The Best And Worst Face Masks For COVID-19, Plus Face Masks That Give Back To Pandemic Heroes

There is no doubt we live in scary and challenging times. The pandemic has already killed 174,000 Americans, and counting, and infected millions more during what experts are calling the “greatest health crisis” of a century.

But the good news is that there’s an easy and effective way to help keep your loved ones safe. According to the CDC, cloth face masks have proven to be a “critical” tool in slowing the spread of the deadly virus. “We are not defenseless against COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield in a statement. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”

Who should wear a face mask?

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The CDC recommends everybody 2 years of age or older should wear a cloth face mask or covering in public spaces. While many infected people experience coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, or other outward symptoms of COVID-19, others have proven to be asymptomatic carriers who don’t even realize they’re infected.

But even asymptomatic carriers can transmit this deadly contagion, which is easily spread via airborne droplets and contaminated surfaces. As we learn more about the novel coronavirus, a growing body of research concludes that face masks (when used in conjunction social distancing and regular hand washing) are the best tools we have to keep our family, neighbors, and community safe.

Where can I buy a face mask?

Photo: GreaterGood

This scientific consensus has led GreaterGood to expand our selection of face masks and coverings, which are now available in range of styles, colors, patterns, and sizes across our network of online stores.

Pet lovers adore our wide selection of paw print and animal designs, which include everything from whimsical cats to owls and pandas to smiling dogs in adult, youth, and kid sizes. Other face masks in our sprawling collection feature bright, boho, fair trade, floral, and patriotic patterns that marry comfort, safety, and style. Check out our full selection of face masks and coverings on our website.

The best face masks for Covid-19

Photo: GreaterGood

Even so, some face masks offer better protection than others. Disposable surgical masks (like the kind doctors wear in the hospital) protect the wearer and everyone in his or her immediate vicinity by creating a simple shield that helps prevent the spread of airborne droplets. However, this type of face mask is single-use only and must be regularly replaced in order to be effective.

N95 masks (named so because they filter out 95 percent of all airborne particles) offer the greatest levels of virus protection, but the CDC has asked Americans to reserve this top-grade gear for the doctors, nurses, and emergency responders working on the pandemic’s front lines.

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Photo: GreaterGood

This makes cloth face masks and coverings, which help by containing the droplets people typically spread when they sneeze, cough, or talk, the next best option. The CDC suggests wearing a simple cloth face mask that fits snugly on your face.

Although styles vary, most of GreaterGood’s face masks are made of cotton, polyester, or another durable fabric, then upgraded with multiple cloth layers, filter pockets, elastic or adjustable ear straps, and/or removable carbon filters for added protection. Please visit our entire collection of face masks and coverings on our website.

The worst face masks for Covid-19

The CDC has warned that face masks with valves, although a popular option among construction workers, only offer one-way protection from the coronavirus. This is because they don’t include a mechanism to filter the wearer’s respiratory droplets, thus needlessly jeopardizing everyone around you. If your face mask has a valve, it’s time to upgrade stat.

Are face masks bad for the environment? Where can I find a sustainable face mask?

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Most of our face masks and coverings are reusable and machine-washable to reduce pollution and landfill waste, thus simultaneously protecting the planet and people. If you purchase your face mask on The Rainforest Site, you’ll also be helping us save endangered rainforest habitat, which is crucial to curbing global warming, climate change, and protecting the animals who call it home.

Should kids wear face masks?

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Absolutely. Although some people falsely claim otherwise, children can contract and spread the coronavirus just like adults do, although they often recover more quickly. This isn’t always the case, though. In Georgia, a healthy 7-year-old boy died from COVID-19, just days after two six-year-olds died in Nebraska and Tennessee.

It’s never been more important to teach your kids about the importance of regular hand washing, social distancing, and wearing face masks for coronavirus protection, especially as students head back to school. Fortunately, we have lots of fun face masks for kids and youth to help keep everyone safe during this difficult time.

How can I donate face masks for essential workers?

Photo: Adobe Stock/Robert Kneschke

In addition to helping keep you and your family safe, many of our face masks and coverings also donate face masks for medical professionals, elder care workers, animal shelter staff and volunteers, and other brave workers risking their lives to provide essential services during this challenging time.

Tragically, many people are performing this crucial work without medical-grade face masks and proper protective gear, which remain in desperately short supply across the country. This devastating need has led GreaterGood to team up with our suppliers to create and distribute two million face masks for these frontline heroes, in addition to our ongoing efforts to support the planet, pets, and people.

Photo: GreaterGood

Please shop for face masks and coverings marked with the “Gives a Mask” symbol if you’d like to help support this life-saving mission. Your purchase will help us provide frontline workers with free medical-grade face masks and support your cause of choice! Learn more about our Mask a Million Challenge here.

You can also click the button on each of our Click to Give sites daily to trigger a donation from our sponsors to help people, pets, and the planet. During the pandemic, we’re increasing the number of times you can click up to eight times a day (once every three hours) per site. Every additional click will fund disaster relief efforts like donating supplies for overburdened animal shelters, protective gear for front line healthcare workers, and food for those who are struggling. Below are the links to each of our click-to-give sites.

J. Swanson

J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.

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