Find the Lowest Prices on Masks Even During the Current Mask Shortage

·6 min read

Advertiser Disclosure: At Slickdeals, we work hard to find the best deals. Some products in our articles are from partners who may provide us with compensation, but this doesn’t change our opinions.

Unfortunately, the Delta variant is prolonging the fight against COVID-19, so protective face masks are still necessary and a new shortage of masks is making our new daily must-have accessory harder to find in stock. Even on our own shopping and deals website Slickdeals, we are seeing a surge in users searching for daily mask deals with searches for the word “masks” up over 250% in August versus July.

Set an Alert for Face Masks in Stock

Case numbers for COVID cases have also risen from the summer’s lower rates, and with the latest government mask mandates, the demand for masks continues to rise. The CDC recommends mask use for anyone (aged two or older) indoors in public places, especially if you’re unvaccinated or in an area with substantial transmission (find your area here).

Furthermore, travel fines increased in September ($500-$1,000 for first offenders and up to $3,000 for second offenders) for maskless people taking public transportation, including airplanes. The new federal mandate now makes masks required for air travel and for boarding passenger railroads or buses.

In addition to new business mandates regarding COVID-19 prevention, many school districts are now requiring students and staff to mask. Together, this all means that parents are on the hunt for masks for their kids, and adults shopping for quality masks as well.

What’s Driving the Surge in Mask Demand?

1. Slow production is restricting new mask supplies.

A recent report notes many American manufacturers have had to scale down their mask production recently. Slower production combined with more consumer interest is making it hard to purchase certain mask brands. “The question facing mask-makers now is whether they can keep up with the combined demand of consumers, hospital systems, and now schools, many of which are reopening in September with mask mandates for their students,” writes Alex Vuocolo for Cheddar News.

2. Real consequences: larger fines and a travel ban if people don’t comply.

man on plane wearing a mask
Credit: iStock

There are real consequences for those who don’t follow new mandates. (Beyond, you know, spreading a deadly virus.) Early this month, The New York Times reports, President Biden announced that the Transportation Security Administration would double fines for those refusing to wear masks on planes and in airports. And everyone over the age of two is required by law to mask on airplanes and in airports.

That means fines up to $3,000 for anti-maskers. “If you break the rules, be prepared to pay,” said President Biden. If you aren’t wearing a proper mask (so, not a bandana or other ineffective piece of fabric) you can be denied travel access. That’s money wasted if you can’t get on your flight due to the new policy.

TSA is now empowered by the President to deny you before you even get past the security check. And it’s not just air travel that requires masks — the federal mandate also applies to public transportation including buses and trains.

It makes sense then, that due to Delta, schools and increased mask mandates and fines, mask sales are up. CBS also reports that masks are back in high demand, with some retailers struggling to keep them in stock.

3. New variants mean we still need masks daily.

adults walking on street in city wearing masks
Credit: Unsplash

In terms of safety, it’s actually most important that adults are masked. According to The Los Angeles Times, a new report highlights measures to prevent transmission to children. “That includes universal mask-wearing in schools, vaccination of kids 12 and older, and the use of face coverings among toddlers older than 2 in day-care centers.”

We’re dealing with Delta now, but what horrible variant could be next? Ramping up mask usage (in addition to higher vaccination rates, of course) can help stop the spread of COVID-19. Los Angeles County just announced a forthcoming health order: bar, winery, brewery and club patrons will be required to show proof of vaccination upon entry. The CDC recommends that even vaccinated individuals go back to masking indoors. And the CDC also recommends that those masks have multiple layers. So some adults with simple cloth masks are in the market for more effective ones.

Set a Deal Alert for Face Masks

4. Masks are now required school supplies for kids.

kids at school wearing masks
Credit: iStock

Many parents are hunting for mask upgrades as the school year starts because of the raging Delta variant. (Our own Slickdeals survey found that almost 50% of kids have masks on their school supply lists this year.) After all, kids under 12 still can’t get vaccinated, so a more effective mask is an appealing option.

But there’s also a shortage of the most sought-after brands for kids and families. Happy Masks, which boast 99.9% bacterial and viral filtration, are nearly impossible to score. There’s simply too much demand for the top filter masks that people want to send their kids to school with.

Related: ‘Happy Masks’ Are Sold-Out and Waitlisted But These Ones Are Just As Good

How To Score Masks at the Lowest Prices Online

Once you figure out which masks you’re after, the next step is making sure you find them in stock and at the lowest prices (hint: Use the power of crowdsourcing — 12 million deal hunters are sharing and posting the best deals on Slickdeals). The Slickdeals community comes together to share deal information –especially in times of crisis — and the current mask situation is no different.

Our millions of deal hunters find and post deals, promo codes and coupons, and then each deal gets reviewed and voted on. Only the best deals get moved to Popular Deals. From there, our own on-staff deal editors vet these deals to select only the very best with the lowest prices online to move on to the Slickdeals Frontpage.

Set an Alert for the Best Face Masks Deals

It might be tricky to get the masks you want, but it can be done. In addition to checking Slickdeals, you can also sign up for waitlists, get on company email lists (which can also often get you additional discounts) and follow your chosen brand on social media to find out about things like restocks and sales.

Let 12 Million Deal Hunters Find You Masks in Stock

Set a Deal Alert on the Slickdeals app (or website) and get notified about new deals on your phone, either via email or as a notification on your smartphone — or both. As soon as you get an alert you can quickly purchase your masks right from the palm of your hand.

For instance, right now Slickdeals is showing that Sam’s Club has disposable face masks at a great price: 50 masks for $2.98. There’s also a clearance at Kohl’s that’s popular on Slickdeals, with each mask only costing $0.99.

Slick Tip: To receive alerts only for the very best sales and the absolute largest discounts, select “Popular” or “Frontpage” in your Deal Rating filter.

Set a Free Deal Alert For Anything You Want to Buy

Looking for a particular mask, like quality disposable ones you can buy in bulk? Set a Deal Alert to get notified as soon as a great deal goes live. Sign up for free with just an email to start seeing deals right away. Then, let us know of anything want to buy, and Slickdeals will send matching deals to your email or as a notification on your smartphone (or both, if you choose) as soon as that exact item is on sale.

Slick Tip: To receive alerts only for the very best sales and the absolute largest discounts, select “Popular” or “Frontpage” in your Deal Rating filter.

Set an Alert Now for Face Masks Deals

More great deals from Slickdeals:

Our editors strive to ensure that the information in this article is accurate as of the date published, but please keep in mind that offers can change. We encourage you to verify all terms and conditions of any product before you apply.


Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting