product you're interested in ordering so you know how long you'll be waiting for your masks.
Where to find affordable face masks
There are a few different kinds of face masks you could use while heading out in public, and the one you choose will have a bit of an impact on the price. Disposable masks such as the ones available at GearBest and Newegg will be the most affordable at first, though in the long run, this could turn into the most expensive option as they're intended to be thrown away after each use. A bandana like those seen at REI is probably a better option. Starting at just $4 each, it would take a little bit of finessing to use as a face covering but at least you could re-use it after a spin through your clothes washer.
However, the best option right now would likely be a cloth mask. They're re-usable, available between $10 and $15 each, and made to fit properly. They're also readily available at various sites around the internet, like Savilino or Los Angeles Apparel. Kid sizes are available as well; the site Nuzzles is dedicated to them.
On the other hand, you can learn how to make your own face mask with items you should already have around your home, like a cloth t-shirt and a coffee filter.
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