The 9 Best Disposable Masks for Double-Masking to Buy Online
Although the practice isn't recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it's a common guideline among experts including Anthony Fauci, MD, White House advisor and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective," Dr. Fauci told NBC's Today show earlier this year. "That's the reason why you see people either double-masking or doing a version of an N95."
The logic behind multiple masks is that wearing two low-filtration masks, like a cloth or surgical design, can bring you closer to the level of protection provided by high-filtration masks like N95s or KF94s, the version imported from Korea. While a high-filtration mask is always preferred, double-masking is the next best thing, according to Prabhjot Singh MD, PhD, Chief Medical & Scientific Advisor of CV19 CheckUp.
"The way I explain it to my family is that we wear a coat when it's cold outside, but if it's really cold, you need to wear more layers or buy a better coat," Dr. Singh tells Health. "Bottom line: Wearing a 'hi-fi' mask should be the new normal—and double mask if you're still trying to get your hands on one or until prices go down for everyday use."
Of course, it's important to remember that fit is just as important as filtration. Wearing two masks should never cause gaping along the nose, chin, or cheeks. So even though wearing two surgical masks offers better protection than wearing one, according to Dr. Singh, it often leads to poor fit. As a result, he recommends either wearing two tightly woven cloth masks or, even better, a surgical mask with a cloth one.
The most common method for double-masking is pairing a cloth covering with a disposable face mask. And while many of us have already found the perfect reusable face covering, we're still searching for the best disposable option to layer underneath. Luckily, other shoppers have us covered with their selection of the 9 best disposable face masks to shop online.
- Best Medical-Grade: Evolvetogether Color Multipack Face Masks
- Best KN95: WWDoll KN95 Face Mask
- Best Budget: Basic Resources Single-Use Disposable Face Mask
- Best KF94: KN FLAX Premium KF94 Certified Face Mask
- Best for Children: Vanecia Kids Disposable Face Masks
- Best Sustainable: FDA Emergency Use Authorized KN95 Masks
- Best Individually Wrapped: WeCare Individually Wrapped Face Mask
- Best Hypoallergenic: Bio-th Face Masks
- Most Fashionable: Maskc Leopard Face Mask
Best Medical-Grade: Evolvetogether Color Multipack Face Masks
From J.Lo to Ariana Grande, all your favorite celebs keep sporting these disposable masks from Evolvetogether—and it's not just because of the brand's chic colorways. The three-layer masks are medically certified by SGS (a leading testing, inspection, and certification company) with particle filtration efficiency up to 95%. Lightweight and soft to the touch, the masks have water-resistant exteriors and water-absorbing interiors for durability. Plus, they're made with elastic ear loops and nose wires for maximum comfort.
Best KN95: WWDoll KN95 Face Mask
N95 masks are the most effective form of protection against COVID-19, but they should be reserved for medical workers. The next best option for regular shoppers are KN95 masks imported from China. Previously authorized for emergency use by the FDA—a mandate which ended on June 30, 2021—the masks offer the same level of protection against particles as an N95, but don't have to meet the United States' standard set by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Amazon's top picks are the WWDoll Face Masks. Already a favorite of more than 26,600 shoppers, the masks provide five layers of protection and include adjustable nose clips.
Best Budget: Basic Resources Single-Use Disposable Face Masks
Stock up on masks without spending a fortune by selecting this affordable listing from Amazon; it includes 50 disposable face masks for less than $3. Each one offers the standard three layers of protection to block dust, dirt, and pollen, as well as a moldable nose clip. Despite the lower price point, reviewers say the fabric is breathable and comfortable. In fact, the masks have earned more than 9,000 five-star ratings, although a few reviewers had complaints about the durability.
Best KF94: KN FLAX Premium KF94 Certified Face Mask
When it comes to high-filtration options, KF94s should also be on your radar. The face masks, which come from South Korea, offer similar (if not more) protection than KN95s. While the masks did not earn the same emergency use authorization from the FDA as KN95s, experts still gave them the stamp of approval to Health. Export bans on the protective gear made them difficult to acquire earlier in the pandemic, but they're now more accessible, with multiple listings available on Amazon. This top-rated pick offers four layers of protection, including a meltblown filter.
Best for Children: Vanecia Kids Disposable Face Masks
Whether it's due to ill-fitting designs that overwhelm their faces or boring color palettes, it can be difficult to convince your kid to wear a mask. But this top-rated option fixes both of these issues with child-sized masks printed in fun colors and designs. Numerous parents left reviews for the masks, calling them "perfect for kids" as young as three and "great for school." Although a few early customers wrote that the elastic ear straps snapped easily, recent reviewers say the low price justifies packing spares to replace broken masks.
Best Sustainable: FDA Emergency Use Authorized KN95 Masks
Reusable cloth face masks are the easiest way to reduce waste, but are less conducive to double-layering. That's why Vida created a sustainability program to help recycle its masks. Simply reuse the pre-paid packing slip to send back used masks for recycling—and you'll have quite a few, if the positive reviews for the five-layer mask are any indication.
Best Individually Wrapped: WeCare Individually Wrapped Face Mask
Individually packaged masks make it easy to hygienically store spare face coverings in your purse, car, or office without a face mask case—and WeCare is Amazon's top brand, with thousands of ratings across its listings. Available in tons of colors or a variety pack, each box arrives with 50 three-layer masks sealed in plastic bags.
Best Hypoallergenic: Bio-th Face Masks
These protective face masks are made with five layers of hypoallergenic non-woven fabric that's non-toxic and moisture-resistant. The result is a skin-friendly mask that shoppers with sensitive skin can't stop raving about. Along with comfort-focused features like elastic ear loops and an adjustable nose wire, the mask also comes with a face mask extender to prevent behind-the-ear irritation.
Most Fashionable: Maskc Leopard Face Mask
It's possible to stay stylish and safe with the help of Maskc's trendy face masks. Its lineup includes tons of fun prints and colorways that prove a good face covering can be the ultimate accessory. But you don't have to take our words for it: Celebs like J.Lo and even Vice President Kamala Harris are fans of the brand's three-layer face disposable masks.
The information in this story is accurate as of press time. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it's possible that some data have changed since publication. While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDC, WHO, and their local public health department as resources.
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