Top rated face masks for your winter workouts as COVID-19 cases surge – CBS News

Exercise face masks being worn
A good face mask for exercising will allow you to breath easily, even as it makes a tight and secure fit around your face and mouth. Under Armour/Airpop

In light of the surge in COVID-19 cases across the country due to the rise of the Omicron variant, it’s time for everyone to up their mask game. If you plan on continuing to go to your local gym, workout class, or just to continue exercising in a public space in the coming months, a breathable but protective face mask will be key.

The best face masks for exercising don’t cling to your nose or mouth and keep moisture to a minimum. If you’re looking for an exercise mask to wear to the gym, you’ll want one that meets all of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines. The right mask should completely cover your nose and mouth, fit snugly against the sides of your face without gaps, and feature a nose wire for a perfect fit around the bridge of the nose. Look for masks that have multiple layers of washable, breathable fabric.

These days, the best protection will come from N95 and KN95 masks. They offer the most protection when worn properly, but they can be tricky to wear comfortably while exercising. Still, N95 or KN95 masks are a great option to have for other activities where you’ll need to mask up. (For more mask options, check out these face masks for everyday use.)

Double masking is another great way to boost your protection with masks you may already have on hand. Simply layer a fabric face mask, like any of the exercise-worthy ones on this list, on top of a disposable surgical face mask. Reusable fabric masks with a replaceable filter pocket are another great option for protecting yourself without sacrificing too much comfort.

Some vented face masks, sometimes called elevation training masks, are advertised for working out. But these masks are designed to train you for optimized breathing, and not for protection against COVID-19 — they allow virus particles to escape.

Below, you’ll find some of the best face masks for exercising, from Airinum, Athleta, Oura, Under Armour and more, all of which allow for breathability while still offering various levels of protection from the virus. 

Oura Active Mask


This popular face mask from Oura offers multiple levels of protection. Its moisture-wicking fabric has been embedded with silver oxide and titanium oxide, materials which resist odor and have anti-bacterial and virus-inactivating properties. The Oura Active Mask has a four-layer construction, and includes a pocket for a replaceable N95 filter. Each Active Mask purchase comes with 30 pieces of Active Tape to better secure your mask to your face while exercising.

Oura Active Mask, $55 (reduced from $65)

Airinum Lite Air Mask

Airinum Lite Air Mask

For a more lightweight option that works best for lower risk settings, the Lite Air Mask from Airinum is made with a lightweight 3D air mesh material, has elastic ear loops, a detachable head clip and a bendable, memory-foam nose bridge for a custom and comfortable fit. This mask comes with three replaceable filters, and the mask’s antimicrobial skin is washable, making it great for everyday use.

Airinum Lite Air Mask, $49

AirPop active reusable face mask
Best Buy

This AirPop face mask seals to the contours of your face but stays off your nose and mouth for better breathability. It provides 99.3% particle filtration and 99.9% bacterial filtration. It has a replaceable filter insert and adjustable ear loops.

AirPop active reusable face mask, $54 (reduced from $60)

Outdoor Research Adrenaline sports face mask kit

Outdoor Research Adrenaline Sports Face Mask Kit

This 4-star-rated wraparound face mask from Outdoor Research has adjustable ear loops and a nose wire. It comes in black or gray and has a moisture-wicking lining that has a cooling effect. Its mesh material lifts the mask off the face and nose for better breathing. It also has replaceable filters. Its material is microbe- and germ-resistant.

Outdoor Research Adrenaline sports face mask kit, $15 (reduced from $29)

Borgasets breathable sport face masks

Borgasets Breathable Sport Face Mask

These affordable, 4.3-star sports face masks available on Amazon come in a variety of colors. Pick from a two-pack, three-pack or five-pack. They’re made of a quick-drying fabric, have adjustable ear loops, and are designed with two layers of fabric. Because they lack the advanced filtration of other masks on this list, these are best for low-risk situations, such as when exercising outdoors.

Borgasets breathable sport face mask (2 pack), $13

Borgasets breathable sport face mask (5 pack), $20

Asics Runners mask

Asics runners mask

This well-reviewed athletic face mask by Asics wraps around the back of your head so it won’t budge while you run. It’s made of a quick-dry fabric and doesn’t get too close to your face, making it easier to breathe. It has an adjustable fit and water-repellent exterior. 

Asics Runners mask, $40

Athleta Activate face mask (2 pack)

Athleta Activate Face Mask

The reviewer-loved Athleta Activate reusable face mask two-packs come in a variety of colors. They mold around the nose and cheeks and have adjustable ear loops. They’re made of a breathable fabric that’s quick-drying.

Athleta Activate face mask (2 pack), $15

Blue Bear Protection sports mask

Blue Bear Protection Sports Mask

This cotton face mask has adjustable earloops and a design that reduces trapped air from exhalations, making it great for working out. It’s made with a technology that keeps your mask smelling fresh. Find it in five colors on Amazon. 

“I love that it’s adjustable, washable and reusable,” reviewer Jennifer says. “Other masks didn’t fit well and gave me skin irritation, resulting in ‘maskne’ (acne from masks). This mask does not irritate and bother my face like the other masks.”

Blue Bear Protection sports mask, $10 and up

Under Armour Sportsmask

Under Armour Sportsmask

This Under Armour face mask has a bendable nose piece and stretch ear loops. Its material prevents moisture build-up and has an anti-microbial treatment. This water-resistant mask, available in three sizes, offers room between it and your face for easier breathing during workouts. 

Under Armour Sportsmask, $40

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