15 Best Disposable Face Masks, According to Hundreds of Reviews
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15 Best Disposable Face Masks, According to Hundreds of Reviews

May 08, 2023

By Talia Abbas and Jake Smith

UPDATE—April 19, 2022: Don't stop stocking up on disposable face masks just yet. While masking is no longer required by federal mandate on planes and other forms of public transportation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends masking up to prevent the spread of COVID-19—especially with new variants (hello, BA.2) gaining traction and causing rates to go up in certain areas of the country. (The BA.2 variant currently makes up 75% of all cases in the U.S.) Per the CDC, masks and respirators should be worn in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status, in areas of high COVID-19 transmission. Elsewhere, you’re encouraged to wear a mask if you are immunocompromised, live with someone at risk of severe complications from COVID-19, or simply want to wear one.

Well-fitting masks approved by NIOSH "offer the highest level of protection" against SARS-CoV-2 infection, the CDC explains; these include N95s, plus others like N100s, P95s, and R99s. KN95 respirators and surgical masks offer slightly less protection, but they’re still more effective choices than cloth face masks. Whether you’re looking for a simple white protective mask or a medical-grade version in a chic print, shop 15 top-rated disposable face masks below.

ORIGINAL STORY—August 14, 2020: In ranking the most effective face coverings, researchers at Duke University recently found that disposable face masks, or three-ply surgical face masks, were the second most reliable option after fitted N95 or KN95 face masks. Washable, woven fabric face masks that cover your nose, chin, and mouth rank a close third at blocking airborne particles from floating through the air and reaching others, with neck gaiters and folded bandanas—while offering a comfortable, secure fit—being seemingly worse than not wearing a face covering at all.

With the CDC's recommendation to use a face mask when you’re unable to social distance, and many states considering reopening schools, we wouldn't be surprised if we saw an upswing in demand for single-use face masks. Often sold in bulk packs of 25 and 50, they can be easily distributed to large groups of people.

After months of wearing face masks, we know that breathable cotton and silk options are more cost-effective over time—but with daily use, elastic ear loops rip, nose clips or nose wires warp, and fabric stains, sometimes all you want is something easy and effective. And keeping a reserve of protective face masks in your car, bag, or pocket can be a smart move when in a pinch. With so many top-rated options out there, there's no excuse not to mask up.

All products featured on Glamour are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Key selling points: This NIOSH-approved disposable face mask comes in at about $2 a pop—but its heavy-duty polypropylene lining makes it durable and sneeze-resistant. The brand also claims that it's more breathable than other N95s, making it less likely that you’ll struggle for air or overheat when you’re wearing your mask for long periods of time.

What customers say: "The ear straps are comfortable and the best thing was the mask sits on your face in a way that the area around your nose and mouth is away from the face. I love this! Other masks rubbed my makeup off and every time I talked the mask moved around, not the case with this mask. I have plenty of room to move my lips and I don't feel as if I'm being smothered." —Piper, reviewer on Amazon

Key selling points: Another NIOSH-approved N95 mask, this option is designed to accommodate glasses and fold flat for easy transporting. Best of all, each one comes sealed in individual plastic wrapping, so you can toss a few into your bag in case you lose or forget yours at work or in a restaurant.

What customers say: "I live with someone who is immunocompromised, so I take my face masks very seriously. Now that I have one, it's my all-time favorite mask. It's comfortable, easy to put on, has a good seal all around, the straps aren't too tight, and it has two straps that go around the back of your head so that it doesn't pull on your ears. It also doesn't fog up glasses as much as other masks." —James Astro, reviewer on Amazon

Key selling points: Evolvetogether's medical face masks are some of the most popular on the market, and celebrities regularly wear them. They have a four-ply construction with an adjustable nose bridge to prevent glasses from fogging. (Those numbers under the brand name are Milan's geographic coordinates, in case you were wondering.) For extra protection, consider its KN95 masks. For extra protection, consider its foldable KN95 masks, which also feature an adjustable nose piece and six (!) layers of protection.

What customers say: "I've been using this mask in the multi-color pack, and it is the most comfortable surgical-style mask I've worn (much more comfortable than the style they sell at Costco). The inner lining is very soft, and the ear straps are also a softer elastic." —ViolaS, reviewer on Nordstrom

Key selling points: If you’re looking to stock up on the cheap, these top-rated masks are for you. They’ll set you back only 22 cents each (or 24 cents for green, pink, or purple), so you won't feel too bad about using multiple a day or giving them away to strangers.

What customers say: "I’ve been a critical care nurse for 7 years, which makes me very familiar with the quality of masks well before COVID-19. These masks are lightweight, soft, durable, and of the same quality of masks I would wear in a hospital setting treating patients with droplet precautions. Will be purchasing more when my supply begins to run low." —Dustin W, reviewer on Amazon

Key selling points: No, this isn't the cheapest option, but the sturdy construction, easy-to-style colors, and supersoft linings of these luxe, four-ply face masks more than justify the price. And since they’re individually sealed, they're perfect for carrying on the go.

What customers say: "Really comfortable—I double mask and wear these under my cloth mask. No breakouts and comfortable!" —Trish S., reviewer on Neiman Marcus

Key selling points: Balancing safety with affordability, these KN95s are like the Goldilocks of face masks—more secure than surgical masks and more cost-effective than some other N95s. (They ring in at 40 cents each.) Reviewers say they’re able to hold water and prevent people from blowing out candles—two signs that they’re the real deal.What customers say: "The quality is great and I can wear it all day without any problems, very comfortable to wear, especially in the airplane. Gives me peace of mind. Highly recommended." —Cathy, reviewer on Amazon

By Carrie Wittmer

By Perrie Samotin

By Elizabeth Logan

Key selling points: Looking for a sturdy, exercise-friendly face mask that won't snap halfway through a burpee circuit? You won't be disappointed with these, which have stretchy but secure elastic straps that hold up during the most intense of workouts. Plus, they offer good value for your money at 20 cents per mask, and come in tried-and-true black, so you can step out in an athleisure lewk without ruining your ’fit.

What customers say: "Nice masks and good quality. They were well packaged when received. The fabric used is of good quality and breathable, and the elastic straps are tight enough to hold the mask in place and not put strain on my ears. Also for the number of masks I've used, these straps never came off as has happened with other masks. That's a good thing." —Jeremy, reviewer on Amazon

Key selling points: Children will love these disposable face masks, which feature an adjustable nose bridge and come in fun prints like cats, polka dots, space, and Lego-like bricks. And they’re individually wrapped, making it easier for young ones to stash extras in their backpacks to swap out after playtime—or gift to their friends.

What customers say: "I have three children that range in age from 6 to 11 years old and these masks fit all of them. The best part about these masks is they are individually wrapped. This makes it worth the extra money. They can keep them in their backpacks without getting ruined. We keep extra in the car for when they forget, lose one, or another kid randomly needs one. The variety pack is also great because they each have their own style, so it's fun for them to choose which mask they want to use. They are good quality disposable masks. Definitely a great purchase." —MY review, reviewer on Amazon

Key selling points: Need more kid-friendly masks? These cute printed ones will be the envy of every student in their clss. The masks are lightweight and breathable—which is especially helpful if your kids are having a hard time not destroying their other face masks. As a bonus, they come in a resealable pouch that's just the right size for backpacks.

What customers say: "I have really had a hard time getting my daughter to wear a mask when it is required. She has a small face for an 11-year-old and complains about the fit of some of her cloth ones. We got these at the local Target for a long plane trip and she is much more willing to wear them than the masks she’d been using at school." —Mamá G, reviewer on Target

P.S.: This is a Quick Shop product—you don't have to leave Glamour to buy it.

Key selling points: Need we say more than "pink KN95 mask"? Fine, we’ll one-up it—this pack also comes in baby blue, navy, gray, and burgundy that’ll kick your personal protective equipment (PPE) game up a few notches. And at 79 cents per mask, they’re actually some of the more affordable colorful masks out there.

What customers say: "They’re super lightweight and comfortable. The ear loops don't hurt at all and actually barely feel like they’re there. It fits the perfect amount of tight. They don't feel so tight that it leaves a mark, but they are tight enough where they have a good seal. Also a plus is they don't fog up my glasses." —Virginia, reviewer on Amazon

By Carrie Wittmer

By Perrie Samotin

By Elizabeth Logan

Key selling points: The vibes have never been better thanks to this multipack of photogenic face coverings, which includes two tie-dyes and a dotted pattern. The resealable pouch is ideal for keeping in your purse or glove box—no more turning back when you realize you’ve forgotten to grab a mask on your way out the door.

What customers say: "These are really the best paper masks I’ve found—and I’ve tried everything! They don't have that funky smell the ones I purchased from Amazon have, they’re think enough to feel safe, don't get wet from talking, and are really cute." —Monksmomb, reviewer on Nordstrom

Key selling points: Are these not some of the prettiest disposable face masks you’ve seen? Celebs are obsessed with them, and we totally get why: The fabric is soft, the fit works for a variety of face shapes, and the beige and cream tones (which have cute names like Evening Sand and Cafe au Lait) are the perfect finishing touch to any look you put together. They’re especially worth it if you save them for special occasions like wedding receptions and engagement ceremonies.

What customers say: "I love these masks. The straps are securely fastened and the mask fits perfectly. The various shades blend beautifully with my skin tone and enhance wardrobe colors. I get compliments when I wear these. Pricey but worth it!" —Vicki R., reviewer on MaskC

Key selling points: Your wish to own an actually stylish medical mask can now be a reality thanks to Barrière, which designs objectively desirable options in on-trend patterns and colors like this leather-inspired basketweave, plus tie-dye and denim patchwork. The masks are all made from recycled materials—and the brand has a long list of celeb fans, including Irina Shayk, Emma Roberts, Naomi Watts, and Katie Holmes.

What customers say: "The best-looking mask on the market." —Kyle L., reviewer on Barrière

Key selling points: This NIOSH-approved N95 mask offers the max protection offered by a facial covering since it has 95% filtration efficiency. (Translation: It filters 95% of particles from the air, including respiratory droplets.) The roomy breathing chamber and soft headband make for surprising comfort, while its heavy-duty filter makes it ideal if you're surrounded by a ton of people—say, at an airport

What customers say: "This ‘duckbill’ or ‘pouch’ N95 mask is a simple, brilliant design that folds flat. It conforms smoothly to the face, and the fabric feels soft. The bridge-of-nose wire is actually two parallel wires and molds well to the nose slope, preventing fog on eyeglasses. The mask stays secure with two, pull-out, elastic head-and-neck straps textured like crepe paper for better grip—no irritating ear loops. The fabric stays off the nostrils and mouth even during heavy inhalation, because of the mask's tapered shape and semi-rigid seams. Breathing is very comfortable." —Home Improver, reviewer on Amazon

By Carrie Wittmer

By Perrie Samotin

By Elizabeth Logan

Key selling points: Before you go, consider these NIOSH-approved, heavy-duty masks. With five layers of filtration and head straps that won't strain your ears, this N95 is a worthy investment—and it’ll only cost you a dollar per mask. You might as well buy a few.

What customers say: "I don't normally write positive statements about masks because I don't like wearing masks, but these are very innovative. They have a foam strip at the top to stop from fogging your glasses (one of my irritants). … The mask itself seals very well and gives me confidence when in stores or other settings. I would highly recommend this mask to anyone looking." —Mary Filicetti, reviewer on Amazon

By Rachel Sylvester

By Emily Rekstis

By Danielle Sinay

By Kristi Kellogg

UPDATE—April 19, 2022: ORIGINAL STORY—August 14, 2020: Key selling points: What customers say: Key selling points: What customers say: Key selling points: What customers say: Key selling points: What customers say: Key selling points: What customers say: Key selling points: What customers say: Key selling points: What customers say: Key selling points: What customers say: Key selling points: What customers say: Key selling points: What customers say: Key selling points: What customers say: Key selling points: What customers say: Key selling points: What customers say: Key selling points: What customers say: Key selling points: What customers say: