Which Masks are Best: A Review on Different Masks for Different Tasks

By Ani B. ’22 and Sophia L.D. ’22

While mask wearing can be annoying and unfashionable, masks are essential to protecting us from COVID-19. Many Winsor students have embraced the “new normal” and taken creative license in choosing a mask to wear based on specific criteria: style, wearability/breathability, reusability, and adjustability. We asked a variety of Winsor students across grade levels which masks they prefer for athletics and day-to-day life. We compiled the responses so that readers can find the mask that best suits them!

With sports seasons back up and running in person, we asked our classmates which masks they prefer to wear while playing sports or working out. Almost all the people that we asked said that the surgical, disposable masks are their favorite to use for athletic activities. The masks are very breathable, and “they don’t suffocate you” in the same way some of the reusable, thicker masks do. Helena N. ’23 added that surgical masks “do not absorb or trap sweat underneath, and since they are disposable, I can just get rid of it right after a workout, and I don’t have to wash it every single day.” However, for a more sustainable athletic mask, many people sport the increasingly popular Athleta brand mask. Athleta masks are popular because they have adjustable ear loops, come in a variety of colors, maintain breathability, and are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. While the surgical masks win in the athletic category based on student poll results, they do take a toll on the environment. We encourage students participating in athletic activities on and off campus to check out the comparable, yet reusable Athleta mask.

For day-to-day masks, there is a lot more variety in the creative choices of students. MaryKate H. ’22 makes her “own masks in different patterns and colors,” while others purchase their masks from their favorite clothing stores, such as Gap, Urban Outfitters, and Princess Polly. Many online and in-store clothing brands include masks as a key products, allowing buyers to explore different options (i.e. size, pattern, color) when purchasing. Some of the key mask features that are important to Winsor students include adjustable straps and fitted or wire nose bridges because these factors contribute to comfort and protection. Amazon sells masks from many brands; however, we recommend reading reviews before purchasing masks to ensure that the quality and features of the mask fit your own personal standards and preferences. 

We also asked students to give reviews of the Winsor masks, two of which were provided to every student during orientation week. Katherine T. ’22 enjoys that the Winsor masks “are cute and the straps are adjustable.” Many other students prefer the Winsor mask because they are best for day-to-day activity and are convenient to pack in your backpack. Some critics of the Winsor masks feel that they are “too thin,” and thus they prefer to wear other masks. In general, reviews of the Winsor mask are positive, and students are open to and excited by the possibility of more mask offerings from Winsor to promote school-spirit in the future.