At the height of summer, lightweight and breathable face masks proved to be a necessity. But during the cooler months, wearing warm face masks is an added bonus beyond protecting yourself and others from COVID-19. With the highly contagious Omicron COVID-19 variant swirling, it's crucial to keep wearing a protective mask. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control may soon recommend that people opt for more effective N95 and KN95 masks, reports The Washington Post, as opposed to cloth masks.
"If we had the supply to begin with in the beginning of the pandemic, then most likely, the recommendation would have existed to utilize the N95. But because of supply constraints, that recommendation was unreasonable to meet," says Anthony Harris, MD, MPH, associate medical director for WorkCare. "Wearing the N95 instead of a cloth mask is preferable to help increase the level of protection for yourself as well as others around you."
Take that protection to the next level and keep your N95 ($40 to $60) or KN95 a bit cleaner if you're reusing it by double masking with a warm face mask. "Wearing a second mask is about protecting the more expensive, and less available, N95 mask so that you can extend its lifetime," says Brian Labus, PhD, MPH, an infectious disease epidemiologist and public health professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Made from materials like fleece and wool, a warm face mask will make your fall and winter outfits much cozier. Think of it as a 2022 version of a ski mask—except it's cute and absolutely essential.
Best Warm Face Masks for Cold Weather
This N95 mask from HDX features an adjustable aluminum nose clip for an excellent fit. Because it’s so good at filtering as you breathe, it tends to trap more heat than other masks, making it a great way to keep warm. Shop a 25-pack for $40 or a 40-pack for $60.
If you prefer cotton masks, this one has a triple layer to make it warmer. It’s also has adjustable ear loops and an anti-microbial coating, and comes it a pack of five.
This super-soft face mask is made from three layers of Supima cotton, with elastic ear loops and a nose wire to ensure it fits properly. Choose between black, white, gray, or floral colors, and it has a cute quilted pattern to set it apart from the rest of your face mask collection.
Apron brand Hedley & Bennett quickly pivoted to also making face masks during the pandemic, and these have reinforced stitching and an inner pocket if you want to add a filter for extra protection. They were designed with a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and the brand donates to first responders and essential workers for every mask purchased. The pack comes with three stylish masks.
Not only does this mask have three protective layers and a built-in filter pocket, but it also doubles as a scarf when you need it, essentially making it two accessories in one. It’s 100 percent cotton, has a tie back, and comes in four different colors/patterns.
A doctor answered all your COVID-19 questions:
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