Double masking is the latest phrase to enter the pandemic lexicon. Nearly a year after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first recommended everyone wear face coverings in public to protect against the spread of COVID-19, the organization has released new advice for how to improve the fit and filtration of face masks. And the latest guidelines might make you want to wear two masks instead of one.
While any mask is generally better than none at all, buying a cloth face mask with multiple layers of fabric or wearing two masks at the same time can reduce the number of respiratory droplets that make it through your face covering, according to the CDC. Other experts also now recommend double masking, especially as new variants of the coronavirus are emerging—even Dr. Anthony Fauci seems to be on board.
If you'd like to start double masking to make your face covering more effective, one way to do so is to layer a disposable face mask underneath a cloth one. If you're anything like us, you now have a collection of reusable face masks (and maybe even a few favorites) to choose from, so all you need to do is stock up on some disposable masks to pair with your current go-tos.
When shopping for disposable face masks, the CDC recommends looking for options that are made of multi-layered, non-woven material. Many masks also include malleable nose wires that help improve the fit without impeding your ability to breathe easily. If you're not sure where to look, don't worry—ahead, you'll find seven of the best disposable face masks you can buy on Amazon and other direct-to-consumer websites. Each pick has three layers of non-woven fabric and an adjustable nose bridge to ensure a CDC-approved fit.
Keep in mind that you don't need to layer a disposable mask underneath a second disposable or KN95 mask, according to the CDC. This is because non-cloth medical masks aren't designed to fit tightly, so layering two won't actually improve the fit, and KN95 masks are designed to be extremely effective on their own.
Below, shop the best disposable face masks for double masking.
Evolvetogether’s disposable face masks are some of the only medical grade, FDA-registered face masks you can easily order online. They’ve been verified by the SGS, a consumer product testing company, as Medical Grade Type IIR, which means the masks are breathable, splash-resistant, and efficiently filter particles and bacteria. Adult and kids’ sizes are available in a variety of colors, and when you buy certain styles, your purchase even supports non-profit organizations like the ACLU and One Tree Planted.
You can order a 50-pack of these best-selling face masks on Amazon for $14. Each mask has a three-ply construction made of a non-woven layer, a high-density filter, and an absorbent non-woven layer that improves breathability, along with a flexible nose clip for a custom fit that shouldn’t fog up your glasses. More than 4,400 Amazon shoppers have left the masks a five-star review, and 37,000 have awarded them a five-star rating. Even reviewers who are healthcare workers say they approve of these disposable masks. “They are very breathable but thick enough that I would say they provide good protection. They look nice and the material holds up for multiple uses,” wrote an ambulance worker. “I definitely recommend these for just everyday use during this pandemic, whether you’re a healthcare provider or anyone else.”
These face masks meet the CDC’s three-layer requirement and have elastic ear straps and adjustable nose wires for a snug fit. Plus, their soft, non-woven material makes them comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time even if you have sensitive skin, according to the brand. Many Amazon reviewers, including nurses, agree that the masks feel good on their skin and are easy to breathe in. “Perfect for my 12 hour shifts,” a nurse wrote. “I’m picky about face masks, and I love these!”
There’s no need to let a face mask cramp your personal style thanks to Maskc. The disposable face mask brand has protective coverings in all kinds of colors and patterns, from houndstooth and leopard to tie dye and bright pink. Cute and effective, the masks filter more than 95 percent of aerosol particles through three layers: a non-woven exterior layer, a melt-blown fabric, and a soft, moisture-proof interior. Each one also has an adjustable nose bridge and comfortable ear loops.
These no-frills disposable masks come in a few solid colors that you can easily wear underneath any cloth face mask for extra protection. The three-ply design aptly covers the nose and chin and will fit securely thanks to elastic ear loops and a bendable nose piece. With over 1,000 five-star reviews and nearly 23,000 five-star ratings, the masks are a favorite of many Amazon shoppers. “I like to wear this disposable face mask under my cotton mask to double up with. It is comfortable,” wrote one person.
While many disposable face masks end up in landfills, Vida has figured out a more sustainable way to produce and recycle single-use PPE. With every order of its three-ply face masks, it includes a prepaid return shipping label so you can send back your used face masks for proper recycling (the brand also has a similar program for its KN95 masks). This way, you get a comfortable, protective mask to layer (or wear on its own) that you can feel good about.
For an affordable option that will keep you safe, check out this pack of 25 face masks available on Amazon for just $5. Each disposable mask has three layers of protection, flexible ear loops, and a bendable nose bridge. Amazon shoppers call the masks “comfortable” and “breathable,” and one even said these fit better than more expensive options.