Masks are no longer required on public transportation or in public places. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend masks for travel, releasing a new statement on May 3. And, of course, some private businesses and schools still have mask mandates in place.
If you’re looking to up your stash of N95 masks, you’re in luck. N95 face mask availability is high, and N95 prices are more affordable than they were before.
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The CDC still recommends that everyone age 2 and older wear a mask or respirator in indoor areas of transportation and in transportation hubs, such as on airplanes and in airports. This public health recommendation is based on “an understanding of domestic and global epidemiology, circulating variants and their impact on disease severity and vaccine effectiveness, current trends in COVID-19 Community Levels within the U.S., projections of COVID-19 trends in the coming months” and more.
What to know about N95 masks before you buy
N95 masks offer the best protection against COVID-19, as they’re designed to filter at leastlarger than 0.3 microns when the mask forms a tight seal on your face. This means an N95 mask will be your best protection against the BA.2 Omicron subvariant that’s , when combined with social distancing.
It’s important to pick up an N95 mask that’s approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Find the full list of approved N95 brands here (and all the picks below are NIOSH-approved, naturally). Beware: There are counterfeit N95 masks online, so be sure to check the brand name on the NIOSH site, and to shop at trusted retailers to .
One more thing you should know about N95 masks — you can rewear them. The CDC says that health care professionals can rewear an N95 mask up to five times before its thrown out. Experts note, however, that you should discard a mask sooner if it no longer forms a tight seal on your face, or if it gets dirty or wet.
Benehal N95 Mask Particulate Respirators (20 pack)
These NIOSH-approved masks have four filter layers and feature an adjustable nose clip. The double elastic head straps eliminate pressure on the ears and is meant to make wearing the mask more comfortable.
Honeywell DC300 N95 particulate disposable respirators (20 pack)
This new Honeywell design is made to fit more face shapes and minimize pressure points. It comes in a pack of 20.
Kimberly-Clark professional N95 pouch respirator (50 pack)
If you’re willing to purchase 50 at a time, these duckbill N95 masks from Kimberly-Clark have a large breathing chamber for comfort and soft but strong headbands. After a short period of unavailability, these N95 masks are back in stock at Amazon for quick shipping, so grab them before they sell out (again).
3M N95 8210 respirator (20 pack)
These 3M masks prevent eyewear fogging and have a foam cushion for maximum comfort on your nose. They’re currently on sale at Amazon for $0.675 per mask if you buy a 20-pack, making this one of the lowest per-mask prices we’ve ever seen for N95s.
3M Aura N95 respirator (10 pack)
These disposable N95 masks by 3M feature an adjustable nose clip, chin tab and a low-profile design that directs air away from the nose panel to reduce eyewear fogging.
Honeywell Safety DF300 N95 Flatfold disposable respirator (50 pack)
This N95 face mask has a soft foam nose cushion for maximum comfort. Its humidity- and moisture-resistant filter media repels moisture. This 50 pack of Honeywell N95s will run you $0.88 per mask.
KN95 masks for kids
Don’t forget your little ones when it comes time to mask up. While they’re not officially designated N95 — no child-sized mask is — they do meet a similar 95% international filtration standard.
WellBefore individually wrapped KN95 kids masks
These individually wrapped face masks are $1.49 each, or $1.04 each when you sign up for a regular shipment. They’re made of five layers (for kids for ages 5 to 12), or four layers (for ages 2 to 4). Their earloops are adjustable, and they have a moisture-wicking inner layer. Find them in three sizes for kids.
WellBefore also sells individually wrapped KN95 fish-style masks for kids. They too are $1.49 each, and available in three sizes.
Vida KN95 colorful kids masks
Kids’ masks don’t have to be dreary — they can be colorful and fun. These U.S.-made KN95 masks from Vida are available in 12 vivid colors, from aquamarine to magenta to tangerine. If you can’t choose just one, there are multicolor packs as well.
Quantity discounts are available here: The more you buy, the more you save.
Evolvetogether KN95 masks for kids (5 pack)
What you need to know about free N95 masks
The Biden Administration announced a plan to mask locator.through local pharmacies (such as Walgreens, CVS and some supermarkets) and local health centers. You can now locate free mask pharmacy locations with the CDC’s
Supplies are limited to guarantee availability, andare not yet being offered with the program. And unlike the offered by the government, these free N95 masks cannot be shipped. So if you need a reliable supply of N95 masks delivered, you’ll have to open up your wallet and choose one of the N95 options above.
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