recommend an available (-ish) face mask I can buy
April 22, 2020 12:28 PM   Subscribe

My bandanas and homemade masks are not the greatest face coverings. Is there a reusable mask I can buy that you'd recommend, that I can get before, say, 2022?

I'm open to Amazon or Etsy or whatever. I'd especially like to hear from people who have actually bought and used the mask.

Comfort, durability, ethical sourcing, and price are all considerations.

posted by kristi to Shopping (28 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
I have purchased masks on Etsy and been very pleased - dsdmedievalneedle sells my preferred style (non-pleased with nose cover, and you pick the straps- I like ear loops).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:34 PM on April 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

I bought a pack of these. They came in blue. They are soft & comfortable and don't pull on my ears the way some elastic ones do. They shipped next day, but now I see they have a 3-5 day wait. A friend that also bought them found them too big for her face, but they fit me well. I like having a pack of them so I don't have to do a load of wash every time I wear one.
posted by mcgsa at 12:35 PM on April 22, 2020

Where To Buy Cloth Face Masks & Support Small Businesses ~ These are all in Columbus, Ohio.
posted by dgeiser13 at 12:43 PM on April 22, 2020

Full disclosure, my partner makes these. If you can order one (i.e., not shown as sold out), it goes to the post office the next day. What happens from there, though...
posted by hwyengr at 12:44 PM on April 22, 2020 [4 favorites]

I bought two masks from SewingforSami on Etsy. I was very happy with them. It looks like she's currently taking one to two weeks to ship.
posted by FencingGal at 12:50 PM on April 22, 2020

I bought some from Nooworks, but looking at their site now I don't see them - maybe they sold out. They do have a listing for kids' masks if that is something you need.

Mine fit well, so I would recommend them if they were still there.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 12:55 PM on April 22, 2020, but to my knowledge they have not shipped yet. (Though apparently will be starting next week).

Also, I believe ship in June.
posted by dobbs at 12:58 PM on April 22, 2020

Metafilter favorite bagmaker Tom Bihn is making masks now! My friend who has hers already says they're the high quality you'd expect. At $13 for a get-one-give-one deal, they're the cheapest higher-quality masks I've seen available. They're opening for pre-orders every few days and shipping a few days later.

Rickshaw Bagworks is also making masks. I just got mine, they're nice. Little spendy, but durable-looking, and available in solids or colorful batiks.
posted by rhiannonstone at 1:00 PM on April 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

Poietic Designs makes some from either cotton or spandex (your choice).
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:05 PM on April 22, 2020

Local (to me) business selling a 10-pack for a reasonable price:
posted by miratime at 1:10 PM on April 22, 2020

Response by poster: These are all GREAT so far!

If I could request that subsequent answerers let me know whether you have (a) worn and (b) washed the one you're recommending, that would be extra helpful.

Thank you!
posted by kristi at 1:16 PM on April 22, 2020

all-ett in San Diego (usually maker of wallets) is selling masks in a "buy 2, donate 2" model, currently shipping "7-10 days after the order date". They have a flexible nose band and elastic-ish earloops. I bought a pack during their first run and they've been wearing/washing well for me, better than others I bought that were entirely too big.
posted by btfreek at 1:27 PM on April 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

I initially bought masks off of Etsy from a a highly rated seller and I was not happy with them. They had shock cord to fit around the ear and sewed-in wire for around the nose but they didn’t fit right.

My friend, who is an excellent craftsperson, started to make masks and I like how they fit. My husband and I can both fit the same mask to our face, there are no gaps (no sewed in wires either), and a variety of patterns to choose from. We went for two walks here in Miami so far wearing them without complaint.

Washed it in a lingerie bag no problem.
posted by vivzan at 1:30 PM on April 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

In response to your question: I have washed and worn my masks from Rickshaw. They're comfortable to wear, and I actually like their style better than the ones that have a less-contoured top--seems to fog up my glasses much less. They also hold up to washing on the delicate cycle. I machine-dried one and air-dried the other--I recommend air-drying. Machine-drying warped one of the outer layers a wee bit, and while it's still wearable because it's reversible, I don't want to warp it any farther.Air-drying was very quick--just a few hours.
posted by rhiannonstone at 2:12 PM on April 22, 2020

I got two cloth masks with my takeout from OneMask. You can order through them directly, or through the local businesses (which they encourage - Bay Area). It is a nice satin-y feeling fabric, and water-resistant.
posted by toastyk at 2:15 PM on April 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

I got a bunch of the All-ett ones as well, and have been v happy with them. They’re double layer and, as btfreek notes, they wash well.
posted by holborne at 2:20 PM on April 22, 2020

Hi, Mrs. Cowlick has been selling her washable masks on for either $4 or $6 each. She's been making them by hand as soon as someone orders them; shipping goes out the next day via USPS or USPS Express.

Hey hwyengr, your partner's masks look great, by the way. They really cover the face nicely.
posted by cowlick at 2:32 PM on April 22, 2020

The ones I've been using (and washing repeatedly) are from Maine Stitching. Holding up fine. They're shown being used as covers for N95s in some of the pictures, but they can be used fine on their own. Elastic along the nose-line to reduce airflow out that way. My mom likes them, too. Minimum order 4 masks. Made in Maine, it appears.

My friend really likes her Tom Bihn mask. I haven't gotten my hands on mine yet. They are a small American company, everything made in their Seattle-area factory.

There are some really cute ones made by black-owned companies listed in this article. Haven't tried any of them myself, though.
posted by praemunire at 2:32 PM on April 22, 2020

(For some reason, the site nukes the Root full link, but it does take you to the right site to find the article. Sorry. Don't know what's up with that.)
posted by praemunire at 2:36 PM on April 22, 2020

Threadless just announced masks.
posted by dobbs at 3:17 PM on April 22, 2020

I got mine from Etsy. I was super please with them they are comfortable, I have sensory issues & they were super soft cotton & they've washed up well. I can link them, but they got snowed under with orders so have had to close their store for a bit to catch up. So nthing Etsy as a good source. Tom Bihn is making them & will donate a mask for each one you buy.
posted by wwax at 3:18 PM on April 22, 2020

I got my Tom Bihn mask yesterday and wore it; it has a little piece of wire in the nose that you can use to adjust it, which is removable so it doesn't warp/melt in the wash. I also liked that it's the more duck-shaped style; there's a bigger pocket in front for your face instead of the pleats in the other kind. I'm asthmatic and claustrophobic so this is a big plus to me. The ear loops aren't elastic, they're soft fabric. The elastic loops on some of my other masks pop off my ears; these stay put and don't hurt.
They came in about 5 days I think? I live in CA and they ship from Seattle.
Also they donate a mask to someone in need for each mask you buy!
posted by assenav at 3:34 PM on April 22, 2020

I bought from Allett on Mefi recs back when they were selling them in a 5-pack. Pros: they wash well and seem quite durable. Cons: they don't fit particularly well on my face--maybe my face is too broad/round? They're a bit tight and come really close to my eyes.
posted by TwoStride at 4:36 PM on April 22, 2020

I ordered these -- they arrived quickly, are comfortable (given the discomfort of having something on your face), and survived washing and drying without issues.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:29 PM on April 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Since hwyengr referenced my package detour post above, I updated it with the following:

The package arrived on April 17 with no issues. I discarded the packaging immediately so I did not think to look for clues as to its origin or journey.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:57 AM on April 23, 2020

that I can get before, say, 2022

What I did was to run some searches on Etsy (I specifically wanted ones with a metal strip at the nose because glasses) and then filter for the shop being in my state (Ohio). From that relatively small list I was able to find someone making some in a town about 40 minutes from my city for about $10 each.

I selected the "surprise me" option for fabric color/style (meaning I didn't even have to wait for them to specifically sew masks, I would just take whichever ones they already had made), and they showed up in about 2 days.

TL:DR, use the filter functions in Etsy to find someone local-ish to you. They might not be swamped with orders and the delivery time should be relatively quick.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:15 AM on April 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

I have a five pack from Flatten the Curve in Chicago. They arrived promptly, fit decently, and are as attractive a dumb thing you have to wear on your face can be.
posted by fancypants at 6:36 AM on April 23, 2020

I highly highly HIGHLY recommend Madison Flitch, based out of Kansas City. They used to be a specialty furniture producer, but they've revamped their entire company to make masks full-time. They are the most well-designed masks I've seen so far. Here's why they rock:

In addition to the standard ear loops, these masks also have a velcro strap that wraps around your head, so if the ear loops slip, the mask will not fall off. Other masks I've used have slipped off my ears very easily, and I've had to constantly readjust them. Not so with this one. It's very comfortable and offers full coverage.

The masks also have a pocket where you can place a filter inside for extra safety. Each mask order comes with filters, but you can order more for 10 bucks, or make your own.

They've recently ramped up production, so turn-around time from ordering to shipping is about 2-3 days, meaning you'll get your mask in about a week, depending on where you are in the country.
posted by chara at 10:02 AM on April 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

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