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Best face mask for kids 2021 – comfortable, colourful face coverings your little ones will want to wear

31 Aug 2021
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Comfortable, breathable and available in a range of fun designs, these are the best face masks to keep your children protected and safe

With the pandemic raging on, none of us can leave the house without a protective face mask in tow, and finding the best face mask for kids is doubly important. With the majority of children being, as of yet, ineligible to get vaccinated against Covid-19, one of the easiest ways to keep kids protected from this virus is ensuring they wear a face covering.

This, of course, is easier said than done. Getting your little ones to wear their protective face coverings could be akin to pulling teeth, but we’ve found some of the cutest face masks for kids with quirky designs that they’ll readily agree to wear without putting up a fight. In addition, we cover some of the main aspects to look out for while on the hunt for a good face mask for your kids to make sure that they’re protected as well as comfortable.

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Best face masks for kids: At a glance

  • Best-rated face mask for kids: Weddingstar 3-Pack Kid's Washable | Buy now
  • Best disposable face masks for kids: Boots 20-Pack 3-PLY Small | Buy now
  • Best organic face mask for kids: Zoocchini Reusable Organic | Buy now
  • Best face mask with filter for kids: VIRTUE CODE | Buy now
  • Best multipack face masks for kids: NUÜR Kids 100% Cotton| Buy now

How to choose the best face mask for your child

When it comes to face masks, design is probably the most important factor from your children’s point of view, but you’re likely to be much more concerned with a mask’s protective abilities. Here’s what to look out for when on the hunt for the best face masks for kids.

What types of face masks for kids are available?

There are several types of protective face masks and coverings available to buy for children and adults alike.

N95 masks: Worn by medical professionals, fitted N95 face masks are medical-grade masks that offer the best protection against viruses, bacteria and pathogens. These masks can be harder to come by, and often quite pricey too, since they’re usually reserved for those who are at high risk and work in the medical field. Some N95 masks are available with air valves, but this has been shown to reduce their efficacy.

3-PLY surgical masks: These disposable medical face masks are easier to find, cheaper and, depending on the grading, extremely effective at staving off viruses. Type I and Type I R grade face masks can filter up to 95% of bacteria, and Type II and Type II R masks have a bacterial filtration efficiency of up to 98%. These masks are not reusable and should be discarded after every use.

Cloth masks: A cost-effective alternative to disposable masks, cloth masks are non-medical masks that are washable and reusable and come in all different sizes and designs to appeal to children, too. Look for a tightly woven, breathable, cotton material – as well as more than one layer – to keep germs to a minimum. These masks are also ideal for double-masking; wearing a disposable surgical mask under a lightweight cloth mask is an excellent way to ward off viruses and bacteria.

Cloth masks with filter pockets: Providing an extra protective layer, cloth masks with filter pockets can up your protection game. Disposable filters are available from many online retailers and pharmacies, and are economical too, costing only around £10 for a pack of 50.

Other face coverings: Offering the least amount of protection, knitted masks, scarves and bandana-style face coverings, while better than nothing at all, are in no way capable of offering protection against Covid-19 and should only be used as temporary solutions if other protective masks are not available.

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What features should I look for in a child’s face mask?

If your child’s face mask is uncomfortable, they’re not likely to keep it on for long, so making sure it sits properly and comfortably on their little face is a must. Adjustable straps can help get just the right size for a perfect fit, and a material that is breathable, non-chafing and soft will increase the chances of the mask actually staying on their face. Some masks come with a malleable nose bridge that serves as an added protective feature to get the mask to fit snugly on the nose and keep germs out.

To check the effectiveness of any mask, you can try the candle test: if you can blow out a candle while wearing a mask, it’s not likely to provide much protection against bacteria or droplets. You could also try holding it up to the light by the straps; if you can see a lot of light through the mask or are able to detect the material’s weave, again, it’s probably not the safest choice of mask.

Where can I buy the best face masks for kids?

Thankfully, face masks for kids are readily available in many high street stores and online retailers such as Amazon. Supermarkets, including Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s, and online pharmacies such as Boots and Lloyds also stock them in various designs. We’ve done the hard work for you, however, and found the most protective and comfy face masks for your kids — all available to buy at the click of a button.

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The best face masks to buy for kids in 2021

1. Weddingstar Kid’s Washable Cloth Face Mask: The best-rated face mask for kids

Price: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

With more than 3,000 positive reviews on Amazon, these washable and reusable face masks by Weddingstar are an excellent way to keep your kids safe from germs. Featuring a filter pocket for an added layer of protection, and made from a breathable 100% cotton and rayon mix, these face coverings are comfortable for the little ones to wear and come in a handy pack of three, with 17 different designs to choose from.

Buyers have reported that these masks are perfect for sending with the kids to school, noting that they’re both comfortable and easy to wash. Other reviewers have pointed out that the masks can have the tendency to shrink in the wash, but that this isn’t necessarily a problem – it may simply mean that the masks fit a little more securely. Most importantly, the quality of these masks is great for the price, and your children will love the patterns.

Key specs – Material: Cotton/rayon; Dimensions (LH): 15.5 x 12.5cm; Layers: 5; Masks in pack: 3


2. Boots 20-Pack 3-PLY Small Protective Face Masks: The best disposable face mask for kids

Price: £13 | Buy now from Boots

These disposable face masks from Boots may not have any exciting patterns but they’re one of the best ways to keep germs at bay and they make a great underlayer for double-masking – just add one of the other funky cloth face coverings from this list on top. There are 20 of these high-quality masks in each pack, enough to last your child a good while.

Intended for single use so you don’t have to worry about washing them afterwards, the masks are Type II R, which means they can protect against droplets from sneezing, coughing and even speaking. These surgical masks are made from a hypoallergenic fleece material, are totally latex-free and have a strong three-layer construction with a 98% bacterial filtration system.

Key specs – Material: Hypoallergenic fleece; Dimensions (LH): 14.5 x 9.5cm; Layers: 3; Masks in pack: 20

Buy now from Boots


3. Zoocchini Reusable Organic Kids Face Masks: The best organic face mask for kids

Price: £10 | Buy now from Style My Kid

For children aged three to six, these certified organic cotton face masks from Style My Kid are sure to be a hit with your kids thanks to their awesome animal print designs and bright colours. They’re soft and breathable and have 5% spandex in the mix to give them a little stretch, ensuring they’re comfortable and don’t pull at the ears.

Though these are non-medical face coverings, they do have an inner pocket for you to add an air filter. What’s more, their inner lining doesn’t have any harmful chemicals or dyes for that extra little safety precaution. There are three in each pack so you’ll always have a mask on hand if one is in the wash.

Key specs – Material: Cotton and spandex; Dimensions (LH): 17.8 x 11.4cm; Layers: 1, lined; Masks in pack: 3

Buy now from Style My Kid


4. VIRTUE CODE Fabric Face Masks: The best filter face mask for kids

Price: £13 | Buy now from Amazon

Saving you the added hassle of having to source your own mask filters, this pack of three fabric children’s masks includes six air filters. Each mask features a flexible nose bridge, adjustable elastic earloops and a 3D design that curves over the face for maximum comfort and the perfect fit.

Based on the reviews of some happy customers, these might be the ideal masks if your child wears glasses, as the Virtue Code face coverings apparently don’t cause much in the way of fogging. If your kids aren’t too keen on the floral type, there are another three packs with various designs available. To keep these fabric masks in optimal condition, hand wash them at 40° and don’t put them in the tumble dryer.

Key specs – Material: Cotton; Dimensions (LH): 20 x 12cm; Layers: 1, padded; Masks in pack: 3


5. NUÜR Kids 100% Cotton Breathable Face Mask: The best multipack face masks for kids

Price: £12 | Buy now from Amazon

If you have more than one child in your household, or you’d rather not have to put a load on every day just to wash face masks, this pack of five 100% cotton, three-layer masks from NUÜR is just the ticket. Soft, with adjustable ear loops, these light and breathable masks come in five different colours with a matching ear loop toggle.

A thoughtful addition is the lanyard that comes with the packet to help kids keep tabs on their masks. Happy parents have reported that their children find the masks breathable and cool, despite the added layers of protection. The multi-layered design makes these more reliable than any of your standard cloth masks, while the variety of colours means it’s easy to keep track of which masks have and haven’t been used.

Key specs – Material: Cotton; Dimensions (LH): 17.8 x 11.5cm; Layers: 3; Masks in pack: 5


6. Simply Colors Personalised Dinosaur Face Mask: The best personalised face mask for kids

Price: £15 | Buy now from Not on the High Street

Having to add masks to the long list of items we have to label with our kids’ names once school starts is one extra burden we could all do without, and these personalised face masks from Not on the High Street not only save us the extra effort, but give kids that little extra incentive to remember to wear their face mask.

They have adjustable ear loops to get that perfect fit, three protective layers, and the inside layer is made from 100% cotton for comfort and breathability. There’s a choice of six different designs and many font choices that your kids are sure to love.

Key specs – Material: Cotton and polyester; Dimensions (LH): 16.5 x 11 cm; Layers: 3; Masks in pack: 1

Buy now from Not on the High Street


7. Harry Potter™ Cloth Face Masks: The most fun face mask for kids

Price: £19 | Buy now from Claire’s

If your youngsters (or you) are Potterheads, these Harry Potter™ cloth face masks will make them feel like they’re on their way to Hogwarts. Ideal for children aged six to 12, these masks come in a pack of three different Potter-themed designs in Gryffindor colours (sorry, Slytherins) and are made from 100% breathable cotton.

These lightweight masks are non-medical and only have one layer meaning that, worn alone, they don’t provide optimal protection, but their thin structure makes them ideal for double-masking with a surgical mask underneath.

Key specs – Material: Cotton; Dimensions (LH): 16.5 x 11 cm; Layers: 3; Masks in pack: 1

Buy now from Claire’s


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