Earlier this summer, it seemed like the pandemic had finally turned a corner. A growing number of people were getting vaccinated, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that those who were fully vaccinated could stop wearing masks in most scenarios. And then, the Delta variant arrived.
Now, COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing across the country and the CDC recommends that people who live in areas where spread of the virus is “substantial or high” (read: most of the country) should mask up again, regardless of vaccination status. So… those disposable masks you burned in your back-to-normal celebration could come in handy right about now.
Sure, you probably (hopefully?) still have a few cloth masks laying around somewhere that you can use. But a good stock of disposable masks are incredibly handy to stash in your bag, your car, and by your front door for when you need to mask up in a flash. The upside—if there is one in this kind of situation—is that there are still plenty of good disposable masks out there. Just keep in mind that, with people heading back to school and offices reopening, some of these masks are selling out fast. Snatch up these disposable masks while you still can.
Vida KN95 Mask, Pack of 10
A quality KN95 mask is one of the next best things you can get to an N95 mask (which, sorry, are still reserved for healthcare workers). Vida’s KN95s block 95% of airborne particles 0.3 microns or larger. They also have five layers of protection and a flexible nose wire for that perfect fit. Choose between white, black, cyan, gray, and coral colors.
Ztanps Face Mask, Pack of 50
Prefer a surgical-style mask? This pack from Ztanps is an Amazon bestseller. It features masks in a classic blue or sleek black shade—your choice. Each mask offers three layers of protection and a soft nose wire to help perfectly mold your mask to your face.
Powecom KN95 Face Mask, Pack of 10
Powecom’s KN95 masks repeatedly sell out, and with good reason: They’re on the Food and Drug Administration’s list of emergency use authorized PPE. Powecom’s masks filter out up to 95% of airborne particles, and have a moldable nose wire to help you get a snug fit. Fans also swear they’re lightweight and comfortable to wear.
Modacare Level-1 Mask, Pack of 50
Modacare’s surgical masks are authorized by the FDA for use in healthcare settings, so they should do a pretty solid job protecting you at the grocery store. Enjoy three layers of protection and a soft, breathable fabric that you can barely feel. A bendable metal nose strip helps you get a solid fit.
KF94 Disposable Face Masks, 10-Pack
While not as well-known in the U.S. as N95s and KN95s, KF94s are the Korean equivalent of the N95. They’re crafted from four layers of polypropylene for solid filtration, but feel comfortable and lightweight on your face. A cool feature these masks have that KN95s don’t: You can easily tighten the ear loops with straps by the front of the mask.
Evolve Together Paris Face Mask, 7-Pack
Evolve Together masks are designed to be taken on the go. Each pack comes with a “mask keeper” that allows you to easily fold up your mask into a neat square, where it stays protected until you’re ready to use it. The surgical style masks are hypoallergenic and latex-free, and 10% of each mask sold works to restore waterside forests in the Pacific Northwest to help protect migrating orcas.
Aihou Disposable Face Masks for Kids, 50-Pack
Got little ones on your shopping list? Aihou’s surgical-style masks come in a slew of fun patterns kids gravitate toward, including hearts, planets, and stars. An adjustable nose wire lets the kiddos get a snug fit, too.
Mystcare Disposable Face Mask, 50-Pack
Tossing a disposable mask in your bag means you’ll have an extra one in case of emergency, but it also leaves it vulnerable to attracting lint and other gunk lurking around in there. Mystcare’s three-layer masks come individually wrapped, making them easy to grab and go. Choose from a slew of different colors, including yellow, pink, purple, green, and a variety pack.
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