A Little Guide to Personal Masks

28-APR-2020 06:10 PM PDT UPDATED

Here you'll find advice on where to buy, how to make, and wear masks for personal use. New information and guidance from experts and health agencies on how to best fight COVID-19 is changing daily so we're tracking new developments in The Latest section.

What you should know about personal protective masks

Experts agree, in addition to social distancing you should cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. At the time of this writing, 7 US states and numerous local governments have issued public health orders to cover your face with a mask when you are out in public to help fight Covid-19. The Centers for Disease Control are recommending them for all Americans over 2 years old when leaving the house. Chances are if you are reading this you should be wearing a mask when you're out in public.

When we talk about masks, we're talking about simple cloth face coverings. We're not talking about something fancier like the N95 respirators used by doctors, nurses and other medical personel who are in direct contact with sick patients. These masks are in short supply and are best reserved for health care workers. If you want to help workers that need masks, please donate to Operations Masks, if you have masks to give please visit Mask Match or find out other ways to help out with the PPE Coalition.

Luckily, hundreds of companies and home crafters have answered the call for personal masks and are making a variety of styles available to buy online. You can even make a mask from everyday materials.

Why wear a mask?

Aside from violating a government issued health order, you should cover your face for a few reasons.

The main reason is to help protect others from you! You might unknowingly spread COVID-19 while speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if you are not showing symptoms. It sounds strange but recent studies show that many people who have COVID-19 never show or feel symptoms. The best way to protect people you might encounter in public is to cover your mouth and prevent transmission from you to them.

Secondly, the CDC says to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands because that is a key way the virus is introduced to your body. Wearing a mask is a great way to prevent yourself from touching your face.

We've scoured shops around the webt to find some great options. Buy a mask, make a mask - just find a way to cover your face. Remember, something is better than nothing.

Lastly, if you have a link to something I've missed or found a great scarf or mask I should list on the site, please contact us .

Buy a mask

We've curated a selection of high quality masks from around the web. Here's our complete list of over 50 available masks. We are providing this information as a public service and do not make any money thru links to masks. Please note: We have ordered many of these masks and have seen long fullfilment times. Our advice is to order from a few sources if possible.

Birdie Reversible Mask
by Birdwell

A general-use, reversible mask constructed with two layers of breathable SurfStretch™ boardshort material. For every mask purchased one will be donated to frontline workers

More info

Reusable Antimicrobial Finished Mask (5-pack)
by Jaanuu

Jaanuu makes scrubs with antimicrobial-finished fabric and now they're using that tech for face masks. One mask donated for each one ordered.

More info

Face Mask 3-pack
by Pistol Lake

One size fits most, woven 2-ply face mask w/ ties + bendable metal nose strip for a customizable fit. 100% cotton tightly woven Oxford fabric, Gray, midweight 4.6 oz, 2-ply construction. Hot wash and tumble dry. Iron as needed.

More info

The Sustainable Mask
by Christy Dawn

100% doubled deadstock cotton, and feature behind-the-ear elastic. They are reusable and washable. Each order is for 10 total masks (Five will be shipped to you! Five will be donated to those in need!).

More info

Xmash Mesh
by Xsuit

- Filters PM 0.3-10, dust and other air pollutants, pollen and other allergens, Bacteria and other germs, Wildfire smoke & cigarettes - Adjustable strap - Reinforced stitching - Removable valves - Interchangeable filters - Machine washable

More info

Adult Face Mask - Jazz Solo
by Sock Fancy

Triple-layered protection and made of machine-washable combed cotton.

More info

Face Mask
by Inside Line Equipment

Cotton mask with elastic ear loops. 4 Layer construction. They can be washed or UV sterilized.

More info

Fun Facade Mask Five Pack
by Eliel Cycling

Available in assorted colors and size Small and Large. Made in Eliel's San Diego, California factory

More info

Cloth Face Masks
by Disney

Four different designs. Designs include allover Mickey figure, allover Minnie figure, Minnie face with polka dots, and allover Mickey icons. Front: polyester, Middle and Back: cotton Binding: cotton/elastane, Exclusive of decoration, Imported

More info

See 50 + masks...
Icon Legend
This retailer donates masks or portion of sale to charity
Available in Kid specific sizes
Make a mask

Everything from "no-sew" options all the way up to sewing a pocket into a mask for a HEPA filter. Follow the advice below and you should have no reason not to have your face covered

How to make a face mask - JoAnn Fabrics

Simple downloadable PDF pattern for making your own mask. Requires basic sewing supplies.

Make a no-sew face mask from a t-shirt - Jennifer Maker

This experienced crafter offers a variety of youth and adult sizes and a step-by-step guide.

Watch this video to see how to make a mask with scrunchies and a bandana.

How to make a mask with no materials

A Doctor Explains how to make a face mask (with HEPA filter)

How to wear

It sounds easy enough but experts suggest proper fitment if wearing a professional mask, so it might be helpful to hear these tips even if you're just wearing a scarf.

The World Health Organization aswers the question "Can masks protect against the new coronavirus infection?"

General Instructions for Disposable Respirators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

3M, a maker of disposable masks, shows fitting instructions for one their 3M Health Care Respirator & Surgical Mask

Expert Advice

You should cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. However, cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.

Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.

The Latest on Masks

Recent updates from the world of personal protective masks

This is a "best effort" guide and should not be construed as medical information. See your doctor or a medical professional for medical information. We don't make money from any of the links on this page and are providing them as a courtesy. We don't make any warranties or representations for any of the links or information herein. If there is anything incorrect please use our contact information provided above and we'll do our best to correct as soon as possible.

♡♡♡ your friends at A Little Drive © 2020