Branded face masks are one of 2021’s best value promotional products in terms of CPI (a face mask imprinted with a company’s logo that costs $5 will have a CPI of just over 1/10 of a cent) and estimated number of impressions per item (4,235 per mask over its lifetime). Some brands like Dunkin’ and Utz even sell promotional face masks in their online company stores. Whether they are given away as swag or used to accessorize and protect customer-facing employees, reusable face masks are an essential promotional item for 2021. In the guide below, we have outlined the basic information you need to know before selecting the best custom face masks to give to your employees and customers this year. Our top picks for affordable, protective, and comfortable face masks are included.
Face Masks 101: Mask Recommendations from the CDC
Reusable cloth face masks are available in different shapes and sizes with varying levels of protection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that non-medical professionals wear reusable, non-medical cloth face masks in public, rather than N95 respirators and single-use surgical masks intended for medical professionals. They suggest non-medical professionals choose masks which:
- completely cover your mouth and nose;
- fit snugly against the sides of your face without gaps;
- have at least two layers of washable, breathable fabric.
The CDC does not recommend wearing face masks with exhalation valves or vents in public. Exhalation valves allow unfiltered air to escape, which may spread Covid-19 to others.
Face Mask Fabrics and Construction
Cloth masks constructed from two layers of fabric are often referred to as 2-ply masks. Masks with three layers of fabric are called 3-ply masks. A “ply” refers to a single layer of material with the number of “plys” indicating how many layers of material were used to construct the mask.
Cotton is the most popular fabric for reusable face masks, for its balance of protection and breathability. Other fabrics options include cotton-polyester blends as well as nylon and bamboo.
Some reusable face masks have a built-in interior filter pocket. You can place a disposable filter in this pocket for added protection.
Mask decoration options range from all over, full color printing to 1-3 color screen printing with limited imprint areas.
Face Mask Fit/Sizing
Most face masks for adults are unisex, one size fits all masks, meaning they will comfortably fit most adult men and women. Masks constructed with adjustable straps offer the most flexibility in sizing, allowing you to adjust the fit of your mask to make it more comfortable for your face and ears. Reusable cloth masks as well as disposable face masks with kid-friendly sizing are also available.
Kids will love the custom print and comfortable fit of our Custom Print Youth Pleated Mask. Parents will love the filter pocket and two layers of antimicrobial fabric, which inhibits the penetration and growth of germs & bacteria. Expandable and breathable, this pleated mask contours to your face and reduces eyeglass fog. Fit for ages 5-11. Complies with CPSIA. Made in the USA.
Face Mask Straps
The type of straps sewn into your mask will impact how adjustable it is and therefore how comfortable you find it. The most common style of strap for reusable face masks is elastic ear loops. To make standard face masks with elastic ear loops more comfortable, face mask extenders – aka ear savers – are available for purchase. Attached to elastic ear loops, and positioned at the back of the head, these extenders can help relieve painful pressure on ears caused by tight mask straps.
While everyone has their personal preference, adjustable straps are popular because they make it easy to adjust the fit of your mask to make it more comfortable for your face and ears. People who find elastic ear loops painful might want to consider a mask with tie-back cloth straps or adjustable straps.
Our Reusable Athleisure Face Mask in Shadow Heather Grey is a super-comfortable 2-ply mask with a filter pocket and elastic straps with an adjustable toggle for a comfortable fit behind your ears. This mask also features an integrated aluminum nose frame that adjusts to ensure a proper fit. Unisex sizing. Price includes 1 color print, 1 location print. Screen printed, heat transfer.
Another adjustable face mask option is the over the head design. A bungee loop stretches around the back of the head and neck and secures with an adjustable cord lock. The bungee loop allows the mask to hang around your neck when not in use.
Reusable Face Mask Styles
Standard – standard face masks have a long, seamless cloth panel that stretches across the nose and mouth. Elastic ear loops are usually sewn into a standard cloth face mask, though some have fabric ties or adjustable straps instead. A standard mask can be decorated pretty much any way you want. Full sublimation printing (all over printing) makes it easy to add colorful graphics as well as a company logo to this type of mask.
One of our bestsellers is the Phoenix 2-Ply Dye-Sublimated Face Mask. Made of super soft cotton under the top printed layer, the Phoenix is the best buy for price, sublimation, and MOQ.
Form-Fitting – Featuring a center seam, this mask’s design helps accommodate the shape of your nose and chin. Also referred to as close-fitting or fitted face masks, a mask with a center seam also typically has a flexible nose wire which can help keep your mask from sliding down your face. That makes this type of mask perfect for long periods of wear or if you need a mask that can be worn while exercising. People who wear glasses also find that a nose wire helps reduce the amount of hot air that can reach the lenses of their glasses.
These masks can easily be customized with a company logo. Because of the center seam, all over printing is usually not recommended for this type of mask. However, graphics that do not need to line up in the center of the mask can be printed onto a form-fitting mask.
This 3-Ply Cotton Face Mask with Replaceable Filter and Adjustable Ear Loops is a great combination of comfort and protectiveness with a filter pocket and bendable metal nose bridge to reduce gaps. A rubber slider on each ear loop allows you to easily adjust the fit of the mask. Made from Cotton/Polyester Fabric with 100% Cotton Lining. Silk screen printing is included in the price so adding your company logo is a cinch.
Pleated – Also referred to as accordion-style face masks, they are constructed from fabric that has pleats to help with facial fit. A pleated mask feels roomier because it has extra material that can be pulled to stretch across your nose, mouth, and lower chin, making it easy to cover more of your face when desired. This type of mask imitates the style of disposable surgical masks which are also pleated. Many pleated masks also feature a flexible nose wire.
Our customers love this reusable pleated face mask made from two layers of material – 100% Cotton outer layer with 96% Polyester/4% Spandex inner layer. This mask has an integrated metal nose frame that adjusts to ensure a proper fit, interior filter pocket, and adjustable ear loops. All over printing is available – create an exclusive, reusable face mask your customers will love by customizing the color, decoration technique, or offering a fashion pattern.
For additional guidance with selecting the best custom face masks to keep your customers and employees safe in 2021, Contact Us or fill out the form below. In addition to reusable cloth face masks, we also have face shields, custom neck gaiters, disposable face masks, PPE kits, N95 respirators, K95 face masks, and other PPE items available for purchase.