As sweaty and sticky as it is to put a mask on your face when the weather is muggy, wearing a breathable face mask is still one way many people are protecting themselves during the latest surge, especially when social distancing may be difficult. Plus, if you make it a priority to wear a mask that's genuinely comfortable, you're more likely to actually keep it on.
Although high-filtration disposable face masks like N95s, KN95s, and KF94s or our SELF Fave Vida KN95 are your best options for strong protection against coronavirus droplets and particulates, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that a cloth mask that adheres to its fit and fabric guidelines (more on that below) is better than no mask at all. And, remember: It might be tempting to wear a gaiter or a bandana, but research suggests that neither is great at preventing the spread of respiratory droplets.
When selecting a cloth face mask, look for one that fits securely around your nose and mouth (with no gaping) and involves multiple layers of tightly woven face mask material. Bonus points if it blocks light and features a nose wire, per the CDC. On the flip side, you should avoid ill-fitting or single-layer masks, as well as ones that feature valves or vents. Oh, and they should be clean, of course.
Luckily, there are plenty of reusable masks that follow these recommendations that won't make you feel like a sweaty mess in the midst of the summer heat. Here, we've highlighted the very best breathable face masks you can buy right now, from brands like Under Armour, Athleta, and more. Read on to find your go-to masks for the scorching days ahead.
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