With everyone now embracing face masks and coverings in shops and on public transport across the UK (you can remove them if you’re enjoying food or drink in a cafe, restaurant or food court), you need to find the right mask for you.
But do you need a specific size? Should you go for reusable or disposable face masks? How often do you need to wash them? And do children need to wear them?
Discover some of the best face masks at Meadowhall, where to buy them* and how to safely use them while practising regular hand washing and social distancing.
Best reusable masks for adults
Many commercially available masks are designed to be single use but because these contain plastics, they’re not a great idea for the environment (or your wallet) while the medical-grade designs can be costly and uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
So the wisest idea is to buy a reusable fabric mask which you carefully remove after use and wash routinely (according to the CDC). Here are some of the good designs available at Meadowhall:
Meadowhall’s charity face coverings, £4 each or £10 for three, customer services desks
For a range of essential masks, we’ve partnered with Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and Weston Park Cancer Centre to create a colourful range of face coverings with all proceeds providing vital financial support to the hospice, hospital and care centre alongside patients, families and staff during a really tough year.
You can find the desks at The Lower High Street adjacent to Wilko and Argos or the Upper Arcade near Zara and the main entrance. Darren Pearce, centre director at Meadowhall, explains: “We’re incredibly proud of our Yorkshire home and wanted to support these incredibly important organisations that provide vital services to people across our region.”
Find out more about the charities through the below links:
Reusable and reversible, Levi’s designs are for a more comfortable and longer wear; and they recommend a large size for adults. These are non-medical, reusable face coverings that are not FDA-approved as medical devices and are not certified Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) so ensure you practise social distancing, wash your hands and avoid touching your face.
With the release of these masks, Levi’s will provide a $75,000 (approx. £57,000) donation to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to support the life-saving medical work they do worldwide.
This pack of antibacterial face coverings contains masks that are both washable (for up to 40 uses) and reusable. Fitted with elastic ear loops and adjustable toggles, they will give you the perfect fit with breathable 2-ply BCI cotton with an antibacterial finish. Each pack comes with five different patterns, including two animal prints and three plain styles.
If you’re not keen on breathing into material, Hype’s knitted face coverings are the perfect solution. Cleverly fitted to your face and machine washable, the feel super comfortable and crucially stay in place.
Simple but beautiful, Urban Outfitters’ masks come in a range of on-trend colours with solid weave with loops around the ears. (Please note, this face mask is not a direct substitute for N95, surgical or procedural masks.) Plus, £1 from every mask will be donated to charity.
Best masks for children
While it’s not mandatory for kids under the age of 11 to wear face coverings or masks, Disney have helpfully launched a new range of cloth face coverings, which feature favourite Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars characters.
The coverings come in packs of four and are available for £20 with 100% of proceeds going to Red Cross organisations around Europe. Disney is also donating 100,000 face coverings to MediCinema, a long-standing charity partner.
The cloth, non-surgical face coverings come in small, medium, large and extra-large sizes and in a wide variety of prints featuring a range of fan favourite characters, including: Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Elsa, The Avengers, the Child – AKA Baby Yoda – and more.
Best masks for wearing with glasses
Any glasses-wearer will tell you that masks + steamed-up lenses is no fun and not great for getting round the shops in. The answer is to buy a mask that sits snugly on your face, place your glasses over the top of your face covering and go for a mask with an adjustable nose covering. Reiss’ navy reusable four-layered covering has you, ahem, covered.
Made from a lightweight, breathable silk-blend fabrication that feels comfortable on the skin, the non-medical face masks can be reused up to 100 times. The mask is unisex and features adjustable straps to fit all face shapes and sizes. It also has a wire system along the top edge, so you can shape it to sit across the nose and cheekbones and voila - no more fogged-up glasses.
Profits from the sale of each mask will be donated to NHS Charities Together
Best masks for sports
Heading to the gym or out for a run? Protect the people around you with these Gym King stretchy face masks available from August that have anti-bacterial filtration for up to 30 washes (but always keep washing your hands and socially distancing).
How to look after your face mask
According to government information, your face covering or mask should:
- cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
- fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
- be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
- be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton
- ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used)
- unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged
When wearing a face covering you should:
- wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on
- avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
- avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
- change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
- avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession (for example, when leaving and entering shops on a high street)
When removing a face covering:
- wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing
- only handle the straps, ties or clips
- do not give it to someone else to use
- if single-use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle
- if reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
- wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed
*Please be aware this is dependent on stock levels.