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Face mask shopping online: Where to buy and what to look for

Now that face masks are mandatory in many states, it's time to stock up so you can protect yourself and others from the coronavirus.

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For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Airports, retail stores, essential businesses, salons, public transportation -- all places where face masks are required in many US states (here's a full list of the state mandates). And if you don't have a face mask yet, you may get denied entry into many of these businesses. Fortunately, you don't have to make your own face mask at home, because many online stores are designing their own face masks. You can select from simple, homemade coverings from crafters online to trendy (and often more expensive) designs that feature familiar characters, higher-end materials or name brands. Proceeds often go to coronavirus-related charities.

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No matter where you buy them, face masks come in a variety of shapes and patterns, like these wonderful Golden Girls-inspired masks from Huntees.

Kent German/CNET

Until a vaccine is ready, it's uncertain how long face masks will be required in public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for wearing face masks while participating in large gatherings as cities reopen, for example, if you go to an outdoor event or?attend a protest. Experts also point to signs of a?second coronavirus wave, which could complicate face mask use further, especially since the US has already reached over 2 million cases.

Here we provide some options when it comes to buying a premade, nonmedical face mask, and some shopping pointers on what to look out for when you buy.?

We're constantly updating and re-sorting this list, with the newest additions at the top. Those are followed by the vendors that are most popular with CNET readers, as measured by recent clickthrough data. Check out our gallery below to see which masks CNET editors are wearing now.

What to look for when buying a face mask

Covering the nose and mouth is part of a recommended worldwide effort to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which transmits easily from coughs and sneezes and from droplets in your breath. Remember that?social distancing?is still key, since cloth masks?may not prevent you from acquiring COVID-19. However, they are thought to slow the spread of disease by trapping larger particles (like your saliva) inside the mask.?

When shopping for face masks, cotton may be the most comfortable and easiest to fold up and carry around in your pocket. Some have a filter pouch. Masks that use thicker material and designs with more layers might trap larger particles you accidentally eject through talking, coughing or sneezing, but they may also be warmer to wear.

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Whichever style you pick, the mask you buy needs to be wide enough to cover your nose and chin, and should be snug enough not to create gaps. A tight fit will help keep out large particles that travel through the air, like from sneezes. If your selection winds up being uncomfortable, here are some ways to make your face mask more comfortable to wear.

Remember to wash the mask before putting it on. You might want to buy multiple masks so that you always have a clean one on hand -- you'll need to wash it whenever you get home after going out in public.?

Betsey Johnson

Betsey Johnson, best known for its fashion-forward clothes and accessories, is now producing colorful floral face masks.

Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott, a jewelry and home accessories designer, is now making face masks. For every face mask purchased, the company will donate one to a frontline worker in need.

Bonrisu

Bonrisu?makes handmade cotton face masks for adults and kids. The masks have a filter pocket and adjustable straps. For every mask bought, the company is donating a mask to communities in need.

Kona Supply Co

Kona Supply Co, a family-owned business that manufactures clothing in Hawaii, is making triple layered face masks with 100% cotton.

Gap

Gap?is selling face masks in packs of three for $15. The masks are made from three layers of cotton.

Old Navy

Old Navy?has tons of face masks in different colors and designs for the whole family. The masks are made from 100% cotton and have three layers.

Anthropologie

Looking for a stylish face mask? Anthropologie has you covered with a wide selection of colorful face masks from boutique brands.

Screenshot by Katie Conner/CNET

Huntees?has fun celebrity-inspired face masks, including Bowie, Cher and even Joe Exotic. Masks are made with three layers of material.

MAASK?is making face masks from 100% recycled ocean plastic. For every mask sold, the company will donate two medical-grade masks.

MaskMarket

MaskMarket?lets you customize face masks with your preferred color, text and even lets you upload photos to the masks. The company also has a selection of predesigned masks if you prefer not to customize your own. For each mask sold, the company is donating one to the 100 Million Masks organization.

Giftgowns

Giftgowns, a company that makes hospital gowns, is now making face masks. The masks are made from two layers of cotton and have a filter pocket.

Sock It To Me

Sock It To Me?masks are knitted with antimicrobial copper fibers. For every mask bought, the company is donating one to Meals on Wheels People.

Shopping an?Etsy?store is another option if you're looking to buy multiple face masks with different prints. It's important to note that they do sell out quickly, so if you spot one you like, it might be best to buy it then.

Some sellers carry sizes for adults and kids, so make sure to check the size before buying the mask to make sure you're getting one that fits.

Custom Ink?is a printing company that creates customized gear for businesses and groups. Now, the company is using its resources to make protective cloth face masks. You can order a family pack of 12 for $30.

The printing company notes that these masks are for personal use and shouldn't be worn in a surgical or clinical setting where the infection risk is high.?

Vida

Vida, an apparel and accessories company, has started making face masks. The masks are made of two layers of cotton and have adjustable straps and a metal nosepiece for a snug fit. Each mask has a multilayer PM2.5 filter, which the company notes needs to be replaced every seven days. Vida is donating 10% of all proceeds to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Equal Justice Initiative in support of Black Lives Matters.

If you want a mask that's fun to wear and gives people joy when they see it, then try one from?Arm The Animals. You can get a mask with a tiger face, a cat or dog face or other options. The company donates a mask to California hospitals, medical facilities and emergency workers each time one is purchased.

Vistaprint

Vistaprint is now making contoured face masks for adults and kids with an adjustable nose piece. The masks have a Vistaprint-exclusive Replaceable Nanofilter System.

You can get a three-pack of cotton face masks from?Los Angeles Apparel for $30. The masks offer an adjustable nose and straps so you can shape it to better fit your face.

Jane?is a boutique e-commerce marketplace providing a platform for small businesses to sell cloth masks online. The company is donating a portion of its proceeds and masks to help fight COVID-19.

Radian Jeans

Radian Jeans is now manufacturing face masks. The masks are made from two layers of knit jersey fabric and come in packs of five for $25.

Disney

Disney is officially selling face masks, including The Avengers and Baby Yoda masks. They come in sets of four for $20. The company will donate all mask profits (up to $1 million) to MedShare.

Hot Topic

Hot Topic is selling face masks and cloth coverings, with themes ranging from Billie Eilish to '90s sitcom Friends.

Banana Republic?is donating $10 to Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund for each mask purchased. The masks have an adjustable wire at the nose for a customized fit. Note that these masks sell out fast.

Purple

Purple, the company known for its mattresses, is now making face masks. The masks are sold in pairs for kids and adults for $20.

Caraa

Caraa, a New York City-based sports bag company, has started an initiative called Cara Cares that's making face masks from its leftover materials from the production line. The masks come in a pack of five for $25.

Rendall Co.

Rendall Co. is a Los Angeles based workwear brand that's now using its resources to make face masks from two layers of woven cotton with built-in pockets to add your own filter. For every mask sold, the company is donating one mask to essential workers and nonprofits working with the homeless.

Rag & Bone

Rag & Bone, an apparel company, is making face masks and donating $5 for every mask sold to organization City Harvest.?

SubZero Masks is donating one mask to an at-risk person in need for each mask purchased. The masks are 100% cotton.

Kenny Flowers

Kenny Flowers?makes beachy face masks. For every mask you buy, one will be donated to Bali to help those in need.?

Threadless

Threadless?masks come in two or three-ply polyester and they're form-fitting. The company is donating a portion of the net proceeds to MedShare, and so far, they've surpassed $300,000 in donations.

Snaptotes

Snaptotes provides fabric face masks with three layers of protection. The masks include a filter pocket and five replacement HEPA filters.

Paige

Paige?is using its extra fabrics to create cotton face masks. The company is selling the masks in packs of four for $20. Currently sold out.

Ministry of Supply

Ministry of Supply, an MIT-founded apparel brand, developed a 3D-printed knit mask that comes with one mask and 10 filters for $50.

Phunkshun Wear

Phunkshun Wear, a company that specializes in skiing and snowboarding face masks, is now manufacturing protective hygiene masks. For every face covering sold, one will be donated to the Colorado Mask Project. The masks are made from a breathable knit fabric, and they wick moisture.

CBS

The?CBS Store?now sells face masks with Star Trek and Survivor themes. Proceeds from the masks will go to support Feeding America's COVID-19 response.

Note that CNET and CBS are both divisions of ViacomCBS.

SpongeBob Shop

SpongeBob Shop?-- you know, the little sponge guy from Nickelodeon -- now has face masks for kids and adults. All proceeds will be donated to Save the Children.

Note that CNET and Nickelodeon are both divisions of ViacomCBS.

Swim Spot

Swim Spot, a swimsuit company, is now making face masks. You can buy a 5-pack for $10, up to a 100-pack for $250.

Stark's Vacuums, a vacuum retailer, rental and repair company, is now producing face masks that come equipped with three layers, including dust and sweat filters.

Emilia George

Emilia George, a maternity wear brand, is now producing face masks made from 100% cupro. The masks cost $10 each and come in a variety of colors.

Christy Dawn

Fashion brand?Christy Dawn?is now making face masks in its Los Angeles factory. For each five-pack sold (starting at $30), the company is donating a five-pack to others in need. The masks are made from 100% doubled deadstock cotton.

Tilit

Tilit, a New York City-based hospitality workwear brand, has started making face masks from recycled hemp and organic cotton blend. For every mask bought, the company is donating a mask to a food service worker volunteering or a medical professional in need.?

41 Winks

41 Winks, an eye mask company, is now using its factory to create face masks. The masks are made from two layers of cotton fabric and one layer of polyethylene filter with an adjustable nose bridge. Currently sold out.

Elyse Maguire

Elyse Maguire?is a scarves and home accessories brand that has started making face masks. The outer part is made from embroidered cotton fabric, while the interior is made from tightly woven cotton. The company is donating one mask to an essential worker on the frontlines for every mask sold.

Angela Lang/CNET

If you're able to safely buy a homemade face mask from someone local, then?Facebook Marketplace?is a good place to find them. Make sure to follow your local guidelines about physical distancing when buying anything.?

This includes standing at least 6 feet apart, so make arrangements to pick up the item from their porch or ask if the buyer can ship the item to help avoid contact. Wear gloves when collecting the mask and wash it immediately.?

Also, if possible, use a mobile payment service to buy the products instead of exchanging cash, which could harbor germs or bring you into close contact with the seller. Some sellers offer a buy button so that you can pay online.

SwaddleDesigns

A baby blanket company in Seattle,?SwaddleDesigns?recently converted its factory to start making face masks. The masks are designed by a nurse and have two layers of cotton flannel fabric.

Amazon Handmade?now has many more options at the time of writing, so it's a good source for finding face masks. You'll need to read the description to make sure you're getting the mask you want, for example, if you're looking for a thicker mask.

Many of these sellers are at capacity and working on orders that will take weeks to fulfill, so it's possible that it could take up to a month to receive your shipment.

The?American Blanket Company?is selling fleece face masks, which are thicker than a standard face mask. The company is donating face masks to first responders and healthcare workers with every purchase. You can get a five-pack for $39.

Sun Lovin Roots

Sun Lovin Roots?is an athleisure line that has started making face coverings. For every three masks that are sold, one will be donated to a person in need. Plus 10% of all sales are going to the organization?Direct Relief.

Thompson Tee?makes antisweat t-shirts, but now the company is shifting its focus to making cotton face masks to reach its goal of donating 15,000 masks to hospitals in need. Each mask costs $6 each, and for every three masks sold, the company is donating one.

MaskClub

MaskClub?is a new company that's donating medical-grade masks to the?First Responders Children's Foundation?for every mask sold. It offers designs such as Batman, Adventure Time and Betty Boop that it hopes will make kids more comfortable wearing them.?

TheraMasks?is selling antimicrobial copper masks. The company claims the masks reduce facial contamination, but also notes they don't claim to prevent coronavirus. They're machine washable up to 30 times and are made at an FDA-registered facility.?

Serengetee

Serengetee?masks are made from double-sided cotton fabric. The company sends two surprise masks, so you won't know what they look like until you get them. For every mask sold, the company will give one to someone working on the front lines.

Electrothreads?offers colorful face masks for adults for $20 each. They're made with elastic and they're adjustable for a snug fit.

USA Sewn Masks?is donating all of its profits to organization?Flexport?to go toward supplies for front line workers. The masks have two layers of cotton with a pocket for adding a filter.

Ask local groups

If you don't want to wait for items to be shipped, you can reach out to any social clubs or religious groups you may belong to and ask if anyone is making them. If your neighborhood uses Nextdoor or has a Facebook page, you can also post there to see if anyone can make you one -- it's considerate to offer to pay for their time.

Again, remember to wash the face masks before wearing them for the first time and after each use.

For more resources, here's how to make a face mask or covering at home, everything you need to know about homemade face masks and coronavirus?and 13 ways to help keep yourself safe when you leave the house.

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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