Don’t stow away your face masks just yet, because everyone’s going to be wearing them for quite a bit longer. Amid growing concerns over the rapidly spreading Delta variant and the rise of coronavirus cases across the U.S., the CDC is now recommending that even those who are fully vaccinated should start wearing masks in certain public indoor settings again.
That goes for travel, too, as whether you’re boarding a plane, subway, train or any other mode of public transportation these days, a mask (along with a vaccine, so please consider this your reminder to go get vaccinated if you haven’t yet!) is essential to protecting yourself and others from COVID-19. On August 17, the TSA extended the federal transportation mask mandate (which was set to expire on September 13) through at least January 18, 2022, which means you’ll need to mask up if you’re traveling via airplane, train or bus, as well as in airports, train stations and other hubs.
Since masks are going to be a part of our daily lives for the foreseeable future, you should make sure you have a face covering (or two) that you can wear for long periods of time, including on a lengthy travel day. You want to find a mask that’s breathable, comfortable and protective, and also not hideous. Luckily, brands have really stepped up during the pandemic, and there are plenty of stylish and comfy non-medical cloth masks to choose from, depending on your personal needs.
While cloth masks are not the same as medical masks and should not be worn in a medical setting, they’re a good choice for everyday use and travel, as long as they check off certain requirements. Masks that are snug, adjustable and, of course, machine washable are ideal, and those with three layers and room for filters offer even more protection, though you can also double-mask.*
Below, see our favorite breathable and stylish cloth masks you can shop now.
Caraa 5-Pack Universal Adult Masks
These double-layer masks have space for a filter as well as adjustable toggles and a nose wire, so you can fit them to your face. I love that they come in sets of five, and the colors are so cute. They’re washable so you can wear them repeatedly, and they’re super breathable and comfortable. $25, Caraa.
Rafi Nova Adult Everyday Elevated Mask 3-Pack
Rafi Nova’s 100 percent cotton masks are soft, comfortable and don’t irritate my exceedingly sensitive skin. The simple three-layer masks have a nose bridge, adjustable loops and a filter pocket for added protection, and the colors also happen to be extremely chic. $22, Rafi Nova.
Jill & Ally 3-Ply Adjustable Classic Bundle
I first discovered Jill & Ally’s incredibly soft masks last summer, and was immediately obsessed. The soft fabric doesn’t upset my very fickle skin, and the masks come in so many adorable colors and styles. I’m partial to the three-layer adjustable styles, which have a sewn-in filter, droplet guard and adjustable ear loop; the masks seriously contour to fit any face shape. This particular three-mask pack comes in very autumnal shades that are perfect for fall, and it’s also on super-sale right now. $12.99, Jilly & Ally
Herschel Supply Company Classic Fitted Face Mask
Herschel Supply Company’s three-layer masks have a liner with a sleeve to add in an air filter, and are snug but not tight, with an adjustable (and super lightweight) nose bridge, plus ear tabs. $14.99, Herschel Supply Company.
Rothy’s The Mask
Slip Double-Sided Silk Face Covering
You deserve a little luxury right now, and what’s more indulgent than a 100 percent silk mask? Slip’s double-sided face covering features an adjustable elastic ear loop and nose wire, as well as a 100 percent cotton inner lining, which will keep you cool and protected. $29.25, Slip.
Athleta Women’s Activate Face Mask 2-Pack
The new Athleta Activate face masks are perfect for the fitness-lover, as they’re specially-designed for those with a super active lifestyle. These masks are adjustable and cotton-lined, with a moldable fit. $14.99, Athleta.
Onzie Mindful Masks
Onzie’s masks are great to wear for workouts, since they’re made of washable, moisture-wicking fabric. They’re super lightweight and mold right to your face. $12, Onzie.
*Mask requirements and travel guidelines are constantly changing, so please check CDC and TSA guidance for the most recent and relevant information and guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.