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With vaccination numbers slowly increasing across the United States, mask requirements have been relaxed for those who are fully immunized. And while mask guidelines now vary from state to state, masks are still required on planes, buses, trains and other public transport. Spaces, including healthcare and carpooling facilities, still require masks.

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As temperatures burn across the country, your mask may start to feel like your very own personal sauna. To combat a sweaty face — and stay safe — trade in a heavier mask for something a little more summer-friendly. Just like the rest of your wardrobe, you can also have winter masks and summer masks.

The ideal summer mask should be breathable, slightly lighter, but still reduce the dispersion of droplets from your nose and mouth. Luckily, Reviews has tested a wide variety of masks and have found some great ones that are both comfortable, breathable, and provide protection. Here are our top picks to wear during the hot, humid summers.

What to look for in a mask

Masks are still required in some public spaces — make sure your mask is comfortable and protective.

When looking for face masks, keep in mind that the CDC recommends wearing masks that have two or more layers of breathable fabric and that can also be washed after use. Through our testing of reusable masks, we found that multi-layer masks can be extremely breathable with the right fabric and fit.

Our favorite breathable masks to wear in the summer

Athleta Non-Medical Mask

These top-rated masks are our number one pick for reusable masks.

After testing 18 different brands of masks, we found that the non-medical Athleta Mask was the best overall choice for a breathable yet protective mask to wear throughout the day.

While the material on the side is thinner — made of a polyester/spandex blend and cotton lining — the mask itself is made of three layers, creating a protective barrier. This combination of breathable fabric with multiple layers provides a much more comfortable masking experience, keeping heat and humidity low.

The mask is comfortable to wear for long periods of time — such as during a domestic flight or long commute — and features adjustable ear loops and an adjustable noseband for better sealing.

Get Athleta Non-Medical Mask (Pack of Five) from Athleta for $3.99

Old Navy three-layer cloth mask

These three-layer masks still provide a breathable fit.

For another great breathable mask at a lower price point, Old Navy’s line of three-layer masks offers the same benefits as Athleta’s, such as breathability and protection.

Made of soft cotton, this coating is comfortable to wear (even outdoors) and breathes easily. While there are no adjustable nose straps, these masks will best fit like a charm — just check out the reviews. Plus, these masks are machine washable and can be put in the dryer.

Get the Three Layer Cloth Mask (Five Layer Pack) from Old Navy starting at $1.97

Summersalt . Face Coating

The unique shape of these Summersalt masks prevents the mask from rubbing against your face.

Have you ever had that uncomfortable feeling when your mouth or upper lip is rubbing against your mask? This feeling is even more uncomfortable when the weather is hot and humid. In this case, we recommend the Summersalt Face Shield. The mask forms a “cone” on its own when you put it on, giving you plenty of space between the mask and your mouth.

This mask also features two layers of woven cotton, a fabric known to be breathable, along with a decorative top layer. Whether you prefer a plain black mask or something more colorful, Summersalt offers both.

Get the Face Cover (Pack of Three) from Summersalt for $32

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but are subject to change from time to time.


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