This winter, healthcare experts are urging Americans once again to consider wearing face masks while in public. In what’s being called a “tripledemic”, the latest call for masks stems from the increase in COVID-19 cases, RSV, and Influenza transmission. This time, the World Health Organization is raising concern over COVID subvariant XBB.1.5. With a particularly viral cold season this winter, we’ve been taking stock of the best ways to prioritize our safety and choose the right face masks for any situation.
Just as they did last year, the new Omicron subvariant is expected to prove especially impactful for those who have not received their booster vaccine. Public health authorities recommend steering away from cloth masks and switching to masks with filtration systems. According to the CDC, wearing a N95 face mask or KN95 mask, particularly indoors, can help offset the risks brought by new COVID variants.
Now, XBB is the dominant variant in the U.S. and officials with the World Health Organization said at a press conference on January 4 that this version of the COVID-19 virus is the most transmissible detected so far. This is a prime time to stock up on some durable, protective masks — especially if you’ll need to navigate any upcoming travels this winter. If you’re still feeling unsure about restrictions and the best mask recommendations, you can look through the CDC-approved list of masks and how to find them.
And if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the choices and are in need of some masks that are equal parts practical and protective, ET has compiled a list of our favorite N95 and KN95 mask options to buy online for protection against Omicron, all of its subvariants, and rising flu cases. Shop our picks below.
Best N95 Masks to Protect Against The Tripledemic
We love the breathability and maximum protection of this structured face mask. Made with extra room for your nose and mouth and high-grade seals, this mask ensures that you can have your best fit to prevent eyeglass fogging or any breathing discomfort, all while staying thoroughly protected.
This N95 face mask is made with non-woven melt-blown material to make sure you’re getting the most efficient filtration for infection control.
We know that safety is of the utmost importance, and with this masks’s ultra sonic seals for optimal respiratory protection from airborne particles.
N95 face masks are hot items and these Harley Commodity N95 Masks are some of the best out there. (If you’re concerned about buying a counterfeit mask, these are NIOSH approved n95 masks and Bona Fide is an authorized distributor.)
For a comfortable and breathable face covering option with optimal filtration, try out this N95. It meets CDC guidelines for particle filtration efficiency, meaning it’s healthcare worker approved.
Though this N95 mask was intended for professional use to keep out sawdust, sand and smoke, it’s 95% filtration efficiency makes this disposable mask a great choice for protecting your face against Omicron.
Best KN95 Masks to Protect Against The Tripledemic
MASKC masks are beloved by celebrities and for good reason: they’re stylish and much better at COVID-19 prevention than a fabric mask. With breathable construction, these 3-dimensional respirator masks block droplets and airborne particles with 95% bacterial filtration efficiency.
Manufactured in an FDA Registered facility, these masks are breathable, recyclable, and are available in both adult and kid sizes. More colors include Coral, Denim, Blush, Seafoam, and Lavender.
Bona Fide Masks
Get masks made at the new KN95 standard with upgraded breathability with this Powecom KN95 disposable respirator mask from Bona Fide Masks.
Tired of your mask constantly falling down and exposing your nose? This 5-ply KN95 mask has all the filtration benefits, but it also has a fixed metal nose clip to ensure that it stays on for a safe and wearable fit.
The soft ear elastics of this KN95 protective mask make it perfect for daily use.
These breathable KN95 face masks are made of two layers of non-woven cloth, two layers of fabric and one layer of hot air cotton. Plus, the inside is skin-friendly and made to absorb moisture from your breath to help facilitate easy and healthy breathing at all times.
5 individually sealed KN95 masks that feature an aluminum nose piece for a more secure fit.