- Many states and businesses are requiring people to don face coverings.
- Cloth and non-medical grade disposable masks are not very effective at protecting the wearer from catching COVID-19.
- But they can still stop the spread of disease by blocking contagious droplets.
- These e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses all currently have different types of masks in stock.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone wear a face mask to go out. And a number of states and businesses have begun mandating facial coverings.
With medical-grade face masks often reserved for hospitals and medical practitioners, cloth and non-medical grade disposable masks have been adopted as an option. Cloth masks may not be especially effective at protecting the wearer, especially compared with medical-grade N-95 respirators. But they’re often key to protecting others.
Cloth masks made from materials with a thick weave can help catch droplets from coughs and sneezes, preventing those droplets from infecting others. They can also remind the wearer not to touch their face.
At points during the coronavirus pandemic, masks of all kinds have been in short supplies within stores and on e-commerce platforms. Non-medical supplier brands like fashion direct-to-consumer outfit Rothy’s have even banded together other companies like Framebridge and ThirdLove to help create and donate crucial PPE.
But currently, there are plenty of places where you can easily purchase the cloth or disposable face coverings required for navigating the pandemic in many locations.
Here are some places you can buy disposable or cloth masks:
Etsy and other craft sites
Of all the sites that feature independent makers and sellers,Etsy is probably the most well-known. There are countless stores on Etsy selling colourful cloth masks in adult and child sizes. There’s endless variety, so you’ll be spoiled for choice.
You can also get a sense of what each mask is like by reading through customer reviews. More popular masks, however, also sell out quickly.
A search for “face masks” on Amazon reveals a number of options for shoppers. Amazon vendors are currently hawking boxes of disposable masks, as well as different kinds of cloth masks.
Big box stores’ websites
Like Amazon, a number of national big box retailers have begun stocking different mask options on their websites.
Target currently has fewer mask products listed on its website, with one fabric face mask only accruing two stars from customers.
E-commerce sign retailer Signs.com has also gotten in on the mask business. The site now sells custom face masks in two sizes. Signs.com notes that the masks are “for general use while out in public and are not intended for use in medical settings.”
You can also look to outdoor-apparel stores, which sell bandanas and masks for skiing and cold weather. Ski masks and balaclavas weren’t designed to protect against the virus, but they’re still a cloth face covering.
REI sells bandanas for $US4 and ski masks starting at $US11, and The North Face sells balaclavas and masks starting at $US22.Dick’s Sporting Goods sells a wide variety of masks, with balaclavas between $US10 and $US50, and Big 5 has a similar selection.
Maskclub is a direct-to-consumer cloth mask subscription service. Masks cost $US14 for a one-time purchase, but you can also subscribe for the monthly subscription and buy masks for $US10 each.
Maskclub has a wide variety of niche styles available, including masks with themes ranging from cartoons to board games.
Arm the Animals
The “Tiger King” would approve of the masks at Arm the Animals, an apparel store that sells animal-themed masks. You can get some real eye-catchers there, such as this tiger snout mask or this Molotov kitty mask. Most masks run about $US19. Note: Arm the Animals is not a nonprofit.
Small boutiques and designers
The need for masks is way greater than the need for new clothes right now, so many small and independent boutiques and fashion designers have started producing masks.
For example, the New York-based clothing brand Abacaxi had been selling masks for $US30 apiece, although the brand is currently sold out and awaiting a restocking.
The menswear company Buck Mason is selling packs of five for $US20, Alice and Olivia is donating one mask for every one sold, and the bag maker Caraa is selling packs of five made with recycled materials.
The independent boutique KozySaila is selling cotton masks in packs of up to 20 for about $US10 a mask. And the hat maker Love Your Melon just started selling face masks made from surgical wrap. Menswear retailer Akings is offering both cloth and disposable masks.
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