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As soon as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially recommended the use of face coverings while out in public, I — like many people — immediately rushed online to find non-medical masks that would ship relatively quickly.
Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on a few disposable masks, but I wanted something reusable and easily washable.
After searching around for a bit, I ultimately landed on this $10 cotton mask from Vida, which comes with an activated carbon filter. It was also nice to see that the brand was donating free masks to those in need and 10% of the profits from the masks to the SF Marin Food Bank and Food Bank For New York City.
I've been very pleased with the mask's quality so far — and here's why I think you might like it, too.
Editor's Note: Vida is currently experiencing major shipping delays of around 35 - 45 days. The brand tells us over 200,000 masks and filters were stuck in customs, though they are currently on their way to the brand's warehouses in the United States.
The fabric is surprisingly breathable
One major problem with other disposable and cloth face masks I tried was breathability. With other masks, I would often start to feel uncomfortable after about 15 minutes of use.
Thankfully, the mask's design is fairly lightweight and provides a comfortable amount of airflow.
It's secure enough to feel effective, yet not so tight that it feels constricting. There's even an adjustable band around the nose to help provide a custom fit, and the ear straps are easily adjustable as well. I've been using the mask while running essential errands, and I hardly even notice it's there.
It comes with a filter
It's surprisingly difficult to find fabric face masks with filters, so I was pleased to see that the Vida mask includes a PM2.5 6-layered activated carbon filter, which helps block airborne contaminants.
The brand also sells a five-pack of filters, which I recommend picking up since they're meant to be replaced after one week of use.
To be honest, getting the filter in and out can be a bit difficult since the fabric of the mask tends to cling to the textured surface of the filter, but it's definitely manageable once you get the hang of it. I had to fold my filter a bit to fit it inside the pocket, but it easily unfolded into place once inserted.
It reduced fog on my glasses
If you wear glasses, you know how annoying it can be when they fog up while wearing a face mask. With other masks, I would have to frequently wipe off my glasses every few minutes when the fog would start impairing my vision.
Surprisingly, the Vida mask seems to help reduce the amount of fog that forms. I still do notice some fog every now and then, but it never gets so intense that I need to remove my glasses. It makes me feel confident about the size and fit of the mask, as fog may indicate that your mask isn't secure enough around the bridge of your nose.
I loved it so much I purchased a second
Ultimately, I was so impressed with the quality of the mask that I ended up ordering a second. The mask is machine-washable, so I wanted one to use in case I couldn't get around to washing my other one in a timely manner.
If you've been struggling to find a mask that is comfortable — and comes with the added peace of mind of having a filter — I highly recommend picking this one up. The brand is currently experiencing shipping delays of around 25 to 30 days, so it might be best to check other retailers for more immediate options, but the Vida mask is certainly worth the wait.
For more options like this, check out:
- These 16 brands are selling face masks that give back during the pandemic
- My clothes feel fresh and clean thanks to this disinfecting laundry sanitizer
- Popular beauty brands supporting coronavirus relief efforts