Parents have to buy a lot of clothes, food, sports equipment and Christmas gifts for their kids. But since early 2020 parents have been adding a new item to their shopping lists: face masks for kids. And now in early 2022, that still hasn’t changed.
As we’re knee-deep into the heart of winter and suffering through the largest COVID-19 surge of all time due to the Omicron variant, kids’ face maks continue to be necessary in many settings. Although the majority of serious infections and deaths continue to take place among older folks, immunocompromised individuals and the unvaccinated, children are still susceptible to the new variant even if they have their vaccination.
According to CNN, more children are becoming hospitalized with COVID-19 than ever before as the Omicron variant rages across the globe. During the first week of 2022 alone, a whopping 861 children ranging from ages 0-17 were hospitalized with the virus here in the United States, according to the CDC. In comparison to the week prior, evidence shows that the number of hospitalizations in children had jumped by 27.4%.
Plus, depending on your location, your children may be required to wear face masks by local mandates. For all these reasons, you need to make sure your little ones are wearing the best face masks for kids.
What Are the Best Face Masks for Kids? KN95 Masks
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has specific guidelines for protecting kids from the coronavirus, and they’re worth reading in full if you have little ones to care for. That means everyone over the age of two needs to wear a cloth face mask or face covering in crowded indoor settings. But, here’s the issue: most face masks are made for adults. Because masks should fit snugly around the mouth and nose (without restricting breathing, of course), face masks made for adults won’t always provide a secure fit for our smallest family members.
Luckily, more manufacturers are taking this into account and producing comfortable face masks for kids as well. At this point, we suggest you ditch the reusable cloth masks for something a little more effective and disposable. The best masks to purchase right now are KN95 and N95 face masks because of how well they protect and ventilate, but that comes with a few issues. One is that NIOSH doesn’t approve any N95 masks for children whatsoever, so any N95 mask you want to buy your kiddo is either actually made for adults or is a complete counterfeit. You’re better off finding a regular disposable face mask or, better yet, KN95 face masks, which do come in sizes for children.
Finally, you can also find colorful kids’ face masks with fun designs from familiar brands we’ve gotten to know and trust over the course of the pandemic. We’ve gathered a bunch of different options to highlight for all genders and styles so no matter what age your child is or what they’re interested in, you’ll be able to find the best kid’s face masks for them.
The Best Face Masks for Kids for Sale Online
Just like face masks for adults, you can find face masks for kids in a variety of sizes, styles and designs. There are fun prints and character-based face masks. In addition, there are plain cotton masks that still get the job done, but offer limited protection compared to KN95 masks. We suggest placing a disposable underneath any cotton mask to maximize protection.
Below, you will be able to find a mix of disposable, KN95 and some cloth masks for children worth purchasing now.
1. WellBefore KN95 Kids’ Masks
As mentioned, some of the safest face masks to wear right now are KN95 masks. Sure, they might lack those cute colors, patterns and cartoon characters your kids expect on most of their face masks at this point, but they offer tons more protection. WellBefore is a reputable PPE supplier that sells KN95 masks for children at an affordable price. These masks come with multiple strap options and sizes depending on your child’s age. And we can’t forget about the colors, either. Choose from blue, green, red and more.
WellBefore KN95 Kids Masks
2. Blue Bear Protection Kids KN95 Masks
Just like WellBefore, Blue Bear Protection is one of the best places to buy face masks online, and it’s become one of our go-to providers of PPE throughout the course of the pandemic. These KN95 masks for kids offer 95%+ efficiency with a 4-layer filtration system to protect your kids at all times. All filters used are unwoven and breathable to maximize your child’s airflow. Comfort is prioritized here as well with the use of soft ear bands and a metal nose clip to accurately hold onto your kid’s face with minimal adjustment. Right now, packs are only available in a 20-count in black.
Blue Bear Protection Kids KN95 Masks
3. Cubcoats Face Masks for Kids (4-Pack)
If you’re not already familiar with Cubcoats, this apparel brand makes some of our favorite plushies and hoodies for youngsters. Cubcoats products are great gifts and stocking stuffers, but the company also makes popular kids face masks featuring fun animal motifs. Each of these masks is made with multiple layers of cloth and includes an inner cotton layer. Elastic straps provide a secure fit around the ears. Best of all, they have a parent-friendly price. Right now, these face masks are on sale via Amazon Prime.
Cubcoats Kids Face Masks (4-Pack)
4. BORHOOD Kids’ Disposable Face Masks
Disposable face masks have come a long way since 2020. Well, first and foremost, they actually exist now, and now you can snag them in a variety of sizes, colors and patterns. These surgical-style masks for kids feature nothing but fun colors for your kiddos with elastic ear loops for security. Instead of worrying about washing the mask at the end of the day, simply toss it in the trash and pick up a new one tomorrow. Each box of these face coverings comes with 100 individually wrapped masks.
BORHOOD Kids Disposable Face Masks
5. Handcraft Paw Patrol Masks
Two words: Paw Patrol. Need we say more? Your kid would probably kill to rep this mask in front of their pals. We get it, too — it’s super cool. This pack is made with cotton and can be washed for re-wearing. There are three total so your child can wear a different one every day.
Handcraft Paw Patrol Masks
6. MISSAA Kids’ KN95 Face Masks
While it might be hard to get your kid to wear a KN95 mask due to the lack of a solid fun factor, we think that MISSAA on Amazon has come up with a solid solution. These gorgeously tie-dye patterned KN95s are ideal for bringing color back into protective face masks. Each mask uses 5 layers of protection and comes in packs of 30.
7. Target Face Masks for Kids 2-Pack
Target is making a ton of great face masks for kids that come in an affordable 2-pack, so ordering a few at once for your child to rotate throughout the week is easy. The 6″ by 3″ masks are designed to fit over the nose and mouth of most kids, although the products below mostly come in colors and designs stereotypically associated with boys, if that means anything to you. They’re made of 100% cotton fabric for comfort and are held snugly in place by elastic ear loops. There’s no need to tie anything to hope that the mask stays on as your child runs and plays, and the lightweight feel of the fabric shouldn’t bother them too much. The masks can also be machine washed and tumble dried so caring for them is easy.
Target Face Masks for Kids 2-Pack
If you’re looking for the best face masks for girls specifically (or boys who like pink!), Target has plenty of other designs and colors to choose from, such as these colorful kids’ face masks.
Target Face Masks for Kids 2-Pack
8. Uncommon Goods Face Mask for Kids 2-Pack
Who doesn’t love sunshine and rainbows? Many of the best face masks for kids feature fun and adorable prints. Even though the world is a little scarier right now for all of us, it doesn’t mean we can’t have fun patterns on our protective face masks. These face masks for kids have a design on them drawn by children and 100% of the proceeds go towards New York public hospitals. The two layers of tightly-woven fabric are joined with two elastic ear loops that wrap tightly and protect for a snug fit. They’re made for children ages 4-12 and are machine washable.
Uncommon Goods Children's Face Coverings
9. Sanctuary Clothing Kids’ PPE Mask 5-Pack
This 5-Pack of personal protective equipment (PPE) face masks for kids from Sanctuary Clothing is available now and comes in some of their signature prints. Make your kids excited to wear face masks with these fun patterns and rest assured knowing they’re protected with a double fabric layer and content filter. They’re made to dispose of after a few uses, or you can hand wash them and let them air dry for disinfecting.
Sanctuary Clothing Kids PPE Mask 5-Pack
10. Cubcoats Face Masks for Kids 2-Pack
These face masks from Cubcoats are the perfect face mask for children as they’re comfortable, protective and themed like their favorite cuddly stuffed animal. Cubcoats is a children’s clothing line that knows what kids like and need, and now they’ve dedicated some of their manufacturing efforts to making these protective masks.
They’re made with two layers of fabric and have a pocket for an air filter if you wish to insert one. They’ve got a shapeable metal nose clip and elastic straps so you’re sure to find a comfy fit.
Cubcoats Face Masks 2-Pack
11. Wrakus Washable Kids’ Face Mask
If your kid likes patterns, video games, glitter, superheroes or whatever else, we’re sure Wrakus has a face mask for it. These cotton masks come in a pack of five and have different themes per pack choice. This one below features a Minecraft print, so for all of your little gamers, this is the perfect pack.
Wrakus Washable Kids Face Mask
12. Jay Blue Design Kids’ Face Mask on Etsy – 3-Pack
Some of the best face masks for kids are available on Etsy. These comfortable masks are made for young kids — anywhere from 18 months to three years old. They’re made of super-soft cotton and have ear loops so the mask will attempt to stay on as your child moves and plays. You can wash these masks along with your delicates either by hand or on the delicate cycle of your washing machine. They come in a wide variety of colors, too. Best of all, these masks have more than 11,000 reviews from Etsy customers and a stellar 5-star rating.
Cotton Face Masks for Kids 3-Pack
When Should Children Be Wearing Face Masks?
The CDC has the same guidelines for adults and children over the age of two. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Wear face coverings in public. It’s something that all of us should be more than familiar with at this point.
Anytime your child is outside and within six feet of others, they should be wearing a mask. If you’re going for a walk and your child is six feet away from others and isn’t touching high-touch public surfaces like benches, water fountains and playgrounds, there’s less of a need for a face covering.
What If My Child Is Afraid of Wearing a Face Mask?
Adults aren’t the only ones feeling stressed out. From remote learning to not being able to see their friends as much again with the new Omicron variant, this time is stressful yet again for little ones as well. At this point, your child is more than likely used to wearing a face mask. But, if your child is still struggling, this reaction is quite normal from a child who’s always grown up in a world where you can see someone’s entire face. If your child is afraid of wearing the face mask, put them on at home together and look in the mirror. Explain why they’re important. Put one on a favorite stuffed animal or toy so they can match. Show your child pictures of other kids who are also wearing face masks, and start out wearing them at home for a short amount of time until they get used to it.
Should Babies Wear Face Masks?
The short answer: no! The CDC says that anyone under the age of two should not wear face masks so as to not obstruct their breathing. That means most infants and young toddlers should not be placed in masks, which may actually be dangerous. Also, if you notice that a face mask or covering makes it harder for your child to breathe, or they are touching their face more because of it, you may want to consider other options.