13 Expert-Approved Exercise Masks That Will Hold Up Against Any Workout

By Amy Schlinger 

Your masks needs to be easy to move and sweat in, but it should also meet CDC safety guidelines.
Image Credit: kazuma seki/iStock/GettyImages

Exercise masks might as well be the new noise-cancelling headphones. You just don't leave home, let alone break a sweat, without them.

"We have learned that when exercising indoors, if you have a good fitting mask that covers with some snugness your nose and mouth, you have fairly decent protection. And if the person next to you has one as well, it's an exponential improvement," says Paul Silka, MD, chair of the department of emergency medicine at the Regional Medical Center of San Jose, California. "Outdoors is a bit safer, but you still need to wear a mask or gaiter if you're around other people."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a reusable mask should:

  • Have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
  • Completely cover your nose and mouth
  • Fit snugly against the sides of your face without any gaps
  • Have a moldable nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top

Don't choose masks that:

  • Are made of fabrics like vinyl that make it hard to breathe
  • Have exhalation valves or vents, which allow virus particles to escape
  • Are intended for healthcare workers, including N95 respirators

Luckily, there are lots of face masks on the market designed with workouts in mind.

We spoke with medical experts and tried out dozens ourselves to find the 14 best masks for working out:

Best for Plyometric Workouts: Dolan Ecozinc Antibacterial Runner’s Mask 2.0

 

Yes, it's called a runner's mask, but we adore it for all things plyo. In our tests, it fit like a second skin and didn't slip or move at all.

With this mask, the loops fit around your head, rather than ears. For some people, that can feel more secure, explains Ryan Waldman, DPT, a physical therapist at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in New York.

It's also made of a antimicrobial, lightweight fabric and has two layers. For extra protection, its pocket can hold a filter.

Buy it: ShopDolan.com; ​Price: ​$18