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As federal regulators work to authorize the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 through 11, the Biden administration is gearing up to distribute the vaccine under a comprehensive plan with enough supply to vaccinate the approximate 28 million children in the U.S.
Even with this expected vaccine rollout, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will continue to recommend masks for anyone learning or working in schools. In a White House COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky urged the nation to not become complacent, particularly this winter, citing a recent study that shows schools without masking policies are more likely to have COVID-19 outbreaks that not only spread the virus and put lives at risk, but disrupt school operations.
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In light of these continued mask guidelines, you may be looking to upgrade your mask collection or replace older reusable masks as we move into the winter months (psst: this is a sign that it's probably time to replace yours). At Reviewed, we've tested plenty of reusable face masks on the market for both kids and adults—here are our top picks for comfortable yet protective face masks:
Disney's Cloth Face Masks
After testing several kids' face masks, Reviewed found Disney's masks came out on top. The masks feature designs inspired by Marvel, 'Star Wars', and other Disney movies, TV, and parks. The adorable Disney character designs may even motivate your child to want to wear a mask. Reviewed's Parenting Editor writes in her review that her two children "actually argued over which one of them got to wear the Baby Yoda mask." The cloth masks are both fun and comfortable for kids, constructed with a soft, two-layered cotton fabric that fits snuggly.
Vistaprint's Kids Masks
Vistaprint masks provide the best fit for kids out of all the childrens' masks we've tested. They feature adjustable straps and a wired nose clip that's sewn into the fabric. Our kid testers found Vistaprint masks to be especially comfortable and breathable for long periods of wear, such as a full school day. The masks come in several fun patterns and colors, including design collaborations with Crayola, Harry Potter, and DC Comics.
Athleta's Everyday Non Medical Face Masks
Ranking as Reviewed's best overall choice for a reusable mask, Athleta's face masks provide an exceptional balance between protection and breathability. The triple-layered mask uses a polyester and spandex blend with a cotton liner, achieving an ultra-comfortable fit that's perfect for summertime heat and humidity.
The CDC recommends a mask that fits your face snugly on the sides of your face and without any gaps—this Athleta mask features adjustable ear loops and nose wires which will help you achieve that perfect fit on your face (all while saving your ears from any pain).
Old Navy's Triple-Layer Cloth Pleated Face Masks
Another mask that Reviewed highly rates is the Old Navy triple-layered mask, a soft cotton mask that's easy to breathe in and is machine-wash friendly. These masks come in plenty of patterns and colors that you won't get bored of, making them a great choice for an update to your mask collection. The Old Navy masks also feature adjustable ear loops and a noise wire for an optimal fit.
Summersalt's Face Coverings
While the Summersalt Face Covering didn't rank as our very best choice, it's still an ideal option for hot and sweaty settings. Thanks to the unique "cone" shape of the Summersalt Face Covering, the mask creates plenty of space between the fabric and your mouth, avoiding that unpleasant feeling of a mask resting right against your lips. This is especially helpful for those hot summer days where sweat may build up underneath your mask.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC recommends masks in schools