We’ve tried a lot of face masks over the last year, and this $10 mask is one of the best you can buy


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a woman looking at the camera: The author in her Vida face mask. Mara Leighton/Business Insider


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The author in her Vida face mask. Mara Leighton/Business Insider

For the last 11 months, the Insider Reviews team has gone through patterns similar to much of the US: cooking comfort food in our homes and shopping for cloth face masks and hand sanitizer. We’ve also been interviewing infectious disease experts and doctors to answer questions about whether it’s safe to rent a car or stay in a hotel.

Recently, I asked my coworkers to share their favorite fabric face masks for preventing the spread of COVID-19 – and a clear preference emerged: Vida’s non-medical grade, reusable face masks.

The Vida Face Masks are made of two 100% cotton layers and they come with multi-layer filters that can be easily added or removed from the mask. The masks also have an adjustable wire nose bridge and adjustable ear straps for a secure, custom fit. They’re affordable, comfortable, and well-designed, and they adhere to the guidelines put forth by the CDC about what to look for in a good face mask.



a couple of people that are talking to each other: Editors Sally and Jen in their Vida face masks. Sally Kaplan/Business Insider


© Sally Kaplan/Business Insider
Editors Sally and Jen in their Vida face masks. Sally Kaplan/Business Insider

Personally, I’ve found my Vida mask gives me the most secure and comfortable fit for the best price –  a sentiment echoed by senior editor Sally Kaplan and deputy editor Malarie Gokey. 

The adjustable ear loops and long-but-not-too-long metal bridge over the nose help keep the material flush against my face while remaining breathable. The metal nose bridge is also helpful for preventing glasses from fogging up. And, along with being secure under the chin, it covers ample ear-to-ear surface area, so there aren’t gaping holes on each side of the mouth like there are with many cheaper or disposable face masks. Plus, filters don’t need to be purchased separately, and it holds its shape after being washed.

One thing to note is that if you put your mask in the washing machine, it’s more likely that the wire will end up poking out or become misshapen. We recommend washing them on a gentle cycle and then laying them flat to dry.

Currently, they’re available in 14 colors. But, you can also pick up the Vida masks in organic cotton artist prints or limited-edition prints, though they’re more expensive ($18/single) than the basic collection ($10/single). The original Vida masks are recommended for kids older than 5, but you can also shop a kids’ collection that serves kids ages 3 to 12.

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