Decisions surrounding whether kids need to wear face masks when they go back to school have been prominent in the news recently. We've put together this guide to where to buy the best kids face masks – with options for both teens and younger children – to help you out (for more options, head to our guide to the best best face mask overall).
In England, face masks are currently only required in secondary schools in areas that are under local lockdown rules (such as Birmingham and Manchester). Pupils and staff in these areas will need to wear face coverings when moving around the school and in communal areas where social distancing is difficult, but are not required in classrooms themselves. However, head teachers of schools outside of these areas are allowed to impose face mask rules at their discretion.
In Scotland, face masks are mandatory in all secondary schools, but again, only when moving between classes and in communal areas. In the UK, face masks are also required on all public transport – so even if your child doesn't need one during the school day, they'll need one on the school bus. There are also some exceptions to these rules – for example those who find wearing a face mask makes breathing difficult, and those who need to be able to have their mouths visible for lipreading purposes. Read the full official guidance here. (opens in new tab)
Currently, primary aged children are not required to wear face masks at all in school, and aren't recommended for children under the age of three in any situation. However, if you have a child aged three or over and want to invest in a kids face mask for them, we've got the best options in this guide. These coverings are designed to fit on smaller faces, and also feature kid-friendly patterns.
Read on for our pick of the best places to order kids face masks, in the US and the UK.
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UK: Where to buy kids' face masks for back to school
Face masks | £13 for one at Vistaprint (opens in new tab)
We think these are the best back to school face masks for kids and teens right now. These Vistaprint kids face masks are designed to fit snugly to the face, with a 3-dimensional chin structure, double-stitching and a nose bridge, plus a new integrated filter. There are also lots of fun, kid-friendly fabric designs to choose from.
HYPE face masks | From £8.99 (opens in new tab)
HYPE has lots of bold and bright kids and teens face masks to choose from, including ones with an integrated FFP1 filter. Choose from neon, tie-dye, splatters, galaxy prints and more.
Face masks for teens| 3 for £14 from ASOS (opens in new tab)
ASOS has lots of cheap face masks in statement prints. There's a range of styles, depending on what you're after – some feature nose clip for a snug fit, some offer a charity donation with each sale, and some some as a set with a scrunchie and carry bag for a coordinated look.
Ally face masks | £12 for one at Ally (opens in new tab)
Selling fast! For a basic but colourful back to school face mask option, try Ally. These are designed to block ≥95% of airborne particles, and they're washable and available in a range of bright shades. They are selling fast though.
Regatta face masks | From £9 for three (opens in new tab)
These basic kids' face masks are made from polyester with an antibacterial finish. They're available in a wide range of prints that'll appeal to different ages – younger kids might like the designs based around various critters' mouths (from cute cats to hungry sharks), while for teens there's camo print and spotty prints.
Personalised and printed face mask | £9.99 at Prezzybox (opens in new tab)
Prezzybox has a whole range of face mask designs available to personalise for no extra cost. Students could go for their initials to help distinguish their mask from classmates'. There's also a load of statement prints available. These masks are double-layer (polyester outer and cotton inner), and come with adjustable straps and two filters included.
Organic cotton kids' face masks | £10 at Baukjen (opens in new tab)
Baukjen has a few summery prints on offer for its kids face masks (also available in adult sizes). They're made from soft, organic cotton, and feature a double-layer pleated design. They're machine-washable, reusable and recyclable – and if you buy 5, you get £10 off.
Star-print cotton face masks | £12 each at Lulu&Nat (opens in new tab)
Pick up a star-print, pleated kids' face mask at Lulu&Nat. They're made from double-layered soft 100% cotton with a removable inner filter (one supplied). The elastic is supplied long and loose, so it can either be tied around your child's ears or the back of their head, and adjusted to fit.
Homemade kids' face masks | From £2.99 at Etsy (opens in new tab)
Head to handmade marketplace Etsy for a whole variety of kids' face masks, in lots of different colours and designs. Take note of where your order is being shipped from, as this will affect your wait time.
Where to buy kids' face masks in the US
Face masks | $18 for one at Vistaprint (opens in new tab)
There are some super-fun designs on offer at Vistaprint, from dinosaurs to planets. These kids' face masks aren't the cheapest in this list, but they look good quality and durable, with reinforced stitching, plus a 3D chin structure and a nose bridge for a snug fit. There's a replaceable nanofiber filter, too.
The Purple Face Mask | 2 for $20 at Purple (opens in new tab)
Popular mattress brand Purple now sells a kids face mask that's designed to be as comfy as possible. This design has super-stretchy ear bands that won't lose their shape or make little ears sore, and moisture-wicking Breeze Mesh for a breathable but effective mouth cover.
Cotton face mask | $30 for 3 at Los Angeles Apparel (opens in new tab)
These machine-washable face masks are 100% cotton and can be adjusted to fit snugly around your child's nose. Unfortunately, the kids face mask size is only currently available on a few of the different colourways. These masks are made from thick French Terry fabric, and constructed in the US.
Protective face mask with filter | $36 for 4 at Vida (opens in new tab)
If your child is aged 5 and up, these face masks from Vida should fit. They have a multi-layer PM2.5 Filter featuring 2 layers of Meltblown Filter and 1 layer of Carbon Activated Fabric, to effectively filter out particles. Adjustable straps and an integrated metal nose strip ensures a close fit on your child's face. There's a discount if you go for a multipack, and a few nice bright colours to choose from.
StringKing Cloth face mask | $6.99 from StringKing (opens in new tab)
These washable, reusable two-layer cloth kids' face masks from StringKing are basic and cheap. They're shaped to fit around the chin and nose bridge. The only down-side is there's no exciting patterns on offer here.
Animal snout kids face masks | $12.99 for 2 at Cubcoats (opens in new tab)
Cubcoats' kids face masks feature animal snouts and come in orange/grey and pink/purple colourways. They're super cute, and made from two layers of 100% cotton. The straps are made from elastic and there's a metal nose piece to make sure the fit is snug.