Disclosure: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links.
Above: my son wearing the cloth mask I bought him.
No matter where you live, a mask is helpful. For example, what happens if you somehow have to take your child to the doctor?
Of course, a scarf or any existing household item that can be tied around the face is good, and this can work well for adults. I noticed from my own experience that a problem with tying a scarf around the face is that it can tend to fall down halfway through a grocery trip, which then makes it very risky germ-wise if you use your hands to put it back up. I eventually figured out how to tie it so that it won't fall down for me, but it's harder to do that for a child. In fact a child might want to tug it down, and that then puts them at risk. To solve those problems, I eventually bought just a few cloth masks for our family, two each for me and my husband for when one of us goes out to do groceries, and one each for my kids. I also bought a few for my older neighbor. I thought I'd let you know where I got them from and which types I'd recommend for adults and which for kids.
Here I'll be talking only about washable cloth masks; they are non-medical masks and are therefore not guaranteed to protect against germs. However, I figure it's better than nothing. You will need to remember to wash it between each use and wash hands before you put it on and take it off.
Where I shopped for my family's masks
I got my family's cloth masks from Etsy.com. Most of you already know what Etsy is, even if you have never bought anything there. For anyone who doesn't know what it is, it's pretty simple: individual people make things (anything from masks to handbags to baby bibs - and so much more!) and they sell them to the public on the Etsy marketplace. It makes it really easy for you to buy from any of the creators on Etsy - you only need to sign up once and then you can buy from anyone who sells on Etsy.
What some people don't know is that Etsy is international! That's right - most (but not all) countries have access to Etsy and you can choose to limit your search to items that are made in your country, ensuring you get stuff shipped to you quickly and of course helping your economy. Some sellers will choose to also sell outside of their country and you can buy from those sellers too if you wish, it just could take a longer shipping time until you receive your item compared to if you'd picked a local item.
Types of masks to consider
Tying behind the head for kids
Let's move on to the actual masks I bought. One of these is shown above for my son. What I love about it is that, unlike most models of mask, it ties behind the head. This has some advantages:
- Puts less stress on the ears
- More likely to be comfortable for your child
- Less likely for your child to be able to tug it off
Here is a link to the exact mask I bought. The best part is that you have a range of different patterns to select from, including masculine styles for boys that are otherwise hard to find on Etsy. This seller also has a good range of sizes to pick from. You do have to be careful with guessing sizes, since cloth masks are not able to be returned or exchanged for safety and hygiene reasons.
I personally like the modern style of mask that you can see me wearing above, but for those who prefer the traditional pleated style, I'll cover that below next. The mask I purchased above was a lot cheaper than the ones for my kids that I described in the previous section! I like the sleek look of the modern masks; the one you see me wearing is available in many colors and sizes, you can find it here. The seller may change the choices of material from time to time, so you might not see the gray anchors that I'm wearing, but there are many other colors available.
Traditional pleated masks for adults
Since my neighbor is fairly traditional, I guessed that she might prefer more of a traditional-style pleated mask. So I bought her a couple of masks from different sellers; the one that she liked best was from this Etsy seller.
If you're looking for washable cloth masks for you and/or your kids, the specific ones I mentioned above from Etsy.com are ones I have purchased and recommend. Stay safe!