Best Reusable Face Mask
Face coverings have quickly become an everyday essential, but our research shows that the type you buy matters, as they vary significantly in effectiveness. We tested 15 reusable fabric face coverings from a range of high street and online brands - as well as the UK government-recommended homemade face covering design - to find out how well they filter bacterial particles. We also assessed how breathable and comfortable they are to wear, and how they stand up to repeated use and washing. The best face coverings did a good job of blocking particles and were easy to breathe through too. But we also uncovered some poor one-layer face coverings that blocked as little as 7% of particles from penetrating the mask. Below are the full results of our first comparative lab test of face coverings, including the ones we recommend. Find out more about reusable face covering types, features and using tips in our face mask buying guide. Which? recommended face coverings These face coverings offer the best balance of filtration efficiency and breathability. They are Which? Best Buys – our top-scoring products that we recommend.
Bags of Ethics Great British Designers Face Coverings, £15 for three (£5 per mask)
Which? score: 80% For something a little more colourful, these tightly woven cotton sateen pleated masks come in a pack of three, with one striking design each from Halpern, Mulberry and Raeburn.
They did well when filtering particles - managing 72% of particles on the first test, 73% after five washes - while also being some of the most breathable we looked at. The trade-off is that they are double-layered, not triple. A nose wire allows you to create a snug fit, but the elastic ear loops are the attach-and-adjust variety – like a bra strap – and can be a bit fiddly to get right. You get two protective cloth pouches in the pack to store your used mask in while out and about before washing it, which is handy. The manufacturer says the masks are good for 50 uses before recycling, so a pack of three will last around five months. Profits from the sale of these face coverings go to charity. These masks also come in a pack of three for £15. At the time of writing, they're also widely available: you can find them at John Lewis, Boots, Sainsbury's, Argos, Waitrose and direct from Bags of Ethics.
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