Gear up your neck gaiters, ladies, because winter is fast approaching. We better be prepared with “winter” masks and what not to keep ourselves warm and safe. Face masks have always been essential during the chilly days of winters. But 2020 is a whole different story with Covid-19.
Winter face masks must certainly pull the double duty to keep the virus at bay while protecting others from you and prevent your skin from freezing. The face masks you have been using up until now won’t cut it for the months to come. When the temperature drops, the requirements take a turn with more caution.
Winter Face Masks To Beat The Year-Round Endeavor!
The winter face masks we normally use are not acceptable to wear for this cold-weather season. Those are not COVID approved nor can they be replaced for COVID face masks as using a face mask to keep warm and using a face covering to prevent COVID-19 are two separate ideas.
For COVID-19 face masks to be effective, they have to stay dry and have to be changed more frequently. And if it starts to get wet (from the moisture in the air or from themselves), the mask must be changed and washed (if washable).
If you are a person with health conditions, you need additional coverage or layers of warmth such as a scarf (which can be worn over the mask). Not to mention, many people are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic carriers —meaning they may not know that they are in fact carrying the virus.
So, it is important to wear a COVID-19 face mask even if you are feeling perfectly fine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using multi-layered masks (two or more layers of materials as a thick barrier). Leaving the disposable surgical masks that filter pathogens aside, there are basically two types of reusable face masks for colder temperatures, namely cloth face masks and neck gaiters.
Layered cloth face masks are far more effective than neck gaiters, but neck gaiters are a pretty popular pick from winter essentials for it can cover the mouth, neck, and ears. But for them to be more effective, the CDC(1) suggests wearing a neck gaiter with two or more fabric layers or folding it over. For better protection, you can wear them along with a disposable or cotton COVID face mask as well. Researchers have found that spandex and polyester could be a poor choice of fabric for neck gaiters. But a cotton gaiter will provide a better level of protection, especially for a COVID winter.
On the other hand, cloth face masks have become insanely popular now for they can be washed and reused as much as you like. The majority of the masks are designed specifically with interior pockets in order to secure disposable filters for extra protection. They come in multilayers and are made with cotton fabric, usually thicker (especially for winter).
Besides, they come in an unbelievable amount of different designs, styles, patterns, and colors. Fancy mask to match your outfit? Formal face mask to wear for a meeting? Disposable cloth mask for a tiring evening? You have tons of options! If you use these cloth face masks along with the usual winter masks, you will have the perfect personal protective equipment (PPE(2)) this winter.
A Note On The Silver Lining Under The Mess
You are aware that drier weather creates an opportunity for viruses to spread easily. Considering the higher possibility of our immune systems to be already disrupted by common colds and the flu during the dry climate, (3) things might not seem easy.
But using the good old cotton fabric can make the covering easier —protection from both the cold and the virus. Most of the fabric masks are made with cotton but during winter, you have to use a tightly woven, hefty mask (possibly triple-layered) that can sit firmly against your face.
If you put COVID-19 aside, you have to consider the amount of skin the mask can cover as well. If the mask can cover beyond your nose and mouth while considering both comfort and effectiveness, you can create a tightly sealed barrier against the virus and the cold. Some masks can be tied against the crown or nape of the neck while some are attached to the scarves to prevent misplacing the mask.
And now there are face masks that come with attached earmuffs to protect you against the blustery weather. All these can keep gusts of wintry air out of your body space. So, your savior is a tightly woven cotton mask!
Winter Face Essentials In The Time Of COVID-19
We have to keep the germs and cold out and warmth in. There are plenty of options available to you from face masks and earmuffs to neck gaiters and balaclavas, making it easier for you these days.
While some winter masks come attached to scarves and earmuffs, some come with a face shield to keep you safer and warmer in every sense. To do your part, buy thicker and plusher materials that are three-fly for better coverage. Now, let’s see what your options are.
Winter Trapper Hat With Mask Cover
A faux fuzzy fur-trimmed hat and face mask combo is a perfect winter outdoor partner. Be it skiing, hiking, bowling, snowboarding, hunting, or fishing, this winter trapper can provide you warmth while blocking the wind, snow, and other elements. Made with a faux fur inner liner and 100% peach velvet outer fabric. A multifunctional mask, it comes with matching earflaps and a facemask.
The thermal face mask is removable and you have an adjustable chin strap as well. The chin strap is extremely useful for complete coverage and comfort because it can bring the sides closer to your face for a warmer fit. It is unisex of size 23”-35” head circumference. Not only is it windproof and snowproof, but it is also light waterproof as well. Select any from three muted colors —army green, navy blue, or black.
Fleece Lined Knit Beanie, Scarf, & Mask Set
This 4-in-1 winter set —which includes a beanie hat, scarf, face mask, and gift bag— is suitable for any outdoor activities during winter. It is extremely soft, cozy, and comfortable for the wearer with its slug and slouchy fit. Thanks to the thick and soft fleece lining, the mask can effectively block the cold wind and you get to keep your neck also warm. The beanie and scarf are made of soft-spun acrylic and skin-friendly fuzzy lining that provides extra warmth. With better heat retention, you can enjoy optimum warmth all the time, especially during outdoor activities.
This multifunctional winter hat with lasting warmth can be worn separately or together, according to your comfort. It covers your head, ears, neck, nose, and mouth but for COVID-19 protection, you must wear it in conjunction with a surgical or cotton face mask. Because these are not thick enough to keep the viruses at bay.
Likewise, there are other similar winter sets in different colors and styles you will love. Choose one of the several neutral colors that will pair with your winter outfits. You can also give this to your sister, mother, or girlfriends when the temperature drops down low.
Chiffon Neck Gaiter Cum Bandana
A set of nine beautiful patterns of chiffon scarf masks? Now, that’s some chic bargain you don’t want to miss! With 9 different colors and patterns —from geometric figures to elegant flowers, these winter face cover cum neck gaiters are comfortable to wear.
These are mostly used for fashion purposes but they are adored albeit the season demands thicker covers. For starters, these are made of chiffon with a soft texture and smooth surface. Besides the skin-friendly advantage, they are super lightweight and breathable to wear. Each face cover is approximately 47cm x 47cm with adjustable elastic ear loops.
They are multifunctional; you can effectively protect your neck as well as your face from the harsh wind while keeping you abreast of fashion trends. Since you have to add another layer of protection with a COVID face mask (4) inside, these are indeed a fancy addition to your plain face mask. You can use these as bandanas for headwear when it’s summer.
Cowl Hood With Shield
You cannot find a COVID winter face mask better than this one. It helps you cover yourself entirely as well as keep you and others safer from the virus! The zipper face shield with 360° protection is the perfect barrier for you from people as well as the cold gust of wind.
You can easily pair this with your favorite winter coat, combined with a face mask (optional, since there is a face shield). Also, you can unzip the shield to use the hood alone as a fashion accessory as well —when COVD-19 finally leaves for good. It can fit perfectly over your glasses and bandanas, so there is no room for worrying over that.
There are many stylish hoods with winter face shields from different brands. While some thermal hoods are woolen, some are polyester but the shield remains plastic with a plastic zipper.
There are brands with hoods that are extra long that can be considered as a shawl. These incredible innovations are reusable and washable, you can wipe the shield with soap water and a soft cloth to wash it.
Buy yourself one of these and be warm and safe because you won’t be able to touch your face unintentionally!
Winter Earmuffs Attached With Face Mask
Then you have this fancy woolen face mask attached with earmuffs to keep you covered and warm throughout the wear. Since it is multi-layered, you will be safe from both the cold and the virus. It is made with a perfect blend of soft cotton and polyester and is fleece-lined, making it perfect for winter.
Most adult women can fit this mask as they are one size fits most masks. It is reusable and washable and you can hand wash it or wash it in a laundry bag in the machine but with cold water only.
Always remember to refrain from ironing, tumble drying, bleaching, or dry cleaning the mask.
Fleece Balaclava Full Face Mask
Made with 100% polyester fleece, this thermal winter balaclava full face mask with a winter sports cap is the ideal companion for winter outdoor activities. You can go running, cycling, hunting, skiing, camping, hunting, and basically anything with this on.
The adjustable rope makes it easy to control the mask also giving full coverage of the face and neck.
The mask is soft and warm and you will be comfortable wearing it. The best part is you have eight different colors to choose from!
Knitted Winter Neck Gaiter
This tube scarf (neck gaiter in simpler terms) provides incredibly lasting warmth from chilly winds while you are outside. The two layers with breathable acrylic fleece as the inner layer make it stretchy and toasty and the outer knit pattern hinders dust and airborne particles from touching your skin.
The neck warmer is made from high-grade acrylic polar and lined fleece material that guarantees comfort and warmth during extremely cold conditions. You must have come across many such neck gaiters in black color but this soft pink hot scarf is a feminine color that can highlight with your attire. It comes in five different colors and it is a highly recommended winter gift for loved ones.
Fleece Balaclava Hood Mask
Defeat the discomfort of awfully freezing temperatures with this 3-in-1 set of the hood, face mask, and neck warmer. You can cover your skin from the cold weather by tucking in this 100% polyester mask.
Designed by South Korea, this mask is windproof and its lightweight fabric is warm, comfortable, and breathable that makes it a great choice for outdoor activities.
The longer neck sealing your neck and collarbones will help you adapt to different outdoor activities. If you are going skiing, you can wear the mask under the helmet and wear your ski goggles on the hood.
It provides perfect space for free movements and won’t block your sight either. To battle the chilly weather, you can use this for yourself or give it to your loved ones because this is indeed a valuable investment.
Over-Head Cotton Face Mask
We have seen all types of face masks now. But the body part that is suffering the most is our ears. Designed with an over-head tie in place of ear loops, it helps to relieve the pressure on your ears. But the added nose and chin straps ensure the security of your mask staying put and not slipping down while you are out and about —all while covering more of your face!
Made from tightly woven, preshrunk, 100% organic duck cotton canvas, this double-layered origami mask gives comfortable breathability. The tri-fold design is what makes this mask unique from other typical face masks we bought until now. It optimizes function, proper fit, comfort, and shape retention.
Not to mention, it is biodegradable since it is free of plastic, metal, and elastic.
You can wear this mask under your winter hood, especially if you are going out for a longer period. Think about your ears!
So, these are the winter face masks to beat the cold and virus I recommend.
One important point you shouldn’t forget while wearing a ski mask that covers the entire face leaving your mouth and eyes is that, wear it only if you plan to take a break.
Make sure that you can remove the face mask during an outing. Because if you wear both over a longer time, it may cause shortness of breath (especially if you are active).
also, social distancing can not be crossed off by a mask. So there is no guarantee that these masks will surely prevent COVID-19.
What To Consider Before Buying?
The requirements for an efficient face mask for winter are quite different from that of humid summer. Before buying a winter face mask, consider these questions to ensure the safety and worth of the mask.
- Is the mask two-ply or three-ply?
- Is it breathable?
- Can it cover both the nose and mouth along with the neck?
- Does the mask have adjustable earloops for a perfect snug fit?
- Is it safe to put the mask into the washing machine?
- Can the mask withstand regular cleaning and sanitization?
- Will the mask shrink after a thorough cleaning?
Even if you are going for a walk or to the grocery store, keep three things in mind: wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands!
Taking an extra mask with you if you are planning to stay out for too long will be the best choice since you have to change the mask after a certain period.
Welcome, this winter with any of these safe and stylish facemasks!