Struggling to figure out the best place to buy a face mask? You’re not alone. Demand for fabric face masks has shot up over the past few weeks, and you’re unlikely to find stock at the retailers you’d usually turn to. The good news is that a lot of fashion brands and home crafters have risen to the occasion and are busy producing face masks. We’ve found stocks in the US, UK and Australia, ready to order, with speedy delivery. Read on for the best places to buy face masks right now.

Before you hit the Buy button, be aware that wearing a mask will not stop you from getting COVID-19. However, it could help protect others – if you’re carrying the virus but not aware of it, donning a face mask if you’re in an public place or an areas where it’s difficult to socially distance effectively could help prevent others from catching it from you. 

The specific guidelines for the wearing of face masks vary depending from country to country, but they’re increasingly they’re being recommended as a way of trying to slow the spread of COVID-19. Medical-grade face masks, including surgical masks and N95 masks, are in very short supply right now, so it’s mainly non-medical face masks that are being recommended to the general public, and it’s these we’re focusing on here.

Read on for a variety of buying options, including reusable, non-medical face masks for general use, and some medical-grade masks if you’re working in a healthcare capacity. Some brands are offering free, speedy delivery and there’s a full range of designs to choose from.

In a hurry? Here’s our top picks for where to buy a face mask in the US and UK. Click to browse the ranges on offer, or read on for more details of different options, information on if you need to wear a mask, and buying advice. 

Where to buy face masks in the United States:

Where to buy face masks in the UK

Should I be wearing a face mask?

The wearing of face masks and other mouth coverings is a hot discussion topic. At the start of April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – the leading national public health institute in the US – changed its official advice to recommend people wear a non-medical face mask when out and about. Whether it’s mandatory or not depends on which state you’re in.

In the UK, the wearing of face masks is not included in official advice around Coronavirus prevention, although this position continues to come under scrutiny. In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has advised citizens to wear mask in enclosed spaces and situations where it’s difficult to social distance effectively, such as in the supermarket and on public transport (read the official Scottish advice here), which represents a deviation from official UK advice. 

What kind of face mask should I buy?

Medical masks, including surgical and N95 masks, are in extremely short supply around the world right now. When it comes to the stock that is available, priority goes to healthcare workers. Instead of a medical face mask, people are being encouraged to use non-medical fabric face coverings, which is what we’ve mainly focused on in this roundup. 

Fit is all-important. The mask needs to fit snugly around your nose and face, or its effectiveness is seriously impacted.

Can a face mask protect me from coronavirus?

The wearing of face masks is geared more towards keeping others healthy than protecting yourself. If someone with COVID-19 wears a face mask, this could prevent them from accidentally infecting other people – which is all the more important because a significant number of people with coronavirus are asymptomatic, so are unlikely to be actively self-isolating. 

The reason there’s a lack of consensus regarding whether you should be wearing a face mask is because as of yet, we don’t have strong evidence suggesting it will make a positive impact. Some experts fear that recommending masks could have a knock-on effect of making people less disciplined about social distancing rules. There’s also no getting away from the fact that there’s a massive shortage of face masks, and encouraging everyone to wear one could reduce availability for the medical professionals and healthcare workers who need it most. 

Where to buy face masks in the US

In the US, plenty of brands have shifted their usual production line to include face masks in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Lots of suppliers are also doing their bit to help by adopting a buy-one-donate-one approach, or donating profits to COVID response efforts. 

Reusable face masks |
Pick up a multi-pack of 5 face masks at Reformation, and you can buy another set to donate to those in need. It works out at a bargain price of just $5 a mask, and your order will ship in 3-7 days.View Deal

Protective face mask with filter |
Vida face masks include a multi-layer PM2.5 Filter featuring 2 layers of Meltblown Filter and 1 layer of Carbon Activated Fabric, to effectively filter out particles. There are also adjustable straps and an integrated metal strip to keep the fit snug around your nose. You can pick up one for $10 or get a multipack for a discount. Suitable for adults and children aged 5 and up.View Deal

Disposable face masks |
If you’re a carer or need a medical-grade face mask, head to Gear Best. There are plenty of multipacks available to order right now, many with discounts (including a surprising number of flash sales) and speedy shipping options available. View Deal

Face masks |
These masks aren’t the cheapest in this list, but they do look to be durable, good quality and well engineered. They feature reinforced stitching, a 3-dimensional chin structure and a nose bridge that will withstand thousands of bends, plus a nanofiber filter (you can also purchase replacement filters).
Free shipping by 28 MayView Deal

Liberty Elizabeth face mask |
If you’re after something a little more luxe, head to Araks. There are a range of high-quality, 100% cotton face masks available to order now. For every purchase, a medical-grade mask will go to a healthcare professional. View Deal

Sock Fancy mask collection |
Sock Fancy usually makes socks, but it’s now also face masks. They come with a cotton outer layer, polyester fibre middle layer for particle filtration, and a combed cotton inner layer. For every purchase Sock Fancy will donate a mask to frontline medical providers. There’s a 7-10 day lead time, with further delays possible due to a slowdown in air freight.View Deal

Subzero face masks |
Subzero has a range of alternative face mask designs available to order, from Day of the Dead-style skulls to lips, smiley faces and even some glow-in-the-dark options. It’s operating a buy-one-donate-one system, so when you order a mask, another will go to an at-risk individual.View Deal

Cotton face mask |
These face masks are 100% cotton and can be adjusted to fit snugly around your nose. They’re made of machine-washable, thick French Terry fabric, available in a whole load of different colourways. Constructed in the US.View Deal

Shop US sellers of
Etsy is a treasure trove of handcrafted face masks right now. There are options in a variety of sizes and fabrics, so you’ll be able to find one you like. For a simple style that ships quickly, try BKBTailoring.View Deal

Protective face mask |
With a hydrophobic finish to repel bodily fluids, these face masks from Silkies are machine washable and reusable. They’re made in the USA and available to order now, delivered as soon as 1-2 days away, apparently. View Deal

Organic cotton face mask |
Ohio-based bedding company Naturepedic has designated a portion of its factory to face mask production. These masks are made with two layers of 100% organic cotton, certified to the GOTS organic standard, with adjustable straps to keep the mask secure. They’re produced and sold at cost and not for profit, and there’s a 7-10 business day shipping time. View Deal

Reusable face masks |
Bag maker Caara’s face masks are constructed out of repurposed materials from its production line, to minimise waste. The company is currently donating 5% of all sales to the WHO’s COVID-19 Response Funds (and you can also buy a pack to donate, if you want). They’re reusable, hand-washable, and comfortable, and there’s a slightly vague predicted shipping period of 3 May to 1 June.View Deal

Convertible face masks |
If you’re looking for something a little more full-coverage, or live in a colder area, these convertible face masks from Zappos could be ideal for you. They’re designed to fit over the head, with a panel that can be pulled up and over the mouth as required. View Deal

Buff multifunctional neck gaiter |
Outdoor brand Buff makes popular multi-functional neck gaiter that can be used as a great makeshift face mask. There are a variety of styles and patterns to choose from, suitable for men or women. Pop it round your neck and then pull it up over your mouth as needed. It’s seam free, lightweight, machine-washable and breathable, making it perfect for warmer weather.
Available nowView Deal

Kids’ face masks |
If you have little ‘uns who are resistant to donning a mask, this could help: Nuzzles makes a range of super cute face masks designed especially to appeal to kids. Suitable for children over two years old, these are made from skin-friendly, soft, breathable cotton. Shipping takes up to 2 weeks. 

Adult and child face masks |
Savilino usually makes custom aprons and leather goods for restaurants, but at the moment it’s making face masks. The company is based in Austin, and has been able to hire dozens of out of work tailors to ramp up production to over 2,000 masks per day. Buy a child’s mask for $10 or an adult mask for $12, or purchase in bulk for a discount. Orders shipped in 7-10 days.View Deal

Classic face mask |
This multipack of simple black or white face masks offers perhaps the best value for money – it’s just $1.49 per mask. The company is donating 10% of total proceeds, and a mask, for every order. Masks are made from 100% cotton. View Deal

Cotton face masks |
Pick up a set of five masks for just $25 at Matteo. Each double-layered mask is 100% cotton with 100% linen ties, and has a pocket for a you to put a filter in if you have one. They’re sustainable, reusable and washable. You can also purchase masks to donate to communities in need. Ships in 10-12 business days.View Deal

Fabric face masks |
Swaddle Designs is another company that has switched its focus in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The founder, an ex-nurse, swapped production from baby blankets to face masks. These 2-layer non-medical masks are available to buy now, as a single mask or a bulk purchase. There are currently delays of 5-10 days before shipping.View Deal

Biodegradable face masks |
For an eco-friendly option, head to COVRUP. These face masks are not only reusuable and machine-washable, but they’re biodegradable, so they won’t end up clogging up landfill. Plus, for every order, a mask will be donated. Made in the USA and available in child, medium and large sizes. View Deal

Inkerman Anti-microbial face masks |
Inkerman is an NYC-based shoe company that has reallocated all of its resources to non-medical mask production. The company is selling them for no profit, matching all purchases one-to-one, donating masks to NYC essential workers. You can purchase 3 for yourself, and donate 3 for $20. 1-2 week shipping time for personal orders (donations prioritized). View Deal

Washable cloth face mask |
Thee face masks are made from a double layer of jersey knit fabric (60% cotton, 40% polyester), with elastic ear loops. You can pick up a 5-pack, in shades of grey, black, green and blue, at Jeans company Radian. It ships in 7-14 business days, and for every pack purchased, Radian will donate a pack.View Deal

DIOP face masks |
Detroit-based DIOP makes streetwear inspired by the African diaspora, including these face masks based on mudcloth from Mali and handmade in Baltimore. The brand has donated over $6,000 to Feed The Frontlines, the Southwest Detroit Mutual Aid Fund, and Power a Business & Feed The Homeless.

Disposable face masks |
If you need disposable face masks, head to Mask Central, which is selling them in bulk. Smaller pack sizes have sold out, but you can still order 100 or more. These are CE-certified and made up of a three layers to effectively block and filter out particles and droplets in the air. Please only purchase if you’re working in a carer / healthcare capacity. Sold out, but available to backorder.View Deal

Homemade face masks |
Goimagine is a new venture – a handmade marketplace that donates 100% of its profits to charity. It specifically supports non-profit organisations focused on the needs of children experiencing homelessness and hunger. At the moment there are whole range of face masks on there, from under $10.View Deal

Akings first aid face masks |
If you’re after a disposable face mask, these are on sale at Akings. It’s a dollar a mask, and you can buy in quantities of 10, 50 or 100 masks. A portion of profits is going towards donating supplies to local communities. Available to backorder.
View Deal

SOLD OUT Cotton face masks |
Plus 20% off sitewide!
At just $6 a mask, you’ll struggle to get cheaper than these fabric face masks at The Tie Bar. They look super-smart too: there’s a range of styles, patterns and colour palettes to pick from. View Deal

SOLD OUT Camo or leopard print face |
Fashion brand The Sis Kiss is producing cool camo and leopard print face masks. They’re 100% cotton with elastic straps, and suitable for both men and women. View Deal

Where to buy face masks in the UK

The UK is currently a little bit behind the US when it comes to companies switching production to non-medical masks, but there are still places you can order one if you know where to look. Online marketplaces such as Etsy are a great place to start.

Face masks |
Vistaprint is one of the few official brands in the UK that’s offering masks – although it looks like you’ll have to wait until the end of May to get hold of one. They look to be good quality and well engineered, with a 3-dimensional chin structure and a nose bridge, plus a nanofiber filter (you can also purchase replacement filters).
Free shipping by 28 MayView Deal

Shop UK sellers of
Etsy is a veritable treasure trove of face masks right now, for shoppers around the world. There are options in all sizes and styles, so you’ll be able to find one to suit you. Go for plain cotton or cheer yourself up with something more colourful (there are even Disney and Harry Potter options).View Deal

HYPE face masks |
Pick up a pack of these quirky-looking face masks, and HYPE will donate one to the NHS, a care home or another key worker in need. There are lots of cool designs to choose from, including speckle fade, camo and tie-dye.View Deal

Shop all
The search results are a little more hit-and-miss, but there are still plenty of good face mask options available on ebay. Make sure you check delivery schedules before ordering.View Deal

Nonwoven Spunbond Polyproylene masks |
Designer Edeline Lee is running a not-for profit project producing face masks. They’re made from the same material as surgical masks, feature a bendable wire nose piece and are designed to fit the face snugly with no gaps. Each purchase covers the materials and logistical costs of a further 80 volunteer-made masks to be donated to frontline workers.View Deal

Cotton face masks |
These cotton face masks are made in Latvia, but there’s free shipping to the UK if you spend over £20 (so you’d need to buy a couple). There are a few nice patterns to choose from, as well as an Adult and Kid size option.View Deal

Buff face coverings |
Buff has long been a favourite of hikers and outdoor-lovers with its multi-functional tubular headwear. It can be worn as a neckerchief, then pulled up to become a face mask, and the lightweight, breathable fabric is perfect for warmer weather. These are slightly more expensive than many dedicated face masks, but you’ll be able to continue using it after the pandemic is over. View Deal

Buff face coverings |
Outdoor brand Buff is known for its multi-functional tubular headwear. Wear it as a neckerchief, then pull it up over your mouth to act as a face mask when needed. And because it’s designed for sportwear, it’s perfect for warmer weather – the fabric is lightweight and breathable, seam-free, and blocks UV rays. Bonus: you’ll be able to continue using it after the pandemic is over.View Deal

Head tubes |
Another great alternative face mask is a head tube – pop it round your neck and then pull it up to cover your mouth when required. Mountain Warehouse has a variety of reasonable ones (see Women’s selection here). Some are wooly ones, which aren’t ideal for this purpose, but there are also plenty of summer-friendly, lightweight options.View Deal

Where to buy face masks in Australia

200pcs Disposable Face Mouth Mask 3 Layer with Elastic Ear Loop | AU$129.99 at
These are your standard, disposable face masks with three layers of fabric and a filtration efficiency of 94% – the only difference is there’s a lot of them, 200 in fact! So if you’re after a boat-load of face masks, you should consider looking at this deal from Kogan.View Deal

10 Pack Virafree KN95 6 Ply Self Priming Particulate Respirator Face Mask N95|P2 – White | AU$79.90 at
The Virafree KN95 respirators are more effective than your regular face masks – having six purpose-built layers with a minimum Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) rating of 95%.View Deal

10 Pcs Face Masks Anti Dust Filter | AU$18.50 at
You can grab these face masks from eBay in either a 10 or 20 pack with no restrictions on the amount you’re able to purchase. The seller claims they will dispatch the same day so if you’re in desperate need of face masks, definitely worth paying this online-store a visit! View Deal

50pcs Disposable Face Mask With Two Free 50ml Sanitiser Packs | AU$84.95 at
Who doesn’t love a two-for-one deal? Jaydee Bedding are offering a 50 pack of disposable face masks with two free 50mL bottles of Scotts hand sanitiser – what a bargain! View Deal

3-ply Surgical Face Mask Vira-free (Single Use) 10 Pack | AU$16.45 from
We must admit, these are pretty darn cute! These home-made face masks in adorable cherry fabric are machine washable so you can wear it as many times as you like. You can grab yours on eBay and it will be shipped to your door within a couple of days.View Deal

Designer Face Mask made with cherry fabric |
We must admit, these are pretty darn cute! These home-made face masks in adorable cherry fabric are machine washable so you can wear it as many times as you like. You can grab yours on eBay and it will be shipped to your door within a couple of days.View Deal

FluFree 50x Pack Disposable 3-Ply Face Masks – Light Blue | AU$89 at
With an easy pack for convenience that is suitable for travel or commuting, this one-size-fits-all face mask has a 99% Bacterial Filtration Efficiency rating (BFE) that covers your nose, mouth and chin for full protection against those airborne nasties. View Deal

Blue Disposable Surgical Face Masks 3 Ply With Earloop Latex Free | AU$7.95 at
If you’re after just one (or a couple) face masks without purchasing the whole kit-and-kaboodle, this deal is for you. These latex free, 3-ply layer surgical masks will offer you the protection you’re looking for without breaking the bank.View Deal

DOCHEM Premium Elite Disposable Surgical Face Mask 3-ply with Earloop Plus – 25 Masks | AU$75 at
Dochem is a professional manufacturer of high quality dental and medical disposable supplies so you know these face masks come from a reputable source. With a proven BFE (Bacterial Filtration Efficiency) of 99.3% and CE certification, you’ll feel like a medical professional while also protecting yourself against airborne germs.View Deal

Fabric Face Mask Made in Australia – Black | AU$16.95 at
Made in Australia, these washable and reusable face masks are suited for the eco-conscious. Offering four layers of 100% cotton fabric (including an inner bamboo layer) with elastic ear loops, these face masks will keep you protected from the air-born nasties floating around while doing your bit for the environment. View Deal

50 X Protective Disposable Face Mask Medical Masks 3 Layer | AU$61 at
Like the deal above, these face masks offered by Becextec are great if you want to purchase a bulk supply. Perfect storing in your home, car, purse or your child’s back-pack ready for when they go back to school.View Deal

150 X Protective Disposable Face Mask Medical Masks 3 Layers | AU$147 at
Do you have a big family and need a lot of face masks to hand around? Well this 150 pack of disposable medical face masks will surely come in handy. Made with three-layers, non-woven fiber and soft, breathable fabric, these throwaway face marks will provide an extra layer of protection against transferable germs.View Deal

How to make your own face mask

Can’t get hold of a face mask, or want to leave the remaining stocks for medical professionals? It’s relatively easy to make your own basic face mask, and you don’t even need specialist equipment. 

Here’s a short video showing you how to make a homemade face mask using a T-shirt, scarf or bandana. 

While the NHS currently doesn’t include the wearing of face masks in its official recommendations, in the US the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its stance on face masks.

The CDC is now recommending “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission”.

Either way, your first priorities should still be to stay in your home as much as possible, observe physical distancing rules, and use hand sanitiser or wash your hands properly and regularly. Read the CDC advice on wearing a face mask here. 

This content was originally published here.

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