My Daughter and I Tested the Top Face Masks for Kids — Here’s the Best One

published Mar 31, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Ashley Poskin

This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids.

Cubby. Real solutions for unreal times.

Join us for a weekly dose of fresh, modern ideas for life at home with your kids.

The face mask market is a booming industry that will not likely be slowing down any time soon. What seemed like such an odd thing to put on a year ago is now as routine as putting on our shoes. Our household has racked up quite the collection over the past year, and I’ve been taking notes on what seems to work for our five year old. Besides style (fashion is apparently very important when you’re five), I was surprised to learn my daughter had other personal preferences concerning face masks. Here’s what she told me when I asked her what made a face mask comfortable to wear:

  1. “I don’t like the tight ear loops.”
  2. “No tags on the inside!”
  3. “It’s nice when they’re really soft on my face.”
  4. “I don’t like it when it hurts my nose and makes it feel fiery.”

I considered her input and set out to find the perfect face mask for kids. Here’s what I was looking for:

  • Comfort: fit around eyes, nose, and ears, with super soft ear bands
  • Lightweight: two or more layers and an option to add a filter in between layers
  • Fidget-friendly: will stay on active kids
  • Accessibility: can be worn with glasses or hearing aids
  • Extras: tags for labeling, comfort bands, reflective tape for night safety etc.

With those things in mind, I started paying close attention to the masks we already had at home, and ordered a few extras to include in my test. In the end, we both ended up choosing the same mask as our favorite (a first!). Here are a few of the brands we tested, and why we liked them.

The Adjustable Hearing Aid-Compatible Face Mask

I found this face mask on Etsy and loved that it didn’t go around the ears, making it hearing aid compatible, and more comfortable for kids that wear glasses. My daughter does not have glasses or hearing aids, but she does have lots of very curly (usually tangled) hair that I worried would get stuck in the velcro, but that wasn’t an issue. This particular mask is personalized, which is great for the off-chance she loses it at one of the few places we go, and the reviews were amazing. This ended up being a good mask for low activity, but would slip off her nose when she was running around the neighborhood. While it’s not great for tearing around the neighborhood, I think it would be great for low-impact activities, or in a classroom setting.

The Artistic Face Mask Reviewers Rave About

No surprise that I, an art supply junkie, wanted to test out the Crayola kids facemasks! Aside from my deep and undying love of crayons, I kept seeing these specific masks pop up in articles when researching the best masks for kids, so I ordered a pack. There are close to 10,000 reviews on Amazon, with a rating of 4.5 stars.

Each of the 5 masks have the exact same print on the fabric, but the ear loops are a different color for each day. I thought this to be a genius design detail on Crayola’s part. Making the entire pack almost identical is smart for many reasons, but one sticks out for me: Choices are hard when you’re a kid. Sometimes kids (and adults for that matter!) just don’t need to make one more decision.

These masks are made with a soft, double layer cotton/poly blend inside (100% cotton outside) and have an adjustable nose and ear straps. They have a tag that you can write your child’s name on (but it’s in a spot that won’t irritate their face) and come with a mesh washing bag and chart for keeping track of how many times each mask is worn. While my daughter wasn’t big on the adjustable ears or the nose wire, I think they are a great option for school-aged kids who are a bit older.

The Fun Mask that Also Benefits Charity

Credit: Ashley Poskin

Cubcoats sent us the cutest masks (and hoodie), and my daughter was over the moon upon receiving it. She is very, very into 1.) stuffed animals and 2.) accessories, so she loved that she could turn the mask into a wristlet, and the hoodie into a stuffie. They are super soft, lined with 100% cotton, and the company donates 10% of their proceeds to Feeding America.

As far as fit, they were a bit big for her face, but the ear loops were perfect and she was happy to find that there wasn’t an adjustable nose strip. The only downside was that the fabric bunched up on one side when flipped into the mask, so I think it felt a little bulky on her face. She rarely complains about wearing a mask, but if she does, the Cubcoats wristlet is the one mask I can get her to leave the house with. We start off with it on her wrist, then once we are out of the car she’ll flip it inside out and put it on her face. This series of masks is definitely the most fun and interactive for kids!

The Lightweight Mask with Animal Prints

I picked up some very soft, 3-ply woven cotton poplin masks from Old Navy that are very similar to Lands’ End masks (more on those later); soft and lightweight with basic ear bands and no adjustable noseband. Upon opening the package, I wasn’t very impressed because they felt like nothing. But I guess that’s where the magic is — they feel like nothing, and that’s what my kid likes. They have cute little animal faces screen printed on the front, wash up really well, and fit her face perfectly.

The Retro, Handmade Face Mask

Jessi from HipViolet has owned and operated her shop since 2008, creating bibs and now face masks from vintage sheets and other fabric she sources. Her Rainbow Brite, 90210, and Care Bears designs are like a balm to my 80’s kid soul, so you can imagine the disappointment I felt when my daughter refused to wear the Where’s Waldo mask I ordered for her (lucky for me, they are double sided, so she wears it on the polka dot side)! In the way of handmade masks, Jessi’s are high-quality, 100% made in the USA (Denver, Colorado) and my pick for supporting a small business.  

The Winner!

I tossed a three-pack of kids masks from Lands’ End in my cart last year on a whim as I was making my fleece winter wardrobe purchase (they were on sale for $2.99 — how could I not?!) and they have proved, over and over again, to be our favorites.

They come in basic colors to match school uniforms, as well as fun snazzy colors. They’re made from 65% polyester/35% cotton poplin fabric and are super soft. They do not have adjustable ear bands or an adjustable nose, but they are very lightweight. When you boil it down, I think that’s the only thing that really matters to my daughter. She has a tiny little nose and says the adjustable wire really bothers her, and doesn’t like the feeling of the bead on the adjustable ear bands. For her, the less she notices it, the better. They are the masks we have on us at all times whether she’s running around outside, or walking through the grocery store.

So this is my takeaway: the Lands’ End masks worked best for my kid, who isn’t fond of things touching her face, but as we know, all kids are different and require different things to meet their needs. The important thing when searching for face masks is to not settle on something your child doesn’t like. Find what works best for them, so that wearing a mask isn’t a hassle. Support small businesses when you can, and have fun with it!