The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a statement that face masks do in fact offer protection to the wearer in addition to helping prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Initially, it was thought that masks only prevented individuals from spreading the virus to others, but new research shows that exposure from infectious droplets is lowered through the filtration of masks.

This filtration increases with face masks that have multiple layers of fabrics and higher thread counts, according to the CDC. The organization also encourages individuals to reduce the spread of the coronavirus by continuing to social distance and maintain proper hygiene like washing your hands.

This news comes amid a surge in coronavirus cases across the United States, with the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 rising by almost 50% in the last two weeks. Now, restrictions are tightening again on businesses and public gatherings and new mask mandates are being issued in states like Iowa that did not have requirements around mask-wearing before.

With demand growing for face masks yet again, now is an excellent time to stock up on new ones. Here is our expert advice on the best face masks you can buy right now based on our own testing and research.

The best face masks you can buy right now

These masks from Athleta are the best ones we've ever tested.

These masks from Athleta are the best ones we’ve ever tested. (Photo: Athleta)

After testing the best face masks on the market at Reviewed, we were able to determine which ones offered the best protection and comfort based on fabric, fit, effectiveness, quality, and the overall experience of wearing the mask.

While plenty of retailers now sell masks, our tester found that the Athleta Non Medical Face Masks are the best. For $30, you get a pack of five face masks that we found to be both ultra comfortable and breathable. Each one is triple-layered and comes with an adjustable nose piece and ear loops. The five masks each come in a different color/pattern as well, giving multiple options for style.

For a more affordable option, the Old Navy Triple-Layer Cloth Face Mask finished in second place after testing and is our best value pick for masks. Similar to Athleta, Old Navy’s masks come in a five-pack as well, but at a much lower price—$12.50. These masks also offer three layers of fabric for protection, have adjustable ear straps, and are made of soft cotton that won’t irritate your face. Not to mention, they’re available in a plethora of fun patterns, including seasonal ones.

Not a fan of cloth masks? You can order disposable masks instead. This 50 pack of disposable face masks from Bigox on Amazon has a 4.5-star rating from over 11,000 reviews and will run you $9.99. Just remember to actually dispose of them after each use.

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