• 8 Best Medical Face Masks UK 2022 1
  • 8 Best Medical Face Masks UK 2022 2
  • 8 Best Medical Face Masks UK 2022 3
  • 8 Best Medical Face Masks UK 2022 4
  • 8 Best Medical Face Masks UK 2022 5

8 Best Medical Face Masks UK 2022

Face masks, or face coverings, are on everyone’s shopping list at the moment, as they’re a great way to limit infection rates from viruses like coronavirus while out in public in the UK. But which give anti-viral protection, which are the best for glasses wearers, and what's the difference between blue paper, N95, and reusable masks with valves or filters?


From bulk buys of disposable masks to wear when caring for relatives or medical patients to washable kids cotton masks and even those for running, we’ll tell you everything you need to know. Plus, with our top ten recommendations for sale on eBay, Boots, John Lewis and Amazon, you’re sure to find what you need to give you some extra protection. 

  • Last updated: 24-02-2022
Table of Contents

What Is a Face Mask and How Do I Use One?

What Is a Face Mask and How Do I Use One?

By now, almost everyone you pass on the street is wearing a face mask, and in fact, in some areas of the UK face masks are mandatory on public transport and in shops. But the question is, “What do face masks really do?”


Essentially, face masks are used to limit the spreading of germs and viruses by trapping in infectious molecules from coughs and sneezes. They can also be used to shield the nose and mouth from breathing in unwanted nasty airborne particles, whether viral or from pollution. 


These masks can be worn by everyone, not just healthcare workers. However, it’s important that you know what makes a good medical face mask and which variety serves the right purpose for you. You should also keep up to date not just with the requirements in the UK, but if you are travelling abroad as the regulations may differ. 

How to Choose a Medical Face Mask in the UK - Buying Guide

To make sure that you get the most out of your face mask, you need to know what makes for a reliable one. Whether it's the type, the material, or how long it lasts, this buying guide will help you decide which mask to buy.

Make Sure to Get the Mask That Suits Your Lifestyle

Make Sure to Get the Mask That Suits Your Lifestyle

General Fabric Face Coverings Are Best for Everyday Usage

A face covering made from thick or layered fabric is the best option for general use when heading to the shops or on public transport. They are lightweight yet durable, and they cover enough of your nose and mouth to lower the risk of catching infections.


This style is generally referred to in the UK as a face 'covering' rather than a mask, as this differentiates them from the medical-grade masks which are certified to protect against viruses. This means that they are simply designed to reduce the transmission of vapour droplets and are therefore not classed as PPE


If you're going to be wearing your face covering for a long time, you may want to look for products stating they are made from breathable fabrics or with a percentage of natural cotton, especially during hot weather or stuffy commutes. You can also find coverings with two-way valves to further increase breathability. 

Surgical Medical Masks Are Single Use and Offer Good Particle Filtration

Surgical masks are what you see the doctors wearing on Grey’s Anatomy, but lately they've been seen less on TV and more on the streets in real life! They’re the rectangular blue masks with pleated paper-like fabric and are cheap to buy, mainly because they're not designed to last more than one usage. 


Filtering between 60 and 98% of particles depending on the product, these masks are best for those who have a cough or for someone who has recently been in contact with an infected person, or for healthcare workers who are not working directly with COVID-19 patients. 

N95 Respiratory Masks Are Classified as PPE and Designed for Medical Use

Respirator masks are durable and fit tightly around the face, and have an additional filter to the fabric itself to stop respiratory droplets from getting through or around it. They can block up to 95% of both small and large particles, which is why they are classified as 'N95' masks.


Though they are available to the public nowadays, these masks are recommended to be left for people who come into contact with large doses of a virus, which at the moment, of course, is COVID-19. 


This means that if you’re a medical worker who visits and cares for the infected, this is the best option for you.

Disposable or Reusable? Washable Masks Are Better for the Environment, Single Use Are Cheap in Bulk

Disposable or Reusable? Washable Masks Are Better for the Environment, Single Use Are Cheap in Bulk

Some people prefer disposable masks as they feel safer knowing that any infectious particles are in the bin rather than potentially lingering in the house. They are best to buy in bulk as you'll need enough to get by after throwing them away after each use, and are usually the cheapest option because of this. 


However, reusable masks last longer and are a lot better for the environment. Throughout virus outbreaks, you may notice an abundance of masks thrown on the floor, littering the streets. If this is something you'd like to reduce, consider buying one or two durable, reusable masks


Reusable masks can usually be washed in the machine or by hand with hot water, and some come with replaceable filters offering varying levels of protection. If so, you may want to check how many of these filters come with your purchase, and how easily or readily available they are to replace. 

Look for Comfort-Enhancing Features Such as Adjustability

Look for Comfort-Enhancing Features Such as Adjustability

As you have probably noticed, disposable masks simply comprise of thin lengths of elastic glued onto a paper rectangle covering. However, for reusable styles, there are some features to look out for to step up the comfort – as let's face it, wearing a mask is new to a lot of us in the UK and it can be hard to get used to! 


Firstly, look for adjustable or easy-tie ear loops to tailor the fit to your unique face shape and size, which will stop the mask slipping and therefore reduce how often you touch it or your face. 


Similarly, a wired nose bridge can help the mask fit more snugly to your facial contours. This too will stop it slipping, and can also limit that ever-frustrating fogging up of your glasses or sunglasses. 


If you're buying for children or you think you'll require a smaller or larger sizing than most, you might also like to go for a covering or mask that's available in a range of different sizes.

The 8 Best Medical Face Masks in the UK

Having read up on our advice, you should now be ready to look at our hand-picked selection of the best medical face masks to buy online. We’ve included enough options for everyone, whether you want a mask for your day-to-day or a stronger surgical mask.

8

SA ProductsUnisex Breathable Reusable & Washable Cotton Masks

£19.95

Type/MaterialGeneral, cotton with valve
ReusableNo
Replaceable FilterYes - 10 supplied
AdjustabilityEar loops, nose bridge
Sizes AvailableOne size
Quantity5
7

AdidasReusable Face Cover

Pack of 3

£19.99

Type/MaterialGeneral, recycled breathable polyester
ReusableYes
Replaceable FilterNo
AdjustabilityElastic only
Sizes AvailableXS/S
Quantity3
6

FabbiesDIY Face Mask Sewing Kit, Animal

£20.00

Type/MaterialGeneral, cotton
ReusableYes
Replaceable FilterNo
AdjustabilityCustomisable
Sizes AvailableCustomisable
Quantity6
5

HonyaoRespirator Extra Filter Face Mask

£13.99

Type/MaterialGeneral, nylon with valve
ReusableYes
Replaceable FilterYes - 6 filters & 4 valves supplied
AdjustabilityEar straps, nose bridge
Sizes AvailableOne size
Quantity2
4

Boots Protective FFP2 NR Face Masks Single Use Respirators

Pack of 5

£9.99

Type/MaterialSurgical
ReusableNo
Replaceable FilterNo
AdjustabilityEar straps, nose bridge
Sizes AvailableOne size
Quantity5
3

Oscar ApparelsKids Reusable Face Mask

£8.83

Type/MaterialGeneral, cotton
ReusableNo
Replaceable FilterNo
AdjustabilityElastic only
Sizes AvailableOne size (children's)
Quantity5
2

NEQIReusable Face Masks

£15.00

Type/MaterialGeneral, polyester, cotton, spandex
ReusableYes
Replaceable FilterNo
AdjustabilityElastic only
Sizes AvailableS/M, L, kids
Quantity3
1

The Body Doctor AB Mask Reusable Antibacterial Mask

£10.00

Type/MaterialGeneral, breathable fabric treated with Sterileyes©
ReusableYes
Replaceable FilterYes - 1 N95 filter supplied
AdjustabilityEar loops
Sizes AvailableOne size
Quantity1

Compare the Best Medical Face Masks

Image
1
The Body Doctor  AB Mask Reusable Antibacterial Mask 1

The Body Doctor

2
NEQI Reusable Face Masks 1

NEQI

3
Oscar Apparels Kids Reusable Face Mask 1

Oscar Apparels

4
Boots  Protective FFP2 NR Face Masks Single Use Respirators 1

Boots

5
Honyao Respirator Extra Filter Face Mask 1

Honyao

6
Fabbies DIY Face Mask Sewing Kit, Animal 1

Fabbies

7
Adidas Reusable Face Cover  1

Adidas

8
SA Products Unisex Breathable Reusable & Washable Cotton Masks 1

SA Products

Name

AB Mask Reusable Antibacterial Mask

Reusable Face Masks

Kids Reusable Face Mask

Protective FFP2 NR Face Masks Single Use Respirators

Respirator Extra Filter Face Mask

DIY Face Mask Sewing Kit, Animal

Reusable Face Cover

Unisex Breathable Reusable & Washable Cotton Masks

Features

High-Safety and Long-Lasting With 5-Layer N95 Filtration

Comfortable and Soft Masks in a Smaller Size

Comfy and Colourful Face Coverings for Kids

FFP2 NR Masks that Offer Both Comfort and Protection

Protective and Highly Breathable

A Fun DIY Kit to Get the Fit Just Right

A Top-Quality Reusable Mask for Running or Sports

Simple Face Coverings With a Valve for Better Breathability

Price£10.00£15.00£8.83£9.99£13.99£20.00£19.99£19.95
Type/MaterialGeneral, breathable fabric treated with Sterileyes©General, polyester, cotton, spandex General, cotton SurgicalGeneral, nylon with valve General, cottonGeneral, recycled breathable polyester General, cotton with valve
ReusableYesYesNoNoYesYesYesNo
Replaceable FilterYes - 1 N95 filter suppliedNo NoNoYes - 6 filters & 4 valves suppliedNoNoYes - 10 supplied
AdjustabilityEar loopsElastic onlyElastic onlyEar straps, nose bridgeEar straps, nose bridgeCustomisable Elastic only Ear loops, nose bridge
Sizes AvailableOne sizeS/M, L, kidsOne size (children's)One sizeOne size Customisable XS/SOne size
Quantity13552635
Link

How to Make Your Own Face Mask

Ordered new face masks but waiting for the delivery? Or worried about running out of masks again? In that case, why not try making your own face mask? While a simple handmade face mask will not be medical-standard, face masks that fit snugly with multiple layers of fabric can help slow the spread of viruses.


This tutorial is easy to follow, and all you'll need to make it is some cloth, two pieces of elastic, scissors, and a simple sewing set. Here are the instructions: 


<How to Make a Face Mask>

  1. Cut the fabric into a circle. The diameter should be 25~28cm for adults, 23cm for teens, or 20 cm for children. 
  2. Cut the circle of fabric into 4, then divide the 4 pieces into pairs. 
  3. Sew the round edge of the two pieces of fabric together, for both pairs, with the outer side facing in. You should now have two face-mask shaped pieces of fabric. 
  4. Put the outer side of the pieces of fabric together and sew the sides together, leaving a small gap on one of the corners. 
  5. Pull the face mask through this small gap so that the outer side of the fabric is now on the outside. Iron out any creases
  6. Sew the corners in slightly, leaving a small gap for the elastic to go through.
  7. Thread the elastic (20cm for adults, 18cm for teens, and 15cm for children) through the gaps, tie a knot at the ends, and rotate the string so that the knot is inside the gap in the face mask fabric.

And there you have it, a gorgeous face mask that you can start using straight away!

Author: Annie Speight

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