Where you can buy face masks for travel right now
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As we slowly begin to turn a corner in the coronavirus outbreak, government officials and companies are considering strategies to keep the virus at bay.
Experts now recommend wearing a face mask while out in public, especially when social distancing cannot be maintained, and airlines are taking note. This week, JetBlue became the first airline to mandate that passengers wear face coverings. The policy goes into effect on May 4. Most major domestic airlines quickly followed its example.
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While you should only be traveling right now for urgent and essential reasons to slow the spread of the virus, we understand that you may be considering what your options are when travel eventually resumes.
Keep in mind that healthcare workers and medical first responders need surgical masks and N-95 respirators, which remain in critically short supply. These face masks should be reserved for the medical community right now. There’s still a wide variety of face masks everyone else can choose from, though.
If you’re really in a pinch, you can use an eye mask (check your old amenity kits). The CDC has also provided step-by-step instructions for sewing a fabric face mask. Just note that these are not medical-grade face coverings
Travelers who are uncomfortable wearing a mask that snugly covers your nose and mouth can try a hat or a visor with a clear face shield. While it won’t be useful on flights where a face mask is required (unless you want to double up) it could give you additional peace of mind during other stages of the travel process.
Many companies have shifted gears and begun selling face masks to the public, and you can also find them at major retailers such as Amazon, The Home Depot and the e-commerce site Etsy. We’ve highlighted a few of our favorites, many of which are matching purchases with donations to healthcare workers, hospitals and others in need. If you see ones you like, be sure to act fast as they’re subject to availability and selling out fast.
This mask comes in two different sizing options (extra small/small and medium/large) and costs $26. For each mask purchased, one will be donated to the recipient of your choice, including Cedars Sinai (and other Los Angeles-area hospitals), the Los Angeles Fire Department, the United States Postal Service and others.
This popular denim label has repurposed their sewing facility to make face masks for front-line responders and healthcare workers, among others. Now, they’re selling their washable masks with tie straps to the public. You can buy a set of five for $25.
If you want a basic, cotton face mask, these Thompson Tee masks fit the bill. They come in just two colors — black and white — and are only $5.99 apiece. Plus, for a limited time, you can use the code “FLASH20” for 20% off. For every three masks sold, the company is donating to a hospital in need, so know your purchase is going the extra mile.
These face masks come in a pack of five with two washable and reusable laundry bags for the masks. For each mask purchased, one will be donated to frontline workers in New York City and beyond. A five-pack costs $50.
Jaanuu went from manufacturing scrubs from an antimicrobial fabric to making reusable masks. They come in a variety of prints and are available for both kids or adults. For every mask ordered online, Jaanuu will donate up to 1 million to organizations in need. They’re available for preorder, and will cost $25 for a pack of five. You can buy up to 100 at a time for $450.
Amazon’s top-selling mask comes in a pack of two, is made out of an inner layer of 100% cotton, and an outer layer of 65% polyester and 35% cotton. This mask is also machine washable and reusable. The pack sells for only $13.42.
This reusable $30 mask may be ideal if you wear glasses since cloth face masks can cause constant fogging. It features dual valves that act as a ventilation system, preventing your mask from becoming warm and moist.
These heavy-duty masks are made with vintage military canvas and come with a zippered pocket inside that allows you to insert an extra protective layer (think: a dust or filter mask). For each purchase, one mask will be donated to frontline workers in the Los Angeles area. This mask costs $36, and could take between one and three weeks to ship.
These cloth masks are only $8.99, and some are even eligible for same-day shipping. They’re handmade from polyester fabric and come in T-shirt masks, small border masks and large border masks. Each design varies slightly, so you can pick the one (or ones!) you prefer. All masks are machine-washable and reusable.
Flu Armour masks are made from 100% soft cloth polyester. You can buy them individually for $14.99 or in bulk (100) from $1,399. Due to high demand, they may take seven to 10 days to ship.
Another Amazon go-to, these disposable masks should be on your radar if you’re not looking to wash yours after every use. They’re standard and not fussy, although they’re not intended for medical use. A pack of 50 sells for $39.99.
These three-ply face masks have a metal nose bridge and come at an affordable price of $1 each ($10 for a pack of 10), though they’re not machine washable. If you do purchase from Akings, a portion of your sale will go directly toward donating supplies to frontline workers.
Sweaty Bands is now making face masks in various sizes ranging from youth sizing to extra large. These masks are made with 88% polyester and 12% spandex and cost $17.99 each. Your order will ship within two to 14 days from the day you placed your order.
While we can’t go to Disney parks for the foreseeable future, that doesn’t mean the magic has completely disappeared. Grab one of Disney’s new face masks, featuring prints from your favorite characters including Mickey, Minnie, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Anna, Elsa and more. Whether you have kids or just want to embrace your inner child, these masks are sure to put a smile on your face. You can preorder a four-pack for $19.99 on Disney’s website.
Remember makeup junkie from “Shark Tank?” They’re now making reusable cotton masks in an array of prints and patterns (camouflage, paisley, polka dots and more). Masks retail for $16 each.
Featured photo by Rattanakun Thongbun/EyeEm/Getty Images.
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