The rapid spread of COVID-19 has increased demand for face masks more than the world could ever have imagined. The need for them has surpassed the rate of production so that even though they are now recommended for anyone who ventures out into the community, many are struggling to find as many as they need.
The frontline workers are the ones at the highest risk, putting them in desperate need of masks and protective gear. This situation does not seem likely to completely resolve anytime soon. Individuals who are not a part of any essential services could worsen this condition by buying up the available surgical and N95 masks for running their regular errands. So, while the current shortage continues, many are choosing to use cloth face masks in order to reserve higher-grade protection for healthcare workers.
But where are they being sold right now? That is the question private citizens who want to do their part are asking. Fortunately, there are several places to go for quality cloth masks once you know where to look! Below are several that we recommend, but first:
Why should I wear cloth masks while going out?
The CDC recommends that the non-healthcare workers cover their face with fabric while out of the house. Although the effectiveness of a cloth mask cannot be compared to an N95 mask, it can still provide reasonable protection in public places, especially when combined with social distancing.
Here we will discuss how to choose the right face masks, where to find them, and, if the ones you want are out of stock, how you can prepare them conveniently at home.
Where can I buy reusable cloth face masks online?
Before heading on to buying, always make sure that you take a very close look at the descriptions on the sellers’ website and check the material of the mask. Cotton is the preferred fabric to block as many droplets as possible, but methods for securing the mask to your head vary widely.
You will come across many cloth face masks for sale on Etsy, in a variety of different colors, styles, and designs. Make sure that you are paying close attention to the details of the mask. For example, check if the mask is constituted of double layers, or not. A search for “face mask” currently turns up over 400,000 results on their platform, so chances are there’s one out there for you.
$30 for three masks
The environmentally-friendly brand has started manufacturing face masks recently. The masks are breathable and manufactured using 100% cotton, with an adjustable nose for a secure fit. They have been pre-washed and are available in a pack of three. Every time you purchase a face mask, the brand uses a part of your investment to provide masks to the people appointed to perform essential services. Also available in kids’ sizes!
$24 for two masks
If you are looking for breathable, quick-drying, stretchable masks prepared from upcycled fabrics, then Onzie is the place for you. The brand is donating proceeds to healthcare workers all over the United States. They also offer children’s sizing and allow you to donate a pack of two masks. Thousands have gone to their local hospitals already!
You can find colorful cotton masks in various sizes for the kids, as well as the adults, with a filter pocket included. The breathable cloth masks you will find here are also fashionable and functional, with a charitable bent. In partnership with The Mask Fund, Abacaxi is making a monetary donation equivalent to the cost of one N95 mask to health care workers for each of their own masks they sell.
$30 for four masks
Mattresses, bedding, furniture… and masks? This renowned bedding brand has recently begun making masks out of organic cotton that can be easily washed in your machine. The masks are made with 100% GOTS organic certified canvas. You can tie them at the back of your head with cloth straps and insert your own filter, if desired.
This trusted brand normally provides high-quality medical uniforms, and has begun offering cloth masks due to a high volume of customer requests. Their masks are made using antimicrobial-finished scrub fabric, with adjustable ear loops for added fit and comfort. They are donating one million masks to match the one million they’ve sold, and yes! There are kid sizes here as well.
$49 for six masks
Like Avocado, Naturepedic has added face masks to their typical mattress-related offerings. Their 100% organic cotton masks come with adjustable straps and free shipping. If you do the math, it’s also one of the more affordable options on this list.
Mask Club is manufacturing cloth masks for sale that have been carefully and aesthetically designed with the prints of Care Bears, Popeye, Wonder Woman, and Betty Poop. Join MaskClub for $9.99 and receive one mask per month. You support seamstresses in the USA and first responders when you buy from MaskClub, since they send a mask to first responders on the front lines each time you buy one.
The mask manufacturing brand sells 100% cotton masks with straps that tie at the back of the head. Every single mask has been made in collaboration with the local cut and sew factory, which helps support jobs in Salt Lake City. Every mask purchased results in a donation of an additional mask to that community.
This small sports brand has now started manufacturing COVID-19 masks in the wake of the pandemic. The brand is producing double-ply washable cloth masks for sale. The same brand also manufactures disposable triple-layer face masks, which can be difficult to find elsewhere. Another perk is the ability to buy a single mask or purchase cloth masks by the box (250 masks) or by the case (1,000 masks). You can also order the disposable masks in quantities as large as a pallet (48,000 masks)!
A registered nurse designed these masks and runs the brand, which was formerly known for manufacturing blankets for babies. They are manufacturing double-layered cotton masks for added protection. If you like yours, buy a box to donate!
Preparing cloth face masks at home
The CDC has recommended homemade cloth masks at home for non-healthcare workers. Wearing cloth masks can help control the spread of viruses between individuals. The virus spreads in the form of very tiny respiratory liquid droplets while we are sneezing, coughing, and talking, which the masks can stop, to some extent.
The cloth masks cannot, however, completely protect against viruses, providing the level of protection you would expect from N95 masks, but they can at least stand in the way when you are exposed to the infected. Here’s how you can protect yourself until your brand-new mask order comes in.
No-sew face mask instructions
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 20” x 20” of cotton cloth (perhaps from a t-shirt)
- Two rubber bands or hair ties
- Lay the cotton cloth flat on a table and then fold it in half. Now, fold the top part of the cloth downwards and fold the bottom piece of cloth upwards to meet it.
- Now, place the rubber ties or hair bands around either end of the fabric, about 6” apart.
- The last step, which will help keep the cotton cloth in place, is to fold and tuck the sides of the cloth in.
How to use your mask properly
- Thoroughly wash your hands before putting on a mask.
- Do not touch the mask once you have it in place.
- While removing, handle the mask by its ties instead of touching the cloth that covers the mouth and nose.
- Throw the used mask inside a bin or a sealable plastic bag.
- Wash as soon as possible and don’t wear it again until it has been cleaned.