While traveling in India, I developed a sinus infection which required us to leave the country temporarily. This made our trip more expensive and we had to change our plans to deal with our illness.
It was then that I realized the importance of face masks when traveling to polluted countries. We went to Thailand where people were wearing masks even under the sweltering sun. We found face masks at one of the night markets and gave them all our money.
I currently live in Seattle where our AQI is anywhere between 20-36 year round. Visiting more polluted destinations, such as Vietnam or India, made me appreciate our air quality back home.
Still, we wanted to explore the world without falling ill to pollution, and now a global pandemic. Thanks coronavirus!
In our research, we discovered that not all masks are created equal. We then found out how technical filtered face masks can be so we explored our best options.
After testing multiple brands, we knew we wanted masks that were reusable and that actually worked! Many masks we found abroad were cheap but still allowed harmful particles to enter our respiratory systems. They were also single-use and contributed to the demise of our environment!
Below are filtered mask brands that we think you should invest in when traveling to polluted destinations.
Best Filtered Face Masks
We narrowed the best reusable filtered face masks down to two companies. Check out our review of each company below to see which one is best for your respiratory needs.
Vogmask is a San Francisco based respiratory mask company. They opened their doors in 2011 and have been on a mission to bring fashionable and reusable face masks to the world. To date, they sell their masks in 41 countries.
Vogmask is used for protection from airborne particles such as PM 0.3, PM 2.5, PM 10, dust, allergens, post combustion particles, germs, shavings, biologics, odors, scents, mold, mold spores, particles in wildfire smoke, volcanic particulate pollution, and other airborne contaminants.
We love the fun designs that resonate with our mood for the day. The masks come in various sizes ranging from S to XL. You can also choose from two materials: microfiber or organic fabric. Price range for Vogmasks run between $33 to $44 per mask.
We recommend consulting with their size chart to find your perfect size.
Vogmasks are also intended to be worn 3 months to a year. They are not reusable long-term. They are hand washable. Make sure the mask is fully dry prior to wearing again.
If you’re one to misplace personable belongings, we highly recommend buying a mask strap ($4) to keep your mask around your neck when not worn on the face.
Airinum is a Scandanavian company that creates urban face masks with a reusable design. Their multi-layer face mask filters are made to filter out more than 95% of particles down to 0.3μm in size.
We reviewed the NEMEN face mask ($99 USD) which comes with a polygiene treated mask skin, two mask filters, two onyx air valves, a carrying pouch with lanyard, and a black head strap. Mask sizes range from S to L.
The mask is VERY lightweight. The ear straps are adjustable, allowing us to find the perfect fit. The face mask itself is washable and reusable by hand.
The products come deconstructed but take just minutes to assemble and use. We love the carrying pounch to store our face mask when not in use.
Airinum face masks range from $59 to $99 depending on the style and material.
Although the face mask is more expensive, the functionality and design of the mask is very impressive. This is a mask that we would be able to wear with any outfit.
Airinum is also a member of 1% for the Planet, and give back to preserve the environment worldwide.
Carbon38 made their own multi-layered filtered and washable filtered face mask!
The masks come in two sizes, are multi-layered for your protection, each kit comes with two masks and all proceeds will benefit Frontline Foods, a non-profit organization that helps keep frontline employees nourished while we battle the pandemic.
Most importantly, the masks are backed by science and are microbial and antibacterial.
#4 Wai Ching Studios Silk Face Masks
Chrissy Wai Ching of Wai Ching Studio creates these beautifully hand-dyed silk face masks that come with inserts for filters.
When she’s not making face masks, she is designing beautiful wedding dresses and formal wear for women to look and feel their best. We definitely recommend checking her Etsy store out.
#5 Cute Booty Lounge
Don’t let the cheeky name fool you. This activewear and loungewear brand makes medical-grade reusable masks that come with changeable carbon filters.
Their masks are made of neoprene and other high-quality materials and trims. The prints are also very fun. Choose from leopard print, floral, plain black or white and many more designs.
You can also use them for costumes, travel and festivals like Burning Man!
Use this Cute Booty Lounge link to save 10% off your orders.
#6 Copper H2O
Copper H2O makes washable and reusable masks with a copper lining that disinfects bacteria and filters out at least 95% of airborne particles.
The masks had adjustable straps and can be washed in the washing machine.
#7 02 Nano Masks
O2 Nano Masks are sustainable and science-based. They’re also designed and made locally in San Francisco, Calif. USA.
Choose from different sizes. Each mask comes with removable filters that are also recyclable. The mask itself is washable and quick drying, making it easy to cycle between your masks. You can use the adjustable ear straps to find the perfect fit.
What we really like about the O2 Nano masks are that they’re super lightweight and very breathable compared to other brands.
Right now you can back this project on Kickstarter and secure your masks. They’re already one-third of the way to their goal after launching in mid-May 2020. For every mask purchased, one is donated to a local essential service worker in need.
#8 Grand Fusion Housewares
MiliMili makes adorable printed face masks that have inserts for filters.
What we love about this mask is that you can wear the mask around your neck while it is untied. This makes it easy to keep your mask on you at all times even when you need to remove it for a short period.
#10 Bunny With Bear
Bunny With Bear is an Etsy store with handmade cloth masks with inserts for filters. They have lots of fun prints which include foxes, tigers, plants, sports teams and more.
What we love about their masks is that they wrap around the back of your head and do not tug on your ears. This has been a lifesaver for when we have to wear masks for a prolonged period of time.
#11 Bucket Hat with Removable Shield
And for those who want a little more protection, you have to check out Marigold Shadows’ visor bucket hat.
Marigold Shadows makes post-apocalyptic, goth, avant-garde clothing that we love. You have to check them out.
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