We all know face masks are a must right now. And we all know, when worn correctly and in public spaces where distancing of at least six feet may be difficult to maintain, face masks help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. But when it comes time to wear one, we’ve all experienced from time to time just how uncomfortable face masks can be. Some, especially essential workers, may find the mask straps particularly painful after hours of wear; others may complain of skin irritation or find their masks difficult to breathe in. That’s where face mask bandanas and neck gaiters come in handy.
While the CDC recommends wearing a cloth face mask in public, other face coverings such as mask bandanas and gaiters are solid face mask alternatives, notably when outdoors and maintaining social distancing is possible. When worn correctly, the aforementioned face covering can help reduce the spread of respiratory droplets from an infected person to the surrounding area, USA Today reports. “We do know that tighter-fitting face masks have better aerosol filtration, but the most important thing is for people to find a mask that is comfortable that they can and will wear,” Emily Sickbert-Bennett, Director of Infection Prevention at UNC Hospitals in North Carolina, tells the publication. “A neck gaiter covering the nose and mouth would most likely be appropriate.”
When shopping for alternative face coverings, it’s important to take note of the material and the fit. As Sickbert-Bennett mentioned, the tighter it is, the better. As for the material, those with a higher thread count and those made of blended materials (i.e., cotton and another material) may be more effective.
From lightweight and cooling neck gaiters to unique face mask bandanas with comfortable ear loops and filter pockets, ahead are some of our favorite face mask bandanas and neck gaiters.
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