Full disclosure, I make and sell face masks, but I’m writing this NOT to sell more masks. Please, don’t buy one from me. I’m writing this because I’ve seen so many friends asking what TYPE of mask to get. Since I do make them for myself and to sell and for donation, I’ve tried a LOT of styles. I’ve researched fabrics, CDC recommendations, ties versus elastic, ear loops versus head loops, pleated versus fitted, etc. I’ve made tons of masks, I’ve WORN each pattern type, style, etc.
I recommend a “fitted” style, with around-the-neck adjustable elastic.
And here is why:
- Around the neck elastic (versus ear loops)
- It’s more comfortable. The ear loops bother my ears after a while.
- I can pull down the mask and let it hang around my neck when not needed. Which also means I can easily put it back on just by pulling it up. The ear loop kind require me to ridiculously hang it off one ear (where it inevitably falls off), or put it in a pocket or elsewhere, which doesn’t allow me to quickly put it back on.
- If you have long hair, you can pull your hair out on top of the elastic and still be comfortable.
- If you have glasses, this style won’t “fight” with your glasses on your ears.
- Adjustable elastic
- If it isn’t adjustable, it’s much harder to get a good fit. Too tight (uncomfortable) and too loose (is ineffective) are not good.
- Ties are adjustable, but not easily taken off and put back on. Tying and untying over and over again becomes annoying fast.
- Ties also suck if you have long hair, I kept tying my hair into the ties.
- Fitted (versus pleated)
- If you have glasses, fitted tend to fog up less, especially when paired with a “nose wire”, but even without one, I find the fitted tuck up under my glasses better and therefore don’t fog up as much.
- If you have a small/large/otherwise-not-average head/face/nose, fitted helps as you can typically order a different size.
- Fitted tends to stay on my face better when I’m talking. Pleated tend to slip down off my nose when I move my jaw.
- Fitted seems to be more likely available with around the head elastic styles.
So that’s my recommendation, and why. Those are all that I wear now if I can. Hopefully the terms above will allow you to Google and find the style of mask that works for you.