Let’s face it, your kids probably need at least a few masks because one will inevitably get dropped in dirt, left in the car, or used as an unfortunate tissue. But unless you're making them yourself, the cost for all these accessories can really add up. Fortunately, there are affordable face masks for kids that are effective and comfortable, which will also make your laundry situation a little more bearable (don't forget that masks should be washed after every use).
You may want to try out a few styles to find the best fit for your child. "A proper fitting mask completely covers the nose and mouth. Masks should fit snugly around under the chin and over the cheeks before securing behind the ears. Masks of multilayered cotton are effective, easy to clean, and comfortable for kids," Dr. Natasha Burgert, pediatrician, tells Romper. She adds that elastic loops around the ears are easiest to get on and off, but if your child is sensitive to the pressure caused behind their ears, you can look for for alternative latching points like headbands with buttons that secure the ear loops or "ear-saver" extension products.
And one more thing. It's important to note that runny noses and masks don't mix, Dr. Burgert says. "As soon as a mask gets wet, it should be replaced with a new one," she tells Romper. Read on for children's masks that won't break the bank, so you can stock up on a few.
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1. A Pack Of Polka Dots
This pack of five cotton masks comes in several cute patterns, but it's also available in varying neutral, pastel, or bright solid shades for kids who prefer to go print-free. "Pleated masks allow for a bit more room between the face and mask to increase comfort," Dr. Burgert says. A pleated style for just under $2.50 per mask is a deal you'll want to stock up on.
2. A Festive Duo
Your kids won't want to miss this pair of limited-edition Mickey and Minnie Mouse Halloween masks. You'll find little mouse ears and Mickey jack o'lanterns tucked in amidst a sea of candy and pumpkins. It's helpful that this mask comes in both a kid size small and medium (because there's a big difference between the face of a kindergartener and a sixth grader).
3. A Disposable Option
If your child is experiencing seasonal allergies or a cold, disposable masks may be your friend. In addition to trying to quell their runny nose (Dr. Burget recommends trying an antihistamine) she says that, "extra masks are a must." These have a bendable clip that help keeps the mask in place over tiny noses, but remember they're single use and should not be worn more than once.
4. A Six Pack Of Black
I personally love black masks because they go with everything and don't show a lot of dirt (though of course they still need to be washed regularly). For the kid who likes to keep things classic, you can't go wrong with this set of six soft knits masks. Plus, for every mask set purchased, Nordstrom will donate a mask to help protect kids and families in need.
5. A Mask To Match With Their Grown-Ups
Need to mask but still be merry? These plaid masks are sold as a set: one for you, and one for your kid. This set gives back too; for every mask duo sold through Sept. 30, Janie and Jack will donate $5 to Baby2Baby, an organization that provides families experiencing poverty with diapers, kids clothing, and other essentials.
6. A SpongeBob Mask
He may live in a pineapple under the sea, but SpongeBob still knows a thing or two about the importance of wearing a mask. Designer Alphonse Viza makes affordable masks for kids and adults alike, but the littlest face coverings get the most flair.
7. A Target Two-Pack
Unicorns and purple starry skies will always be a hit, especially when each mask costs just $2 (so no biggie if they get left on the bus or dropped on the playground). There are plenty of prints to choose from, plus this has a plastic nose wire and a pocket for a filter, which is sold separately.
8. Paw Patrol To The Rescue
You can choose what Paw Patrol character (Rubble, Chase, Rocky, or Marshall) you want to showcase on this mask. It comes in two styles with an option for bands around the ears or the head. If your child's mask is too loose, Dr. Burgert says, "making a figure-eight with the ear loops can make the mask more snug. This works in the short term, but the twisted ear loops could create excess pressure behind the ears that will get uncomfortable over time." So ideally, you'll find a mask can comfortably be worn on long days of wear.
9. Solid-Colored & Stretchy
Okay, so you may not need 50 masks, but it's a great deal ($2.50 each) when you buy in bulk and you can always donate masks to local schools or places in need. These soft modal masks are also available individually ($3.50) and they now come in larger sizes meant for kids age 7 and up.
10. Printed Disposables
Disposable masks don't have to be boring or plain. These breathable, pleated masks are perfect for the kid who goes through tons of masks but still wants to impart a little personality. There are 50 in a set and so many designs to choose from, including Halloween and Christmas options.
11. Comfy Ear Straps
Cute prints, comfy ear straps, and unbeatable prices — what more is there? This set of six reusable, polyester masks are less than $2 each, and they're designed to fit kids ages 5-10.
12. Chic Prints
This pack of five fun prints (including dinosaurs and pink camo) looks high quality without the high-end price point. These are designed for children between the ages of 2-8, but they also make them for adults, so you can match with your mini-me if you choose. With each mask purchase, one gets donated to an organization in need.