We all have a love-hate relationship with our face masks: They're necessary to protect ourselves and others, yes, but they can also be incredibly uncomfortable if you have to wear your mask for an extended period of time. Because most cities and states require you to wear a mask whenever you're out and about, we owe it to ourselves to maximize our comfort when wearing them. Here, 15 products to shop right now that’ll solve all your face mask-related problems from painful ears to "maskne."
1. This adorable mask extender
If you’re suffering from swollen and sore ears, you’re going to want to invest in these five-gear mask extenders, stat. They're made from a soft, sustainable and flexible silicone and easily latch on (and stay on!) to any ear-hanging mask. Each multi-colored extender is equipped with a charm—like a palm tree, unicorn or butterfly—which will certainly brighten your day and those around you. Clocking in at a 4.5-star rating, customers who’ve tried them are now unable to go without them:” I have a smaller head so regular adult face masks are too loose for me. These extenders make face masks adjustable and save my life. They work well and look cute! Love the emoji one most!”
2. These adjustment buckles
Whether you have a smaller head or are looking to keep a child safe, these mask cord adjusters are a must-have. With over 400 reviews, they’re suitable for mask cord lengths of an eighth inch to a fifth of an inch. While some people say they were confused about how to use them, one customer explains it's quite simple: “I see complaints here that they didn’t include instructions but all you have to do is look at the pictures on this item description. It’s pretty easy to thread a needle through one end, wrap around the mask strap, and pull the needle back through while holding onto the buckle. Easy! I showed the finished mask to family members and now everyone wants them.”
3. This anti-fog spray for glasses
It really isn’t fair that glasses wearers have to decide between taking full breaths under their mask and potentially fogging up their glasses, or holding their breath and seeing vividly. Your solution are these portable dry wipes. They prevent fog on all types of prescription lenses and can be used up to 700 times each. With over 3,500 reviews, it’s clear to see (pun intended) that these wipes are an essential during these trying times: “I have to admit I was a bit skeptical of these wipes, but I was desperate to get something to stop my glasses from fogging up when I wear a mask. I followed the instructions - I breathed on my glasses enough to fog them, and then cleaned them with one of these cloths. Amazingly, no more fog on my glasses. I had my mask on for two or three hours and had absolutely no fogging. The next day they started fogging up just a little bit. All I had to do was another wipe with the same cleaning cloth and again—no fog. I love them.”
4. This transparent mask
Transparent masks are an especially crucial tool when communication with a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, an American Sign Language interpreter, or someone who relies on social cues. Featuring a double-sided anti-fog window, this 100 percent cotton mask with over 2,500 reviews is available in 14 colors and patterns, which is all the incentive you need to want to wear it more. It comes with its own pouch for an extra six dollars, which definitely beats throwing it into a Ziploc bag. While the mask is designed for children, plenty of adult-aged reviewers found it to fit perfectly.
5. This ear-saving headband
You were going to cover up that greasy third-day hair with a headband anyways—may as well grab one that’ll save your ears, too. Featuring two buttons on each side, this best-selling headband with over 1,300 reviews (and nearly 10,000 sales) comes in 36 styles and patterns including ever-trendy tie dye, paisley, and floral. Customers report these headbands have done wonders in easing discomfort throughout long shifts: “I had been having headaches for weeks with how many hours a day I wear a mask. These are so light that I can't even feel it, and it stays in place ALL day for 10 hour shifts. Love them!”
6. This beaded mask chain
What are you supposed to do when you take your mask off but don't want to lose it? Enter this beaded mask strap, which has hundreds of rave reviews on Etsy. Not only does it look like a pretty necklace but it attaches securely to your mask so when you remove it, you can simply let it hang around your neck (think: a glasses chain or lanyard but for masks).
7. This matte lipstick that won't smear
In the spirit of trying to stay safe while always looking bomb, it’s worth investing in a lip product that won’t smudge off on your mask. This soft matte lipstick from Lawless is made of antimicrobial elderberry and redness-reducing plumeria extract. Even after drinking and eating a full meal, the formula stays tattooed onto my lips. With over 23,000 fans on Sephora, reviewers note it boasts a pigmented hue without make your lips look flaky like many matte lipsticks.
8. These wireless headphones to keep your mask in place
In my experience, headphones that fit over the ear are actually super effective at ensuring my mask stays in place. Skullcandy’s speakers are surrounded by a plush cushion to provide much-needed support and relief to my swollen mask-laced ears. With over 7,500 ratings, these top-rated wireless headphones charge rapidly (10 minutes gives you three hours of play time for a total battery life of 40 hours), block out noise, and best of all, don't get tangled with my mask.
9. These maskne-busting patches
I’ve been using these pimple-poppers for years now, and watching them in action never fails to unveil my childlike sense of wonder. Simply leave them on a patch of acne or a single cystic pimple overnight (or throughout the day while you WFH, or under your mask while you grocery shop, or smack dab in the middle of your forehead in public because there are no rules and they are that translucent), and remove them to reveal a pimple that has either shrunk considerably in size or that has been cleared of pus or gunk. Each peel is 12 millimeters in size and works in as little as six hours. They’re so effective, I’m not even a little bit surprised to see they’ve garnered nearly 1,000 reviews.
10. These replacement air valves
With a unique ventilation design, these air valves are suitable for use on most double air breathing valve masks. Reviewers say they effectively isolate most dust, chemicals, particulates, gas, pollen, smoke and fumes, making it a particularly great option if you’re looking to optimize your air flow while performing activities like cycling, running, and hiking. Don’t worry about “installation”—word is they’re far easier to use than other valves out there: “These are exactly what I expected, good quality and easy to open and close, other valves I’ve bought require prying the parts apart but these have an easy turn lock system.”
11. This expert-approved detergent to wash your mask
If you’re not using a reusable face mask, you’re going to need to keep it clean (or else what’s the point?). In our lab, our experts found Persil ProClean to be the best laundry detergent as it removed an average of two percent more stains than other leading brands. If you have sensitive skin, our experts recommend Persil ProClean Sensitive Skin, which has a mild sweet scent that many prefer over its original counterpart. In our tests, it also happened to fight wine stains even more, too.
- Get Persil ProClean Liquid Laundry Detergent at Amazon for $11.97
- Get Persil ProClean Liquid Laundry Detergent, Sensitive Skin at Amazon for $11.97
12. These cute face mask holders
Let’s play a quick game of Would You Rather: Would you rather stuff your face mask in an old Ziploc bag, or stow it away safely in a customizable mask holder? Thought so. With this five-star Etsy product from PeelStickPlan, you get to choose your chain color, monogram color and initial (they give you up to 256 characters, so feel free to write a sweet message if this happens to be part of a gift). It won’t only look cute in your purse, but it’ll help guarantee your mask is free of viruses and bacteria.
13. This refreshing mask spray
I own several Way of Will products—from their deodorant to their sleep-inducing essential oils—and next on my list is their refreshing mask spray. It’ll undoubtedly come in handy during those days a mask is necessary for several hours at a time when the smell of our mask actually matters. Simply spray it on the inside or outside of your mask to enjoy the relaxing effect of tea tree oil and lavender. One five-star reviewer says “I'm in love with this spray! Not overpowering at all, and does a great job of refreshing the mask. In just two sprays and let the mask dry and you are ready to go!”
14. This moisture-absorbent mask
On numerous occasions I’ve been worried that I had been sweating through my mask like I tend to do through my armpits. Relieve those fears with an athleisure-esque mask that’s made of the same sweat-wicking polyester/spandex material that gets you through spinning class. Our trending editor, Amanda Tarlton, says of all the ones she's tried, the Champion mask is the best mask for working out as it's both breathable and comfortable.
15. This jewelry-turned-mask hanger so you never forget it
Every entryway needs a set of hooks for hanging your essentials, from your cardigans to your keys. While this jewelry holder with nearly 1,000 reviews and made of sturdy pine wood and 24 hooks is technically intended for necklaces, your mask isn’t any heavier, so you’ll love displaying it in this chic way without ever forgetting to leave home without it.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.