Face coverings and masks have become required for entrance to and operation of all open businesses in California, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone to wear them. As a response, many companies, such as Disney, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association, and online retailers like Etsy and Amazon have jumped on the bandwagon and begun making masks. The increased demand for reusable masks has made it profitable for companies to produce them, but most are also donating a portion of the proceeds to charities or health workers on the frontlines of this pandemic. With so many options out there, three different masks are reviewed based on comfort, quality, style and the company’s ethics to simplify your search for the perfect facial covering.
Waterlust reusable masks – 5/5 stars
Waterlust is already known for creating products that give back to the environment and improve the ocean’s health, and they have not strayed from those ethics while producing masks. The masks are extremely comfortable and fit well on faces of any size, as their ability to fold and expand allows the wearer to adjust their dimensions. The company also advertises that they are made with extra material from other projects, furthering their commitment to helping the environment even during a pandemic. The masks are only $3 each, which they list as their manufacturing cost, so they are affordable to anyone who needs one. Waterlust masks definitely have the most unique patterns and cater more towards people who like a colorful print. These masks are also double layered and feel the most sturdy out of the three reviewed.
Due to the distinctive prints, comfortable double layered protection, cheap price point and the company’s commitment to the environment, these masks are an excellent option for you to purchase.
Custom Ink Basic Cloth Masks – ⅘ stars
Custom Ink is known for its customizable apparel; from shirts and hoodies to sweatpants and hats, they have it all, and masks are no exception! I bought the basic black cloth face masks, which are made with the same material and in the same style as the customizable version. These were about $2 each, but the quality was lacking because they are only single panel reinforced and can only be purchased in bulk. The lowest quantity available for purchase is 12 masks, which comes out to about $25 total. They were advertised as soft and breathable, and they were the thinnest of the three masks, which made me concerned about their effectiveness. There are also options for triple-layered masks, which would probably offer better protection but come at a higher price (about $3 each). In terms of style, the customizable feature is unique but could easily rack up the price. There is also no information on where the profits are going, other than that purchasing their masks will help “preserve medical-grade gear for healthcare professionals.”
All in all, Custom Ink masks deserve a 4/5 because, while comfortable and at the cheapest price point of the three, the basic option didn’t feel very effective.
Woodland’s Market reusable masks – ⅗ stars
Woodland’s Market has also started selling basic masks, which are limited to one mask per customer and look like typical medical grade cloth masks. They are complete with stretchy elastic and plenty of material to fit any face. At $4 apiece, they are a bit overpriced for their average quality. Upon researching the same masks online, I found that they sell for less than a dollar in bulk on Amazon, but they also do not give a company name or producer, meaning they could be manufactured in factories outside of the United States. In terms of company ethics and where the money is going, these masks get a lower rating than the other two brands, because it was the only brand I reviewed that didn’t say where they were made or where profits were going. The comfort is definitely there, but in terms of style these masks also get a low rating.
These masks deserve a 3/5 rating because, although they are comfortable and get the job done, they are overpriced when bought at Woodland’s despite having no outstanding qualities.