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7 Best Cold Weather Face Masks for Coronavirus

Stay warm, cozy, and stylish this winter with these doctor-recommended face masks for cold weather, from neck gaiters to reusable masks.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

Group of people waiting in social distance outside a pharmacyLuis Alvarez/Getty Images

Shopping for cold weather face masks

Winter is coming, which means you may finally be excited to wear a face mask to help keep your face warm and protected from the elements in addition to lower the risk of Covid-19. But you may be wondering if you can wear a scarf as your face mask or if you still need a mask underneath. And what about wearing a gaiter or buff instead?

Gaiters and buffs are fine for brief encounters,” says Paul Silka, MD, chair of the department of emergency medicine at the Regional Medical Center of San Jose, California. “If you’re anticipating prolonged exposure to others, particularly indoors, double-layer face masks or surgical masks are better options.”

So if you’re just traveling from home for a quick errand, or going outside where you won’t be spending much time around other people, you can consider wearing just a gaiter or buff. But if you’re going to be around others for a while, the best option is a face mask with a gaiter or buff or scarf on top. Just be sure to avoid the worst face masks for Covid-19.

Even the best mask won’t help much if your face covering doesn’t fit properly, though. “It is important that they are tight-fitting, covering the nose, mouth, and face,” says Dr. Silka. “Two-layer masks are even better. If the face covering is loose and single-layered it will be less effective.” Try using face mask accessories if your mask needs a few extra adjustments.

Don’t have a mask? Dr. Silka suggests going for double layers of a gaiter and scarf, or even two gaiters or buffs. “If you don’t have medical conditions, breathing shouldn’t be an issue,” he says.

For the best protection this winter, use one of these expert-recommended cold weather face masks and gaiters to be safe.

Minus33 Merino Wool Midweight Neck Gaitervia amazon.com

Minus33 Merino Wool Midweight Neck Gaiter

$25

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Made from 100 percent merino wool, not only will this Minus33 Merino neck gaiter keep you warm and protected on chilly days, but it also wicks sweat and any moisture that forms from your breath, so the inside stays dry. Bonus: It has a one-year warranty in case anything goes wrong, like a thread coming loose. (Keep your cool with these exercise face masks.)

Carve Face Maskvia carvedesigns.com

Carve Face Mask

$8

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Made out of the fabric this company uses for their bathing suits, this Carve mask is extremely flexible and has a lot of elasticity, making it a great option to wear under a warmer scarf or neck gaiter. The material is smooth, so it won’t get caught on anything, nor will it slip or get tugged down below your nose. You can hand wash it after use. (Here’s how to disinfect your face mask.)

Onzie Mindful Masks Unisexvia onzie.com

Onzie Mindful Masks Unisex

$24 for pack of two

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These dual-layer Onzie face masks are made a bit larger to provide full coverage over the mouth, nose, and under the chin, secured with elastic ear loops. The fabric is stretchy but form-fitting, quick-drying, and breathable, making it a perfect under-scarf option for winter. “A double layer of tight-fitting cloth can work well,” says Dr. Silka. (Here are the face mask accessories you need.)

Ruby Ribbon Face Coveringvia rubyribbon.com

Ruby Ribbon Face Covering

$40 for pack of 5

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This three-ply jersey cotton Ruby Ribbon face mask will provide ample protection throughout the day. The comfortable loops are stretchy to fit over the ears and provide a snug fit. It doesn’t have any metal in the nose, making it comfortable to wear under a gaiter or scarf. (These are the best face masks with filters.)

LONGLONG Neck Warmer Gaitervia amazon.com

LongLong Neck Warmer Gaiter

$14

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Pull the elastic cord on this LongLong neck gaiter to create a snug fit, so that the gaiter doesn’t fall down below your nose. The four-way stretch material fits over most heads and can be maneuvered to fit your facial features. It’s breathable, too. (For children, check out these back-to-school face masks for kids.)

Buff Women's New Polar Reversiblevia amazon.com

Buff Women’s New Polar Reversible

$33

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Pull this Buff face mask up over your face and enjoy the cozy fleece lining, which will keep your nose and ears toasty. The four-way stretch material allows you to wear it many ways, too: up over your head, just over your nose and ears, and many more options, which will keep you comfortable and also protected. (This is how your body deals with freezing weather.)

AZAZIE Non-Medical Velvet Reusable Face Maskvia azazie.com

AZAZIE Non-Medical Velvet Reusable Face Mask

$3

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Have a winter wedding or another important occasion you’re planning to attend? Check out these Azazie comfortable, plush, velvet face masks to accompany your outfit and keep you protected all night long. The ear loops are adjustable, so you can get a snug fit, which is key, so you can spend the night focused on what’s important, not on adjusting your face mask. Choose from the burgundy or black color.

Next, read the best face mask messages on Instagram.

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Amy Schlinger
Amy Schlinger is a skilled reporter, writer, and editor who regularly interviews world-renowned doctors and medical professionals, elite trainers, nutrition experts, professional athletes, and celebrities. She has 11 years of experience covering health, fitness, wellness, nutrition, and lifestyle topics. She has held staff positions at Shape Magazine, DailyBurn, Self Magazine, and PopSugar. Her work has appeared in Men’s Health, The New York Post, Women’s Health, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Health Magazine, Outside Magazine, Livestrong, Map My Fitness, MSN, Runner’s World, Bicycling Magazine, and more. She has been featured in DailyBurn’s Live to Fail workout video series (five total), is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), and is certified in Kettlebell Training. Amy is extremely passionate about healthy living, and can often be found researching and testing out new wellness trends and fitness programs or strength training at the gym. She has run six half marathons, completed one triathlon, biked two century rides, finished two Tough Mudder races, and four Spartan races, including a beast at the Spartan World Championships at Squaw Mountain in North Lake Tahoe.