We seem to be over the biggest hurdle when it comes to the Coronavirus and rampant outbreaks. However, there are still many states and cities recommending their citizens wear face masks while out in public. Some companies supplying masks have been able to catch up with the demand, giving precedence to the healthcare industry, but it has still been difficult for the rest of us to find good, high-quality masks. We’re here to help you find where you can buy face masks online.
Big Box Stores
It might seem like a while ago that places like Home Depot and Costco had face masks on store shelves, but they are starting to slowly show up. Your best bet is not to drive to every location and search for masks in the far reaches of each store, but to call or check stock online and arrange an in-store pickup. If shopping on the website is fruitless, calling may be a good solution. Stores are doing their best to serve customers coming into their locations, so most of their inventory is going to be in-store and not online.
When you do a search on Amazon for an N95 respirator mask you get quite an array of masks, most of them not N95. Most of this can be attributed to the fact that there still hasn’t been a replenishment in the market due to the temporary increase in demand.
Something you need to be aware of, especially when it comes to N95 masks online is many individuals and companies say that the mask is an N95 mask, however, some are obviously not, they are only surgical masks, which can not create a seal on the face. Others are counterfeit and have never been certified by NIOSH as being 95% effective at filtering particles down to 0.3 microns in size.
Go into this process with the ‘buyer beware’ mentality, research the sellers on Amazon, take time to investigate the masks as best you can, make sure there is a return policy if you happen to go through a bait-and-switch situation. If you are unsure, it might help to opt out of an online purchase and buying something locally. Inspecting your mask before your purchase helps you be more sure about your selection.
Masks for sale on Etsy are not going to be N95 certified because nothing homemade will have gone through the riggers of testing. But most of the masks for sale will still provide a decent level of protection from large particulates. We have seen a few N95 certified masks on Etsy that have been decorated up with stickers, pins and glued-on ornaments. Any modifications made to an official N95 mask negates its guarantee of protection. Avoid these masks at all costs! They could cause more problems, even to your health, than they are worth.
Retail and Other Stores
Just about every corner market is selling some version of a facial covering, whether it be a box of surgical masks, bandanas or cute cotton-layered mask with ear loops. If you are looking for something to grab and wear, you definitely have a lot of variety to choose from. However, most of these retailers aren’t going to carry N95 masks.
Many online retailers carry masks with a good level of protection. Some of them have replaceable carbon filters, are easy to clean and sanitize, and a plethora of other options. Take time to look over the product, study out the specs, see that there is a return policy and if you have any concerns about the company, check them out with the Better Business Bureau.
There are options available out there for you to still buy superior masks, like the N95, but you are going to have to put in the work to find a reliable one. If you are looking for a simple face mask that will make sure your mouth and nose are covered, you have plenty of options to choose from with a variety of styles, colors, and features.