I Just Found the Best Face Mask Chain on Amazon—and It's Only $10
Face masks have been a huge part of everyone's lives over the past year—but especially mine. On top of wearing a face covering daily, I've spent hours researching designs that were breathable for summer, disposable for double-masking, and well-fitted for glasses. Even though I'm well-versed in the world of masks, I refused to explore the accessories available for them—like storage cases and lanyards—until now.
It was stubbornness. Masking guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proved the importance of face masks, but to me, buying accessories felt like accepting that they were permanent. I wasn't ready to join the mask chain trend—and then the CDC released new face mask guidelines last week.
The recommendations confirmed that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors unless around large groups of strangers, while unvaccinated individuals can exercise outdoors or attend small outdoor gatherings sans masks. It quickly became obvious that there would be a lot of mask on, mask off action happening in my future, so after a year of resistance, I caved and bought the PP2 Mask Chain Strap ($10; amazon.com).
The mask chain had hundreds of five-star ratings backing it up, but I was especially drawn to the variety of styles available. Made from 100% copper, it comes in four chain variations and four metallic paint colors, so it's easy to match your current jewelry collection. I opted for the loop chain, which looks like a standard necklace, in gold. Thanks to Prime's two-day shipping, it arrived the next day.
While I expected subpar quality because of the low price, I was surprised to find it felt durable with just the right amount of heft. The gold paint, while cheap, was also super shiny and had a similar coloring to the authentic gold-plated pieces in my jewelry collection. (It began rubbing off in high-contact parts of the chain within the week, but it's barely noticeable). Aesthetically, it was exactly what I wanted—but I quickly learned that its functionality was more important.
For example, the chain fits both my favorite disposable masks and my go-to cloth mask because it comes with two different attachment options. The lobster claw is perfect for thin ear straps, while the spring hook works best for thicker designs. Regardless of the hardware used, both clams are extremely secure, and I haven't lost a mask while using them. (A regular occurrence in my pre-chain days.)
At just 23 inches long, the strap is also the ideal length. It never feels like a choker, but also doesn't hang so low that my mask drags dangerously close to my food at dinner or gets caught while biking. Another miracle? The metal chain hasn't painfully pulled the baby hairs at the nape of my neck.
Most importantly, it's been a huge timesaver. I spend way less time searching for a mask in my bag, and I haven't forgotten my mask at home once since I started using it. It's no wonder a doctor previously told Health that mask lanyards are "a good idea." Plus, my masks seem to last longer between washing or replacing because I'm not tossing them into an unsanitary black hole (read: my purse) filled with breath mints, random lip balms, and dog treats.
While the varnishing means I'll probably need to replace my chain down the line, I'm totally okay with it. In fact, I'm planning to add a few more color options to my collection to complement the rest of my wardrobe. Not to mention, I can easily repurpose my chain collection to use with glasses when the day without masks finally comes. In the meantime, I'll be wearing my new favorite $10 accessory everywhere.
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