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10 Best Face Masks for Exercise

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

Ice rinks around the country are reopening this Summer and while face coverings may not be required on the ice, it is still a good idea to wear one when you can.

For non-skaters, returning to the gym comes with a perhaps under-looked obstacle: what face covering is best for intense workouts? Many health experts agree that there is clear evidence that masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that the more people who wear masks, the better.

Efficiency of face coverings are dependent on two main factors, fit and material. Masks made out of layers of tightly woven cotton and two sheets of chiffon (made from polyester and spandex) seem to be the most protective fabric combination. When paired up with a proper, gapless fit, face coverings can filter out 80-90% of particles. Other combinations that work well are tightly woven cotton, natural silk or flannel, and cotton quilt with cotton-polyester batting.

The best face mask for working out is not only effective, but also breathable, stays dry, and keeps you cool at the same time. I searched the internet for the best face masks for working out to save you time and research!

1. Under Armour Sports Masks

Under Armour began working on prototypes for the Sports Mask once they found out that face coverings would be a requirement for even healthy individuals. This mask has 3 layers of fabric protection, which align with WHO's recommendations. The water-resistant outer shell wicks away moisture, which means that this mask will stay dry even in the foggiest rinks. On the inside is a antimicrobial treatment to help keep your mask fresh throughout intense workouts.

Other notable features of the mask include the Polyurethane open-foam shell which allows air to come through without letting sweat and moisture pass. They also utilize their UA Iso-Chill fabric on the interior lining and on the ear straps to keep things cool during your workout. The nose is adjustable to fit your specific face contours, and the mask also comes in a variety of face "sizes" to provide the perfect, gapless fit. The mask is suited for everyday use and in sports by healthy individuals and ships on August 17th, 2020.

Under Armour

2. Athleta Everyday Non-Medical Masks

The activewear brand Athleta released their own line of face masks, and they are now considered top picks of runners online. These face masks also offer 3-layers of protection, which include a lightweight outer layer, and two inner layers of soft, breathable cotton. Athleta by Gap is also donating 100,000 non-medical masks to a major healthcare organization in support of all of the medical workers. There is a Face Mask Guide on their website to help ensure the perfect fit for your face. It is machine washable and air dry, but with 5 masks included in the pack, dry time won't matter!


3. Adidas Face Covers

Adidas has been working to create lightweight sports equipment since 1936, and now in 2020 they have released their first lightweight face mask. Utilizing two layers of soft, breathable fabric, the Adidas Face Covers conform to the face to create seamless protection. The masks range in sizes from XS to L, and are made from recycled materials. To save time and money, these sports face covers are machine washable and can be tumbled dry.


4. Reebok Face Covers

Much like the Adidas Face Covers, the Reebok Face Covers are soft, lightweight, and breathable. They offer two layers of fabric protection, are machine washable, and come in a pack of 3. The face masks are made of a stretchy, soft fabric that lays flat against the skin without irritating.


5. Hanes Signature Stretch-To-Fit Masks

Hanes is known for the affordable and soft underwear, and their masks are equally that. These masks are made up of two layers of comfortable, breathable fabric. Using their Cool Comfort™️ moisture wicking fabric, you can ensure a dry and cool face throughout your workout. These masks are washable and reusable, but must be disposed after 15 washes. They are offered in one size, but the stretchy material ensures a perfect fit for protection.


6. The North Face Dispea Cover It

If you're looking for a no fuss, secure fit, The North Face Dispea Cover It may be the right choice for you. Designed for mountain sports, this balaclava type mask is made to be breathable and moisture wicking. The ultra soft microfiber material also has UPF protection against prolonged sun exposure. Because there is only one layer of fabric protection, these face masks are better suited for less crowded spaces. The North Face is known for their quality winter sports gear, which is why they are a favorite amongst skaters! Their Dispea Cover It can fit in your pocket, and comes with a carrying case for your convenience.

The North Face

7. Onzie Mindful Mask

What I love about Onzie is that they've donated thousands of masks to hospitals, and are donating their earnings to healthcare workers across the country through the Center for Disease Philanthropy. The Mindful Masks are made from up-cycled materials found in the brand's yoga pants to be more eco-friendly. Each mask contains two layers, with the outside being full spandex and the inside being an ultra-soft high performance material. While they are not machine washable, they are very quick drying according to claims on their site. Their masks are comfortable, breathable, and are available with the option for a carbon filter pocket. In addition, you can wear these face masks combined with another face mask or on its own!


8. Jjyee Neck Gaiter Balaclava

What makes this balaclava different from others is that it has ear loops to keep your face mask up at all times, which is perfect for sports. The moisture wicking fabric transfers heat and humidity away from your body keeping you cool, and is made of silk for comfortable and breathable coverage. Some reviewers suggest folding the bottom of the balaclava up for double layer protection when needed. Currently you can find these on Amazon for about $9!*


iHeartRaves Seamless Face Cover

This Amazon #1 Best Seller was originally made for outdoor music festivals, where dust is commonly kicked up into the air. While festival season is cancelled due to COVID-19 season, these masks can still come in handy. The masks come in a variety of designs, all that are made of a microfiber material that wicks away sweat and moisture. While it is only one layer, it offers dust and UV Sun Protection which makes it good for outdoor Summer workouts. Because of its thin material, it is best suited for less crowded scenarios where you can fold the bottom up when passing others. Some reviewers say that doubling up the masks offered more protection while still remaining comfortable and breathable.


10. U.S. Figure Skating Face Covering

How could we do a face mask list on a figure skating website without including U.S. Figure Skating's own face coverings! These masks are made of 100% Polyester moisture wicking fabric, and are double layered for protection. The skating design is a fun way to represent your sport on and off the ice. All of the proceeds from masks will benefit the Memorial Fund.

U.S. Figure Skating
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